Feb 15 1812: Aaron Burr Private Journal

After having tried to steal the presidency from Thomas Jefferson, succeeding in killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, and being acquitted in a trial for treason, Aaron Burr, the former Vice President, left the United States in 1808 for Europe where he kept a rather mundane private journal. Burr saved his artfulness for political intrigue where he was practically Shakespearean. The entry in his journal for February 15, 1812 reads: 
15.   I have got into very bad habits. Last night
again sat up till past 2 reading the newspapers. It is
with such reluctance I go to bed that any excuse serves
for sitting up. As usual, lay awake till 5 and then slept
till ii. After hewing off a week's beard and getting
breakfast, it was too late for a hope of finding the
Captain at home ; so gave that up. D. M. R. came in at 2
and sat an hour. Nothing new, only another letter for
me to write for him. At 3 to J. H.'s ; out. Had
only time to get to G.'s, where dined. In the evening,
William, the only son of W. Godwin, a lad of about
9 years old, gave his weekly lecture; having heard
how Coleridge and others lectured, he would also
lecture; and one of his sisters (Mary, I think) writes
a lecture, which he reads from a little pulpit which
they have erected for him. He went through it with
great gravity and decorum. The subject was, " The
Influence of Governments on the Character of the
People." After the lecture we had tea, and the girls
sang and danced an hour ; and at 9 came home. Will
positively go to bed at 1 to-night, and try to get up at
7. Mem.: Drank wine and water at dinner, and this
evening toast and water.
The last part of the entry refers to an evening with the family of William Godwin, a mentor to the poet Percy Shelley and a well known radical political philosopher, who had been married to Mary Wollstonecraft before her death at the age of thirty-eight, ten days after giving birth to her second daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, later Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein and second wife of Shelley. 

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