Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Thursday. 24th. CFA Thursday. 24th. CFA
Thursday. 24th.

Morning clear and pleasant, but it afterwards clouded. I went to the Office. My present uneasiness is great about my daughter Louisa who seems to be subject to severe turns of a complaint the nature of which I do not know, but which takes the intermittent shape. She has always been the subject of much anxiety to us which increases rather than diminishes.

Mr. Walsh came in and talked—After which I read a little of Rousseau and wrote Diary. Called upon Mr. Brooks and showed him a letter I received today from Mr. Johnson which signifies neither one thing nor another.1 He advised me to go on with the investment of the rest. Walk, and home to read Livy.

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Afternoon, Sismondi, whose Literature of the South of Europe I have taken up for the present. Some account of the Provençal poetry and that of the troubadour, which romance has invested in such faèry colours. Corneille, 3d Act of the Cid which is a noble play, and de la Motte Fouqué. Evening, Mr. Brooks took tea and afterwards my Wife went out with Mrs. Frothingham, so that I spent my time answering a letter of my Mothers.2 Swift’s Journal to Stella.

1.

20 March (Adams Papers). The uncertainty in Johnson’s instructions related to whether a portion of the funds should be invested in manufacturing stocks to increase his income; also to arrangements for a European banking house to which his remittances would be sent after he had established himself abroad.

2.

Both LCA’s letter of the 20th and CFA’s reply are in the Adams Papers.

Friday. 25th. CFA Friday. 25th. CFA
Friday. 25th.

Morning clear and pleasant. I went to the Office and passed my time almost entirely in Accounts. Made a draught of the comparative income upon the property which has resulted from my own care and attention, in order to understand my precise relative position. My desire is to keep within bounds. The temptation to do otherwise is great but I hope to resist it.

I have in my head a plan to erect a house in Quincy, the year after next which may probably take some of my savings. The unsettled state of my family is against it. But my children require very much the Country air and their number is now rather large for my father’s house.

Walk and Livy. Afternoon, Sismondi and Corneille, with de la Motte Fouqué. Evening, Junot, and a visit to the Miss Inches—A full dress but limited party. Dancing on the Carpet and a Supper. I amused myself more than usual with Mrs. B. Gorham who is a conversible woman. Home early.

Saturday. 26th. CFA Saturday. 26th. CFA
Saturday. 26th.

Morning pleasant. I went to the Office and was occupied mostly by Mr. Walsh who came in and entered upon a discussion which lasted a great while. He is quite an intelligent man and when at leisure I like to talk with him. We discussed today the old pamphlet of Alexander Hamilton against my Grandfather,1 one of the series of belligerent measures in which we have for two generations been involved. When I reflect upon this state of war and turbulence which has heretofore 359attended us, I do not think I can pursue it. The task is so painful a one. Yet what is the consequence to myself? Degeneracy and voluntary sloth.

Walk to the Athenaeum and then a little way round. Home, Livy. Afternoon, Sismondi and Corneille. The Cid is a singular mixture of nervous versification and artificial love conceits, of romantic heroism and boasting pomposity. De la Motte Fouqué, a curious story which I do not yet find any way to unravel.

Evening, Madame Junot. I have looked into various works for the purpose of getting a clearer notion of her husband’s character and find it is not very good. She herself admits as much. Swift’s Journal to Stella, the oddest of things.

1.

Letter from Alexander Hamilton Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq., President of the United States, N.Y., 1800.