16th.-Lay long in dreams, and much troubled at my heart with the great owl I did kill last night while driving in Walthem. So drest myself, and back to the stump where, very sad, I left him. But, lo, the big bird was gone! Yet I know he must be dead for he did hoot violently when I to pick him up and then he to cough up some mouse's parts and then to close his white eyes and hoot no more. This I do not like too much for I have heard evil things of those witchy birds.
Thence back to the Tower and very glad to open some letters and see I am taken in at Oxford, October next. Yet I have not heard much of Wadham College save it looks a pretty ruin with fresh gardens. This is a virtue I like very much for it will be fine in the Spring, and did not many a rich philosophy begin in a garden? By and by comes ___ and, all a bubble, brings me his album; a mighty fine job it is, yet, bless my soul, for an address book ten dollars 'is very steep.
So to lunch a Dunster and sate next who wishes I had brought the owl back with me as he is an expert in such things and would stuff him even for the Tower but I do not like stuffed things about, even wise owls. Thence all afternoon to snoop about Emerson and say many fine things to the secretary but she, very foxy, does not tell me how well my examinations I did. So I to drown my sorrow with "Desire" at the flickers: So much drivel.
By and by in the evening without to Concord and sate there, under little moonlight, by the River and talked and ate and drank. And I much pleased to hear one so young read so many noble things. This I set down:
"Capacity for the nobler feelings .... in the majority of young persons .... speedily dies away if the occupation to which their position in life has devoted them .... (is) not favorable to keeping that capacity in exercise. Men lose their higher aspirations as they lose their intellectual tastes, because they have not time or opportunity for indulging them...."