[Boston—Saturday, 18 July 1868]

Saturday morning July 18th We drove yesterday afternoon out of town, in dust, deep and fine as flour well heaped upon a bread board to see Mrs Baker who has lately returned from a two years stay in Europe. Dear H.S. was there with her and the place wore the same sunshiny look as of old. The wide doors let in the yellow rays of sunset which played over the beautiful lawn as it did when I was a little child. Nothing seemed changed—except ourselves! As I stepped into the well known hall, full of rich furniture and gay color, the sadness of death struck me everywhere. Faces were kind and sweet, very very kind and tender and sweet and the purpose of the bright house seemed to be to make others happy & to find happiness there alone—this always remains to us then, when the real joy which we have known has been transferred forever.

We went from this place to see Mrs. W. who wears a broken heart—Minny and her baby gone and house destroyed. There was everything to be said between us and yet nothing—for the swelling of the throat cut off speech & perhaps it was better so—at least we could not help it—we could only embrace & separate.

The weather is warm again today—still no rain—later the wind went east and the day was superb.

A copy of Turner by Mr. Ward, endorsed by Ruskin (a beautiful thing) came to us last night, & in our strolls about town dear J. bought me 3 exquisite pieces of china for the table—the evening shut down peacefully.

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