Sophia Peabody Hawthorne (1809-1871) was kunstenares en de echtgenote van de Amerikaanse schrijver Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864). Na hun huwelijk hielden ze een gezamenlijk dagboek bij. De bladzij hieronder werd opgevuld door hun toen achtjarige dochter Una.
One rainy day in September 1852 (ten years after their marriage), while Nathaniel was off on an excursion to Maine, Sophia made this record of her domestic activities—reading to the children, paying a local carpenter for work on their house, awaiting the post.
September 13th Monday.
I have not written my journal since Friday. I was wholly exhausted on Saturday. I do not remember any thing in the morning except that Mr. Buttrick brought two newspapers & that I in vain looked for a letter from my husband – & the next thing I remember was Ellen rushing up to me after dinner as I lay extended on the floor with the letter I wanted in her hand. The revulsion of joy was so immense that my head almost burst asunder & all the rest of the day it ached so desperately that I had to hold it together, while my heart was dancing for joy. But in the evening it subsided. I wrote another sheet to my husband, my dear truest husband & sent it by Mr Adams, (who brought his to me), & he mended the drawers of the bookshelves, mended the table, put up a curtain fixture, & made two doors shut properly. I asked him for his bill for all he had done for us, & he gave it to me. It amounted to only 18 dollars. He asked but $1.50 for making the old mahogany dining table look as good as new. It began to rain very hard after Mr Adams went away. Una gave him some apples in his handkerchief to carry home. Una dearly loves to give. Baby slept till five.
[text written upside down in Una's hand:] My dearest mamma –
There was once a little boy & his papa & mama died & he had a little sister who was very good to him. One day as they were taking their morning walk they saw a beautiful light, & they went where they saw the light whitch came from a little cottege & an old woman lived there who was very kind to them & as it was very late she gave them some bread & milk for that was all she had, but they thought it was a beautiful supper. & then she made them a beautiful little bed & they were so glad & thought she was so kind & they lived with her always. do you [think] this is a good story.