Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Monday. 8th. CFA Monday. 8th. CFA
Monday. 8th.

Heavy rain all day with the wind high from the Eastward. I went to the Office. Nothing very material in the way of business. I wrote, and read some portions of the North American Review for April. This periodical seems to be assuming a new species of character. It is the vehicle of brilliant, superficial Essays without much attempt at criticism. The writers for it seek to dazzle the public for the time without aiming to leave much which can be looked upon as sterling matter for reference.

My article has now been postponed a year, and I think I see in one of those of the present number, some thoughts springing from it’s perusal. I think I shall never write for that Review again so long as it continues under it’s present auspices. My mortification in connection with that publication has been greater than I think I deserve, and I have brought it upon myself by endeavouring to do something when it is the decision of a superior power that I must at least for the present remain entirely idle.

I went up in the rain to the South end to look at some furniture, but could find nothing to suit me. Afternoon, I intended to have attended a Meeting of the Directors of the Boylston Market, but it rained so hard, and having wet my feet before dinner, I concluded to 65remain at home. Read Botta, and Schiller. Evening quiet. Les Parvenus and Pompeii. My Wife still suffering much with her cold.

Tuesday. 9th. CFA Tuesday. 9th. CFA
Tuesday. 9th.

Morning cloudy but it afterwards cleared away. I went to the Office and was engaged in my usual series of avocations. Of these it is not often that reading can be said to make any considerable part. Money Affairs consequent upon the commencement of the Quarter, Accounts to be regulated, Dividends to be obtained and money to be deposited take up time. I was also today engaged in finishing the Leases of the House 105 Tremont Street. I have succeeded in advancing the Rent. My labours in this may have brought me back considerably from the very depressed condition in which the Property was shortly after I assumed the management. I can confidently affirm, that in point of paying character in the Tenants, and condition of the Houses in regard to Repair, my father’s Estate is really more valuable by twenty per Cent than it has been for many years.

Instead of walking, I was obliged to go down to see a Wardrobe which my Wife was in treaty for. This consumed the whole hour. After dinner, Botta and Schiller. My Wife though still sick with a cold, went to Mrs. Frothingham’s to tea. I made up for my morning’s omission by reading the second Satire of Horace’s Second book, comparing Pope’s imitation.

Went down after my Wife at a little after eight. Gorham Brooks and his Wife there. They go to Mr. Brooks’ at Medford tomorrow, to spend the Summer. He has sold his own pretty Estate obtained by her.1 Returned home by ten.

1.

The home which the Gorham Brookses had owned in Watertown was probably a gift to Mrs. Brooks from her father, Resin D. Shepherd of Watertown; see vol. 3:259; 4:185, 433.

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

Fine clear morning. I walked for an hour on the Common with my child. Met my old classmate Lothrop.1 He is a Clergyman at Dover in N.H. We left Cambridge with some little clouds between us on Account of certain reports stated to have been set in motion by him. I never took the trouble to ascertain their correctness. We were stiff and civil.

I went to the Office. T. B. Adams called in and spent an hour. 66Conversation various. He leaves this quarter on Tuesday for Pittsburgh. I wrote, and read part of the American History. Walk as usual. Went round by Sumner Street to look at a range of new Houses. Their fronts are very pretty.

T. B. Adams and Louisa C. Smith2 dined with me. The afternoon was by this means exceedingly shortened. I read Botta. Evening at home. Idle. Read more in relation to Pompeii. A very curious subject.

1.

After an early intimacy, CFA and Samuel Kirkland Lothrop quarreled over matters not entirely clear. Thereafter CFA was never more than correct toward him and maintained a low opinion of his integrity. See vol. 1:170, 249–250; 2:170; below, entry for 16 Sept. 1834.

2.

Louisa Catherine Catharine Smith, a spinster niece of AA, had resided at the Old House since her childhood, and during JA’s later years had devoted herself entirely to his care. Later, she returned to the Old House to take charge of it for JQA during periods when LCA was absent. Still later, after TBA’s death, she boarded with the widow and was her consolation (JQA, Diary, entries for 5 Oct. 1826, 14 Aug. 1832, 14 Oct. 1833; CFA to ABA, 18 April 1827; to LCA, 30 Oct. 1829; both letters in Adams Papers; see also Adams Genealogy).