Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 8th. CFA Wednesday. 8th. CFA
Wednesday. 8th.

Another fine day although it clouded up before evening. I went with Mr. Brooks into town, and was busy for some time in Accounts, and 400collecting my semi-annual Dividends. These are this year quite favorable. I have been tolerably successful so far in the little circle of my own affairs, and have reason to be grateful for this as for all my benefits. Read a little of the North American Review and nothing further. Returned to Medford and passed the afternoon in reading German.

Evening, Ovid. Finished the first Book of the Metamorphoses with which I have been very much pleased. He has written fifteen books of these and my wonder will be, if he can sustain himself equally well to the end.

The change in the Season makes some reduction in the amount of our visitors and for this I am not entirely sorry, but the same change operates again unfavourably by driving me from my little study, as there are no accommodations for winter quarters. We remain in a state of painful suspense respecting our future residence this winter.

Thursday. 9th. CFA Thursday. 9th. CFA
Thursday. 9th.

As Mr. Brooks was to dine out, we had fixed upon this day for my Wife to ride with me to see my Mother at Quincy. The morning looked cloudy with a warm southerly wind but I thought the probabilities were that it would clear away. It rained a little on the road to town where I changed horses, but becoming tolerably clear, we determined to proceed and got safely there. After our arrival it set in and rained extremely hard for several hours.

My Mother was looking better and seemed to be slowly reviving. I talked a little with my father, but passed most of my time reading Werther. Mr. William Plumer of New Hampshire dined with us. Conversation dull as my father appeared fatigued.

After dinner, I decided to return, knowing that as the rain was precisely behind us, we should probably be as dry as if we were riding on the fairest day. It was a just conjecture, the rain stopped before we reached town and we arrived at Medford in good season for tea. Mr. Brooks did not return for an hour. Evening, German.

Friday. 10th. CFA Friday. 10th. CFA
Friday. 10th.

Morning clear with a high wind form the North West. I went to town accompanying Mr. Brooks. Time wasted, excepting a little in business.

Mr. Brooks has made his children another present—Dividing among 401them the amount which his son Henry had remaining of his property at his death. This comes to my Wife and myself in the shape of three shares in the Lawrence Manufacturing Co. and is another evidence of the beneficence of my father in law,1 as well as of the goodness of the Deity. My means are now more than sufficient for my living and mere property can add little more to my happiness. It must be my endeavor that it shall not take off from it by giving me a spirit of uneasy restlessness or vague ambition. I am blessed as much as man ever is in this sublunary state. May God be merciful to me and keep me humble and sensible of the extent of his goodness.

Athenaeum. John Quincy made me a visit. He is not to sail for some days. Home to Medford. Afternoon German and in the evening read Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Also Mrs. Austin’s Characteristics of Goethe.


Peter C. Brooks to ABA and CFA, 6 Oct. (Adams Papers). In acknowledging the gift, CFA wrote: “Our stock of words is quite used up.... Your bounty has given us a superfluity which we are perfectly aware is beyond our merits” (18 Oct., Adams Papers).