Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 22d. CFA Saturday. 22d. CFA
Saturday. 22d.

A cold and very windy day, much in character with the month. I amused myself this morning with reading Baron d’Haussez upon the 282manners and Institutions of England. He treats Great Britain pretty much as Hamilton does America.1 He pushes forward the unfavorable side. There is truth in each picture but it is overcharged.

Office. Read a good deal of Jefferson but not interesting. His early correspondence is flat compared to my Grandfather’s. He had more judgment and less genius than my grandfather, yet he was less sound in his theories which is remarkable.

Walk. Dined with a party at Mr. Brooks—Messrs. Shepherd, W. Wells, Kirk Boott, G. Bancroft, Palfrey, Story, Col. Baldwin, Edward, P. C. Brooks Jr. and myself. A very handsome dinner and tolerably pleasant, but not remarkable. I returned home at sunset. Quiet evening. Finished Almeria. Read d’Haussez.

1.

On the preceding day CFA had borrowed from the Athenaeum, Great Britain in 1833 by Charles Lemercher de Longpré, Baron d’Haussez, 2 vols., London, 1833, and Men and Manners in America by Capt. Thomas Hamilton, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1833.

Sunday. 23d. CFA Sunday. 23d. CFA
Sunday. 23d.

Cool. Continued and finished d’Haussez whose book has diverted me much. He is satirical enough. He strips the glitter off English Society and exposes the nakedness as well as the pretensions which belong to it. His opinion of English women however is very flattering and perhaps not undeserved. The domestic character of the British female is unexceptionable. We are beneath them however only in one point, extent of cultivation.

Attended divine Service all day. Dr. Lowell in the morning. Psalms 55. 19. “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” A very sensible practical discourse upon the vicissitudes of life, the dangers of prosperity and the probability of changes to try the Christian. Dr. Lowell has much in his favour in manner. He looks the Clergyman, which is much, and he never acts in a way unbecoming to him. Afternoon. Mr. Frothingham. Matthew 14. 25. “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.” A Sermon of beautiful phrases and generally of ideas highly refined which seldom actively interest. Mr. Frothingham used to indulge much in this style, but of late he has entered occasionally upon a bolder and a better one.

Read a Sermon of Atterbury’s. Matthew 11. 6 “Blesses is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.” On the incarnation of the Saviour, refuting the silly objections of the impossibility and unreasonableness of the account. Such a man of straw is hardly worthy of a blow. Even-283ing. Read Hamilton’s book on Men and Manners in America. Thomas B. Frothingham Passed the evening.