Friday, Sept 18, 1885 I finished a letter to Susan Hutchins which I commenced last night. Am going to remove the flower bed to the garden and Tom is preparing for it there. After dinner, Sara, Mary, my father and I drove out by the Roa-tina and out on the Flat-bush road crossing over to the Saugerties road and home through Kingston. It looked as though we might have a shower when we started but it was only cloudy and we had a lovely ride. These rides on pleasant days add much to my enjoyment of the country. Mary read Horace Porters paper on Grant in the September Harper this evening. It is excellently written and is most interesting as showing many traits in his character not generally understood. The more I know of Grant the more I admire his simplicity of character. Porter describes him admirably as a man for great occasions who in ordinary times was only an ordinary man. I take great satisfaction in always having believed in him and reading over my diary I found I defended him vigorously at a dinner over in Brooklyn once when an editor of the Post spoke disparagingly of him. We had a letter from Mary Gifford this evening saying she could not come to visit us now. Her health seems very precarious. I am not happy and I am ashamed that I am not, for all my anxieties are imaginary. I know so well that it is all needless that I will struggle against it.