Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday 8th. CFA Monday 8th. CFA
Monday 8th.

Morning mild and clear. We returned to town from Medford and I went directly to the Office. My time was taken up insensibly without having any particular way of accounting for it. Two or three persons called upon me about the Houses, among others, Mrs. Harriet Lewis, the former Tenant. I talked with her, and was very glad of the opportunity to explain to her some facts which I had formerly heard about her. She was warm and earnest in denying them. There is no knowing how to go on with these women. I would rather never have to do with them. Mr. Jackson came to me to talk about the Dr. and I gave him special orders to remove his things. I also wrote to Dr. Lewis respecting some injury that was done to the House, and to Mr. Child about the Uniforms.1 Thus went most of the morning.

The afternoon was passed in an examination of the Houses, and giving directions how to mend them. My own opinion is that the rent of these at the price I set them is low, but I have no means of ascer-182taining, and no applicants who close with me. My idea of the trouble of property increases daily. There is little affording a steady settled income, beyond the influence of chance. And with a little money now upon my hands, I find myself seriously puzzled to know what to do with it. The chances are great and on the whole the profits small. Returned home and it being too late to attend to Demosthenes I passed the remainder of the afternoon in pasting Papers to my father’s books, a dry but necessary duty. The Evening was spent at home in reading to my Wife the rest of Lear. She was so unwell from a cold however that she could not enjoy it, and I felt nervous and lowspirited. The responsibility of this property now hangs very heavily upon me. Read a part of Walker’s Rhetorical Grammar.

1.

Both letters missing.

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

Morning at the Office. Weather very much changed from being mild to a tolerably severe degree of cold. I passed the time much as usual. Finished the fourth volume of Williston and not having the next to continue with, I was obliged to take up Hall’s Law Journal.1 I am more and more worried about my Father’s affairs. The Fire and Marine pay no Dividend as I am told, and thus I am cut off from almost every source of supply. I went to see Mr. Brooks and talked a little with Mr. Welsh, which made the whole of my morning. Regret follows waste, but little amendment is the result.

A Tenant came and applied to me for the House, or rather Tenement next to what was Miss Longhurst’s. This was the only person today. The afternoon was passed in reading Demosthenes, and taking refuge in the beauties of the style from the anxieties relating to personal matters. I made good progress today, and relished it more.

In the evening, the usual meetings of the Brooks family which had been interrupted by the melancholy event, were resumed at my House. This was on the whole also the most pleasant we have had. I felt rather more at my ease, and was able to carry through the evening more feeling of my own situation. But there is still something wanting. The meeting was tolerably gay, considering the circumstances. How soon grief wears off from the young and active. We can none of us expect to be lamented beyond a short day or two after we cease to live.

1.

The fourth volume is concluded with Daniel Webster’s speech in the impeachment of Judge James Prescott, 1821 (p. 487–508). James E. Hall edited the American Law Journal and Miscellaneous Repertory, 6 vols., Phila., 1808–1817.

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