Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 11th. CFA Tuesday. 11th. CFA
Tuesday. 11th.

Morning clear but windy. I accompanied my Mother to town in the Carriage this morning, and was busy during nearly all my time in commissions on her account. First, in buying provisions for her at Market 361and afterwards in obtaining fruit. I had therefore but little time to myself. We returned home pretty soon too.

Afternoon very much cut up. I was in the first place engaged in reading Seneca, then taken off in attending to Visitors, Gen. and Mrs. Sumner and her Son Mr. Perry,1 and after them Mr. and Mrs. Tarbell. Then I had some Strawberries to plant in anticipation of a heavy shower in the evening.

A Country life is certainly pleasant enough in the Summer months, but it is very wasteful of time. I have become exceedingly careless on this subject, much more so than is proper, but what can I do? Without immediate object to give my studies a direction and without conveniences to make the most of the day, it is hard to do right. Quiet evening. I read Dr. Granville to the Ladies.

1.

On Brig. Gen. William H. Sumner of Dorchester see vol. 1:320 and below, entry for 27 September. His wife was the former Mary Ann (D’Wolf) Perry of Bristol, R.I. (Columbian Centinel, 7 Oct. 1826).

Wednesday 12th. CFA Wednesday 12th. CFA
Wednesday 12th.

The rain and wind of the night ceased this morning to give way to a beautiful day. I arose and busied myself all the morning in reading M. Chateaubriand’s Preface to his Etudes Historiques, alluded to the other day. His views are somewhat peculiar and curious. He considers society as founded upon three truths, as he calls them. Philosophical, Political, and Religious truth. The differences between these, or the influences which have represented them, and the preponderance of one over another unduly, have caused all the different stages of the progress of man, and the lessons of History. He has a further doctrine about the influence of the Catholic Religion, which being a Catholic is natural to him although in my humble opinion totally unsound.

We had to dine today, Mr. and Mrs. S. Brooks, and Mr. and Mrs. Everett. Pleasant enough and they went home about five. Quiet evening at home. The Cholera seems at last to be taking serious hold in the City. Read aloud a little of Dr. Granville.

Thursday. 13th. CFA Thursday. 13th. CFA
Thursday. 13th.

Fine morning. The weather is clear and cold. I am fearful the crop of Corn will not ripen. Passed my morning mostly in the Garden attending to my portion of it, the Raspberry and Strawberry vines. These will probably next year produce to us a full and fine quantity of fruit. I have done a good deal in my way and my exertions 362so far have been pretty well rewarded, somewhat unlike my father who has planted without definite plan, is encroaching on all sides upon his last resort, a garden, and in spite of perpetual losses finds himself embarrassed with trees which he knows not where to place with any prospect of ultimate existence. And yet he goes on and on adding to his difficulties, until the end of it will probably be a wild scheme engrossing a good deal of valuable farming land, only to terminate in complete failure of the whole. This is my present impression. My mind does not know the theoretical any farther than as it clearly guides to a practical end. No stumbling along in the dark.

I went with my Wife to Boston where she left me to spend an hour, and walk over to our common destination, Charlestown, which I did with Sidney Brooks. A family dinner party at Mr. Everett’s, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Brooks, Miss Davis1 and ourselves. The dinner was a very pleasant one and ended in good time to have some singing from Miss Davis afterwards. We returned home to Quincy at five and reached it by sunset after having enjoyed ourselves very much. Mr. Everett has a very genteel manner of entertaining.

Quiet evening at home. Read a little of Dr. Granville and being slightly heated I retired pretty early.

1.

Maria, daughter of the Charles A. Davises of New York City (JQA, Diary, 29 Oct.).