[Boston—Thursday, 28 January 1869]
Thursday—tonight quietly at home. Jamie read me after dinner a little paper written by Hawthorne for the newsboys of Salem more than 30 years ago, an address to their patron after the old fashion. These addresses were usually in verse but this seems oddly enough to be a form of composition never attempted by Hawthorne indefatigable as he was in his pursuit of literature. I never heard of, or saw, a verse of his composition. Mr. Whittier appeared in town day before yesterday. He is endeavoring to negotiate for the old Haverhill place, the home of his youth but the stupid man who owns it thinks the people who come to see Whittier’s birthplace, come to see his farm so he has set a very high price upon it. I did not see the dear poet this time.
Playing with baby five hours a day does curtail my writing time—indeed does away with it altogether, but I know it is better spent for though the child is so young he is impressionable and very affectionate and I can’t help thinking many things we tell him will sink deep into his life and memory if he lives. If he does not—heaven help us who stay behind—but we shall rejoice over this experience.