The Letters of John Fiske

By Ethel F. Fisk ; John Fiske | Go to book overview
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VII

Cambridge, Mass., June 7, 1873.

Dear Mother:

Mrs. M. A. Edwards of Boston has written to Abby enclosing a check for $1,000. toward the sending of me to Europe for one year! She has been at all my lectures and she heard of my desire to consult with Herbert Spencer, Darwin, Huxley and other Evolutionists in England before publishing the lectures. She regards as very important the religious implications of the philosophy of Evolution as I present it.

Eliot said I ought to seize the opportunity by all means, and at the next meeting of the Corporation, I was unanimously confirmed for life in my place in the Library, and Eliot got me leave of absence for a year from August. I supposed it would be hardly possible to leave the Library, but Eliot immediately knocked over that obstacle. It has happened just right. It is a better year to leave the children than if they were a little older. And just now I am rather easier myself, financially, than usual; owing to economical servants, to my lectures, and most of all to the steady inflow of salary.

In every way I think this has come in the nick of time. Doesn't it beat the Old Harry?

I am living in dream-land; my head is turned with the year in Europe. I am weary with multiplicity of things to think about. When I get back from Europe I hope I can afford to stop magazine work, its worry is out of all proportion to its quantity. Do you remember Laurence Hutton, who went with us to Prospect Hill in Petersham in '70, and at whose house I lunched so delightfully in New York when lecturing there last year? And who gave Maud the pretty blue locket? He is a Scotchman and will be in Scotland September 1, and has invited me to spend a few days at his uncle's in Fife—an old‐ fashioned Scotch laird—where he promises me I shall have a grand time and see folk like those in Scott's novels.

-224-

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