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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0011-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-11-20

Tuesday. 20th.

Wrote to my Father before breakfast.1 I then went to the Office where I passed the morning, with the exception of a short call at Mrs. Frothingham’s. The afternoon was spent there. Abby was in a fretful humour, and for the first time I discovered trouble in this quarter. But it is useless to forebode.

“I have set my life upon a cast,

And I will stand the hazard of the die.”2

In the evening we went to Mrs. Gorham’s accompanied by George. { 185 } This young man feels disposed to admire this lady’s daughter, but I apprehend he will find small encouragement. He wants a fashionable exterior, to the semblance of which he attempted to shape himself and became in consequence “grotesque.” But I am severe. Abby was not in good temper and I came home a little melancholy. Midnight.
1. CFA wrote that his father’s letter concerning his allowance (see entry for 17 Nov., and note, above) was “perfectly satisfactory.” Acknowledging in principle that he and his brothers should be treated equally, he claimed that his special situation obliged him to incur expenses totaling five hundred dollars a year more than those required of JA2 and that GWA “has often told me his average expenses here had been nearly twelve hundred a year.” “But I do not feel disposed to argue upon this subject any further . . . ,” he concluded; “in writing ... to you I did not wish to have any further allowance made. The intention . . . was merely, to be perfectly candid as to my situation. I will still attempt to keep within the limit first prescribed [i.e. $800 a year]” (CFA to JQA, 20 Nov. 1827, Adams Papers).
2. Shakespeare, Richard the Third, Act V, Scene iv, lines 9–10.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0011-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-11-21

Wednesday. 21st.

Arose quite late and with a head ache in consequence of the last night’s party. Passed the morning rather in a lazy way talking with George, who thinks many things well but does them ill. Much conversation on the subject of John’s affair, and his own concerns. Dined at Mrs. Frothingham’s where I passed the afternoon and evening. Abby was again in good spirits and affectionate as usual so that like a true lover, I forgot all my melancholy in my happiness. Chardon and his wife, Edward and his wife, Frances and Mary Dehon1 and Julia Gorham were there. It was quite a family party but a little tedious. We had some music and a slight Supper but not half so pleasant as the small ones which we usually have “en famille.” Home at ten accompanying Julia.
1. Mary M. Dehon was subsequently to marry Edward Blake, of Boston (Columbian Centinel, 5 Sept. 1838).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0003-0011-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1827-11-22

Thursday. 22d.

Wrote to John before breakfast.1 Morning at the Office and in Court where Mr. Otis was arguing his own cause. It is now some time since he has appeared in public and curiosity was a good deal raised. His manner is very pleasant and seems to have been modelled for a Court room style.2 After dinner I went to Mrs. Frothingham’s and passed the afternoon with Abby returning to my room only to dress for a party at Mrs. Gray’s given for Miss Charlotte as that the other evening was given for Miss Gorham. This young lady accompanied Abby and I. { 186 } Abby was very well dressed and looked charmingly. And I enjoyed myself more than at any party since last winter. Home before twelve.
1. Letter missing.
2. After a ten-year absence from the bar, Harrison Gray Otis appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Court as his own attorney in a case involving title to the valuable Mill Pond lands in Boston; his argument lasted eight hours (Columbian Centinel, 24 Nov. 1827).