[Manchester—Friday, 29 July 1870]

Friday. 29. Yesterday afternoon drove to Beverly to see Lucy Larcom. She is living in the upper rooms of a little cottage house which still belongs to some of her relatives. These country people of Beverly have sold everything near the shore to the Boston summer visitors who bringing large purses have rendered it impossible for them to retain their land. For some unexplained reason however this old Captain Woodberry with whom Lucy now lives has kept this home and is willing to share it with her, by letting to her & her cousin the upper part of the house where they cook and lodge and carry on housekeeping while he occupies, with his family the lower portion, as before. I have never seen her more content. She has a little glimpse of the sea from her window where stands a broad green couch which serves both as bed by night and lounge by day, a tiny bedroom for a friend, looking white and cool with a few books and some tiny bas-reliefs of Thorwaldens cherubs hanging on the walls, which she happily reminded me that I sent her last year as a Xmas gift, a good kitchen, cheerful prints on the walls of her living rooms and one or two sketches in oil wh. have been given her, and a vase of flowers, were all there and a bare enumeration of the pleasant details will serve to recall the cheerful aspect of her interior. Dear Jamie confided to me afterward he should like to live so somewhere with me!! Yes, it is the perfection of existence, Independence & Seclusion, and yet ________ perfection of life involves a life for others also in which is a still higher love and reward and a fearful labor. He is tired, poor boy, but while he lives I pray he may have strength for a full life such as in his strong moments he has always most truly loved.


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