Fine morning although somewhat colder than it has been. I went to the Office. Nothing particular. My spirits somewhat depressed. It is 424my wish to do something in the world, not to be a creature entirely useless. I have laboured a good deal and what has been the success? Little indeed in comparison. Yet is it not for me to be discouraged? I will bear up as well as I can under a species of ostracism which exiles me by negatives. My services are not wanted. The world can get along exactly as well if I do nothing. Perhaps better as there would be one less to crowd it. But this tone is incorrect. So long as I am placed in it, I must not reject my duty, because others do so. It is essential to me that my conscience should be clear.
I read Lingard, finishing the reign of James which does on the whole, reconcile me to continuing the book. Walk as usual. Afternoon, began No. 9 of my work, wrote a page and then read Villemain. Not worth a sixpence. I continued in the evening however, as my Wife had gone out to tea. I went for her at nine to Mrs. Gorham’s. Miss Julia and Miss Carter, besides Mrs. Gorham and the young men. On my return, read German. I work slowly.
Beautiful morning. I staid at home quite late on account of one of the Conants from Weston who came in with some Wood and some money, both of which were very acceptable. My father’s affairs in this quarter look somewhat gloomy. The interest he pays on his debts is consuming,1 and his management does not make what property he has most productive. I felt again depressed, but rather relieved by writing my Diary. Read Lingard and took a walk.
Dined at Mrs. Frothingham’s. Company, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Gorham Brooks and his Wife, Mr. Stetson my Wife and self. Returned in the evening after a short interval at home.
Gorham Brooks is the most singular of the world. He advances startling doctrines upon all subjects. I always endeavour to keep my tongue quiet but there are moments when the impetuosity of my natural character will burst forth and then it rushes with tenfold violence. I was impelled to day as I ought not to have been. I may as well now as at any other time, take myself to task for the warmth of my temper. I ought daily to set before myself some monitory sentence to guard me from the natural and powerful tendency of my own passions. In other climates, it would matter little, but here where the natural character and manners are cold, mine appear unpleasantly. I must learn to press down, to restrain the intense force of my feelings. I must teach myself to dissent only in mind, to give no vent to thoughts let them rush up ever so thick, to assume nothing, to arrogate 425nothing. O! God, thou who lookest down upon all our efforts whether they tend to good or ill, who knoweth the inmost heart of man, guide me in the path when my steps are feeble, show me the true road when I am going upon a wrong one. Let me not fall when I may be weak. My will is to do well, but my power sometimes deserts me in my utmost need. I do not enough study the spirit of the Christian Religion. Read German after my return.
LCA, two months earlier, had written that the debts on which JQA was paying interest amounted to $40,000 (to JA2, 20 Oct., Adams Papers). This figure seems excessive, however. In scheduling his debts in the course of preparing his will, JQA had listed $13,000 of bank loans and $14,404 due the heirs of JA (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 203).