Concord, Mass.OUT here on a visitelastic, mellow, Indian-summery weather. Came to-day from Boston, (a pleasant ride of 40 minutes by steam, through Somerville, Belmont, Waltham, Stony Brook, and other lively towns,) convoyd by my friend F. B. Sanborn, and to his ample house, and the kindness and hospitality of Mrs. S. and their fine family. Am writing this under the shade of some old hickories and elms, just after 4 P. M., on the porch, within a stones throw of the Concord river. Off against me, across stream, on a meadow and side-hill, haymakers are gathering and wagoning-in probably their second or third crop. The spread of emerald-green and brown, the knolls, the score or two of little haycocks dotting the meadow, the loaded-up wagons, the patient horses, the slow-strong action of the men and pitch-forksall in the just-waning afternoon, with patches of yellow sun-sheen, mottled by long shadowsa cricket shrilly chirping, herald of the duska boat with two figures noiselessly gliding along the little river, passing under the stone bridge-archthe slight settling haze of aerial moisture, the sky and the peacefulness expanding in all directions and overheadfill and soothe me.
Same evening.Never had I a better piece of luck befall me: a long and blessed evening with Emerson, in a way I couldnt have wishd better or different. For nearly two hours he has been placidly sitting where I could see his face in the best light, near me. Mrs. S.s back-parlor well filld with people, neighbors, many fresh and charming faces, women, mostly young, but some old. My friend A. B. Alcott and his daughter Louisa were there early. A good deal of talk, the subject Henry Thoreausome new glints of his life and fortunes, with letters to and from himone of the best by Margaret Fuller, others by Horace Greeley, Channing, &c.one from Thoreau himself, most quaint and interesting. (No doubt I seemd very stupid to the room-full of company, taking hardly any part in the conversation; but I had my own pail to milk in, as the Swiss proverb puts it.) My seat and the relative arrangement were such that, without being rude, or anything of the kind, I could just look squarely at E., which I did a good part of the two hours. On entering, he had spoken very briefly and politely to several of the company, then settled himself in his chair, a trifle pushd back, and, though a listener and apparently an alert one, remaind silent through the whole talk and discussion. A lady friend quietly took a seat next him, to give special attention. A good color in his face, eyes clear, with the well-known expression of sweetness, and the old clear-peering aspect quite the same.
Next Day.Several hours at E.s house, and dinner there. An old familiar house, (he has been in it thirty-five years,) with surroundings, furnishment, roominess, and plain elegance and fullness, signifying democratic ease, sufficient opulence, and an admirable old-fashioned simplicitymodern luxury, with its mere sumptuousness and affectation, either touchd lightly upon or ignored altogether. Dinner the same. Of course the best of the occasion (Sunday, September 18, 81) was the sight of E. himself. As just said, a healthy color in the cheeks, and good light in the eyes, cheery expression, and just the amount of talking that best suited, namely, a word or short phrase only where needed, and almost always with a smile. Besides Emerson himself, Mrs. E., with their daughter Ellen, the son Edward and his wife, with my friend F. S. and Mrs. S., and others, relatives and intimates. Mrs. Emerson, resuming the subject of the evening before, (I sat next to her,) gave me further and fuller information about Thoreau, who, years ago, during Mr. E.s absence in Europe, had lived for some time in the family, by invitation.