[Boston—Friday, 27 October 1876]

Friday. Beautiful morning. Last night 15,000 people in torchlight procession. It passed this house. Jamie had gone to a supper party at Longfellows to meet Bayard Taylor. Taylor lectured in Cambridge on Egypt. An admirable lecture said dear J. who went to hear him. Longfellow, his daughters and Cranch were at the lecture and returned to Longfellow’s house afterward together. Lowell and Howells joined them. They had a delightful evening of literary talk and amused themselves part of the time over Joaquin Miller and Tupper—classing the two.

I think they had best take care. Joaquin Miller may yet do something in the way of poetry which will be remembered when Lowell’s poetry, as poetry, will be forgotten. His claims as a satirist and prose writer are undisputed in our day—but as a poet, he will do well not to set himself where posterity may not choose to keep him.

Mary Lodge came to see me and as the procession passed with its beautiful lights and gorgeous displays which reminded me of Venice in its days of splendor (the effects of modern illumination being so far beyond what was understood then in spite of the wonderous expenditures of the Doges) and told me the particulars which I had never asked for and never before heard, of Charles Sumner’s marriage from his wife’s side. It is a dark story of an attempted marriage for ambition which failed bitterly in disgrace.

Today we leave for the West. Jamie speaks in Springfield Mass. tonight & from thence we go bravely out into the great West. All the old feeling about leaving home will beset us but we try not to think, simply to trust, which is always the best way and the only way.

Taylor is grateful he has not to go this year, yet he will be obliged to work very hard at home, I can see, to make up his income.

Going together as we do we can make half a pleasure excursion out of it. I only dread the fatigue for dear J.


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