Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 20th.

Thursday. 22nd.

Wednesday. 21st. CFA


Wednesday. 21st. CFA
Wednesday. 21st.

Morning quite sharp. Upon going down to the Office I found the whole street in commotion, in consequence of a fire which had taken place in the City Hall and the opposite side of the Street. It seems that this morning a fire was discovered in the building in State Street occupied by Mr. Derby and other Lawyers — That it got in under the Slates and spread over the whole Roof. The loss is considerable to the City, as much from damage in extinguishing it as from fire—For in such cases the violence of two elements is about equally to be dreaded.1

Read Lingard very industriously today and compared him with Hume. He certainly makes a specious case. Walk before dinner. Afternoon, writing upon Antimasonry. Evening reading to my Wife. After which I dawdled over German grammar and four Stanzas of the first Canto of Ariosto.2


The fire had been discovered at 4 a.m. in the building numbered 14 and 16 State Street, owned by the heirs of William Dehon and occupied by E. Haskett Derby, Cornelius Coolidge, and other lawyers and brokers. By 6 o’clock the fire had spread to the roof of the City Hall and was not extinguished for three more hours (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 22 Nov., p. 2, col. 1).


CFA’s earlier reading of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso had been in an English translation (above, entry for 18 Feb.). The poem in the original Italian is in the first and second volumes of the edition of the Opere published at Bassano, 1771, in 4 vols., now at MQA. JQA’s bookplate is affixed.