My book binder has made this volume infinitely more elegant outside, and my stationer furnished worse paper for the inside than I had wished. But as it is here, I shall make use of it as a vehicle to convey my thoughts and feelings, somewhat in the way of a Diary. On recurring to the last of my numerous unfinished Essays of this kind,1
I find it was discontinued about the middle of the month of June just previous to one of the most agreeable little passages of my hitherto tolerably agreable life. What made me leave it at that time, I cannot conceive, excepting perhaps the indolence which the usual state of the weather produces at that season, and the journey which happened shortly afterwards. The style of the book did not please me, and although I had attempted to alter and amend it so as to suit my views better, it never pleased me more. At the same time from a long and perhaps a pleasant recollection of the habit I had been in, I could not help feeling very considerable regret at not continuing a practice
which has been the means of very considerable improvement to me, and also a method of avoiding a certain cacoethes scribendi, which arises upon me at certain periods, and which creates a great deal of mortal uneasiness without being attended with any beneficial effects.
Having thus promised to my own satisfaction, I shall proceed to relate what has happened during the interval which has occurred between the cessation of my former Notes and the commencement of this period. My principal difficulty is that I cannot endure a stiff diary of what happens every day, but habit has so chained me to that particular manner that I almost always adopt it, become disgusted and soon entertain an invincible repugnance to return to an unprofitable day or an uninteresting week. My labors accummulate sometimes in consequence and my dislike to make up increases proportionably. Singular to say however I laboured through all the uninteresting part of the Summer and commenced being negligent when really I had most to write about. And although since much has occurred of extreme interest to all the family and to myself yet it has had an opportunity of escaping altogether from my recollection or at any rate of only receiving a huddled narrative in the commencement of this flaming work. The passions and feelings of a man so young as I, can interest only himself, yet they still must afford matter of reflection to him when he looks back, and in the greater degree as he may have preserved mementos of the movements of his soul in natural and frank communication with himself. For me, if I live long, these things will amuse me, if not they will perhaps divert a few relations and be committed to the flames. But I am running away upon abstract speculations and do not reflect that upon the 18th of June last my Notes gave up the Ghost after having struggled through a lively existence of eighteen months the larger part of which were delightful ones to me, such as I do not again expect to enjoy in this little sphere of existence. Indeed I often reflect that the very happiest parts of life have been passed through with me and that I have only the bitter remaining to taste.