Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Thursday. 12th. CFA Thursday. 12th. CFA
Thursday. 12th.

Morning warm and pleasant, but my Wife was so unwell this morning with the disease incident to the season, that I abandoned the idea which I had taken up of returning on this day to Quincy. Rode to town accompanied by Mr. Frothingham. My time passed at the Office much as usual. I accomplished a good deal of Hutchinson, and then went down to the Boylston Insurance Office to try for the Certificates which however were not ready. I then went and looked at the Tenements in Common Street. Found Hollis not yet gone out, and Mrs. Wells still in. This woman notified me she must go, which is a matter 300of grievance. So it is sometimes. Those who are desired to go, stay and those whom we like to keep, leave us.

Returned to Medford. After dinner, Miss Glover and Miss Frothingham friends of Mrs. F., paid a visit.1 We undertook a walk to the place in the Pond or lake called the Partings,2 it was quite pleasant and took up a considerable time. On our return we found here Dr. and Mrs. Stevenson who took tea. On the whole, the time was very agreeably passed. They went away late, and the rest of the evening was passed lazily in skimming over Fontenelle’s Pluralité des Mondes.3

1.

Miss Glover and Miss Frothingham are not otherwise identified.

2.

Opposite the six-mile line on the canal, still within the bounds of the Brooks estate but nearly a mile north of the house, the Mystic Pond narrowed and was crossed by a shoal called “the Partings.” The location is evident on the plan of Medford reproduced in the present volume. The shoal, sometimes used as a road, divided the pond into nearly equal parts. At a later date a stone dam was built upon it, excluding the tidal water from the upper pond (Brooks, Medford , p. 17).

3.

An edition published at Paris in 1811 is in MQA.

Friday. 13th. CFA Friday. 13th. CFA
Friday. 13th.
Medford—Quincy

Morning quite cool, so that it required a little courage to go into the bath. I have upon this visit found great advantage from this practice in the morning, and had I a convenient house for it, would always insist upon such an appendage. My Wife was so sick this morning that I was in doubt whether to leave or not, but after consideration of the difficulties on all sides I concluded that the wiser course would be to go. Accordingly, after breakfast, we started from Medford where I have enjoyed myself very well upon this visit, and reached town early.

My principal occupation was to go and see the Tenements in Common Street, two of which will now shortly be empty. They are in much better condition than I had anticipated, but after all real Estate is a great plague. It is always getting worn out, and requiring repairs. Returned and read a little of Hutchinson. Went early to Quincy, and found all the family much as I left them. John and Robert not gone. After dinner we resumed our Catalogue and progressed with it considerably. But the length of time which has elapsed has produced some confusion in my mind. My Mother seemed better. Evening quietly at home with the family. Conversed with my father about Junius and he read to us a part of the Rolliad.1

1.

“The Rolliad” came to be the title of a series of political satires directed against the Tory government of William Pitt. Written from 1784 to 1790, the satires originally took the form of critical reviews of an epic poem “The Rolliad,” nonexistent but allegedly celebrating the exploits of Duke Rollo, a legend-301ary ancestor of John Rolle, M.P., one of Pitt’s supporters. An edition of The Rolliad published at London in 1795, apparently not a complete collection of the several parts previously published, was JQA’s and is in MQA.