Jervis McEntee Diaries

Saturday July 14, 1888

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, July 14, 1888, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, July 14, 1888 I am sixty years old today. Twenty years ago this day I sat under the walls of Kenilworth Castle on my fortieth birthday and for the first time in my life realized that my youth had gone and that I entered upon the middle stage of life. Today the three score years reached admonish me that I have entered upon the stage of old age. Life is not as attractive as it ought to be. My profession does not yield me the satisfaction I hoped it would when most other of lifes attractions failed. I find I grow to absolutely dread responsibility and long only for quiet and congenial companionship with my peculiar temperament, unable to make new friends I dread the loneliness of the future, should I live, when the old friends are gone. We all attended Grant Van Deusens funeral from his fathers house at 5 o'clock. Downing came up from N. Y. He and I went over and looked at him in his coffin this forenoon. I would not have known who it was. I had not seen him since before he went South last fall. The Episcopal burial service was read and he was buried in Wiltwyck Cemetery although his mother is buried in Montrepose. His death lends a sense of melancholy on the hill. Crossing my little place to go to his fathers house I realized how death has changed all my plans of life and saddened and made vacant the little home where we hoped to pass our lives. Downing returned to N. Y. by the evening train. We had some talk about selling our property. He seemed to think we ought to put it in Jones' hands although he charges 5 pr. ct while Phillips & Wells in whose hands it now is charge only 2 1/2 pr. ct. I have a sense that it makes little difference and that it will have to be sold to some one here. Whenever I think of it a feeling of helplessness comes over me and I do not know what to do. Sara had a letter from Lucy today. She is having a great deal of company and expecting more in the future. Perhaps it is just as well that I could not go out there.

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