Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

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.

1.

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

2.

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).

3.

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

4.

Thus in MS. A mistake for “inexperience”?