[Smith’s Farm—Saturday, 23 September 1871]

Saturday Evening. Sepr 23. Here we are in Dame’s cottage again. It was 1866 when we left the place last, strong in our determination to return but Dr. Bartol and Lissie preferred to try something else and brought up at last in the Village. The moon is shining outside and the breeze comes in cool over the quiet bay. It is delightful to be here once more.

We have returned from our three days visit at Mrs Cabot’s beautiful place on Beverly shore, next to the place inhabited by Charles G. Loring’s family on the one side, and John King’s place on the other. Of their kinds there can be nothing in the world more beautiful, but of course the wild rambles of this lower shore are not to be had. The shore is a good deal farmed. Before breakfast this morning Jamie and I walked through Mr. Brimmer’s place, the most perfect of all and the most costly in manner of treatment I presume, there being no farm but grand primeval woods of pine behind and at the sides of the house, a perfect sloping lawn in front and a divine view of the sea. In the front are tastefully disposed flower beds and dainties which give it the air of a first rate English place. Our visit has been a great one as far as company is concerned until this afternoon when Miss King (the sister formerly engaged to that villain Hurlburt) and a most sweet woman came to dine. She is still attractive in appearance though her youthful beauty has departed. Otherwise we have been perfectly retired; we passed this entire morning rambling over the adjacent grounds, (Mr. Loring’s & Miss Howes own estate) and yesterday we disported ourselves in the old town of Salem, among old fashioned houses and gardens & dozens of box and quaint flowers half forgotten by our modern gardeners.

These ladies told us of an English lady who remarked to them “Very odd, in America—so many ladies who have no maids, read Tennyson!”

They live in great luxury with two houses, many servants and read endless novels. They are intelligent too, but of the kind who are too much suppressed by what appear to be the necessary cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches to bring forth much fruit. They are not uninteresting and are kind, good & friendly. They have seen sorrow also. Their sister was killed instantly by a train striking the carriage in which the three were riding several years ago. The shock has changed them greatly their best friends say.

They are truly social and need quite as much communication with their kind for their own pleasure as they ever get. Their father was a friend of Hawthorne and their house in Salem one of the few he was willing to visit there. They had an aunt also Miss Burley of whom I have often heard Mrs Hawthorne speak in terms of friendly admiration.

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