Morning at the Office as usual. Read a part of the Massachusetts Reports. In the afternoon, Clay’s Speeches and a few numbers of the Federalist. I attempted to write something upon the case of the Solicitor General but could not please myself. The unwarrantable language which that gentleman used in the Trial will not however escape my recollection soon. In the evening, Boswell and Johnson’s Life of Ascham.
My feelings now are of a singular kind. They are more quiet and settled than last year, and my tone of mind is much more healthy. The little melancholy I experience is of a placid and settled nature and rather serves to tinge me with a pleasant shadow than with the darkness of former days. Religious confidence has done much of this and a more measured way of life, a great deal. May it continue, for the easy passage of days is one of our greatest pleasures though it brings little of that turbulent felicity which is the element of many. I would hardly now stretch out my hand to accelerate or retard the passing moment. For the present is without trouble, and without pain. There is happiness even in this idea. For though I look with less dread upon the future now, it is still a mist capable of producing both good and evil. The present has neither. Method, regularity and the due employment of time, produce equanimity which, after all, is the great source of comfort here below.
Conversation with Mr. Tarbell. Property.