Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. September 1st.

Saturday. 3d.

Friday. 2d. CFA


Friday. 2d. CFA
Friday. 2d.

Morning fine, but did not continue warm, the Wind coming round to the Eastward. I wasted my time as usual. My mind and body are both unwell from the distracted life I am leading, and yet I have kept as much as possible out of the places of excitement. My father spoke to me at breakfast of the libels published about him and of my notice of them. He begged me not to mind them and by no means to answer them. I told him exactly how I felt on the subject. That I had no disposition to notice these things in general but that I thought this particular individual rioted in indulgence. That he never treated persons so here who were able to defend themselves, and that the mere absence of this was the cause of his perpetual violence against him. If a notice now and then of him could be serviceable, I was perfectly willing to undertake it.

My time was occupied all day in running about town. Called to see Dr. John Hopkinson who is in town,1 and invited him to dine with me. I then went to see Mr. Blunt2 and invite him and then to T. Davis. This with Marketing and sending Notices and fifty other things again distracted my whole time. I talked a little with Mr. Peabody and wrote my Diary. Returned home early. Our dinner was a little parti quarré3 and was pleasant enough.

Afternoon, my father went to Cambridge and I did absolutely nothing. “Waste of hours unemployed.”4 I retired having read Bacon’s Essay upon Nobility and The Spectator.


On Dr. John P. Hopkinson of Philadelphia, see vol. 2:44. His father, Judge Joseph Hopkinson, had received an honorary degree at the Harvard commencement the day before ( Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ).


Joseph Blunt of New York City, a political supporter of JQA and publisher of the American Annual Register (see above, vols. 1 and 2 passim), who currently entertained the idea of writing a life of JA for Harper’s Family Library. When Blunt inquired whether this would interfere with JQA’s announced plan to write the life of his father, JQA replied that he would offer no objection to Blunt’s undertaking but renewed the pledge he had made to himself to devote 127his energies to the completion of his own biography. JQA, Diary, 19 Oct.; JQA to Blunt, 19 Oct. (LbC, Adams Papers).


That is, partie carée, imprecisely or ironically applied to a party of four gentlemen. ABA still kept to her room. Those at dinner were Dr. Hopkinson, Thomas K. Davis, JQA, and CFA (JQA, Diary, 2 Sept.).


CFA evidently was here adapting from Byron’s The Giaour: “The waste of feelings unemployed.”