Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. June 1st. CFA Wednesday. June 1st. CFA
Wednesday. June 1st.

A very considerable breeze from the North West produced very little effect in diminishing the heat of the Sun. As I had accomplished all that I had to do in town, the weather deterred me from going to town.1 But my father keeps his room so hot, that I cannot sit in it to work. I also found a large Chest of new Papers which satisfied me of the impossibility of my accomplishing them during my stay here. I worked therefore very languidly and in a discouraged manner. My father shows so little interest in it, and affords me neither assistance nor advice. I think it highly likely that I shall be obliged to look them over hereafter, for the sake of doing what my father ought to do inasmuch as he alone has the ability, and knowledge, adequate to the task. But that is future. And I see no reason for wasting my time now in delving for nothing.

Afternoon, Took a bath in the Creek at Mr. Greenleaf’s Wharf. The water was warm, but I felt nearly as much exhausted upon my return as I did when I went. Read a considerable portion of the Oration for Milo. But the study compared to what I do at home is nothing. I begin to feel a little restless again. There is to a man like me, “no place like home.” Went to ride with my Mother and Wife. This weather affects the latter.

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Evening, Mr. T. and Mr. D. Greenleaf to see my Father, and Mr. Gourgas and Miss Adams to see my Mother. It was much more still, and therefore warm. I read two Numbers of the Spectator.

1.

Sentence thus in MS.

Thursday 2d. CFA Thursday 2d. CFA
Thursday 2d.

The morning promised a continuation of the excessive heat, but the change of Wind to the Eastward immediately relieved us from the severity of it. The City remained very sultry however from the heated state of the Bricks. My father went in with me. The heat has produced a great effect upon his Nerves, so that I found it advisable not to talk earnestly upon any subject. Our family is constitutionally irritable, and the fact that I am not so now, only betokens an unusually high degree of health.

I read a little this morning. Mr. Fiske called upon me about a Note given by one Derby for Wood sold at Weston. He was a Classmate of mine and was always holding ill will against me among many of that period. He was now civil enough.1 My father made it late as the Overseers of the College were delaying their adjournment.

Afternoon, short. I read a little of the Oration for Milo, but a visit from Mr. and Mrs. E. Everett cut me short considerably. I do very little. I went to ride with my Mother but the rapid accumulation of Clouds threatened us with rain and we hurried home.

Evening, some Gentlemen with my Father consulting as I suppose about his delivering a fourth of July Oration here.2 They seem disposed to put him in harness in every way possible. I have had a thought come across me that if he declined, it might be offered to me. But this is probably vanity. I do not really wish it, as I know that is not my forte. But as there are but three or four educated men in the town, it does not seem unnatural or extraordinary for me to suppose the thing possible. I hope my father will accept it and allow me to go on in my happy, quiet way. The air was chilly though it cleared off. I read a little of Grimm and two Numbers of the Spectator.

1.

Augustus Henry Fiske, Harvard 1825, whose law office was at 5 Court Street, agreed to pay Edward Derby’s note for $21.54 when the note was presented. Boston Directory, 1831–1832; see also entry for 1 July, below.

2.

George W. Beale, Edward Miller, and Thomas and Daniel Greenleaf were, along with JQA, members of the committee appointed to arrange for Quincy’s observance of the 4th of July. At their meeting the other members were unanimous in urging JQA’s acceptance as the orator. JQA consented only on the condition that the committee ascertain that this was the wish also of those who appointed the committee (JQA, Diary, 31 May – 2 June).

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