Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

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

The early part of the morning was so cloudy that I decided upon remaining at home. But it appearing a little finer at ten o’clock, I concluded to start with my Wife for Boston. She wished to go and see Mrs. Sidney Brooks who has come from New York to remain a day or 311two. I did not employ my own time to much advantage, it must be confessed. Read a Newspaper or two, performed a Commission or two, and talked a little with W. E. Payne who has just returned from Charleston,1 about Nullification, at the Athenaeum. This sentence is not properly constructed. This brought the hour for returning, and accordingly we reached home to dinner.

Afternoon, I passed partly in the Garden and partly reading Seneca, but I did not turn my time to so much advantage as I ought to have done. A quiet evening at home.


William E. Payne, a counselor whose office was at 5 Court Street, lived at 20 Beacon Street ( Boston Directory, 1832–1833).

Saturday 9th. CFA Saturday 9th. CFA
Saturday 9th.

The direction of the wind was changed this morning, but we nevertheless had a showery day. I concluded not to go to town. Occupied during the morning in reading Thucydides who becomes more interesting as he begins to describe the War between Corcyra and Corinth which gave rise to that of the Peloponesus.

The afternoon was passed reading Seneca with the exception of a little time passed in the garden. The Record of my days becomes more and more monotonous as I advance more into a quiet undisturbed way of life. Settled as we now are, it seems impossible to imagine any thing more secluded, yet to me it is very far from unpleasant.

In the evening my Mother concluded to make us a variety by going in to Boston and hearing the Messrs. Herrman. These are German Singers who have been making a tour of this Country with success.1 We arrived in time and found a full and fashionable audience at the Masonic Temple. They are remarkable as singing in perfect taste and thorough harmony. But they want the relief of higher Notes and a better Room. For this did not appear to give the necessary sound. As Choristers I can hardly imagine any thing more perfect. We reached Quincy at about eleven, having performed our exploit without any difficulty and with some pleasure.


For their second and final soirée musicale the Messrs. Herrmann, members of the Royal Conservatory of Munich, presented a program of music for male voices and for the cello by Weber, Cimarosa, Mozart, &c. (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 9 June, p. 3, col. 4); see also entry for 18 Sept., below.

Sunday. 10th. CFA Sunday. 10th. CFA
Sunday. 10th.

It is hardly necessary to make any allusion to the weather while we have constant clouds and rain. I have never known a season at all like 312this. The Crops will probably be very much cut off. Attended divine service all day, though I felt myself suffering from one of the head achs which have lately afflicted me occasionally. Mr. Mott preached and as I thought with considerable amendment since I last heard him. His morning Sermon was upon the cultivation of a pious character by the regulation of thought. That in the afternoon I felt unable to follow. Indeed my whole day was thrown away as it usually is in cases of such mental debility occasioned by bodily pain.

I looked over an old file of letters of my Grandfather without energy or method in re-arranging them. And I read the remainder of Massillon’s Panegyric of Louis 14, with a part of that upon the Dutchess of Orleans, not having any ideas arise from it. It is prostrating to the vanity of the human intellect to think how totally a trifle may unnerve it. Evening, Mr. Price Greenleaf called and passed an hour pleasantly. I retired early.