[Boston—Thursday, 9 March 1876]

March 9th We are quietly at home together. Last night we called on the old man Dana. He is proud and pleased at the appointment of his son as minister to England. He says he can well remember at the time of the Anthony Burns trial passing a number of colored people in the street and hearing one of them say “that’s Mr. Dana’s father.” “Things have come to a pretty pass I thought to myself that I should only be known as his father” said the old man. Talking of Milton he said what a pity he should have been such a Puritan; for he was a great poet. Some lines are as beautiful as anything in Shakspeare. For instance “any tongues that syllable men’s names”—in pronouncing these words an exquisite light of reverence seemed to fall upon them from the old man’s mind. He described an exhibition of Allston’s pictures after his death. Mr. Dana said “in entering the room one felt oneself lifted into another atmosphere”. “When I left the room” he said “and walked back alone across the common, I felt as if I had bade farewell to all my friends.”

He is no republican and it is curious to see how his “unfaith in aught is want of faith in all”. Yet he is a strait high churchman I believe.

Yesterday morning presided at a state meeting for the Centennial. It is touching to see how hard the women have worked throughout the state and how much they have accomplished. Women must certainly have a voice in government before we can ever get things quite out of the corrupted condition of the present, I fear.

We are reading J.Q. Adams’s diary.

Thursday March 9. A quiet week with a little chance at a book now and then.


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