Cold morning. I went down to Market and from thence to the Office where I could not stay long but was obliged to go into the Office of the Register of Deeds and look up title for the Estate proposed to be mortgaged. I looked back for seventy years and could find nothing to 394conflict with the title although I could not trace where it vested. There is a great difficulty in our system of recording, through the want of some evidence of divisions of property by inheritance. This can now be found only by examining a mass of papers of another Office.
Home to read Oedipus which strikes me now more than it ever did before. Afternoon, obliged to go down to Charlestown bridge to the Canal Office to discuss that affair. On examination of the records we found that there was no rule about it, but a simple vote of the Proprietors decided the number. This little discovery cost the Afternoon. Evening, Lockhart and after it Miss Baillie’s comedy upon Hatred, of “the Election.” Hatred can hardly be made a comical passion.
Morning cold. I went to the Office as usual and was occupied in writing and Accounts. Began a sort of draught of a report to be made upon the affairs of the Middlesex Canal, but as it threatened to draw into length I concluded to leave it with the view of condensing in another paper.
Mr. Degrand told me today that he had seen a notice of my Lecture in the Evening Gazette very complimentary. A few tones of the voice have done more to give me notoriety than five years of diligent reasoning. Such is life.
Called to see Miss Edes and execute the Lease in question between us which was done, after which I could get but a short walk. Home to read Sophocles which is a new mine to me never opened before.
Afternoon I finished what was left of Brumoy’s preface of his Greek Theatre, but upon reflecting how useless my afternoons are to me I determined tomorrow to turn to something decided, so after reading a little of Potter by way of Preface I fixed upon Aristotle’s Politics to examine critically. Evening at home, finished Lockhart’s fifth volume being all that is yet published of the Life of Scott. He is an interesting study. Afterwards, Diary and Potter.
Weather mild with rain and fog. I went to the Office and was occupied in reading. Received a Note and afterwards a call from Mr. Luther Angier of Medford, for the purpose of procuring from me a repetition of my Lecture, before the Lyceum of Medford. I hesitated about giving that one and proposed my others which I gave at Quincy. 395He said however there had been so much said of this the desire was to hear it. I left it uncertain, and with respect to the time declined his proposition of the 16th and fixed upon the 2d of March. I hope by that time my mind will be so much relieved of its present anxiety1 that I can do it with spirit.
Mr. Perkins told me about the Mortgage, that he should be prepared with the other Deed directly. Home. Sophocles. Afternoon. Began as I proposed Aristotle’s Politics in Gillies’ translation.2 Read the first book.
Evening at a great ball given by Mrs. Crowninshield. The company large but rather melée, the upper crust not absolutely predominating. I found not many acquaintances and so took refuge with T. K. Davis in conversation in the card room. At supper which was of extraordinary display, I found nothing very relishing, and wine poor. Home late.
ABA, pregnant, was approaching term.
A rereading, see vol. 6:258.