[Boston—Sunday, 3 January 1875]

January 3. 1875. Three busy months have flown—months full of happiness and vigor, full of love, full of life. I have been utterly unable to put pen to paper—after the time for doing and talking and living was over, rest seemed the next best thing and far more important than recording the passage of events. Doubtless this is true especially as my life has been a private one and of no general interest for the most part.

Today we went to hear O.B. Frothingham preach at the Parker Memorial on Character—a truly wonderful discourse and delivered nearly without notes. I honestly believe in no corner of the earth was a finer utterance, more compact, more vitalized. He reminded me of Goethe’s strong sense of the value of Character but he did not quote Goethe. His theme was suggested by Gerritt Smith’s death—one of the last of a generation of greatmen who have made our country what it is. Mr. F. spoke more than one hour, defining, exhorting, warning, stimulating, men and women to develop and preserve character—which is Fortitude, patience &c. &c—it is impossible to attempt to give the least idea of such a discourse here.

For the first day for a long long time we are alone. Mrs Thaxter is my last visitor. It is really strange and luxurious to be absolutely quiet for a few hours though I have enjoyed all—everything—except a burglar getting in at our library window the other night. Happily he waked “J”. and the villain was caught.

I cannot help feeling Mr. Frothingham to be a man who must leave a mark upon his time. He seems to me to be terribly in earnest. As he speaks his fine clear cut face, once so handsome shows a force, an Orestes-like quality which I never dreamed of in his younger days. I think he has grown year by year. I wish he might be listened to every time he speaks by an audience as attentive as the one today.


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