Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 19th. CFA Friday. 19th. CFA
Friday. 19th.

Cloudy day. I felt but poorly after the severe influence of my Medicine. I remained quietly at home engaged in looking over and abstracting Stone’s book. The more I read upon that subject, the more I am struck with the extraordinary and disgusting nature of the whole transaction. The extent of the combinations, the calmness with which they were formed and the plans executed, and the disregard of means in executing them are truly wonderful. I was also occupied in comparing MS with my father, and copying two or three Letters for him.

After dinner, I read a few more of Bayle’s Letters. They are amusing but pedantic, display a great variety of reading and a good deal of felicity in application, but are too much the efforts of a mere reader. The world has changed much since his time. It is less willing to hear the effusions of scholars which merely compile the sayings of their predecessors. Yet there is a charm to me in that kind of allusion that I 382never can get over. In many respects, I am not fit for the matter of fact world of this Century.

Evening. Read a little of Dr. Granville and afterwards Lingard, but not having rested well for the last two evenings, I felt drowsy and retired much earlier than usual.

Saturday. 20th. CFA Saturday. 20th. CFA
Saturday. 20th.

Morning cloudy but it cleared away afterwards and became warm. I went to town with the intention of executing much, but did in fact exceedingly little. Disappointed by the non appearance of my Office boy. It seems he has retired probably in disgust with my irregular attendance in town. I was consequently unable to notify the Directors as usual nor to do any thing I intended. Called to see T. K. Davis. Found him engaged with E. Blake but they finished in a minute. Got entangled in a discussion of Anti-Masonry. A thing I did not feel disposed to at all. That is a subject that stirs the blood. Returned to Quincy.

Passed the Afternoon reading Bayle, and pasting labels. The after dinner in the Country is so short, very little can be done in it.

Quiet evening at home. Read the Speech of Mr. Webster, part the 2d. Afterwards, Lingard. Finished the reign of Edward the third. He condemns the claims of the Pope and distinguishes his temporal and spiritual character.

Sunday. 21st. CFA Sunday. 21st. CFA
Sunday. 21st.

Morning clear but mild. I attended Divine Service all day and heard Dr. Gray preach.1 I do not feel much interest in what he says. Indeed in the attention we pay to men, we are very much guided by the respect we pay to their character. Hence doubtless the origin of the Rule that an Orator must be a virtuous man. I have heard too much of the weaknesses of Dr. Gray to regard him in a proper light in the Pulpit. His afternoon Sermon was from the discourse on the mount, which is so often treated and so seldom fully considered.

Afternoon. Read two short Sermons in the English Preacher. One by Dr. Chandler on the Incurableness of Superstition which I did not think much of, and one by Dr. Hoadley upon the impossibility of serving God and Mammon, a good deal better.2 Evening, Mr. and Mrs. D. Greenleaf and Mr. Beale came in. Afterwards, read Lingard.

1.

Dr. Thomas Gray of Jamaica Plain (JQA, Diary, 21 Oct.).

2.

These sermons of Samuel Chandler and of Benjamin Hoadly, Bishop of Winchester, are in the fourth volume of The English Preacher.

383