Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Thursday 7th. CFA Thursday 7th. CFA
Thursday 7th.

Fine day. Office. Afternoon at home and Evening.

I began today upon my town life. The regular series of occupations not very interesting to record, but sufficiently so to keep me contented and happy.

I forgot to mention that yesterday I found an article in the Courier criticizing my review of the Philadelphia Manifesto. The temper in which it was written betrayed to me for the first time the shape which malevolence will assume towards me. A pretty broad stroke at my situation with some hints about aristocracy in order to destroy the force of my argument.1 Well, this must be the consequence of distinction. I perceive now for the first time the force of my labours in gaining me reputation. Nevertheless I thought it prudent to turn the edge of this article by a mild reply swallowing the honey and rejecting the gall in 323the composition.2 Office, did work and by night I finished the article for Hunt.


The first two papers had elicited comment in a letter signed “Monitor” in the Boston Courier on 28 Oct. (p. 3, col. 4). The letter published there on the 6th (p. 2, col. 5), over the signature “Mercator,” was somewhat more critical but not unfriendly except in objecting that CFA’s statement, “The weak never gain much of the sympathy of the community, nor command their respect ...” sounds like the utterance of “a high-toned aristocrat” and is “uncalled for” and “unkind.”


In his reply, signed “A,” CFA asserts that “Mercator” had totally misunderstood his meaning, that in speaking of the “weak” he referred to the “morally weak” (Courier, 8 Nov., p. 2, col. 3).

Friday 8th. CFA Friday 8th. CFA
Friday 8th.

Fine day. Office. To Quincy to dine. Return to tea. Evening at work.

I devoted some time to labour in my Office in finishing off various little matters of account that have been troublesome and drafted a Will for Louisa C. Smith agreeably to a wish expressed by herself to me the evening before I left Quincy.

At noon I returned and my Wife accompanied me to Quincy. We found Fanny better and the family much encouraged. I went to see her and found her lively but with a burning spot in her cheek that told of internal disease. Her mother appeared today in a state of extraordinary exultation, which carries it’s moral with it. What mere puppets we are, the sport of every touch.

I returned to town alone leaving my Wife to spend the night. Intended to have done much work but found my study cold and cheerless and so I only brought up arrears of Diary.

Saturday 9th. CFA Saturday 9th. CFA
Saturday 9th.

Cold but clear. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.

I went to the Office as usual. My time not entirely at my own disposal as my father and Mr. Curtis both came in and spent a little while, but nevertheless I accomplished a draft of my Quarterly account to my father and the giving in of my Account on T. B. Adams’ Estate to the Judge. This I shall be glad to get off of my mind.

Home where I found my Wife returned from Quincy and not at all encouraged about Fanny’s condition. I fear we are to see grief in this direction. My father and Mother have suffered in abundance of this kind already and they are getting older and less able to bear it. I grieve for all and for myself. A melancholy thing it is to see the young de-324cline. May God have mercy upon us all and upon me who am not worthy of the many blessings he has heaped upon me.

I began to review Storch and the materials for my Lecture which looks flat to me now that I read it over.