Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Monday. 11th. CFA Monday. 11th. CFA
Monday. 11th.

Morning still gloomy being the eighth day that the sun has been covered. I went to the Office and occupied myself in matters of account and Diary. Wrote an answer to Mr. Treadway’s last letter which has been a good while on hand.1 The tone of Mr. Greenleaf is such that I fancy nothing but L.A.W. will satisfy him. I should rather it would be he than I to meddle with it. Nothing of further consequence.

The streets were in so bad a state that I found it impossible to walk, and so I called at the Advocate Office to ascertain respecting my next publication, then home to read Livy—The story of Lucretia. I do not know why all this Account of the early ages of Rome should be deemed fabulous. Livy professes to draw it from ancient writers and the stories themselves appear to bear substantial marks of proba-308bility. The mythology is evidently engrafted upon it and can be easily separated. I must look into Niebuhr and see what he says about it. He is the great preacher of doubt, but the Chevalier de Beaufort led the way in France.2

Afternoon, I was obliged to go and attend a meeting of the Directors of the Boylston Market Association, prior to the regular annual one. I am tired of this work and mean to throw it off. Discussion upon the Accounts of the Carpenter and Masons for building the Fish Market. As usual the expense was above the estimate, about a thousand dollars only in this case. Such is the usual way with buildings. Afternoon consumed, and at last referred to a Committee—Accounts of Treasurer and Clerk of the Market likewise. Home. Evening Gil Blas and writing No. 4 of Slade.

1.

The LbC of CFA’s reply to Treadway’s letter of 12 Dec. (not found) is in the Adams Papers.

2.

Louis de Beaufort’s La république romaine (1766) was an early example of the application of rational analysis to the study of Rome’s institutions, an approach ordinarily identified with the much more recent Römische Geschichte of Barthold Georg Niebuhr, 2 vols., Berlin, 1811.

Tuesday. 12th. CFA Tuesday. 12th. CFA
Tuesday. 12th.

Morning cloudy but it cleared before night. My third letter to Slade came out today and was on the whole somewhat more correct than usual. I went to the Office and passed all my extra time in writing a letter to my father. But my mornings are so short that I do not more than work three quarters of an hour. The streets were also in such a state as to make me utterly unable to walk. I therefore stopped in to look at Hilliard’s books, then home. Read Livy which begins to be quite interesting. I find a charm in the style now that I have got a little accustomed to it.

Afternoon, worked on Mr. Slade’s Pamphlet and before I went to bed, finished a draft which will I believe very nearly end the whole matter. It is rather closely packed but I have been so diffuse already as to tire myself as well as my party. I believe I shall not work any longer. I am tired of hammering upon a flat surface. Evening, reading the entertaining Gil Blas to my Wife.

Wednesday. 13th. CFA Wednesday. 13th. CFA
Wednesday. 13th.

It was quite cheering to behold the run rising in great beauty this morning. After so long an absence the change becomes a positive 309pleasure. I went to the Office—Time taken up in writing Diary and finishing the letter to my father.1 This is a very laborious process from the necessity I feel under of copying what I write. That this practice is a useful one, every body who has seen the late exposition of Mr. William Heisters forgetfulness of opinions of six months standing in the Advocate must admit. But it is tiresome.

Walked down to see Mrs. T. B. Adams and make my usual Quarterly Settlement with her, and this with some other work to do consumed my disposable leisure. Home to read Livy. Afternoon engaged in copying my letter which took the whole of my leisure excepting that portion required of me by Mr. John Angier who called to receive the Interest due by my father to the minor children of Mr. Adams my late Uncle, of whom he has been since the death of Mr. Foster made Guardian. He did not stay. Evening, we had a visit from P. C. Brooks Jr. and one from Gardiner Gorham who remained until nearly ten.

1.

Adams Papers.