Morning cold. At the Office as usual, where I spent my time in the occupations usual with me, after which I sat down and made considerable progress in Enfield. The Account of the philosophy of the Middle Ages is curious and wonderful for it manifests a strange stage of perversion of the human intellect. Afterwards I took a walk previous to going according to invitation to dine at Mrs. Frothingham’s. I found Edward and Mr. Brooks were to be there with Abby and myself. The party was tolerably pleasant and I left it to attend the funeral of poor old Dr. Welsh. Had some conversation about him with Dr. Shattuck1 and found it was as I had thought, that he was in a desolate situation and felt himself to be so. And that this operated upon his mind to shorten his career a little.
Returned home and instead of spending the remainder of the afternoon in reading Cicero, I thought I would devote it to the rest of my father’s Paper. This is among the ablest of all his controversial efforts, and appears to me convincing. But it’s present is not the best shape in which it could be put. The substance of it is singularly powerful, and when divested of the acrimony which runs through the tone, would be calculated to produce a great effect. It requires however 420repeated reading.2 Evening Conversation with my Wife after which the Latin Grammar and the Tatler.
Dr. George Cheyne Shattuck; see vol. 2:202.
In his letter to his father on 13 Feb. (LbC, Adams Papers), CFA wrote similarly of JQA’s “Reply to the Appeal of the Massachusetts Federalists,” but at much greater length and included his reasons for not favoring publication of it until a later time and until its tone was modified.