Tirzah’s Posts ~ 1869

Tirzah Miller 1860s

Sunday, June 13

Finished two delightful weeks at Willow Place.

May 23

Took that walk with Father Noyes. My last day on the paper. I petitioned to Father Noyes yesterday for a release. Aunt H. said to me last evening: “I think you deserve a great deal of praise for your course on the paper. You have done well, as I have always told you, and am glad you can have a release. You need not feel the least condemned for wanting to get out of it. It has been a steady strain upon you for a long time. You deserve a great deal of praise. You have been faithful over this, and you will be put over something greater.”

April 26

I have felt rather bad lately, fearing that if I remain so unmagnetic Mr. Noyes will not love me any more. Tonight he asked me if I would like to sleep with him. “I hope I can sometime again,” I said. “Let’s try it to-night.” “No, I am unwell now.” “Well, whenever you are ready, and feel like it, we will.” “Father Noyes, I think it puts a ligature on my life to be separated from you in this way.” “No, I guess not,” he answered. “You are getting united to me in a different way.” “I hope so.” “Let’s go off and take a long walk in the woods.” “Oh, I should like that.” “Well, some day when the weather is all right, and you feel like it, we will.” During the conversation he said: “But how much have you been with these other chaps lately?” I told him I had only staid away twice since his talk with me, and meant to follow the course of attraction. He was much pleased with that. He said he thought I had done well with the paper during Aunt H’s absence.

April 6

Slept with John Humphrey Noyes.  I dreaded to go, because I knew he must discover my unmagnetic condition.  He did fast enough.  In the night he said: “Would you like some criticism?”  “Yes, I should very much.”  “Well, there is no disguising the fact that you don’t attract me.  You impress me with the feeling that your sexual nature has been abused by your entering into sexual intercourse without appetite.  Spirits of men which are indigestible to you have come between you and me.”  “It is true, that I have slept with men without any appetite, and a great deal lately.”  “But why do you?  I thought you promised me once you wouldn’t.”  I told him I had not quite dared just follow my attractions in that aspect.  But he said I must, or it would spoil it all for me.  That is true even now, for I have been away so much this winter in a kind of duty-doing spirit with folks for whom I had no attraction, that I have lost all appetite for intercourse with men whom I love, and have always had splendid times with.  I have felt that it was a great expense to me, and was taking all the romance out of life; but I didn’t know what to do, and thought I was doing my duty.  Oh! I feel so relieved!  I had hardly dared to hope I need do nothing in this line but what I felt an attraction for.

March 27

Last night John Humphrey Noyes talked with me about having sexual intercourse performed on the stage. “We shall never have heaven till we can conquer shame, and make a beautiful exhibition on the stage.”

March 6

Last night I slept with J.H.N., and he talked with me for more than an hour.  He began like this: “I want you and Harriet Skinner to go into the study of literature.  Dig into it, and show it up, as I am American socialisms.  Theodore and I will attend to the sciences; you and Harriet attend to literature.  Study the science of literature.  Get at the causes of literature.  Find out how this infernal German atheism got sifted into so much of our literature.”

He said we must read magazines, and find out all we could about the leading novel literature, with analysis and criticism in view.  Criticise all the authors; contrast old English literature with the Boston.  Those English authors, taking Shakespeare as an example, wrote with an honest intention to entertain people; but these Boston and German writers try to influence their readers with their atheism and hatred of revivals.  Such work is dishonest, and ought to be kicked out.

“I guess I can’t let you have a baby for some time yet.  I want to get you into this work.  You must get so you can criticise Miss Peabody first.  You can make a better critic than Margaret Fuller, or Miss Peabody, or Miss Q-body.”  I told him I was in no hurry to have a child, and had had a kind of impression that I should not for two years.  He said he thought that was probable.  He talked a great deal more about what he wanted us to do.

January 19

John Humphrey Noyes said to me, “I suppose you haven’t decided yet whom you will choose for the father of your child, have you?”  Consuelo (Bradley Noyes) told me that J.H.N. told her today that he “liked Tirzah because she liked to come and have good long serious talks with him occasionally.”

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