Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 21st.

Thursday. 23d.

Wednesday. 22d. CFA


Wednesday. 22d. CFA
Wednesday. 22d.

The Morning was bright and cool. I had intended remaining quietly at home but made accidentally an engagement which I felt obliged to fulfil, so I went to town and called at nine o’clock to see Dr. Stevenson, and consult him about my Wife. Found him and was satisfied with his replies. Time taken up at the Office as usual. One or two calls. One from a Creditor of New’s whom I paid. Finished the imagined address of Maecenas to Augustus and not much edified. Began the Analysis of Mirabeau’s Ami des Hommes, apparently a work upon Population and 73Political Economy,1 but I could accomplish very little of it before it was time to return to Quincy.

Mr. J. Coolidge called upon me to assist the Fayetteville sufferers which I declined doing. It is a difficult thing to resist public charities. The man who can say No in this Community must have firmness as well as judgment. I reflected upon my opinion in this instance and hope that it was just. My share of assistance from peculiar circumstances in my situation must be necessarily small, and I am therefore driven to choose what I shall patronize. The town of Fayetteville has so much excited the public sympathy that I doubt not it will have more ready Cash in it than it has had for many years, if ever. I therefore think they are not so pitiable as many objects we have nearer home.2

Afternoon passed in reading Cicero’s Tenth Philippic upon the course to be pursued after the receipt of the Letters from Brutus. It is animated and worthy of a better age and a bolder audience. But Antony had friends in the City, who though they could not entirely destroy the ancient spirit had a considerable influence in damping it. Mr. and Mrs. Farrar from Cambridge called and took up half an hour so that I did not accomplish as much as usual.3

Evening quiet at home. I finished J. Otis’s Rights of the Colonies asserted—A Work more applauded than it really deserves. It wants method and clearness. The ideas are just but not developed with grace. It was lucky in its time, for now much more would be required. Indeed the difference in the demands of the public is very striking— Though the masculine character of works has been injured. The Night was beautifully clear. Miss Adams and Mr. Gourgas were here. Read the Spectator.


“L’ami des hommes, ou traité de la population” is in vol. 8 of Bibliothèque de l’homme public.


Fayetteville, N.C., had several weeks earlier been ravaged by a fire that left the larger part of its population homeless. Collections for the sufferers had been begun almost immediately and a city-wide committee on relief appointed. (Boston Daily Advertiser, 6–14 June passim.)


On Professor John Farrar, see vol. 1:100–104, 239. Farrar and his wife had been acquainted with the Adamses in England and at Washington. Now in poor health, Farrar was preparing to go abroad and wished a letter of introduction from JQA to the president of the Royal Society, the Duke of Sussex (JQA, Diary, 22 June).