A cold morning but clear. I began Eckhel’s work upon coins before service and went in to see my Wife who seems better. Attended divine service. Dr. Frothingham preached all day. In the morning upon the forgiveness of sins and the parable of the prodigal son, in the afternoon from Matthew 9. 24. “He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.” My mind is hardly in a state of ease to fix itself upon any thing. Until now I have not myself understood how very much my mind has been led to fix upon this period and now that it has happened I am hardly roused or know where I am.
Walk and call upon Dwight for the fourth time, but did not find him. Afternoon, read a Sermon of Buckminster upon excuses for neglecting the duties of Religion. Luke 14. 18. “And they all with one consent began to make excuse.” The text is the happiest part of the Sermon which in other respects only goes over the usual frivolous apologies which hardly need serious attention.402
I afterwards read the Pirate but was interrupted by the disagreeable intelligence that my Wife was suffering so much pain as to make it necessary to see the doctor and I went for him myself. He prescribed remedies which partially relieved her, and I finished the Pirate before going to bed. I am surprised to find how low I rate this romance as a representation of real life. There is nothing of nature about it in any excepting the common place characters of whom his hero and his Wife make two. Norma of the Fitful head is a mad woman and Minna Troil a silly one. Cleveland is an impossible character, a gentleman pirate, and Basil Vaughan1 a hypochondriac ditto. No nature in any of them.
The hypochondriac pirate was named Basil Mertoun.