Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 24th.

Wednesday. 26th.

Tuesday. 25th. CFA


Tuesday. 25th. CFA
Tuesday. 25th.

Morning fair. My Wife was informed that one of her Domestics was taken ill in the night and this put us in considerable confusion. My Mother and the rest left town at ten, and I do not expect to see them again this year.1 I regret their absence more and more. We have all spent the Summer in an unusually pleasant manner, and I have been myself relieved from a good deal of care and responsibility. It is a little singular that during this Summer we should have been so unlucky in Housekeeping, and perhaps it is the worse from the contrast it presents to living with others. I regret more on the account of others than myself.

Went to the Office, but my time passed without much profit. I am a trifler in life and all my good resolutions are vanishing into thin Air. So much for me. Took a short walk and returned home. Finished in the Afternoon the letters to Atticus. I am glad I have had the perseverance to accomplish them. Indeed they are on the whole interesting, and give the only true key to the character of the man. But they require great attention. The Greek bits of quotation are pleasant but sometimes obscure, the allusions are totally lost or but partially seen.

Evening very quiet. I read a part of Miss Edgeworth’s Practical Education. I like this book much. There are many very sensible views in it of the nature of Children’s minds. My own impression is that clearness is the great requisite and that this is lost nine times in ten 164because Children catch the words of their superiors without their ideas. Read the Spectator.


The family’s departure from Quincy on the 28th was timed to allow them to reach Washington well before the opening of Congress, with stops en route of some duration at New York and Philadelphia. (JQA, Diary, 28 Oct. – 5 Nov. passim.)