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    [The end of the previous entry, at the top of this page, has not been transcribed. Please refer to the page image. Also, view page images to see editorial additions such as underlined words and parentheses. As these were not done by the author originally, they do not appear in the transcription of the text below.]

    21st [August 1862 ]At the war-meeting on the mall; flags
    flying under the rich shadows of the elms in
    the slanting sun; "The Star-Spangled Banner"
    and "Hail Columbia" making the afternoon
    breezes musical: the speeches were chiefly
    appeals to the people in memory of the past,
    and hope for the future; considerable brag
    about "this ancient town of Newburyport,"
    which, it seems, claims to have burnt the
    first tea of the Revolution, to have raised
    the first Revolutionary flag, to have shed
    the first blood in naval Revolutionary
    warfare. There was not much to stir
    the soul; – too much of the holiday oration
    style about it: the people were told that
    they could go to war and have a pretty
    easy time, – that they would be well taken
    care of, if sent to the hospitals, and that
    it was the duty of some of them to
    stay at home and take care of those who
    were left. Nobody spoke who meant to
    go to the war; one Irishman who had

    been captured at Bull Run spoke after I
    came away; that was said to be better
    than all else. said .– Give us some great,
    eternal principle to make our Country seem
    worth fighting for, and men and women will
    return to their first enthusiasm. But when
    human liberty, the release of our brethren form
    bondage is spoken of as one of the "side-issues"
    to be settled by and by, the wisdom of all
    these wise speakers sounds like foolishness
    which must be "set at naught."

    The new army has been raised by means of
    bounties of one, two, three, and four hundred
    dollars. The talk of drafting has created
    a host of diseases among men formerly "able-
    bodied," it is said. Some rich men from
    this patriotic town have gone a-fishing for
    the season, to escape the draft – mariners
    being exempt. – One man in Worcester
    enlisted, received his bounty, then went
    home and cut off three of his fingers; but
    his superiors decided that he must go
    to the war still, if only to be "a hewer of
    wood and a drawer of water."

    22nd [August 1862] That ridiculous editorial regarding
    "four eminent bards rusticating at Salisbury
    Beach," my name included, is sent back to me in
    two other papers! 'Tis too silly to be vexed at, but

    If I were anything "eminent" or "distinguished"
    I should not put myself in the way of
    any "chiel a' takin' notes," who did not
    know a little something of good sense and
    good taste. – All editors are not made
    of the same material; that is one comfort.

    23rd [August 1862] I am not going to Amesbury to-day,
    as I expected: instead, I am watching
    a wonderful sunset, clouds dusky-brown
    and black, swollen with windy rage, hay
    fringed with blood-red fleece from north
    to south, thence roll off eastward, leaving
    the sky clear for the comet and the
    Northern lights. I watched this strange
    freak of the sky, – it was all at once,
    pomp and serenity, many-hued passion
    and still blue tenderness, – I watched it
    from the house–top until the intense light and heat
    had changed into the darkness of one of
    our chilliest nights, such as will come
    sometimes in August. —

    There is a newspaper talk that the
    President is beginning to favor immediate
    emancipation, but that Mr. Seward
    and the Cabinet oppose. I believe
    the colored people themselves do not approve,
    as they are to be colonized in Central
    America, – a scheme which may be

    carried out partly, before long; but it looks
    to me as if the blacks would have their
    choice of a dwelling-place on this Continent,
    and as if they had a right to choose.

    McClellan's star is no longer in the
    ascendant; his admirers acknowledge
    that he has accomplished nothing as yet.
    Whether Halleck will be equal to the
    emergencies of the time, remains to be
    seen. Pope has retreated; – this, some say,
    will result in fearful sufferings to
    those whom he has required to take the
    oath of allegiance, –when the rebels resume
    their sway.

    [The next entry, at the bottom of this page, has not been transcribed. Please refer to the page image.]