Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. 3d. CFA Wednesday. 3d. CFA
Wednesday. 3d.

Morning dark, with very heavy rain, but it cleared away before 104night. After reading Aristotle, I went to the Office. Mr. Tenney called to pay me his rent. I went afterwards to do some little Commissions. Found at the Post Office a Packet for me containing the long threatened publication about my poor brother.1 It is bad enough to be sure, but I felt on the whole as if it was better out than kept as it has been two years hanging over us. Farmer has not spared falsehood, to increase the effect of his tale.

I walked down to the Athenaeum and from thence to obtain some Wood for my family. The walk drenched me so that I went directly home and changed my dress. This made it too late to return to the Office.

Afternoon, engaged in reading the Letters of Cicero. Perhaps there is a little too much sameness in his expressions of kindness and offer of service. But his advice to Trebatius is excellent. It is this kind of encouragement that great men have it in their power to do good by. For their opinion gives force to truth. My Mother and Wife went to Cambridge to see Mr. and Mrs. E. Brooks, and did not return until late. I finished Mr. Pye’s Commentary, and read two numbers of the Spectator.


Report of a Trial: Miles Farmer versus Dr. David Humphreys Storer, ... Relative to the Transactions between Miss Eliza Dolph and George Washington Adams, Esq., Son of the Late President of the United States. Reported by the Plaintiff, Boston, 1831.

Thursday. 4th. CFA Thursday. 4th. CFA
Thursday. 4th.

Morning clear but rather cool. I read my portion in review of Aristotle and went to the Office. Time occupied there mostly in copying the first of my father’s series of Bible letters. Had but one or two visitors and those unwelcome ones. One man on this miserable business of the Pamphlet—Another application for money. The man did not come from Farmer, but he might destroy this edition. Of what avail this? Since the Pamphlet itself shows that three editions have been made one after another without any cessation of purpose.1 This has been a regularly arranged scheme from the first to draw Money by operating upon Family pride. I gave him the same answer that I give universally—That we must not flinch. Returned home as usual.

Afternoon read more of Cicero’s Letters. Those to Trebatius are very amusing, having all the Salt which belongs to the Style. The familiar style of letter writing is perhaps as rare to excel in as any, it requires wit and playfulness, which is a combination not very frequent. My Mother and Wife went to take a ride. I read this Evening the first Act of Racine’s Iphigenie, and the Spectator.


The relevant passage in the Farmer-Storer Trial pamphlet relating Farmer’s earlier attempts to publish an account of the proceedings begins with his introduction of a reporter into the room in which the Reference was being held:

“It was then distinctly stated that this reference was to be strictly private! ! ! ! ! ... Of course the Reporter was obliged to withdraw, and the task of telling the public my simple story devolved on me.

“I then wrote out the facts, contracted with a printer to execute the work, over my own signature, which having been completed, judge what was my surprise when I called to obtain the copies, to find that the whole edition printed, had been destroyed between two days! ! ... Who caused this to be done? The task, however, is again accomplished”

(p. 38).

On another effort to suppress, see above, entry for 21 April.