Cloudy day with occasional heavy showers. I remained at home and passed my time much as usual. At the house where the Masons still go on though with a slight prospect of terminating very shortly. They have delayed much and this has given to the carpenters an excuse for similar delay. I regret to say that I am entirely disappointed in every capacity of Mr. Ayer excepting his mechanical skill. He does his work well, but he has no discrimination about it. This has made my present experiment a costly one, when I meant it should have been otherwise.
Read eighty lines of Homer’s Iliad with great facility and superintended the removal of several chests which have been accumulating in my father’s study, to the farm house which has at last been vacated by Mr. Carr.1
Afternoon, read part of Lessing’s Laocoon. What is it makes the difference between one mind and another, which gives a keenness to some which others do not possess. This is a very acute thinker. Evening, finished copying out the correspondence with Mr. Hallett.
In a note at vol. 5:61, the editors incorrectly placed John G. Carr’s tenancy at the Adams farm at the foot of Penn’s Hill in Quincy. The evidence here is that he occupied the farmhouse located within the grounds of the Old House. A part of the second floor of that building had served JA as an office and library for his books and was thenceforward known as “the Office.” It continued to house the books JA had deeded to the town of Quincy until 1869; other books were also stored there from time to time (vol. 4:139, 389–390).