Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 15th. CFA Monday. 15th. CFA
Monday. 15th.

Fine morning but very cold. I went into town and felt more chilled than I have done this autumn before. Time taken up at the Office writing. I am attempting another short article on politics. The present crisis is such that every little counts. The intelligence from Pennsylvania is very encouraging. It seems to show that the People have still 379a redeeming principle about them, that they are not at the feet of a man all the time without any exercise of judgment. Attended a sale of Coal and purchased at quite a reasonable rate a Chaldron of very excellent quality, and this winds up the Stock for the Year. Returned to Quincy.

Afternoon passed in reading Lingard and comparing him with Hume. There is no material variation in the Account of the Reign of Edward the second. Perhaps Dr. Lingard inveighs with more justice and warmth against the Murderers of this Monarch—The philosophical character of the other historian leading him to speak of vices and virtues with almost equal indifference.

Quiet evening. Mr. Beale came in for a few minutes with his daughter1 who goes to school in Boston tomorrow. Afterwards, read Granville, and having finished Lingard’s third volume without having the fourth, I passed an hour in looking over the Port folio—An Old periodical containing much of my father’s contributing.2 I could not help reflecting concerning it, how much of it was old and stale. Such is the fate of all writing for particular occasions and indeed of all review writing. If a mind cannot produce, if the power of invention is wanting, it is needless for him to expect any thing like durable reputation.

1.

Anne Beale (LCA to Mary Roberdeau, 28 Aug., Adams Papers).

2.

Among JQA’s books now at MBAt are bound copies of each of the first five volumes of the Port Folio (Phila., 1801–1805) containing JQA’s bookplate and TBA’s autograph. One or the other of the two owners has indicated by initials those contributions which he knew to be by JA, JQA, or TBA, all of whom contributed to the magazine in its early years. JQA’s contributions, much the most extensive, included his “Journal of a Tour through Silesia” (see above, vol. 3:233), translations in verse and prose, and articles on politics and literature. The connections of the various members of the family with the Port Folio, including a comprehensive list of the contributions of each, are given by Linda K. Kerber and Walter John Morris in “The Adams Family and the Port Folio,” WMQ, 3d. ser., 23:450–476 (April 1966).

Tuesday. 16th. CFA Tuesday. 16th. CFA
Tuesday. 16th.

Fine morning but cool. I rode to town to see about getting my Coal in, and was accompanied by my Child’s Nurse, Mrs. Field. Morning very much taken up at my House. Yet I found time enough to finish and send what I wrote yesterday.1 My father’s advice to me is sound, not to engage myself in the mere easy, every day writing of political electioneering, but to discuss questions upon some clear and definite basis of a public nature requiring information and research.

Returned to Quincy, and wasted the Afternoon with my Mother in 380fruitless fishing. Evening at home reading Granville. Continued Lingard in the reign of Edward the third.

1.

Whether CFA’s article on the current political situation was published is not known.