[Boston—Sunday, 5 April 1868]

Sunday. Kate Field is staying a few days here. Ellen Emerson passed Friday night with us. Perabeau breakfasted Friday morning. Dickens was too ill to come over yesterday. He did not walk out but took a short drive instead. He has been really in a wretched state of health yet he read, Friday (having scarcely been off his bed all day),—magnificently. I have never seen an audience so moved. He was delighted. We were all deeply excited and could hardly sleep. Fortunately and oddly enough too, since he was himself much excited, Dickens slept well that night and was better though still weak yesterday. He gives up going to the Nortons today also.

Under and over the current of love & happiness we feel with Dickens, we do not forget to feel still the savagery (I can think of no lesser name for it) of Gail Hamilton and as the Spring opens and we all “turn to thoughts of love” I frequently find myself pitying her for what she has done. It has been a sad lesson! But I really thought she cared for me! And now to find it was a pretense or a stepping-stone merely is something to shudder over. And all, for a little of this world’s poor money!! as C.D. writes.

April 5th Opens with a snow-storm. The sun comes out and the wind blows, so the bad walking can’t last long but the snow gives a wintry look and cast of thought for the time.

Kate Field is busy starting a Woman’s League in New York which may ripen into something.


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