Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Sunday. 2d. CFA Sunday. 2d. CFA
Sunday. 2d.

Snow, clouds and wet weather. I passed my morning hour in reading the Annual Register for 1832, being the account of the Reform bill. The Author is evidently a decided tory and slides in his impressions in favor of that side throughout the debates.

Attended divine service. Mr. Frothingham preached. Exodus 20. 17. “Thou shalt not covet.” A disquisition upon the tenth commandment as the foundation of the moral law, regulating society. In the After-272noon John 13. 12–14. “So after he had washed their feet and had taken his garments and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well for so I am. If I then your Lord and Master have washed your feet: ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” The general subject may be gathered from the text to have been the idea of humility conveyed as a charge to Christians. But I was absent and unable to fix my attention enough to follow the train of reasoning in the discourse.

Home. Read a Sermon in Latin by Atterbury. A concio ad clerum from the Text Romans. 13. 1. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” An argument in favour of passive submission to Kings and the divine right of these to rule. It considered, 1. who were meant as higher powers, 2. how far the subjection was to go, 3. the reasons for the injunction, 4. to whom it was addressed. I have not often come across the well known doctrine of the English Church nor do I admire it when I do. It is not a little singular that the Bishop was soon after banished for intriguing against the reigning family. Evening very quietly at home. German.

Monday. 3d. CFA Monday. 3d. CFA
Monday. 3d.

Cooler than it has been. I went to the Office, and passed my time as usual not to much purpose. I have been meditating some change by which I could appropriate my time to better profit but as yet can hit upon nothing. I spend some time after breakfast now in reading the Annual Register for 1832. It is very interesting from its describing what may fairly be considered as having been a moment of crisis in Great Britain. Walk. Afternoon, made progress in Dubos and the Adelphi of Terence.

My Wife went down to her father’s and I joined her in the evening. It was a little birth day notice for Mrs. Everett’s eldest child Anne. Several children and Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham with a Mr. Bierly an Englishman seeking his fortune in business among the crowd at New York. The evening from the noise and bustle was not agreeable. I moreover had a head ache—An unpleasant reminiscence which I have escaped from for a considerable time. Returned home very early.

Tuesday. 4th. CFA Tuesday. 4th. CFA
Tuesday. 4th.

Lovely morning. The fine weather this season decidedly predominates. A person disordered in his stomach takes very little notice of the beauties of nature, and today I did not enjoy myself. Attended an 273auction and walked a good deal but I did not feel much better. I wish I could be sure my system was not disordered, somehow or other. Felt relieved after dinner.

Read Dubos and had a visit from Mr. Frothingham and talked of books. Terence. Mr. Brooks took tea with us, and we went to the Theatre to see Mr. Power the Irish Comedian.1 St. Patrick’s Eve, a piece of his own writing to describe an Irish Gentleman, and Teddy the Tiler, an afterpiece to show a vulgar Paddy. He does not overdraw. His Irish is characteristic and highly amusing. His own piece is not bad in effect though it has little in its substance of particular merit. He has taken advantage of Stage effect and sentimental places. We came home on the whole, quite well pleased, But my head ach had returned.

1.

Tyrone Power, the first of that name celebrated in the American theater, had made his New York debut in the preceding August (Odell, Annals N. Y. Stage , 3:655).