Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 2d. CFA Sunday. 2d. CFA
Sunday. 2d.

The day was pleasant although the weather was cool. I attended Meeting with my Wife in the morning and alone in the afternoon. Heard Mr. Frothingham preach a Sermon upon the opening of the year, and my Classmate Cunningham in the Afternoon on the same. I do not think the latter will be likely to take very much among the good people of Boston. I could not realise to myself that in that pulpit stood the man whom I had formerly known so well, and who was now trying to assume a tone which my preconceived notions of him made me feel to be unsuitable. His address is artificial, and his style far too figurative for the times.1 I could not help reflecting what a severe hand had corrected my style, giving no Quarter to my Flowers, which were mere daisies along side of this man’s lilies and Tulips. I afterwards read Middleton, in whom I made some progress. But not with much earnestness. My studies seem now a little aback. Evening, just as we were sitting down to read a little French, Edward Blake came in and spent an hour. He was quite pleasant. And after he left us, we had 395little inclination to resume. I went on however with my Catalogue and read the Tatler.


CFA’s earlier impressions of Francis Cunningham were not dissimilar to those he here expresses; see vol. 1:232–272 passim. What was worthy of remark was that those characteristics of style were now employed in the pulpit.

Monday. 3d. CFA Monday. 3d. CFA
Monday. 3d.

Morning pleasant. I went to the Office, and was occupied nearly the whole of the morning in paying bills which were crowding in upon me. My father’s considerably exceed the estimates I had formed and mine do not fall short. It is on the whole lucky that we are both decently provided. My Finances are rather intricate things as I manage them, but still I think I always see day through them. I had not any time to spare, as Mr. Boyd again called upon me in his case, which he was a little hasty in suing.

Returned home to dine and passed the afternoon in reading the Orator. I have been so much dissatisfied with my progress in it heretofore that I began over again to read it thoroughly and accomplished fifteen or sixteen sections in a proper manner. My studies must be more thoroughly attended to. Evening was passed in reading L’Hermite en Londres with my Wife, and also in continuing Evelina. But she was suffering so much that she seemed in no kind of spirits. I feel anxious about her present situation as it is a change from the past. After she retired, I continued my Catalogue lazily and read my regular Numbers of the Tatler.

Tuesday. 4th. CFA Tuesday. 4th. CFA
Tuesday. 4th.

Morning doubtful but the present is an uncommonly mild time. I forgot yesterday to mention a Meeting of the Directors of the Middlesex Canal at Mr. W. Appleton’s Office1 upon the reduction of rates. The question was upon receiving the report of the Committee in favour of an agreement with the Concord and Boston Boating Company, by which they may be able to reduce their amount of freight. I assented to the proposal as an experiment but I am somewhat inclined to think that at this moment when the cry is out against Corporations, it is rather injudicious to both for one to throw a monopoly into the hands of the other. Nobody however expressed any such opinion. This ought to have been in yesterday’s record.

I did very little but in the way of Accounts this morning. The Judge came up and I settled with him, and my Clients told me their business 396was settled, for which I am glad. I went to take a walk. My Wife is quite unwell and I feel for her. Afternoon reading the Orator which I still find great difficulty in understanding. My spirits are somehow or other very middling. Why, I cannot conceive for I have enough to be thankful for. But my progress is not what I want it to be. Evening, reading Evelina and French, after which I made considerable progress in my Catalogue and read the Tatler.


The counting room of William Appleton, a director of the Middlesex Canal Company, was at 54 State Street ( Boston Directory, 1831–1832).