[Boston—Wednesday, 22 June 1870]

Wednesday. All the heat of the season has gone for the time and a cool breeze is sweeping over the hills—yesterday and today have been days when “clouds are highest up in the air”; times when we recall Lowell’s verses about June and when “everything is sweet.” But I have been too long in towns, my senses are dulled and I begin now to long for country life and to drink up Nature’s unadulterated influence.

Miss Martineau’s autobiography, the last pages of which we finished just as the news from England arrived to stun us, has left a deep impression. 15 years ago she completed the volumes and sent them to her friend feeling that a few weeks or months at the latest must terminate her life. On the contrary she still lives at Ambleside, never quite well to be sure, but with her powers of mind untouched. I cannot but feel, as others of whom she has written in her book fare around her, that the Spirit of God may visit her and teach her to modify some of her intellectual decisions with regard to the Unseen and Eternal. Mr James was quite astonished Sunday Evening when I made a remark to that effect and to those who have known her it would indeed appear a miracle, only do we not all believe in miracles? Long ago she gave up a diary, found it conducive to morbidity and dishonesty. But this was after she went to the country to live. While in London she found it quite worth while to keep a record of the persons she met and probably a large portion of her interesting Autobiography was made up from those pages.


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