Morning pleasant. The ladies of the family went into town together with Elizabeth, from Mrs. T. B. Adams’. I remained at home until nearly noon during which time I very nearly finished the twenty sixth book. The entrance of Scipio upon the scene immediately announces the presence of a character. Until he came forward the great difficulty with Rome appears to have been a want of talent in her leaders, though no want of perseverance in her people.83
Having finished this, I thought I had a leisure hour or two to devote to the business of visiting the Quarries of Stone which lie up towards the Railway. This is what I have been intending to do for some time. I found the whole surface of the ground changing with amazing rapidity and that Mr. Dudley had got very much into Mr. Hall’s land. He has obtained here as fine a Quarry as any of them.1 He was not however himself there. I then went to the other ledge upon which they have done a great deal of work with little profit. There was no body working there. But there were indications that the ledge was not deserted. I endeavored to stir up the managers to report to me. The ownership of all this land in the Stone Region is now becoming a business of much importance. Rights come very near to each other and trespasses necessarily must occur. And unless the owner appears and takes some decided part, they are apt to think his eye is not upon them. I have designed coming up here once in a fortnight but such is the infirmity of human purpose and the obstacle in the distance, that this is my first visit.
Home. Afternoon short, the ladies having come home late. Devoted almost entirely to the MS Letters. Evening quietly at home.