Menlo Park N.J.
Sunday july 12 1885
(it’s the rest of the day, and a long one, so continue in the extended entry…)
Nature is bound to smile somehow, Holzer has a little dog which just came on the veranda. The face of this dog was a dismal as a bust of Dante but the dog
wagged its tail continuously- This is evidently the way a dog laughs– I wonder if dogs ever go up to flowers and smell them- I think not- flowers were never intended for dogs, and perhaps only incidentally for man, evidently Darwin has it right They make themselves pretty to attract the insect world who are
the transportation agents of their pollen. pollen freight via Bee line
There is a bumblebee nest somewhere near this veranda, several times one came near me– some little information (aquired experimenally) I obtained when a small boy causes me to lose all delight in watching the navigation of this armed flower burglar.
Had dinner at 3 P.M. ruins of a chicken, rice pudding – I eat too quick –
at 4 oclock Dot came around with her horse “Colonel” and took me out riding– beautiful roads– saw 10 acre lot full cultivated red raspberries. “A burying ground” so to speak.–got this exscrable pun off Dot
Dot says she is going to write a novel already started on — she has the judgement of a girl of 16 though only 12
We passed through the town of Metuchen, this Town was named after an Indian chief, they called him Metuchen the chief of the rolling lands, the country being undulating. Dot laughed heartily when I told her about a church being a heavenly fire-escape.
Returned from drive at 5 PM commenced read short sketches of life: Macauley, Sidney Smith, Dickens + Charlotte Bronte. Macauley cohen only 4 years ago omnivorous reader, used book language in his childish conversation, when 5 years old, lady spilled some hot coffee on his leg. after a while she asked him if he was better– he replied– “Madam the agony has abated” Macauleys mother must have built his mind several years before his body. Sidney Smiths flashes of wit are perfect to call them chestnuts would be literary blasphemy. They are wandering jewlets to wander forever in the printers’ world- Dont like Dickens- dont know why- I’l stock my literary cellar with his works later. Charlotte Bronte was like DeQuincy. what a nice married couple they would have been. I must read Jane Eyre.
—played a little on the piano- its badly out of tune- two keys have lost their voice. Dot just read to me outlines of her proposed novel, the basis seems to be a marriage under duress- I told her that in case of a marriage to put in bucketfulls of misery. This would make it realistic, speaking of realism in painting etc Steele Mackaye at a dinner given to H H Porter, Wm Winter and myself told us of a difinition of modern realism given by some frenchman
whose name I have forgotten, “Realism, a dirty long haired painter sitting on the head of a bust of Shakespeare painting a pair of old boots covered with dung” The bell rings for supper.
Sardines the principal attraction- on seeing them was attacked by a stroke of vivid memory of some sardines I eat last winter that caused a rebellion in the labyrinth of my stomach– could scarcely swallow them today They nearly did the “return ball” act.
After supper Dot pitched a ball to me several dozen times. first I even tried to catch. It was a hard as Nero’s heart – nearly broke my baby-finger — gave it up — learned Dot and Maggie how to play “Duck on the rock” They both thought it great fun, and thus is sunday– My concience seems to be oblivious of sunday – it must be incrusted with a sort of irreligious tartar. If I was not so deaf I might go to church and get it taken off or at least loosened- eccavi I
will read the new version of the bible
Holzer is going to use the old laboratory for the purpose of hatching chickens artificially by an electric incubator. He is very enthusiastic – gave me full details – he is a very patient and careful experimenter– think he will succeed – everything succeeded in that old laboratory- Just think electricity employed to cheat a poor hen out of the pleasures of maternity – Machine born chickens – What is home without a mother I suggested to H that he vaccinate his hens with chicken pox virus, then the eggs would have their embryo heriditarily innoculated + none of the chickens would have the disease. for economys
sake he could start with one hen and rooster. He being a scientific man with no farm experience I explained the necessity of having a rooster, he saw the force of this suggestion at once,
The sun has left us on time, am going to read from the encyclopedia Britannica to steady my nerves and go to bed early. I will shut my eyes and imagine a terraced abyss, each terrace occupied by a beautiful maiden to the first I will deliver my mind and they will pass it down to the utmost depths of silence and oblivion. Went to bed worked my imagination for a supply of maidens, only saw Mina Daisy + Mamma
scheme busted – sleep.