[Boston—Monday, 9 March 1868]

Monday March 9th For the first time since November I have come to write early in the morning at the table in the tiny room up-stairs we call “the study”. This is like Spring indeed. It has come as suddenly as winter did this season, bringing us real joy, as Spring always can. I suppose we shall have cold days yet, but the sunshine warmth & clearness of today are irresistible. I mean to take Lilian & Louisa’s baby by and by and go out of town to make a visit at the Ticknors, for I am sorry to say I have neglected this too long.

We had a happy quiet day yesterday—not forgetting to think often of dear C.D. in the strange town of Syracuse.

It is singular and no mere chance that I shall be brought so near Mrs. Andrew in her grief & also to Alexandrine in Récit d’une Soeur, two persons of kindred experience but of how different natures! Far be it from me to think Romanism has anything to do with the spiritual development of the latter. God gave her the light of His Spirit. The Comforter and friends upon whom he had set his seal by suffering and their lives protestant or catholic were holy & spiritual apart from any creed. But if I could only in the smallest way help my poor neighbor to occupy herself in the Lord’s work, help her to see the unperformed labor lying under her hands, I should feel I had not lived wholly in vain.

Took my first French conversation lesson of Madame Newinger which gave us a world of amusement at the mistakes in words which I necessarily made after a whole year of absolute silence in that tongue. Longfellow came in to make further arrangements about going to Europe with all his family. How we shall miss him! He does not wish to go but his children over persuade him. We are quietly relinquishing the idea of going this year. Why should we go, with so much to do & to see in our own land—there is much to be said on both sides.

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