Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Thursday 4th. CFA Thursday 4th. CFA
Thursday 4th.

Morning at the Office and in Court. Finding nothing interesting in the latter place, I read Law. This begins to tire. It is such exceedingly 318disconnected reading that I question very much whether out of the range of the learning one gains by practice, any advantage can be derived from reading it. Afternoon, American Affairs. Evening, finished Percy’s Reliques. These have been amusing though they hardly exercise the mind sufficiently. On my return, finding much Company at home, I took a long walk.

Friday. 5th. CFA Friday. 5th. CFA
Friday. 5th.

Morning at the Office. Occupied in reading Law much as usual. Indeed my life now begins to assume that decided sameness which makes a Journal matter of very little interest to any of us. We are occupied most and therefore have least to say. But I find on the whole that my present mode of life is more productive of satisfaction to me than that last year, and I again begin to take that calm interest in literature and elegant subjects which more vivid feelings have so long interrupted. Pleasant visions too are indulged to me, which may or may not be realized, but I do not hesitate to indulge them as they serve to keep me satisfied with myself and to soften that rugged steep which the Poet pronounces so hard to climb.

Saturday 6th. CFA Saturday 6th. CFA
Saturday 6th.

Morning at the Office. Time a good deal distracted but I succeeded in writing my usual letter to my Mother before the time of the Mail. The remainder of the morning was passed with George in an investigation of Mr. Hilliard’s Book Store after Pamphlets but few of which we found relating to our subject. After dinner, occupied at the Office. Read Mr. D. P. Brown’s Review of Mr. Brougham’s Speech on the Law.1 A slender performance. In the evening I went to see Abby who was at Mrs. Frothingham’s. Found Mr. Gorham Brooks there and heard of his engagement to Miss Ellen Shepherd. A thing which has been drawn out to great length. Evening pleasant but these long absences certainly tend to chill the feelings considerably.


CFA’s copy of David Paul Brown’s Review of the Speech of Henry Brougham ... upon the State of the Law, Phila., 1828, is in the Boston Athenaeum.

Sunday. 7th. CFA Sunday. 7th. CFA
Sunday. 7th.

Pleasant Morning. Went to Meeting and heard Dr. Channing preach an excellent Sermon. It went home to my feelings, because I have constantly had in mind the subject of which he treated. Whether it made me any better, I am unable to say, but I certainly felt as if it ought to have done so. It was upon moral energy, it’s necessity in life, 319tempered with mildness and the passive virtues. My own character being principally based upon energy, it has been matter of much reflection to me how far it should go without degenerating into obstinacy. I am aware of the liability to this on the part of a resolute man, and I have not been altogether inattentive to prevent it. Rode out with Abby to Medford in the afternoon, passed the evening in her company. Afterwards I had a long Conversation with Mr. Brooks upon subjects of interest. I found that my letter1 had done me injury which I hastened to explain and this led to a general conversation which relieved me a little as it made us more intimate.


See entry for 26 Oct., and note, above.