Jervis McEntee Diaries

Thursday August 19, 1886

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, August 19, 1886, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Thursday, Aug 19, 1886 I went over to my studio after breakfast and commenced a twilight picture and have worked on it until 3 o'clock and been perhaps fairly successful. But I have the feeling that I am doing it in the hope of selling it and not because it is a pleasure or to give expression to some decisive idea. I am very unhappy and the days go by in sadness and I feel myself tossed about by fears and apprehension which I cannot master. It is too sorrowful that ones life should be so thwarted and twisted by sordid and mean anxieties and that we should not have the wisdom to rise above them. I cannot enjoy this beautiful weather and am only glad when I close my eyes in sleep and sad when the morning comes. In days like these I think of my dear Gertrude and the loneliness of my life without her, and yet with something like compensation in the reflection that she is spared the sorrow that pressures me. I ought to be happier with my sisters and Lucys children here, but the children seem to make me more unquiet I am sorry to say and I am afraid I can not sympathise with their enjoyments as I should. All this adds to my trouble and I am thoroughly unhappy.

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