Anne Brewster about Journalism and Finances, Diary Entry Excerpts (1876)
She feels content to be "of money value in this world."
Eventually, she writes about being deceived by a Mr Davey who stole her articles that she wanted him to sell to the Graphic. In the course of this breach of trust, Brewster breaks with the Graphic and is relieved to work for the New York World.
Brewster misses her "darling Mary Howell."
Diary (Entry) Item Type Metadata
[page 1] 17. June /76. Friday.
My Boston letter for the month is off; my paper basket with the accumulation of the winter is sorted: a Bulletin letter written and a number of little affairs attended to—all this I have accomplished this week I am walking an hour each day also and the movement does me good Dr +++ warned me that my pulse is mining down and insisted upon a daily constitutional. It is a great bore for in this part of the town there are only dusty streets. Still I make myself walk and really feel better for the exertion the weather is fresh. not pleasant however for it is cloudy and rainy; still this is better than heat although the dampness is bad for the health. & I am waiting for dinner to come in and have filled this gap[?] in the little moment between work ending & eating
[page 2] 19. June /76. Monday
I am so irritable and nervous yesterday I did too much—To Carlandis studies in the +++ and to the sculptor Rosa's in the aft, to Sr Lorengo to see Minardi's monument— Then to St Peter's to hear the +++—So to day I am trembling, nervous good for nothing. I have lost the ruin[?] over myself—some times I catch them; but I can not possess myself—make myself work.
Friday 23 June /76. 9 o'c morning
Yesterday I took a new apt: I am to be put in possession of it the second week of August the 7" It is a provisionary one which I am to occupy until a larger one in the same house and on
[page 3] the same floor is ready for me The larger apt: will be ready in Oct: or Nov: The advantage I gain is that for two or three months I shall be paying only 140 lire a month instead of 232 lire a month as I am paying at present. My income is so lessened that I must economize in rent and luckily rents are coming down The weathers is very oppressive I wish I could run off somewhere for this city air takes all the strength vigour and energy out of me. But I am out of money; daily I expect my little half yearly pittance. If it is enough to give me a couple of months in country air I shall be glad for this heavy atmosphere is depressing and injurious But I must stop grumbling and try to work.
[page 4] Grand Hotel +++ Perugia Saturday 29. July /76
I came to this place the 11" of July. and am very comfortable The people who keep the house are kind and upright. They take me en pension for all the summer give me a nice room, a good table, and are as at-tentive as possible. I have a lot of books with me and in the eighteen days I have been here I have done a great deal of work— ; These letters to the Bulletin [Philadelphia Evening Bulletin], the long one to the Boston advertiser; one to the N.Y. Graphic and an article for the New Century; at least if not more some than 15.000 words: besides private [both words inserted] letters a great deal of reading, and the usual journal reading every day I am tired however and long for a little rest. Every day I steal an hour and sit and "moon" I have a long balcony window in my
[page 5] room which looks on a cluster of trees in the garden and a stretch of bleu sky. I love to set and look at the quivering leaves and floating clouds. There is a South balcony to a little parlour at the other end of this corridor; the view is on the Lifer valley and the great ranges of mountains. I love to go there and "moon" I am alone in the house no other lodger and do as I please—But I work steadily—that police officer necessity says "go on" dont [sic] block up your way with mooning" & so I stop idling and am really industrious. But never in my life did I so long for leisure. I have not even time to write a friendly letter I have come to the point when every moment is precious. and yet with all my work I make hardly
[page 6] $1000 gold a year. What a grumbler I am! My half yearly income this July [both words inserted] was barely $500 gold! But I am listing my expenses. I have bought nothing new this summer and have paid off all my little bills—My rent will be over 60 francs less a month 120 a month instead of 184— enough to pay for my service and as I shall be working steadily I shall feel easier in means My dear friend Julia Bean[?] is dying in Paris I am afraid—and my darling cousin Lottie is dying at home in Philada It is most sorrowful. But in a few years it will be my term. Death must come before long to me. In twelve years I shall have completed my three score years and ten. Nearly all the darlings have gone on before me. Soon I must follow!
[page 7] 26 Aug: /76 Saturday Perugia
Such a busy month has this been since I last wrote on the 29. July! I went to Rome for a week on the 7. of Aug: and with H's valuable and moved from P. Albain to 107. +++ Fontane into a provisionary apt. Shortly I shall be summoned down to Rome for the moving into my permanent apt. which is being put in order now. I have accepted an engagement from the "World" (N.Y.) thus I have now 11 letters a month and am the cor-respondent of two of the best journals also for [both words inserted] in America and two well known +++ ones Boston Advertiser & World as the first N.Y. Graphic & Bulletin are the last. I am to send a weekly letter to the world in the season about 8 months of the year and as often as I please the other months. The engagement will give me about $500 gold a year–
[page 8] In all I can make about $1500 a year non c'e male and probably not work more laborious ly than for my two letters—I always amass too much material—I have already sent off 2 world letters one 7 Aug: the other on 24 Aug: and three Graphic letters. I am more cheerful too thank God! Probably this independence helps me. This certainty of good means. My small income has troubled me & am sorry to say more than it ought to have done. I am happy to feel able to help myself there is a great exhilaration of mental spirits to be obtained from the consciousness of being of money value in this world. It comes to the same whether one has money or is able to make it. Indeed I think the one who makes it has the vantage when is counted in the pride & satisfaction
[page 9] It has been raining finely for some two [inserted] days. A grand burrasco and tempest are coming up now The thunder rolls and the poor +++ branches beat about wildly. The poor little delicate leaves turn their pale backs to the wind and tremble as if they shivered at the approach of their autumn death—their "fall of leaf" How grandly the clouds are massed and they march on like an +++. The great heats are gone. This is the "capo d'inverno" as the Italian call the "mezzo Agosto" storm. In a few weeks winter will be with us— only too soon! The decreasing days are always saddening and yet [there] are many bright autumn ones yet in stove for us— I am peaceful, contented and stronger in health. Up to work— —proud to have it. proud to do it God be thanked.
[page 10] 11' Sep. /76 Monday
I have had a most disagreeable trouble with a Mr Davey a sort of literary friend or acquaintaince. I never saw the man. He wrote to me two yrs ago to ask me to help him in a +++ life of Beatrica Cenci he wished to write. I have done all I could for him and sent him books he needed at my own expense This spring I sent him over 30 +++ of Italian plays & libretti of operas. He offered to help me in my literary work and spoke of me to the Graphic which I accepted. He advised me to write an article on Sand and said he would sell it to some leading Magazine either in Eng: or America & sent him an article on Stern & Sand in June. In Aug: an article (the 1' past[?]) on Sand by Davey [both words inserted] came out in Lippin: [Lippincott's] In Sep the 2 pt: appeared in Lippen: and one third of it was made up of my article the remains of which he gave to the
[page 11] "Graphic" in a very mutilated state as an ordinary weekly letter from me! The "Graphic"'s terms are low only $7 or $8 a column. about the time I discovered this dishonesty of D's the Graphic Editor wrote me saying he could not let me draw on him when 500 frcs[?] gold was due that when a round sum was owing he would send it to me. I seized the chance to break with the "Graphic" on that ground I was so disgrusted with the D. affair and I saw that the two men meant to use me. Now that I have the "World" I am satisfied. It is a respectable prosperous journal and pays me $10 gold a column, and I am to write it a weekly letter when I please. The "Graphic" says low price and is not the sort of journal I care to write for so I am glad to be rid of it. I write a short sharp letter to Mr. D. ending
[page 12] him for the future. I sent a bill to the "Graphic" which I suppose will not be paid, as I hear it is very hard to get money from. I am glad to be done with it before I have lost too much labour on the journal. Now I have 9 letters a month quite enough for my strength I am trying to write all my October letters for Bulletin & World so as to have the mouth clear of work for putting my house in order I have selected Perugia subjects. The autumn is fast gathering in[?] to be sure up on this mountain top we feel it more sensibly than down in Rome. To day has been a gray drizzly day—I managed to get a walk and to write part of the Boston letter for this month and rec: some visits also beside writing two letters reading all my journals and some other reading. I am a litte dumpy and down hearted to night
[page 13] not exactly low spirited, but I miss dear Mary Howell. I'd like to write to her to night—This time last year I had her—my poor dead darling! Then poor Julia Beers is worse. She is coming back to her home to die I am afraid. She will be in Rome about the 23d Poor Julia! Life is very mysterious. We go on living and hoping, planning and acting as if I were to endure for ever. We lose friends but we don't think of our own death—until suddenly some deaths close to us strike wn so forcibly that it [inserted] is as if we suddenly opened our ages and saw our own graves yawning before us—ready to swallow us up Since Mary Howell's death & have felt old and sentenced—I no longer care to plan or hope. Then dear Lotties [sic] and poor darling Julia's sad states seem redoubled warnings—In a little while I too shall be gone!
[page 14] I don't death as I used to I love life even its present lonely state. Yet, I dont [sic] shrink from death there are times indeed when I think of the great change with a feeling of relief. as if it would be rest and peace God grant it may be. and God in mercy grant the solemn hour may come to me as it did to my darling Mary Howell, in the sweet quiet moments of sleep let me pass gently into that other existence without long illness and suffering & struggle I shall try to possess and order my daily life even more than in the past—Ward off all causes of unrest Live with myself as much as possible Purify my heart of all evil thoughts Luckily I am so closely occupied with pleasanr intellectual work that I am spared many worldly temptations. Time is graciously given me to collect my spiritual strength—Thank God!