Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Thursday. May 1. CFA Thursday. May 1. CFA
Thursday. May 1.

A beautiful May day. I went out earlier than usual and was engaged much of my time in business affairs. Looked over my Accounts &ca. and afterwards took a walk. Nothing material took place.

Afternoon, Captain Beechey’s Voyage. He seems to have been wanting in the conciliatory manners which are so necessary in a voyage of Discovery. I judge so because he gets into difficulty almost uniformly. He has contests with the natives of Easter Island, the Gambeis and the Esquimaux. He does not appear to have impressed them with a sufficient idea of his power, which is after all the only thing to keep the malicious propensities of man in subjection. He discovered but 305little. His merit seems to have been that of an accurate Officer. His losses by accidents amount to one eighth or ninth of the whole number of men. How will this compare with that of other Navigators?

Mrs. Adams went out to ride and did not return until late. In the evening, we went to a small family party at Mr. Josiah Bradlee.1 It was excessively dull to me. Home at ten.


Mrs. Josiah Bradlee was Nathaniel Frothingham’s sister; see vol. 3:108; 4:365–366.

Friday. 2d. CFA Friday. 2d. CFA
Friday. 2d.

Morning fine although accompanied by an East wind. I rode to Quincy for the purpose of settling with Carr by his own request. But he was not ready and I lost my ride. The day was more cheerful and I therefore enjoyed it better. Looked over the garden and gave the necessary directions. Returned to dinner. My horse was not very well and I was somewhat delayed.

Afternoon finished Beechey and read Hypsypile to Jason being the sixth of Ovid’s Epistles. There is too much sameness in them. All the ideas are prettily turned, most of them are feminine and appropriate, several quite pathetic but there is vastly little variety.

Evening, went to Mrs. Gorhams. A small party, very dull. Took refuge in Whist. Miss Edgeworth sneers at cards, but after all, if parties must be endured from civility why take away things which relieve the tedium. Home at ten.

Saturday. 3d. CFA Saturday. 3d. CFA
Saturday. 3d.

Fine day. Morning to the Office. Occupied in business. Mr. Spear came in from Quincy and paid me the balance of his Note together with some other small sums. Conversation upon matters relating to Quincy affairs. Mr. Degrand came in about a transaction with the Market Bank, and I went with him afterwards to arrange it. This with my Diary completed my morning and I went to walk.

Edmund Quincy asked me to dine with him at Mr. Parker’s, where he lives.1 Nobody there but T. Davis. The wine was good. Mr. Parker was not present. He has gone to New York. There is a stiffness about a situation like Quincy’s which is painful enough. He must have to put up with many things.

We left him before five and as there was only a remnant of an afternoon I proposed to Davis to take a ride. We accordingly went to 306the Nursery of the Winships in Brighton a place I have passed without ever visiting before. The two persons at the head of the Establishment received us very cordially and showed us the Greenhouse Mr. Cushing has been constructing for them. It is very pretty and quite expensive. We returned home by sunset. In conversation with Davis, I regretted to perceive a tendency as I thought to free opinions in matters of religion. He has been dipping into the free thinking works of the present day. This will not last long, and it is to be hoped that it should not. Young men generally have one moment of such trial. Quiet at home.


Daniel P. Parker was Edmund Quincy’s father-in-law.