Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Friday. 20th. CFA Friday. 20th. CFA
Friday. 20th.

Morning pleasant. I went to town accompanied by Mr. Brooks who took me a long Journey round to deliver him in Chestnut Street. We 331did not reach it after all. In the course of it, I went into streets I had never seen before. Very good ones too.

Engaged at the Office in writing and reading. Nothing particular however. I sat down and tried to understand the science of bookkeeping according to the Italian method, but I made a very poor business of it. There is something puzzling in applying this to a small scale. Yet it is so necessary in a business community like this to be acquainted with it that on the first of July I intend to make an effort.

Home to dinner. Afternoon reading Mrs. Inchbald’s Memoir by Boaden.1 A poor thing. Ovid, Art of Love. Evening, Quarterly Review—June, a little.


CFA had borrowed the Memoirs of Mrs. Inchbald by James Boaden, 2 vols., London, 1833, from the Athenaeum.

Saturday. 21st. CFA Saturday. 21st. CFA
Saturday. 21st.

I did not go to town today. But Mr. Brooks and P. C. Jr. and my wife did go. My occupation was principally German, an extract from Schiller’s Thirty years war which I found easy and agreeable, and an Article in the American Quarterly Review upon the Currency question1 which required very deliberate examination. Few subjects are more intricate than the questions of political economy. We are as yet only in the infancy of the science. There has been a vast deal of superficial theory and false induction. The experiments require to be upon so great a scale that it is very difficult to observe them properly, and when observed their correctness is endangered by the accidental occurrence of a thousand external circumstances. Life of Jay. Afternoon Mrs. Inchbald. P. C. Brooks Jr. did not return today. Ovid. Evening, Quarterly Review, very Tory, but not without a good deal of ability.


“The Public Distress,” American Quarterly Review, 15:498–531 (June 1834).

Sunday. 22d. CFA Sunday. 22d. CFA
Sunday. 22d.

Pleasant day. I read more of Schiller which was interesting and gave me some encouragement for my German. This with a walk in the garden with the children took up my time.

Attended divine service. Heard Mr. Stetson preach all day. 1. Peter 3.8. “Be courteous.” The necessity of mild and pleasing manners to Christians not as a motive to selfish success so much as to keep up the respect of the Christian character. Very good. Psalms. 77. 6. “I 332call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search.” The morning Sermon being upon courtesy to others, the afternoon’s was upon self reflection, private thought to mould the heart and purify the affections. This was also very good.

Sermon by Atterbury—Matthew 14. 1, 2, 3, tool long but relating to Herod’s emotion at hearing of Jesus, from his impression it was the return of John. Subject. Conscience, its terrors, why not sometimes effective and a short admonition to his hearers. A very slight discourse. Such a one as would do injury to the reputation of many of our Clergy. Evening, a stroll along the bank of the Canal with my Wife and her father.