Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Friday. 29th. CFA Friday. 29th. CFA
Friday. 29th.

Morning cloudy and raw. I went to the Office and finished the Parliamentary History, for 1774—A record of great importance in American Affairs. Little else. I called at the Athenaeum and procured another Volume of a better collection. Afternoon, Lord Bacon, and the beautiful 6th. book of Virgil, Smith’s Moral Sentiments, Tom Jones. Nothing material happens to enliven the monotony of the daily duties.

We have heard and with deep regret of the death of Mary E. Roberdeau in Philadelphia. She had recommended herself much to us here 221by her good nature and pleasing manners, two years since, and we had hoped to have seen her again, although she has been for some time announcing her decline. So it is in this world. Every step we make brings us nearer to the pitfalls.1 There is a deeper moral in every death, particularly after persons become parents. Mr. Brooks.


On Mary E. Roberdeau, long-time friend of LCA, see vol. 4:131. News of her death was contained in a letter from LCA to ABA (25 Nov., Adams Papers). In the same letter she reported Mrs. JA2’s convalescence from scarlet fever, but John’s condition no better: “Long suffering and anxiety concerning the health of his Wife with the succession of uneasiness which has assailed him for the last two years have produced a nervous irritation of mind which contributes much to retard his recovery.”

Saturday. 30th. CFA Saturday. 30th. CFA
Saturday. 30th.

Morning cloudy with heavy rain throughout the day. I went to the Office and sat very quietly reading the Parliamentary History. The papers relating to the breaking out of the disturbances are full of interest. They show the decisive tone which was taken from the first. There was no working up. The simultaneous rising throughout the Country is a very strong indication of the State of the question.

Afternoon, read Lord Bacon de Augmentis Scientiarum and finished the charming book of Virgils Aeneis containing his Descent. Evening quiet. Tom Jones, Racine and Boileau’s Correspondence.1


A collection of the correspondence of Racine and Boileau had first appeared in vol. 2 of the Mémoires de J. Racine, ed. Louis Racine, Paris, 1747–1750. CFA was perhaps reading the letters between them contained in vol. 6 of Racine’s Oeuvres complètes, ed. L. Aimé-Martin, 7 vols., Paris, 1825, a copy of which is at MQA.