[Boston—Friday, 14 October 1870]

Friday. October 14. This morning, last year, (and fresh, and cold and foggy it was!) we drove early, while the housemaids were still creeping out to make the pavements still more wet and sloppy, to the railway station for Liverpool, in London. Mr. Dickens came immediately after our arrival and stayed talking with us until the moment for getting into the carriage where he kissed us all three fervently and bade us God Speed! Still he lingered until the moment of departure came, and ran after the train to see us as far as possible. I knew then I should—(I say ”Knew” wh. is folly, I mean I was impressed by one of those strong presentiments we all feel at times) that we should never meet again and though we shed no tears, the utter dreariness of that morning was something I remember with a shudder. There was not even the rapture of grief wh. we felt in losing him from America, but an utterly dead and worn feeling of “alls’ over!” for time.

This, one year ago. Now on this fresh cool colorfull rejoicing October day I love to think of our beloved beyond the reach of life’s turmoil and folded in life’s rest; love to remember his sweet ways, his glorious endeavor, and forget his failures, & the dark side of his strange experience, wh. makes him so much more one of ourselves but subjected to the blows of fortune in a way terrible to contemplate or remember. Our love is safe now, that I say over and over with a grateful heart. Already he has learned much and is nearer than ever to our inmost hearts. I often find my weak moods checked by his face regarding me from the world of light.

And who could tell if those volumes were written of noble quality of insight and sympathy which made him capable of friendship above most men; capable to re-instate its ideal; making his presence a perpetual joy and separation from him an ineffaceable sorrow.


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