Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 8th. CFA Saturday. 8th. CFA
Saturday. 8th.

My Ink is so pale today, I have great doubts whether I can write. Went to the Office—Weather being very stormy with wind and rain. Read the remainder of the volume of the Annual Register. I carried it back to the Athenaeum but did not take out a new volume from doubt. The book is hardly interesting enough to fix my attention. Can-275not I get something that will do it more effectually. Got hold of a book at the Athenaeum upon Wines. It is more manageable than Henderson’s although not so satisfactory. The author is too compendious and talks too much of measures. His information is however valuable. His name is Cyrus Redding.1

Home. Afternoon, finished Dubos and the Hecyra of Terence. The former has not quite filled my expectations. Upon the latter there have been great debates. It was not successful in representation, and Colman gives his opinion of the causes why it was not so. He attributes the failure to its being dry. I think it wants the observation of human nature and the great sketchiness of his other plays. Evening quite at home. Began reading Miss Edgeworths story of Ennui. German.

1.

The volume was History and Description of Modern Wines, London, 1833.

Sunday. 9th. CFA Sunday. 9th. CFA
Sunday. 9th.

Clear and pleasant day. Began Benjamin Constant’s book upon Religion which I bought the other day. I am charmed with it’s beginning.

Attended divine Service and heard Mr. Frothingham from Job 28. 12 and 28. “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” A sermon maintaining that knowledge though it may be power is not in itself either a true guide of morals nor a rule of faith; and directed at the present outcry for education, without regard to religion. Matthew 6. 14. Mr. Pierpont1 “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.” Repentance and amendment. Mutual forgiveness. Mr. Pierpont defined what resentment might be indulged, and what was his view of Christ’s doctrine of forbearance. He seemed to have forgot the injunction to present the other cheek when the one had been slapped.

Atterbury. Volume 2.—A supplement. Acts 26. 26. “This thing was not done in a Corner.” The evidence of the truth of Christianity from the publicity of its miracles. Short. Evening quiet at home.

1.

Rev. John Pierpont; see vol. 3:129.

Monday. 10th. CFA Monday. 10th. CFA
Monday. 10th.

Cool but pleasant. Went to the Office and from thence to the Athenaeum where I spent nearly all my morning. Read the remainder of Mr. Redding’s book upon Wines which is pleasant enough. He recom-276mends strongly the French products but displays such a scene of cheatery of Foreigners as to discourage any one from buying them. The English from their love of strong liquor are however more apt to be deceived than any other Nation—And we through them. Read an Article or two in the Periodicals and found my morning gone.

Walk. In the Afternoon, copied a letter into my book commenced last Summer, of the correspondence of J.A., but since I have had these letters bound and put into a durable shape my zeal flags. Wrote a short letter to my mother,1 sending one of her commissions by Mr. Oliver who goes tomorrow morning to Washington on the Committee to take the Memorial.2 Evening at home, the story of Ennui and German.

1.

Adams Papers.

“The children are pretty well. John keeps his size, though his Mother does not think his beauty half so inexpressible as Louisa’s was. This latter personage is getting to the age when the trials of patience come, and we find her by no means the amiable personage we had flattered ourselves. N’importe. We must call it proper spirit.”

2.

The Memorial to Congress, signed by more than 6,600 Boston citizens and adopted at a meeting in Faneuil Hall on 6 March, urged effective action by the Congress against the “recent usurpations” of the President in fiscal matters, especially as they related to the Bank (Columbian Centinel, 8 March, p. 2, col. 2).