[Manchester—Sunday, 24 September 1876]

Sunday 25 [sic] after a cheerful breakfast together Mrs Livermore retired to her room until dinner to prepare the afternoon service. Miss Phelps and I walked to the beach and I did a trifle of writing. Soon after a pleasant lunch, although the sky was grey, we drove without rain to the town hall. It was full and beautifully decorated with flowers, the work of the village. The people also had sent us gifts of fruit in the morning.

The text was “Bear ye one another’s burdens” and “bear ye your own burdens.” There was no spirit left untouched I believe in the whole place. I never heard anything more convincing or more touching. The loveliest part of all was that it seemed to have an immediate bearing upon the boys’ evening school which I was most anxious to start before leaving the place.

After the service we took a short drive and discussed Daniel Deronda somewhat as we went. Mrs Livermore was disposed to dislike Mirah for being nothing in particular and Daniel still more—we did not go far on that track, though we discussed the life and character of Mrs Lewes and Mrs Stowe and others by our half light for some time.

The talk naturally took the turn of the strange applications for assistance which people were continually making to well known persons. One day when she was excessively busy and had said she could see no one, she saw from her window an extraordinary old woman approaching the house with a dog led by a string and innumerable packages. She said to her niece—she comes to beg, send her away; but the niece returned shortly saying she did not come begging but wished to see her aunt on business. Then Mrs Livermore descended and was told by the party in question that having been unfortunate in her circumstances, she had come to stay with her for a month! “But I cannot have you” said Mrs L. with some warmth “my house is full.” “Does anyone sleep on that lounge?” said the imperturbable one. “No, and I shall have no one sleeping on lounges in my rooms” said Mrs L. “but if you really have no money and no place to go I will take you to a boarding place.” This she really did—the woman’s board was paid in the neighborhood until she could be endured no longer being a dirty old creature and then Mrs L. actually put her on the cars herself, going to Boston for that purpose and paid her expenses to the far West!! The whole tale was an amazing case of generosity on the one side and imposition on the other.

We were so interested in our talk that it was hard to break off in the evening to hear a story Miss Phelps had brought to read to us. A tender little tale of a sick boy in Florida which we all were touched by; in spite of a trifle of morbidity, or even more than that.


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