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.