Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Saturday. 19th. CFA Saturday. 19th. CFA
Saturday. 19th.

Morning cool and pleasant. I went to town with Mr. Brooks. Office where I passed my time very quietly. Nothing of any particular im-345portance. I was engaged in making up my Accounts. Conversation with Mr. Walsh &ca.

Returned to Medford. No news from Washington. The East wind made me exceedingly drowsy. I read some of the letters of Madame de Maintenon. Whately’s Rhetoric, the small fragment, “Medicamina faciei” of Ovid, and some of the Life of Alexander Hamilton by his son.1 A pretty miscellaneous collection and but little of each. Evening, Mr. Brooks, my Wife and self paying a visit or two. Mrs. Hall’s and Mrs. Gray’s. Return early.


CFA borrowed John Church Hamilton’s Memoirs of the Life of Alexander Hamilton, N.Y., 1834, from the Athenaeum.

Sunday. 20th. CFA Sunday. 20th. CFA
Sunday. 20th.

Another very cool but clear day. So sudden are the changes of our atmosphere that it was now uncomfortable to be out of woollen. I read some of Madame Maintenon and of Hamilton. This is a very indifferent writer. There is labour and obscurity in it. It is also full of high party prejudice.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. E. B. Hall preach all day.1 Malachi 1. 8. “And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee or accept thy person? saith the Lord of Hosts.” Afternoon 1. Corinthians 7. 31. “And they that use this world as not abusing it.” Edward Hall is respectable as a preacher. He has no fine points, but he is not dull.

Read of Atterbury, from Lamentations 3. 14. “Let us lift up our hearts, with our hands unto God in the heavens.” A sort of continuation of the last Sunday’s showing that external worship was after all but a slight affair in comparison with the disposition to holiness without which all worship is worse than useless. A pretty good discourse. Evening quietly at home. Read Mr. W. T. Barry’s Address to the People.2


Rev. Edward Brooks Hall is identified at vol. 3:70.


JA2 had sent the postmaster general’s defense of his conduct in office to JQA with a letter on the 11th (JQA to JA2, 23 July, Adams Papers).

Monday. 21st. CFA Monday. 21st. CFA
Monday. 21st.

I started for town alone this morning. Passed my time at the Office very quietly with the exception of a visit to the Athenaeum. One or 346two Tenants called among others Mr. Hurlbert about the Lease of the building 23 Court Street. I agreed with him at an advanced rent to begin with the expiration of his present term. As a necessary consequence, I was obliged to give a warning to the present Tenants whom I am very glad to get rid of.

At noon I went to Quincy and found my father quite alone. Conversation much of the Afternoon, and I copied one or two Letters so that I only had time to read one or two of the Tristia of Ovid. There is a sickly sort of effeminacy about his thoughts and a servility even more striking than that of his brethren of the poetic brood in the days of Augustus. Yet his style has beauty and feeling. Evening quiet at home. Conversation.