Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Monday. 21st. CFA Monday. 21st. CFA
Monday. 21st.

I started for town alone this morning. Passed my time at the Office very quietly with the exception of a visit to the Athenaeum. One or 346two Tenants called among others Mr. Hurlbert about the Lease of the building 23 Court Street. I agreed with him at an advanced rent to begin with the expiration of his present term. As a necessary consequence, I was obliged to give a warning to the present Tenants whom I am very glad to get rid of.

At noon I went to Quincy and found my father quite alone. Conversation much of the Afternoon, and I copied one or two Letters so that I only had time to read one or two of the Tristia of Ovid. There is a sickly sort of effeminacy about his thoughts and a servility even more striking than that of his brethren of the poetic brood in the days of Augustus. Yet his style has beauty and feeling. Evening quiet at home. Conversation.

Tuesday. 22d. CFA Tuesday. 22d. CFA
Tuesday. 22d.

I read a little of Goethe’s Werter this morning before starting for town. My father’s lonely situation gives me much pain as he seems to take it patiently. My mother does not talk of coming on yet1 and I like to take no decisive step until I see the ground before me.

My arrival in town being late, I made a short stay. Mr. Thomas Davis came in and sat with me so that I did nothing. At one there being a call of the La Fayette Committee I attended. The object seemed to be merely to appoint subcommittees for the necessary arrangements. I left in the middle and returned to Medford.

Afternoon interrupted. I read some of Hamilton’s book however and several of the Lamentations of Ovid. Mr. and Mrs. Everett paid an afternoon’s visit here.


In letters to JQA, LCA reported her inability to leave Washington because of the illnesses of her brother, T. B. Johnson, and of JA2 and his wife (JQA, Diary, 18, 21 July).

Wednesday. 23d. CFA Wednesday. 23d. CFA
Wednesday. 23d.

The weather is now very steadily cool and pleasant with cloudless days. I accompanied Mr. Brooks to town and was occupied much of my morning in business at the Office.

I had little or no interruption and had on that account some opportunity to pursue the reading of the Letters of Jefferson. Those written from 1793 onward are steeped in the very gall of party. He seems to have lost his temper and his feelings and indulges in the most ungen-347erous strictures upon his opponents. Even my grandfather does not escape insinuations although he affected in his case to display a moderation he certainly did not feel. The violence of both parties is to be examined narrowly by any one who wishes to form an impartial judgment and one side may correct the other.

Returned to Medford where there was company for the rest of the day. Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham dined with us, and after dinner there was Mr. G. M. Dexter and his sister Catherine, Mrs. Hall and her son Edward, and Mr. J. C. Gray. They did not go until late and I did nothing afterwards. Mrs. Frothingham staid.