—Shelley’s birthday. Write; read Tableau de famille. Go out with Shelley in the boat, and read to him the fourth book of Virgil. After dinner we go up to Diodati, but return soon. I read Curtius with Shelley, and finish the first volume, after which we go out in the boat to set up the balloon, but there is too much wind; we set it up from the land, but it takes fire as soon as it is up. I finish the Rêveries of Rousseau. Shelley reads and finishes Pliny’s Letters, and begins the Panegyric of Trajan.
— Mary Shelley writes in her journal for August 4 1816.