Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Friday. 18th. CFA Friday. 18th. CFA
Friday. 18th.

Morning somewhat milder. I went to the office. Little or nothing material. Read some of Lingard’s Charles the second, wrote Diary and busied myself without much interruption in my common, every day occupations. So quiet and settled is my mode of life that nothing happens commonly to interfere with it. I believe I ought to be abundantly satisfied that I am so entirely free from anxiety of any kind. I am satisfied, abundantly satisfied. When I consider how many young men 13there are who have no resources of mind and an overabundance of wealth, I congratulate myself upon those I have been so fortunate as to acquire.

Took a walk. Afternoon, finished No. 9 on Anti Masonry. Reviewed the three on hand and concluded to send them. Mr. Hallett seems to think they may be useful enough to collect and publish if I finish them. Certainly no indolence of mine shall stand in the way. I have done expecting much from my pen. I once was vain of it. Mortification ought to make me humble. Evening quietly at home. Finished the first volume of the Margravine’s Nonsense.

Saturday. 19th. CFA Saturday. 19th. CFA
Saturday. 19th.

Morning extremely cold—Almost enough to take one’s breath away. I went to the Office as usual. Read more of Lingard and as I find it extremely doubtful when I shall be enabled to go to Quincy, I concluded to send her Money to Elizabeth today.1 These things always weigh upon my mind until they are over.

Took a walk as usual although my fingers were much nipped by the weather. Afternoon, enjoyed mine ease in mine inn—The first great portion of one of my tasks being completed and the other being ready for perusal and amendment. Finished the Philippic of Cicero, a powerful performance the biting severity of which was too much for the patience of Antony. Death was the only reply which he was capable of making. Brute force was to be used when mind could no longer cope with mind. That is the usual way. Read more of Anquetil, who goes over the horrible story of St. Barthelemy. Yet Lingard attempts to soften this Story and says as little as he can of the course taken by the Pope upon it. Evening quiet at home. Read a little of Caroline de Litchfield,2 and more of the Margravince. Afterwards, German.


CFA, as agent for JQA, regularly disbursed to Elizabeth Coombs Adams (ECA), daughter of TBA, her share of interest received under the terms of JA’s will; see vol. 3:31 and Adams Genealogy.


On returning, Ourika to the Athenaeum on the 17th, CFA had borrowed Baronne de Montolieu’s Caroline de Litchfield, ou mémoire d’une famille prussienne.

Sunday. 20th. CFA Sunday. 20th. CFA
Sunday. 20th.

Milder. The first thing this morning was a tremendous fire. It was the Sugar Refinery in Atkinson Street. My morning was short. Attended divine Service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach morning and after-14noon. His first was from Isaiah 45. 15. “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” The incomprehensible character of the Deity, as affecting four descriptions of persons, the infidel, the superstitious believer, the curious inquirer and the men of melancholy temperament. The division was an interesting one, but it did not seem to me that the treatment of it was carried out equally well. Took a walk. Mr. Beale of Quincy dined with me, and accompanied me in the Afternoon. Having lost my usual Nap, I was so drowsy I did not catch much of the discourse. Text Romans 9. 20. “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” On my return home, read a Sermon of Massillon taken from Matthew 5. 5. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth.” Subject the happiness of the just, 1. by the light of the faith which alleviates their sufferings, whilst the want of it increases those of sinners, 2. by the softening influence of grace which calms the passions when the absence of it exposes others to their unrestrained influence. This division did appear to me to be unneccessary—The ideas and treatment corresponding almost exactly. Evening at home. My Wife was suffering from tooth ach. I heard today that my father was quite unwell. Read Anquetil.