Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Sunday. 6th. CFA Sunday. 6th. CFA
Sunday. 6th.

Morning at home. The weather exceedingly warm. I spent much time in reading the Ghost Seer, quite an interesting pursuit. I think in this way I shall make up my knowledge of the Language in a much more rapid manner than by a variety of short extracts in which I take no interest.

Attended divine Service and heard Mr. Stetson all day. John 11. 35. “Jesus wept.” A Communion sermon upon the causes of the act described in the Text. Acts 20. 35. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Upon the present tendencies to excessive charitable foundations where more beggars are made than are found. The discrimination of useful charities with a direct aim at the peculiar value of a Minister’s fund, and the contribution to be levied for it after the Service. This was done, and with the liberality turned out tolerably.

Sermon of Atterbury. Galatians 6. 14. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” Glory in the cross of Christ not in external advantages nor without purpose, but to sustain it against enemies. This is the whole substance of the Sermon.

There was company during the whole afternoon and evening. Mr. 339Jon. Brooks, Dr. Swan, Mr. D. Hall, Mr. Bartlett, Col. Brooks,1 Mr. L. Angier. Quite a number of Medford persons. The evening was warm.

1.

Perhaps Major Alexander Scammell Brooks, who did not actually become a lieutenant colonel until 1835.

Monday. 7th. CFA Monday. 7th. CFA
Monday. 7th.

Cloudy but very warm with a thunder shower in the middle of the day which did not cool the air much. I went to town accompanied by Mr. Brooks full of trouble about my shawl. Much of my time was consumed in attending to it. However by persuasion I at last induced Mr. Cunningham1 to exert himself agreeing that if he would get me off the Shawl I would take at the same price a point Lace pelerine which he could not sell. Thus the matter was finally settled and my mind prodigiously relieved. For though I did not want the Lace, yet it is a representative of much more permanent value. It cost $200 at Brussels. No news from Washington. Returned to Medford. Afternoon German. Read Ovid also by snatches, for we had visitors. Mrs. Frothingham, Miss Wales and her brother and Mrs. Emmons. An uncommonly hot night.

1.

Joseph L. Cunningham, the auctioneer; see vol. 3:19.

Tuesday. 8th. CFA Tuesday. 8th. CFA
Tuesday. 8th.

This is the first case of decided and extreme summer hear. I should not have gone to town with Mr. Brooks had I not supposed it probable that some of the Tenants might call to settle. My expectation was realized and I found I had determined wisely. Miss Oliver called. I was engaged in my Accounts much of my time. It was very advisable to keep as cool as possible. Returned to Medford. Afternoon passed as quietly as possible. Read some German and some of Ovid. Evening, it grew more sultry so that we could do nothing and afterwards, the Night was one of the hottest that I ever passed in this Climate. The same dead calm which is so often felt in Washington and leaves a man more tired in the morning than he was the night before.

Wednesday. 9th. CFA Wednesday. 9th. CFA
Wednesday. 9th.

The perfect calm which prevailed until eleven o’clock seemed to me the most forcible example of the torrid zone I had ever perceived. I concluded not to go to town and tried to get some shade and air in 340the grove by the pond. But this was worse and worse. I retreated into the House and at the hour above mentioned a breeze arose which took off all oppression, leaving the atmosphere still very warm.

Read the Ghost Seer in which I made considerable progress and an article in the Christian Examiner upon the application of the Old Testament prophecies to the coming of Jesus. Liberal beyond all liberality and in my mind very abominable.1 Mrs. Frothingham spent the day here and so did George M. Dexter who brought her out and dined here. Afternoon, Whately’s Rhetoric.2 Ovid. Evening, fine southerly breeze, but I could not read.

1.

The essay-review [by George Rapall Noyes] in the Christian Examiner, 16:321–364 (July 1834), of Prof. E. W. Hengstenberg’s Christology of the Old Testament, and Commentary upon the Prophecies relating to the Messiah so inflamed feeling in the community that the charge of blasphemy was raised, and the institution of possible legal action discussed. See Boston Courier [semiweekly], 10 July 1834, p. 2, col. 2. On Noyes, Harvard 1818, Divinity School 1822, see DAB .

2.

Richard Whately, Elements of Rhetoric, Cambridge, 1832, borrowed from the Athenaeum.