Jervis McEntee Diaries

Sunday October 26, 1873

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Sunday, October 26, 1873, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Sunday, October 26, 1873- Just as I got ready to go to painting yesterday Mr. Lousbery and his son came. He asked to see me and I was obliged to go down and have my day ruined. I got to work about 11 o'clock but was so unquiet that I spoiled what I undertook. Dr. Lousbery & his little daughter came after his brother and they all dined here. Last night we had the first frost that has injured anything in the garden. We picked probably the last of the nasturtiums today the most of them having been wilted by the frost. Gertrude and I took a walk out beyond John Oreillys. The air was clear but had a frosty sharpness. I fight now daily against anxiety about worldly matters. The financial outlook for this winter is very discouraging and with debts to pay and the struggle to keep up even my humble position fills me with apprehension in spite of myself. It is hard work with a temperment like mine to be cheerful and hopeful under present circumstances, not that I have not much to be grateful for, but I have a cowardly fear of growing poor and having my fathers family gradually become unable to keep up even the modest position of respectability we have so far kept. There is a Providence that watches over us, but that Providence is law and order and it does not change laws for individuals. It requires great wisdom to know how to live so as not to get upon too high a key or more still, upon too low a key. It is a question whether twenty years of ease and and enjoyment in the center of our life are not worth ten of more anxious ones at the end.

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