Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

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

A raw, disagreeable day with the wind from the East. I read in the morning Schiller’s Thirty Years War which requires maps and in my present situation I cannot fully procure the aid of them.

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Attended divine Service and heard Mr. Frothingham all day. 2. Peter 1. 15. “Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” The mode of considering the subject of death in reference both to here and hereafter, here in the light of a continuance of reputation, hereafter for eternal life. Jeremiah 45. 4–5. “The Lord saith thus; Behold that which I have built will I break down and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land, and seekest thou great things for thyself, seek them not.” The text and it’s commentary may be easily understood and I could not help in my experience reflecting how true.

Read a discourse of Barrow’s exceedingly good, upon the folly of slander. Proverbs 10. 18. “He that uttereth slander is a fool.” Dr. Barrow has got upon a fruitful subject but in the discrimination of the different sorts of slander he shows he knows men. And there is infinite food for meditation in the words he utters. These are the sins of commission with a very great proportion of those who abstain from greater. And these are far the most difficult to guard against. I hope I shall take a lesson from this Sermon.

I read de Grimm and had some curiosity to know a little of his history. In the evening Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Brooks came in and passed some hours. Wilhelm Meister.

Monday. 30th. CFA Monday. 30th. CFA
Monday. 30th.

Snow and rain with exceedingly disagreeable walking. I was occupied some time in finding the Schooner Velocity which I did not succeed in but the Captain afterwards called to see me. I accordingly prepared instructions for Mr. Spear at Quincy which I sent out to Quincy by the Stage as well as another copy through the Mail.1 This took most of my time. I could not gain a regular walk, indeed there was scarcely any necessity, for my business gave me exercise enough.

Home. Read Chateaubriand, in whose letters I am a little disappointed. Finished the Cours d’Histoire of M. Guizot which is interesting enough. Grimm.

Evening Conversation with my Wife about future arrangements. Mr. Brooks is in great difficulty about the formation of an Establishment for the Summer. I am embarrassed by his wish that my Wife should remain with him—A wish which I cannot gratify without sacrificing my relations and myself. On the whole after a great deal of reflection upon it I remain in my former opinion that my proper course is to be independent between them. In this manner I shall not alienate 107either too much from me. At least not justly. My children and my own situation in Society also require something of me. Evening, Wilhelm Meister.

1.

Letter missing.