The misty, drizzling weather continues. I passed most of the day at home amusing myself with this French work of Medianoches, very much after the fashion of modern Paris, startling and horrible but with a good deal of talent of style as well as interest in narration.
Mr. Harvey Field called upon me to pay his rent, and entered into 335conversation respecting the Lecture. He said the people had been much pleased with it and went on to talk of my coming here to reside with the view of entering public life. I told him that I had never formed any very definite views upon that subject, that I was a little afraid of the disposition to tax me as it had been evinced in this last year in respect to my house. He said he thought that had been excessive, and would speak to the Assessors about it.
I was occupied some time in superintending the placing of two stone posts to my gate ways which have at last arrived. In the evening, I read the correspondence respecting Texas.
I went to town in the morning. Went to my house to attend to the preparations for returning. Found a man there who had come according to engagement. I packed up a case of books in order to lighten my study of the superfluity which oppresses it.
Office. Accounts and Mr. Brooks, who is urgent respecting the Thorndike business. I had not time enough however to finish any thing before returning to Quincy. After dinner, having concluded not to go into town myself, I determined however upon sending in my two younger children and their nurse, the baby having become better although still decidedly fractious.
There were some little details respecting the road and so forth which consumed the daylight, and in the evening I went up on a visit to Mrs. T. B. Adams whither the ladies had been to take tea. She herself leaves Quincy next week for a winter at Bangor. Nobody of all the great Summer family but Miss Louisa Smith and herself. Home in the Carriage at nine o’clock.
The wind was so high from the North east as to present no very favorable prospect for the departure tomorrow. I attended divine service and heard Mr. White of Dedham from Job 21. 15. “What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have if we pray unto him?” The frequent devotion to worldly interests in the performance of religious duties is perhaps one of the best topics for this meridian, where no doubt habit does much and the opinion of the world more. Yet Mr. White’s view of it is correct, that it is productive of many benefits incidentally arising which perhaps more than compensate for the evils.336
Afternoon, 2. Corinthians 6. 1. “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” I was not so attentive as I should have been from the difficulty of avoiding drowsiness now that the hour is so altered as to prevent a nap.
Read a discourse of Sterne from two Texts Romans 2. 4. and Ecclesiastes 8. 11 which he throws out in the following quaint way. “Take either as you like it, you will get nothing by the bargain.” The causes of the corruption of the world, and the general inattention to all warnings. Alas! there is truth in all this, but if virtue was not difficult to practise, where would be the merit of it? If vice was unattractive, where would be the risk of avoiding it? Mr. Beale and his daughters and son came in and passed a couple of hours.