Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 30th.

Thursday. August 1st.

Wednesday. 31st. CFA Wednesday. 31st. CFA
Wednesday. 31st.

Morning cool and pleasant without a cloud in the sky. I remained quietly at home. My time with the exception of what was taken up by Horace, was entirely devoted to reading and assorting the old Correspondence. With what a mixture of feelings do I look over these old papers. They contain the secret history of the lives of a single couple—Joy and sunshine, grief and clouds, sorrows and storm. The vicissitudes are rapid, the incidents are interesting. Happy are those who pass through this Valley with so much of innocence. Vice stains no one of these pages. Occasionally there is fierceness of passion, but it commonly grows out of public events and has no accompaniment of bitter remorse and self upbraiding for the contamination of guilt. I think the gloomy predominates, and yet there have been few persons whose story altogether comprises so much of what the world calls prosperity. Look at the persons in a similar station with John Adams. Washington had no 138children and twenty years less of life. Jefferson died a bankrupt with bitter private griefs and nothing to compensate for them. Madison is childless though time has dealt mildly with him, and Monroe died a bankrupt after long years of pecuniary distress and mortification. Not one of these have had the closing consolations of John Adams. All of them have had their sceptres wrenched by an unlineal hand, no son of their’s succeeding. That pride was reserved probably to John Adams alone in this world. Who can believe there is not a beneficent though a just Deity, who measures out even in this life our portions of reward and retribution. Afternoon, read St. John. Evening, Humphry Clinker.