Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 9th. CFA Tuesday. 9th. CFA
Tuesday. 9th.

Morning at the Office. Time occupied in making my record for the three preceding days which was somewhat laborious. Called in to see Mr. Brooks who seemed to speak as if his Wife was better. Richardson called for a few minutes and Mr. Curtis. The latter read a letter for my Father which arrived here from the House of Baring, being another act of Mr. Petty Vaughan’s Play. I enclosed this with a bill for Thomas J. Hellen and sent them both to my Father.1 But on reflection I find my morning wasted very much in the manner they all are. This is bad but I hardly know how to correct it.

I returned home and after dinner devoted myself to the Oration on the Crown in which I made some progress. The text is not so difficult 158to understand as that of Aeschines, and the style is more polished. I feel pleased as I go on. I took part of the time, as the ladies were out, to attempt a little of my second Essay. Mr. Child not having published my first in his Saturday’s paper gives me a little respite. Perhaps he may not publish it at all—How do I know. If not he ought to return it agreeably to my request. I succeeded in forming a skeleton of an Essay, this evening which I shall fill up at leisure. It embraced the prominent points of defective deliberative Oratory. I then recollected it was time to go to Edward Brooks’ to the weekly Meeting. The usual persons were there, and the guests enumerated at the last Meeting, with the addition of Mr. Shepherd who came in upon a visit without any intention of interfering. Our time was merry but I did not enjoy it; We returned and I read some of Lord Kaimes.

1.

The letter from Baring’s is missing. On Thomas Johnson Hellen (1809–1833), nephew of LCA, see vol. 1:6, and Adams Genealogy.

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

Morning at the Office. The Weather which for three weeks past has been cold this day moderated so much that the snow began to disappear with amazing rapidity. I have now become so much accustomed to it that I rather regret this, for it makes only an interruption in our winter Weather and not a final change from it. My last Evening’s Supper gave me a slight uneasy head ach which made me feel unable to do much, and the condition in which I found my Office distracted my attention. The People were in it making repairs. I think it is about to be fully worth what I think I ought to ask for it. But there are now so many Offices empty that I am fearful I shall not get rid of it, just at present.

I passed the morning in reading the Speech of Mr. Quincy upon the New army Bill so noted for its violence and the reply given to it by Mr. Clay.1 There is some eloquence in it, but the want of judgment, Mr. Q.’s prominent weakness throughout life is manifest. I then called to see Mr. Brooks who was again low spirited and I went to inquire of Quincy what the result of my Note for the Note was, but it was not to be found so my pursuit was fruitless.2 My morning passed and the Afternoon was taken up in looking over and correcting Letters for Mr. Sparks. This is a disagreeable business at all times, and particularly when suffering a little from indisposition. I read aloud in the Evening, a little of Sir Charles Grandison to the Ladies and afterwards read Lord Kaimes.

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1.

The speeches of Josiah Quincy (1772–1864) and Henry Clay, delivered in the House, Jan. 1813, are in Williston’s Eloquence at 3:5–76.

2.

Josiah Quincy (1802–1882) had not been able to locate JQA’s note to the executors of JA’s will so that it could be returned, payment having been made; see entry for 28 Jan., above.