[Boston—Saturday, 17 June 1871]

Saturday. One of the perfect June days. Having paid the last debts and duties to poor Maggie’s body I went out into the beautiful light of the day to leave the house undisturbed to her family. “J.” and I went about the town which was gay with the bad Colonel Fisk’s regiment and the ordinary pharaphenalia [sic] of the 17th of June. We dropped in to Borman’s Circus where we saw two wonderful men hold their life by a small cord, or by their teeth or by their feet—I was cold and breathless with horror. Yet I can never see these things without great admiration for their self education—and education necessary to bring these men to this point of perfection in their career.

Mr. Longfellow told us a queer tale of old Dickey Derby—after his wife’s death, while the body still lay in the house and her sisters were all sitting together in silence in one of the rooms, Derby put his head in by the door and looking round said “Peep-po” and retreated. He would like to make a volume of his favorite Short Stories—The Flying Dutchman, Peter Rugg and a few others.

Jamie went to L’s to dine with Cranch & Lowell, Cranch sang his cousin’s songs afterward. I sat at home and wrote all the afternoon.


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