To ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS
May 11, , Philadelphia
Only time for a hurried thank you from my heart for Mrs. Wallace. I told Mr Davis of what you said on Saturday. ‘That is very generous in Mr Fields’ he said. ‘It is just like him,’ I replied. But indeed Annie the gift will do good. She is struggling so hard so independently—too—every five cents looked at before it goes. I did not write on Saturday wishing to see her for they are out in Germantown. But she was in this moment. I persuaded her to accept them. She cried a good deal poor thing—every kindness touches her so. I do not yet know her address but I will send it to you as soon as she goes. You and Mr Fields will know what books will circulate best—not the best for choice reading, you know. Well, I am so glad you did it, it is such a good thing to think you have given a little boat a helping shove from shore—isn’t it?
I am quite well again—and would be as happy if I could persuade Mr Davis that God has the war in His hand—and not he—
But I am very busy this morning & cannot say but a word—won’t you send me that revision of Mrs.[sic] Browning again—please—if you have it?
No indeed—you must not be afraid I will hate you for playing refracting midman[?]. I often think I know and care too little for criticism or style etc. but unless the motive with which I write is impugned it don’t touch me much, I confess. One thing in your letter did trouble me a little. If fancied one of the remarks was Mrs Fremont’s and I do not like that a second time she should say to others what she does not to me. I do like utter sincerity between friends such as she is to me. So if it wasn’t she I wish you’d tell me—I would be glad if it was not.
We are going there for a day perhaps did I tell you? Sometime this month or next I think. Remember us to Mr Fields and write soon. The next time I won’t have such a programme of work laid out as I have today I hope and so can take ‘more ease’ in writing
1. Sarah Cochran Wallace was the widow of Rev. Benjamin J. Wallace, editor of the Presbyterian Quarterly. RHD had asked Fields to help Sarah Wallace financially by sending Ticknor and Fields book for a circulating library.
2. RHD was writing a review of Robert Browning’s latest book, but it would never be published because James T. Fields did not want a negative review. Their dispute over the review would last several months. Another’s reviewer’s positive comments were published in 1864.
3. Jessie Benton Frémont (1824-1902).