[Boston—Sunday & Monday, 3 & 4 January, 1869]
Sunday & Monday. 3d & 4th Read last night the murder scene from Oliver Twist before going to bed and dreamed of it, and of Dickens all night. I was seized firmly by the wrists, in my fancy, and led to where the body lay, I turned my head away and would not look, but the grasp grew tighter and tighter until I gave one quick glance at the blood-stained mantle of that wretched face upturned in the morning light and fled shuddering away. Then it seemed that Dickens came & spoke to us, for J. was always near, and in my joy at seeing him once more I did not faint but a fiery color suffused my whole face and I grew dizzy like one about to fall.
I awoke, my dream gone, with a feeling of deep disgust at myself for having followed Whittier in the face of the audience on Saturday to speak to Mr. Emerson. It looked like display. Alas, I know it was not, but I was not quick to avoid the appearance of evil.
But I soon shook off the too morbid consideration of this thing—so slight, so soon forgotten; unworthy of a healthy Christian.