Jervis McEntee Diaries

Friday September 3, 1886

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, September 3, 1886, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Friday, Sept 3, 1886 Cool, autumnal weather. I went over to my studio and began a picture 20x30 of a late autumn composition. I went to paint a light toned, mellow picture. I drew it in and laid it in a general way and hope to make something out of it. But I have no new ideas and work, not with enthusiasm but to escape from myself. I have a half-dazed, unreal sensation with now and then a wave of hopelessness and extreme dejection. No one can half understand how I miss my dear Gertrude now for feeling as unhappy as I do. I crave the close and sympathetic companionship I always found in her. I shall be glad when my time comes to go to her, for I see but little prospect of happiness in the future and dread the loneliness which inevitably comes to such as myself whose temperament unfits them to mingle much with people. I am hoping against hope that Coykendall may buy our place. I should have some spur to action then, but to look ahead to dragging along here on an insufficient income, forced to keep boarders and thus to destroy our domestic life, seems appalling to me. I had a long letter from Mr. Sawyer yesterday giving me an account of his trip to Burlington, and most interesting to me, his visit to his sister Mrs. Buck and her husband. She is 84 and he 89. It was where I visited Gertrude in 1854 just before we were married. Mr. Buck was then about as old as I am now. What sorrowful changes since then.

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