Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Monday 19th. CFA Monday 19th. CFA
Monday 19th.

The morning cloudy and moist but it cleared and the streets very soon presented great difficulties in walking. I went to the Office where 10I spent my time rather idly. Read a little of Sismondi. I have come to that part of his book which is now most interesting, that which relates to money. And in this, many of his views strike me as sound. Call from a Mr. Stearns who is now Tenant of the House at the corner of the Common. Application to renew the Lease. Agreed to call tomorrow.

Home. Sophocles. Read Brumoy’s account of the play of Antigone, with his occasional translations and references to a piece on the same subject by Rotrou long since obsolete. Afternoon coins. In the evening I now sit until nine with my Wife and try to amuse her with reading &c. Afterwards I read Potter’s translation of the Oedipus Coloneus.1

1.

A copy of The Tragedies of Sophocles, transl. Robert Potter, Oxford, 1819, is in MQA.

Tuesday. 20th. CFA Tuesday. 20th. CFA
Tuesday. 20th.

Market and so forth which makes a late morning. I felt today anxious about my little girl who had scratched her hand with a nail and appeared otherwise unwell. That affair of Fry last summer has made me excessively nervous in these matters.

Occupied at Office, drawing up the Account as it now stands between my father and myself, then a walk down to see the House in Tremont Street according to agreement. It needs much repairing indeed, and the Tenants do not seem of that class for whom repairing is of much use. They are careless and not over neat.

Home. Late for Sophocles but began Antigone and read a hundred lines. Afternoon, coins. I am now in the lower Empire when the designs become almost barbarous. In the evening, a ball at Mrs. S. Appleton’s where I went. A splendid affair. The house is very showy, and gives one a better notion of entertainment than any I have seen.1 I remained late although not in spirits and not amused.

1.

The Samuel Appleton residence at 36 Beacon Street.

Wednesday 21st. CFA Wednesday 21st. CFA
Wednesday 21st.

Morning cloudy with flakes of snow. I went to the Office where I read Sismondi more attentively than usual. His chapter upon Banking is quite instructive. I took the book home with a view to translating it and sending to some Newspaper, but when I came to reflect upon the state of the press I was discouraged. If I print, I must pay for my printing, that is clear enough, for the expression of opinions which have no party bearings is coldly received by all sides.

Letter from Washington. My mother gives an account of a dinner at 11the President’s at which Abraham Van Buren spoke of the ability of my Pamphlet.1 Home. Sophocles. I find my text so erroneous in my own copy that I need another and as I have one volume of another from the Athenaeum which contains Electra and not Antigone, I thought I would read that first. Afternoon continued the work upon coins which is becoming tedious in the lower Empire.

Evening, Mr. Brooks was here. Abby is improving slowly but has been made uneasy for some days by the ailing of our little girl who seemed quite heavy tonight. The baby grows.

1.

LCA to CFA, 18 March [in 18–21 March], Adams Papers. Abraham Van Buren was the eldest son of the President.