[Portsmouth—Friday, 3 July 1874]

Friday. One of the little ladies here of 17 years has adopted me for her “grandmother” a title we have laughingly assumed. Josephine Burnett is her name—a sweet little woman in ill health unhappily like so many of the girls we see.

This is the day before the Fourth—60 people came and more are to come tonight. Last night we made flags & listened to Browning and Tennyson as read by Mr. Weiss & J.T.F. But the human life which surges around us here—this is the wonder, the glory and the light—Mrs Guild with hair reaching to her feet and her graceful figure and dim blue eyes, a poor clergyman’s wife but with the spirit of the fallen angels in her heart—she is a sculptor by nature, she plays some good music. She is quick in talk, laughing & light and serious and pathetic—swift by turns and—I will not say nothing long for she is always sadly, pensively interesting. Mrs Laighton too whom we visit every day has now three lovers, Mr. Weiss, Mr. Eichberg & J.T.F. Down these men go on their knees to her & kiss the good woman whenever they see her. Mr. Weiss read Browning so badly this morning we were all glad to be released. Jamie delighted them by reading Tennyson’s “Voyage.”

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