Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

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.).

Friday. 14th. CFA Friday. 14th. CFA
Friday. 14th.

Fine morning. I remained at home very quiet and read a little of M. Chateaubriand, though far the largest portion of my time was devoted to putting the Garden in a state of somewhat better order than it has been of late. I pruned down the luxuriance of growth of the raspberry vines and Cherry trees. The greatest difficulty with us here is the excessive tendency to make wood.

In the afternoon, after having read a little of Seneca, I thought I would go down and visit the Orchard at Mount Wollaston. I found the Trees looking better than they did in the Spring, but still sickly and in a discouraging condition as to the future. I have interested myself in their success, believing the experiment to be a fair one. And I do not propose as yet to give it up, although things at present do not promise. I turned my eyes from the prospect to that of the scene around me, and thought I had never seen it look more beautiful. The day was one of the loveliest of the declining year. There was scarcely a breath of air and the setting sun threw a rich golden hue over every 363spot upon which it shone. I never was so much struck with the peculiar beauty of Mt. Wollaston. The Panorama is perfect and I felt for a moment as if I should be happy to possess a dwelling house on this situation.1 It was however but for a moment. The enjoyment of the scenery can always be had at a cheaper rate. Returned home. Evening quiet. Read a little of Dr. Granville.

1.

On CFA’s long-continued delight in Mount Wollaston, see vol. 3:268.