Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday 2d. CFA Monday 2d. CFA
Monday 2d.

I had two hours of this morning tolerably uninterrupted in which time I read much of the rules of Pleading in Marshall’s Law of Insurance. The weather was very chilly and disagreeable, a continuation of the storm of Saturday which in it’s effects proves much worse than I had supposed it to be. Mr. Curtis came in, to learn what my father desired to see him about on Saturday which I told him and he seemed quite sorry. It does not amount to much after all.1 Col. Jones the Auctioneer at Weston came to notify me that a sale of the Wood at Weston would take place on the 13th day of this month. I was glad to hear of this as I began to be apprehensive that I should not get the business done and it is desirable on account of my father’s situation that it should bring him some Money. I can hardly dare to hope although it is worth a considerable sum. The sale I shall feel obliged to attend. He had not left me before Titcomb came, being brought up by my threat that I would prosecute him directly. I got nothing out of him but promises, which he supposed might go down smoother from the circumstance of his bringing a Client with him. A certain Captain 65Lufkin who wanted to get his share of a Mackerel trip which he had earned some time in the year 1824. This is the first Client I have had since my Marriage. His case is a doubtful one, and after examination, I postponed a decision until he obtained stronger papers, which he promised to do and then left me.2 My Uncle, T. B. Adams called and finding me so busy went away again. He was doubtless a little surprised. Thus my morning was fully taken up.

After dinner, I continued my Catalogue, and read another portion of the Oration of Aeschines which was a little more difficult. I believe I mastered it at last. As Abby had gone out, I had two hours more which I spent in reading La Harpe on the remainder of Cicero. This Author writes well, but was too full of the French revolution not to crowd in much matter foreign from his subject, which however interesting to an auditory politically excited, agrees little with calm literary disquisition. I came across a violent tirade against the excesses of Robespierre, this evening, which find their true place not in discussions of Oratory but in History. At eight I went through the rain to Mrs. Frothingham’s for Abby, and found there, Mr. and Mrs. Everett, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and Abby. We had a little Supper and on the whole a pleasant time, but I felt a little silent. I do not know how it is but there is something about the singular character of Mr. Everett that shuts me up completely. Returned at ten.

1.

The papers of administration of the estate of Thomas Boylston which JQA had sent to Petty Vaughan on 29 Sept. not having reached him, JQA had on the 31st, without Curtis’ help, secured a duplicate set, had them authenticated at the offices of Probate and of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and turned them over to CFA for dispatch by the Amethyst sailing the next day (JQA, Diary, 31 Oct.).

2.

Nothing further is heard of Captain Lufkin’s claim unless the action taken by CFA against a member of the crew of the ship Gold Hunter is in pursuit of it. See entry for 16 Nov., below.

Tuesday. 3rd. CFA Tuesday. 3rd. CFA
Tuesday. 3rd.

Morning rainy and weather appearing much as it has done for some time back, Previous to my going to the Office I called upon Mrs. Lewis in the House at the Corner of Common Street to ascertain her determination with respect to it as her Lease expires shortly. She begged for time until the Spring to move, provided I would make a reduction of one third in her rent, which I did not feel myself authorized to do, so that after some talk, I found to my regret that this House was also to be upon my hands. I therefore quitted her, to go to my Office and write some advertisements for the Patriot and Daily Advertiser which I carried down myself to those Newspapers.1 I have now two 66houses which become empty on the opening of the year and my Father will lose two hundred and sixty dollars a quarter until they are filled, which is something of a loss. And I am to have the trouble of directing the repairs which must infallibly be considerable. The rest of the morning was passed quietly at my Office, and I read Marshall pleasantly enough, and made some further arrangements in my Accounts by which I hope to be able to form a tolerable estimate of the profits of my Father’s real Estate. After dinner I read Aeschines as usual and accomplished more in my short allowance of time than I had previously done on any single day. My preparatory reading has been such as materially to assist me in my labour. But it is nonetheless not at all a slight undertaking for me, more particularly the part of translation. In the evening, I read a portion of Clarissa Harlowe to my Wife who was suffering from a head ache, and afterwards continued La Harpe whose account of the two Plinies is interesting, and with them I finish the second part of his book relating to Orators.

1.

The advertisement offering to rent the house lately occupied by Dr. Winslow Lewis and the store numbered 23 Court Street with the dwelling house in the rear, to be had separately or together, appeared in the Boston Daily Advertiser in the issue of 4 Nov., p. 2, col. 6.