A murder of the joyful young day | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for April 19th, 1840

April 19th.–. . . What a beautiful day was yesterday! My spirit rebelled against being confined in my darksome dungeon at the Custom House. It seemed a sin,–a murder of the joyful young day,–a quenching of the sunshine. Nevertheless, there I was kept a prisoner till it was too late to fling myself on a gentle wind, and be blown away into the country. . . . When I shall be again free, I will enjoy all things with the fresh simplicity of a child of five years old. I shall grow young again, made all over anew. I will go forth and stand in a summer shower, and all the worldly dust that has collected on me shall be washed away at once, and my heart will be like a bank of fresh flowers for the weary to rest upon. . . .

6 P.M.–I went out to walk about an hour ago, and found it very pleasant, though there was a somewhat cool wind. I went round and across the Common, and stood on the highest point of it, where I could see miles and miles into the country. Blessed be God for this green tract, and the view which it affords, whereby we poor citizens may be put in mind, sometimes, that all his earth is not composed of blocks of brick houses, and of stone or wooden pavements. Blessed be God for the sky, too, though the smoke of the city may somewhat change its aspect,–but still it is better than if each street were covered over with a roof. There were a good many people walking on the mall,–mechanics apparently, and shopkeepers’ clerks, with their wives; and boys were rolling on the grass, and I would have liked to lie down and roll too.

From Passages from the American Note-Books. 

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