[Boston—Tuesday, 29 September 1868]

Tuesday out, from eleven until 4—walking and driving. Such fatal busy idleness it seems when I turn to my books; and yet what a happy thing it is to share the toils and perils of humanity—to know something of their ills and occupations.

Mr. Whittier has sent to ask permission to dedicate his new volume to me! This “sweetens toil” indeed. The news came to me as I was in hot pursuit of a chambermaid, and directly after I found such a respectable, caretaking woman that I feel I ought to be singing paeans now I am once more at home. Mr Davies, the builder said, when he went into the garden with me this morning—“there’s not such another place in town Mrs Fields”.

So, even chambermaid-hunting was made, not only bearable, but a work to rejoice in, through dear Mr. Whittier today.

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