Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 30th. CFA Tuesday. 30th. CFA
Tuesday. 30th.

Morning cool and pleasant. I wasted my hour this day in lounging and Conversation with my Wife. Then to the Office where I did not stay long. Having seen Col. White at the Tremont House and he having invited me to call on him there, I felt it incumbent upon me to go and pay my Devoirs. He not being at home, I thought I would leave Cards both for him and his Wife.1 Thence I went to the Athe-124naeum and lounged an Hour in the Gallery with some acquaintances I had picked up. The time went beyond calculation, so that I found it the proper Hour for Tremont House.

Returned home as usual and sat down to a review of the Orations to see if I have omitted any thing. I find I have studied them so thoroughly as to go on quite fast, reading thirty pages today. But my time is on the whole not so thoroughly employed. Evening with my Wife very quiet. Read an Essay of Bacon’s on Boldness and the Spectator.


Joseph M. White, delegate from Florida Territory, with his wife was staying at the Tremont House and attended the Harvard commencement (JQA, Diary, 31 Aug., 2 Sept.).

Wednesday. 31st. CFA Wednesday. 31st. CFA
Wednesday. 31st.

Morning cool and pleasant. It was Commencement day and of course there was some little bustle in the Streets. My father came in with I. Hull for the purpose of going to Cambridge. Disliking the bustle myself, I declined accompanying him. My time however was much wasted. Went to the Office and having performed my usual duties, I thought I would go to the South end and put up an Advertisement of my Father’s Tenement No. 3 to be let (the Tenant1 having vacated this morning), and afterwards to get some Wine at Mr. J. D. Williams’. This took up so much of my time that on my return to my Office I had only leisure to read Boileau’s Preface to his translation of Longinus,2 before dinner.

Went to the Tremont House as usual but found no acquaintance. At home afterwards when I continued though languidly the Oration of Aeschines. My mind is considerably distracted by the multitude of interruptions my life experiences. My Father did not return until evening, and then went off directly to see Dr. Parkman.3 I read Bacon’s Essay on Goodness of Nature and the Spectator. Made an attempt to translate Aeschines.


Joseph Libby. See entry for 10 May, above.


Both the preface and “Les réflexions critiques sur ... Longin” by Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux are in vol. 3 of his Oeuvres in the edition published at Paris in 1768. This volume alone of the set is at MQA.


JQA went to attend a party at Dr. George Parkman’s, returning to CFA’s house at eleven. His day had been a full one. He had arisen at four; attended a meeting of the Board of Overseers when he reached Cambridge, then all the events of the commencement; afterward, he visited Dr. Waterhouse and was present at the reception at President Quincy’s; returning to Boston, he presided at a meeting of those members of Phi Beta Kappa bent upon pressing a further constitutional reform (JQA, Diary, 31 Aug.).

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