Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

327 Sunday. 26th. CFA Sunday. 26th. CFA
Sunday. 26th.

The morning was exceedingly rainy and disagreeable so that the whole family remained at home. Having finished Rollin I hardly knew what to do with myself and wasted the time somewhat in doing little or nothing. Had a good deal of conversation with my Wife who is very much out of spirits respecting her health. She is weak and feels the effect of any kind of exertion. I tried to encourage her as well as I could although I myself think her complaint lasts most uncommonly.

In the Afternoon it cleared away and I attended Meeting. Heard Mr. Stetson preach a Sermon which might have been very good for all I knew to the contrary but I could not sufficiently fix my attention. In the evening, Amused myself with several Articles in the American Quarterly Review some of which are very good. That upon Napoleon though a warm and perhaps partial defence, is a very brilliant Article.1 That upon Sunday Mails is more full of sense and sound judgment than the one on the same subject in the North American.2


“Napoleon and Bourrienne,” in American Quarterly Review, 8:32–71 (Sept. 1830).


A review of Report of the Committee of the House of Representatives of U.S. on Post-offices and Post Roads ..., [on] Transportation of the Mails and Distribution of Letters on Sunday, same, p. 175–197.

Monday. 27th. CFA Monday. 27th. CFA
Monday. 27th.

Not during the whole Summer has there been a more beautiful morning than this was. The Sun rose clear and with that mellow and autumn light which spreads such a soft tinge upon every thing it touches. Arose and after breakfast made all my preparations for removal home. Three months have now been passed in this rambling way and I am heartily tired of it. To me it has proved worth nothing, except in blunting good resolutions and discouraging creditable undertakings. To my Wife it has not proved as beneficial as I anticipated. We reached our house early and I was busy during the morning in giving all the necessary directions incident upon setting a house going again.1

Then to the Office where I had a visit from Mr. Krehmer. A pleasant young man enough, but one of the Roué tribe for whom I feel exceeding little fondness. But he extracted from me an offer to go with him to Quincy for which I felt very sorry. Read a little of Hutchinson. Very dry. Returned home once more and dined. After which, I went to my study and began the Winter Campaign with Cicero which I propose to read through in course.2 I began with the 328Books de Inventione, and propose in the course of this study to make myself as much as possible master of the Latin language. It is one thing to read Latin, another to understand it’s force. Evening, began a course with my Wife of French, by reading Mad. de Stael’s Corinne,3 and read to her an Article in the North American Review upon Moore’s Life of Byron.4 After which Logic. The first study day.


Despite CFA’s intent to restrict his and ABA’s visits to Quincy and Medford during the summer to brief and intermittent ones, parental pressures and ABA’s loneliness in a Boston from which other members of the family had removed (entry for 8 Aug., above) forced him to alter his decision. On 17 July the house on Hancock Avenue was closed for the summer and the servants were added to the staff at Quincy. Aside from one stay in Quincy during late August and early September extended some ten days beyond the usual, the periods spent at Quincy and at Medford were roughly equal. To prepare to reopen the Boston house Bridget McDonough, cook, and Elizabeth Caldwell, “nurserymaid,” returned to Hancock Avenue a few days earlier (JQA, Diary, 21 Sept.).


Although there are numerous editions of Cicero’s works in Latin at MQA, CFA makes it clear (entry for 29 Sept., below) that he was using the edition of the Opera published at Oxford in 1783 in 10 vols. The copy at MQA has JQA’s bookplate and contains marginal notes in CFA’s hand, mostly relating to typographical inaccuracies.


This is a rereading. See vol. 1:437.


A review, unsigned (by W. B. O. Peabody), of Thomas Moore’s Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, with Notices of his Life, in North Amer. Rev. , 31:167–199 (July 1830).