Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 18th.

Thursday. 20th.

Wednesday. 19th. CFA Wednesday. 19th. CFA
Wednesday. 19th.

The day was fine. All the family drove into town this morning, in the Carriage. I went first to the Office and spent an hour without doing much. The remainder of my time was taken up with the ladies at the Athenaeum. It is a pleasant and a profitable thing to spend time studying the efforts of genius in one great line of art. There is nothing more striking than the decline of art as exemplified in the ancient and modern pictures. The colours which in the one seem laid on with singular truth and propriety, look patched from droppings of the rainbow in the other. I passed an hour in the reading room, and thence to Mr. Frothingham’s where we all dined. Mrs. Gorham Brooks was there, and Mr. Brooks came after dinner.

We returned to Quincy safely after a tiresome day. In the evening, we went by invitation to Mrs. E. Miller’s, a Quincy party with no variety to mention. Home by ten. We saw Mr. Beale who has returned quite pleased from his tour.

In conversation with my father today, I obtained more information respecting his property, which very materially altered my ideas upon the subject. Instead of gaining ground, it seems he has been able barely to hold his own. And judging from the prospect I should expect that my former impressions were justified. This must rouse my slackened attention to my former plan. It must warn me not to trust too implicitly to present indications of wealth, and to look hardly and sharply to the future. But my father, his futurity I do not like to look forward to.