Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 10th. CFA Tuesday. 10th. CFA
Tuesday. 10th.

This is the first day upon which we have felt any thing like pleasant weather. I accomplished a good deal of the Aeneid before going to the Office. But performed little more there than I usually do. Had a visit or two from Quincy people with whom I talked considerably. They let 277me into the state of feeling in the upper part of Quincy. These Country towns are shocking places for men reputed to possess property. If they do not allow themselves to be mangled and mauled to the satisfaction of every man who calls himself poor, the cry against him is that he is hard. My father in the mean time is sucked dry by a parcel of hangers on, who see how things go and wink at it all.

I went in the Afternoon to Quincy, saw the proceedings of the man who has gone there to work, examined the young trees in the Nursery, which I find very much injured by the field mice, and directed what was next to be done. Then went and gave the painter some directions about painting and to Mrs. Adams’ where after remaining a few minutes we returned to town. By we, I mean I. Hull and I, for he accompanied me.

Evening quietly at home, where I read the account of Eugene Aram and his trial in the Newgate Calendar.1 Afterwards Mr. Brooks came in and sat a little while. These expeditions to Quincy ought to be trifling and yet they are fatiguing. Read a little of Bonaparte and Paley.

1.

Bulwer-Lytton’s novel was based upon the actual case of Eugene Aram, schoolmaster, who was tried and executed for murder in 1759.

Wednesday. 11th. CFA Wednesday. 11th. CFA
Wednesday. 11th.

Morning mild but wet. I omitted reading Virgil being occupied in the studies of I. H. Adams, who is preparing to go to West Point. This attention will be beneficial to myself who neglected these pursuits when in College. I have improved in Geometry and Arithmetic since attending to him.

At the Office. Busy in accounts and the usual etceteras so that I did nothing else. Took a walk, but I am so anxious for the reception of some Money at present that I do not like to be long absent from the Office. I have drained myself so greatly that I want to get out of the risk of any demand which might embarrass me.

Afternoon, quietly at home. Continued my French and Spanish reading. And I find I understand the languages sufficiently to take some interest in the Stories. Evening quiet at home. I read to my Wife a little of the Newgate Calendar, but it is a disgusting book. The monotony of Crime is painful. Pursued Napoleon and read the Guardian, but omitted the Spectator.

Thursday. 12th. CFA Thursday. 12th. CFA
Thursday. 12th.

A beautiful day. After reading a considerable extract from Virgil 278I went to the Office and was engaged as usual in reading Newspapers and writing Journal, with Accounts. This took up much time, which together with a walk to the Athenaeum, a short lounge and temptation at the sale of Mr. Eliot’s books,1 and a walk with Mr. Peabody consumed the rest of my time.

Afternoon, I went to Quincy. Isaac Hull accompanying me. Found Mills the Painter at work busily and he informed me that he must have Vezey with him so I went up immediately for Vezey. Called in on the way to see Mr. Brigham and make some inquiry about the Canal. I found this year it paid for two years upon it’s Notes, so that I was quite satisfied. On the whole the present prospect of things is tolerably favourable. I hope to be able this year to bring up a considerable arrear into which my father’s affairs have fallen. But it is impossible to say how this will be, until I can see through the next Month. I gave orders about the grounds and the work to be done about the House — Returning home by seven.

We had the last family assemblage for the Season this year at our house. All present but P. C. Brooks Jr. and his Wife. It was on the whole pleasant, although I felt heated and tired. They all went at ten and I afterwards finished the Guardian, being the third in the series of Essayists.

1.

The books belonging to the late William H. Eliot were being sold at Cunningham’s Auction Rooms in two sessions, 11 and 12 April (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 11 April, p. 3, col. 5).