Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday. 23d. CFA Thursday. 23d. CFA
Thursday. 23d.

Morning snow which lasted all day, but it became mild towards evening and rained. I went to the Office and from thence upon various commissions which kept me much occupied during the whole day. I now propose to look about me a little for the purpose of procuring furniture for my building. I find the cost of this will not be trifling. Perhaps there is nothing in the world more deceptive than building. Estimates appear so fair and yet in the end prove utterly inadequate. My mode of life has also been of late a curious one, as I have been 190going upon a scale of advanced expense without having yet realized any advance of income.

Home where I read a portion of the Port Royal Greek Grammar.1 Afternoon, Burnet and Forster. Evening, Lamartine and Chateaubriand. The two accounts are not at all in the same taste and temper. Both proceeding from imaginative men, the one sees the East in light, the other looks rather upon it when it is dark.

1.

A copy of Port Royal, New Method of Learning with Facility the Greek Tongue, transl. T. Nugent, London, 1817, is at MQA.

Friday. 24th. CFA Friday. 24th. CFA
Friday. 24th.

Morning cloudy but it afterwards cleared. I went to the Office thence to the Printers where I corrected the last proof Sheet but one little one. My text makes thirty four pages, more than I had expected. I am to receive the rest tonight and tomorrow it will be out.

Mr. Beale came in to get the money subscribed for the Quincy Organ. He talked about the application for a new Bridge and the hearing which was to be had at the State House this afternoon. I recommended patience and moderation. Little can nowadays be gained from pushing rights of this kind too far. He said the Neponset Bridge did not propose to make any movement, but they would send somebody to look on. I then had some talk with him about the Canal and other matters.

Home. My Wife got letters from Europe respecting the importation of certain finery for herself, reading which kept me from my regular work. Afternoon, Burnet, and Forster. Evening, corrected the last proof of my pamphlet and also a portion of my Father’s speech by request of the Editor of the Advocate.1 This kept me until late when I went to Mrs. W. Rollins’es a small party made to Mrs. Seaver. Only her family. Dull enough to me.

1.

JQA’s speech of 9 Feb. in the House of Representatives on the proffered resolutions of censure or expulsion was printed in the Advocate on 25 and 27 Feb., p. 2, cols. 1–3.

Saturday 25th. CFA Saturday 25th. CFA
Saturday 25th.

Morning very fine. I went to the Custom House in order to get my Wife’s things and was detained there an hour. The arrival of two or three large vessels within a day or two had made a crowd. But I was much struck with the active, business like manner of the Officers, who

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expedited things quite as much as the nature of the details would allow.

Having got through there, I no sooner reached the Office, than I found Mr. Carr from Quincy, and after him, Deacon Spear and Mr. Whiting, the Mason. Mr. Carr came about his Mortgage. He had one ready executed but it would not answer inasmuch as he had not put land enough in it and had no clause of Fire Insurance. I filled out a form for him and he promised to come in early next week and get it. Mr. Spear brought me the new Certificates of Canal Stock, and I had some talk with him about the carting necessary to be done out of Boston. I also had an understanding with Mr. Whiting about the very unfair manner in which he treated me in the case of the bricks. He seemed to become sensible of it, although he said he thought little of it when he did it. He offered to make it up and was in all respects so reasonable that I decided upon retaining him to do the work about which I had doubted.

Thus the morning passed and I had only time to despatch a few of my pamphlets. They are out today.1 My diffidence in the merit of the production grows rather than diminishes, but it is now beyond my reach and I can say that it is my winter’s product.

Home. Then to Mr. Brooks’ to dine. Venison. The company consisted of the male members of the family and Mr. P. R. Dalton. Home early. Evening quietly at home. Lamartine, and afterwards Chateaubriand.

1.

Reflections upon the Present State of the Currency in the United States, Boston: printed by Ezra Lincoln, 1837, 34 p., is a reworking of “Mr. Webster and the Currency” and includes the final issues not printed in the Advocate. On the general tenor of this and of its sequel, Further Reflections, published in December, see Duberman, CFA , p. 56–59. Duberman errs, however, in stating that both pamphlets were issued under CFA’s name (p. 58). Reflections was published without ascription of authorship.