[Boston—Monday, 7 February 1870]

February 7th Saw Mrs Diaz—a grown woman with the ways of a child and the heart of a child & the mind of a child. I mean in the best sense for she has also put away childish things but the perfect simplicity, not knowing itself is beautiful as it is rare.

She asked me if I thought Christ more than a man; & then said “I lost a little boy once and I found how little Christ could be to me then. He had never lost a little boy! While I lay on the couch lost in darkness & feeling as if I could never smile again and wondering how these people ever smiled who had known such trouble a poor woman came up behind me put her arms round me and said”, “I have lost two just his age”. “That did me more good just then than the whole New Testament and I have never forgotten it.”

Mr. Emerson’s new book is underway. The article on books says everybody should make a note however short of what they read. It could be a thing most difficult for me to accomplish. Within the last two months I have been through


nearly finished Dante in the original with Longfellow’s books, notes, illustrations etc.

Ampère’s Voyage Dantesque.

Julius Caesar, Winter’s Tale, Chatterton.

Parts of St. Simon, les mémoirs, etc. etc.

Indeed it is most difficult to keep an account because an eager reader is so apt to take out of a book what is agreeable to him or useful at the time without reading it through.

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