[Boston—Saturday, 8 July 1871]

Saturday. July 8. 1871. Passed the day from five o’clock when we arose, until nearly night in packing, going to Manchester and unpacking. Getting away from home for so long a time, making the servants contented, tearing away from old associations, building up new ones, settling things, all this disagreeable labor we find but a small penalty for our two months of entire freedom and rest. We found wild roses in our pretty village bed-room, and sweet air everywhere.

Towards night we drove to Mr. Cyrus Bartol’s new house. It is a kind of Paradise at this season. Delicious airs were blowing all day making it cool enough anywhere, but it was very breezy in his estate. We discover he has also purchased the whole of the great point where the “umbrella-tree” grows, now called Smiths Farm. It was a brave proceeding for him to buy this place but he is better in health than ever now, far better for holding a laboring oar in his own hands. He has for years looked upon himself & consequently has been looked upon, as an upper air mystic. On the contrary I find him, and have always done so, practical by nature, careless by habit, religious but hardly spiritual in his tone of thought, a good man, with much simplicity of nature, with real love for his kind, but a love which has developed strong variety also under his priestly robe. Hence as the ministry dwindles in power, he has risen in importance as a man of estates. He was not fit to go for his sick sister but he is fit to buy and sell and converse with mystics and enjoy these glorious days. Well! I do not find this being worse than most of us yet I do not find it an inspiring character. Like Pascal (was it) I mean to meditate half an hour each day on the virtues of my friends—our faults are always obtrusive. Then we shall love more understandingly and to more purpose.


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