Morning clear and cold. The rain and frost immediately following have made the Streets a sheet of ice. At the Office. Mr. Fuller one of 247my Tenants came in and we had a long talk about his House. He wants to keep it and protests he does not know that he committed a mistake in not informing me of the use to which he put it. I think I remember some things not quite so clear to prove the point. I told him I had engaged with Brown, or at least had gone so far upon the supposition that he Fuller would certainly leave the House, that I should have to see him again. Brown certainly ought to have acted more openly. I have a difficult part to play between them. I wish and hope to act honestly and fairly. I wish to see justice done to my father, and to improve his income as far as possible. Mr. Hurlbert came in about the House in the rear. I offered to take down the rent for a good Tenant.
Walk. Afternoon at home. The children sick. Louisa looks heavy and feverish. She took medicine but refused it so as to injure its effect. Evening, Patronage and a reperusal of Smith’s Moral Sentiments.
Morning clear and cold. I went to the Office. Time taken up in Accounts and making up my Diary. The mornings now are short and I do as I have always done, waste them. My mode of life is not favorable to my own improvement, I feel sensible. The best and most valuable time in the day is precisely that which I do not make use of.
Called for my Wife and we took a walk. Afternoon. Read the remainder of the volume of Bacon’s Letters. These display him such as he was, with a mind far above all his contemporaries, and yet willing to abase himself by compliances which would dishonor the meanest. Perhaps his is a striking illustration of the character of man even in his best estate. Read Virgil also and in the evening Patronage. The children continue to give us uneasiness although they are better. Instead of reading from which my attention wavered I wrote, part of an Essay.
Fine day. I went to the Office. Time passed very uninterruptedly reading the Debates. Mr. Curtis called in to pay me his Account, and I went down to do two or three little matters of business. Walked with my Wife. The children seem better although they both appear troubled with coughs. Received a letter from my Mother.1 She seems much more cheerful this winter than I have known her for a long while to be.
Afternoon Lord Bacon, History of Life and Death. Virgil. I have 248reached the twelfth Book—And as a Poem have relished it more upon this than upon any preceding perusal. We went down to pay a visit to Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Everett in the evening. Mr. Shepherd was there. Mr. B. not, till 9. Conversation. Returned at ten.