Arose much later than I had any idea of, and after breakfasting, went down to the Athenaeum but could find no news. Cambridge deserted today because La Fayette is to be received with much form and to make his triumphal entry into Boston. Great preparations have been made and it is expected every thing will be very splendid. For my part I have seen many such shows and have ever disliked them. I therefore did not take the trouble to go to Boston today, but went home and very coolly sat down to read Waverley. As I went on, I found myself more and more pleased, there was something so perfectly easy in the incident and the characters are all so interesting, that a man is led on from step to step until he feels quite intensely. I did not relish it by any means the less because I had read it before. It is rather singular that I have often commenced it but could never get over the tedium of the first five chapters and that, although these very chapters contain some sensible remarks, I read it over but never went farther and, when I read the novel, I neglected these Chapters. McIvor is a finely sketched portrait, Flora also except that she has a little more female sternness than is pleasant in association, and Rose is a little, a very little too milk and watery. The old Baron is admirable, but my friend, the hero of the tale, is little more than a puppet. I finished the first volume of Percy Mallory and was obliged to desist as I could not get the second. A very different novel and one which if I ever finish it, I shall notice in it’s proper place.
In the afternoon, I was interrupted for half an hour by a visit from
Dwight who had just returned from Salem, where he had been on a visit to Wheatland. He appeared in very good spirits indeed. I attended Prayers, for the last time in the Junior Year, and heard a ridiculously affected Prayer from Mr. Heyward on the subject which the President had spoken so feelingly upon long since. He took his last opportunity and made the most of it. At tea the students came in thick, Wheatland and Tudor came back and we looked somewhat like old times again. After tea I took a walk with Tudor and had some conversation with him. He afterwards came to my room where we sat and smoked all the Evening. He does not appear to be in exceedingly good spirits. Something, but I cannot tell what, weighs upon him. After he went, I remained up until I had finished Waverley. XI.