Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 30th. CFA Tuesday. 30th. CFA
Tuesday. 30th.

Morning mild though with an East Wind. At the Office as usual. Time passed in a rather useless manner. As I have finished Williston and not yet assumed any other reading, I found myself soon at a loss what to do, after I had got through the measures proper for bringing my Accounts into order for settlement. I got hold of a copy of Bacon’s Essays however, which could not but be good reading, and studied two or three of them with the usual pleasure. Wonderful the power of that man’s mind. Strong and sound thought.1

I tried to find Mr. Degrand to talk to him about Atlas Stock, but could not, so that I must go into Market and appear a buyer tomorrow if I wish to invest at all. Called to see Mr. Brooks, and afterwards gave the proper directions for the little repairs I wish in this building. I am now getting my Carpenter to attend to little minutiae very well. And I am gradually bringing all this property into better condition than it has been for a long time back. The Store looks now exceedingly well, and on the whole I feel tolerably satisfied with the present appearance of affairs.

Whitney came up to see me and seemed disposed to settlement. He agreed to pay me a part Cash, and a part by Note, but as he appeared unwilling to close, I acted in rather a Cavalier Style, satisfied that my appearing a little careless would have a better effect than my former anxiety. We parted standing as we were.

I dined with Abby at Chardon’s, as usual. Afternoon at home passed in reading the reviews of Demosthenes in the Edinburgh over again. They are excellent and if not a little too sneering and dogmatical would deserve the first rank for papers of criticism. As I had felt a 201little inclination to head ach during the day I thought it would be advisable to walk a little. The Evening was fine, and I had a pleasant though lonely stroll on the Common. After which I went to Chardon’s to the usual weekly Meeting, which was pleasant as they commonly are.


Bacon was one of the authors to whom CFA returned many times. He had read the Essays with some regularity early in 1824 (see vol. 1:23–68passim). Of CFA’s two copies of the Essays, Moral, Economical and Political in MQA, that published at Chiswick, 1822, has his signature and the date 1824. The other (London, 1822), originally GWA’s, has CFA’s bookplate, marginal comments, and a note dated 1831 in CFA’s hand, together with an inscription to JQA2 dated 6 Oct. 1853.

Wednesday. 31st. CFA Wednesday. 31st. CFA
Wednesday. 31st.

Morning thick and cloudy, with a slight rain and a cold Easterly wind. Went to the Office as usual and was engaged in making up my Quarterly Accounts. Miss Wells a daughter of my tenant in Tremont Street called to pay me a month’s rent and to say that they would stay another month. Mr. Whitney called to make a settlement but just as we were closing I started off upon the Shed he left, and we separated wider than before. Thus a moment’s rashness has I fear lost all prospect of a peaceable recovery of this large sum, and though I repented very soon, it was too late. He was gone. I had not time to think much upon it, for I went down to attend the sale of stocks at Merchants’ Hall in order to buy some Atlas Insurance Shares, but I did not succeed in getting them. I made a bargain however with Mr. Degrand for five at a quarter of one per cent advance, which settles the amount of my investment,1 then to my Office where I finished all that was requisite for the Quarterly Account. The amount of it exceeds two thousand dollars,2 and it is wonderful to me how it should have been spent, but so it is, that there is not enough to meet the payments tomorrow. My mind is a good deal troubled about it. I hope never hereafter to have so many crooked3 things to work.

The afternoon was passed at the Office in the hope of coming to a settlement with Whitney, but Mr. Gay his attorney intimated to me, that the time was gone by. I am afraid it has, and my father suffers dearly for my experience.4 Returned home dull. Read a little of Carpenter’s Senator without much relish. In the evening I read to Abby from Clarissa, excepting an hour which was passed pleasantly in a visit from Edward Brooks. He is quite an agreeable man and not valued near enough.


The recorded price in CFA’s personal account book is $500 (M/CFA/9).


This total for expenditures by the Agency during the quarter includes the 202routine payments of $315 to JA’s heirs, CFA’s fee of $250 as agent, the repayment of $843.56 borrowed in the preceding quarter, and the purchase of securities in the amount of $297.50 (M/CFA/3).


In the sense of being tortuous, out of order, awry ( OED ).


Thus in MS. A mistake for “inexperience”?