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[81] everywhere the signs of approaching departure. Juniors were parading round, the almost ‘undisputed lords and masters’ of what we Seniors a day before alone enjoyed. Excuse this sentimentality.

Two days after you had read your dissertation, the fame whereof was in the land when I arrived, I underwent the most unwelcome drudgery of reading mine,—namely, of going through the form,—in order to satisfy the requisitions of the will. Be assured it was only a form. I did not read in all more than a third, and that I cantered through as fast as my tongue (naturally a ‘fast goer’) could carry me. I did not read along in course, but took shreds and patches from one page and another through the whole forty-five. How absurd to make us thus murder our own children! The whole dissertation ought to be read, for it cannot be properly judged except as a whole. The pedant of olden times, who offered a brick as a specimen of a house he had for sale, acted about as wisely as the Faculty in this particular, thus forcing us to slice off a few bits and offer them as the successful Bowdoin dissertations. . . . Just a week ago yesterday, I commenced Walker's Geometry, and have now got nearly half through. All those problems, theorems, &c., which were such stumbling-blocks to my Freshman-year career, unfold themselves as easily as possible now. You would sooner have thought, I suppose, that fire and water would have embraced than mathematics and myself; but, strange to tell, we are close friends now. I really get geometry with some pleasure. I usually devote four hours in the forenoon to it. I have determined not to study any profession this year, and I have marked out to myself a course of study which will fully occupy my time,—namely, a course of mathematics, Juvenal, Tacitus, a course of modern history, Hallam's ‘Middle Ages’ and ‘Constitutional History,’ Roscoe's ‘Leo’ and ‘Lorenzo,’ and Robertson's ‘Charles V.;’ with indefinite quantities of Shakspeare, Burton, British poets, &c., and writing an infinite number of long letters. I have doomed myself to hard labor, and I shall try to look upon labor as some great lawyer did, as pleasure,—‘Labor ipse voluptas.’ And the gratification from labor is, indeed, the surest and most steadfast pleasure. . . . President Quincy has been completely successful; has done himself, the city, the State, honor.1 Webster, I understood, said it was the best discourse he ever heard from a pulpit in his life. It was two hours long; the whole of this time he held the attention of a most numerous audience, among whom was myself, squeezed and pushed round amidst the crowd of groundlings in one of the aisles, standing up during all the two performances, about three hours. The first part of Quincy's oration, I thought, was not well digested; but he grew better and better the more he got heated with his subject, and held the attention of the audience better the last hour than he did the first. His vindication of the bigotry and intolerance of our ancestors was the best I ever heard, and was too good for them. His delivery, also, was fine,—full, loud, energetic, frequently eloquent. Sprague's poem was beautiful; its most prominent parts were on the Indians. There was an immense procession to the

1 Centennial Oration, ante, p. 74.

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