Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 14th. CFA Tuesday. 14th. CFA
Tuesday. 14th.

My Child has completed her first year. She has on the whole enjoyed a remarkable share of health and has given as little anxiety to her Parents as any infant so young could. May the blessing of Heaven rest on her progress.1

I went to town. The day was exceedingly warm. My morning was engrossed by a visit to my House and some trifling interruptions. I also had time to read several criminal trials among which that of the Queen of England. It is one of the historical monuments of that reign. I do not imagine that there can be much doubt of her guilt but the extenuation is to be found in the character of her husband. What morality can a King require in any body around or under him that he is not willing himself to practise?2

I dined at the Tremont house and from thence went to a Meeting of Directors of the Boylston Market according to adjournment. The afternoon was consumed by them in considering the new rate of rents, and 346they concluded upon an advance of about eleven hundred dollars. It now remains to be seen how the Tenants will like such a rise.

Returned to Quincy in the evening and after taking a solitary Tea, I went up into town to Mrs. T. B. Adams where the family had gone. Quiet evening. Mr. Gourgas was at home and was quite agreeable. Returned home at nine, and after a little conversation with my Father, and two Adventurers, retired.

1.

LCA’s letters during the summer provide a picture of LCA2’s health, appearance, and progress at the end of her first year: “She is a singular looking Child.... Her eyes are very dark her hair light and the form of her head exactly like your Fathers” (to JA2, 2 June); “the peculiar formation of her head seems to occasion some uneasiness to her father as the Dr. who attended her in Boston seems to think she will cut her teeth hard and that her head will be much affected in consequence” (to JQA, 6 June); “she has superb eyes but they indicate high temper and want sweetness” (to Mrs. JA2, 10 July); “your Father calls Abby’s Baby a giant” (to JA2, 27 July); “we found she had cut three teeth last week without our knowing it. She is the picture of health but is so fat she has no idea of walking” (to Mrs. JA2, 13 Aug.; all the letters in Adams Papers).

2.

CFA’s words and the fact that his historical reading at this time was in the 17th century make it clear that the reference is to Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II.

Wednesday. 15th. CFA Wednesday. 15th. CFA
Wednesday. 15th.
Medford

Morning clear, and weather exceedingly warm. I went to town as usual preparatory to going to Medford for a week, as my Wife wished to see her Sister. At the Office where my time was taken up in reading the Criminal Trials of all ages and Countries.1 A work got up with a good deal of judgment and success. It gives to be sure a very melancholy picture of the depravity of man, but perhaps it is not without a valuable practical moral in it. At noon, or a little after, I left town accompanied by Mr. Brooks.

Arrived at Medford and found my Wife and Child had reached there. Wasted the Afternoon excepting insofar as I read a part of the first division of Absalom and Achitophel by Dryden with Sir W. Scott’s Notes.2 These latter though decidedly party compositions yet do much to elucidate passages time has made difficult to understand.

Evening, I went down to Mrs. Angier’s with Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and my Wife. Some Company there. And singing, some of which was quite good. Returned a little after nine o’clock; a thunder shower took place which lasted some hours.

1.

The editors have not been able to determine which of the numerous collections of trials is meant.

2.

Scott’s notes, “historical, critical, and explanatory,” first appeared in the edition of Dryden’s Works published at London in 1808.

347