Attended Prayers and, after the interval, recitation. After breakfast, I went to the reading room and saw a number of violent pieces against my father which I did not take the trouble to read. They are making a dreadful fuss about the last treaty which I do not understand or at least do not take the pains to examine.1
Time passes swiftly to one reading newspapers so that it was past nine o’clock before I had got seated to my lesson in Paley which was a continuation of the subject of promises. The lesson was easy however and I had got it pretty well yesterday. This plan of mine takes off the burden of the week very much. After recitation I studied as usual and took a nap which is a singular practice I have lately and perhaps not the most proper one. It was a cloudy, gloomy sort of a day however and I could not resist the temptation.
After dinner, I got my lesson in Trigonometry and recited it to Mr. Farrar very well. The rest of the afternoon I employed in writing my Journal which at last I succeeded in bringing up again. I then studied military tactics a little while to understand the principles of what was done last night but I could find no such thing as the evolution we practiced. As it had rained all day, we could not drill this evening and after Prayers, I went and took a walk with Dwight and Rundlet. We had some interesting conversation with respect to the Knights as our course must now be strictly prudent, the other club having met with a misfortune on Friday night which has given the Government a handle.2
I sounded them upon the plan which I have in my head and they appeared well disposed. We then got into a discussion upon Cunningham’s character which was not the most in his praise. The fact is that I have seen too much littleness in this man’s character, too much small vanity and pride which renders any man contemptible with naturally high and correct feelings. He has managed queerly to destroy
much of his proper tone and has assumed a style which makes him unpleasant. His pride interferes dreadfully in the place where I see him most and where he should have had the least of it. I hope he will improve. When we had returned, I went with Rundlet to the Hotel and we spent half an hour there pleasantly. By the time I spend here I may appear rather dissipated, but I imagine it is in effect less so than I ever was before. I returned home, spent an hour talking in Sheafe’s room and then came down to bed. XI.
1. This was the convention JQA had negotiated with the British for ending the slave trade (see entries for 15
, and 20
July, above), which was rejected in the Senate chiefly through the hostility of Crawford’s supporters. See Bemis, JQA
2. The faculty admonished juniors Cenas and North, sophomores Potts, Robert N. Carnan, of Baltimore, and Edward Carrington Marshall, of Richmond, Va., as well as a Whitney (one of three then at Harvard) for having a “Festive Entertainment.” Lowndes was placed on special probation for the same outlawed festivity, and sophomores Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte and James L. Murray, both of Baltimore, and Adolphus Peter Jouve, of Charleston, S.C., were suspended and rusticated from Harvard for three months. See Records of the College Faculty, 10:75–76, Harvard Archives.