8th. Early awake and lay long atop my blankets feeling the steamy heat of a day that forms a most proper setting for the oppressive tasks of the examination period. From outside the noise of trucks and busses passing along toward the Square giving the effect of a symphony played with sledge-hammers upon an old-fashioned stove. The small chatter of the waitresses on their way to the House dining-rooms sounds like the uproar of an army. The neighbor's morning shower through the firedoor a veritable Niagara. Lord, how wise was the philosopher who said it is not the physical volume of sound that matters, but the mood the noise finds the hearer in.
To breakfast, alone, in a far corner of the dining-room, hidden by the eager, gossipping headlines of my newspaper from the stricken faces of my fellows bowed down by the dread anticipation of today's examinations. The war half over for me, with two examinations passed and almost forgotten and two waiting several days hence. Across my mind a quick flash of business cycles, wage differentials, currency restrictions, and then the determinations to forget these dolorous tasks for yet another day until Cambridge may become less like the Belgian Congo and more like Cambridge.
Back to the paper to notice that the world outside has not changed, with Mr. Morgan, back on the Queen Mary, taking issue with Mr. Roosevelt without mincing words. It would seem that although death is as certain as ever, taxes, especially those on the incomes of the rich men, are far less so. A picture of Miss Earhart, in Africa, flying this time from west to east and still trying to find out what makes this world go round.
A morning of gentle reading out of Wodehouse in the House library a pleasant occupation but not soothing to the conscience of one so illprepared for examinations as I. To lunch at Dunster with G. where the Spanish war was removed from the outskirts of Bilbao to the shores of the Charles. G., very pious as usual, says that Franco will save Spain for Christianity. In which case I hope that the Moors will stay away from the graves of Ferdinand and Isabella to prevent any dangerous turning over on the part of the august corpses.
In the evening to Boston to see Cornell in "The Wingless Victory," a warm breeze from the South Seas in her sarong and suffering the inevitable fate of the exotic flower trampled down under the heavy hoof of cold New England. That talented lady must appear Elizabeth Barrett Browning, with or without sarong and Malay hairdress. And, after all, Salem isn't so very far from Wimpole Street.
Back soon after the play to sit in my window and look down on the river bank, with the open cars whizzing down the drive, the reflections of the street lamps peering out of the black water, and the hatless girls ambling along stalking their nocturnal prey.