Diary of Thomas McClelland January-March1860
January 1, 1860
Sunday 1st-- The first day of the new year, and my first attempt at journalizing. Heard the Rev. Dr. Phelps of the Old School Presbyterian church, preach at 11 o'clock. His sermon was short, lasting probably not more than twenty minutes, but instructive. In the afternoon read the President's message (infandum). Commenced to read Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Weather exceedingly cold: Thermometer 24° at sunrise this morning.
Monday 2nd-- Immediately after rising this morning, I went down to the village. The thermometer stood 26° below zero. It was with the greatest difficulty that I kept from freezing. Read some in Lingard's History of England. Book 2nd Chap. 5 subject Henry II, who reigned in the twelfth century. The life and character of Thos. A' Becket was exhibited in this reign. Lingard gives Becket a good name, and counts him a martyr to the Christian Doctrine.
Visited several houses this P.M. soliciting subscription for the "Court of Death1", a picture taken from the original painting of Rembrant Peal. [sic: Rembrandt Peale] The scarcity of money hindered everyone from subscribing. The evening mail brought me a letter from a friend and a catalogue of Michigan State University. The circular reads very favorably. It is, eventually, a first class school. Friends Erskin and Hill spent the evening with us. Singing and playing the fiddle was the programme for the evening. Lo! It is 12 o'clock and I must to bed.
Tuesday 3rd-- To-day I sawed two and a quarter cords of wood for Mr. Jones. I take my pay from J.L. Taylor in the form of a picture-- The "Court of Death," costing $1.12 1/2. This is a splendid picture and hard times can't hinder me from purchasing it. I have read but little to-day. The northern mail brought me a letter from Prof. Butler2 of Wis. State University containing instructions for conducting a commonplace book. The professor writes just as he talks, with a kind of wild hilarity, and no regard to a correct mode of letter writing.
Wed. 4th-- First day of the winter term of school. Some new students and a few of the old ones have returned. The sound of the Coll. bell and the sight of familiar faces looks like old times. I have worked a little this day and studied a little, and all in all have accomplished very little. A telegram this eve. announces the election of Sherman, (Repub.) for Speaker in the house of Congress for the coming session. Hurrah! for the Republicans. Eleven o'clock, Hayden above arranging his room, and making a good deal of noise, so I must to bed.
Thursday, 5th-- Rose this morning at 4 1/3 o'clock took the N.Y. Tribune and Chicago Press + Tribune went to South College, built on two fires, sat down and read the news until prayer time, 8 o'clock. After prayers went into the school room. The representation there was very small. From appearances the Department will be slim this Term. Prepared a Greek-recitation for half past two in the afternoon. When the hour of reciting came only three of the class made their appearance in the room, Hayden3, Copp4, and myself. Tallmon came in after we were through but with the wrong lesson. The room being cold, we read over the lesson in ten minutes and quit. Partly prepared a Latin lesson this evening and ate an Oyster supper--the first I ever ate. They (the oysters) were very good.
Greek , and I must go to bed.
Friday, 6th-- Was late at prayers, did not go in, and was marked accordingly. Recited in Virgil at quarter past nine, made rather an ordinary recitation--must apply myself harder to my studies. At the Greek recitation this afternoon only part of the class were present, made a passable recitation. In the evening went to the Lyceum but there were not enough members to form a quorum the meeting was postponed for a week. Advanced a very little to-day in general knowledge, must exert myself more hereafter.
Saturday, 7th-- I spent, by myself, not very profitably. By some mishap, Prof. Porter informed the class that there would be no recitation to-day, in Latin, and I did not get the lesson. I read the Cincinnati times; read over my Greek for Monday with Tallmon5 and Rood6;
read out part of Virgil for Monday morning; and spent an hour in the evening talking. In the evening I read an account of the Illinois State Democratic Convention. They had a very honorable meeting S.A. Douglas7 was the choice for President in 1860. He is as strong a man as the Democrats have in their ranks. I am for Seward8.
Sunday, 8th-- Attend divine service at the Presbyterian church Rev. Mr ----- Agent for Missionary extension society, text Math. 13:33; "Another parable spare he unto them; The kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, + c. Subject for discussion in Tutor De Forest's Bible Class "Dissention about circumcision Acts 15. In the afternoon heard the President lecture on the life of Christ. Attended Dr. Phelps' church in the evening heard his first of a course of lectures before the young men of Beloit. A very interesting discourse.
Monday, 9th-- Commenced studying my Latin lesson at 4 o'clock this morning: had a good recitation. At noon bought two loads of wood--price $2.70. Got to the Greek class after the grammar was recited; had a perfect lesson in reading. This evening I read the Chicago Press and Tribune. Latest news from Washington, Sat. 7th vote for Speaker: whole number of votes cast 211, necessary for a choice 106. Sherman Repub. 103, the rest scattering. Weather mild, with a little rain.
Tuesday, 10th-- Rose this morning at half past three: had a fever; went back to bed and slept to five. To-day's lesson in Virgil was extremely hard, consequently I did not have a good lesson. Learned something of Ancient Mythology in the Greek Reader: subject, "The golden fleece." Have read but very little miscellaneous readings to-day. Looked over the Tribune N.Y. not much in it. No speaker yet. The night has the appearance of being uncommon stormy. At dark the snow fell very rapidly and has continued to do so up to this hour-- 10 o'clock. Bought a music book, to learn the note out of. Davis, of the freshman class, is to be teacher. Mack9, in No. 9, above me has been noisy to-night, much to my annoyance.
Wednesday, 11th-- No lessons to-day. Rhetorical exercise come regularly at 11 o'clock, A.M., and public exercise before the College at 1 1'2 o'clock. Messrs. Rood and Tallman represented the Sen. Prep. Class. Asked Principal Fisk10 for the composition which I wrote over a year ago, and gave to him to correct. He seemed to be displeased at my asking him. He promised to give them to me to-morrow. Looked over my Virgil, it is very hard, four times worse than Greek. Bascom11 of the freshman class comes back into our class this term. I read a letter from Arad McCutcheon of Blue Grass, Ind. this evening. All Blue-grass has turned into school teachers. A telegram from Washington yesterday announced no speaker yet.
Thursday, 12th-- Regular lessons to-day; nothing, farther of importance. In the evening took my first lesson in music. Music is out of my line of study, I discover.
Friday, 13th-- Did not have a good lesson to-day. The poet is very hard. Got a bad cold and don't feel well. This evening, went to the Debate but took no part--poor question,--poorly discussed. 'Tis 11 and I must be up at 5 o'clock.
Saturday 14th-- In consequence of the the Society holding fourth last night, we only had a half lesson in Latin this morning. After recitation, Tallman and I got out our Greek for Mond. Afternoon I looked over part of my Virgil. Have been consulting Hume's History of Eng. concerning the reign of Charles I and Commonwealth. I am principal on the question--"Res. that Oliver Cromwell12 + c" to be discussed next Friday eve. I take the affirmative, defending Charles.
Sunday 15th-- Prof. Blaisdell preached in the Presbyterian Church this A.M. Text Job 25:4. The first part of his discourse was very good. Being asleep, I could not judge of the latter part. President's subject this P.M. was Christ's Transfiguration on the mount. The President preached an excellent sermon. Dr. Phelps delivered his second lecture
to the young men of Beloit this eve. Subject from 119 Psalm. He attempted to proove that the Philosophy of Reason is false, while that of Revelation is true. He treated his subject well, meeting the expectation of his audience.
Monday--16th This day has passed off very pleasantly. I had good lessons. My Latin was all properly translated; of the Greek, but little faults could be found: one word I misconstrued. I recieved by mail this eve a letter and wholesale catalogue from C.M. Laxton, Barker H. + Co. Publishers, 25, Park Row, NY. The singing school of A.P. Davis was in session an hour this evening. I discover that I will make but little progress in music. A severe cold, accompanied with a painful breast, makes me very uncomfortable. I trust that in a few days I will be well. Deus reghat omnes.
Tuesday 17th Cough, cough, cough continually! When will the wretched cold leave me? Played three games of checkers to night and got beat every time. Have made some preperation for debate on Friday evening. Goldsmith has been my author. If he tells the truth, Cromwell was a base and uncultivated politician.
Wednesday 18th-- Davis has come in town this evening. He has been sick, which accounts for his delay. Rec. by mail a letter from S.C. Griggs + Co. They can get a copy of Bowen's Virgil by sending to Boston. I shall order a copy or two in the morning. Principal Fisk returned my compositions today. I wrote them over a year ago, but have ben put off from time to time, and finally recieved them uncriticised. No rhetorical exercise today. Two weeks from today, I write a composition, the first for the term. Have made some advancement in arranging arguments for next evening's debate. Cromwell will have to catch it.
Friday--20th We had a very interesting debate to-night. The first arguments were not so explicit as they
should have been. My fault in debating is, I advance too many arguments to the neglect of clinching them, that is I do not enter into a long train of reasoning and expanding to establish firmly a statement. Hill on the opposition, as his custom, upon taking the stand, began to sneer at the arguments of the affirmative, to disgrace the speakers of that side in the eyes of the president and the members. He made a great display with his hands and actions on the stage but his influence on the question was not felt. Taylor defended his side well; producing sound arguments. Sitts, my assistant, stormed considerably and upon the whole done his duty. Very few volunteer speakers. The debate closed at half past nine. The discussion was given in favor of the affirmative. He decided that the arguments proving that Cromwell's actions were more for his own aggrandizements than for the good of the British people.
Saturday 21st-- Rood and I read our Virgil lesson slightly this afternoon. Spent a good deal of time to-day in idleness. Received a letter from Aunt Liza which I read with much satisfaction. Aunt is a better letter--writer than most of women. We had a great sing in Bascom's room this evening. Hill bass, Rood tenor, Bascom and I treble. Kopplin13 and Charles Allair alto. Dock14 flutist. My picture, "The Court of Death" came to-day. It is a spendid picture.
Sunday 22nd-- This has been a very pleasant day. Professor Blaisdell15 preached from Romans 3:20. "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh justified in his sight." The subject for discussion in our bible class, was, Dissension about Circumcision "Acts, 15 chap. Doctor Phelps' lecture this evening was one of interest. He has a good audience every night.
Monday 23rd-- Rose at 3 o'clock, got a good Latin lesson, and recited at the usual hour. Attended singing school at night; learned a little
in the first rudiments. Wrote a letter to Bob. The day has been pleasant with the exception of the water on the ground. The snow is most all gone.
Wednesday 25th-- Not a solitary exercise to-day. Pre-pared the Virgil for to-morrow with Rood. I forgot to go to Collins' to do his work this morning. They got another person to attend to it. The speaking of the College students at one and a half was very good. Division No. 1 Senior Prep. Class, read compositions this forenoon. As a general thing they were very good. I read with Division No. 2 next Wednesday. Have not spent the day to a very good advantage--we certainly ought to have a recitation, in the morning, in Latin or Greek. Two new students to-day; one in the Freshman class, from Yale! The other of friend of Rood's--a prep.
Friday 27th-- Received a letter from Bob this eve, the first I have received in two months. His letters are rather weakly, hardly worth the postage. The debate was very animated to-night. The floor was occupied nearly all the time. The decision was in favor of the negative. I think the arguments, on the victorious side, were for a great part foreign to the question. They portrayed the horrors of Catholicism. The aff. based their arguments, on the constitutionality of protecting Catholics in their views, and the true philanthropy of receiving them. Answered Bob's letter and now go to bed at 1 o'clock Sat. morning. Must get up at six.
Saturday 28th-- Doctor Jewett16 of Mass. interested the citizen of this place, on the subject of temperance. The discourse was sound and learned. He spoke an hour and a half. He speaks tomorrow at the Presbyterian Church at 8 o'clock.
Monday 30th-- Received a letter from R.P. Edgington to-day. He is an ignorant jackass, and talks about things he knows nothing about. With all the audacity of a
petifagen, he trys to vindicate the justice of the people of Virginia in hanging John Brown17, and prooves himself a scribler, a miserable speller and construction of the language he uses. When a question of such importance comes before the people, and has been fully discussed, by the best men of all parties: when others will pick up the dry and incipent cud and after chewing it sufficiently, send it fourth in a letter, poorly written, misspelt, with no regard to punctuation, and in a word, a develish weak piece of composition, from a still weaker mind, it may then be pronounced intolerable. I may answer his letter, as a personal friend.
Doctor Jewett lectured to-night in the Cong. Church, subject "Alcohol." He spoke for more than two hours. A very scientific speech. The weather is cold, very windy, and the appearance of storm.
Wednesday 1st-- Rhetorical exercise to-day. I had to compose my composition and copy it off before meeting the class at 11 o'clock. I am fully convinced that it is folly to undertake to write a good composition in so short a time. I promise myself to be more faithful to my next composition. The public speaking in the college this afternoon was very good. Davis held his singing school immediately after speaking. Read a letter from P.B. Barlow. He is teaching the "young ideas how to shoot," after the most approved fashion.
Thursday 2nd-- We had the conjugation of the verbs ________ and ___________. It was a hard lesson, and very poorly recited. We have _____, ______, and ________ for to-morrow. I anticipate that they will be better recited. The atmosphere has turned very cold to-night. A telegram to-day, announces the election of a Republican speaker. Sherman unfortunately had to withdraw
through motives of policy. Quite a religious interest seems to be arising among the members of the Prep. Dp't. Prayer meetings are held every few evenings.
Friday --3rd Dock received a letter from home yesterday and some papers to-day. Some snow fell last night, but no sleighing. Election of officers took place in the Phlagorean [sic:Philagorean] society to-night. No debate. Richings called in the room after the society meeting, and spent the evening. We had a lively time.
Saturday 4th-- My birth day. O tempora! Twenty-one years gone and what am I? Where am I? A poor student in the Senior Prep. class Beloit coll. Preparing to enter College next July. A college course ahead of me, and no money. I meditate, and the result is, I must be up and adoing or the result will be I shall come out at the "little end of the horns." At this season six years ago, 1855, I attended a district school in southern Indiana, kept by Mr. Hennesy. Five years ago, 1856, I was hauling grain to Lacin and Minonk for Jos. Ball in Crow Creek, at $17 per month. Four years ago, 1857, worked for Jonas Ball, Crow Creek, for $19 per month. Three years ago, 1858, I taught school in Rook Creek for $35 per month. Two years ago, 1859, I attended school in Beloit where I am know. Eighteen hundred and sixty finds me still in Nth [probably refers to North] College poring over Lexicons, atlases, dictionaries, ink-stand and lamp.
The evening mail brought me a letter from my old chum, Charles Barton. He is in Missouri. I should judge from his letter that he was the same old Charley. To-night I wrote a letter to mother and commenced another to Aunt Lize. Evening closed by finishing the "Times," and reading a little from Tom Moor. _________________________________________________
Monday 6th-- Recited two Greek lessons to-day. I like the Greek very well, but when it comes to two lessons per day, to the exclusion of other studies, I don't like it so well. I went to hear the celebrated colored orator, H.F. Douglass18 speak in Hanchett's Hall19 this eve. Although too radical in his views on the great question of the day, yet he is as good a speaker as ever I heard. A sound, logical, and well arranged debate, intersperced with many witty remarks. A letter came to me from Illinois, in the Chicago mail to-night, a correspondent whom I am sick sore and tired of. I wish people could have enough discretion about them to attend to their own business.
Tuesday 7th--To review this day from its commencement, and add up the sum of my labors I am afraid they would fall short. I recited regular at the two Greek recitations, but there was time spent in idleness which ought to have been devoted to reading. Copp and Kopplin came in to-night and we had a noisy time for a while. I have been trying to write an answer to the letter I received yesterday, but have made no headway. I hope to be discreet enough not to act too sever toward the silly writer, still I want to award the merited rebuke.
Wednesday 8th-- Another Rhetorical day. Div. No 1 comprising the class from Copp to Hayden, declaimed. Compositions of 2nd division, written last week were returned. I never presented such a miserable piece of writing to the teacher before. Words misspelt, ungrammatical constructions, poor chirography20, in a word, a botched job. I will take more pains with my next. Spent the evening with Tallmon. He prepared our lesson, and afterward I read a little the American Statesman, concerning the bill for a protective tariff agitated in Washington in 1825. Clay's speech for the tariff, Webster's against it. The two great statesmen were in the lower house then, and displayed in their arguments as
sound arguments as ever they did subsequently in the Senate.
Thursday 9th-- Tallmon's alarm clock frighted me out of bed and nearly out of my wits. this morning at 4 o'clock. I arrived at home before six. Read my mail after it came in, and looked over the Greek lesson for to-morrow with Tallmon, Hayden and Mack. A letter from Bob brought me five dollars which I needed bad enough. I will now begin to pay off my debts. Mother also addressed me a few lines in Bob's letter.
Friday 10th-- Finished Mythology, and commenced the Anabasis of Alexander21, to-day. The Expedition is peculiarly hard. The Society adjourned to-night to attend the lecture before the Archaean Society delivered by Dr. Holland22, Author of Timothy Titcomb's Letters. His subject, entitled "Work + Play" was well treated. He seemed to give very good satisfaction, both in composition and delivery. He advocates amusements for all classes without distinction, offering arguments to proove that it is absolutely necessary for the full development of the physical, mental and moral faculties, to play.
Saturday 11th-- Have been busy to-day. First Greek recitation, then a letter to my Ill. correspondent mentioned in Diary Feb 6th. I anticipate that it will fulfill its mission to my satisfaction if not to the satisfaction of the received. Received a letter from Lewis Edgington this eve, containing nothing of interest. Commenced to read "Landvuieglee23", a small work of travel in Europe, by Wm. Furniss. It is very interesting.
Monday 13th-- Rose at four this morning and prepared my Greek recitation for nine o'clock. The atmosphere has been rather damp. All the snow and ice melted off leaving the ground muddy. Enjoyed another eve
in Davis' singing class. My head feels pretty thick to-night, so I will lay by the text books, and for the next hour read "Landvoieglee".
Tuesday 14th-- Two hard Greek lessons have been recited to-day, and an awful one assigned for Thursday. Twenty-six lines, of the expedition of Alexander. Rood called in this evening to borrow my Greek Reader, as he left his own at his boarding house. I did not lend it to him, expecting to study some myself to-night. I think when a fellow has studied two days right hard he should spend an evening in miscellaneous reading. I anticipate finishing "Landvoieglee", before going to bed. I have a letter written to send to Fowler and Wells for "Life Illustrated," three months. Had a friendly chat with Miss Dewy, before tea. We have had a pleasant day. The Female Professor, from Rockford, still continues to visit the recitation rooms, altough she has never been in, during any of our recitations.
Wednesday 15th-- Declaimed at 11 o'clock. Made a good recitation. Cheated the washerwoman out of fifty cents by washing some of my own clothes. Sawed wood an hour and read very little. Recieved two letters. One from Mrs. Edge and Ell. and one from Kade. Thinks he is "some pumpkins", and I am sorry to say that he is a jackass. I must write him a note, showing him where he stands. Called in Hayden's room this eve, and got out the Greek lesson for morning. Snow fell brisk for an hour this morning, but to no effect. The atmosphere has become very cold since dark. It will singing in the morning.
Thursday 16th-- Have spent this whole blessed evening in answering Kade Edg's letter. The Greek will be awfully translated to-morrow, if I don't be up early in the morning. Education does not consist entirely in one's superior knowledge of Latin and Greek. ------ (Awful conclusion) (Reviewed March 7 '60.)
Friday 17th-- The peace of our good Society was much disturbed this evening. After a spirited debate was P. Davis, addressed the chair while another gentlemen occupied the floor, and was not recognized. He insisted. The president called him to order. He refused. The President fined him, he continued his insulting language. The President continued to fine him, until his fines amounted to fifty or seventy cents when he calmed down. The Society passed a vote of censure on Mr. Davis. It seems to be the disposition of the Society to sustain the President, at the peril of displeasing Mr. Davis. The conduct of the Society is to be admired, for the promtness [sic:prompness] with which it rebuked the gentleman.
Monday 20th-- In luck, got five dollars in the mail to-night. Received a letter from an unknown jack ass. I don't know whether a hemale or a shemale. Went to singing school, but unfortunately did not have my lesson. I have made some exertion to get names to the resolutions which will come before the Society next Friday night, relative to G.P. Davis' conduct last evening. Out of eighteen members who were present, eleven have endorsed the resolutions. Copp and some others, poor lickspittles24! for fear of offending Judge Davis' son, refused to cooperate with us in defending the Pres. and censuring Davis.
The day has been very fine. We have had very little fire all day. Our last advance lesson in Greek was recited from 3 to 4 this P.M. We now commence to review. Tomorrow morning we have, The "Destruction of Thebes."
Tuesday 21st-- I made one of the most miserable recitations this morning that I ever made in Beloit, and hardly redeemed myself this afternoon. Fy, Fy, I must study harder. Received a treat in the form of a letter this evening. The writer done just as desired her to do. All she lacked was the exhibition of a little common sense, and a good deal of discretion. The day has been very warm. We need no fire. It rains to-night.
Wednesday 22nd-- I attended the ordination of Professor Emerson to-day at half past two o'clock. Very few were present owing to the condition of the roads. My class has had no exercise since yesterday, except the public exercise before the college this P.M. Hayden and Goddard represented the class. I have studied a little to-day.
Thursday 23rd-- The day assigned for fasting and prayers throughout the U.S. for Colleges. Meeting was held in the Chapel this morning at 10 o'clock. I was not present but am told it was a good meeting. In the afternoon the people assembled at the Con. Church, where prayers, singing and speaking were participated in. Rev. Dr. Brimsmade, Rev. Dr. Emerson25, Rev. Dr. Chapin26, and Rev. Graves of 2nd Con. Church spoke. It was a reving [possibly meaning "revealing"] meeting, both to Jews and Gentiles.
Friday 24th-- We had a warm time in the Society to-night. The friends, not real, but those who would fawn to him and beg his favor, of Mr. Davis, arrayed themselves in goodly numbers, to oppose the resolutions draughted by Mr. Davis' true friends, purporting to censure Mr. Davis, for improper conduct. We carried our point in regard to having the resolutions read and having them lay over until next week. They have enough leaches sticking to them to defeat us, but thank God we have the most staple members on our side, those who have always maintained the interest of the Society, and the majority by two thirds of those who witnessed Mr. Davis' conduct.
After the debate, I went to Rood's room where we read Mythology, and the siege of Thebes prior to examination, tomorrow at 9 1/2 o'clock. I got home at midnight.
Saturday 25th-- We were examined in Greek at 9 1/2 o'clock this morning. I think I done well. As a general thing the class was only common.
Wrote two letters to-day, one to C.H. Ray, Chicago Press and Tribune, and one to Gov. Randal27, Madison. I received a letter from Griggs & Co. stating that they had sent to Boston for Bowen's Virgil. Read "Life Illustrated" some this P.M. It is a good paper. I have selected a piece from the pen of E. Everett to speak. The title of the piece is Calamity at Lawrence Mills and death of Macaulay, it was a preface to a speech he delivered in Boston, in the early days of Franklin.
Monday 27th-- Latin to-day. It is new and goes off pretty hard. Mailed three letters to-day, one to Rev. S.A. Douglas, another Hon. Owen Lovejoy28, and another to Secretary Phi Beta Kappa Society Yale College. Wonder how many answers I will get and whether they will be satisfactory or not. Sold my music book to-night, and have finally concluded, that there is more profitable employment for me than singing. Virgil is hard infandum29.
Wednesday 29th-- We had a good exercise this morning to Prof. Blaisdell. Divsion No. 1 read orations. Hayden and I spent about two hours and a half on our Virgil lesson after the public exercise in the chapel. To-night I have been laboring to get a composition started, but failed in the attempt. I anticipate if I had the foundation laid I could "fill up" pretty fast, but the trouble is to get started.
Joshua R. Giddings30 spoke in Before the Archaen this evening; how unfortunate I am, not to have money to attend good lectures. Miserable muddy times. I am not reading anything at present. I am sick, sore, and tired of being in a room with so many persons. I shall try to get a room to myself next term. I wrote to Derby &Jackson to-day inquiring the price of Addison's31 and other works wholesale. I must have Addison.
Friday 2nd-- Made an awful mistake in translating two words in Virgil, this P.M. Bascom, the fellow who was turned out of the Freshman Class, was very much tickled. He is a Scholasticus.
Debating was dry work this evening Mack & Lathrop on the beg. withstood the whole house. The Resolutions censuring G.P. Davis were lost. Copp & and his crew drummed up enough voters to beat us. N.L. Rood made an ass of himself. He arose very enthusiastically and declared two or three times that he vote according to the will of his party, that is he was the dupe32 of a party of Dumbheads, and hadn't sense enough to keep it to himself.
Saturday 3rd-- Took a fine walk to-day. Started at 10 1/2 clock and went on to Rood's farm, where a man was engaged at plowing. Having conversed with him, I journeyed on. When about a quarter of a mile from town I halted and declaimed my piece. The wind blew a perfect hurricane.
Commenced my composition for Wednesday, next subject "The Death of Socrates." I must take more pains than I did with my last.
Tuesday 6th-- Have done pretty fair to-day. Made two very good recitations in Virgil wrote some on my composition, went to town after prayers and loafed a half hour, came back and had a game of (well I declare I don't know what), with the boys and feel pretty good generally.
I see by the posters, that Prentiss of the Louisville Journal speaks before the "Archaen" next Thursday night. Subject: "American Statesman." O! that I could go to hear him. O poverty! where are thy charms.
Wednesday 7th-- This has been a regular Rhetorical day. Composition in the morning, declamation in the
afternoon. The Archaen held their public meeting to-night. I think the best meeting of the kind I ever witnessed in the Institution. Received a catalogue from Darby & Jackson with a letter this evening.
Thursday 8th-- The most important item I have to write to-night is, that I recited two miserable lessons to-day to my shame. I promise to do better to-morrow. Received a letter from Secretary of Phi Betta Kappa Society, Yale College, by this evening's mail.
Saturday 10th-- Went to Mr. Durgan's this afternoon. Spent a pleasant afternoon with young Mr. Durgan and Mrs. Durgan. The evening was spent in a very social chit chat. Durgan Sen. and Jun, Mrs. Durgan, Miss Wheaton, and T.S. McClelland constituting the company.
This is a day long to be remembered.
Sunday 11-- Ate my breakfast conversed some with Mr. Dargan & family and walked to town in time for Church.
Tuesday 13-- Done a big day's work in Virgil to-day. Received a letter from Maria, also a circular from Henry Barnard33. I am afraid that I have a felon34 coming on my fore finger of my right hand. I loafed longer in town to-night than I have before since the year commenced, and more than I expect to until its close. Went to the express office to get my new Virgil, but no Virgil has come, I can't imagine what causes the delay.
Thursday 15th-- Recited the largest lesson in Virgil to-day, that I have ever recited. The morning lesson we had fifty-five lines advance and fifty-six review; this afternoon we had fifty-five lines review and forty-nine advance. Our first lesson in the third book was
recited this afternoon. Hayden and I had a fine walk after tea. We went to the residences of Messrs Goodall Baterman, Sherwood &Mills east of the college about half a mile. Was tired and did not prepare much of my lesson for tomorrow. I must be up, times in the morning. I fear I have a felon coming on my finger. Received my Virgil, by Bowen, by last evening express. I am very well pleased with the copy, but would have been better satisfied had it been bound in calf instead of cloth.
Friday 16th-- Philagorean "went off" first-rate to-night. Few speakers, but what was done was done in a prompt and efficient manner. The debate closed in good season. Rood called into my room, after dismission, and we prepared our lesson for morning. Read some in the Cincinnati times.
Tuesday 20th-- Three new students entered school to-day. They all join my class. One is advanced in years, probably twenty-five, has a very intelligent looking countenance and will doubtless make a good classmate. Another has the misfortune of being nearsighted. He is obliged to hold the book within four or five inches of his eyes in order to see. He is, I think, a pretty smart fellow. The third is a "brick".
Went to hear Rev. Helmer of Milwaukee deliver a speech before the Y.M.C.C. His lecture was dry! Recited our last advacne lesson for the term this afternoon. On Thursday we commenced to review.
Wednesday 21st--Today I read Wm. H Seward's great speech on the admission of Kansas. It occupied me an hour and a half, I read it aloud. It is a splendid production, having but few equals since the day of Webster & Clay. Wm. H Seward for President in 1860! My class did not do so well in their Rhetorical exercise to-day. Three failed to declaim their pieces entirely through.
The exercises in the chapel this afternoon was very much protracted owing to the long speeches. Hayden and I prepared our lesson for tomorrow. We commence our review. We have read 1612 lines of Virgil.----from the 283 line of the first book to the 1336 line of the third book.
Friday 23rd-- Went to Dr. Strong's office to-day, to have something done for my nose. For more than a year it has been sore and I begin to fear that something is coming in it, which eventually will proove a serious affair. To-night was the election of officers in the society. Mr. Davis was prohibited from speaking or voting, or taking any part in the meeting on account of not settling his fines. There is a strong antagonistic feeling pervading the society at present. I hope for the good of the society in general that it may divide and consequently quell the feeling now existing. No lesson prepared for to-morrow. Called upon our new class-mates in No. 11. They are jovial fellows.
The affair relative to Mr. Davis has been the cause of making many enemies among the students. The party that has upheld Mr. Davis are those who have been induced into the society for no other purpose than to vote and carry out their nefarious ends. At the commencement I arrayed myself against Mr. Davis, because he went beyond the bounds of gentlemanly conduct and acted badly unreflectively no doubt, but his course since has been detrimental to his character. The consequence arising from my taking the position that I have, is, that many former friends have opposed me in every measure I have advanced and they having no regard for the society oppose measures which are advantageous to the society, and try to adopt others detrimental to it.
They have not, nor do they yet act on principle, but at the instigation of two or three, who pretend to be leaders vote and try to obtain measures that will ultimately end in the dissolution of the society.
Conscientiously I have done nothing but what I thought was right, and I shall continue in my course "should the heavens fall," let alone receiving the ill will of a few parasites, who are the tools of a set of botch workmen.
Monday 26th-- Rose this morning at two o'clock and thirty minutes: built on a fire and went to study. Two hundred and sixty lines constituted our days work. Tallmon called in after recitation, when we read sixty five lines, without consulting the Lexicon more than a half dozen times. I wrote to S.C. Triggs + Co. Chicago to see if I could get a copy of Whitaker's Vindication of Mary Queen of Scotts. I also wrote to Fowler and Wells to find out what delays my paper. The Tribune contains Wendell Phillips' great speech on the Dissolution of the Government. I have not read enough to-day.
Tuesday 27th-- Have not felt very well to-day. I must provide better for the the physical man or fail to accomplish my ends. Certainly to continue in my present course of diet will eventually end unfavorable to my health. Took a walk to Rood's farm this evening. The air was bracing and I enjoyed the scenery very much. To-night I read Wendell Phillip's speech on the Dissolution of the Government delivered at the Anthaeum in Brooklyn N.Y. a few evenings ago. I don't like all his views. Yet he maintains his position with much vigor. Slavery, as great an evil as it is, cannot be abolished by such forcible means as Phillips and his class of Politicians propagate.
Thursday 29th-- Recited one good and one poor lesson to-day. I believe my diet is too spare to study on. Did I have an opportunity to board at some good place instead of boarding myself, I sincerely think that I could get better recitations and feel stouter.
I am getting tired waiting for a letter. I have not received one for a fortnight or more.
Friday 30th-- What a lovely day this has been! Every thing seemed to accord. This morning at the usual hour we recited in Virgil, and were excused from reciting in the afternoon. At one o'clock I called in the Treasurer's room and settled my bill for the term, now nearly at a close. My work for the term payed my bill--$10.50, and had remaining one dollar and ten cents. I then prepared my lesson for morning after which I called on Miss Dewy, and saw her Missionaries. The group consists of eleven persons. The style Lithograph. The characters are American present field of labor in Turkey near Constantinople. At the regular hour the society met, the new officers inaugurated and the new officers having made a speech, the society adjourned, in order that the members might attend the lecture before the Archaen Society, and the exhibition at Union School No. 2. I went to the exhibition and was well pleased with the performance. The participators in the evening's entertainment, acquitted themselves, manfully both Ladies and Gentlemen. The music prepared for the occasion was of superior merit. Two prizes were awarded to the two best composers, and also two awarded to the two best declaimers.
At half past ten the exhibition closed and all departed for their several homes, seeming well pleased with the evening's entertainment.
Saturday 31st-- Heard the junior class examined in Greek from 11 to 12 o'clock. The class as a general thing did not do anything extra. Received a letter from S.C. Griggs + Co. stating that the book I sent for cannot be had in Chicago, but if requested will write east and endeavor to secure it for me. I had very good luck in getting up a club to send for Richard's Latin Lessons. Read some Latin and a little English to-day. Prof. Porter gave our lesson for the first recitation in next term. It is the Life of Cicero and Catalina, and the history of the conspiracy.