[Boston—Thursday, 10 March 1870]

March 10. Interrupted below. Mrs Diaz & Lucy Larcom came to see us last week otherwise we have been without company and we have been but indifferent society for each other. I have found a good deal of occupation out of the house, but when I read in Pepys’ that at the age of 27 when he must already have been a man of consideration in London, he and his wife lived with one maid, I think with pain of all our servants and our pretty house so little in keeping with our suddenly reduced income. Of course the times have changed our style of living. I have not too many servants for my need when I have company here but far too many for an empty house.

I have finished Dante and am going forward with St. Simon, Pepys, & Homer. I am neither idle nor lazy but oftentimes too sad to be able to fix my mind on any book. Dear Dickens’s new story has just arrived.

Gold has touched 110. No man can see the end of this sudden downfall. The business world is sadly depressed and wavering. Men know not what to do. Well, God knows! and often lately with poor Ophelia I have said “We must be patient.” What a keen point of Nature there was in the poor child’s exclaiming thus just as she went mad for grief.

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