[Boston—Thursday, 26 January 1871]

Jan’y 26th Last Saturday was a notable day. The city fathers waited upon me and hope to establish Coffee houses all over the city at “5 cents a cup.”

Dear Mr. Whittier came to breakfast. He has been ill but the morning was glorious and he was a[s] fresh and gay as we have ever seen him. Garibaldi has had a victory and this delighted us all. The sufferings of France are so terrible that even one small victory in their behalf lightens our spirits. Whittier said he had been trying to interest the “Friends” but it took about two years to get them thoroughly aroused upon any great topic. He asked me, as we were blowing the fire together, for it was a cold morning, if I was not the happiest woman in the world. “I think thee ought to be!” he added. Such a husband and such a home and the power of doing so much for others! Yes indeed! I told him, as I thought of all these. Except for the darkness of the last year perhaps I should never have been able to appreciate the sunshine of this. I am sure it would not have been the same thing. Now I can know something of the grief of others.

He liked Celia’s poem Kittery Annie as I did, but he told her not to use the word “cuffed”. It is shocking: she was willful he said and would not take his advice. He told her it would not do. Now it is laughed at.

After dear Mr. Whittier had left (he took the Coffee Shop by the way which delighted him immensely) Imogen, baby & I went to Mr. Appleton’s to see his bust of Shelley. He asked us up into his painting room, where he said he had been at work 3 hours and was tired of it, showed us not only what he was doing there but everything else beside and next to the last his bust of Shelley a most poetic and likesome thing. I spoke of the excellence of the work about the eyes “Yes but he was bound to get that, you know those wonderful eyes, or give it up altogether.” Looking at a gay delightful picture of goats playing, “It is full of goatfulness isnt it” he said laughingly; the motto ought to be goat while you’re young. He was much amused at finding himself showing off his things with his maul-stick like a professional show man. He admired Ernest’s picture of Alice Longfellow saying Hunt couldn’t begin to do as well. He could see the throat move sometimes. Altogether he was most hospitable and friendly and carried the visit off in his most benevolent manner. He showed us a beautiful photograph of “Elise Hensler, tailor’s daughter,” now Queen of the King of Portugal. He says her note paper is very pretty, “with a coronet dangling quite carelessly off the end of her monogram.”

He spoke of Whittier’s moral force by which he had become a part. “He wasn’t much of one to begin with, you know.” He contrasted his noble bust of the young Marcus Antonius with that of Shelley. The former grand in fullness of life of beauty, of roundness of existence. The contrast was strong.


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