Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

304 Tuesday. 5th. CFA Tuesday. 5th. CFA
Tuesday. 5th.

A cloudy day with every alternation of weather. Mr. Everetts child still lingers in a hopeless way. I have never known a case calling for more of the sympathy or others.

Went to the Office and was much engaged in the usual duties of the New Year Accounts, paying away and receiving money. I spend too much time in reading Newspapers and yet they furnish me information of great consequence. I find myself commonly in this respect better furnished than most of the politicians about here. Walk and home to read Livy, which I do not make great progress in. Afternoon, worked hard and continued the second Letter to Mr. Slade, which I finished before I went to bed, and corrected also the proof sheet of the first. Passed the evening quietly at home and read Gil Blas to my Wife.

My account of my time is not very satisfactory. I spend a great deal of it upon politics which is on the whole very unsatisfactory. What is the pleasure of dabbling in that sea of mud! Nothing, and yet to me it is almost a duty because I am bound to establish a reputation and my education makes a political one easier to acquire than any other. I do not want Office at all, the labour of it would be burdensome. But I want reputation. I want that without which as my father’s son I cannot very well get along. At least without mortification.

Wednesday. 6th. CFA Wednesday. 6th. CFA
Wednesday. 6th.

My first Letter to Mr. Slade came out this morning and satisfies me pretty well. I this morning answered a note from A. H. Everett inclosing an invitation to a dinner at Salem and the other Ceremonies among which is an Oration from him, on the 8th of January. After reflection I conclude it wisest to decline it. Mr. Everett is a man of whose motives of action I have seen too much within a few years to rely upon them very implicitly. He has on the whole supported my father and therefore I am disposed to do what I can to support him. But he may wish of me things that are not for my benefit merely because they may be for his, and among them the keeping him in countenance in the glorification of Jackson. I feel no disposition to this on my own account, and much less on my father’s. I therefore sent a brief note with reasons and a civil refusal.1 I hope in this I acted for the best.


Office. Accounts which engrossed my time. Walk with T. Dwight and pleasant conversation. Home. Livy. I sent my second Letter to Slade today. Afternoon, at work on the third.

To the Play in the Evening. The third time of seeing the Somnambulist. I was less pleased with the first Act, and more with the close of the second and third. The Chorus of “When day light’s going” and “As I view these scenes” enchanted me over again. The finale “Oh do not mingle one earthly feeling” is exquisite. The house was not quite so full, and the performance generally more languid. Home early.


A. H. Everett’s letter (not found) had enclosed an invitation to CFA from J. S. Cabot, chairman of the Salem committee for celebrating the anniversary of the victory of New Orleans. On this day CFA sent his regrets to Everett and to Cabot (both LbC’s, Adams Papers).