Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Saturday. June 26th. VII:30. CFA Saturday. June 26th. VII:30. CFA
Saturday. June 26th. VII:30.

Missed Prayers and recitation this Morning although it is among the first in the quarters, and I expect a punishment. I could not help it today and determined not to miss any more this week, not even one prayer until Saturday at least. I spent the morning in reading as much as possible of my Bible and writing my Journal for the day before yesterday which however I did not finish before I was called by Tudor to go to town in a chaise which was at the door. I accordingly prepared myself and went. We soon arrived in Boston and I went immediately to Dr. Welsh’s to see my brother upon the affair of this Company and also upon the subject of the letter which I had received this morning from John1 concerning that very affair upon which I had talked with him at our last meeting. He writes in a 209singular way, speaks of George very affectionately but I know not whether this will last. He also speaks of Mary in a style which I had some reason to expect, but still as I can say nothing, and for the same reason, he cannot, I must leave his fate to Providence. I do think nothing but mutual displeasure will follow that honey moon which is the sole object of his wishes. John writes a little quizzically but generally in a more serious manner than usual. George was at Quincy so after some conversation with Miss Harriet and Mrs. Welsh and a little reading in George’s room besides writing him a note2 I left and went to the Exchange3 to meet Dwight and Tudor in order that we should dine there. I was somewhat sooner than they, but we were all in time. Relf,4 Elliot and Percy were there. The dinner as usual was a fine one and I enjoyed it much. After the cloth was removed I called for some wine and cigars and we sat very comfortably. The other gentlemen not indulging in wine, Dwight sent it over to “those Southerners” to show that although he had quarrelled with them on one point he still kept the politeness which belongs to a member. I could scarcely have expected such a thing ever would have been done by any one of them. Perhaps by the former, by the other two certainly not. I did feel a superiority to the whole of them at that moment which I knew to be natural but when I recollected the state of the College, it galled me.

I was very much amused at dinner time by the conduct of two or three gentlemen at the table. One was a little French buky,5 who he was I know not and care not, his name was Behr, I believe, his silly style diverted me as he appeared about as much of an ape as any man I know. Another was sitting opposite to us who was very inquisitive and talkative, he asked us many questions as to our residence &c. and finally gave his card to Tudor. He appeared to be very much affected by something, for he was calculating in his pocket book almost all the time. He drew out two books, looked over a large number of bank notes and returned them, got up and walked off. This made us believe he was intoxicated but I do not think this warranted by the general conduct of the man and his conversation on the subject of the fire.6 We rose at last, found Chapman waiting for us in the entry according to agreement to go to Savin Hill. We went to the Marlborough Hotel and met them to go off, arrived there we spent part of the afternoon playing billiards, part of it bowling, and the rest eating strawberries and drinking portwine. We played billiards again after the other two had left us to go to Boston and drink tea, I did not play so well as last time, and finally got quite tired, we then returned 210to Cambridge round through Brooklyne as I wished to avoid the town which is always a disagreable place to me.

The evening was a delightfully cool one and the ride was as pleasant as any I ever took. There is something singularly pleasing in these rides from Cambridge, I certainly enjoy them more than those which I get any where else. I shall not forget the pleasant times between John and I. We returned in good time, it being about half past eight o’clock, took a few oysters, and spent half an hour at Wheatland’s. I had a bleeding at the nose this Evening and felt happy that it had not attacked me in the course of the day. I read my Chapters in the Bible making up the deficiency of the last Evening, my regularity does not stand most creditably of late either in my self imposed exercises or in those laid upon us by the Institution. X:15.






The Exchange Coffee House on Congress Square, built in 1822, four years after the first, elegant structure of Charles Bulfinch burned down ( Bacon’s Dict. of Boston , p. 395–396).


Daniel Clark Relf, of New Orleans, a senior ( Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).


“Buckie,” a perverse or refractory person ( OED ).


On Wednesday, 23 June, a five-story building on Salem Street caught fire, and the roof and two upper floors were badly damaged (Columbian Centinel, 26 June 1824).

Sunday June 27th. VIII. CFA Sunday June 27th. VIII. CFA
Sunday June 27th. VIII.

Missed Prayers, but attended Chapel on one of the warmest days we have had this year. There was no amusement therefore in sitting to hear Dr. Ware and the President prose away the day. To this however we were condemned today, and went through with. For my part I was employed very closely all the rest of the day in writing up my Journal which is no inconsiderable task when it gets in the least behind hand. I had expected to have been able to do a little more, but I was attacked with a considerable visit from Dr. Bartlett as we call him from his size, having a tremendous corporation for a young man. He staid with me about an hour and a half. He came to develop a body of news which he had picked up at different places concerning the late differences in the Porcellian Club. He made out quite a correct story by different pieces of information which he had picked up in the course of his conversation. He used formerly to be more intimate with me than now but I found him dangerous from this very quality of his, that he has a power of making up stories from the different persons he hears them from and retailing them with the authority of one man. As I was his friend, I told him some things which came near injuring me essentially in College. I found out this 211part of his character and although I know he is not guilty of any sinister intention towards me, he might do me more mischief than my most bitter enemy even when he believed he was performing the kindest office, in the world. He is a young man with the best temper in the world, his only fault arising from a wish to be important in the great world, that means the high circle. He therefore makes himself so by carrying news to them and inventing very long stories. He hears something and gives it a relish by stretching it, if he is asked for his authority, you are informed, such a one but that he would not wish to have his name used or that it should be known as coming from him. If however as is sometimes the case he has no authority he says that he is obliged to be secret. After leaving my room he went to Otis and Sheafe’s where he spent the rest of the afternoon. He said there was a report about that I had accepted which I of course told him to deny.

In the evening I took a walk and some strawberries as usual. Spent the Evening as usual in Summer doing nothing at all. X.