[Manchester—Sunday, 12 July 1874]

July 12 Manchester. Yesterday (Sat. 11) we came here. The weather was very very warm and we came for the second time in a thunder-shower although last year it was June. We found Mrs Dame our landlady very ill-disposed to receive us as her only maid a kind of adopted child Mary, a good little soul as ever breathed, at the point of death from hemorrhage. Our reception and the lack of home feeling about the house has quickened our desire to have a house of our own now a necessity. I am really thankful for this because I have resisted as long as possible the idea of a second house however simple, for two people. But now we are full of it. Mr. Cabot has the plans under weigh and we are enjoying both conception and execution.

Anne Whitney has been with us and Lizzy during our week’s stay in town. Miss Whitney’s statue is nearly ready to be cast—unhappily she cannot find a studio yet. She is a noble, simple, strong loving woman—not an ounce of pretension, loyal and with a poise which is not only unusual but sometimes also entrapping—perhaps her only fault, her only danger, lies in too strong doubt of persons and ideas at variance with her own nature—but she is a grand woman! It is a privilege and an epoch in one’s life, such a friendship!

Miss Manning too I like exceedingly. The two women complement and repose each other. Miss Whitney is a helpful friend in her desire to speak truly and give her own views for what they are worth. She does not foist them upon others—but they are her own & she expresses them freely. What a handsome creature she is too, with that fine clear-cut sweet face, “with a heart for any fate”. Her challenge of J.T.F. the other night—her opinion with regard to his most popular lectures—that they were not subjects worthy of him (Longfellow & Tennyson) and his own support of his position were quite worth hearing.

Lizzy went to bed. She has just finished Mrs Mac Gregor’s portrait. It is a success. Now she goes to Milton.

Everything is wet here—but after the intense heat the change is a welcome one.

Sunday 12. Rain, rain. The fog-bell sounds through the stillness hour after hour as of old. We had promised to go to Beverly Farms to see Mr. Cabot’s house and Mr. Storrow’s. The carriage did not come, and seeing dear J. was disappointed, at last I walked over to the village. The cold east wind was blowing but it did not rain much so I walked bravely on, saw the horse put in, drove back for J. and on with him to Mr. Cabot’s house—a small old-fashioned cottage by the road-side. Here we saw his young wife who is like a violet; with lovely simple manners and address. Mr. & Mrs Perry were there—he is like a piece of ice preserved in pickle. They seemed to be endeavoring to wile away the time. Mr. Cabot’s house is pretty and odd—really old fashioned.

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