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Friday, 1 January, 1830

The morning is clear and cold and the first moments of the New Year are serene and placid. It is well to think of the course we intend to follow during the year, and begin now to prusue the path intended. My intentions for this, as for every year, are the same: a diligent attention to business, uprightness of deportment, use all people with equal justice; admire my friends and so act toward my enemies as to give them no reason to continue enemies. In my family I will endeavor to maintain a pleasant countenance, be sociable and kind, using every proper means to conciliate all differences and adopt this as my motto, "bear and forbear." All my leisure hours are to be spent in reading and writing, endeavoring to improve the mind in all that is good. I find more pleasure in reading than in any other way not employed in the immediate attention to business. Here in my room I can converse with ages past and gone, can fancy myself in the midst of uproar and confusion, in the midst of the vile and wicked and the enemies of peace and order. I can see the bloody scaffold and guillotine, with all the horror attenndant on the humiliating scene. I can behold innocence suffering from the reign of crime, ignorance and superstition. I delight in reviewing these ancient scenes that have occurred.

I left home this morning before day and rode twelve miles and suffered much from the cold to see a poor man who must soon leave this world. He has the consumption in its last stages. His wife is a real termagant and he will soon be free from her noise.