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[85] I have to work without intermission, i.e., as long as I can, every day; but with all the diligence in my power, I cannot get along very rapidly. When I have finished my stint, I refresh myself with a little Greek, and also with an Italian novel which I have brought with me. The place looks lovely, and I sat, this afternoon, on the western piazza, near that angle where you and I used to sit, last summer, and enjoyed a bath of sunshine....

To Laura

Oak Glen, August 21, 1883.
My much neglected darling,
I give you to-day my first hour, or half-hour, as the case may be, feeling that my long silence has been abominable, and must be broken, even if you should feel it to be your duty to throw an inkstand at my head, in return for my letter. It is partly Backbone's fault. Backbone has been so scrouged and put upon by the summer's work that he sometimes cuts up amazing. Said work is pretty well out of hand at this moment, the last chapters of “Margaret Fuller” being ready for the press.... I have so much felt the shocking uncharity of things in the way of diaries and letters which have been published within the last few years. Not the least bad exhibition in this kind has been made by Carlyle and his wife. I have just finished reading the three volumes of her letters and memorials, which were indeed interesting to me by the mention in them of persons whom I myself have known. Still, the spirit of the book is painful. It is

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