This is part ten of a twelve-part series.
Read part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here,
part five here, part six here, part seven here, part eight here,
part nine here, part eleven here, and part twelve here.
Sunday, April 9, 1843. — … After finishing my record in the journal, I sat a long time in grandmother’s chair, thinking of many things. … My spirits were at a lower ebb than they ever descend to when I am not alone; nevertheless, neither was I absolutely sad. Many times I wound and rewound Mr. Thoreau’s little musical box; but certainly its peculiar sweetness had evaporated, and I am pretty sure that I should throw it out of the window were I doomed to hear it long and often. It has not an infinite soul. When it was almost as dark as the moonlight would let it be, I lighted the lamp, and went on with Tieck’s tale, slowly and painfully, often wishing for help in my difficulties. At last I determined to learn a little about pronouns and verbs before proceeding further, and so took up the phrase-book, with which I was commendably busy, when, at about a quarter to nine, came a knock at my study-door, and, behold, there was Molly with a letter! How she came by it I did not ask, being content to suppose it was brought by a heavenly messenger. I had not expected a letter; and what a comfort it was to me in my loneliness and sombreness! I called Molly to take her note (enclosed), which she received with a face of delight as broad and bright as the kitchen fire. Then I read, and re-read, and re-re-read, and quadruply, quintuply, and sextuply re-read my epistle, until I had it all by heart, and then continued to re-read it for the sake of the penmanship. Then I took up the phrase-book again; but could not study, and so bathed and retired, it being now not far from ten o’clock. I lay awake a good deal in the night, but saw no ghost.
I arose about seven, and found that the upper part of my nose, and the region roundabout, was grievously discolored; and at the angle of the left eye there is a great spot of almost black purple, and a broad streak of the same hue semicircling beneath either eye, while green, yellow, and orange overspread the circumjacent country. It looks not unlike a gorgeous sunset, throwing its splendor over the heaven of my countenance. It will behoove me to show myself as little as possible; else people will think I have fought a pitched battle. … The Devil take the stick of wood! What had I done, that it should bemaul me so? However, there is no pain, though, I think, a very slight affection of the eyes.