Exercises performed as usual. Madame and Mary went with Monsieur to Mrs. de Bresson’s funeral which took place today. To me at a distance it appeared a very long one. When they came home they had such long faces that they almost infected the house so that I was obliged to tell ridiculous stories about Cambridge to turn the feeling. Women are made of very irregular feelings for these laughed almost hysterically at my stories and although in very low spirits could not avoid paying attention to me. A man, had he been grieved, would have rejected all folly until the next day when his spirits return but a woman will grieve the next day and laugh if diverted. Their want of occupation gives them time and when they think of nothing else they lament.
However, I had been considerably shocked myself, and therefore went out and took a walk to the [Columbian]
College, near which I
had not been for years. It appears to be a flourishing establishment and may at some future time be quite worthwhile but at present it is only a secondary affair. The afternoon was a pleasant one, but I could not help looking toward the eastern branch and thinking how low she was layed. So young. It might have been a blessing to her for it was said that her mind had been severely affected once or twice before. But still the shock was a severe one. And when I thought of all the heartless scandal that I had heard repeated over concerning her and the family I could not help loathing the common forms and the inhabitants of this mortal world.
I came home, more settled; the family appeared very chilly though. Madame has not been so well of late, which has damped us all, besides this occurrence. I do not think she is in such good spirits this winter as usual. Not so fond of society, she has become less ambitious of keeping the lead, probably because all her rivals have fallen before her. Mrs. Brown being the last one having disappeared. Johnson being sick too serves to depress the house. In fact Washington is not so delightful this winter from these causes, and because society is no novelty now, and my favoris never present.
After dinner, Monsieur and John went to hear Mr. Goodacre’s introduction to his astronomical lectures,1
while the rest of us stayed at home moping considerably.