Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 22nd. CFA Sunday. 22nd. CFA
Sunday. 22nd.

Morning cloudy attended with a drizzling rain, making the day very unpleasant though quite warm. I attended divine service at Mr. 83Frothingham’s, both in the morning and the afternoon and heard him deliver Two Sermons, to neither of which I attended much. The one in the afternoon was upon Charity to the Poor, and in aid of the Contribution box served regularly on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and it was good as I thought for it’s intended purpose. I returned home and read for the Afternoon Jeremy Taylor’s Account of the Conception and Nativity of Jesus Christ.1 His style is extraordinary, sometimes brilliant, at all times 2 nervous, and strong, but not infrequently obscure. It is the old vigour of that class of Writers who though subsequently excelled by the smoothness and polish of later ages has in itself never been surpassed. Indeed our times are not like those, we force much and produce little. In the evening I read to Abby part of Clarissa Harlowe. The letters of Lovelace have much power in them and a great deal of wit, not formerly appreciated by me when I read them here and there out of connection. Mr. Everett called in to tell us he was going tomorrow morning to Washington—His departure being accelerated by the account of the Boat. He sat only a single minute, so that we resumed Clarissa and continued it until bedtime.

1.

Life of Christ, 1:31–39.

2.

Word omitted in MS.

Monday 23d. CFA Monday 23d. CFA
Monday 23d.

Morning very dark with rain. The weather unusually warm and the Storm attended with Thunder and Lightning. I went to the Office as usual, and very shortly after went down to look after the Susan and Phoebe, the vessel in which the remains of my poor Brother were returned here from New York. The rain was such as very thoroughly to drench me before I had completed my business. I found the vessel at the head of Long Wharf and saw the Captain who made an arrangement with me to deliver the case which contained his remains any time during tomorrow morning. I accordingly returned to my Office and wrote a Note which I sent out by the Driver of the Stage to let my Father know it, and direct accordingly.1 But in the performance of all this I became so wet as to think it expedient to go home and dress myself over again, which I did with much haste. The Storm while it lasted was very great but it did not continue long after dinner. I returned to my Office, saw Mr. Charles P. Nath. Curtis who was at my Office and received Instructions in regard to Henderson. The former came to see my father and I told him the Storm was such he could not come.2 In the afternoon I read as usual 84my portion of Aeschines and was engaged a considerable time in making my usual translation of the same Author.

My former Man Servant left me today.3 Although a good man, in knowledge of his business, yet his temper and character are very intolerable, and as his Wages are high I have thought it advisable to send him away and take another more manageable and cheaper one. These are the smaller troubles of life. I also sent today to Mr. Stetson fifteen twenty five dollars as a present to him for marrying me,4 rather a late affair, but it was only yesterday that Abby informed me he had never received any thing. The truth was that I supposed it customary here for the lady’s Parent to arrange that article in the Wedding affair, but as it is not, I took an opportunity immediately to repair my thoughtless omission. In the evening I read a part of Clarissa Harlowe to Abby—The series of letters recounting their skirmishes.

1.

Letter missing. JQA’s response, as agreed, was to send by the sexton at Quincy authorization to CFA to receive the remains (JQA to CFA, 23 Nov., Adams Papers). The Susan and Phoebe, Captain Baker, had docked on Saturday (Columbian Centinel, 25 Nov. 1829).

2.

The meaning is not certain. A possible reading: At my return, Mr. Nathaniel Curtis was at my office to see my father, but I told him that the storm had prevented my father from coming in. I also received instructions [from Mr. Tarbell( ?) for response to Mr. C. P. Curtis] in regard to Henderson. See entries for 19, 20 Nov., above.

3.

“William” seems to have been replaced by “Benjamin.” See entries for 14 Sept., above, and for 13 Feb. 1830, below.

4.

The payment of $25 to Caleb Stetson is recorded in CFA’s account book, 1829–1844 (M/CFA/9); but see below, vol. 4, entry for 28 March 1831.