Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday 3d.

Monday. 5th.

Sunday. 4th. CFA Sunday. 4th. CFA
Sunday. 4th.

I have not escaped a violent cold which has troubled me yesterday and today. The Snow had been falling all night and was so deep on the ground, besides the increase momentarily going on, that I thought it advisable not to attend Church today. I remained quietly installed in my Chair and instead read a Sermon of Isaac Barrow’s and one of Massillon’s. The first was from the well known text “And her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths of peace.” Upon the pleasantness of Religion. A sound though not to me a remarkable Sermon. That of Massillon was from Matthew 12. 45. “And the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Upon the dangers of relapse. He considered first its enormity, then its danger. The leading idea was the loss of that freshness of soul which is never to be recovered, that first spring of piety which once defiled can never regain its purity. On the whole a very good Sermon. Read an Essay or two of old Montagne who has had great reputation for thought.1 I want to find it. My time was not all used to the best advantage.

Evening. Read to my Wife a portion of the Bible especially the beautiful Chapter in Corinthians upon Charity. Also a part of Byron’s Deformed Transformed.2 Afterwards, Pope and the Spectator.

1.

Of the three editions of Montaigne’s Les essais at MQA, that published at Rouen in 1619 has CFA’s bookplate.

2.

On the editions of Byron at MQA, 192see above, vol. 3:185. The order in which CFA read the poems during the next several days suggests that he was using the edition which had belonged to GWA, in which the poems appeared in the same order.