Josephine Matilda deZeng
Geneva, New York
May came in and took dinner with me, and spent part of the afternoon, until 4 o'clock, when she left to take tea with Mrs. Watson. It has been very cold today & we had a very cosie time over the fire. About three o'clock Mr. McKinstry called. He was very agreeable, and stayed some time after May had left. He asked me to ride with him on horseback the first pleasant day, which I promised to do. He then said something about to-morrow, and I not remembering until he had left my engagement at Aunt Sarah's said yes. Ed Dox came in and sat some time, got some of the library books to return & promised to bring back some new ones. He came in just at tea time with "Kenilworth" and "The Disowned." He took tea & passed the evening. Kingsland came up to play with us in Concerto. We had finished & he was playing the air of some song that I was singing when May came in for me to go & sleep with her, which I accordingly did.
This morning after I came home I arranged my flowers, etc. and then dressed myself to go & see Rachel. I saw Mr. McK. also and told him of my previous engagement. While sitting there eating peaches, Mrs. L. Clark & Mrs. Foote came in. They told us Harriet Prouty had had an offer, that a gentleman had been up here from New York expressly to see her, his name I have since found to be Brown. We then talked over Josie's engagement & Janet reported one. On coming home I found Aunt S. here. She said she positively expected us to tea, & we must not fail. Just before dinner Mrs. & Miss Dey called. After dinner I was lying asleep on my bed, when Evie came up & said Maggie DeLancey was in the parlor. I dressed as expeditiously as possible. She looks sweetly in black. We talked over the "affairs & occurrences" of the many days that we had been separated, & then went down street shopping. We went into Mr. Hall's & there stood Ed Dox, he asked us to come into the office & eat peaches, Sue having brought from Hopeton a nice basketful. She told me she had not come to stay, but would come to make a visit in about three weeks. We eat peaches until all the softest & ripest were gone & then concluded it was time to go. When we got opposite our house I saw May T. E. in the door waiting for me. I then left Mag DeL. & crossed over to the former. We then started for Aunt Cutbush's, making a call at the Stoddards on our way. Sue Angus came in, and we got talking over the engagements, etc., when Annie Peyton appeared opposite. We called to her, & she came in. Anne Stoddard then asked the girls how their thistles had done, which they prepared at Mrs. Slosson, they all said one had grown. May T. E. & I then concluded to try it to-night. Annie walked up with us as far as Aunt C's gate, & then went back to Mrs. Gallagher's. Mag DeL. came in before we had got in the house with a mug of cream, and said her father thought it would hardly do for them to come in to tea so soon after their Aunt's death. I & Aunt S. went to the gate with Mag & stood talking a long time when Ed came up. He looked much pleased & talked some time. The Sutherlands & Rachel drove by & made a call & back & I then thought it time to run in the house. Ed Dox came up to tea, which by the way was very nice. We had a pleasant evening but left at nine o'clock in a real frolic. We looked all over Aunt C's yard for thistles but could find none. Auntie then gave us a piece of a candle & we started off to look for thistles on our way home. We found plenty, and came in here to fix them. It seems to me impossible for flowers to grow out after having been cut off close to the calyx & also separated from the root. But here's a trial. I have arranged them in a row—one is called a stranger, the next Ed DeLancey & the third H. Bleecker. So now to bed & may the flowers grow.
Lo! and behold! Henry has grown a half an inch. What does it mean? I hardly know what I would like, when I saw it was he grown I was perfectly delighted, but this morning Ed DeL. walked home from Church with me, & I thought that I had rather it had been he.
Mr McKinstry came to Church today. May I not flatter myself that he came to see me—but then what if he did or what if not? It ought to be a thing of no consequence to me, & I do not know that it is. I fear I am a "little" of a "flirt" sure enough. Miss Tillman tells me I am to have a new beau before the month is up. I hope to mercy it will be the last, so that my mind may be easy, & not full of flirting.
This morning Mr McKinstry called to see if I would ride this afternoon. I concluded to go as the weather is now so changeable, I did not think we could be sure of a pleasant day soon again. Just as he was on the point of leaving Sue Dox & Sue Clark called & we had a long & merry chat. I then went up stairs & finished the first vol. of "The Disowned," & got fairly into the second when "little May" came to know if I would come & take tea & spend the evening with Rachel after my ride. Yes—I then dressed & was ready just as the horses & beau arrived. We went to the Lake & round to Rose Hill. I rearranged myself on my return & went to Rachel's. There were only May T. E. & I at tea but after tea Mason Gallagher, Charlie Platt & Walter Ayrault called soon after Harriet Prouty & Mr. Bond, (he seems pretty well smité & soon after Sarah Sutherland. We were all very agreeable. I told May that Mr. King had been here, & she said she had a doubt H. would be here & take her home. She was quite amused about my thistle. Maybe it will be true. She thought it quite probable that he would be up about the time she goes home & take her. After I came home, Mama told me the Edward DeLancey had been to see me. I am very sorry I was out, as it is the first time since his return.
He brought me some peaches, perhaps as a "peace offering." They were indeed real beauties. I feel as if I liked him, I wish I knew my own mind. I think if H. comes it will all soon be settled. I feel a sort of a presentiment that I shall see him soon. I wonder it it is folly—I wish I could dream tonight a little into—Futurity — — —
Typescript of the diary provided by the Geneva Historical Society.