[Manchester—Friday, 11 August 1876]

Friday. We drove to Danvers to see Mr. Whittier. Found him in a beautiful place, a lovely country seat planted by a Mr. Lander with exquisite trees and purchased by his cousins the Misses Johnson who have kept school in Boston.

It was a delightful picture! Mr. Whittier with two beautiful dogs and a sweet little girl about 8 years old, Mrs Caldwell, his niece a pretty, young woman, beside a group of middle-aged people to fill out the canvas. We stayed to tea,—we talked of all lovely things, trees, flowers, beautiful persons, and Mr. Clarke told Mr. Whittier an anecdote Mrs Lesley had sent him respecting the influence an old woman had attained over the life of a thief in a country village. It is possible he may work it up for it was a striking story—he will try I am quite sure.

Whittier spoke to me of the pleasure he found in being there, for the solitude of every human soul, he said, always impressed him with fresh surprises, as Emerson said somewhere it did him—and it is not good for us to be alone.

We drove home serenely in the sunset, refreshed by our contact with the poet and with nature. We stopped at the Dresels as we passed their door and reached home before nine o’clock.

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