Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

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.

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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.

1.

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).

Thursday. 7th. CFA Thursday. 7th. CFA
Thursday. 7th.

The day still continues the dull, cloudy weather. We received notice this morning that Mr. Everett’s child died last night.1 It has lingered in so painful a manner as to make this a relief, but, O God, what an agonizing relief, to part with a child, who has contributed to the pleasure of life perhaps in the most unalloyed shape in which it ever comes.

I went to the Office and was occupied as I have been every day almost constantly in matters of business. Mr. Collum from Quincy called for his Lease and gives encouraging Accounts of the Stone contracts. Other bills I settled. The day too bad to walk much. Home where I read Livy.

Afternoon at work upon my Letters to Slade. Mr. Hallett now publishes so fast I can hardly keep up with him—And I am in danger of not considering enough what I do write. My feeling in this occupation is not a satisfactory one and yet I know not how I can make it better. My time is employed though perhaps not so usefully as it might be. I would rather hear Operas, but the labour of life is more necessary to keep a man alive than its luxuries.

Mr. Brooks came in and took Tea. He has been very much interested in the fate of this poor child and feels it’s loss very much. Not much conversation on that account. He went early and there succeeded him Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham with whom I passed a very agreeable two hours. Did nothing afterwards.

1.

The death of Grace Fletcher Everett (b. 1828 and named for the wife of Daniel Webster) came on the eve of the day Everett was to take office as governor (Frothingham, Everett , p. 130–131).

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