[Manchester—Wednesday, 6 July 1870]


I stroll about our beach and rocks. The weather is beautiful.

Mrs Darrah gave us the history of her sister Miss Towne who went to teach the blacks at Beaufort in the early years of the war. It is one of those beautiful stories of devotion which make you thrill whenever you look that way forever after. She went alone: but she has so established herself there that hundreds of people have felt and feel her benefactions. Her school is of 60 or 80 pupils.

Talking of Rossetti’s poems the other night Mr Whittier spoke of one ballad which interested him powerfully, where a waxen figure is melted in the oven causing the death of the person simulated. He said he thought one reason perhaps why this particular ballad attracted him more than many others in the volume was that he could remember seeing his mother (who was as good a woman as ever lived) and his Aunt performing the same feat with a little wax figure of a clergyman of their time. The solemnity of the affair made a deep impression upon his mind as a child, for the death of the clergyman in question was confidently expected. His “heresies” had led him to experience this witch-y treatment.

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