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[written in pencil at top left: [Col. Shaw - equestrian - ] 1880] [postmark: BOSTON DEC 5 12PM MASS.] [postage stamp: green profile, U.S.POSTAGE THREE 3 CENTS, cancelled]
Mrs. M.W. Chapman
[written in pencil at top right: [Dec. 5, 1880]]
Sunday PM. Boston
No Belmont today - It was with a somewhat luxurious feeling that I awoke this AM. & lay awake thinking I was not going out of town today. Instead at our leisure we went to the Church of the Immaculate Conception to hear the delightful music - & came home in the rain.
Yes - I did come into town, Friday, (it was none too early for me to return however) hoping to find you & found your letter. Is the snow then to lay you up for the rest of the winter? No - it must not - Do ply the salt & cold water - you know how - with
rapid applications - Your feet as well as throat & chest, Ah - if I had you with me how long do you think it would be before you would have my endurance? I should make you as rugged as a Norwegian Pine in less than a month. I am perplexed & grieved by your view of these things. Your "readiness" to go taking French leave of me cuts me profoundly - It was next to flippant - the way you asked me if I wanted to see you die. But I can condone much if you will try honestly to live.
I come into town every P.M. now. In other words I go out of town every A.M.
no longer assign a limit to my work there, being sure that doing so makes no dif ce in my progress - But the horse is - Yes he is worth your seeing now - & all the more I feel the imperfection of the rider & must when I have finished the other attend to him - I have him in my mind's eye - & know by that token that he will take shape. What a pleasure to work in the Ideal! Portraits to the rear! My Martineau is not a portrait - only it is to be more like her than herself.
You have read about the Ponca meeting - It was most xcellent. Gov. Long - true man - champion of our side - & so of all
wronged creatures was especialy fine. - Wendell P. is to my thinking always good - but then he was less finished in his oratory, more diffuse than usual. The marvel of this whole Indian business is the revelation of an unmitigated despotism in the very heart of a republic, What is a republic good for in which such a thing can happen? It was possible perhaps because slavery was already here & we began [deletion: with] our dealings with them (the Indians) with blunted perceptions - or rather were they twin-born?
I wonder if you altogether like Mr. Atkinson? Is he - I don't get the impression that he is - a dear friend of yours? - but still I am thinking if it will do to say that my mind will make no other image of him than
as of a man dressed in self-opinion as with a garment. "His cue"! The philosophy par xcellence of this day is built on work & would have been I take it xactly what it is if Mr. A - had never lived- that is I don't believe he is in the direct line of links as Hume Voltaire & Comte probably were.
What day this week will you come up. I promised to ask Mr. Wm Garrison when you came. I will not name the day but will trust to your good will & kindness to come & make us happy as soon as you can. It will not prevent my going to my work. I can manage that very discreetly & keep you here as long as you will stay.
All we are well - all in Belmont & on Beacon Hill, Adeline is busy at this moment
with Mrs. Swishelm the very lively heroine of her own romance. It may all be very true but one likes to hear such things as she relates of herself from others.
Now my very dear I am thinking that it will make but little difce whether I know beforehand of your coming or not. Some fine day may be taken without mature deliberation - You might come give us that long-ago promised surprise - Only - no - I'm an idiot - It is so easy for me to manage an earlier hour of return - Well - let us settle upon this - viz - if you are not able to come Wednesday - come Friday -
Adeline asks to send love herein -
& I as ever am yours ever -
Whitney, Anne and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Anne Whitney, to Maria Weston Chapman, 1880 December 5" (1880). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 585.