[Boston—Saturday, 5 March 1870]

Saturday March 5th—A dull snowy day. What with the weather and the fact that everybody I know -- almost, has gone to the theatre to see Fechter this afternoon. I have been left to take comfort in my books which is delightful after such a busy week. One day at the soldiers fair, one day at a fine lunch party at Mrs Dorr’s to meet Mr. Fechter where I sat between W.M. Hunt and Appleton. Both very witty and interesting. Celia Thaxter came to pass one night and we saw “Hamlet” together in the evening. Her laugh is the most healthy, hearty, natural, enlivening thing possible. A most helpful little spirit. She is all youth with something of the tenderness of years grafted upon it but she says “My dear, I wonder I am not a grizzled old thing! I have lived forever. I was a woman at eleven, I was engaged at 12 and I was married at 16. My eldest son is 18!!” and alas! devoid of wits. Could anything be more horrible. Her husband being ill she has been obliged to leave her home at this inclement season and go to the Island. Her flowers were too beautiful to leave therefore she endeavored to transport them, but the coldest weather of the season set in as she started and they were all frozen hard. Nevertheless she gives a cheery picture of the bright parlor she has arranged where she sits in the evening with her brother and her son. This brother is now quite alone on the Island her mother and eldest son being absent for the health of the former wh. has suddenly and without any adequate reason broken down to their intense grief. She loves those two brothers her husband says a great deal more deeply than she ever loved him. But its not to be wondered at, she says, we were brought up never to see any other human beings and we were all in all to each other from the first breath we drew. She found her brother at the Island with a house full of materials and two servants but without a morsel to eat. She swept about as he said like a whirlwind which comes silently sometimes and did nothing but bake for a week, at the end of that time the cupboards were full. My Oscar she said there was everything here to do with. Yes he said but where’s the use if we do not know how to combine them. After that she came to Boston to see Fechter and her friends. “The weather has been most unkind and I have not looked out of the window once since I arrived” she said.


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