Fine morning. It became cooler at night. I rode to town, the roads in very fine order. My time was principally taken up in writing and copying a Letter to Mr. Angier on the subject of J. Q. Adams.1 I was glad to find the workmen engaged upon the steps of the house behind my Office.
Called to see Mr. Brooks. He is worried about a pain in his knee. Such uninterrupted health as his spoils a man for sickness. He gave me a Check with an increased sum of one fourth part.2 This is voluntary on his part and entirely unnecessary on mine. I have had fortune enough already to see that all over the necessaries of life make man little happier. I hope I shall not feel dazzled by the prospect of wealth. My wishes are for independence and comfort for myself and my children. I have no wish to look down upon others or to be looked up to merely on this account. Yet I am conscious that much of the respect paid to me springs more from this accessary than from any quality which may belong more properly to me. Men are wrong to condemn so severely the purse proud. For too often they are Idols of their own raising. And the very loudest levellers of the mob will fawn obsequiously upon the man for whose destruction they are crying. All this is moral of no flattering character. I wish for my own peace to remain unassuming and grateful to God for all my blessings.
Returned to Quincy. Afternoon not very usefully occupied. Read some of the Epodes of Horace which are vile. Evening quietly at home. Sevigné and the Observer.
See note to entry of 28 May, above.
The payments Peter C. Brooks made quarterly to each of his daughters represented interest received on sums he set aside, augmented, and invested for them as advances against their “portion.” ABA’s check in the amount of $400 was an increase over the $300 received in each earlier quarter (vol. 3:95).