Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Monday. 28th. CFA Monday. 28th. CFA
Monday. 28th.

The morning was cool and clouds came up from the Eastward which soon produced a strong contrast to the yesterdays temperature. I went to town alone, and was occupied all the morning, first in a visit to my House where I put away my Certificates &ca. and then in copying for my father and writing for myself.

At noon I went to Quincy. Found my father at dinner, not expecting me much. He seemed in better spirits than he was. Conversation. In the afternoon, I finished the third volume of Jefferson. A change and a very bad change came over his spirit in 1794. His letters are after that period very full of bad passions. Read Madame de Maintenon and a little of Ovid very superficially. Two visitors were here to see 351my father but I did not go down. A. H. Everett and B. F. Hallett. Quiet evening.

Tuesday. 29th. CFA Tuesday. 29th. CFA
Tuesday. 29th.

Another cool morning. I remained here doubtful about returning in the afternoon when a heavy thunder shower came up and settled the question. Our day was quiet and uninterrupted. I read Madame de Maintenon and a little of Goethe besides Ovid.

Had some conversation with my father respecting his situation and my brother John’s. He talked very fully and materially altered the impressions I had previously obtained. Perhaps there is no better subject for constant reflection to me, than the history of our family from the middle of the last Century, and it may profitably extend itself into all the branches. My duties are fearfully heavy. The continuation of the respectability of our name depends much upon me and its distinction entirely. I feel myself unlikely to do much for the latter. My habits are too speculative, my feelings not at all inclined to court the public gale. In all these reflections, I have only to sustain my courage the idea that I have been much blessed by the goodness of the Deity hitherto, and a consequent hope that he will continue the same in future. What a fallible creature is man, and how much he needs protection from himself as well as from others!

Wednesday. 30th. CFA Wednesday. 30th. CFA
Wednesday. 30th.

Fine day. I arose and immediately after breakfast returned to Boston. Passed my morning very quietly at the Office writing and making up Accounts. There is no time flies so fast with me as the morning and yet there is none in which I do so little.

Returned to Medford at noon. Found my Wife with Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham, and soon after came Mr. R. D. Shepherd and a Mr. Harrison from Louisiana, a relation of Gorham Brooks’ partner at Baltimore. The dinner was dull, and I felt very dull myself. So that I did hardly anything for the afternoon.

As Mr. Brooks and Abby went out in the evening, I made up a little of my allowance of Ovid and read some German—Part of one of Augustus Lafontaine’s familiar Historys in German.1 Also two Cantos of Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale modernized by Dryden.

352 1.

CFA was to use the novels of August Heinrich Julius Lafontaine (1759–1831) for his German studies during the remainder of 1834, and in 1835 as well. Two sets of his Familien Geschichten, one in 2 vols., Berlin, 1797, the other in 8 vols., Berlin, 1800–1801, are at MQA.