The day was a very pleasant one, and seems to be paying with the rest of our present week for the severity of the past. I went to the Office as usual and performed my usual work besides giving some attention to what is now my amusement, writing Commentaries upon the sayings of the wise men.
Two interruptions. Mr. Veazie is the Carpenter at Quincy who came in to see about the Posts about which Mr. Beale and I were talking. I discussed with him many points in relation to the old House, and concluded by asking him to provide estimates for the Stone, after which I would talk with him. This is a good opportunity to make a permanent improvement in respect to the externals of the old house and one which I should think it not undesirable to embrace.1 Mr. Taylor called about my Uncle, the Judge’s accident and asked me to interfere in his favour, which I declined wholly to do. I wonder what people will come for next. If the Judge will not pay, I suppose they think his friends must.
I also drew my few bills for professional Services which I may claim on the New Year. I wish they were more. Afternoon, finished Brutus and began the Orator which Middleton says was designed as a completion of the whole subject in connection. It seems to me by far the most finished piece of writing. The commencement of it is beautiful, but there is a little repetition. Evening, L’Hermite with my Wife, and Evelina aloud to her, after which, I went on with my Catalogue, and read two Numbers of the Tatler.392
The wooden posts supporting the fence on the side of the Old House had been renewed, but when work was begun on the front fence it was found that all new posts would be needed. It was the opinion of Mr. Beale and CFA that it was opportune to replace the gateposts with stone ones; that at least estimates should be secured (CFA to JQA, 25 Dec., Adams Papers). In his reply JQA approved replacement of the posts with ones constructed of hammered stone (JQA to CFA, 30 Dec., Adams Papers).