[Manchester—Monday, 4 September 1876]

Monday. Anna Hellrigl left after a stay of more than two months. Jamie went to town, I remained alone. At night came Mr. Craik and Mr William Black, the author of The Princess of Thule and other charming tales. Mr. Craik, himself, the husband of Dinah Mulock Craik is as lovely a human being as I ever saw. He says Dorothy is growing to be a fine girl—she is eight years old, and a great comfort and delight to them. He was very sorry to come without his wife to America but she clearly could not face the sea and her admirers. They delighted in our place, in the views and the freedom & retirement; but Mr. Craik is a man full of appreciation for every good and lovely thing in nature or in art. I have seldom seen a man more utterly devoid of pretension, more sincerely lofty in his aspirations, or simple in manners and habits. He has a keen pleasure in the possession of beautiful things and of books he says, a pleasure his wife has no sympathy with. On the whole however I should think they were very happy together.

Mr. Black is a young man, I mean by that 36 years old, young for a man who has already done so much work. He has the face of a thinker and writer, of a man who can retire deeply into himself. He smokes somewhat and likes a glass of whisky and water before going to bed and in part has much that belongs to the London man about town. He is witty and simple and modest and brown as an Indian from exposure to the sun. He does not like getting up early but as they were very economical of time and wished to see the Danas he decided to breakfast with us at seven o’clock. Just before getting into bed, hearing Mr. Fields’ step in the hall, he put his head out of the door and said “Is it time to get up, I thought I heard Craik call?”!! And as we stood talking in the morning on the piazza he said, “the light seems to have changed a good deal in the few minutes we have been up stairs”! He could not find his boots this morning and came paddling down stairs in his stockings looking very sheepish and queer. He said he didn’t mind it much although the stairs were a trifle cold!

They left us in the 10 o clock train for Boston and at twelve came Governor Bagley of Michigan and his daughter Florence, Judith Beal & Jo. Bennett. Shortly after we saw Grace Ellis and her brother mounting the avenue. I began to think there was no end, the two last however would not stay to dinner so we soon sat comfortably down to a good comfortable dinner.

The two gentlemen drove to Gloucester in the afternoon to investigate the fisheries, much to their own gratification. Jamie was charmed with the knowledge of literature especially of lovely out of the way poems which was shown by this man of affairs.

Governor Bagley is only 44 years old, a man of unwieldly figure but with an active brain and healthy mind. When I asked him what he thought of Governor Hayes of Ohio, our Republican candidate for the Presidency, he replied, “he was always my candidate; I think we could not have a better man.” I said we did not know much about him—“Its your own fault then. He has been the Governor of that great state of Ohio for four years but was in the war before that. He is just the man.”

I went to the station at 5 P.M. to carry the two Nahanters—there we found Miss Phelps—so we drove awhile on the beach before going to the house. It was a lovely night and we soon fell into a stream of talk which did not cease until bed time.


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