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Yet to-day, realizing of what vital importance this seeming misfortune was to her; how but for this, her life and other lives might have lacked “the rich flavor of hope and toil” ; how but for this she might have failed to lock hands with humanity in a bond as close as it was permanent, who can seriously regret Uncle John's devastating yet fruitful mistake?

In April again she writes:--

“Dull, sad and perplexed. My uncle not having made me a rich woman, I feel more than ever impelled to make some great effort to realize the value of my mental capacities and acquisitions. I am as well entitled to an efficient literary position as any woman in this country — perhaps better than any other. Still I hang by the way, picking up ten dollars here and there with great difficulty. I pray God to help me to an occasion or sphere in which I may do my utmost. I had as lief die as live unless I can be satisfied that I have delivered the whole value of my literary cargoall at least that was invoiced for this world. Hear me, great Heaven! Guide and assist me. No mortal can.”

The next day's entry is more cheerful.

“Feel better to-day. Made the acquaintance of Aldrich and Howells and their wives, at Alger's last evening. I enjoyed the evening more than usual. Aldrich has a very refined face. Howells 1 is odd-looking, ”

1 Mr. Howells, in his Literary Boston Thirty Years Ago, thus speaks of her (1895):

I should not be just to a vivid phase if I failed to speak of Mrs. Julia Ward Howe and the impulse of reform which she personified. I did not sympathize with this then so much as I do now, but I could appreciate it on the intellectual side. Once, many years later, I heard Mrs. Howe speak in public, and it seemed to me that she made one of the best speeches I had ever heard. It gave me for the first time a notion of what women might do in that sort if they entered public life; but when we met in those earlier days I was interested in her as perhaps our chief poetess. I believe she did not care to speak much of literature; she was alert for other meanings in life, and I remember how she once brought to book a youthful matron who had perhaps unduly lamented the hardships of housekeeping, with the sharp demand, ‘Child, where is your religion?’ After the many years of an acquaintance which had not nearly so many meetings as years, it was pleasant to find her, not long ago, as strenuous as ever for the faith or work, and as eager to aid Stepniak as John Brown. In her beautiful old age she survives a certain literary impulse of Boston, but a still higher impulse of Boston she will not survive, for that will last while the city endures.

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