Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

[Wednesday] 25th. CFA [Wednesday] 25th. CFA
Wednesday 25th.

It rained in the morning and was drizzling more or less all day. I passed some time at home in revising my first Lecture and only went up into the town for the purpose of carrying my Map and hanging it in the hall as well as to see the ground. The President of the Lyceum Mr. Hardwick and one of the Directors Mr. Adams were here by agreement. There was no change however to be devised as the room seemed on the whole quite as convenient as I could wish. My voice about the strength of which I felt the most doubt, very certainly could fill this space and if I failed here there was no reasonable probability that I should succeed any where else.

Called at one or two places and paid bills. I must say that I felt a 334little anxious, and yet not without confidence. Afternoon somewhat idled away.

Evening, I walked up to the Town Hall at the appointed time and found there an assemblage of men, women and boys principally of the active and industrious classes, and not very large. At a given signal from Mr. Hardwick I commenced and went through occupying five minutes less than one hour in the delivery, just the same period of time taken in the reading at home. Of my success I cannot entirely judge, but I fancy it was good from the very quiet manner to which I was listened to. And my man Kirk who it seems had the curiosity to go up and hear, reported that it surpassed his expectation. Remainder of the evening quietly at home.

Thursday 26th. CFA Thursday 26th. CFA
Thursday 26th.

That I made out in my first formal attempt before an audience with a written paper was very agreeable to me, although it must be confessed all circumstances favored me. At any rate, I felt a little encouraged in having performed my duty.

Went to town notwithstanding the wet and drizzle, having a Note to pay at the Merchant’s Bank. I also paid the annual Taxes. I am now winding up all my Accounts for the house, and find that I have expended just about twice as much as I originally intended. This has slightly involved me, not being able to turn into money at present the resources upon which I had relied. Yet I do not repent of having undertaken to build. Having done it with all the caution possible, having committed no extravagance of which I am aware, I consider mostly the experience I have gained by it as well as the agreeable resort for the Summer.

At the house where I am ready in all respects but the manservant. Return to Quincy. Afternoon at home, but occupied not very usefully. Evening. Took up Mr. Frothingham’s French book which I have so long had in my hands, Medianoches.

Friday 27th. CFA Friday 27th. CFA
Friday 27th.

The misty, drizzling weather continues. I passed most of the day at home amusing myself with this French work of Medianoches, very much after the fashion of modern Paris, startling and horrible but with a good deal of talent of style as well as interest in narration.

Mr. Harvey Field called upon me to pay his rent, and entered into 335conversation respecting the Lecture. He said the people had been much pleased with it and went on to talk of my coming here to reside with the view of entering public life. I told him that I had never formed any very definite views upon that subject, that I was a little afraid of the disposition to tax me as it had been evinced in this last year in respect to my house. He said he thought that had been excessive, and would speak to the Assessors about it.

I was occupied some time in superintending the placing of two stone posts to my gate ways which have at last arrived. In the evening, I read the correspondence respecting Texas.