Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Tuesday 4th.

Thursday 6th.

Wednesday. 5th. CFA Wednesday. 5th. CFA
Wednesday. 5th.

Clear and warm. Morning work for an hour, then study. Dined at the Mansion and took a drive with my father in the Afternoon. Evening a visit to T. Greenleaf also with him.

Read Locke. p. 121 – 162. The various modes of thought subsidiary to the main division. Mr. Locke is a remarkably clear thinker and deserves to be studied for that quite as much as for his philosophy. With him, metaphysical science is not the impenetrable jungle it is often reputed by the unskilfulness of many to be. Read part of Lessing’s Essay upon the Mode in which the Ancients represented death. Ingenious at least.

I rode to the edge of the town of Randolph and thence home by Weymouth where we stopped to see Col. Minot Thayer. A very ingenious politician who likes the strong side in his neighborhood.1 He has a drop of flattery for all, and my share came today. He intimated that the people in Quincy had a great desire to send me to the Legislature this Autumn to which I answered very simply that just the same objection which existed last year existed this. I feel much pleased with the idea which this man’s act thus holds out of the good will of my neighbors, but have schooled my mind to entire moderation in my political aspirations which I hope I may never lose. There is no reasonable prospect of greater happiness for me in public life than I now enjoy in private life, so that on my own account I cannot desire the change.

1.

Minott Thayer of Weymouth was a whig who maintained good relations with both JQA and Daniel Webster; see Edmund Soper Hunt, Reminiscences: Weymouth Ways and Weymouth People, Boston, 1907, p. 53, 67.