Petersham, August 27, 1879.
I have just finished a game of Casino with Miss Hopkinson, in which I was vanquished. We have some very close games. There are a lot of Hopkinsons here, Miss Hopkinson's mother, and her brother John Hopkinson of Hopkinson's School, and family. They all seem to have been infected by the Petersham bug and to love the place.
I read every afternoon, yesterday I read 300 pages. But on the whole we are having a tolerably lazy time. Harold and Clarence ride horseback a good deal and now and then I quit work and go for a drive. Laurence Hutton and his mother have been making a long stay at the Nichewaug. Everybody likes them. À propos, we were making charades the other evening, and old Mrs. Hopkinson made this, which is good enough to transcribe:
My first is humbler than a cot:
My next—invert it and it's not:
My whole—but why relate the rest?
You children have already guessed;
Of all our friends they are the best.
Saturday evening I gave my lecture "Spanish and French Explorers" in the Unitarian Church on the Common, admission .25 cents, for the benefit of the free Library here at Petersham. The idea occurred to me and it pleased the people very much. Had an audience of over 200. I have been told that everyone who heard it wants to hear them all. It is proposed that I give a course here next summer. After lecture we all filed in to Captain Mudge's for ice cream.
I am having fun reading aloud Mrs. Stowe "Poganuc People" to a group of ladies at the Nichewaug. And I have given "Huguenots in Florida" to the whole gang on the piazza here at Brooks house. The ladies brought their sewing and it was delightfully informal.
But today has beaten them all! Left in early morning, dew still