Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

January 1840.: Wednesday 1st. CFA January 1840.: Wednesday 1st. CFA
January 1840. Wednesday 1st.

The New Year opened with cold. I look upon it and upon myself and when I reflect upon the future, and what it may bring, I recoil as if it could not continue what has been hitherto so bountifully given me. This is not the right feeling for a Christian, but in truth there is 351danger of my being spoiled by prosperity. I strive to remember that life is a path of trouble, vicissitude and danger, and that the most cautious steps in the progress are the safest and yet in them there is no certainty without the guidance of a higher power. To this I trust far more than to myself or the world.

After a little time devoted to coins, I went out and was engaged pretty busily most of my morning in money affairs. I accomplished the payment of my Mortgage to the Mass. Life Ins. Co. although at a moment of all others, perhaps the most inconvenient to myself. In order to effect I was obliged to borrow of Mr. Brooks a portion of the sum he was kind enough to lend on my own terms. Indeed when I called for it today he offered to make me a gift of it, but I declined upon the ground that I might appear to beg it and asked him to treat me exactly upon the footing of an ordinary debtor. This he at last agreed to do. He is very generous to his children, and as I am not one excepting indirectly by marriage I feel myself much bound to take no advantage of my situation.

The morning thus passed off. I returned home and continued reading Oedipus tyrannus. After dinner Storch’s fifth volume, but I do not turn my time to best account. Evening at home very quietly. Nothing further.

Thursday 2d. CFA Thursday 2d. CFA
Thursday 2d.

Cold quite severe. Time distributed as usual. Evening at home.

I was so much taken up all the morning with the important task of paying bills that I hardly had a moment for any other kind of occupation. They come in so thick and heavy that it is very difficult for me to find the wherewith to meet them, especially as my father’s resources do not yet for some time come in.

Home where I read Oedipus. The rest of the day passed as usual. It is impossible to be more monotonous than we are this year. Not the slightest variety. I read to the children at home in books suitable to them and then read to my Wife from Walpole’s Letters, which are quite amusing and lastly write something or other upon the President’s Message. But whether to publish or not I have as yet great scruples.

Friday 3d. CFA Friday 3d. CFA
Friday 3d.

Cold. Time as usual. Evening at Governor Everett’s.

My record has nothing to vary it from preceding days. I went to the 352Office and although not at all incommoded with duns as I was yesterday yet had so much to do in bringing up accounts that I found it impossible to bring up my Diary which is falling into arrears.

Home after a sharp walk. Finished the Oedipus Tyrannus which has given me much gratification to read. I think it a masterpiece of dramatic construction. Afternoon Storch.

Evening to see Governor and Mrs. Everett. Nobody there but the family, Dr. and Mrs. Palfrey, and Mrs. Hunt a lady known to them with her children, Mrs. Hale and her children and Mr. H. Chapman who plastered me with flattery and talked as fast and as superficially as ever. Return home at ten, pleasant enough.