Chilly with clouds. I continued reading Schiller with whose history I am much pleased. On the whole I think he is the best representative of German Literature. There is something of what the French call “inconsequent” in the writing of Goethe which takes off much of the pleasure of reading him.
Office and to the House where I was busy in assorting my Collection of numbers of Useful Knowledge which is spreading beyond all bounds. This is a useful collection, perhaps, but it is certainly a tolerably large one. Accounts. Home after a walk where I now read Wilhelm Meister instead of Latin.
Mr. W. C. Gorham dined here. He appears to me rather an uncommon young man. More mind than the herd of second rate puppies who now move round with such amazing self importance. Afternoon, Marmontel, Autobiography—A charming piece of composition in which I find myself at once in the Society, of whose members Grimm speaks only by their productions. Evening, Wilhelm Meister.
Cold and cheerless. I went to the Office, my spirits still somewhat depressed by the continuance of my Wife’s cough. Read Schiller who interests me in a new branch of history which strange to say I know very little about. At the Office occupied in Accounts and in my Essay against which I have a present disgust. Nothing comes up to my expectation. I am always discouraged by a Review. Walk—Nothing of particular interest occurring. Home.
Amused myself with the Autobiography of Marmontel—A charming book which I pursued for the whole Afternoon finishing the second Volume. The society at the French Capital just before the Storm of the Revolution must have been charming. Although its members more particularly the females were somewhat corrupted, yet the wit and talent of the men and the polish of the other sex must have given a dazzling brilliancy to their assemblies. I am still of the opinion that the period from 1780 to 1790 both in France and England was full of great men and the mere sensual enjoyments of life to a degree never equalled perhaps at any other. Marmontel was a wit of the time, and familiar with every body of note, and in his very happy fluent manner he draws all his pictures. Evening Grimm and Wilhelm Meister.