Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 20th.

Thursday. 22d.

Wednesday. 21st. CFA Wednesday. 21st. CFA
Wednesday. 21st.

Morning clear but cold. The weather being of that fine Autumnal kind of which we have now so much. To a man in the vigour of health, 52no climate is more agreeable than this at the present season, though when any thing like debility exists the keen air becomes too searching. A great change has taken place in my frame in this regard, for I now relish with much satisfaction the air which two years since cut through me. At the Office, where I wrote a Letter to my Father upon the subjects on which I required information, the rumford and the Boston property,1 at the same time intimating an intention of going to Quincy this week which I upon seeing Mr. Brooks afterwards, regretted as I decided upon going to Medford.

I then walked to the South End of Boston in order to inquire about Mrs. Bittner whom I had long since sued and had execution against her.2 She pleads poverty and I have too much heart to make a lawyer. I must give her time. From thence I went to the Store of Messrs. John D. and Moses Williams3 to make an inquiry about some Wine for ordinary use. I tasted some which I thought quite good, but deferred a decision until I should be able to see one of the gentlemen themselves. My walk did me a great deal of good, and I returned home to dine with a good appetite.

The afternoon was occupied in reading La Harpe and forming Castles in the Air about a review on the subject of eloquence, which I am resolved to attempt even if I never show it. To this effect I have laid down a course of some length for myself. Continued my Catalogue. In the evening I read to Abby the lives of Goldsmith and Johnson in Scott’s Biography of the Novelists. She took much interest in them and I was paid for my labour. She is capable of being made an exceedingly fine and sensible girl, but her powers have been suffered to run to waste in the endeavour to support her natural disposition. My affection for her increases. Finished the Gospel of St. Mark and began that of Luke this evening.

1.

Letter missing. JQA, in acknowledging its receipt, indicates that CFA asked JQA’s wishes on further expenditure for the installation of the Rumford stove in his kitchen and on the policy to be followed in dealing with tenants in view of the likelihood of numerous vacancies (22 Oct., Adams Papers).

2.

Probably Elizabeth Bittner, dyer, of 560 Washington Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830). CFA had sued Mrs. Bittner on behalf of his tenant, Daniel Hollis. Efforts to collect the judgment were protracted; see numerous entries, below.

3.

Wine merchants, they were at 757 Washington Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).