Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 20th. CFA Tuesday. 20th. CFA
Tuesday. 20th.

I went to the Office this morning with the intention of looking over the great Thelluson case for the purpose of understanding its principle, but I had papers to make up to go to Washington, letters to write and Accounts enough to keep me well engaged during my whole time.1 Then a walk and finishing the first book of the Fasti of Ovid. It wants unity of interest, but its parts are occasionally poetical. I have a French translation under a mountain of Commentary which is occasionally useful.2

Dr. Swan of Medford dined here. Afternoon, the Correspondence of W. Vans Murray which for its dimensions is far the most valuable I have read. It relates to the Treaty with France upon which my father3 59divided with his Secretaries. Evening partly at home and partly Company. The Miss Inches with their Father and brother. Nothing of peculiar interest.

1.

Of the letters, a LbC of that to JQA, 20 Jan., is in the Adams Papers. On the Thelluson case, see entry for 28 Jan., below.

2.

Traduction des Fastes, avec notes ... par Bayeux, Rouen, 1783–1788, had been borrowed from the Athenaeum.

3.

Slip of the pen for “grandfather.”

Wednesday. 21st. CFA Wednesday. 21st. CFA
Wednesday. 21st.

My No. 2 appeared this morning exceedingly well printed. I met Mr. Hallett in the Street and he told me that they had some effect in consolidating his party which has evidently been most dreadfully shaken by the late Election. He asked me respecting the course the party should take in the Senatorial Election. It seems my father is a formidable candidate to the Whig party. He is not their favorite but he embarrasses all their other candidates by the weight of his name and character. It is not a little curious to a philosophical observer of events to think that his name should be put in contrast with those of such persons as Henry Shaw, Levi Lincoln or William Baylies.1 I have always maintained the ground that the Office is no honor to him unless freely given—And that if given at all, which is unlikely, it will not be graciously is plain enough. Under these circumstances it would be pleasanter not to be included in the list at all. At any rate, my Numbers shall go on—If it is only to afford myself some little amusement. I send a copy to Mr. Van Buren and a copy to Mr. Webster as they are the persons principally affected by my arguments.

The day was warm and I took a walk which fatigued me much. Read the Volume of the Fasti with the Notes of the French translator which are heavy. Learning is a good thing for every purpose but that of mere display. Afternoon, assorting letters as usual. Nothing material. Evening reading d’Israeli. T. K. Davis came in and we had a couple of hours very agreeable conversation. I have almost given up my German in the evening.

1.

The list of those from which the Massachusetts legislature was likely to make a choice as successor to Sen. Nathaniel Silsbee, as JQA heard it in Washington, included Gov. Lincoln, but the others mentioned were Gov. John Davis, Isaac C. Bates, and Edward Everett (JQA, Diary, 14 Jan.).

Thursday. 22d. CFA Thursday. 22d. CFA
Thursday. 22d.

A mild day after heavy rain, not so healthy weather as the cold. I went to the Office and was busy there most of my morning in writing 60upon my third number which treats more particularly of the prospects of Mr. Webster. The Legislature last evening actually nominated him as a candidate for the Presidency. The game is up for Massachusetts.

I took a long walk which fatigued me unusually. The unusual temperature of the air at this Season is very relaxing. Home continued Ovid but read little of it, for Miss Mary Hall and Edward Brooks dined with us. Afternoon went through the letters of La Fayette some of which are characteristic and interesting.

Evening read the first volume of Hamilton’s book upon America.1 A conceited Englishman who was treated too civilly by us to be good for any thing. His Remarks are many of them just on the principle that you may often hear truth from an Enemy. But he is arrogant, flippant and exceedingly misled by the company he keeps, having no power to see through their motives and feelings, nor of judging between contradictory statements.

1.

See above, entries for 2223 March 1834.