Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 30th.

Monday. 2d.

Sunday. May 1st. CFA Sunday. May 1st. CFA
Sunday. May 1st.

Our morning was clear but as if we were not to see too much of the Sun, it clouded up shortly afterwards, and remained so the rest of the day. I went to the Meeting and heard Mr. Frothingham all day, but his Sermons did not interest me. My Wife was better, but did not go out. Little took place of consequence. I finished Walsh’s Journey from Constantinople. A good deal of this is valuable information and not very common as the parts of Country to which it relates are little known. But the Dr. is credulous and tells tough1 stories sometimes. 39Experience has taught me however that the toughest are sometimes fact.

Afternoon, having no book, I took up a volume of scattered thoughts of Montesquieu many of which are exceedingly good. His was a highly cultivated and deeply reflecting mind and his temperament that which gave more profoundness than Hume’s with equal coolness. I think these however are better than any thing even of his. The familiar letters however have very little interest to me. They are few in number, and very little varied.2 Read Moore to my Wife and some of the Bible after which the Spectator.

1.

Hard to believe or understand ( OED , tough, adj., 6b).

2.

In the edition at MQA of the Oeuvres of Montesquieu, 10 vols. in 6, Paris, 1815–1816, the “Pensées diverses” and the “Lettres familières” are in vol. 10. The set has JQA’s bookplate; GWA’s signature is in the last volume; a quotation from Voltaire on Montesquieu in CFA’s hand is in the first.