Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

January. 1831 Saturday. 1st.

Monday. 3d.

Sunday. 2d. CFA Sunday. 2d. CFA
Sunday. 2d.

The day was pleasant although the weather was cool. I attended Meeting with my Wife in the morning and alone in the afternoon. Heard Mr. Frothingham preach a Sermon upon the opening of the year, and my Classmate Cunningham in the Afternoon on the same. I do not think the latter will be likely to take very much among the good people of Boston. I could not realise to myself that in that pulpit stood the man whom I had formerly known so well, and who was now trying to assume a tone which my preconceived notions of him made me feel to be unsuitable. His address is artificial, and his style far too figurative for the times.1 I could not help reflecting what a severe hand had corrected my style, giving no Quarter to my Flowers, which were mere daisies along side of this man’s lilies and Tulips. I afterwards read Middleton, in whom I made some progress. But not with much earnestness. My studies seem now a little aback. Evening, just as we were sitting down to read a little French, Edward Blake came in and spent an hour. He was quite pleasant. And after he left us, we had 395little inclination to resume. I went on however with my Catalogue and read the Tatler.

1.

CFA’s earlier impressions of Francis Cunningham were not dissimilar to those he here expresses; see vol. 1:232–272 passim. What was worthy of remark was that those characteristics of style were now employed in the pulpit.