[Boston—Saturday, 2 May 1868]

May 2d Again, a cold rain—a lady came in this morning who in the course of her talk told me the “Russia” was telegraphed from Queenstown Thursday night. I can’t quite believe that yet I awoke this morning feeling that today was his day of joy. It rains here!!

I cannot help rehearsing in my mind the intense joy of his beloved. It is too much to face, even in one’s imagination and too sacred. Yet I know today to be the day and these hours, his hours. Surely among the most painfully & joyfully intense of his whole life. I hope and believe he is well once more. Tomorrow Gad’s Hill!!

In the meantime our dear home life loses nothing, but rather gains; beside, do we not see Dickens here too? Added to all the other sweet associating? How delightfully the rain shuts us in. J. read me at breakfast a new grand poem by Lowell upon “June” making him among the very finest of our time.

My love came home early too in the afternoon, as early as a long visit from C.E. Norton would allow. Norton thinks he does not care for the attacks which have been made upon him by the Cambridge journals on account of the touch he gave Cambridgeport in his speech at the Dickens dinner. Yet it will not be easy to live down so much petty ill-feeling and I grieve to think it should have been excited by him. If he were not going so soon to England to remain a long time I know he would feel it more. He is bitter too against the Saturday Club (this from sympathy with Lowell) because the members proposed at the last meeting were all black-balled. He thinks they must have a new Club which would be a sad thing; it would be a square split I am afraid and now at times they do have grand social festivals. I hope the trouble will die out in talk especially as Norton goes away and Lowell I hope and believe would never organize the opposition himself.

We both feel drawn to the Nortons by our mutual love for Dickens. He sent me yesterday his condolences.

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