[Boston—Sunday, 7 June 1868]

June 7th Another week has gone and not a word here; unfortunately this oftenest happens when there is the most to write about. The weather has grown soft and today really muggy and warm with small intermissions of sunshine.

Yesterday my birthday we passed at Newport where we had gone the previous day to see Sarah Clarke. We saw Mr. Higginson at dinner—drove with him in pony-carriage to “Paradise” but unhappily under a cold fog—no sea-side weather yet! We saw the Tweedies yesterday before we left. People of a certain presence and charm, indicating a knowledge of life as well as culture and good manners. Jamie gave me a pair of beautiful flower-stands for a birth-day gift. He alone remembered the day!

I do not say this regretfully but gratefully for I frequently think how solely we stand being all to each other in this world.

May God help us!

Few are so rich.

We found a letter from Dickens on our return. He is overwhelmed with work.

I have heard many interesting things said, have seen many valuable people within these few days. But as J. and I confessed to each other this morning, we both dream of dear C.D. by night and by day our thoughts wander to Gad’s Hill or to his haunts in town, and all other things gather new hues from this love of ours which nobody else here can understand.

Mrs. Hillard talked of him here during a long visit of two hours the other day and only led me to see more clearly how strong his power to attract is and oftentimes what a burden really to him when he cannot give a satisfactory response to the feeling he has excited.

In talking with Mr. Higginson yesterday and remembering he was writing a novel, I could not but perceive how Dickens & other great novelists have earned their reputations by their power of seeing the absolute truth (and in that proportioning) while the larger number of writers who please a small circle often of the finest taste also, are those who give back what they see refracted into rays of beauty from their own medium.

I am wrong in this however, the great soul which makes the great writer has a wider vision, sees more and further—this is the secret after all. Other men, many others, seem so dull and inapprehensive to me after dear C.D. and the few!

Last Thursday while I was housekeeping, gardening, seeing Mrs Hillard etc. Jamie went to see “Gail Hamilton.” He found her in an aggressive unwomanly frame of mind, which was unnecessary to say the least since one of her friends had arranged the interview. She wishes him to retain her old books but she will transfer her new ones to another publisher. She did not send me any message and showed much anger. Jamie was quietly kind but of course did not retract from his true position. She left him alone one hour & a half while she copied her own letters which he carried her to see. Having a woman’s instinct in me I think she was mortally wounded because we did not invite her to meet Dickens and this is at the root of the trouble—a trouble not clearly defined even to herself. She has suffered deeply but does not soften. Indeed Jamie was shocked by the expression of devil’s temper he saw come into her face. He said he never saw anything worse.

Miss Clarke was very very kind to us and our Newport visit was full of heartiness. I hope the place was not less sweet for our coming.


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