[Manchester—Sunday, 23 July 1871]

Sunday Morning. I sat up last reading—reading the last published fragment of Hawthorne’s Journal in Rome. It brought not only his presence back to me with great vividness but also the places which he describes so minutely. Nothing has ever made me comprehend more vividly the fullness of the world and the might of the most trivial observation upon the mind of man than Hawthorne’s so religiously kept journal. I do not wonder that he was tired of pen and ink when those latter days came.

We think we have great reason to be happy in having pitched our tent upon this shore. Jamie found the Hampton coast yesterday flat and not at all to be compared for picturesque beauty with this. At sunset this is certainly incomparable, with bay as well as high seas, with numberless heights as well as the low murmuring sands. Coming home from the shore last Sunday evening, a French man living with his family in a small cottage by the roadside and seizing my husband by both hands said “This is the happiest moment I have had for a year, I saw by the paper your wife was dead—and here she is!” The honest feeling of the man whom we knew very little brought tears to our eyes. It is pleasant to have one’s form lovingly regretted when it can bring no real sadness to the lives of others.

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