[Manchester—Sunday, 13 September 1868]

Sunday. Sep 13th Jamie stayed in town all day yesterday and every thing went hardly with him! He had scarcely turned into our street before he was convinced that Sarah, our maid, would tell him that the new cook I had engaged in her mother’s place was not coming; and he had not crossed the hall of the house before Sarah told him what he fancied or for[e]saw she was to say. Then, “Gail Hamilton” sent a letter saying she was about to make an appeal to the public for what she chooses to consider her grievances from Ticknor & Fields. And this of course is a sore point. Then, a man who sent an article to the magazine, which has been lost, writes to say he has put his case into the hands of a lawyer, who will come upon Messrs T. & F. for damages. Then, Ticknor has proved himself anything but single-minded towards the firm which by the younger partners is considered ground of ejectment, and so it is, according to the agreement signed. This also will be a painful business. These are all the things he has found hard to share with me yet,—probably these were the most important trials of the day and they were certainly enough for once,—but there were plenty of small things doubtless which went wrong beside.

In the meantime I stayed in my retirement reading many things. Chiefly Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria, a book to make one think. Can I say more? Yet as a whole this book fails to come up to its title and disappoints one sorely.

Watching the few days pass before the Bartols separate. After uninterrupted intercourse for 30 years it is harder for the husband to do without the wife—she is more courageous but no less suffering. He is unmanly about it. They will both be better the physician thinks, & we all believe, for the change.

We are having delicious rains—“a plague of rain” for excursionists.


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