Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. 7th. CFA Thursday. 7th. CFA
Thursday. 7th.

This was the day assigned according to custom, to the observance of a day of fasting.1 A practice which has gone out of vogue with the occasions that called it forth. Perhaps in producing humility it may produce benefit, but the doctrine that the mere act of self mortification is meritorious in the sight of God, is somewhat exploded. Surely he is not disposed to look harshly upon the moderate use of human enjoyments.

I attended Divine Service in the Morning and heard Mr. Frothingham deliver a Sermon upon the comparative merits of the past and the present. It was written with unusual clearness even for him, and 24though I believed the doctrine to be totally erroneous, yet I was rather more interested by the errors than usual.

After service, I took an agreeable stroll. The weather was warm and the grass was green, this being the day usually devoted by the boys to their games, the Common was filled with them and presented a gay and beautiful scene.

Afternoon, read Cicero and reviewed the Oration for Sylla. One thing is remarkable in all his works, that a second reading is better than the first. My Wife was not well and our reading progressed very little in the evening. I read the Spectator, and finished the Appendix of Parry.

1.

Boston Daily Advertiser, 3 March, p. 1, col. 1; 7 April, p. 2, col. 2. See also vol. 3:209.

Friday. 8th. CFA Friday. 8th. CFA
Friday. 8th.

Morning cloudy, with a cold Northerly Wind. I read Aeschines for an hour and then went to the Office. My father having drawn upon me for a sum of Money according to his statement, I was obliged to go and make the necessary arrangements.1 This with my Accounts and superintending the repairs making to Mr. Welsh’s Office took up a great deal of my time. Mr. G. Veazie, the Carpenter came from Quincy and presented his Accounts for repairs made upon the House, which after consideration and discussion I paid.2 These repairs have been made in the most expensive way owing to my Father’s trusting it entirely to the Workmen and they are satisfying me every day that he would have done better to have built a house there at once.

Returned home with the intention of going to Quincy this afternoon but it began to rain and gradually increased until in the Night it became a tremendous Storm. I read the remainder of the Oration for Sylla and that for Archias. This has been too celebrated to need much remark. It is a beautiful little Ornament, sparkling like a Diamond, and with as little substance to recommend it. Perhaps this is severe. Evening, I read the Correspondence which Mr. Sparks drew up. After which the Spectator.

1.

In his reply to CFA’s remonstrance of 26 March, JQA, in a letter to CFA written on 2 April (Adams Papers), persisted in his instruction to CFA to have the remaining $2,000 of Abigail S. Adams’ legacy deposited in JQA’s account at the U.S. Branch Bank and to have the cashier honor his draft for that amount. JQA expressed his intent, however, to confer with CFA and Abigail S. Adams upon his arrival in Quincy about a permanent investment of the funds. JQA acquiesced to CFA’s proposal for the utilization of the uninvested funds of Thomas B. Adams Jr.

2.

The payment to George Veazie amounted to $348 (M/CFA/3). A large part of this would seem to have been for 25repairs to the Old House contracted for by JQA, but a part may have been for the new stone gateposts. See above, vol. 3, entry for 29 Dec. 1830; also JQA, Diary, 25 Oct. 1830; 28 June 1831.