Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday 25th.

Tuesday. 27th.

Monday. 26th. CFA Monday. 26th. CFA
Monday. 26th.

It was impossible to desire a more agreeable day than this. The air was soft and entirely different from that which is our usual climate at this season. I cannot help enjoying it’s mildness, though I am far from complaining of that which is more severe. After breakfast Abby and I returned to town in the little Carriage. I went to the Office as usual and spent the morning in reading Marshall without much interruption, Mr. Clapp, the Mason being the only person who came, in order to inquire at what time he could go to Quincy which I told him.1 I had expected to see Orcutt but was disappointed.

After dinner, Abby and I went to pay a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Alex. H. Everett who have just arrived from Spain.2 He is one of those who have suffered proscription by the New powers and is now arrived to see what he can do with himself here. I confess for my own part that I do not easily perceive any cause for him which would be at all eligible. He has not what may be called an active character and here what can be done without one? He looks very well and has grown quite showy in his dress since I last saw him. She has become quite European and a little affected, I think, but always a pleasant woman. Our visit was short and I returned to my study to commence operations seriously as a student. I devoted a short time to continuing my Catalogue and then opened the subject which I am about to commence with the study of Auger’s preliminary Dissertation to the Works of Demosthenes.3 Singular as it may seem to myself I am resolved to attempt the Orations for the Crown in the Original.4 And I started in the Work fairly today. This is the only way to begin the subject of Oratory with any view to understand. I studied uninterruptedly until nine, when I went to Mr. Frothingham’s for Abby who passed the Evening there. Edward Brooks was there and we had a comfortable Supper enough.

1.

James Clapp of Chambers Street, near Poplar, Boston, contracted to do repairs at the Old House to the kitchen and chimney, for which he was paid $60 on 19 Nov. ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830; M/CFA/3).

2.

Alexander Hill Everett (1790–1847), a brother of Edward Everett, had been a law student in JQA’s office and subsequently JQA’s private secretary in Russia. During JQA’s administration he had been chargé d’affaires at The Hague and most recently minister to Spain. Within the year he would become, with his brother-in-law Nathan Hale, owner and editor of the North American Review . His wife was the former Lucretia Orne Peabody. See vol. 1:294–295; 58 DAB . Whether the Everetts were already living in their house at 38 Summer Street is doubtful ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).

3.

Demosthenes and Aeschines, Oeuvres complètes, trad. en françois ... par M. l’abbé Auger. The edition published at Paris, 6 vols., 1793, owned by JQA, is in MQA. Auger’s “discours préliminaire” is at 1:1–151.

4.

Aeschines and Demosthenes, The Orations on the Crown. An edition in the original Greek with English notes by Alex Negris was published at Boston in 1829; the copy in MQA has CFA’s bookplate and numerous marginal notes in his hand.

CFA’s translation, here begun, was carried on until early January (CFA to JQA, 10 Jan. 1830, Adams Papers). A fragment of the translation of Aeschines is preserved in CFA’s literary commonplace book (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 312); of Demosthenes, among some papers on eloquence in a folder of literary efforts (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 317).