Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 27th.

Thursday. 29th.

408 Wednesday. 28th. CFA Wednesday. 28th. CFA
Wednesday. 28th.

Cloudy with fog. At the Office, occupied in making up Accounts and writing Diary. And went to Market as usual before Thanksgiving day. The display was not very great. Mr. Conant from Weston came in and kept me an hour and more in drawing out the Accounts of the last year. After investigating the whole business and considering the difficulty in the way of settlement, I wound up by making them take the good debts in part payment of services and the balance due to me on account in full satisfaction. I assumed the bad debts where the wood remained standing, and this settled the thing. A walk as usual.

Afternoon, finished No. 5. I do not know that I succeed in being perspicuous enough. It is one of the difficulties of composition to know when one has done enough. Though the idea may be clear enough to oneself, it may want to another the accessaries which explain it, and yet the labour of making plain is often equally tedious to writer and reader.

Quiet evening at home. Company disturbs us less than ever. My Wife began a Story by Madame Cottin, Malvina.1 I know nothing of it’s merits. Continued the Fables of Lessing, but they continue to puzzle me.

1.

Malvina was contained in the first two volumes of the Oeuvres of Mme. Sophie Ristaud Cottin (8 vols., Paris, 1817).