[Boston—Monday, 28 December 1868]

Monday Decr 28. Not one word in this vastly important volume for more than a week. Xmas went off gloriously and did not quite carry us with it although the fatigue did not wear away until today. Every kind of pleasant companies in the week of remembrances from friends and the rejoicing of children at what we did for them were more than compensation for fatigue and vanished hours.

The weather has been surpassingly beautiful, clear and cold with exquisite nights and no snow. The mornings are full of opaline hues as we look out upon the world from our bay. Mother and Sarah have been staying here and I have been out less than usual.

Our library soon assumed the appearance of the green shades of Acadame after the vanishing of the tree. It was a great deal of work but my good servants Sarah and Katy restored order from chaos marvellously.

As for literature and that difficult thing knowledge whose glorious pursuit fires even my unworthy heart, the cares of the world have pushed lately out of my way every possibility of such delightful occupations.

The truth is I have been truly fired by Dickens’s last paper about the Children’s Hospital. I lay awake at night to ponder of it and if I ever go to England I shall go there. In the meantime while I live here such children are my own. God help me!

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