[Boston—Friday, 5 May 1871]

Friday May 5. Little dinner at Mrs Addison Child’s in Mt. Vernon St. to meet Miss Charlotte Cushman. Mr. & Mrs William Hunt and H Wild (an artist). Miss Cushman looked better than almost ever before in her life,—her fine grey hair dressed full and high and her presence full of strength as ever. “She likes those she can give to and do for and that is her vocation” said J. coming home—which was good and described her. We found Hunt and his wife in the hall as we went in. He was hiding behind the door. She looked serious and as if somewhat hurt vitally. I could not be rid of the feeling all the evening—at table he tried to talk conciliatoringly to her through us all I fancied. He looked old and worn and as if he might have said hard things to her for which he was sorry but she was implacable. When J. & I compared notes together this morning, we found we had both been haunted by the same terrible impression, as I fear it was true. She was very witty and full of talk, and he became warm after a time, but somehow I did not like to think of their going home together after all was over.

She gave a charming description of herself in St. Peter’s church in Rome one day seeing a beautiful lady enter the nave. She impressed her as so lovely that she went to her and told her that she thought she had never seen a more beautiful creature. They never met again, she felt they never would meet and she told her for a little while she wished to follow her and look at her. Surely a rare tribute for one woman to pay another—especially for one so beautiful herself as “Lu.” Hunt.

There was a glorious day there which delighted the artist.

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