Jervis McEntee Diaries

Tuesday December 31, 1889

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, December 31, 1889, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Tuesday, Dec 31, 1889 I walked down to Rogers & Peets after breakfast and bought a pair of shoes. Stopped in at a photograph place and bought one of some skaters in the Park from which to get suggestions for figures in my winter picture, and after I came to my studio painted in a number of figures. Pinchot called in the afternoon and staid some time. I gave him the portrait of Morelos I got for him in Morelia as well as the photographs of the Aztec maps. He invited me to dine with him but I was obliged to decline as Downing and I were going to Niblos after dinner, which we did to see the spectacular play "Pazanka." It was the same old tinsel, tunics, colored lights and legs. Four or five young women dancers in black plaited skirts and black tights were very amusing, lively and graceful. The lines of a beautiful limb in a graceful dance certainly will never fail to interest. When we came out we found the fire engines just beginning to play on a fire directly in rear of the theater, a large five story building in Crosby Street being on fire. We stayed until it was got under control. We walked up to 20th street and I went to attend the installation of "Founders Night" at the Players. I was somewhat disconcerted at finding every one in full dress and this together with not knowing many people rather disconcerted me. I spoke with Booth a moment. He looked pale and changed I thought. Saw Oakley, spoke with Aldrich a moment, talked with Deming who introduced me to a Mr. Walker, a painter who has just been elected to the Century and another young man who seemed very agreeable. Pinchot and I went into supper together. I had a draught from the "loving cup" (after I saw the Cup Bearer wipe the rim with a napkin) and left about 1 oclock feeling that I did not know people enough to have had a good time. One encounters at such places always a number of the kind of people one would rather not meet, as for instance Avery, Dick Hunt, Rush Hawkins. After all one must grow accustomed to indifference even in the people we call our friends. As life goes on I long for the love of my dear Gertrude that unfailing solace for all despondency and disappointment. The year is dead, always a solemn thought, though the years end each day. It leaves me more contented and happy than I ever expected to be again and with a feeling that henceforth I am to be able serenely to meet the events of the future whatever they have in store.

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