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[194] farmers of Concord and Lexington, and a sham fight, imitating the real one, actually came off with an immense concourse of spectators. The Daughters of the American Revolution had made me promise to go to their celebration at the Old South, where I sat upon the platform with Mrs. Sam Eliot, Regent, and with the two orators of the day, Professor Channing and Edward Hale. I wore the changeable silk that Jenny Nelson made, the Gardner cashmere, and the bonnet which little you made for me last summer. McAlvin refreshed it a little, and it looked most proud. Sam Eliot, who presided, said to me, “Why, Julia, you look like the queen that I said you were, long ago. If I could do so, I would introduce you as the Queen.” I tell you all this in order that you may know that I was all right as to appearance. I was to read a poem, but had not managed to compose one, so I copied out Our country from “Later Lyrics,” and read it as I was never able to read it before. For the first time, it told upon the audience. This was because it was especially appropriate to the occasion....

May 11. Opposed the dispensing with the reading of State Reports. The maker of the motion said that we could read these at home. I said, ‘Yes, and we can read the Bible at home, but we like to go to church and hear it read.’ Finished my screed for this evening and licked my Columbus poem into shape, the dear Lord helping me.”

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