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July 1. [Oak Glen.] Despite my severe fatigue went in town to church; desired in my mind to have some good abiding thought given me to work for and live by. The best thought that came to me was something like this: we are careful of our fortune and of our reputation. We are not careful enough of our lives. Society is built of these lives in which each should fit his or her place, like a stone fitly joined by the builder. We die, but the life we have lived remains, and helps to build society well or ill. Later on I thought that it sometimes seems as if a rope or chain of mercy would be let down to pull some of us out of sin and degradation, out of the Hell of passion. If we have taken hold of it and have been rescued, shall we not work to have others drawn up with us? At such moments, I remember my old wish to speak to the prisoners, never fully realized.”

August 13. Finished my poem for the Bryant Centenary, of which I have despaired; my mind has seemed dull of late, and I have had a hard time with this poem, writing what appeared to me bald-doggerel, with no uniting thought. In these last three days, I have hammered upon it, and bettered it, coming in sight of a better vein and to-day, not without prayerful effort, I got it about ready, D. G.”

To Maud

Oak Glen, August 27, 1894.
... An interesting French gentleman has been giving readings at Mrs. Coleman's. He read us Corneille's “Cid” last evening with much dash and spirit. It is a famous play, but the sentiment is very stilted, like

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