A very pleasant day. I was out some time with my Wife making purchases and giving directions. Then to the House where matters looked far more cheerful. The sun is always a great thing to enliven the spirits. A great mass of work remains to be done however.
Office where I remained but a short time. Went in to see some Gobelin Tapestry which is exhibiting here—The original work from the Cartoons of Raphael. Paul preaching at Athens which I remember at Hampton Court in England. The death of Ananias. Christ delivering the Keys to Peter and the healing of the man at the gates of the Temple. These have been in existence three hundred years and have been successively transferred from Leo the 10 to Henry the 8 and from Charles the 1st to the Court of Spain. The gold is much tarnished and has lost it’s effect as a colour, but the rest are in admirable preservation. I think the third in the best preservation though perhaps the least effective piece as a whole originally. A fine copy of the crucifixion by Rubens is alone worthy of attentive observation. I mean to recur to it again.128
Afternoon M. Thiers, Revolution of May 31, 1793—Another wave of the Ocean. Evening at home. Landor, Imaginary Conversations.1
Borrowed from the Athenaeum.
A cloudy day but it afterwards became warm and clear. I went to the Office and from thence to the House where I examined and inspected the progress now making in cleaning. This done I went to the Office and was busy making up my arrears.
The various occupations I now have render me negligent in the performance of some things. I read little and do not write at all. My days pass in a round of worldly occupations, which are not calculated to elevate my mind or sublimate my tastes. But it cannot be avoided. My life is necessarily active. I have to do with a considerable mass of Property which is an active interest not to be neglected. My literary abilities are not of a nature to be the ground of any positive certainty of success in this world. If I can make them avail me upon any opportunity, it will be so much gained for my purpose. Walk and home.
As there are but a few days remaining before our probable removal to my house and as I have finished my classical studies and begin none until my edition arrives, the consequence is that I am become a little more desultory than is quite proper. Afternoon short because Mr. and Mrs. P. C. Brooks dined with us and Miss Henrietta Gray. This young lady is to be married next week to Mr. Sargent the husband of her late sister. She has been a favorite ward of Mr. Brooks who went with her to Baltimore last winter. Her marriage is a very respectable one though not brilliant. The party was tolerably pleasant. Evening very quiet at home. Read a little of Landor.