Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Monday 25th. CFA Monday 25th. CFA
Monday 25th.

Snow but cleared by night. Time as usual. Evening, Assembly.

At the Office this morning I devoted my time to business and making out my quarterly account, in which I have been backward. This 194took all my leisure. Read the translation of Antigone by Francklin, and Brumoy’s analysis of it as well as Potter’s version of the choruses,1 after which I began my review.

The afternoon was devoted to currency my last draught of which I finished without satisfaction and then laid them away. I have rarely in composition experienced so much of difficulty.

We went this evening to the fifth Assembly. It was more full than the last and was quite pleasant. I have enjoyed these parties as much as I can ever enjoy society of this kind which is after all to a person who feels himself equal to better things but a vapid pleasure. Home at midnight.


Of Pierre Brumoy’s Le théâtre des Grecs and the translations of Sophocles by Thomas Francklin and Robert Potter, see vol. 3:93, 119, 121.

Tuesday 26th. CFA Tuesday 26th. CFA
Tuesday 26th.

Lovely morning but rain at night. Usual division. Evening, ball at Mrs. Miller’s.

Finished the work of my Quarterly Account. I believe I am now free from all further duties of any sort in business, having written and despatched the necessary letters. A good deal fatigued by the labour of last nights party.

The accounts of the frontier difficulties still appear to engross most minds. I cannot believe a war will grow out of it. Neither Great Britain nor the United States are in a condition to make war. Our people however want an experience of what it is, and our boundary difficulties must be admitted to be extremely embarrassing.

Antigone. The first chorus is noble, but they generally have too little relation to the piece, and though fine, poetical conceptions are without any but the commonest moral.

After dinner, resumed the work upon the MS and arranged another volume for binding. I keep off from Burr. Evening, notwithstanding the rain we went to a ball at Mrs. Miller’s, a mixed company but not unpleasant. Home at midnight.

Wednesday 27th. CFA Wednesday 27th. CFA
Wednesday 27th.

Morning fine but it clouded over by night. Time as usual. Evening at Mrs. Thorndike’s.

I am so much dissatisfied with my papers upon currency that I have determined to bring them down to the Office and try to build up an improved set. I began upon this work today, and thought I did well.


Antigone in review. Afternoon devoted to the MS, finishing the arrangement of the Executive Correspondence which in itself makes four large volumes. This is a work too long delayed, and one which is among the most necessary. I am not very constantly occupied and yet how perpetually I am delaying this, and giving to almost any other duty a preference. I made a great step today.

Evening, Mrs. Adams was so much fatigued with the exertion of the last two nights that tonight she was compelled to remain at home. So I went alone to Mrs. Charles Thorndike’s. It was a small party, indeed perhaps the smallest of the sort I have been to this winter, but was very handsome and very pleasant.