Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

292 Friday. 4th. CFA Friday. 4th. CFA
Friday. 4th.

Morning damp and rainy. After beginning Vasari’s life of Michael Angelo, which I found pretty hard though a little more entertaining, I went to the Office and passed my morning pretty much as usual. Accounts took up a part of it and the rest was spent either in reading the Newspapers or in talking with Mr. Peabody. The present state of political matters interests every body and my father’s singular1 course at Washington as usual gives occasion to remark. He stands very much as I thought he would and he hazards his peace of mind for the sake of operating upon a parcel of very indifferent characters. The more I see of politics, the more I am satisfied of their nature. Took a short walk.

As it cleared up I went to Quincy and superintended the planting of more trees and the arrangement of the Garden. I think I shall materially benefit the place by what I do. Returned home. Mr. Brooks was sitting with my Wife, and he took tea with us. On the whole we passed an unusually pleasant evening. I afterward went on with Julia Severa, which grows more interesting, and my usual exercises.

1.

Probably to be understood in its original meaning of individual and independent. The immediate occasion of the observation is not clear. Since his return from the Philadelphia sittings of the Committee on the Bank of the United States, JQA had taken part frequently in the hearings on the charge of breach of privileges of the House against Sam Houston and in the debate on the Apportionment Bill, usually on procedural aspects (Daily National Intelligencer, 23–30 April passim). News of his objections to the presentation on 30 April of the report of the majority of the Committee on the Bank and of his dissent from that report would hardly have reached Boston by this date (same, 2 May, p. 2, col. 6; p. 3, col. 3).

Saturday. 5th. CFA Saturday. 5th. CFA
Saturday. 5th.

Cold and cloudy. A disagreeable variety of our miserable season. I read a little of Vasari and then went to the Office. My time not employed to any great profit. I read a little of Gibbon and was busy in Accounts &ca. as usual. As Mr. Field threatened to visit me I felt bound to remain until nearly two o’clock although I had no very serious idea that he would come. Upon my arrival at home I found that I. Hull had returned. He has lost a week of precious time and for the sake of indulging his mother in an unreasonable way. Read some of Sismondi and passed my Afternoon as well as I could without a fire. I do not however much approve of this plan of living so chilled. Evening quiet at home. Nothing to record.

Sunday. 6th. CFA Sunday. 6th. CFA
Sunday. 6th.

Clear for once. But the wind from the Eastward piercingly cold. 293So that I was driven to repent of my clothing so thin in the morning. Attended divine service all day, and heard Mr. Frothingham preach. His first Sermon was from John 11. 25. “I am the resurrection and the life.” The other from Matthew 7. 11. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him.” I had a little of a headach this morning which disabled me from paying any attention to these Sermons, nor was I much more in a condition to gather the Sense of Massillon’s Homily upon Lazarus. John 11. 34. “Come and see.” The Text is not peculiarly appropriate. His division was something of this kind: The condition of Lazarus was emblematic of the corruption of a vicious character. This is the first. The second treated of the means, such as faith, by which life was recalled. The third of the motives which could produce the resurrection. I do not know that in this case I am exact, but if not it must be attributed to the head ach which went on increasing until it entirely disabled me from attention to any thing. And my system was driven to relieve itself. This has of late happened repeatedly and gives me sufficient warning that I am now in the second stage of life. I retired very early, reading nothing but the Rambler.