[Boston—Thursday, 14 January 1869]

Thursday. Jan 14. Mabel went home yesterday full of dreams of Europe for we have asked her to accompany us in case we can go. It is an exquisite delight to find the house quiet again or full of disembodied voices breathing from the books around us. I have had dear and sweet society but it seems to make the sweetness of solitude still more dear. Sometimes I feel quite exhausted in the combat between the desire to know and the desire to serve. I feel it is so important that I should know, it is expected of me, and yet nobody can feel so keenly as I, my small possessions.

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