[Lebanon—Saturday, 24 June 1871]

Saturday June 24—at Lebanon, Berkshire Co. again the rain is falling without promise of a clear day tomorrow. Yesterday as we left home the day was cool and fair but today we have come from Springfield thither in a pouring flood, driving from Pittsfield over the mountain in a carriage. Last night we met Dr. Orville Dewey and his family at L. They were right glad to see us being at the far end of a journey to Lake Memphremagog [sic] wh. they had just successfully completed much to their daughter Mary’s satisfaction. It served to round it off very prettily our meeting with them in this fashion, giving them a little fill up of excitement which carried them prettily over the last fatigue. Yesterday I suffered the ennui and disgusts of packing and making ready. They really seem too much for human flesh to bear, especially when it is weak. I think no performance ever plagues me into such low spirits as such deliberate departure from my own comfortable house. Not that I am so wedded to its comforts, but the valuable moments utterly thrown away & a headache created by bending over trunks and making ready to toss up and down the land, when what we really need is repose, all this is enough to produce a chronic “fatigue” as Mrs Hawthorne used to say “far into the future.”

However here we are in Lebanon. A lovely place when it does not rain all the time and I already feel something of the rest which comes from change.

Thursday afternoon last (June 22.) Went to Cambridge for a few visits and coming home stopped at Dr. Holmes’s at his new home on Beacon St. Found them both at home, sitting lonely in the oriel window looking out upon a glorious sunset. They were thinking of the children which have flown out of their nest. Dr. Holmes was very friendly and sweet. He talked most affectionately with “J.”, told him he no longer felt a spur to write since he had gone out of business, he needed just the little touch of praise and encouragement he used to administer to make him do it, now he did not think he should ever write anymore worth mentioning. He had been in to see the Coffee House and entertained us much by saying he met President Eliot near the door one day just as he was going in but he was ashamed of doing so until they had parted company. There was something so child like in this confession that we all laughed heartily over it. However he got in at last and “tears as big as onions stood in my eyes when I saw what had been accomplished.” “You must be a very happy woman” he went on to say. I told him of the new one in Eliot St. about to be opened this coming week. Mr. Pike will keep this. I have been occupied much of this week in helping this new one along. I hope Monday will see it with shutters down and holding up the sign of invitation—“Holly Tree Branch Coffee Room”.

Met Tom Appleton in the Common where we were speaking of Dr. Gould who named many of the trees and doubtless planted some. “Lovely fellow! Lived near to nature, and all that! Dreary woman for a wife! To go into the house was like saying “Let us pry”! When you expected to find some interesting creature for a wife to match this sensitive and interesting being you were shocked by finding a hopelessly second rate silk hung upon a febrile constitution.”

Wednesday. Dear J went shopping with me in a most patient fashion and bought me two dresses—!! Home to late quiet tea-table each night, beautiful young moon and Venus to be seen over the bay.


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