Thursday night, December 31st, 1863.
The last of eighteen sixty-three is passing away as I write. . . . Every New Year since I was in my teens, I have sought a quiet spot where I could whisper to myself Tennyson’s “ Death of the Old Year,” and even this bitter cold night I steal into my freezing, fireless little room, en robe de nuit, to keep up my old habit while the others sleep. . . .
“Old year, you shall not die;
We did so laugh and cry with you,
I ‘ye half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if you must die.”
No! Go and welcome! Bring Peace and brighter days, O dawning New Year. Die, faster and faster, Old One; I count your remaining moments with almost savage glee.