Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Saturday. 27th. CFA Saturday. 27th. CFA
Saturday. 27th.

Morning clear and the snow began to melt with great rapidity. I went to the Office as usual and passed most of the morning in writing to my Father.1 Dr. Wendell called upon me and paid his little balance, which thus clears off another of the very disagreeable trifles that have been pressing me. I hope in time to get through them all. My letter was upon business and a brief and clear statement of his affairs. Not 198over flattering to be sure, but still worthy of attention. Half an hour was passed attending a Stock Sale,2 which turned out however in nothing material. I have funds to invest but fear I shall not be able to make them fully available, just yet, this I regret, as the Atlas Stock which I propose to purchase went low.

Returned home and after dinner was employed in reading Demosthenes, and finishing the celebrated oration on the Crown.3 It is a great effort and deserving perpetual study. The remarkable point is that he manages so well to throw over the whole the strong colouring of truth. Who can help feeling as if he had truth on his side when he recapitulates his services and his motives? Who does not feel as if Aeschines his accuser is playing a low game? On the whole, I think I have been fully paid in this study, by the insight given me into the power of words. Who does not feel the truth of Mirabeau’s explanation of his power when he said that he always considered Words as things.

The Evening was passed at the usual meeting of the Debating Society. The question of Theatrical Exhibitions was again brought up and discussed. I took no part in it however this evening as I had on the last exhausted all I had to say. It was a little singular that Chapman followed my ground precisely. We carried our point. This was the closing evening in this season. In looking back to the beginning, I find I have not lost my time, for in ease and self possession, in the knowledge of division and exposition, I have made considerable progress. This is all however, but little compared to what I wish.

1.

LbC in Adams Papers.

2.

At noon in Merchants’ Hall with Stephen Brown as auctioneer (Boston Daily Advertiser, 27 March, p. 3, col. 5).

3.

CFA marked the completion of his study of the oration in the original, begun on 29 Oct. 1829, by writing a lengthy critique in the form of a letter to JQA, 2 April (Adams Papers).

Sunday. 28th. CFA Sunday. 28th. CFA
Sunday. 28th.

The morning was bright but chilly with a harsh March wind blowing. Immediately after breakfast, Abby and I went to Medford. The ride was the least pleasant I have had this year—My provisions against the cold not being such as they would have been in Winter. We found the family as usual, Miss Phillips still there. I went to Meeting all day, and heard Mr. Stetson preach two rather dull Sermons. He is a man of considerable sense, but it is obscured by his being so corpulent and consequently indolent. His mind is rather above the common order, of Country Clergymen. The remainder of the day was passed at the House as usual. Little or nothing remarkable happening. I read 199more of Monsieur Bausset, but not with much interest. The close is put in to fill up four volumes. The French are full of bookmaking, which is a business tolerably easy in these times, and particularly where Napoleon is concerned, who in every little incident of his life, is now a subject of interest to the Nation.

Medford is a different place since the death of Mrs. Brooks. I do not feel even the degree of interest I then had. What a loss is the head of a family to all the younger members, for the binding force being gone, division comes. What I have said heretofore in this Journal, is likely very soon to prove true. I pity Mr. Brooks very much.