Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Friday. 16th. CFA Friday. 16th. CFA
Friday. 16th.

This was a lovely day and the softness of the air relieved me con-335siderably from my pain which was still however, somewhat sharp. Morning passed in reading the Massachusetts Reports, and finished the Collection of Statutes of the State from which I have gained some information. Called upon Davis and spent half an hour with him in conversation, but felt dissatisfied afterwards at the waste of time. Afternoon, Adam Smith from whom I have already gained some ideas. I went to the Theatre this evening to hear Dr. Arne’s Opera of Artaxerxes. Mrs. Austin and Mr. Horn.1 I was abundantly pleased. The former sings very well. The latter is not so highly gifted in voice. On the whole, I have seldom been better satisfied at the Theatre. The Soldier tir’d, and the Quartett of Mild as the moonbeams were exceedingly pleasing.


Mrs. Austin, an English singer, and Charles E. Horn, an English actor, were appearing in the opera by Thomas Augustine Arne (Ireland, Records of the N.Y. Stage, 1:545–546; Brown, History of the American Stage, p. 185).

Saturday. 17th. CFA Saturday. 17th. CFA
Saturday. 17th.

Morning at the Office, engaged in writing a letter to my Mother. After which I read the first Chapter in the third Volume of Kent’s Commentaries. Afternoon, engaged in a Chapter of Adam Smith upon Rent, which required pretty close attention. Attended the Moot Court in the evening where we had a good argument and pleasant conversation. My case was not decided in my favour.1


See entry for 3 Jan., and note, above.

Sunday 18th. CFA Sunday 18th. CFA
Sunday 18th.

Still rainy, attended the Meeting in Federal Street and heard Mr. Gannet preach a Sermon upon the utility of Controversial Religion, very little of which I could admire or assent to. Such a minister, with such ideas and feelings, is as shocking to my notions as possible, for it assumes severity as the garb of holiness. Why is man created with a sense of pleasure if he is not allowed to indulge it moderately? Why is a man indulged with reasoning powers if he cannot use them for himself with due diffidence? But to make it the duty of all men to worry and molest the opinions of others because they implicitly believe in the truth of their own, is to send the world into madness at once. I rode to Medford in the afternoon, and passed the evening as usual, pleasantly enough.

Monday. 19th. CFA Monday. 19th. CFA
Monday. 19th.

Returned to Boston, rather late and passed the morning, or rather 336what remained of it, in reading Law. Afternoon, Adam Smith upon the Value of Silver. The day was pleasant. In the evening, Mr. Tarbell had Company and in compliment to him, I was present during the evening. The party consisted of persons in the second rank in life in this City, being merchants and professional men of respectability. I made some acquaintances and attempted to make myself tolerably agreeable, as in commencing my career in Boston, I feel as if much might depend upon my course. For I fear, I shall fail.