[Boston—Thursday, 21 May 1868]

Thursday. May 21st Ernest Longfellow’s wedding. The rain still poured as if the flood-gates had opened. The dear old house was thrown open for the first time since the death of its sweet mistress and the last time for (probably) many years to come. It was a lovely occasion with a veil of sadness wrapped about it not only for one but for all. He carried off the burden of the time with an air of kindliness for each; his own grief put far away and the happiness of others his only thought. George Curtis came, and Greene, Lowell, & Norton, Agassiz and the rest. There were many pretty girls and a happy look for the most part on all faces except when poor Mrs. Dana utterly broke down with a flood of weeping on my shoulder. It was only for a moment but I saw the trouble went deep down and her daughter told me it was seldom she gave way but the effect was bitter when she did so afterward.

Such was the wedding. The service was solemn and the rain-drops on the roof was the only music which accompanied.

We are reading the Life of Garrick and making a catalogue of our library.

Curtis and Norton at the wedding yesterday both criticized the exposing of gifts which I defended on the other hand.

What makes the genius of Garrick and Dickens and those natures who have swayed the public most strongly? Simply this; the public is their friend; made up of infinite numbers of individuals each with human sympathies corresponding to their own.

When people are “in love” all the world’s their friend. And Genius is, to be immortally in love!

We might have a letter from Dickens today. But I shall try to be patient now and expect nothing. His work presses on every hand. He must let his friendships sleep in his heart until the hour comes for him to speak quietly.


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