Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

192 Tuesday. 11th. CFA Tuesday. 11th. CFA
Tuesday. 11th.

Wrote to my father this morning. Received after breakfast a most extraordinary letter from my Mother.1 What could possibly be the cause of such a singular break is beyond my comprehension. She informs me that it is doubtful whether John’s marriage ever takes place. All this is new and astonishing. She threatens to leave the house and much more which is a cause of incessant puzzle to me. Had much conversation with George upon the subject. He talks very rationally. At the Office but did not do much. My father seems to have a most singular concurrence of misfortunes to contend with at the present moment. In the afternoon I went to Mrs. P. C. Brooks Jr. in Chesnut Street to see Abby. She came in late. In the evening I went with her to the Wedding visit of Mrs. J. Quincy Jr. My spirits were not very high, and I saw much in Abby’s conduct this evening to displease me and to depress them still lower. Returned home very shortly.



Wednesday 12th. CFA Wednesday 12th. CFA
Wednesday 12th.

Morning call at Mrs. Frothingham’s. Saw Abby. Previously to this received a letter from my Mother in tolerable spirits. This is the unaccountable part of her character. Nothing is said in relation to the previous letter and one would not suppose that any thing could have happened so lately before to create such a disturbance. My own spirits however were materially improved by this change. After an hour with Abby, passed the remainder of the day at the Office. In the evening a walk with George, and drank a bottle of Champagne with Richardson who called at my room and passed a couple of hours in conversation with me.

Thursday. 13th. CFA Thursday. 13th. CFA
Thursday. 13th.

Morning at the Office, reading Law. At twelve o’clock went with George to pay some visits which were due to different people. Got through a short time before dinner. Afternoon at the Office quite engaged. Evening at home, reading the Protagoras of Plato. George came in for an hour with a list of grievances, which I laughed at. Occupied in writing Executive Record.

Friday. 14th. CFA Friday. 14th. CFA
Friday. 14th.

Morning at the Office, nothing remarkable occurred. Conversation with George. My mornings pass away most unaccountably. But little 193actually done. The afternoons though short are those parts of the day which are most useful to me. In the evening I occupied myself in writing a letter and Records and in reading. After going to bed, was roused by the alarm of fire which so startled me that I started off and saw the whole of it. It was a house on Washington Street in the south part of the town. I did not get quietly asleep until two in the morning. The blaze of this fire produced a beautiful effect. The clouds happened to be low and rather of a thin kind. So that the flame tinged them all with a pale red. It was very light to go to the fire in consequence, but when the cause of the illumination was discontinued, nothing could be darker. The firemen displayed a good deal of intrepidity in saving a house which was so entirely on fire when I first saw it that it seemed impossible to me to prevent it’s complete combustion.