Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Thursday. 3d. CFA Thursday. 3d. CFA
Thursday. 3d.

Morning unusually cold. I went to the Office and was occupied as usual in my Accounts. Mr. Degrand called upon me and I made sale of my stock, transferring it and receiving the money. I then called in to see Mr. Derby and arrange with him respecting the contract for the sale of the House. He cannot procure a release from the Massachusetts Life Insurance Office, so that I must take the House loaded with a Mortgage. This is not so well. I also made contract with Mr. Degrand respecting other monies and on the whole passed an extremely busy day of it. Home however in time to read Livy which is an amusement I dislike much to lose. Afternoon, Mr. Slade and Niebuhr.

Evening went to see Mr. Brooks. The usual family evening. Mr. Frothingham and his Wife, Mr. Everett and his Wife, Edward Brooks and ourselves with the addition of Mr. B. Gorham his Wife and son William—A very pretty Supper and pleasant time. But at the close there were indications of a heavy thunder squall—The Warren Bridge by the lapsing of the Act collecting Tolls yesterday became free and the occasion was taken at Charlestown to make a celebration to which Governor Everett forgetful of is relations with Mr. Brooks was asked and did attend.1 He made a Speech in many respects insulting which coming to Edward’s ears irritated him so much as to make him ungovernable. Luckily my Wife was close by him and kept him amused in partial conversation until late, but just as we rose from table, the conversation happening to turn that way, Mr. Everett became the mark of some biting observations. He had the good sense to make no reply—And thus the matter ended. On returning home with Edward I found him just in that state of excitement which becomes quite regardless of restraint. I profoundly pity Mr. Everett who from the day of entering a political career with many triumphs has perpetually had occasion to perceive how unfit a coward is for the storms of the popular sea.

1.

When a charter was granted to the Warren Bridge Corporation to construct a toll bridge in 1828, stipulation was made that the bridge should revert to the State upon recovery by the proprietors of construction costs (see vol. 2:264). 345Over the protests of the holders of the Corporation’s stock, of whom Peter C. Brooks was one, the legislature effectively made the bridge a free one beginning at midnight on 1 March 1836. At that moment a celebration began by the ringing of bells, the firing of cannon, and the lighting of bonfires. The celebration took on a more formal character on 2 March with the participation of the officers of government and members of the legislature (Columbian Centinel, 3 March, p. 2, col. 3).

Friday. 4th. CFA Friday. 4th. CFA
Friday. 4th.

A mild day at last, and one giving us some little intimation of the approach of spring. My time was very much taken up in business. I finished the transaction with Mr. Derby and took a Deed of his right, suffering the claim of the Mortgage to lie on the Estate, Mr. Bowditch not being willing to release it. This rendered necessary the investment of the money destined for that purpose. And what with Mr. Degrand, and my books and Accounts and Diary, I had little leisure for any thing. Got home late too for my Livy.

Afternoon, finished my second letter to Mr. Slade and read the Account of the taking of Rome by the Gauls under Brennus. Evening went again to the Theatre to see the Somnambula—Performance as good as usual. I shall remember the moments spent in hearing these notes as the pleasantest of my life. How far superior to the low rooms and dark consultations for political arrangements. The intrigue of small passions and miserable policy. I am just at this moment in a fit of deep disgust at all this which time and patience will only cure.

Saturday. 5th. CFA Saturday. 5th. CFA
Saturday. 5th.

Pleasant day, I went to the Office and was again occupied in the transaction of money business. I effected this day, the loan of all the balance of Money remaining in my hands of every description. And the arranging it in proper shape in my account books took me much of the morning. This whole week has been consumed almost entirely in the arrangement and disposition of large sums of money. Perhaps there is nothing at the time more exciting than this pursuit. It has the charm of gambling without it’s torture and sense of shame. Yet after all, for a philosophical mind to reflect upon what it is when divested of it’s only just motive: the means of a competent subsistence, I ought to be particularly careful in this regard, having little excuse to hazard my happiness upon such stakes. My time slipped away so that I lost my walk.

Home but read Livy. My child Louisa is again unwell. Her condition 346is a very singular one. It gives me great anxiety. Afternoon, Niebuhr, and de la Motte Fouqué. Evening, Madame Junot, and finished Bolingbroke’s Letter to Sir W. Windham. Every thing appears to be hushed just at present, Politics more especially. Mr. Brooks passed a couple of hours with us in general conversation.