The Jervis McEntee Diaries - December 31, 1885

Diary Entry:

Thursday, Dec 31, 1885 There is something very significant in arriving at the [new year?]. A sharp emphasis of the sense of the flight of time. I could not help a regretful feeling as I put my new calendar for 1886 on its stand. Still the years end every day and they begin every day. I had a letter from Janette in which she tells me that she had a message directly from my dear Gertrude to me to tell me that she was with me all the time and that she loved me more and more. If I could believe this as Janette does it would not come to me with so little effect. I try to believe it but I cannot and think always these strange phenomena must have some explanation other than an actual contact with the departed spirit. She says she heard her voice, and I to whom she does not come would give the world to believe I could hear her voice. I went up to Millets studio by invitation to see a portrait of Mary Anderson by Forbes Robinson the leading man in her Company. He is a relative of the late Mrs. Vanderliss. There was a certain grace and delicacy about it and a nice appreciation of character as well as harmonious color as a whole, with some timidity and hardness in the execution. I met him, a young and apparently pleasant man. Calvert and I dined alone Marion having gone to Dobbs Ferry to stay over the New Year. I read Dr Waldsteins article in the Century on the broader cultivation of Artists and arguing that to have been the reason for the greatness of the Greek Artists. About 9 oclock I went up to the Authors Club by invitation of Henry Abby. He had been to my room for me but I met him there. Found I knew many of the members and guests, Junius Henri Browne, Mr. Morse, Dr. Conant, Conant the artist (who got tight)[,] Stedman, Stoddard, Mr. Norton, J.R. Osgood, Swain Gifford, Millet, Waring and others. Was introduced to Hamilton Gibson and many others. Was much interested in a Mr. McCabe master of a high school at Petersburgh Va. who is said to be the most scholarly man in the South except one. At 12 oclock after a supper and punch they turned down the gas and sang Auld Lang Syne and then Stedman announced the New Year. Genl Porter made a humorous speech as did Dr. Weir Mitchell, John Boyle O'Reilly, Webb and others. I did not get to bed until 1 oclock. I spent last New Year in New York.

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