Morning at the Office. Finished the remainder of the Edinburgh Review. This publication is carried on with much talent and power, but not in the very best taste. The articles have a grandiloquence about them that is injurious to them when analyzed, though it makes an effect apparently. This occupied all my morning with the exception of only a short time that I was occupied in making inquiries upon the obtaining a Certificate for a poor Pensioner at Quincy, Rufus Davis by name, who by an accident lost his some time since—A business committed to me by my Father.1 I only ascertained the steps it would be necessary to take. I then went to see to the purchase of some Liverpool Coal and purchased a Chaldron at twelve dollars, which is very cheap, considering that in the last Spring I was obliged to give at the rate of eighteen, one third more. Thus went the morning.
I occupied my afternoon in pursuing the study of Aeschines which as far as I have gone, has been pretty well analyzed, though it takes so much of my valuable time that I think I shall be unable to continue in the same path. I must remain satisfied with translations. My field is wide, and only now do I begin to feel the incitements of a powerful ambition. It excites me at every moment with an indefinite preference which seems to remind me that I ought to fulfil the duties to which my station designs me. But it is wrong to be carried away too fast, there is time, and there must be opportunity.
In the evening I went down to the Meeting of the Debating Society but found that we were shut out, the consequence of which was that 97the Members who came were obliged to return home and this unfortunately for the Society which is on it’s last legs. I had gone prepared to oppose the resolution which I apprehended Quincy would make to put an end to the Society, instead of which I returned home and very quietly read Clarissa Harlowe to my Wife.
JQA had undertaken to help Rufus Davis, a veteran of the Revolution, recover his pension by filing a new certificate, but the process had not been completed when JQA left for Washington (JQA, Diary, 17 Oct. 1829).