Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Monday. 2d. CFA Monday. 2d. CFA
Monday. 2d.

Morning pleasant. I went to the Office and was busily occupied in my Accounts at the close of the month. They took so much time I had hardly any for any thing else.

The politics of the State are getting more heated and entangled at every moment. A vast number of things have been brought in having no sort of relation to general questions, which make me feel more and 257more pleased at the determination I made to keep out of all struggles for Office. Mr. Alex. H. Everett is not so lucky. His career throughout the last two years has been such as very deservedly to subject him to the lash of the Atlas today.1 Had that man acted an independent part from the first, had he pliant instrument in every hand, how different would have been his and our situation. We should not have had this battle to fight.

I went home and read Juvenal which is better than politics. Indeed now I believe I shall take a vacation from political scrapes—Now that I have written as much as will do before the election. After the smoke of the fight is over we may then if encouraged by the result point our guns anew. I have done my best both in Bristol and in Plymouth.2

Afternoon, I read Adam Smith, History of Astronomy, made up on a new principle, that of basing it on the affection of the mind which leads to tracing causes in a chain of wonderful events. Smith was a powerful thinker on many subjects. I know few men of modern times who excel him. Read a few of Voltaire’s and Mad. du Deffand’s Letters. Mr. Price Greenleaf called in for a short time.

1.

“Mr. Everett has taken advantage of the position he has hitherto occupied in the Whig party to embarrass, distract and defeat its movements. He is now utterly discarded by them. He has betrayed them ... and is now confessedly an adhering partizan of Martin Van Buren.... What propriety can there be in continuing to sustain or tolerate an individual who no longer even affects to belong to our ranks?” (Daily Atlas, 2 Nov., p. 2, col. 3).

2.

The counties in which the Taunton and Bridgewater newspapers appeared.

Tuesday. 3d. CFA Tuesday. 3d. CFA
Tuesday. 3d.

Extraordinary mild weather. I do not recollect such a season. I went to the Office and was engaged all the morning, in making up arrears of Diary which I at last succeeded in doing and now hope to be able to sustain.

The Advocate contains my latest number of the Massachusetts Voter. It attacks the Atlas and I do not know how far it will irritate it, but I imagine the policy is laid down in clear lines to give me wide scope and it is probably wise on their part. The result of the election will tell whether my labours have had any effect. I must look for it to the county of Bristol, and Plymouth and Norfolk. On the comparative vote in these counties with that of last year can I form some judgment whether all my efforts have been labour in vain.

At noon I went to Quincy to see the family. Nothing of any conse-258quence. Found my father much as usual. Political conversation. In the course of it he went as I thought somewhat too far and we had a difference. I wish in all cases to adhere to right, and if I see it in any body I am willing to concede much to the persons who act upon it conscientiously. But on the other hand I cannot admire laxity of principle nor can I make such enormous allowances as my father does.

I returned home late by a bright moon. Quiet evening. The ladies spent the day at Medford, and E. C. Adams came to stay the night.