[Manchester—Sunday, 7 August 1870]

August 7. Last night we took tea at Mrs Towne’s on Eagle Head. The moon was shining, the waters sparkling, the pines full of odors, the ground moist enough to make walking agreeable, so that our stroll home was most lovely. Mr. Bartol insisted upon going with Jamie in the boat (which carried them about two feet on their way). Of course it was necessary to return in the same way only the tide was low and they were obliged to get into the mud, all for nothing too. It was very “queer” and unsatisfactory, especially as they came late to tea; but all was very kindly and friendly within, at Eagle Head; they are not in the least interested in literature, but good honest social refined souls.

Sat out during yesterday morning, but did very very little! There it is again. Hawthorne’s pastime in journal writing is pathetic. How steadily he performed his task in that respect, as if he believed in it, though he must have found hard work to persuade himself to do so sometimes. It is not so much what we have to do, but to do the little that comes in our way perfectly and with cheer is the end to achieve.

It is Sunday again and the only sound is the footfall of the villagers on their way to church with a faint murmur of talk which comes in at my window as they pass along. Now and then the bell rings for a short time with startling clangor and then all is silent as before.

I do not at all dislike living in the village though we do sometimes talk enviously at most of livers by the shore, but “blessed be nothing” is a good old lazy motto which I repeat with satisfaction daily, except when I wish to have friends come to visit us; then indeed I do regret having no summer house of my own. Otherwise I can truly say Never.

Mrs Darrah is very industrious. Making sketches and pictures with daily fervor. It is wonderful to see how labor can transform any one of us. We become immediately gifted with a certain sense of purpose and usefulness and feel an added grace and dignity.


National Endowment for the Humanities - Logo

Editorial work on The Brownings’ Correspondence is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This website was last updated on 6-15-2024.

Copyright © 2024 Wedgestone Press. All rights reserved.

Back To Top