Monday January 2, 1888
Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, January 2, 1888, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Monday, Jan 2, 1888 Bright and clear this morning and the weather moderate, but I am far from bright and happy. A dead weight seems to be upon me. I have painted a little on my winter picture and looked over and measured some of my studies. No one comes here and I feel sad and homesick and am unable even to paint with any pleasure. I passed the evening at Marys reading Jane Eyre in which I am much interested and went around to the Club a little while but saw no one in whom I was particularly interested. I was reading a little biographical notice of Rousseau the painter in a French paper and was struck by some of his characteristics which seemed to accord with some of my own. He was interested in thinking out his pictures but had a dread of the mechanical means of executing them. He felt happy when the short days of winter came, and I confess I do. I don't know why, but I think it is because it is the time of rest and quiet. I find most people dread the short grey days and I would be afraid to express my true feeling about them because I would not be understood. I had a rather sad letter from John McEntee. He says his wife seems dead to him and cannot think she will ever recover. Poor fellow, I feel a sincere pity for him. He is resting at home and trying I think to get used to his new and sad condition. Calvert has been appointed Landscape Architect on the Park again with a salary of $3000. I am always afraid these things are not permanent. It is cold again. Mrs. Weeks has sent me a ticket to the Opera tomorrow night to join her in her box. This is new business to me and I dont understand the ropes but I have accepted. I found this little poem among some of my fathers papers in his desk some time ago.
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