Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Thursday. 21st. CFA Thursday. 21st. CFA
Thursday. 21st.

The wind changed during the night and it was a raw, cold and cloudy morning. I continued my practice of committing some lines and today took twenty and propose to continue gradually to increase in proportion as I can bear it.

Went to the Office. Occupied there in Diary and in attempt to balance my books previous to doing it. After working a good while I found they came out right with the exception of a single entry which I had made incorrectly. This encourages me, so much that I think I shall after the first of the month incorporate all my Accounts into one, and no longer keep a double set of books.

Walk in quest of Mechanics with whom it would seem I am not 143soon to finish. Home. Juvenal. Read over the first Satire without notes. Afternoon, excessively drowsy and did little. Read a few pages of Duclos whose style is evidently on the Tacitus plan—A very good style but not for every day use. Evening at home, alone and quiet. Got the Picture sent to the Athenaeum. Wilhelm.

Friday. 22d. CFA Friday. 22d. CFA
Friday. 22d.

Cold but clear. The Advocate of this morning contains a short notice addressed to me, requesting a continuation of my numbers written last Winter. The crisis with that Newspaper is now coming on and it wants help.1 I shall probably take the opportunity to pay off some scores besides doing what I believe the only advisable thing. Faint heart ne’er won fair lady.

A little walk with Louisa then twenty five lines of Pope and to the Office. Finding it likely that my father must soon be here, I felt more strongly the necessity of going to Quincy, so I started directly notwithstanding the sharpness of the air and got back after giving the necessary seeds to the man at work in the garden by one o’clock.

Home. Postponed all my other occupations for the purpose of writing Political Speculation No. 5. which I finished before evening. It is written hastily and without method, but there is not time nor I may add inclination to do any thing better. The state of politics in this Country is as low as it can well be. Little on any side of the high and liberal spirit which makes the pursuit a noble one. Mr. Van Buren has done much to demoralize it but not as much as Jefferson who was the fountain of corruption. In our day, Webster is not better than any one else.

Evening. Went with my Wife to see Mrs. Dexter. A Lady by name Mrs. Cochran whom she called her niece there. We returned early.

1.

“Will not our able and much respected correspondent favor us with some further numbers of ‘Political Speculation’ on the state of parties? The crisis calls for them now” (Boston Daily Advocate, 22 May, p. 2, col. 4). On the publication of the whole series, see entry for 19 Jan., above.

Saturday. 23d. CFA Saturday. 23d. CFA
Saturday. 23d.

Morning cold but clear. I tried to commit about forty lines of Pope this morning but failed to do it perfectly. The Newspaper of the morning contains a call signed by several hundred persons for a meeting on Thursday in favour of Mr. Webster. The popular feeling here is decidedly in his favour and will sacrifice any opponent. Yet I have under-144taken to put myself into the breach. I trust in a higher power and do my duty.

On returning home from my walk with Louisa I found Mr. Davis1 who came to inquire the name of the Artist who painted the picture of my father. Office where I was occupied in Diary and Accounts. Mr. Dudley called and took his Lease to execute. Called at a wine auction, walk and home. Read a hundred lines of the second Satire of Juvenal. Mr. Frothingham dined with me and we had a pleasant conversation. Afternoon Duclos. Nothing material. The Newspapers announce the departure from Washington of my father, which is strange, from my getting no notice of any kind.2

1.

That is, I. P. Davis, not Charles Augustus Davis as is conjectured in Oliver, Portraits of JQA and His Wife , p. 170; see note to entry of 20 May, above.

2.

JQA had left Washington on the 18th to spend a week in Philadelphia upon the invitation of his old friends Joseph Hopkinson and Nicholas Biddle. LCA was to join him at the end of that time for the trip to Quincy (JQA to LCA, 20 May, Adams Papers).