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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0008-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-08-17

Sunday 17th.

Morning pleasant but cool. I remained at home during the whole day not doing a great deal of any thing, principally throwing away the time in musing upon various matters presently interesting. I read over some of Michaux but it is quite profitless. I read Mr. Everett’s Oration on the fourth of July1 and I thought as I often do of the nothingness of this world. I am a speculative man, my father was right. In the evening, I had some conversation with Abby, not of a perfectly pleasant nature but it all came out right as lover’s difficulties usually do.
1. Everett’s oration was called “The History of Liberty.” See his Orations and Speeches, 1:150–172.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0008-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-08-18

Monday 18th.

This day completes twenty one years of my existence. The opening stage of life has passed with me and I must abide the test of futurity by the assistance of the principles which it has given to me. Would they had been better. The future is the same impenetrable mystery which it has always been and as I step my feet off the shore, the deeper I touch, the more am I impressed with the necessity of an unlimited trust in divine assistance. Man is but a creature of necessities, his ends are the will of heaven. My own reflections are not free from care and anxiety but I can only repeat with more fervency the prayer set down in this journal at my last anniversary. Further need not be said.
Went to Boston after receiving as a birth day present a sweet little locket from Abby inclosing her hair. Morning at the Office. Received a letter from my Mother in tolerable spirits. Dined with George and John at the Exchange where they were kind enough to drink my health in a glass of Champagne. John returned with me to Quincy. In the evening my father made me a present of a thousand dollars according to his usual custom to his children on coming of age, and I took the opportunity of having some conversation with him upon my affairs which I will detail tomorrow.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0008-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-08-19

Tuesday. 19th.

Previous to my starting from here to go to Boston, I continued the conversation with my father which I had commenced last evening. It related to a serious consideration of my present situation and engagements. I told him that having arrived at the time which had been pointed out by him as the termination of the condition which he pro• { 270 } posed with his consent to my marriage, I thought it necessary to come to some definite understanding upon the prospect before me; I then wished to know his views respecting the support he proposed to allow me. He went, in consequence, into a long detail of his prospects and intentions and ended without saying any thing further than that my present allowance should be continued to me. I thought that his own views were not at all well digested but that is usually the way with our family. Our conversation widened until we were interrupted by strangers, upon which I went to Boston.
Morning at the Office reading Saunders without much profit. Afternoon, a few pages of Pitkin’s book. I am beginning to be dissatisfied with my way of life. Returned to Quincy, found many persons here. Mr. Isaac Smith, Mrs. Hall1 and several other ancient characters. I was glad when they were gone. The evening appeared long and I was dull.
1. Rev. Isaac Smith (1749–1829), Harvard 1767, son of AA’s uncle Isaac, was the brother of Mrs. Elizabeth (Smith) Hall. See Adams Genealogy.