[In back of Journal; entries from March 14, 1860-April 3, 1860. Transcribed verbatim except where noted.]
NoteBook Number Seven.
"The Times are hard."-never harder, Father says,-so I will scribble over these blank pages before asking him for another book-
"Coleoptera" (as Mother has chosen to name "Ed Clifford") has given me an addition to my Cabinet, in the form of some dozens of beautiful beetles. Also a bottle for collecting, etc. Shall commence hostilities against the Insects immediately. Obtained from Mary Bannister a fine idea for arranging a Cabinet.
-Write on my story all the forenoon every day, and am getting on finely. Find it much easier to depict characters as they actually exist-as I see them every day,-than to imagine them all. If I am successful in carrying out my design, I believe my book may do much good.
-Went to Class Meeting last night, with Mary and Kate. Am sorry to say that I have little pleasure in it. I'm not a good Crhistian,-I tremble when I think how inconsistent my life is.
And yet I will keep on:
"I can but perish if I go;
I am resolved to try;
For if I stay away I know
I shall forever die."
I must be "this or nothing";-there is no alternative.
-Went with Annie Simpson to Prof. Noyes.'
-Last night a "Serenade" transpired under our window. If I could adequately describe the "Scene" that occurred in our room while it was taking place, I should never lack for something to make merry over. Ha! ha! How "with one accord" Mary and I "gravitated from our couch";-with what unavailing zeal I made requisition for a match;-how the stove door flew open and the ashes were searched if paradventure a coal might be found among them;-how my latest "literary effort" was ruthlessly twisted into a "lighter," and then how did I grow black in the face in my vain attempts to coax a blaze out of the glowing coals;-how my fingers hissed and frizzled, and I regarded it not-how at length the serenaders retired in disgust and "directly their backs were turned" I succeeded in producing a "light" and placing it triumphantly on my desk;-and finally how I retired in disgust to a far corner of the room and mourned over my burned fingers and moralized on the vanity of all things earthly, while Mary stood with ghastly face and also moralized, but in her own peculiar strain-O "tell it not in Gath"-make no mention of it "outside the family."
-I am reading "Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy," and think there is much valuable information, & sound philosophy in the book, but find myself obliged to traverse a large amount of "ground" to reach it & think a "sifting" & compiling process would be beneficial in case of the ponderous tome I am writing about.