Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

January. 1836.: Friday. 1st. CFA January. 1836.: Friday. 1st. CFA
January. 1836. Friday. 1st.

I was gloomy today and could only account for it by the feeling which the situation of Mr. Everett’s child has inspired in me. On recollecting the same state to be recorded in my last year’s Diary, I perhaps may be justified in setting it down for my natural emotion at 300the passage of time without perhaps being duly improved by me. My condition in external affairs has not changed for the worse. I have to thank God for an increase both to my family and to my means, for uncommon health in my family as well as myself, for acquisition of some little reputation and standing among men, and I am sure I am grateful for these innumerable benefits. What could a man ask or wish for more? Even the reflection that all these things are not and cannot be permanent ought to endear their present possession the more and at the same time make me less anxious for the future. It is not that I do not bear in mind every thing that connects itself with this reasoning. On the contrary, no one is better apprised of it than myself, but reasoning is not feeling, and the sympathy with the distress of others which you can so easily suppose your own is a feeling not immediately to be checked. But there is besides this a sense of loneliness in life which upon these occasions when family ties seem to press closest, increases with every time of their passage. I am almost without near blood relations of my own. Formerly I thought them immaterial, and certainly it is better not to have them than to have those in which no pleasure can be taken, but I can imagine much happiness to be got from them as people advance in life. It is for this, that I turn with the more pleasure to my children who are for me the representatives of two generations. May God bless and preserve them is my fervent prayer.

My relations with my father are much more kind than they were a year since, for which I am very glad. Thinking him sometimes wrong in judgment as I have occasionally taken the liberty to do, I have yet experienced too much kindness from him to allow my opinions ever seriously to affect my conduct. And the last year has been most particularly one in which that kindness has been shown both in acts and in opinions, in the natural course of parental affection and in the extraordinary one of personal esteem. One the result of blood, the other that of my own acts. The latter to me the one without which the former could scarcely be prized. Thus I have still to bow in deep humility before my God and repeat the expression of my overflowing sense of his bounty to me far above my deserts, which has been poured upon me year by year.

The day was very fine for the Season, and I had little to do beyond the attending to the demands of the Season in the shape of money to be paid. I was very desirous on many accounts to get rid of as many of my debts as possible. The times are rather hard and I wish no man should feel them harder by any fault of mine. Called upon E. C. 301Adams at Mr. E. Miller’s and paid her usual sum. And all these processes with the necessary entries in my Account books took up the morning.

Home to read Livy, not much of which I could accomplish. Afternoon, Mr. Price Greenleaf called and sat an hour. He talked of many things, especially of Jefferson’s works and Quincy Granite, showing the peculiarities of his character in both. Afterwards, wrote Diary, but it takes so much of my valuable afternoon time that I must again transfer it to the Office as a morning exercise. Evening, as I felt dull, went with my Wife and spent a couple of hours with Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham. Home. Goethe’s Wanderjahre.

Saturday. 2d. CFA Saturday. 2d. CFA
Saturday. 2d.

A beautiful day for January. I went to the Office as usual. The accounts from Mr. Everett’s leave no doubt of the quick termination of his child’s sufferings. Alas! Alas! the vanity of human expectations. Next week he plays in the pageant of State affairs, and his ambition must supply the void of his family happiness. In my mind, a poor exchange.

I was occupied in making up Accounts. Mr. Walsh came in for a short time and after him, W. Spear. He talked of Quincy affairs and represented Kirk’s case in such a manner that I directed a Note which will rouse him.1 His other statements were rather more favorable. Walk but I felt depressed and not quite well. Received a letter from my Mother in answer to mine.2 She is much more calm, and less disposed to think me in a plot. In other respects, her spirits appear good. Livy.

Mr. Everett’s two daughters, Anne and Charlotte dined here and passed most of the day. They were of course somewhat left to themselves at home and appeared glad to be with cheerful faces again. Poor little girls, they are not yet of the age to know grief. I went with my Wife, Louisa and them to see the different rooms in the State house, a wish to see which they expressed, then returned home and passed the remainder of the short afternoon in reading Cicero’s Letters to Lentulus and Voltaire’s sprightly correspondence. In the evening, read Gil Blas to my Wife, after which wrote my Diary and finished by a little of Wilhelm Meister.


Note not found.


LCA to CFA, 27 Dec. 1835 (Adams Papers).