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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0003-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-03-31

Saturday. March 31st.

I have passed one day in study, another in fishing and a third in laziness which is not giving a very good account of my time. But I hope soon to do better. On Thursday, I wrote to Abby and propose to continue the practise twice a week during the remainder of my stay here. Wyer called to see me on that day and was as talkative as ever, after all saying nothing whatever. A pleasant rattle. Mr. Walsh of Philadelphia1 and Mr. Daniel Brent dined with us today. The former seems to be fully disposed to come right again provided his variable temper will allow him. I do not admire his political character although his literary reputation is deservedly high. And his conversational powers are very great—perhaps by this I say too much, from an acquaintance too short; but he is certainly pleasant. My father being { 116 } much taken with the miniature of myself which I had taken for Abby, seems as I understand to express a wish that I should sit for a large portrait for him. I accordingly made arrangements with Mr. King for it.2 My father was uncommonly eloquent after dinner today, and laid himself out more forcibly than usual. When he does so, how immeasureably he rises above all others. There is no comparison.
1. Robert Walsh (1784–1859), the Pennsylvania journalist and literary man, who was co-editor of the National Gazette from 1820 to 1835 and editor of the American Quarterly Review from 1827 to 1837, was in Washington to seek federal appointments for his political friends ( DAB ; JQA, Memoirs , 7:251–252).
2. Concerning this portrait see entry for 17 Jan. 1824, and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0004-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-04-01

April. 1827. 1. VIII.1

Executive Record, Morning at home, Law, letter to Abby, quiet day, evening with the family.
1. From D/CFA/1.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0004-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-04-02

2. VII:30.

Executive Record, Morning, Mr. C. B. King, walk, first sitting, Geography, evening with the family, Cards.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0004-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-04-03

3. VII.

Executive Record, Morning, fishing, boat, cross the river, no sport, late return, evening, ride with the ladies.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0004-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-04-04

4. VII.

Executive Record, Morning at home, Starkie on Evidence,1 Geography, evening with the family, Cards.
1. Thomas Starkie, A Practical Treatise on the Law of Evidence, 3 vols., Boston, 1826.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0004-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-04-05

Thursday. April 5th.1

Fishing and study have constituted my most general amusements for the last week. Now and then, a sitting to Mr. King, and a letter to Abby which form my varieties of life. And in the evening, Conversation or cards with the family—and strange to say I find great pleasures in this life.
But I am tired of this way of writing my Journal. And I have now another plan. My intention for the summer is to study according to { 117 } | view the following plan. Premising that my rising hour is to be six o’clock, a great change from my old habits.
Immediately after rising, I write [the] Executive Record until four pages are completed and devote the rest of the time until breakfast to Maltebrun, and his study of Geography. At ten I commence Law and continue until one o’clock. At two I read Miscellany or write letters until four. And from four until five read a Classic. The remainder of the evening to leisure and the family—excepting only that after ten, it is my wish to record nightly how far I have kept my original determination. For after all, this is the only plan by which a journal can be carried on. In order to form a clear view of my proposition I subjoin it in numerals.
Rise at six o’clock   6.      
Executive Record, two hours   to 8.   2.  
Maltebrun’s Geography, one hour   to 9. Morning.   1.  
Breakfast, one hour’s recess   10. o’clock      
Law, three hours   to 1. Noon.   3.  
Luncheon, one hour’s recess   2. o’clock      
Miscellaneous reading or letter writing   to 4.   2.  
Study of Classics, one hour   to 5. Evening.   1.  
Leisure, Amusement, & Conversation, five hours       5.  
I have in this manner sketched a plan which I am anxious to pursue as closely as possible—and note my omissions as they occur. That they will be numerous I do not doubt. If however my performances exceed my negligences, it will be doing enough for a beginning. On some days, I shall do nothing, on others other engagements will interfere, but still it is something to have a plan—and so be it from this time forward.2
1. From D/CFA/5.
2. On this day, at least, CFA stuck closely to his schedule, spending the rainy morning at home working on the Executive Record, reading Starkie’s Treatise on Evidence, and studying geography. He spent the evening playing cards with his family (D/CFA/1).