My day was passed at home. I designed to have passed it very pleasantly in getting rid of some of the last occupations which must engage me before I leave Quincy. But Mr. Greenleaf and Mr. Beale came in and engaged me to look over the Library here with them, which occupation though a very troublesome one, I did not feel as if I could refuse. The books are very much out of order—Exposed to the injury of time, of damp, and mice, and utter neglect.1 I feel an emotion of grief whenever I think of the misapplication of valuable funds in this instance. But what does it serve to lament circumstances beyond 390one’s power to alter? There is enough happening in life in which man must himself be a responsible party, to worry and distress him. He need not seek for additional care beyond.
Evening at home very quietly. Read and finished the fifth volume of Lingard, which completes the first and least interesting part of English history. It is a little remarkable that out of a line of nineteen kings since William the Conqueror twelve held the Crown by force. Title to the Crown by descent is modern. In ancient times it is manifest that it came through the law of the strongest. Henry the 7th perpetuated his power in his own line, without the shadow of a title and from this false root comes the whole line which has since filled the throne of Great Britain.
Thomas Greenleaf and George W. Beale had been deputed to examine the books in the library which JA gave in 1822 to the town of Quincy, and which still remained in the Office (JQA, Diary, 2 Nov.; and above, entry for 17 Sept. 1831, note).