Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 8th. CFA Tuesday. 8th. CFA
Tuesday. 8th.

The weather today was clear but much more in accordance with the usual character of the Season. The Child seemed on the whole to be relieved though yet very much of a Sufferer. I went to the Office. Engaged all the morning in my usual occupations. But I obtained a short 7time of leisure to read more of Dr. Lingard. I seized half an hour to go and pick up a book at the Athenaeum and then took my walk, first of all, calling at my Wood dealers for some fuel, and then at the Boylston Market to examine the Pantheon Hall for an advertisement.

Afternoon quietly at home. Began rewriting my Article which I read yesterday. This will perhaps be no better than the last, and I am foolish to make further attempts, yet I do not like to lose entirely all my previous labour. My mind produces nothing that satisfies me or any body else. I am in these matters pretty much discouraged.

Evening quiet at home. Read to my Wife, part of Ourika a French novel of Madame de Duras, and Pope’s Eloisa to Abelard as well as the Rape of the Lock.1 Received rather a dispirited letter from my Mother.2


Probably in the edition of Pope’s Works now at MQA (vol. 4:116).


3 Jan. (Adams Papers). LCA had been ill with scarlet fever which had followed hard upon an earlier illness.

Wednesday. 9th. CFA Wednesday. 9th. CFA
Wednesday. 9th.

It snowed at day break but was afterwards a clear and mild day. The Child seems to be improving and has recovered her usual animation. I went to the Office. Occupied a little but I found myself suffering under a heavy cold and pain in my head. This with me generally paralyzes all exertion. Read Lingard. Went to the Athenaeum and took a Walk—Nothing occurring of any consequence. Afternoon, I pursued the perusal of Anquetil and I wrote a little of the Article but without much spirit in either. My exertions have been so useless that I feel a total want of self confidence. I believe that it would be better for me to remain quiet and philosophize upon life. To strengthen myself by private practice without venturing upon the opinion of the world. My notions are many of them not particularly likely to catch the tone of the vulgar. Evening quiet. I did nothing. Edward Brooks came in and spent an hour, but I felt stupid and heavy. Exertion in such cases is dreadful.

Thursday. 10th. CFA Thursday. 10th. CFA
Thursday. 10th.

My head was relieved this morning, but I felt my cold oppress me still very much throughout the day. It was warm and rainy but I nevertheless went to the Office. I have very few interruptions there now, and have an opportunity of passing my time much more profitably than formerly. I go through every day the usual routine of Accounts, Diary, and Lingard with occasionally a mere glance at politics with which 8however I am at present not much engaged. This makes my morning, excepting only an hour for exercise. The rain prevented my taking this today.

Afternoon consumed at home in reading parts of Hallam’s Constitutional History1 and in writing more of my Article. I will go through this as rapidly as possible and then make a full stop in composition for this Winter. My occupations will then take some other direction—Principally to some light literature I believe.

Received a letter from my Mother. She is better and talks of nothing but the Washington outrages.2 National affairs are in a poor condition. Evening, Ourika and the very odd Memoirs of a very odd Woman, the Margravine of Anspach.3 I do not mention the Bible because this like the World must be always understood when we are at home.


Constitutional History of England by Henry Hallam.


Probably LCA to ABA, 5 Jan. (Adams Papers). She concludes, “Crime is tolerated, immorality publicly sanctioned and unblushing impudence is the great passport to success. We are indeed enlightened.”


Both Ourika, by the Duchesse de Duras (Paris, 1826), and the Memoirs of Elizabeth Berkeley Craven, Margravine of Anspach (2 vols., London, 1826), were borrowed from the Athenaeum.