[Boston—Thursday, 25 February 1869]

Feb. 25. Laura went yesterday. She has gone to pass a few days with the Dana’s at Cambridge, a sense of immense relief comes over us; to be at home once more in our own house—to be alone with our love and our work, is refreshing. I have been really ill but am about again only feeling a little weak, but the weather is now glorious and clear after weeks of muggy, cloudy and damp days—all rather too warm to be seasonable and a great contrast to last year. Now spring appears ready to burst daily upon us.

I recall with great pleasure the way the flaming blood came to Mrs Putnam’s cheeks the other night when we were speaking of Baker’s books and various writers upon Africa. She said the treatment of France and England toward Africa had been so shameful, their aim was so evidently to accomplish there what they had done in India; the exhibition of the old doctrines of Theodore, in London too was so pitiful all their behavior in short that she could not read one of their butchering books without horror. It was black treachery all of it.

For one who so seldom speaks now-a-days this flame of the old-time self is most beautiful to see; the self that never dies; the glowing immortal youth.

Marcus Aurelius says somewhere something to the effect that he who does not follow the bent of his own genius will never read his own memoirs. I believe he may read something better since the vast law of compensation grandly moves for all. He who sways himself for another shall surely hear grand melodies from afar sweeter than any earthly tales of his own doings or those of the greatest on our planet; melodies chanting of the pleasant rivers where the pure ones bathe, and rise in purity, and know Divinity.

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