Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 25th. CFA Tuesday. 25th. CFA
Tuesday. 25th.

I remained at Quincy all day today. Read a part of Juvenal’s sixth Satire which is too disgusting to be borne. The vices of the world appear to have reached their maximum during the times of the Roman empire. And it is mortifying to man to see how his species can in the plenitude of power degrade and disgrace itself. I do not admire to read the ingenuity of woman in making herself a beast, and worse, for animals are content with natural enjoyments.

The morning mail brought nothing but an account of a call for an Antimasonic Convention which is a new measure and must have been suggested by some new move on the political counter. Can it be that Mr. Everett withdraws his acceptance of their nomination? We shall see. I suppose I shall be nominated to attend this, and to influence its results. We shall see. Nothing new.

I was taken up very much in assorting papers which I this day derive some courage from. The process of winnowing the Wheat from the Chaff now begins to show for something. If I can get out much of the valuable matter, there will be some return for my expense of time. My father manifests utter apathy to it as he does to every thing else. He looks unwell, and spends his time upon hobbies rather than useful plans.

Evening, there was a great fire visible in the direction of Boston. I went upon the hill in front of the House and looked at it. The sight was sublime enough. The red light was set in a dark cloud which gave a 204haze in which the fire was reflected far and wide. We learn it is the town of Charlestown.1 I read a little of Theodor.

1.

Fifty to sixty buildings on more than six acres of land in Charlestown on the main street between the old bridge and the Middlesex Hotel were reported destroyed (Columbian Centinel, 26 Aug., p. 2, col. 1; 28 Aug., p. 2, cols. 1–2).

Wednesday. 26th. CFA Wednesday. 26th. CFA
Wednesday. 26th.

This was Commencement day, but I did not attend nor indeed pay the any sort1 of notice to it. I am no admirer of those things, and rarely follow them when I can avoid it. The rain set in early and continued nearly all day but I had started for town and was caught.

My occupation was to superintend my projected publication. I have decided upon risking publication although my bookseller discourages me much from it. I hope it will not be quite so expensive as he estimated it but at any rate, it shall be printed because I firmly believe it will be a benefit to the Country to give it a new chance of being read. The Whigs have succeeded in smothering it on one side and the Jackson party have looked on indifferent on the other, as if they were afraid.

I went to the Athenaeum and the House. Remainder of the time passed at Office making up Diary and correcting my numbers of the Appeal. Carried down two to the publisher. Home in the rain from which I was however protected by an Umbrella. Afternoon, Theodor, assorting letters and correcting No. 3 of my Appeal which I find unsatisfactory and involved, and I think will require writing over and elucidating more fully. Evening quietly at home. My mother was not well today and my father appeared indisposed.

1.

Thus in MS.

Thursday. 27th. CFA Thursday. 27th. CFA
Thursday. 27th.

Remained quietly at home at Quincy today and busied myself in writing out more fully the argument of the third number of the Appeal. I have amplified it by assuming some of the ideas of my father though without going far into their detail. The thing in the first instance was patched and it never has looked to me naturally since. I worked the body over so as to make it more uniform but the places where the piece is joined are still visible to my eye.

Assorted papers for some time. Afternoon reading Theodor which is very amusing. In the evening as my Wife and I owed Mr. Beale and his daughters a visit we walked over with my father to his house, and finding him not there we went on to Mr. T. Greenleaf’s, where he and his eldest daughter were. Visit short and uninteresting. Returned early.

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