Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Monday. September 20th. VIII:55.

Wednesday. September 22d. VII:30.

Tuesday. September 21st. IX. CFA


Tuesday. September 21st. IX. CFA
Tuesday. September 21st. IX.

Arose and was greeted in the first place by a letter from John.1 It was a long one but not very satisfactory. On the subject on which I had particularly written he is silent or, rather, evades it by complaining of my handwriting which he seems to have been able to read in every place except in that one. I am sorry for the result as I understand precisely how to take this way of his. I shall therefore close the subject. After breakfast I read my usual quantity of Paley which closes what we studied during the last term.

I then went to my Mother’s room and found her much better. She was preparing to go to town and to go through much labour in the day. She has invited Miss Elizabeth to go to Washington this Winter. After she had gone I went and wrote my Journal, in the middle of it I was surprised by a visit from my classmate, Charles Foster. He had brought a Miss Garland here to see Abby. He is an exceeding good natured, pleasant sort of a young man, although not one of my intimates. I like his manners which are very unassuming but he has too little energy or character of any kind to please me. He dined and spent part of the afternoon here and I was quite rejoiced to have such a windfall for company. She is an exceeding forward, pert young miss who has an idea that every body admires her. She might do as a little 331“piquante sauce” for a half an hour’s amusement but I should enter a vehement protest against her manners. They went away at four and I spent the rest of the afternoon reading more of the famous Essays called the Crisis written by Thomas Paine2 which are said to have had such powerful effect in the time of our revolution. They are an imitation of Junius in coarser style and although evidently well adapted to excite a people are not to be recommended for imitation. I was struck at his frequent calls upon God, that God whom he afterwards forsook.

After tea I went in and sat with my Grandfather. I was not in a talking mood and he is so but seldom now so that I spent, I might almost say, two silent hours. Suffice it, they hung like lead upon me. I afterwards had some conversation with my Uncle about the election and then retired. George disturbed me unexpectedly late in the night. X.




Thomas Paine, The Crisis, originally published in thirteen numbers, some separately and some in newspapers, 1776–1780, and afterwards issued collectively.