Morning cloudy and mild. I went to the Office. Received a short and exceedingly dispirited letter from my Mother.1 She has been ill, and John and my father, and she hints at depression from circumstances which I pretty well understand. I am very fearful of events in that quarter.2 They involve consequences which I have been labouring hard to counteract. A little more time and fortunate incidents might do so. I put my trust in a higher power.
Read Lingard and was engaged much as usual. Walk. Felt singularly. I believe it is the consequence of my present habit. It must be altered. Afternoon, lazed over Anquetil’s spirit of the Fronde. I must settle down into a more regular occupation. Listlessness comes over me. This must be avoided by proposing some new subject of investigation, or continuing old ones. Evening at home, reading Caroline of Litchfield and Lady Craven. Afterwards, reviewing Wieland, I find I have made some progress.
CFA’s concerns about his mother and father in Washington were of several sorts. Their repeated spells of illness, together with the general ill-health of his brother John (JA2) and his wife and children, CFA tended to blame upon a combination of Washington’s climate and poor household management. CFA also continued to oppose JQA’s decision to return to the political scene in Washington. Finally, his father’s and his brother’s financial affairs in Washington, especially the debt-ridden Columbian Mills, seemed to CFA to offer little hope of improvement. On these matters, see vol. 3:xxxi; 4:79–80, 92, 370, 424–425.