Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday 22d. CFA Saturday 22d. CFA
Saturday 22d.

Morning cloudy and it rained occasionally throughout the day. I did not go to town and hardly stirred out of the House all day. My morning was consumed in another attempt to bring into order the Papers of my Grandfather. In this I undid a great deal of my last Sum-367mer’s work and did it over in a new shape—Alphabetical instead of chronological. Passed an hour in comparing the Journals of my Grandfather written when he was twenty. They display a power of mind which is as striking as his conduct in any subsequent part of his life.

Read more of the Dissertation upon Parties. A charge that the Dissenters favoured James the 2d. Is it true? I think not. After dinner, continued the reading of Seneca. Question, whether a man is justified in wishing evil to his benefactor so that he may have an opportunity of acquitting himself of his obligation by rescuing him from it. Decided that he is not. For it is not in fact doing a kindness. It is wishing what would meet the views of a violent enemy instead of a friend. The case is simple enough, yet he explains its details with considerable success.

I took a short walk in the evening with my father, pasted in a few labels for my father, read a little of Dr. Granville to the ladies and retired early.

Sunday. 23d. CFA Sunday. 23d. CFA
Sunday. 23d.

Fine clear morning with a much cooler air than heretofore. I was busy during the morning in pasting labels into my father’s books. Not a very appropriate occupation but one which I feel never will be done unless I do it. How many things there are among those connected with Quincy, about which I have precisely the same feeling. Perhaps it is all vanity on my part.

Attended Divine Service and heard Dr. Lowell of Boston preach. His Sermons are always simple and impressive—Calculated to affect in a considerable degree a good many People. His morning discourse was upon the presence of God in all our actions. And he dined with us.1 Afternoon I do not quite remember.

I passed my time after Service in working upon the new arrangement of the J.A. letters. Evening quiet at home. Mr. D. Greenleaf passed an hour.


“Dr. Lowell dined with us, and his son James Russell, a boy eleven or twelve years old” (JQA, Diary, 23 Sept.).

Monday. 24th. CFA Monday. 24th. CFA
Monday. 24th.

Morning cold and clear. I went to town. The decay of the year again gives me a feeling of inclination to the haunts of men. There is a comfort in the accommodations of the City, not to be found any where else in Winter. And the true luxury of life is certainly to live one half the year in each way.

I was occupied in matters of business today. Brought up my 368Quarterly Account which will terminate on Sunday next and collected nearly all the Rents remaining due from the Tenants. This has been a matter of anxiety to me, and I am glad to get through with it—Only however to begin again next week. Thus it is with the business of an Agency like mine. I let the empty Office below mine1 and on the whole accomplished a very fair business day.

Returned home. Afternoon passed in reading Seneca, sorting Papers, and comparing copy. Evening. Conversation with my father and visit to Mrs. T. B. Adams. For the first time for some years, I suffered in my teeth.


William Brigham was the new tenant; the office was that earlier rented to William Elliot Jr. (M/CFA/3; above, entry for 23 Sept. 1831).