Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Sunday. 10th.

Tuesday. 12th.

Monday. 11th. CFA Monday. 11th. CFA
Monday. 11th.

I was very much occupied all day in superintending the process of moving the considerable collection of things we have made this winter, and in arranging them all suitably at home. It is now more than a year that I have been living out of my own house. A year in which I have lived agreeably and have received nothing but kindness and attention from my father in law Mr. Brooks. Could it be possible for me to enjoy myself in a home not my own, it would be in his where we have agreed wonderfully well together. But my privations are too great. I feel like a boy who has no right to utter an opinion or exercise control.

I was very anxious about my Wife for whom the process was a tolerably fatiguing one. The day happened however to be a very fine one and the whole thing was done by one o’clock so that we dined very quietly and comfortably. Afternoon I wrote a letter to my father1 and for the rest of my time passed it desultorily, in the luxury of dipping into books here and there without any object other than sipping the cream of literature.


11 May (Adams Papers); a reply to JQA’s letter of 29 April, on which see note to entry for 3 May, above:

“There are many who make it their business to flatter,... others who falsify by a spirit of enmity. Their words are all equally destitute of authority with you who are accustomed to unequivocal reliance upon the dictates of your own judgment. The habit of disregarding the opinions of others is not altogether safe because sometimes the Majority may be right. I trust I have shown no slavery to those opinions even where I have agreed with them. And where I have dissented both from them and from you the independence of judgment which the fact manifests may at least show that you have a calm as well as a disinterested adviser.

“It is true that I have it not in my power to attach myself to any engrossing pursuit.... Misanthropy may be the consequence, I hope not. For man in the individual I have no dislike.”