October 24, 1890. Several new projects have sprung up lately.
One is to take the house next door, which is to be let. Miss Cooper, Miss Chambers
and Mr. Sturdy are those most likely to guarantee the rent. The house has a nice
garden and conservatory, and as we should have a door of communication open into our
house, or rather grounds, it would form a larger centre of force and activity at Avenue
Road. On the first Monday of every month, Mrs. Cooper-Oakley and I are going to be
at home in the evening. H.P.B. says that it is absolutely necessary to work in all
grades of society, and Society people have entirely ignored us since we have lived in
Avenue Road; so we are going to make a supreme effort to attract them to the house.
You may fancy how serious H.P.B. is when she orders evening dress.
March 6, 1891. Things are going pretty well here. The Thursday
evenings are continued, though H.P.B. is seldom present; in fact, we rarely see her
now. She shuts herself up for days together. She is having a room built out
into the garden, leading from her own room; and then, I expect, she will shut herself away
altogether. As she grows weaker, she finds it trying to have so many people buzzing
April 19, 1891. H.P.B. is certainly growing more and more feeble,
and she feels that to be able to do any work at all she must be quite alone, so as to
enable her to concentrate her energies. Her present sitting-room is a passage room
to the E. S., and she cannot have that quiet and solitude that are necessary; and so the
inner room, now being built, will be closed to all outsiders, relations included.
Part of the money has been given to her, the remainder will be taken from the profit from
her books. She says that her body is now so broken and shattered that it is only by
being much alone that she can keep it together; and I expect the day will come when she
will shut herself up altogether, and only occasionally see those in the house. As it
is, we never go near her except in the evening.
May 25, 1891. We have indeed had a terrible time, and it seems
hardly possibly even now to realise that H.P.B. is gone. We all felt so sure that
she would live to the end of the century; so that though all this winter we have seen her
continually failing and decreasing in strength, we were not really alarmed. H.P.B.
did very little work this winter; and as I wrote you before, gradually separated herself
from us. I believe now that she knew that the end was coming soon, and did this to
accustom us to her absence, and also to watch us and see how we should get on alone
without her; and now we have to work alone and do the best we can.