Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 18th. CFA Tuesday. 18th. CFA
Tuesday. 18th.

Morning cloudy and dull but subsequently cleared up. At the Office rather earlier than usual expecting to see a man on Mr. New’s business. He came but I got little satisfaction from him. My head is now somewhat puzzled as to the proper course to take. Nearly all the morning went in translating Aeschines which is a solemn piece of 240labour. Called for a moment on Mr. Brooks and having become sick of the monotony of my occupation, I sat down and tried at a draught of a political paper upon the present state of affairs. Wrote half a page three times over and did not like the result much. Afternoon at home. Considerable progress in the Oration for Ctesiphon. Came to the noble passage, called the Adjuration—A style of eloquence truly heroic.

At last, I received this evening a letter from my Father with a Note from my Mother giving some intimation of my probable residence this Summer.1 The two do not agree in their Account of the arrangements for their Journey. And I am in a puzzle between them. But experience has taught me there is no knowing what will happen, from any discussion of it in our family a week beforehand, and I shall on that account pay but little serious attention to Quincy until another letter comes. Evening, as my wife reads Moore’s Life of Byron,2 I take out the good parts of Don Juan, both for the beauty of the poetry and as an illustration of the work.

1.

JQA to CFA, 13 May (Adams Papers); the letter from LCA is missing. JQA announced his intent to leave Washington on 25 May and to arrive at Quincy by the 29th; LCA would follow, traveling more at leisure.

2.

Thomas Moore, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, with Notices of his Life, 2 vols., London, 1830.

Wednesday. 19th. CFA Wednesday. 19th. CFA
Wednesday. 19th.

Morning bright. Went to the Office as usual, and sat down to my translation in which I made some progress. My interruptions were of a trifling character until twelve. Mr. Brigham from Quincy called to ask me whether I would purchase any Canal Shares at Quincy. I declined as well from inclination as necessity. My father has too many there for his interest, as I think. And I have need of immediate income. Mr. Brooks stopped in for a minute about some things he had for us, which sent me home, from whence, I thought I would seize the opportunity to go to the Gallery and waste an hour in lounging. Met there Dr. Davis and had a pleasant chat with him. He is a young man of a good deal of sense, and somewhat above the ordinary run of our youth. The Gallery pleased me better today.

Returned home and passed the afternoon in reading Demosthenes in which my progress was rapid. But I find that I a little slighted the latter part in my former reading. It is now necessary to finish in order to get ready for our removal. My review of it will scarcely succeed. I wrote a short answer to my Father which I barely got ready in time.1 Then amused myself by reading to my Wife from Moore’s Life of 241Byron, a miserably compiled work though very interesting in itself, from the richness of the materials.

1.

LbC in Adams Papers. CFA proposed that, since his house in Boston would be closed for the summer, their three servants be employed at Quincy.