More disagreeable weather. At the Office. Read Gibbon and had but one interruption. Mr. I. Farrar from Quincy to pay a portion of his rent. He is about to quit the Farm not at all to my regret for he is a very wretched farmer. But whether he will have a successor at all better is a question still. Took a short walk and returned home.
Afternoon, the first Georgic of Virgil. I did not quite finish it. Copied also, the letter to my Father and sent it.
Evening at Mr. Frothingham’s. A family party. P. C. B. Jr. the only one not there of those commonly present. It was pretty well. There seemed however to be some under-current. I congratulate myself that I have kept out of all difficulties arising from Jealousies, which assuredly I could not have done if I had shown the least disposition to accept the invitation to live at Medford. I regard the death of Mrs. Brooks as a great misfortune to this family. Returned home. Read 250Dryden’s Mac Flecnoe. Distinguished by his usual beauties and faults, but not so good as Absalom I think.
A fine day. Morning passed at the Office very quietly reading Gibbon, and the close of the Western Empire. Nearly five Centuries from the commencement of the Christian Era and Twelve from the foundation of Rome. A very long period for the continuance of a Nation in power. The Romans were a fighting people and died from excess of conquest. They are the only persons who can be said with any truth to have governed the world. And they manifested most clearly that the thing could not be made to last. The Globe is too large; even one division of it is more than can be managed. Our Country has grown out of our means to control it. Interests are so various and so opposite that it is not easy to say what the result will be. Took a walk with Mr. Peabody.
Mr. Brooks dined with us and staid so late that I only got a chance to read a small part of Virgil’s second Georgic. My energy for study seems certainly to be much damped. I do not clearly see what the result may be. But I am as far off as possible from any thing in which I can be of use to myself or to others. Evening quiet at home. Read Dryden’s Religio Laici and Threnodia Augustalis. The first remarkable as the author soon after turned Catholic; the second as being a Panegyric upon one of the most execrable kings who ever sat upon the English throne.1