Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

October 1829. Thursday. October 1st.

Saturday 3rd.

Friday. 2nd. CFA Friday. 2nd. CFA
Friday. 2nd.

Morning at the Office. Spirits rather low. I hold it silly to mention the cause for as my father once said, there are many things which must not be mentioned even there. But disappointment is the most painful thing in life, and I feel fearful that I am about to suffer it. I passed a considerable part of the morning in reading Marshall. Mr. Gay called to pay me his rent.1 Another person to ask about the House which Mr. Whitney quits, and with these interruptions I got quite clear. But my attention is so distracted by them even when so few, that I can understand my brother George’s objection about it. I am beginning to feel as if I dare not indulge the aspirations which I formerly made, and as if for one kind of happiness, I had voluntarily cast off prospects of another. I hope not however. I shall find it difficult to reconcile my mind to the truth even when it comes to convince me of my negligence.

Returned home and passed the afternoon reading to her passages of the Man of Feeling. It does not take. Perhaps there is too much of the abstruse in the sentiment and feeling which it contains for her. I was not myself aware of the extent of it until this reading, and certainly should not have commenced my attempts with it had I been. We were interrupted by a succession of persons—Mrs. Frothingham for a few minutes, Sidney Brooks who drank tea with us and passed a part of the evening and Mr. Degrand, the rest, The latter has found me out and is resolved to visit me.2 On some accounts I regret it, on others it ought to be a matter of gratification to me as he might be a valuable friend. But I do not feel as if I had the means to make friends for myself. My own external manners are so repulsive. I have at times treated this very person with the most decided symptoms of coldness, but he has got over it and is here. Perhaps this does not speak well for his pride. But he is generous to forgive it. Perhaps he may imagine my assistance likely to be worth something—in which he will be mistaken. Be that as it will. He remained here until time to go bed.


George Gay’s annual rent for his 23 Court Street office was $80 (M/CFA/3).


Peter Paul Francis Degrand, stockbroker of 65 Broad Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830), was a longtime political supporter, often unwelcome, of JQA; See Bemis, JQA , 2:22, 74, 137–138. His earlier approaches on both business and political matters, CFA had repulsed; see vol. 1:155–156; 2:310. Although CFA did use him as a broker from time to time, other association was out of the question; see entry for 29 Nov., below.