[Boston—Thursday, 26 October 1871]

Oct. 26. nearly a month gone since I came from the shore and not an hour of reading, hardly of note-writing.

Tonight we passed the evening at Longfellow’s. He & Alice only were at home. He was reading an old book by his study lamp which he purchased today at the massacre as he called it of the poets—the sale of W.H. Prescott’s library. Chansons d'Espagne I think was the one he was about to read as we turned the handle and entered the hall door. What an orderly man he is—well-ordered I should have written—diary—accounts—scraps—books—everything in the most perfect condition for his hand to grasp the next minute. Alice was reading Paradise Lost in the drawing-room. I sat some time with her—presently the gentlemen joined us. Longfellow said he was melancholy because of that sale, the separation & sacrifice of that fine library. He is also sad and doubtful about his new poem, his noble grand poem on the Savior’s life. He says he has never before felt so cast down.

I have a prospect of two or three new coffee houses—going to see about the one under Dr. Bowditch’s reformed hall called Crystal Palace formerly in Lincoln St. A gentleman Mr. Pierce offered to give me a shop rent free. We must have these two—also one in Neponset district by and by.

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