Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Thursday. 25th. CFA Thursday. 25th. CFA
Thursday. 25th.

A cool day. These alterations of our weather are very relieving to the feelings. For the air is chilled before it gets to be so heated as to afford little support.

I went to town and inasmuch as I picked up the rent from a Tenant, 134did not lose my time. Continued reading the second volume of Marshall and the account of Washington’s last days. Perhaps it was fortunate for him that he died exactly as he did. The storm that came on immediately afterwards would not have proved agreeable, nor would he have felt comfortably under the appeals of Hamilton and many other of his friends to avert it by personally coming forward again.

Returned to Quincy without seeing any acquaintance. Afternoon passed in writing and reading, finished the Jefferson Correspondence. And went down to the Wharf where I took a very agreeable bath. Mrs. Ed. Miller with L. C. Smith and Elizabeth C. Adams paid a short visit in the evening. Read some of Puckler Muskau who has a kind of dry humour, that is very amusing. Conversation and the Observer.

Friday. 26th. CFA Friday. 26th. CFA
Friday. 26th.

Morning fine and day cool. I remained quietly in my study, writing, reading some Odes of Horace and looking over old Papers. This last engrossed most of the time.

I have been led by my examination into an idea of methodizing most of the Correspondence of my grandmother at least so far as related to herself and her husband. Much that I find is useless and valueless yet I do not feel myself authorized to destroy. This it is that gives the excessive tedium to this duty, for the chaff is constantly re-appearing and embarrassing. My examinations have disclosed to me the days of prosperity and those of adversity in about equal proportion—Some periods of public and others of more bitter private suffering, some hours of great elation for success produced by individual exertion for the public good and others of as much for the rewards which were reaped for it. Such is man’s life in every scene in which you may place him. The hewer of wood and drawer of water has his sorrows just like the rest of us, but no man will take the trouble to lay open the record of it. Events sustain men, yet events themselves are just the same when once you understand the art of discriminating their grades. Love, Hatred, Virtue and Vice are developed with the same certainty that sounds will come when you touch the keys to which they belong. A truce with further morality today.

My Afternoon was passed in the same occupation until I was summoned to go to Boston with my father and the ladies. We stopped to take tea with Mrs. Frothingham prior to going to hear the French Opera Company which is performing for a few nights. The piece was Zampa, a kind of Don Juan story; the hero, a Pirate gets possession of 135an old rich man’s castle and forces the daughter to marry him. But at several periods, a marble statue of a girl this man had seduced gives signs of animation, particularly as this fellow in jest at a banquet, puts a ring on its finger in token of marriage. Just as he is to consummate his marriage, his bride in marble carries him off. We returned by midnight.