Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 2d.

Friday. 4th.

3 Thursday. 3d. CFA Thursday. 3d. CFA
Thursday. 3d.

Cloudy but very mild. Went to the Office and was engaged there very constantly all the morning. Drew my Dividends, and began the serious work of paying off all my bills which have been sent in. It is at least a gratification to me that I have been able to meet them, but it is a matter of some surprise how rapidly they accummulate. Two months ago, I had hardly any. My Summer’s residence at Quincy had expunged them nearly all.

Took a walk as usual. After dinner, resumed Anquetil, but finding myself grow indolent I determined to brisk up and work away upon No. 8, the third draught of which I finished. How little good have those numbers effected. And I have slaved away at them merely to add one more to my already serious number of failures. I will slave no more. If it is productive of nothing but mortification, why should I voluntarily incur it at every step I take? Why should I endeavour to wriggle out a little larger hole for myself when I can move my arms and lie comfortable without stirring? After all the present jobs are done I will lie on my Oars.1

My Wife and I went to take Tea at Edward Brooks’. His wife is better. Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham were there also.2 We had a pleasant evening and returned only in time for me to read the World.3

1.

On CFA’s oft-sounded dissatisfaction with the reception given his writing, never operative as a deterrent, see vol. 3:xxxv–xxxvi.

2.

ABA’s eldest brother Edward and his wife Eliza, along with Ann, sister of ABA, and her husband, Rev. Nathaniel Frothingham, are familiar figures in CFA’s diary; see also Adams Genealogy. Edward was assuming increasing control of his father’s large business interests; Frothingham was the minister of the First Church, Chauncy Place, in Boston.

3.

The most recently undertaken in CFA’s long-pursued reading of all the British essay-periodicals. See vol. 3:337–338; 4:405.