Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

343 Monday 16th. CFA Monday 16th. CFA
Monday 16th.

Snow all day with high wind. Office for an hour, day at home.

The Storm lulled at about one o’clock this morning but the snow continued falling all day and evening and the wind though moderated was still high.

I remained at home engaged in my usual occupation for an hour after breakfast, that is, making a thorough classification of my collection of coins and medals. This is of far greater value than I had imagined, and I am constantly occupied in improving it without incurring too heavy expense. My time at the Office is my least profitable time.

Read Sophocles, I find I have still much to do to master the whole force of the text, but it grows easier to me at every trial. Afternoon Mr. Raguet’s book on Banking, and Evening at home reading Walpole’s letters which are very amusing. Lecture.

Tuesday 17th. CFA Tuesday 17th. CFA
Tuesday 17th.

Fine, distribution as usual. Company at dinner and in the evening.

A beautiful winter’s day. Office where I had but little leisure. My letter to my Mother has now remained in statu quo so long that I must give it up and try again. The accounts from Washington show the same state of disorganization that has existed all along. One thing seems to me very certain that the Administration have not a clear manageable majority of the House, and they must make terms. Read a difficult chorus in the Oedipus tyrannus.

Afternoon I had Mr. Brooks, Edward and Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham to dinner, and expected Mrs. Gray and Mrs. Hall from Medford who however disappointed us. It was as well that they did for just as dinner was served my man was taken ill and we had to get on as well as we could. We did get through better than I expected. Elizabeth C. Adams with us in the evening. After which I was still busy with my Lecture.

Wednesday. 18th. CFA Wednesday. 18th. CFA
Wednesday. 18th.

Clear and fine weather. Time as usual. Evening at E. Brooks’.

The Storm appears to have cleared the air and given us fine winter’s weather. I was at the Office but had no opportunity to go on with my letter which must be abandoned. Two Tenants, came and overpowered me with words. Walk to the Athenaeum and thence round home, but I 344neglect my exercise a great deal too much. Read about seventy lines of Oedipus Tyrannus.

After dinner looked over Pinkerton on medals and the first volume of the Memoirs of the Academy of Inscriptions.1 Read with my boy John as usual. Evening paid a visit to Edward Brooks and his Wife. Nothing very new. Then went on with the Lecture.


At MQA is CFA’s copy of John Pinkerton, Essay on Medals, 2 vols., London, 1789; also 4 vols. (Amsterdam, 1719–1736) of the Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Histoire, avec les mémoires de littérature, which was ultimately published as 50 vols., Paris, 1701–1793.