Yesterday I began a little winter twilight picture from a scene I saw near Peekskill from the train the day I went home and have worked on it today. Work is the only panacea for troubled souls and I am glad to find that I can work and for the time forget my troubles. I read Gertrudes dear letters written to me from home last year. How full of love and of longing for the day which will bring me to her. I am more and more impressed with her absolute dependence on me and how wearily the days went by to her when we were separated. She so often gives expression to this longing for me. It seems to me now that if I could call her back I never would go away from her again. Calvert came in and spent an hour with me looking at my picture and criticising it in his way. I think he liked it but I never knew him to like any thing entirely. He always sees something that ought not to be. Wood called with a gentleman and lady from Springfield to see my pictures. Few people call however and sometimes it seems very lonely here. When I get lonely I read Gertrudes letters and then I am with her for the time. I had a letter from Mrs. Taylor from Berlin dated Jan. 19th full of sadness but giving me no idea as to her plans. I see Mr. Evarts has recommended the committee on foreign relations to appropriate a years salary to Taylors family and I hope it will be done. Called on Aunt Christina and Lily. Julia was out.