Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday 26th. CFA Wednesday 26th. CFA
Wednesday 26th.

Day cloudy but warmer. I went to the Office and from thence out of town to Quincy with my new horse whom I found as much as I could manage. I am not at all given to speculations in horseflesh, but should think I had in this case by accident made one.

Found my work rather stationary at Quincy. The framers having taken in dudgeon the wind and cloudy weather, left in a body the other day for town and have not returned. This is a provoking delay for in point of fact the weather has been remarkably favourable. The mason and Deacon Spear were however there and making visible progress, as well as Kirk who after all has thus far approved himself the steadiest of them all. I spent some time in giving directions and overseeing and then returned to town.

Read Homer. Afternoon Plutarch, finishing the Essay upon the management of public affairs, which has taken me a great while and is not done thoroughly yet. I must review it. Greek ought to be pursued 232by me steadily for one month all the time and then I should be able to pursue my present plan more effectually. Agathon which I read almost as easily as English. Evening, at home. Moore’s Life of Byron and afterwards, Wraxall.

Thursday 27th. CFA Thursday 27th. CFA
Thursday 27th.

A pleasant day notwithstanding the wind turned easterly at noon. I went to the Office, and finding little to do after a short call at T. K. Davis’, I went to take a ride and to try my horse. A pretty long ride in which I came across Mount Bowdoin as it is called.1 One of the speculations of last year which the present one will probably put to flight. The alarm in the commercial world appears to have subsided for a day or two. The accounts brought by the last packet from England are somewhat more encouraging as they regard the solvency of some Houses about which fears have been entertained. But it is very clear that as yet every person in trade who has Notes of any description to meet, is not at liberty to call himself free from danger. The convulsion is a violent one certainly.

On my return, I went home, Homer and some minor investigations into the Port Royal Greek Grammar, Bos’ and Viger.2 After all Greek must be learnt in the prepositions, where it is seldom taught. Afternoon, Plutarch in the Review, and Agathon which continues to please me. Evening, Wraxall’s Memoirs which grow tiresome. I have of late taken a revived relish in all Literature and it seems as if the time I spared for it was not half enough. But all the publications of the day seem a mere waste of time. Such is the division in my mind.

At Mr. Frothingham’s for an hour. A small party. Mrs. Dehon and her daughters, W. G. Brooks, his Wife and her sisters and the family. Home rather late.

1.

The large farm and orchards planted by James Bowdoin and later owned by H. A. S. Dearborn in Dorchester (Winsor, Memorial History of Boston , 4:612).

2.

Evidently, Lambert Bos and François Viger (Franciscus Vigerus), classical scholars.

Friday 28th. CFA Friday 28th. CFA
Friday 28th.

A lovely morning, the first which has announced to us the approach of Spring, and the day was fine throughout, a rare thing at this season of the year. I started very early from home to go to Quincy which I reached in a short time. My horse performing very well indeed. Found the masons had done no work since I was there. A very singular way of 233going on indeed. I no sooner get one set of men agoing than the other are off. The framers appeared to be working in earnest however. I hope they will be soon through with their work.

Returned to town by one o’clock and Home where I read Homer. Afternoon, reviewed the first part of the Essay of Plutarch and as an experiment to ascertain how much I recollected of my former Greek studies, took up Demosthenes on the crown. Surprised to find how I mastered it. Agathon, and in the evening, Moore’s Byron, and Wraxall.