Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

335 Saturday. 28th. CFA Saturday. 28th. CFA
Saturday. 28th.

Pleasant morning but it clouded up afterwards. I went to the Office after carrying Mr. Brooks with me into town. My time much cut up. Attended a sale of stocks to make a purchase but did not succeed. I do not like to appear a dabbler upon so small a scale in competition with men of so much more extensive basis. Read more of Jefferson’s Letters, but during the period for which he was Secretary of State, they are mostly official and uninteresting.

Return to Medford. Edward Brooks and Thomas K. Davis came out here and dined. Pleasant but consumed the afternoon. Evening I amused myself with Walpole’s Castle of Otranto.1 Political news— The battle between the President and the Senate waxing warmer. The latter have rejected the nominations of Mr. Taney and Mr. Stevenson.2

1.

CFA had borrowed a copy of the London, 1796, edition from the Athenaeum.

2.

Although Roger B. Taney had served as Secretary of the Treasury and Benjamin F. Butler as Attorney General for more than six months by appointment of the President, he did not send their names to the Senate for confirmation until 23 June. On that day he also sent the nomination of Andrew Stevenson as Minister to England. On the next day the Senate voted to reject the nominations of Taney and Stevenson and to confirm that of Butler (National Intelligencer, 24 June, p. 3, col. 4; 25 June, p. 3, col. 6).

Sunday. 29th. CFA Sunday. 29th. CFA
Sunday. 29th.

Cloudy with a fine rain. I continue my shower baths in the morning begun in warm weather but now rather a trial. Read German. Schiller. He is on the whole rather an easy writer.

Attended divine service. Heard Mr. Stetson. James 4. 14. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.” Matthew 4. 1 and the following verses containing a history of the temptation of the Saviour. Both good Sermons.

Read a discourse of Atterbury. Acts 24. 25. “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come, Felix trembled.” 3 divisons, first, the subject, morals, righteousness, temperance and judgment to come, second, the instrument he reasoned, third the effect, Felix trembled. This was a discourse of rather more value than the generality. Its practical character is one of it’s merits. The necessity of moral excellence, and the use of reason are two points which can be illustrated to considerable advantage in our day.

The remainder of my day, I filled up with articles from the leading British reviews for a year or two past. Those in the Quarterly are very 336spirited but excessively partial and occasionally even coarsely abusive. I like to read it, while I feel at every step, as if the taste was hardly a creditable one. Rain.