[Manchester—Monday, 4 July 1870]

Monday July 4th Walked with J. & Mrs Darrah to her sister’s new house built on old “Eagle rock” and on to the Dana’s. R.H.D. Jr was in the parlor with his father. He is completely frustrated by over work (Boston & Erie railroad question chiefly I believe) and is grown thin and tremulous. The old man with his thin grey locks, the very vision to haunt his own wild shore looks now more vigorous than his son. It is a strangely constituted family: whatever trouble comes (save Edmund’s illness) appears to come through the nerves. They appear to live on a “perilous edge.” Sleep and calm are frightened from them as easily as the wild bird from his nest. Their love of this place is sore. They cling to it with passion and no illness or fatigue can keep them from coming every year. I often think of them when the nights are sad, the old man of 80 (I do not know the precise age) his sister only a few years younger, his daughter nearly 50 and ill with nervous debility from watching her dying brother last year and now her brother Richard reduced by nervous disease visiting them to recruit his health! In the meantime their spirits are good in company and no people we ever see enjoy an occasional guest better.


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