[Boston—Saturday, 30 May 1868]

May 30th A whole month has gone since Dickens left us! We have had but a short note since his arrival. He is overwhelmed with business but he is not too much occupied to forget some little things he was to send us: the very smallness of them proving his attention all the greater. I find much in Garrick to remind me of him as when we are continually reminded that it is the fineness of his touches which marked him, the delicate points he made. The effect C.D. made upon us as an artist has been understood by others who have studied great actors; for instance, the author of the Life of G. says “In the appreciation of artists who are new to us there is always a gradual progress.” The grief at “Clairon” and others when he left Paris, the strong, strong hold he had upon his friends, and the suffering he must also endure from enemies reminds me again of C.D. Was there ever a man better loved than C.D. or one who had a tenderer memory for absent friends.

There is an excellent suggestion in the Life of G. worthy to be studied. It was observed when Foote was present Garrick laughed much at his jests but said very little himself. (How often we see this in sensitive antagonistic natures.) “It was noticed indeed that there was a class of men of the boisterous sort who had very much the same effect upon Garrick.” How unlike C.D. was his truckling to great folks.

I see a week has passed since I have written here. In the meantime Longfellow and his family have gone. We went, to say “goodbye” to the train. The weather has been dark and wretched and we think again and again of their home-sick days on the sea. I fear he is wretched enough.

We were 12 at dinner yesterday. L. & her family, mother and Sarah. Mr. Davis of Philadelphia has been here this week and Jamie dines with an English gentleman who brought us letters at the club today. Mr. Collyer of Chicago & Dr. Dewey were here too. It has been a busy week. I have planted trees in the “Pleasaunce.”

Gail Hamilton is a thorn in dear Jamie’s side. She is writing confidential letters all about the country with regard to Ticknor & Fields, saying that under the guise of friendship they have cheated her & paid her insufficient copyright. This is very very bad and I don’t know where these things will end. But Heaven is above us all & I have faith we shall stand under it; yet whatever comes we have enjoyed much of this world’s good and we have our mutual love. It is not easy to bear though. Reynolds comforted Mrs Garrick when she grieved over the wrongs Foote did her husband unrevenged & unpunished by saying “it was the inferior nature that always thus indemnified itself.”

“What a lovely fellow Emerson is” said Mr. Collyer. “He knows more of what is in books and is less hurt by them than anybody I ever saw.”


National Endowment for the Humanities - Logo

Editorial work on The Brownings’ Correspondence is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This website was last updated on 5-18-2024.

Copyright © 2024 Wedgestone Press. All rights reserved.

Back To Top