Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Friday. 30th. CFA Friday. 30th. CFA
Friday. 30th.

Morning at the Office; received a pleasant letter from my Mother, in pretty good spirits. Looked up a case that was argued at Moot Court a fortnight since, read the Law upon it but could not make up my mind. The news was that Col. Pickering was dead.1 I cannot say I am glad but I am not sorry. For he is an inveterate enemy to us, and my father’s residence here will be rather painful as it is, I fear. I this day, through the agency of Mr. Degrand, purchased two shares more of the American Bank which is in addition to my former investment. I have managed tolerably well, and hope it will do me service, for I have none to thank but myself in my two last purchases. Obtained a Dividend of ten dollars on a share on two shares of the Middlesex Canal. Dined at Mrs. Frothingham’s again. Gorham Brooks and Ellen Shepherd, Abby and myself. A painful affair to me, and it entirely turned the cheerfulness of my spirits. I cannot feel easy where I am conscious 340I am asked merely on Abby’s account, and the repugnance grows in me. A little of Adam Smith, Conversation with George, and in the evening, finished Pickering’s Review.

1.

Timothy Pickering died in Salem on 29 January 1829 ( DAB ).

Saturday 31st. CFA Saturday 31st. CFA
Saturday 31st.

A fit of low spirits has come upon me, from what particular reason, I am not able to say. It originates perhaps with the feeling of irksome impatience occasioned by my situation in regard to the Brooks family, alluded to yesterday. I am tired of my engagement and the difficulties in the way of my visits to Abby. And heartily have I wished more than once that she had not a relation in the world. This is decidedly selfish and should not be indulged. All men suffer more or less from this disadvantage, and my only singularity is that I should be favoured with an unusual, and what is worse, an unexpected quantity. I hope Abby will not stay in town again till she is about to be married, if that time should ever come. My present arrangement is a pleasant one to me, for I see a great deal of her without any, or at any rate, much of the alloy. I cannot feel at home among her relations and there is an end of it.

I passed the larger part of the morning at the Office of the Middlesex Canal, gathering information of Mr. Eddy, and obtained enough to satisfy me for the present. I intend trying my hand at a paper upon this subject.1 Passed a part of the afternoon with Abby. Not very pleasantly for I was dull and restless. Interrupted by the arrival of Henry Brooks from New York. He has been absent a year, and looks thin. Went to the Office and wrote a letter to my Mother. It was short as my time was limited and it was not in very good humour as I was not. Evening, I went to Moot Court but found that there was none and felt exceedingly dull. Passed an hour at the Office but my fire was gone, and I was compelled to go home early.

1.

The Middlesex Canal was to occupy much of CFA’s time during the ensuing week. For the essay which he finally prepared see entry for 7 Feb., and note, below.