[Manchester—Thursday, 15 September 1870]

September 15. Events have rushed on so rapidly and the journals have been so crowded with news that the days have been almost too short to keep pace with them. Today France has declared herself Republican, the Prussians have been supplicated to treat with a fallen nation whose Emperor is already in their hands instead of trampling a whole people to death. We hold our breaths at the thought, but Prussia marches steadily and surely on to the gates of Paris.

We have had days and weeks of beautiful weather and quiet life here. Many queer and interesting events have of course transpired which I should be glad to put down here but I fear it is too late. What with one or two dinners out each week, mornings in the open air, and afternoons with dear J. after his fatiguing day in town, and above all with the swiftly decreasing length of days writing has become more impossible than ever.

Mr. Inglis told J. that he possessed an old and very early edition of “Hamlet” in which was the reading,

“Tis not alone thy inky cloak could smother

(good mother)

Very odd surely, not to say very senseless.

We are often much entertained with the independence of the tradespeople of the village. J. heard one of the respectable farmers say to the ice-man of the village “I’m very sorry to trouble you and I thought I should not be obliged to do so again but I want another piece of ice next Wednesday and I hope you will leave it for me.”

“Well yas” said the ice-man “I dunno but I will. I hate to, most awfully, it’s such lots of trouble but I guess I kin do if you want it a great deal”--

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