Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Tuesday. 7th. CFA Tuesday. 7th. CFA
Tuesday. 7th.

Clear. Office and usual distribution. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s.

My paper of criticism upon the Message appeared in The Courier of this morning.1 “Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle.”

Office where I am engaged and distressed with accounts. My affairs 354look more discouragingly than I have ever known them since I was a responsible person. This will not do. I must turn over a new leaf respecting them. Circumstances have contributed to bring a great pressure of accounts upon the present Quarter with small means to meet them, and I fear there is not much prospect of their improvement. But on the other hand the necessary expenses of life are much diminished. I think I will rid myself by a positive effort of the amount of debt which presses upon me.

Reading Oedipus Coloneus. Afternoon at home. Evening to Dr. Frothingham’s where were the family. Conversation much as usual.

1.

On p. 2, cols. 1–2, and continued in the same space in the issue of the 9th; both unsigned.

Wednesday 8th. CFA Wednesday 8th. CFA
Wednesday 8th.

Clear and fine. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.

After the time usually devoted to the study of coins, I was at the Office and had little time beyond what was necessary for the disposition of accounts. They harrass me considerably and will compel me to sacrifice some stock. The loss of income from Manufacturing property and from one of my small houses is also very inconvenient. But I suppose in these times I must have my share of inconveniences and put up with them.

Home where I read Oedipus Coloneus. My antiquities give me my most agreeable occupations. After dinner continue Storch. Evening at home. Writing without success.

Thursday 9th. CFA Thursday 9th. CFA
Thursday 9th.

Fine day. To Cambridge. Home. Afternoon reading. Evening, Lecture. Mr. Brooks’.

Early rising to go to Cambridge in company with Judge Merril, for an examination of the Sophomore class in the Iliad of Homer. The result was as bad as that on Monday was satisfactory. I think it a little singular that the recitations in Homer have been uniformly so indifferent. It rather argues a neglect of easy books. I find Parker of whom much was expected appeared badly.1 The College Government have granted the Committees leave to take books from the library which is a great thing and I immediately availed myself of it. Returned home at three. Afternoon, reading.

In the evening I went down to the Odeon and according to my agreement again delivered the Lecture which I have already been 355through so often. The place is a very different one from any which I have heretofore tried. It has more of the appearance of a popular assembly and the Lecturer, of a theatrical performer. I had some doubts about my voice, which excited me to make an unusual effort. I think I succeeded well although the audience was not so quickly moved as it had been at previous times. There was here as on the former occasion at the Masonic Temple one single manifestation of disapprobation, I know not for what. The house was very full and the applause quite considerable. From here I went to Mr. Brooks’ where were Edward and his Wife, and my Wife. Pleasant hour and then return home.

1.

Apparently the reference is to Henry Tuke Parker, Harvard 1842, whose later career was distinguished ( Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ).