Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Friday 17th. CFA Friday 17th. CFA
Friday 17th.

Morning at the Office, reading Blackstone. The weather begins to give signs of relenting. At twelve, I went with George to Quincy to see about my trees, and was engaged during the whole afternoon in transplanting some of the trees which I put down last year. They succeeded uncommonly well during the last year, but the accidents and 367neglect to which they were subjected checked them somewhat. My Uncle this day vacated the house, an event I have long looked for but which when it came surprised me. The mansion looks melancholy and old and ill used and gave me many ideas which I would have preferred not to have had, but so it must be. Returned to town early.

Saturday. 18th. CFA Saturday. 18th. CFA
Saturday. 18th.

Morning at the Office. Day clear but cool with an East wind. Wrote a letter to my Mother which I propose to be the last which I shall send. Their silence and perfect indifference to arrangements at Washington puzzles me extremely. Went to see Abby but felt exceedingly low spirited, as my doubts about myself again arise. I am coming to the point so that my mind ought to be braced up to it. Afternoon. Commenced reading Clarendon1 and was much struck with the style of the Preface. Rode to Medford with Abby this evening. But I felt very singularly all the evening.

1.

CFA’s set of The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England, by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, 8 vols., Oxford, 1826, is in the Stone Library, along with two other copies owned by JQA. JA’s copy is in the Boston Public Library ( Catalogue of JA’s Library , p. 126).

Sunday. 19th. CFA Sunday. 19th. CFA
Sunday. 19th.

Morning cloudy and dark. I remained at the House reading the North American Review. Nothing remarkable. Mrs. Everett and Miss Phillips came from Winter Hill to dine and Henry Brooks got home to day. Gorham, his brother, took leave. He marries Ellen Shepherd tomorrow and departs for Europe. I am not sorry that he goes. His manner to me has always been cold even to incivility, and though I feel too independent of him to trouble myself about it, yet whenever I have met him, it has created an awkwardness on my part which was not comfortable. How terrible it is to dance attendance upon the whims of other people. If my own spirits and confidence in myself were only firm, I could resist it more proudly. But on this point my spirits are rather low, particularly at this time.

Afternoon. Took a walk to the Lock and Aqueduct over Symmes River or Creek. It was pleasant enough and I saw the piece of Stone work which is certainly large and solid. It does credit to the perseverance of the Company. Passed the remainder of the day with Abby but somehow or other it was not one of our congenial days. She was not affectionate and so this in the result made me cold and dispirited. I wanted affection much and I found it not.

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