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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-29

Saturday 29th.

Morning to Boston and the Office. Occupied in writing and arranging some affairs for Thursday. Called on Mr. Cruft for those pictures but found him again not at home. I delivered my letter1 to his wife and took the opportunity to pay her a visit long due. This took some time. Mr. Whitney called and paid me a quarter’s rent, which I was very much delighted with, for I have not much money remaining on the Agency. My father came in and delivered me two or three messages and commissions which I performed. But my time passed as usual in that undefined manner which I am so constantly experiencing, being always busy about nothing, or at least what appears to be nothing. My father studiously labours to keep things out of my way too with which to trouble me, and he is exceedingly kind. I took no dinner but some Oysters today and these did not agree with me, which is passing { 429 } strange, for I never knew them to make my head ache before. I went to the House the afternoon and tried to find my Carpenter but he was not there. The Bookcase is coming on slowly and I felt quite discouraged about it’s completion. I succeeded this day in ordering the remainder of my furniture for my room. After these things had all been done I went to Medford and found Abby as usual. Mrs. Brooks still well though not quite so lively as during the week. Evening agreeable.
1. The letter was from JQA (JQA to Edward Cruft, 27 Aug. 1829, LbC , Adams Papers); it directed that the three Stuart paintings be given to CFA.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-30

Sunday. 30th.

Morning at home. Abby did not go to Meeting, this being the time of probation and we spent the day pretty much together. As the time approaches she begins to feel a little more alarmed and during the whole of today was quite nervous at the idea of leaving her home. It will be quite a trying thing for her I am conscious and this will make it trying to me. But the Rubicon is now too near to think of results until after it is passed. I amused myself reading a few Articles of an old New Monthly which I found in the Library. In the afternoon Mr. Gorham and his son called in to drink tea and take final leave of Abby in her single state. This affected her considerably. She had before the recollections of the past, the associations with home, which endear themselves the more to her as she is about losing their enjoyment forever. But this is a hackneyed topic, and inasmuch as every woman does the same thing it shows that there are more than enough in the opposite balance. I felt myself much more really what I am about, as my Conscience does not altogether bear me out. But I hope and trust and I have been carried through so much, I think now I may look forward joyfully. A very short time now will prove the result.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-31

Monday 31st.

Morning return to town, with Abby whom I left at the House. Then to the Office where I was busy for some time making up my Journal, and performing several little commissions. Then to the House where I found Abby, Anne Carter, Julia Gorham, Mrs. Edward and Mrs. Chardon Brooks. They dropped in one after the other and went out again. I remained wasting my time, much of the morning. But I accomplished my purpose of having the pictures hung which belong to me. They now form quite a goodly collection. That of my Grandfather is invaluable both as a Painting and as a correct likeness of what { 430 } he was in those times. My Mother is a likeness but not a good painting. Her face wears a sorrowful appearance too common to her, and also very fresh now in my recollection. But I shall value that picture as I do her Miniatures as presenting even something of her appearance in those days.1 For hereafter there will be nothing. And I love to think of her as she was, in the midst of her gaiety and her prosperity. My father’s is not good being Stewart’s [Stuart’s] first attempt, but I value it notwithstanding. I would prefer Copley’s at Quincy, but that must remain where it is.2 My own two little ones turn out quite beauties, being properly set off and answer very well in their places.
I lounged away too much time here so that I only gave myself enough afterwards to draw up my Accounts for the month previous to going to Quincy. They show rather a favourable balance since last month. Dined at Quincy. Afternoon passed in making up my House Expense Book and in packing a portion of my Clothes to go to Boston. The doing it was tedious. Evening, Conversation with my father. His Inscriptions with remarks upon the subject generally. I think it tolerably well but the closing line of each has not point enough.3
1. For instance, the miniature of LCA made by J. T. Barber in 1797 shows her as gay and lovely. It is reproduced in Bemis, JQA , vol. 1, facing p. 82.
2. John Singleton Copley’s portrait of JQA, made in London in 1795, is now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is reproduced in Bemis, JQA , vol. 1, facing p. 80.
3. See entry for 7 July, and note, above.