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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0011-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-11-15

Saturday 15th.

I do not know that I have ever had so severe a trial as this. My thoughts are intent upon it night and day; I do not sleep for it, I cannot read with it. This morning I went to see Abby at Mrs. Frothingham’s and for half an hour suffered severely. The muscles of my face could hardly be kept in order, by which I judge the struggle must have { 309 } been great. I accompanied her to Julia Gorham’s but was glad to get away to my room again to indulge in solitude and gloom. My life here in Boston in the midst of solitude and the depressing feelings occasioned by the kind of dependence which I experienced through my engagement last year, are terrible to think of. The course of Mr. Brooks to me has not been handsome, intimating as he does that my youth and want of occupation are objections to me, without thinking that such allusions do no good now and irritate my feelings besides. These things remain in a tenacious memory and will probably have no very pleasant effect in future life if ever I should surmount my difficulties, either upon his happiness or mine in the relations we may hold to each other. How much might be spared men in this life. Rolling in wealth as he is, a little well disposed might do much, but with a timid doctrine, the consequence of habits of early years, he delays it while every day takes off something from the value of the gift. The only reason for delay is not known to him. It remains with me. Were it not for that, she should be mine directly. The day passed on.
In the evening, I attended a meeting of the Private Debating Society1 to which I have been admitted a Member. A debate took place which lasted until after nine o’clock, so that though strongly tempted I did not see Abby this evening. This is the first of my self-denial.
1. The Boston Debating Society ( Mass. Register, 1829, p. 142).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0011-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-11-16

Sunday. 16th.

Morning pleasant. I went to St. Paul’s Church after calling upon George who was not prepared to go with me. Heard Mr. Potter,1 and deeply, solemnly did I accord in the Prayer this morning, that I might be encouraged to the performance of whatever was before me. My feelings once or twice almost overpowered me when I came to passages which had peculiar application to the state of my mind. On the whole, I felt better when I withdrew. These sensations must exhaust themselves.
On my return, I found a note from Abby2 asking me to dine with Mrs. P. C. Brooks Jr. which I determined to do as I had not seen her yet. Found there Abby and Susan Phillips. We had a tolerably pleasant dinner and on my return home, I read the life of William Caxton published by the Society for Knowledge in England.3 It was exceeding dry and uninteresting. After the afternoon service, I drove with Abby to Winter Hill and took tea with Mrs. Everett. I seized the opportunity of their going to Washington, to send on my Volume of Executive Record and some other little Commissions which my Mother gave me. They { 310 } go on Wednesday, and I shall not see them again. Rode to Medford and passed the evening there. Horatio Brooks, Abby’s youngest brother was there, just returned from Gibraltar.4 I had never seen him before. Conversation with Abby upon affairs in general and our marriage in particular. Much feeling on both sides as to the course I think proper to take.
1. Alonzo Potter was the Episcopal rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral, on Tremont Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).
2. Missing.
3. See entry for 2 May, and note, above.
4. Horatio Brooks (1809–1843). See Adams Genealogy.