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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0001-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-01-01

January 1829. Thursday. 1 st.

The morning was cloudy and dull which ushered in the New Year. At this time it is not improper to seize a moment for reflection. The passage of the last [year] has been rapid and has brought with it much more certainty in regard to our prospects than the preceding ones. My father is about to retire at last. And a new scene of life is to open to us, which does not contain us as the principal actors. We have all borrowed distinction from his lustre, and with his eclipse comes also our darkness. For this I am not sorry. My own course is distinctly developing itself and it consists in quiet and perseverance in a laborious profession. My own fate is still in suspense, and another year commences upon me without any comfort but hope. My spirits are not high, I am not sanguine. And were it not for my unwavering confidence in a supreme direction, I should be pitiable indeed. I care less about raising the veil of the future. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. I sent Abby a little present of a copy of Shakespeare and a note full of affection.1 She sent for me and we made it up. I don’t wish to think upon the subject. It is not worth considering. { 330 } My lot is cast, and the probabilties of happiness are as great as fall to the lot of any man. Why should I crave any more?
Afternoon, reading Burke’s Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs. The day was very unpleasant, and it rained in the evening, so that I did not go out, but staid at home and read aloud to Mrs. Tarbell and Miss Thaxter some parts of a book composed of scraps from the New Monthly Magazine.
1. Missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0001-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-01-02

Friday. 2nd.

Morning still cloudy and unpleasant. At the Office. Received a letter from my Mother which was dated the 11th of last month, a circumstance which puzzles me not a little. I have received two letters later which referred to it. Reading Law as usual. First snow storm. Afternoon, Mr. Burke on the Irish Catholics. The evening was again passed at home on account of the Snow. So that Dr. Johnson has come on but poorly this week. I read more of the articles from the New Monthly Magazine.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0001-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-01-03

Saturday. 3rd.

The weather changed during the Night and saluted us this morning with a most bitter cold. The Thermometer was some degrees below zero and I really suffered more than usual. During the whole of the last Winter, I felt nothing like it. At the Office. Wrote a letter to my Mother and examined my Law Case for the evening, which occupied me diligently.1 I read some of Mr. Burke upon the Catholic question in Ireland, in the afternoon, and studied my subject for delivery at the Moot Court. I find the principal thing consists in the due arrangement of thought. Extemporaneous delivery consists in some measure in the strength with which the mind grasps an idea preserving the distinctness of it, and thereby rendering explanation easy. In the evening, I argued the case and was on the whole pretty well satisfied, as I had no great difficulty, although very far from elegance. This will come afterwards. Once confidence is gained in my own powers, I will not fear for the rest.
1. The made-up case concerned the master of a ship who was obliged to sell part of her cargo in order to repair damage done by a storm. On the return voyage the vessel was lost. The owners of the part of the cargo sold brought suit to recover the amount of the proceeds from the owner of the vessel. The case was decided against CFA (Law Miscellanies, M/CFA/17, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 311).
{ 331 }