Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 20th.

Monday. 22d.

Sunday. 21st. CFA Sunday. 21st. CFA
Sunday. 21st.

Our weather for several days past has been charming, uniting the ingredients of a pleasant temperature. Morning reading German. These Novels of Lafontaine delight me very much. There is a high tone of morality in them combined with masterly touches of nature.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Briggs again. He did not please me quite so much today. He adopted more of the mere visionary enthusiasm of the Unitarian school of the present day. Morning text 1 Corinthians 2. 2 “For I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Afternoon 2 Corinthians 13. 5 “prove your own selves.” On the whole, the young men of the present day generally write and preach better than their predecessors but there are fewer exceptions of excellence. The character of the whole Community is changing to a state of calm mediocrity. Is not this for the better?

Read a Sermon from Warburton from Proverbs 17. 5. “Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker.” A superfluous text one would at first think, but in the world perhaps there is no more frequent vice. The distinctions of Society are shocking to an unartificial mind and yet they have their compensations. All good is mixed, all evil is mixed. Civilization compounds the illegible word more variously as it becomes more refined but the ingredients existed with the world.1

P. C. Brooks Jr. came out with a Mr. Davis nephew to C. A. Davis of New York. In the evening Dr. Swan and Jonathan Brooks. Tiresome.


The illegible word, overwritten, seems to be dress or dross. Although either reading presents difficulties, the drift of the thought can be discerned through the cloudy figures.