Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Thursday. 7th.

Saturday 9th.

Friday 8th. CFA Friday 8th. CFA
Friday 8th.

Morning fine. I went to the Office as usual but was so much interrupted that I could do little of my reading. The first visit that was paid me was by Rufus Davis the revolutionary veteran whose business had been entrusted to me by my father. He is an odd looking character and full of the wildness peculiar to the poorest of that Class. I cannot say that I admired my Client but as I was obliged to pay him some attention on my father’s Account I thought I would do it out of Charity. I carried him to the Pension Office but Mr. Lilly, the person who had seen me and directed me how to act, was absent and nothing could be done so that poor Davis must go to the trouble of coming again and I must also again be bored.

A man came to apply for my father’s House in the rear of Court Street and in consequence I was obliged to go and look over it with him and look at it’s very miserable condition. I engaged to repair if he would take it, and he agreed to let it go till tomorrow before giving an answer. I was obliged to send for the workmen in order to go and see how soon it might be put in order for occupation. My talking with them consumed much time, and Mr. Jones coming in from Weston kept me afterwards for a considerable time after my regular season for dinner. I settled with him. Mr. Curtis called to give me a Deed to make out for the Boylston Estate. Thus was I full of occupation.

The afternoon was passed in reading Aeschines and after my usual portion of this, the Oedipus of Sophocles in the translations of Potter and Francklin. The time in this manner went rapidly until evening when I went down to hear the Lecture of Mr. A. H. Everett before the Society of Useful Knowledge. It was a historical view of the State of Society in the World, in which he examined the different doctrines of perfectibility, improvement, the reverse, and a stationary condition. His manner is tolerably good, but not equal to his brother’s. I was on the whole tolerably well satisfied. On my return I tried to read Clarissa but was prevented by Mr. Degrand, and Nathl. Hall who paid short visits here, the latter to take leave,1 so that we read but little of Clarissa.


Rev. Nathaniel Hall (b. 1805), younger brother of Rev. Edward Brooks Hall and nephew of Peter C. Brooks, was on the point of his departure for Cuba, having in his care his brother, who was ill (Brooks, Waste Book, 9 Jan. 1830).