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“ [238] party at Aunt Maria's.1 Uncle John came. He was the eldest, my Harry the youngest member. I made a charade, Shoddy, in which Mary [Ward] and Flossy took part. Mary did very well. Flossy always does well. I enjoyed this family gathering more than anything since leaving home. It is so rare a pleasure for me. Family occasions are useful in bringing people together on the disinterested ground of natural affection, without any purpose of show or self-advancement. Relations should meet on more substantial ground than that of fashion and personal ambition. Nature and self-respect here have the predominance. In my youth I had no notion of this, though I always clung to those of my own blood.”

From New York she went to Washington, where she gave a series of philosophical readings. Here, while staying at the house of Mrs. Eames, she had a violent attack of malarial fever, but struggled up again with her usual buoyancy.

February 19. Weather rainy, so stayed at home; eyes weak, so could do little but lie in my easy-chair, avoid cold, and hang on to conversation. To-day the President2 vetoed the bill for the Freedmen's Bureau. The reading of the veto was received by the Senate with intense, though suppressed, excitement. Governor Andrew read it to us. It was specious, and ingeniously overstated the scope and powers demanded for the Bureau, in order to make its withholdment appear a liberal and democratic measure. Montgomery Blair is supposed to have written this veto.”

1 The widow of her uncle, William G. Ward.

2 Andrew Johnson.

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