Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 9th. CFA Monday. 9th. CFA
Monday. 9th.

Morning clear with a cool air. After reading a due portion of Demosthenes as usual, I went to the Office and was busy in my usual occupations. In addition to these it was the day for passing the Ac-44count upon the Estate of Robert New, and as I hoped, for making a final settlement and distribution. But the Commissioners not yet having made their return I was disappointed in the latter object. I should think that some very material amendments might be made in the system of Probate Law—In diminishing the amount of charges that eat up the Estate and in accelerating the final settlement. Two or three interruptions on various accounts. Met T. B. Adams Jr. who has just arrived from the South. He has altered a little both in appearance and manners, and not for the better in either.1 I was glad to see him however. He left me to go and see my Wife.

In the afternoon, I continued my Review of the Oration for Sextius. All these which relate to the expulsion from Rome of himself have much the same tang. One by itself is eloquence. When they are read together there is too little variety. And the Vanity is not agreeable. Men never like to be reminded of a benefit by the person conferring it. In private life it is called ungenerous, why should it be a merit any where? Read Grimm. Horatio Brooks spent the night. The Spectator.


LCA expressed her reactions more sharply and indicated that the unfavorable view was widely shared: “The Lieutenant is pleasant but a great Fop” (LCA to Mrs. JA2, 22 May); “Tom is an exquisite of the highest order and perfectly horrifies the rustics. He is horrified with every thing here and talks as if he had never known Quincy” (same to same, 12 June; both letters in Adams Papers).

Tuesday. 10th. CFA Tuesday. 10th. CFA
Tuesday. 10th.

The day cold with clouds. A Frost is supposed to have taken place, rather injurious to the present state of the Fruit Trees. I made great progress in Demosthenes, and then went to the Office. My time pretty much occupied in making a draught of my third and last Number of Cimon. Some doubts occur to me how I can tell the truth here. Newspapers are squeamish. The story is certainly not very creditable to any one. One or two interruptions. A Mr. Libby called to hire one of the Tenements.1 These are destined, I believe to give me trouble constantly.

Took a walk to the Athenaeum and tried to find the Telegraph of the 16th of April but without success. Returned home and passed the afternoon in continuing the Oration for Sextius, which I nearly finished. It is not so perfectly handed down to us as that for Plancius nor is it to my notion so fine in itself, though the passage upon the Optimates in a State is very good.

Evening, read Grimm. He was beginning to be more interesting and just at that moment I am obliged to give him up for a fortnight, the 45Athenaeum calling for an examination of their Library. He is perfectly absurd about Diderot. Read two Numbers of the Spectator.


Joseph Libby occupied tenement No. 3 at 101 Tremont Street from 17 May to 31 Aug. (M/CFA/3).