We are so accustomed to dark, cold, wet mornings now that we hardly expect any thing else. I accompanied Mr. Brooks to town. Passed part of the morning in reading, writing and Accounts, the remainder, I was at the Athenaeum which is now reopened. Mr. Walsh sat some time in conversation also. Stopped in at the Gallery and was better pleased with it today than I was the other day.
Returned to Medford to dine. Afternoon, Mandeville, the first volume of whom I finished. His Essay upon Charity Schools I think has views which separated from his system may be held as true and 320capable of useful application. Ovid, Cydippe to Acontius. Finished it and the last of the Author’s heroic Epistles. Evening quietly at home. Read Hume. The Chapter upon Miracles is one of the most ingenious pieces of reasoning I have ever seen. But it seems to me rather curious than sound as is much of the other writings of the same Author.
Cold and rainy. I notwithstanding made up my mind to go to Quincy, which I accordingly did. The ride was a long one through the Country, but I came home by the way of the town. The moisture has given very great beauty to all the vegetation but it looks cheerless. At Quincy, found Mr. Spear, but did not find the man who was to execute the Leases. Thus my trip was wasted. Nevertheless I looked over the garden which generally looks well. The Peach trees however appear to be suffering exceedingly with some unknown disorder. Dined at Quincy, and returned. It is more than thirty miles to come and return the way I did. I had little or no time and no great inclination for occupation afterwards, but I skimmed along the pages of Horace Walpole’s first volume. I read the third some time ago.1 This being the one relating to his father’s fall from power interests me much more.
Another cloudy day. I concluded to stay at home. Passed some of my time in reading Italian, then Hume, Dissertation of the passions.
Took a walk along the border of the Canal down to where it meets the road to Boston.1 There is something exceedingly pretty and rural about it’s banks which gives me a peculiar sort of pleasure. I am fond of the solitary but not the wild. I like to see the evidences of cultivation and industry but not the agents themselves.
Mrs. Gray and her daughter and son with Mrs. Hall came to dine here, and Mr. Brooks brought out with him for a few days the two eldest children of Mr. Everett. The Afternoon was consequently wasted. Evening short and I did nothing but idle over Walpole.
For a description and map of the area, see vol. 3:xviii, following p. 314.