Jervis McEntee Diaries

Saturday August 23, 1873

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, August 23, 1873, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, August 23, 1873- Yesterday we returned from our visit to Nantucket by the day boat. Gertrude was ill there for several days and consequently did not see as much of the island as I did, still we had a very pleasant visit. Eastman and I went about the town and into many of the old houses which with their sleepy quiet air were very unlike most American homes. In one of them I bought a couple of pieces of old china and we saw a few nice pieces of old furniture, one beautiful old clock which had just been bought by a Boston man for thirty dollars from a house near Eastman's. We left Nantucket at 7.30 and taking the train at Woods Hole reached Middleboro about one. Here we had to wait four or five hours for the Fall River train. I got a borrow carriage at the Livery stable and had a man drive us about for two hours. We passed a store a mile or two out of the town which he wanted us to see but it was locked and he could not get the key. He told us it contained an old fashioned stock of goods that had been there for generations. He said there were bonnets as big as a barrel. It belongs to a wealthy family who will not sell these things. I struck me as a queer idea and we regretted very much that we could not go in. We met Lydig Suydam who got on the train at Middleboro for Newport. I was fortunate enough to get a state room in the boat for which I telegraphed the day before from Nantucket. We came up the river in the day boat and the sail was charming. I never saw the river when it was so varied and beautiful. There were fine grey skies and the distance melted into them so beautifully as to make the landscape half unreal and a totally different thing from what it is under its ordinary aspect. Nantucket has been burned up with a drought this summer, here everything is as green as in June and we might fancy it June, save for that vague undefinable sense of the fading summer one feels now and then in the ripening gardens, the altered notes of the birds scurrying about aimlessly and in flocks and the constant chirp of the cricket in the garden. We went over to John McEntees to tea in the evening. After tea Gertrude sang some old songs. "I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls" "There You'll remember me" "Last Rose of Summer" etc. Our little house seemed so charming, Gertrude singing in the old place where she used to sing so much, recalled our early married life and our housekeeping days and made us wish that we were living there again. I received a letter this evening from Whittredge from Shandaken where he and his wife are staying at Laments hotel. He is not well and his letter is very sad and shows that he is much depressed. He wants me to come out and see him and I am going this afternoon. I was struck with Whittredge's look when I left him in N.Y. and I am anxious about him. He had something of the look which I saw come over Mozier's face the winter we were in Rome, and I have thought of it many times. Downing returned from the Adirondacs Thursday.

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