Arose and after breakfast read twenty five pages farther in Paley as a sort of preparative to the commencing lessons next term. I then went upstairs and continued reading the Numbers of the Crises but I do not find them interesting. Mr. Stuart the painter came out here this morning for a final sitting for my Grandfather. I saw the portrait which is a remarkably fine one.1
Stuart is a singular man, a wag, but rather a disgusting object than otherwise. He is said to be habitually intemperate and his appearance confirms it. My mother returned this morning from Dr. Eustis’s where she had been all night exceedingly ill and went to bed immediately with a high fever. I know not how it was but I have seldom felt a more deep and bitter feeling of melancholy than I did today.
After dinner I sat in the Office and mused. Deeply dejected I can’t tell on what account. My mother’s sickness was the principal cause of the effect on my spirits, and my loneliness and the unsettled state of the Presidential election which so bewilders my future views. I think I could be content at the result were it either way but this doubt is torturing. I am anxiously wishing to get back to Cambridge because there I am more removed from the contagion of politics and have much of other and truly much more interesting business to me personally. I mourn when I am at Cambridge but I think there are few places
where I could be happier. It is employment which is my great delight and the contrast between this place and that is striking.
After writing my Journal I went to my Mother’s room: the rest of the afternoon was spent there. She appeared to be exceedingly unwell, with much fever and complaining of pain in her head. I could do nothing but try and amuse her and divert her attention from her pain but it is more pain to me to see her. I tried my best however and she talked with a little life though not in her common style. I spent the Evening here also doing my best to amuse her. I left her hoping Heaven would restore her for her Journey. I spent a dull half hour with my Grandfather and then came down stairs where I had another dull half hour with my Uncle. This is the [worst?] of all, he has taken a fit and the house now seems scarcely the residence of a family but of many cold hearted individuals. I could not bear his nonsense tonight so retired. IX:20.