[Boston—Thursday, 4 February 1869]
Feb. 4. Jamie has gone to the Thursday Club tonight and the wind is roaring as I write but the day has been delicious in point of atmosphere and we had a long walk. Mary Felton was just coming to see me as we went out and we wish to ask her to go to England by and by for a month.
Saw Miss Phelps today for the first time. A sweet womanly woman, not puffed up by the success of her excellent book, “The Gates Ajar” only deeply happy in her enlarged usefulness. She received today $600 which was a good bit of money for a first book from a young woman.
Three interesting papers were read at the Club. Mr. Coffin who has been in China enlarged upon his faith that we are one day to have Chinese servants—where in America we have in a certain space of ground 35,000,000 of people, in China on the same area exist 450,000,000.
Mr. Waterston read a paper full of enthousiasm over Robert Burns and read also an exquisite letter from Whittier describing the glow which filled him when he first had a copy of Burns’s songs lent him by his school-master. But this letter is sure to find its way into print and although I caught the enthousiasm, and should be glad today to do nothing but read Burns not alone for his own sake but for dear Whittier’s I must abstain—one of the most touching things in the letter to me was however his saying that for the first time as he read Burns he looked toward his native hills which rimmed his horizon and longed to go beyond.