Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Saturday. 2d. CFA Saturday. 2d. CFA
Saturday. 2d.

The weather still continued delightfully mild during the whole day. I was at the office engaged in my usual occupations—Arranging my Accounts which from some cause or other take up much of my time and talking much with Mr. Degrand who did not succeed in making any Investment for me as I had desired. I am not entirely sorry for this as what I saw did not present to me a vision entirely attractive. I was able to devote a short time to reading and became much interested in the Speech of Mr. Harper upon the British Treaty power of appointing Ministers lodged in the Executive.1 It is a tolerable Speech, but disappoints me when compared to what I had heard my Brother say of it. It does not nearly equal that of Mr. Ames which I have lately read, on the British Treaty. I had not much time to think of these things and so was obliged to return home after seeing Mr. Brooks for a moment to tell him we should go out of town tomorrow.

After dinner I continued reading Aeschines and endeavouring to make a more rapid advance than hitherto in which I succeeded and as I had a little time over and above, which remained besides, I devoted it to commencing a Letter to my Father, which I could not finish before it became time to go to the regular meeting of the Debating Society. I regret that I am always feeling so pressed for time, as to be unable to write to him as fully and regularly as I ought—123Because my Correspondence with him has the double merit of being interesting and useful to me. I was obliged to leave off, to go and hear the question of the Georgia Indians discussed. It was done in a lame and dull manner. The Committee were not a good one to do the subject justice, and those were absent who could give most interest to it. I was much pleased with my own extemporaneous success to revive the drooping spirit which had been distressed by the long harangue of Dr. Davis, neither studied nor connected in its parts.2 Returned home late and retired after reading an article in the North American Review called a Year in Spain.3

1.

“On the constitutional powers of the President and Senate relative to the appointment of foreign ministers,” delivered in the House, 2 March 1798, by Robert Goodloe Harper (Williston’s Eloquence, 2:19–75).

2.

Probably Edward G. Davis, physician, of 17 Pearl Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831). For CFA’s views on the subject under debate, see below, entry for 21 Jan. and note.

3.

A review of A Year in Spain by Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, North Amer. Rev. , 30:237–259 (Jan. 1830). The (anonymous) reviewer was Willard Phillips.

Sunday. 3d. CFA Sunday. 3d. CFA
Sunday. 3d.

The morning was bright and clear though somewhat colder than I had been accustomed to for the few days past. I had no time to do any thing at home, as we went to Medford according to agreement immediately after breakfast. I suffered a good deal from cold during my ride. But having reached there before Service began, we went down in the Carriage, and heard Mr. Stetson preach a Communion Sermon in which I did not take much interest. Then at home, time passed as usual pretty much. The afternoon, we again went to Meeting, and heard Mr. Hedge of West Cambridge, an old Classmate of mine.1 I listened to his Sermon with attention. It was prettily written, but in a style rather singular for a Country Clergyman, whose parishioners do not much understand the nature of the sublime and beautiful. Their philosophical heads turn much more upon the practical and the simple.

We returned home and found Edward Brooks and his Wife just come to pass the afternoon. They were lively and pleasant, talked about the Ball, and made the time pass so rapidly that I hardly was sensible of it. These are on the whole the most to my taste of all the family. After tea, Mrs. Everett and I went to Mrs. Hall’s to pay a short visit. They were all very dull and I was amazingly tired of my visit. Mary, the daughter is a Woman of strong mind and pleasing conversation but they are a doleful set at present owing to certain misfortunes which are upon them strongly.2 We left them and spent an hour 124with the Miss Osgoods, a pair of old maids, daughters of the famous Parson Osgood of well known memory. They are tinged with old and disagreeable prejudices which make them to me very unpleasant, but as they are kind to my Wife, I cannot object to them. Returned early and retired as usual.

1.

On Frederic Henry Hedge, see vol. 1:425 and DAB .

2.

See above, entries for 8 Nov. and 16 Dec. 1829.