[Manchester—Sunday, 18 September 1870]

Sunday Seper 18. 1870. It is getting late at night but tomorrow we leave Manchester and it would be a relief to make a note of a few thoughts which crowd upon me. I have just finished reading a few letters of poor Charlotte Bronté gathered up from some private source where they should have perished, righteously, long ago. The extracts of this month (they are printed in a magazine called “House & Home” from month to month) and with the words “Life is a struggle”. Life never looks more like a struggle to me than when I contemplate a return to town after the summer’s rest. If we were dependent upon our own unaided powers, what agony it would be; but the strength which lies behind us is at such times, and indeed at every time our only hope.

We, Jamie and I, walked to the beach this afternoon, the first time I had been out for two days, the only confinement for that space of time since I left home early in July. A slight cold taken in town on Monday was the cause.

Who knows if we shall ever see that glorious sight again together! The waves were very high, a gorgeous sunset sent its late yellow shafts out over the grey sea, the foam broke over distant rocks like a sudden burst of soft white blooms, it was all vast, glorious, indescribable. We sat on the sand hills, overlooking the beach and the wide scene for an hour. It never appeared to us more lovely. Coming back we scrambled over thunderbolt hill and saw the sunset shining among the red sumacs and the ripening apples.

It was only last Monday we went to town with a large party to see Mr. Fechter’s play. It is a brilliant memory but I have found no time to write of it here, nor of the many sweet faded days before and since.

All are of the past now but not forgotten.

Our little party in this house are sorry enough to separate. Mr. & Mrs Darrah & Miss Oakey, the dear Bartols and the excellent Crowell sisters who keep the house and who are on their way to the South for the winter where they act as governesses.


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