Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 10th. CFA Sunday. 10th. CFA
Sunday. 10th.

Morning cloudy but became pleasant. My father and Mother left us this morning after breakfast, and I felt a sensation of loneliness at my home after they had gone which is somewhat new to me, and not very agreeable, neither does it forebode any good. My hopes have been sanguine for a year past, that if my domestic happiness was to be disappointed by the failure of children, I might at least have a substitute in the ardor for literary distinction, but my mind is easily discouraged and my avocations so divide me as to be fast destroying any hope I had to appropriate my time to any useful purpose.

Attended divine Service all day and heard Mr. Frothingham in the morning and Mr. Ripley in the Afternoon. Neither Sermon had any 337interest to me. My Wife remained at home all day excepting when she went to see Mrs. P. C. Brooks. I was occupied upon the Catalogue, which is drawing to a Close.

In the evening, Chardon came in to tell us his brother Gorham’s child was dead.1 Such a thing as this reconciles one to not having any, for I do pity with all my heart the person affected by a sudden blow of desolation. I have no ills in comparison with such as this.

1.

A daughter, born earlier in 1830 (Brooks, Farm Journal, 4 June and 11 Oct.).

Monday. 11th. CFA Monday. 11th. CFA
Monday. 11th.

Morning extremely mild and pleasant. Went to the Office as usual and occupied myself in writing my Journal and arranging my Accounts for my Father. Walked to the South end for the purpose of making the transfer to Thomas B. Adams Jr. of the Shares in the Boylston Market and seven Shares in the Boylston Insurance Company by which Investments two thirds of his property is disposed of.1 Took the opportunity of looking at the Tenements which are all empty and felt as if there was a necessity of taking some immediate and vigorous measures. Collected the balance of my father’s dividends and paid myself the Compensation due to me. Thus went the morning.

Afternoon spent in reading over Cicero’s first book which I found easy and perfectly comprehensible. The advice is excellent. I would that I could keep it in my mind constantly. But I feel discouraged about myself. My efforts result in nothing and my studies are mere vanity. What is the use of labour without profit.

Evening read Corinne and Mason’s Life of Gray, after which I took up the North American Review and read the Article upon the Tariff and Internal Improvement doctrine as at present treated by South Carolina. It is a Masterly Essay, by Edward Everett, and calculated to produce considerable effect. I particularly admired the close of it which is in his happiest manner.2 I have also undertaken to read the British Essay Writers, which I never yet could succeed in doing.3

1.

Upon being notified on his 21st birthday that $3,000 had been deposited to his credit, Lt. Adams asked first for JQA’s advice on its investment and subsequently that the money be invested for him. JQA delegated the matter to CFA, who purchased ten shares of the Boylston Market for $1,315. With the purchase of seven shares of Boylston Insurance Co., $936 remained in CFA’s hands for investment. See above, entries for 3 Aug., 1 Sept.; JQA to Thomas B. Adams Jr., 28 Aug., 1 Sept.; JQA to CFA, 20 Oct. (all LbC’s, Adams Papers).

2.

“Speeches made in the Senate of the United States on occasion of the Resolution offered by Mr. Foot, on the Subject of the Public Lands, during the First Session of the Twenty-First Congress,” North Amer. Rev. , 31:462–546 (Oct. 1830).

3.

The daily reading in the British 338essayists here begun was pursued until 23 Nov. 1832. During that time CFA read the Tatler, Spectator, Guardian, Rambler, Adventurer, World, and Idler. On the edition CFA was reading, see below, entry for 22 Jan. 1831.