[Boston—Friday, 9 June 1871]

Friday. Just a year today Dickens died. Sat at home in the morning; I wrote out some of our reminiscences for Jamie to use in his papers. Went into the garden before breakfast and cut a wreath of flowers for the Coffee house. Went to my North St. school in the afternoon. Jamie did not get home at noon and when I asked him why, he said, Bret Harte had been with him and he could not leave. Harte overwhelmed him with thanks for reading his verses in public. He has a house in Newport this year, finds the place a Paradise, came to town to buy necessities for his wife, who has just miscarried and lost the list, so bought at a venture. He is a careless fellow about the practical affairs of life.

Geo. W. Smalley of Journalist fame breakfasted with us Tuesday morning. He has six weeks leave & absence from his work in England to move over to America. Is staying with Wendell Phillips (his wife being the adopted daughter of Mrs P.) and says in spite of the invalidism of Mrs P. whom he never saw but once out of her own room, it is the most cheerful house he knows,—full of wit and frolic all the time. Mr. Smalley is a modest manly fellow, does not overrate his own work on the Tribune, says if he should drop out Somebody else would doubtless be found to do just as well, but nevertheless works on spiritedly. I asked him if he had lately seen Mr. Carlyle. He said “no”. Mr Carlyle’s talk had of late been such a river of “Niagara” talk that it was not pleasant to face—“one does not like to go and hear the whole human race abused in this way”. He is anxious to have interviews with our leading men and hear them on the subject of the treaty. He found Mr. Lowell rather indifferent, he found Butler furious against England as ever, determined to resist the treaty and evidently disposed to favor every view of every subject which might lead to war. Wendell Phillips thought the treaty very well and so do the majority.

Mr. Emerson has just returned from California and came at once to see “J”. He says “We must not visit San Francisco too young, or we should never wish to come away. It is called the “Golden Gate” not because of the gold to be found there but because of the lovely golden flowers which at this season cover the whole surface of the country down to the edge of the great sea. He was deeply interested, refreshed, delighted by his trip but came back to find his house inhabited by the Small Pox and he to be turned out to his daughters at Milton. He bears this, as all the adversities of their mortal condition with an almost immortal patience and sweetness. He saw Brigham Young and wonders over the vigor and power of the man which is not in the least touched by his seventy years of life. He went to the Yosemite Valley and saw all the marvels of the great land which time would allow him to see. He smiled at the namby pamby travellers who turned back because of the discomforts of the valley trip. He regretted his absence from the Saturday monthly dinner. He is always devoted to that.

National Endowment for the Humanities - Logo

Editorial work on The Brownings’ Correspondence is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This website was last updated on 5-18-2024.

Copyright © 2024 Wedgestone Press. All rights reserved.

Back To Top