Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Monday. February 1st. CFA Monday. February 1st. CFA
Monday. February 1st.

Snowy and clouds but it cleared away towards night with great cold. I went to the Office and was engaged there for some time, then going into State Street I made sale of my United States Bank Stock which has lately taken a great rise in consequence of expectations of a new Charter from the State of Pennsylvania. I have no desire to continue a Stockholder and therefore am glad to get out. Short walk. Nothing passed of material consequence. Livy.

Afternoon took up by way of luxurious relaxation a volume of Madame de Stael and hit upon her ten years exile which is written with a vast deal of point.1 How delightful a way of spending time this is. If a man had no other duties and calls in Society to worry him, what a delightful existence he might lead in the occupations of refined intelligence. But labour is his doom in one shape or another.

Evening, I was obliged to attend the annual Meeting of the Proprietors of Boylston Market. The usual business was gone through. Nothing took place of any consequence. The same Directors with the exception of Mr. French who positively refused to serve again were 322elected, and the Meeting was dissolved after which I declined serving again as Clerk to the Directors and immediately withdrew. Home, severely cold, Goethe’s Wanderjahre.

1.

Dix années d’exil constitutes vol. 15 in CFA’s set of the Oeuvres at MQA.

Tuesday. 2d. CFA Tuesday. 2d. CFA
Tuesday. 2d.

The Whig Newspapers continue to be filled with gross personalities against my father and teem with misrepresentations of his conduct.1 I do not know precisely what in this case is best to be done. Is it worth while to notice them?

I went to the Office and was engaged in Accounts and in Diary but made very slight progress in the same. Walk. Home. Livy. Called at the Advocate Office but found nobody. My No. 4 to Mr. Slade was published this morning after such a long delay as to make it hardly worth reading. This is Mr. Halletts way, and there is no avoiding it. I have sent the last of my letters and this winds up. I propose now to let things take their course for the present.

Afternoon, I was obliged to go and act as one of a Committee to go and examine the Accounts, of the Treasurer of the Middlesex Canal. This is a business from which I thought I had been released, but in my absence yesterday from the Director’s meeting, they stuck me on again. Mr. Chadwick, Mr. Eddy and I were engaged thus all the afternoon.

Home. Evening, the time consumed in reading Mr. A. H. Everett’s 8th. of January Address—An eloquent piece of composition and on the whole well calculated although there is a suppleness of praise in it which I cannot very well applaud.2 Afterwards, Goethe.

1.

See, for example, Columbian Centinel, 30 Jan., p. 2, col. 2; 1 Feb., p. 1, col. 7; 2 Feb., p. 2, cols. 3, 4; 3 Feb., p. 2, cols. 3–4.

2.

A. H. Everett’s pro-Jackson effort was published as An Address Delivered at Salem,... at the Request of the Democratic Young Men of that Place, in Commemoration of the Victory of New Orleans, Boston, 1836.

Wednesday. 3d. CFA Wednesday. 3d. CFA
Wednesday. 3d.

Severe cold weather. I went to the Office and was occupied in writing and so forth. Accounts. Mr. Walsh came in and troubled me. Mr. Hurlbert also upon a Contract respecting the building in Court Street. I had engaged to go up to the Boylston Market to meet the new Clerk and deliver to him the various papers but I was delayed until 323half an hour after the time fixed, noon. I went nevertheless and found him. Agreed to send him the various books and papers which I had and took the record book home with me to fill it up to the time of my demission.

Walk. Then home to Livy—A very interesting exposition of the Roman History, one worthy deep reflection in this our country which is posting the same track. Afternoon, Madame de Stael whose work is very amusing. Her style is animated, full of point and brilliant. I do not know a pleasanter idleness. Evening at home. Resumed at last Madame Junot, which is very amusing, finished Voltaire’s Tancrede.1

1.

In returning to Voltaire’s plays, CFA was taking up where he had left off in his Deux-Ponts edition of the Oeuvres in May 1831 (vol. 4:47, above).