Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Monday. 30th. CFA Monday. 30th. CFA
Monday. 30th.

Snow and rain with exceedingly disagreeable walking. I was occupied some time in finding the Schooner Velocity which I did not succeed in but the Captain afterwards called to see me. I accordingly prepared instructions for Mr. Spear at Quincy which I sent out to Quincy by the Stage as well as another copy through the Mail.1 This took most of my time. I could not gain a regular walk, indeed there was scarcely any necessity, for my business gave me exercise enough.

Home. Read Chateaubriand, in whose letters I am a little disappointed. Finished the Cours d’Histoire of M. Guizot which is interesting enough. Grimm.

Evening Conversation with my Wife about future arrangements. Mr. Brooks is in great difficulty about the formation of an Establishment for the Summer. I am embarrassed by his wish that my Wife should remain with him—A wish which I cannot gratify without sacrificing my relations and myself. On the whole after a great deal of reflection upon it I remain in my former opinion that my proper course is to be independent between them. In this manner I shall not alienate 107either too much from me. At least not justly. My children and my own situation in Society also require something of me. Evening, Wilhelm Meister.

1.

Letter missing.

Tuesday. 31st. CFA Tuesday. 31st. CFA
Tuesday. 31st.

My Wife has unfortunately caught this severe cold which is going about and under which I have myself been suffering. It has fallen so seriously upon her lungs that in the absence of Dr. Stevenson I sent for Dr. Bigelow today. This should have been done earlier had it not been for her aversion to seeing a new physician.

The day was gloomy with a drizzling rain. I went out early. At the Office, Mr. Hobart the Sexton of the Parish at Quincy called at the hour appointed and I went down with him to the vessel where I saw the remains of my late brother transferred to the vehicle which is to convey them to their final resting place.1 How monstrously that has increased its tenants within a few years. I felt relieved when the thing was done. Poor John still clung to home in his last moments, which he had at other times cast off—Happy had he never left it for the slippery steps of the Presidential palace. All this is now over, and peace to his ashes.

I was occupied the remainder of the morning in finishing the draught of my Quarterly Account and winding up balances, then writing a short letter with it.2 Short walk and felt dull. Afternoon Thirty years war, and a history of the Arts of Porcelain and glass making in Dr. Lardner’s Cyclopedia which is interesting.3 Evening at home, concluding to decline an Invitation to Mr. Francis Parkman’s. Wilhelm Meister.

1.

In the Adams family vault in the First Church burying ground; see vol. 3:85; 4:260.

2.

To JQA, 31 March (LbC, Adams Papers).

3.

Vol. 6, Manufactures of Porcelain and Glass, by G. R. Porter, was borrowed from the Athenaeum.