|HOLYOKE SEM., May 1st, 1857.
My Own John, --Yesterday afternoon between the hours of one and two I found myself in my Holyoke home. It is not all a name, that word home --it is a reality, something that gladdens the heart and makes life pleasant. Next to my father's house there is no spot so home-like as this Sem[inary]. I would not have believed I should ever find it so. Our room was in the greatest confusion and my first impulse was to spend the afternoon elsewhere-it was such a desolate place to be alone in. Father thought I had better remain here - get something to eat - arrange the room, &c, & I thought so too. The first thing was to build a fire. The next to go to the Domestic Hall for a lunch - there I saw Miss Jessup who was glad to see me so early and so well. It is strange what an appetite I have here. I have eaten more the last day and a half than I ate during the three preceding days at home. I called on my section teachers, and it was really pleasant to hear their voices & look on their faces once more. And I met now and then a young lady in the space-way & the meeting was mutually so delightful that I went to my room impressed with the idea that I was at home.
Most of the young ladies have returned. Some of them, about fifty Miss Jessup thinks, were sick with the scarlet fever, during the vacation; several were very sick. I am to be deposed from office in the bread department next Monday, a sad thing for me, though I have had the situation so long that I am dumb as to complaining. The remaining time I expect to be leader on the "White Crockery circle" the first hour after breakfast. You would not guess that "white crockery" means black baking dishes & the like, but it does. It is very important to have practical knowledge of dishes washing! I shall have five seniors associated with me and, as I said to Miss J., we shall have a good time.
We are to go on with Upham* about a week longer, when we shall begin Wayland.** We commence Butler*** next Monday. Milton is to be the last study of the term. I wish we were to have it through the term in connection with our other studies.
I have a great many plans for self-improvement, and enjoyment this summer, but how soon the fourteen weeks will pass away!
Lucretia would like to have you send her your Wayland by Allie Bently, who returns next Thursday, and if you can spare it as well as not, I should like to have you send me Alexander's Moral Philosophy. I should like to read it in connection with Wayland.
I have not felt the grip of Melancholy yet. Oh that last visit with you was worth a great deal to me. A good, hearty play raises my spirits and keeps them up wonderfully. I guess it does not have such magic influence on others. I love to be with you -- there the secret lies.
I began this letter last evening -- this P.M. the hours for recitation have been announced. I have one recitation at nine and a quarter the other at a quarter before eleven.
I think of you as at Conway while I am writing this. May you enjoy the morrow & your preaching be blessed.
Good night, from your own loving
* THOMAS G. UPHAM: Elements of Mental Philosophy
** FRANCIS WAYLAND: The Elements of Moral Science.
*** JOSEPH BUTLER: The Analogy of Religion.