Jervis McEntee Diaries

Tuesday February 4, 1879

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Tuesday, February 4, 1879, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

I had a letter from Lucy today from Washington. Her sweet and sisterly love and anxiety for me almost broke my heart. I have been very wretched. The struggling, immeasurable hopes I clung to are gone and I am trying to forget. I drove myself to work and painted on my picture. Am I not putting into it the storm that has swept across my soul? I do not know. I used to have Gertrude to tell me when my work was good. She knew better than I did and now I cannot tell. Mrs. Church and Mrs. Deforest came in. Mrs. Church looked very ill and weary to me. They both seemed much impressed with my picture but I could not talk about it. I saw that Mrs. Church pitied me and I had hard work trying to be cheerful so that she would not pity me more. DeHaas and his wife came in and he spoke with much feeling of my picture. Booth came about five o'clock. I was so glad to see him. Told him how sad and unhappy I felt and he was so kind and gentle, spoke so tenderly of Gertrude. He staid until I went to dinner and we walked up together. Came back to my room and wrote to Sara. I feel better now but all things seem unreal and like dreams. I have been reading Gertrudes letters. There I always find her undying love and I turn to them in my sorrow and soothe my soul with the love she never wearied in expressing.

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