Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. 8th [i.e. 9th]. CFA Wednesday. 8th [i.e. 9th]. CFA
Wednesday. 8th i.e. 9th.

A mild day with a South Wind. I read a little of Vasari and then to the Office. My time taken up very much by two persons. First, Mr. F. W. Field who came at last with a confession of Poverty which I have been expecting.1 After conversation, I thought best to execute the leases upon his giving me his Note for the last half year—And promising to pay it previous to another Quarter’s becoming due. I think it on the whole expedient not to take the place away from him. It would probably be unoccupied. I think he seems to have some sense of shame, so that while this is the case I shall feel as if I had a hold. Mr. Conant then came in from Weston, and I went over the affairs of the year with him. He settled his Rent up to the first of April. These are honest though not very enterprizing men. They get along by force of the assistance which I give them in one way or another, which is about equivalent to paying their rent. The Weston Farm yields little excepting in the Sales of the wood which have done very well. I had only a moment left to call and see Mr. Watkins who is here from Washington.2 He was not at home. I went home, and after dinner, read Sismondi as usual. Evening quiet. Pursued all my usual occupations, dipping besides, a little into Dr. Franklin’s Essays.3

1.

Harvey Field is spoken of elsewhere as a lessee of JQA’s farm at Quincy; see above, entry for 16 March, note.

2.

Probably Thomas L. C. Watkins, 295sometime companion during CFA’s years in Washington (vols. 1 and 2, passim).

3.

Benjamin Franklin, Essays and Letters. At MQA is an edition, 2 vols. in 1, published at London in 1820.

Thursday. 9th [i.e. 10th.] CFA Thursday. 9th [i.e. 10th.] CFA
Thursday. 9th i.e. 10th.

Morning clear. But the wind went round to the Eastward and kept the weather pretty chilly. I went to the Office and found my Article published in the Advocate. The Editor of this Paper has left town and this is probably the reason why they feel bold enough to give room for it on the outside of the Sheet.1 I believe I have seen enough of the Advocate for the present. My success in publishing is mortifying. When my Articles are not rejected, they are laid up for a while, issued with apparent indifference, and immediately forgotten. Yet on reading them over, it seems to me there is more spirit in them than one commonly finds in Newspapers. But this is probably my vanity. No man can possibly judge of his own writing. I must therefore come to the conclusion that this is not my line.

Read Gibbon. His account of Mahomet is quite interesting and instructive. As to any parallel with Jesus Christ however, the thing is totally absurd. Took a walk, calling again without success upon Mr. Watkins. After dinner I continued Sismondi finishing the account of Charlemagne. Quiet evening. I read besides my usual business a part of La Harpe’s Cours de Litterature.2

1.

CFA’s communication to the Boston Daily Advocate replying to the article entitled “Political Prospects” in the Advertiser (see above, entry for 30 April) was signed “Q.” In the issue of the Advocate for 10 May it was placed at the head of column one on page one, a page given over largely to advertisements. Although the letter was largely directed against the effort to gain support for the candidacy of Henry Clay, it professed concern that what was being asked of the Antimasonic party was “Total sacrifice of every principle for which they have been long contending.” If the sentiments expressed represent more than an expedient antimasonry adopted for the occasion, they antedate by more than three months the firm position on the issue CFA arrived at after further study (see below, entry for 20 Aug.).

2.

See vol. 3:13.

Friday. 10th [i.e. 11th.] CFA Friday. 10th [i.e. 11th.] CFA
Friday. 10th i.e. 11th.

Clear and tolerably pleasant day. After reading Vasari I went to the Office and was occupied as usual in reading Gibbon. This took up all my time excepting what I passed in walking and in Accounts. This latter is now a source of considerable embarrassment to me as my father’s concerns are extensive and my own are in need of watchful vigilance. This is tautology. Returned home.

Afternoon, went to Quincy. I. Hull accompanied me. I went over the Garden and gave all the necessary directions remaining in regard 296to the House. I believe, it is now perfectly ready to see the family at any time. From the report of Mrs. Kirke I conclude that it will be as well for me to go out there on the 23d or 4th of the month, taking my chance of their arriving. Returned home by seven. No letters. Quiet evening. I was tired so that I omitted Paley.