Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. 2d. CFA Wednesday. 2d. CFA
Wednesday. 2d.

Morning mild again. The continuance of this weather shows a final stop to the Winter. And the immense masses of snow that have been gathering in our Streets for months now vanish like mist before the warm rays of the Sun. I confess this is cheering, to me for it seems like the reanimation of the world, as if the heavy weight which was pressing upon Nature was to give way to life and joy.

I went to the Office and from there to the Supreme Court for the purpose of being admitted to the bar of that Court, which in due time was done. This constitutes me an Attorney to all intents and purposes.1 2Returned to my Office but finding little to do, I went to the Athenaeum and passed an hour in considering the subject of my Article and the correction of it.2 Also looked into the third volume of Bradford’s History of Massachusetts,3 which I found pretty much what I supposed.

Took a walk with Edmund Quincy and returned home to dine. Found the family in trouble from the domestics, which I settled by dismissing another of the Household. Afternoon, Conversation with my Wife upon it. She is not exactly in condition now to be troubled. Read a portion of the Oration for Caecina which is a question of pure law and therefore difficult. Read also some of the Institutes of Justinian. Evening, quietly at home, Greek Grammar and the Tatler.

1.

The Boston bar was divided into three classes: attorneys at the Common Pleas, attorneys at the Supreme Judicial Court, and counselors at law ( Mass. Register ). Advancement from one class to the next was largely, though not wholly, determined by length of experience in practice.

2.

See above, vol. 3, entry for 23 February.

3.

Alden Bradford’s History of Massachusetts for the period from 1764 to 1789 had been published in 2 vols. at Boston in 1822; a third volume, 1790–1820, was published in 1829.

Thursday. 3d. CFA Thursday. 3d. CFA
Thursday. 3d.

Morning mild and cloudy but it did not rain. I found myself oppressed with a severe cold which the change has given me. Went to the Office as usual and was occupied partly in the common matters, partly in reading the Institutes of Justinian, which give me now and then a little light upon the passages of Cicero read heretofore. But my attention was not perfect, as I had in the first place received a letter from my father which kept me thinking,1 and in the second received another summons to attend the referees in the case of Farmer and Storer.

I took a walk and returned to dinner after which I went to Concert Hall where the Reference was sitting.2 The case took a different turn from what was anticipated so that the larger portion of the witnesses were not examined. But the whole melancholy story came out by way of statement from the Counsel. It was bad enough in all conscience. I ought however to be thankful that the evidence to prove all this was not gone into.

Evening at home, excessively fatigued. I could not read dry Grammar with any attention. H. Brooks staid here from the Theatre. Finished the Tatler.

1.

28 Feb. (Adams Papers). On the letter, see above, vol. 3:411.

2.

Concert Hall was located at the corner of Hanover and Court streets (C. H. Snow, A Geography of Boston ... and the Adjacent Towns, Boston, 1830, p. 52).

3