Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Thursday. 15th.

Saturday 17th.

Friday 16th. CFA Friday 16th. CFA
Friday 16th.

Morning to the Office, occupied in re-examining for a final disposition the old papers and accounts of my brother. I found two or three which might be of some use and one or two more which I ought to 47have had before. How much money has been lost by my father through his negligence and how badly the Houses look which have been under his care. Poor George. Much merit as he had for his spirit of literature and his generosity of heart, he was eminently unfitted for the duties and common occurrences of life. His mind was thoroughly speculative, at times philosophical, but always unequal to what the world terms common sense. With a keen sense of right, he was unable to resist wrong in an alluring shape, and with a bitter recollection of the past, he could not turn to improvement for the future. Thus his life was a continued scene of virtuous resolutions, and vicious transgressions, of violent repentance and passionate repetition.

Thomas B. Adams called in and I asked him to dine with me. He came to make a settlement with respect to the purchase of some of my brother George’s Clothes, upon which we agreed very shortly. He goes on Monday for Charleston.1 Miss Mary B. Hall from Medford also dined with us making in this manner quite an enlargement of our family circle.2 The afternoon was elegantly spent in the household occupation of bottling my Whiskey and in continuation of La Harpe’s criticism of the sacred writings which is very interesting although from my losing the habit of reading I am obliged to make more effort to condense my attention. Evening at home reading Scott’s Life of Cumberland which my Wife did not relish. I am afraid I must give up the point of creating any thing like a decided interest in literature and this grieves me for I cannot waste my time in worthless and trifling conversation. I read afterwards more of La Harpe and five Chapters of Mathew before retiring.

1.

Lt. Adams was stationed at Fort Pickens, S.C.

2.

Mary Brooks Hall was a first cousin of ABA; see vol. 2:155.