Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

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

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.

1.

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.).

2.

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.

3.

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

4.

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).

Tuesday. 28th. CFA Tuesday. 28th. CFA
Tuesday. 28th.

Morning fine. Arose early and devoted an hour to pursuing the Catalogue of my books at my House. Thence to the Office where I had several people inquiring about the Estate of Mr. New which is to be sold next week. Took a long walk myself to the Wharf of Mr. S. Child to obtain some Wood for the Winter.1 The price of this Article has also fallen probably in consequence of the cheapness of Coal, so that my fuel will not cost me quite so much as it did last year. I hope to manage a little more discreetly it’s use also.

Returned to the Office and then paid a visit to Mr. Krehmer, so that the morning was very much cut up. What was left at my disposal was devoted to Hutchinson which I do not read quite as attentively as I ought. After dinner, I sent for a conveyance and went with Mr. Krehmer to Quincy. We found the family all quite well excepting Louisa2 who has a cold and sore throat.

No opportunity for Conversation of any kind excepting a few words with my Mother about the project of electing my father to Congress from Plymouth district which I regret exceedingly.3 My father is a singular man. He wants the profound wisdom which gives knowledge it’s highest lustre, he is not proof against the temporary seductions of popular distinction to resist which is the most solid 329evidence of greatness. Yet if he is not in character like Washington, he is a very extraordinary man for the times we live in. Returned by Moonlight, and Mr. E. Quincy paid us a short visit afterwards.

1.

The wood wharf of Stephen Child Jr. was on Front Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).

2.

That is, Mary Louisa Adams, aged two, the older of JA2’s daughters.

3.

In the interim since the idea was first advanced (above, entry for 16 Sept.) JQA received calls from a number of supporters who sought his assurance that if the National Republicans of the district nominated him, he would accept the nomination. These visitors included Joseph Richardson, the incumbent not standing for reelection; John Bailey, the representative in Congress from Norfolk; John Brazer Davis; Deacon Daniel Spear; and Thomas Greenleaf. The two newspapers printed in the district, the Old Colony Memorial and the Hingham Gazette, came out in support of the nomination. (JQA, Diary, 18, 22, 25, 28 Sept.) However, LCA, either on her own initiative or after hearing CFA’s objections, took a resolute stand against JQA’s candidacy: “There are some very silly plans going on here and God only knows in what they will end, but I fear not at all to my taste” (LCA to JA2, 1 Oct., Adams Papers, and below, entry for 27 Oct. and note).