Another unlucky evening in the matter of writing to you! I had just told father good-night and come down stairs intending to spend the evening writing letters when Mrs. Fine came in to spend the evening reading aloud to me,– bringing her own literature,— an article by Swinburne. She has just gone and it is after ten and I am overwhelmingly sleepy. It was very good in her to think of it, realizing how lonely I would be without Madge who left this morning. I certainly do miss her; we have had more real companionship,– been more intimate,– than we ever were before and we have enjoyed each other. Now I have nothing but your pictures, five of which I carry about the house with me and prop up before me if I am sewing or writing! The more I look at the “Purdy” the more I feel that it was a splendid thing spoiled in the retouching. I wonder if they couldn't take off the touches that have so softened and flattened it! I should think they would wipe off the glass plate.Was'nt that a dear little letter from Nellie? How very naturally she writes! I am expecting Mary down in a few days.
I have actually been to a “tea” this afternoon,— at the Leavitt Howes to meet Mrs. Venable who remains here with her boy. I enjoyed going to it extremely — the drive I mean! It has been a glorious day,— as usual! I am perfectly well;– and Father is quite over yesterday's little attack. He has a good many but they are all mild. They may be due to his eating so much fruit. For dinner he has a large saucer of blanche mange, a larger of apple, and a largest (sometimes two) of peaches and cream, besides chicken potatoes rice and tomatoes. Then he eats peaches between meals & a cantaloupe for breakfast!–He is perfectly delighted with his room at “Prospect,”– says it is the best room in the United States. Love to all the friends. With love inexpressible for my darling, I am as ever,