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[postmark:BOSTON JUL 8 10 - PM 1906 MASS.][cancellation: CAMBRIDGE STATION]
Miss Anne Whitney
[written in pencil sideways: Prof. Palmer]
Harvard University - July 8, 1906
Dear Miss Whitney:
I have just returned from a week in the West & find your sad note awaiting me. I live so much alone nowadays that I had not heard of Miss Manning's death. Strange that death seems to us all so impossible when it is the only event of our lives of which we are quite certain! To me her going is doubly incredible because of that recent happy afternoon - the last time
I saw her - when her stately refinement was so appropriately gowned that I ventured thanks for the pleasure she gave. How complete she was! How her exquisite face harmonized with her soft voice, her gentle motions, her refined dress, her accurate & individual speech! A true flower of New England & rooted in its choicest soil.
Yet my thoughts will not stay with her, much as I shall miss her. They turn to you. You & she were wise enough to marry long ago, as my sister married the sister of Professor Allen.
It is well to take such a precaution against the self centered life. But her departure will bewilder you as Alice's has me. In such companionship every hour's action had some covert relation to the other one. When that one is withdrawn & there is nothing to be related to, life is all loose. What gave it significance is gone; & though the frame of things is all standing, the bottom has dropped out. The world is bleak. Still, I always know that I have had more than I have lost, & that the
modes of living we joyfully worked out together I can in large measure pursue alone. And then too before long I may go out into the dark & try to find her.
It was of Miss Guiney we talked on that Sunday, & now you give me the opportunity to meet her. I wish I might do so, but I go tomorrow to Boxford. My servant is appointed to meet me at the train, my brother & his wife are to join me as soon as I have opened
the house. My work of writing presses. This Western business has cut me off from ten days, & I do not dare to lose another. I think I told you that this summer I mean to give to seeing what can be done toward putting together a little Life of Mrs Palmer. I must go through her letters & try in my verbal material - as you did once in the clay - to fix that elusive & prodigious personality. I am afraid it
is beyond me. And then the dreadful shortness of the time! In the middle of September University work begins, & next year begins for me both at Yale & here. But I hope at least to get the outline drawn, & then I can adjust the details of the figure at odd moments of the coming year. Nor can I help hoping that Miss Guiney is to remain here for some time & that in the autumn I may still meet her.
If Miss Guiney should
chance to see my Herbert, will you not ask her to make memoranda of any errors she discovers? We issue a new edition in the autumn, & already I have gathered a pretty group of blunders for correction.
With warm sympathy & constant affection, I am
Palmer, George Herbert and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from George Herbert Palmer, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Anne Whitney, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1906 July 8" (1906). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 881.