Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Tuesday. 27th. CFA Tuesday. 27th. CFA
Tuesday. 27th.

A third day with the peculiar atmosphere already noticed. It terminated however upon this day in a short rain. I passed some time as usual in superintending at my house, and after a walk round the com-268mons where I was struck with the contrast between this year and the last, went home. Not a soul working upon either of the three quarries that were opened with so much promise during the last season. Thus it seems in this country that intermittents are our natural diseases.1

Read Homer, and attempted to dig a little deeper into the mines of the Greek language. But the process is not easy. Made a draft of a portion of the work I wish done for my fence which took me some time but satisfied me when done.

Afternoon owing to the rain I was driven home, and passed the time reading Humboldt and Wieland’s Abderites. Lawsuits and factions are both the subjects of his satire, and well they may be. Evening, conversation with my Mother who seemed better and the rest of the family.


Perhaps the figurative notion of “intermittents” as “natural diseases” in the United States was suggested by the name intermittents given to a fever characterized by discontinuity ( OED ).

Wednesday. 28th. CFA Wednesday. 28th. CFA
Wednesday. 28th.

Fine day. The weather is pleasant but not particularly warm for the season. I spent an hour at my house as usual, then returned, and devoted some time to the reading the remainder of the fourth book of Homer—about ninety lines. Being somewhat in the humour for studying Greek, I got something of a critical apparatus of Lexicons and began Plutarch’s Essay upon the subject whether old men should continue in public life. The text is however corrupt and obscure.

Afternoon, my Wife went with me and we rode through Braintree and Weymouth, a pretty ride over cross roads which are narrow enough to make much beauty. There is little in either of these towns however, which bespeaks more than the ordinary comforts of life. None of the luxuries and ornaments which wealth creates and by which it is most adorned. Read Wieland. Afterwards, visit with my Wife, Mr. Beale and his daughters. He is now very anxious about his second one, who does seem in a critical condition. Home. Read Humboldt.

Thursday. 29th. CFA Thursday. 29th. CFA
Thursday. 29th.

Day very pleasant. At the house as usual, but delayed a little by the want of some stones which were engaged to be furnished. The remainder of the work now goes on with great rapidity. The inside and outside coatings are going on together. I am in hopes that this week 269will see them finished, after which, the other work will be tolerably rapid. And I shall be relieved from this great anxiety.

Home, where I read with pleasure and ease a considerable portion of Homer’s 5th book. My father went to town for the purpose of joining a fishing party, and my Mother came in and passed an hour or two in conversation.

Afternoon, ride with my wife down to Quincy Point and from thence to Braintree by Weymouth landing, calling for the children at their school upon our return. A very pleasant ride. Wieland’s Abderites. Evening, Mr. Beale and his daughter Anne came in for a short time. Nothing new. My father got home at about eight o’clock much fatigued. Read a little of Humboldt.