Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Monday 10th. CFA Monday 10th. CFA
Monday 10th.

Windy but clear. At home dividing time as usual. Evening, the family with us.

I spent much time this morning upon the review of Tucker and went on as I thought quite vigorously. Two more such mornings will I 248think finish the business which as usual with me grows tedious as I proceed. Lessing, Nathan der Weise which I must read over once again before I shall succeed in gaining the force of the composition.

After dinner Lucan, book 6. l 300–600 the famous description of Erichtho, forcible but disgusting. Lucan’s taste was not equal to his nerve. I worked also for an hour upon my grounds, which at this season begin to require improvement. My head clear but not yet exactly right. The family were all here in the evening and Dr. and Mrs. Woodward.

Tuesday 11th. CFA Tuesday 11th. CFA
Tuesday 11th.

Morning to town. Afternoon at home as usual. Evening at the Mansion.

My morning in the city was very much taken up with accounts so that I did hardly any thing else. I am making my preparations for the usual annual balancing, which is always a process of difficulty.

J. H. Adams went in with me but did not accompany me out. Read of Lucan b. 6 the remainder, and worked upon my place, but I find this fatigues me much.

Wednesday 12th. CFA Wednesday 12th. CFA
Wednesday 12th.

Clear but cool. At home all day. Dine at the mansion and evening.

I pursued my work upon the Review of Tucker so steadily that I finished it before the morning had elapsed. I think it has good points though as usual I want confidence. Finished Nathan der Weise which I do not appreciate and turned to the fables of Lessing in the same volume which are many of them very pleasant.

We dined at my father’s. After dinner Lucan book 7. 1–306, and some time spent with my boy John in taking care of my ground which runs away with much of my time. Evening at the Mansion.

Thursday 13th. CFA Thursday 13th. CFA
Thursday 13th.

Clouds and rain. At home, rather idle. Evening at home.

Looked over the review of Tucker which I have finished and found it on the whole as good as I had any reason to expect. I will send it and take leave of Mr. Hunt for the present who has not as yet made out to publish his first number. Perhaps he will fail in doing so at all. At any rate this makes the last of my positive occupation and in the absence of new I rather idled.


Looked over some of the MS of J.A. at the house and had some conversation with my father about them, who recommended to me to attempt a biography of my grandmother.1 I do not know that this would be beyond my ability.

Read more of Lessing’s Fables and after dinner Lucan 7. 306–616. Also Grimm, but I felt languid all day as from indigestion. Sorry to find these symptoms coming back upon me. My father spent an hour with us in the evening so that as it rained from the North East I concluded not to go down.


On the day before, JQA had been visited by Henry Colman, commissioner of agriculture and former active minister (see entry for 12 March 1837, above) whom he had encountered at the dinner of the Agricultural Society on 8 June. Colman sought from JQA sanction to write a memoir of the life of AA, “whom he said he had almost adored; a proposal which I promised to take into consideration. Mr. Colman is a highly respectable worthy and intelligent man; but the task of writing a memoir of the life of my mother ought to be performed by myself or by my Son” (JQA, Diary, 12 June).