Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 10th. CFA Monday. 10th. CFA
Monday. 10th.

A beautiful morning. Instead of any appearance of this month, I should suppose it was hardly more than October. At the office, I read a little of Lingard but was out most of my time. Went to the Athenaeum where I looked over the Newspapers and an article in the Edinburgh Review which I found pretty tedious. On the whole, my time was wasted. Mr. Tenney, my Tenant called in to pay his rent. He looks 417emaciated, says he believes he has had the Cholera. Came to talk about the renewal of a Lease of his House. Postponed it until May next.

I took my usual walk, and my spirits felt bright and lively —The action of the fine day being altogether invigorating. I felt as if it was to be a lucky day to me without my knowing or being able to assign any cause therefor. It passed off without my being sensible of it’s having proved so. The feeling however was a buoyant one. And as I do not feel particularly anxious about my luck or rather what I would call in my graver moments by a more serious name, I was thankful for the momentary elasticity which it occasioned, without looking any farther.

Afternoon. Began upon Anti Masonry No. 8, but was stopped by want of information. The whole of the time was taken up in digesting materials. Evening, quiet as usual. Malvina and the Life of Flaxman. Afterwards, finished the Fables of Lessing in the German Reader.

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

Another very beautiful day. What a contrast between this and last year. We then were suffering under the severest of the Winter. I look back upon that time with a lively remembrance of the anxiety and discomfort that attended it. Yet it was on the whole a prosperous Winter to me. This year, I have been much more free from care and trouble yet it may not turn out so successfully to me. Let me not worry my mind. I trust in a higher Power.

At the office—Engaged in Diary and Accounts. Went into State Street, and drew a Dividend upon my Columbian Ins. Shares. None upon my father’s in the New England. My Affairs have done exceedingly well this year, while I regret to say those of my father have gone backward. One or two calls. A Mr. Flagg about some Boylston Market Shares he wanted transferred, and William C. Greenleaf respecting his return to Washington. I took the opportunity to make of him some inquiries about the state of things there, John’s health, and the success of the Mill—The answers to which were not in any one point encouraging. The horizon looks black in that quarter. Took my usual walk —Mr. Peabody with me. He and I though now good friends, have not exactly the same agreement of opinions that we formerly had.

Afternoon quiet at home. At work upon No. 8. But I was not at all satisfied with the result. My No. 3 was published this morning. It does not meet my expectation, in print.1 Quiet evening. Read Malvina and continued the life of Flaxman. Afterwards, I began an extract from Wieland but did not get through the first sentence which reached down the page.2

418 1.

“A Brief History of the Masonic Outrages in New York,” Boston Daily Advocate, 11 Dec., p. 2, cols. 3–4.


Christoph Martin Wieland’s Geschichte der Abderiten had been published at least as early as 1781. From CFA’s words, however, it seems likely that what he was reading was a selection from the work in a German reader, Follen’s or another’s.