The morning was cloudy when we arose, but it afterwards cleared up and became a beautiful day. One of those mild Winter days which make perhaps the pleasantest weather we have. We breakfasted and returned to town very pleasantly. It was very late however before I reached my Office. My time seemed scarcely a minute, for I found upon my Table two Letters from my Father which I read with much interest1—Though one of them in reply to my inquiries about the violated letter satisfied me it had been done at the Post Office. I had not done examining these when Richardson came in and sat some time with me. The time passed so rapidly that I did not profit at all of the morning. My only work was the accomplishment of a proper portion of Journal.
Richardson dined with me, and was very pleasant, and I felt more easily at my Table than I have commonly done. He did not remain long afterwards so that I had time to complete a portion of Aeschines. The invective is the feeblest part of this Oration. By men who were conversant with the facts it is not wonderful that he was condemned. Mr. Mitford however follows him as if a heated partizan was as good an authority as the most unbiassed Judge, because he was not contradicted in his assertions, though he well knew, that frequently the best mode of refuting assertions of an extravagant nature is by leaving them alone. It is not probable, had Aeschines possessed the power of answering Demosthenes, that he would have noticed many of the violent charges of the latter against him, though Mr. Mitford thinks 118differently. I read also one of the Prefatory Discourses of Brumoy upon the Greek Theatre.
As Abby was out this evening, I went to call for her at Mrs. Carter’s.2 Her friend Anne being
21, 22 Dec. (Adams Papers). The first of these relates to the broken seal on JQA’s letter of 9 December.