[Boston—Wednesday, 5 April 1876]

April 5. Last night a fearful snow-storm broke down the telegraph everywhere and has done a world of harm. We have not heard all yet. Jamie leaves the morning for Hartford going round by the way of Providence to lecture. A postal card signed “Mark” from Mr. Clemmens shows he is expected. The subject is Fiction tonight.

Last week he stayed at the house of Mr & Mrs Charles Perkins. A large and interesting family. Full of reading, good sense, and enjoyment of their delightful home. Charles Kingsley visited there. The lovely lawn about the house was already covered with Spring birds, blue jays, robins, which we have hardly welcomed here, but then only the hardy robin is apt to come to our Boston waterside, the jay likes a more rural haunt and is seldom discovered.

Kingsley was continually making notes of anything new in nature which struck either his eye or his ear. “Upon my soul” he exclaimed, in a rapture of delight one morning breaking away from Mrs Perkins with whom he was walking, “I believe I hear an English robin! How very like the note is!” Nothing in nature seemed to escape his attention.

Mrs Perkins amused J. hugely after the lecture by telling him of a gentleman who sat just in front of her, one of their most cultivated and esteemed citizens who so far forgot himself, in his intense interest in the lecture, as to make every gesture the speaker made, until those who sat near, between amusement and vexation, were seriously diverted from listening. When the last poems were read he gasped aloud.

Ida passed that night with me and we went to the English opera to hear Miss Kellogg sing Mignon. It was all second best and I wished myself away.

The week fled quickly round in Centennial work and looking after the poor until now when J. has gone again.

Our waiting-maid Leza is still poorly and unable to return to her duties. In her place I have one of those sickly dull unfortunates who are a pain to see about, but she is so unfortunate that I took her from a sense that I was trying to do a good thing. This is a doubtful thing when labor is the test. However I hope she will answer until Leza returns.

Set my little household in order and the servants at work then went to the Centennial Rooms. I was late but I remained an hour or two and then paddled about trying to get books & pictures ready to send. I was tired enough. It was 4 o’clock when I reached home. At 6 Miss Townsend, the oriental reader, and Miss Knowlton the artist came to dine.

Mrs Diaz dropped in for the evening. The talk was eager and interesting, the talk however not of teachers but of pupils.


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