[Boston—Tuesday, 16 June 1874]

Tuesday morning I rose tired but hearing Dear Mr. Whittier’s voice down stairs soon forgot that. He had come to breakfast, but as he came some time before, we had a good long talk. He expressed high regard & esteem for Robert C. Winthrop as a sincere patriot and man of ability. He thinks he has not been kindly treated nor been allowed to take his proper place in the Commonwealth. We discussed Maurice somewhat, a man who has left an enduring monument in the hearts of his friends but a trace hardly discoverable in spite of all his books upon the theology or literature of his time. His friends struggle against this decree but one cannot find any escape from the fact of the unreadableness of his works. W. knows the Childe of Bristane well and seems to like it almost as well, perhaps quite as well as we do.

He talked of jewels which the Quakers never wear and disbelieve in. I think in his heart such follies are pretty nearly discarded; he would not condemn another for loving admiration of these beautiful things—indeed he described a visit to Remick’s Shop with Mrs Thaxter when he said he never saw such a sight in his life! Never imagined anything more brilliant.

Anna Dresel came in and recalled again the old Antislavery Days and the first time she saw Mr. Whittier which was at her father’s office. He is always pleased to remember that trouble so well past. He has agreed to meet us on Celia’s birthday at the Islands. After he went, Imogen Willis Eddy came for some little clothes I have had made for Nell, and Mrs Dresel returned to lunch. I dressed for Milton; she rested on the couch in my room.

“J.” & I passed the P.M. at Blue Hill with Mrs William M. Hunt. Her face grows hard and full of settled pain; this is the first thing you feel. However the children met us at the Station with the man and a wildish colt—ice-cream & goodies were packed in from town and away we started. The children clambered up and down from the vehicle and hung on behind until I was thoroughly alarmed and most thankful to arrive. Mrs Hunt met us at the door and was glad to see us; but the house had a lonely, half opened, half used look as if a grief pervaded it. We walked over the beautiful grounds and saw the work she is doing, caring of 70 acres beside her own house-keeping & 5 horses. She seems very tired with it all and complains of fatigue, says she is “vulnerable.” Poor child! Housekeeping, the details of living, assume such huge, such undue proportions to her mind, that the important thoughts and deeds of existence, the stillness of nature, the silent workings of the spirit are all unheeded, stifled, choked. She ordered her carriage and carried us to call at the Walcotts where we found a most lovely lady in the hostess and a noble man in the host—there too was Miss Bigelow playing Mendelssohn and Mr. & Mrs Morison, the good old clergyman & his wife, listening.

The latter are persons of learning & repose and true culture. Mr. Morison wishes Lizzy to take a portrait of his wife but the dear old lady is so modest she does not wish to be painted and it was funny to see how in all love they were playing different games. The old gentleman said they were quite ready to receive L. but Mrs M. took occasion of Mr. M being from the room, not having heard his invitation to say it would unfortunately be impossible to receive her as their house was full.

From the Walcotts we drove to Mrs Dorr’s where we found high life going on and a blasé atmosphere of intensified elegance over everything. “Would we visit them in Newport? We should set our own time.” Happily we found we were late and soon escaped. Mrs Hunt had invited friends to tea—had forgotten about time and we were nearly an hour behind her appointment. Mrs Bell & Mrs Pratt, daughters of Rufus Choate, two friendly excitable little ladies and Miss Marcon a good friendly young lady were there. Such an uproar of laughter as the two ladies, Choate & J.T.F got into you [sic] I have seldom heard but poor Mrs Hunt seemed to grow more and more silent and terrible. She was friendly and most kind but her grief seemed to take possession of her. We scrambled off for the train and reached home early. 10 P.M.


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