I do not know that I have ever had so severe a trial as this. My thoughts are intent upon it night and day; I do not sleep for it, I cannot read with it. This morning I went to see Abby at Mrs. Frothingham’s and for half an hour suffered severely. The muscles of my face could hardly be kept in order, by which I judge the struggle must have
been great. I accompanied her to Julia Gorham’s but was glad to get away to my room again to indulge in solitude and gloom. My life here in Boston in the midst of solitude and the depressing feelings occasioned by the kind of dependence which I experienced through my engagement last year, are terrible to think of. The course of Mr. Brooks to me has not been handsome, intimating as he does that my youth and want of occupation are objections to me, without thinking that such allusions do no good now
and irritate my feelings besides. These things remain in a tenacious memory and will probably have no very pleasant effect in future life if ever I should surmount my difficulties, either upon his happiness or mine in the relations we may hold to each other. How much might be spared men in this life. Rolling in wealth as he is, a little well disposed might do much, but with a timid doctrine, the consequence of habits of early years, he delays it while every day takes off something from the value of the gift. The only reason for delay is not known to him. It remains with me. Were it not for that, she should be mine directly. The day passed on.
In the evening, I attended a meeting of the Private Debating Society1
to which I have been admitted a Member. A debate took place which lasted until after nine o’clock, so that though strongly tempted I did not see Abby this evening. This is the first of my self-denial.