Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 10th [i.e. 11th.] CFA Friday. 10th [i.e. 11th.] CFA
Friday. 10th i.e. 11th.

Clear and tolerably pleasant day. After reading Vasari I went to the Office and was occupied as usual in reading Gibbon. This took up all my time excepting what I passed in walking and in Accounts. This latter is now a source of considerable embarrassment to me as my father’s concerns are extensive and my own are in need of watchful vigilance. This is tautology. Returned home.

Afternoon, went to Quincy. I. Hull accompanied me. I went over the Garden and gave all the necessary directions remaining in regard 296to the House. I believe, it is now perfectly ready to see the family at any time. From the report of Mrs. Kirke I conclude that it will be as well for me to go out there on the 23d or 4th of the month, taking my chance of their arriving. Returned home by seven. No letters. Quiet evening. I was tired so that I omitted Paley.

Saturday. 11th [i.e. 12th.] CFA Saturday. 11th [i.e. 12th.] CFA
Saturday. 11th i.e. 12th.

A beautiful day. I went to the Office after reading a little of Vasari. Nothing of any moment occurred. I had two or three interruptions. Deacon Spear called from Quincy apparently only to talk. Some other persons for bills &ca. I was unable to read a word. Attended a sale of stocks at noon and found that manufactures were going downward. This is a severe blow to me as I had calculated upon a fair addition to my general income from my Cocheco Stock. But I cannot say that I have not had my eyes open to the probability of a fall in their value. The excessive importations make it probable that there will be but small profits for some time, and the Tariff is to be varied to finish the business. Walked with Mr. Peabody to E. Cambridge where I called for a Deed sent over last Summer and obtained, thus finishing a business which has been to be done a great while.

Afternoon. Rode to Medford with my Wife and saw Mrs. Frothingham there. Mr. Brooks dined in town. We remained a short time and returned. There is a loneliness about the House which would affect a great deal Mrs. Frothingham, I should think. She has been used to a large family and a bustling acquaintance. Evening quiet at home. The weather so warm, our windows were open, and it was very like Summer.

Sunday. 13th. CFA Sunday. 13th. CFA
Sunday. 13th.

Another lovely day. The air was soft and vegetation begins to give decided evidence of its influence. As it is probable I may soon go out of town, I occupied myself during all my spare time in continuing the Catalogue of my Books. An assistance which I absolutely need while it is necessary for me to keep them in double rows.

Attended Divine Service all day. Heard Mr. Frothingham and Mr. Barrett.1 The former took his Text from Hebrews 12. 1. “Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” The subject was revealed religion, and it appeared to me very likely to have made a part of the Dudleian Lecture preached by him last week.2 The Sermon of Mr. Barrett was from 55. Isaiah 10–11. “For as the rain cometh 297down from heaven and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth.” He considered the Analogy, the necessity in the one case of planting the seed, before the promised benefits can be enjoyed. Of spreading the word before it will improve us. He then discussed how this might best be done and adverted severely upon the prevailing mode of worship in the stricter sects as narrow and bigoted. I think in this respect that there is great cause for complaint. Our religion is rather fanatical.

Afternoon. Read a Sermon of Massillon’s upon the lighter kinds of transgression. John II. 4. “This sickness is not unto death.” He commences by adverting to the habit of disregarding such vices as are not mortal. He holds this to be injurious 1. as it affects the heart by hardening it, 2. as its consequences are fatal, first, as it acts directly, second as it has an indirect operation. Quiet evening at home. Omitted Paley.


Probably Samuel Barrett, Harvard 1818, minister of the Twelfth Congregational Church, in Chambers Street, Boston; later an Overseer of Harvard College ( Mass. Register, 1832; Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ).


To his sermon delivered in the University’s chapel on 9 May as the year’s Dudleian Lecture, Mr. Frothingham had given the title, “The Manifestation of Christ.” The title was probably the ground for CFA’s supposition that the sermon of the morning was but a repetition. However, the Dudleian Lecture was on the text of 1 Timothy, 3:16 (MS in MH-Ar: Dudleian Lectures).