Wednesday, Mar 9, 1881 A most dismal, rainy day. How such a turns one upon ones self. I wish I could have been at work on some interesting picture. I was not but tried to paint a picture upon a design I made several years ago of an old chimney and a ruined house with a moon rise. My work seems to have no freshness. I am too absorbed in other thoughts. Answered Alices letter, always glad to talk to her about dear Gertrude. How charming is this extract from Carlyles note book just edited by Froude [extract attached]. He believed her the best woman in all the world and so she was to him. I have asked myself the same question regarding my dear Gertrudes letters. Ought I to have them destroyed at my death or shall they last to give others an idea of wifely love and loyalty, aside from the fresh charm of their frank and sparkling expression. Gertrude was a charming letter writer. I was struck with it in reading her letters to Mrs. Bachelder which he sent me after his wifes death. I cannot bear the thought of trying to turn my thoughts from her but perhaps in the interest of my Art I ought to. Nothing so absorbs me as what relates to her.