[Boston—Sunday, 25 September 1870]

Sunday—at home. We had promised ourselves the happiness of a visit to Mrs Putnam but Jamie dined at the Club yesterday & Mr. Saml Hooper asked him to dine there today with Mr. Sumner and Mr. Catacazy the Russian minister and I did not think, as the Editor of the first magazine in the country, apart from his general interests as a publisher that it was right for him to refuse. It is a real disappointment to both of us to have our Sunday broken in this way but I am sure we shall find it to have been for some good end.

The Club last night was an interesting meeting. Jamie had not been for the two past months and was inclined to beg off but I was glad to have him go especially as he seemed brighter for it. The Russian minister Catacazy was there, also Sumner, Hooper, Longfellow, Lowell, Holmes, James, Brimmer. He came home with Longfellow at 7 o’clock. Catacazy talked to the whole table. He said the way in which he was chosen for minister to this country was the result of a paper written by himself at the time the war broke out in this country specifying reasons why the North should and must prevail. At the same time a paper appeared written by a man of great influence giving his reasons why the South must of necessity prevail. These two papers were, unknown to the writers, read by the Emperor and laid aside for future reference. The true prophet was sent to America after the war was ended. He spoke much of the glory of Russia, of the wisdom of the Emperor. There is a journalist in Russia, powerful as Bennett but of sound principles and a poor man. Several times his paper had expressed criticism of the Emperors decisions; at length an invitation was sent to him to go to court. He replyed that he was unable having no court dress. Then the Emperor sent for him to come to dine alone with him in his every day dress. He came at once and was most cordially received. After some preliminary conversation the Emperor told him, when he differed, in future, from himself upon matters of public import he begged he would come and talk the subject over before making it public in his journal. When they parted the Emperor shook hands with him, a thing of rare occurrence save with most intimate friends at court. Tourganef, the novelist is still on the wave of popularity. Their great tragedian has lately died but a tragedienne has made her appearance of surpassing genius.

I have omitted to say that the Emperor has in private expressed that he could communicate with America, as peer with peer, but the other nations of Europe he considers as inferior powers.

Greene has come to pass the week with Longfellow and L. fearing that C.C. Perkins would be at the Club, (who alleges that Greene appropriated some money of his unlawfully years ago in Rome) did not bring him to the Club. Longfellow lamented this much when he found Perkins absent. Poor Greene he said.

Emerson, why did I omit the King’s name! was also present. He came to see Jamie in the morning while Longfellow was there. Mrs Dallas was there too, poor Jamie’s elephant. She bragged grandly of her own greatness and showed herself very smart in talk. Afterward at dinner Emerson said to J. that he was reminded of Carlyle’s expression with regard to Lady Duff Gordon whom he considered a female Saint Peter walking fearlessly over the waves of the sea of humbug. !!!

When Jamie first entered the room yesterday Sumner was saying in a loud tone “If I had ever been in relation with Jules Favre wh. I have not I should write him now by the first post that he must settle affairs pacifically & at once. This shocking war must not go on!”

While we were still at M. Miss Oakey told me a little incident of the Putnam family which, knowing them, I feel to be unvarnished. The mills in which their property was invested were burned down while they were in France and the news arrived one day when the children were away on a pleasure excursion. The father and mother thought themselves ruined for the time and when the children returned were sitting sadly together discussing their misfortune. They called them to their side as soon as the first excitement of return was over and told them about it. Georgina then stepped out of the group and looking from one to the other said, “Yes, but don’t we all love each other very much, not withstanding!! Why should we be so very unhappy.” It was a most pathetic little speech, but especially so to me now when I remember that her beautiful brothers and her father are all dead.


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