Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

110 Sunday. 5th. CFA Sunday. 5th. CFA
Sunday. 5th.

A very heavy rain from the North East. I continued Schiller’s Thirty Year’s War. If I was now at home how many collateral investigations this would lead me into. I shall not probably have finished before my return when it may not be too late. I wish to be more accurate upon the particular divisions of the German Principalities and their connexion and relation to the Austrian Emperor. Without understanding these it is very difficult to follow up any portion of the history of Germany. And I am becoming more and more interested in the pursuit of German Literature.

Attended divine service all day and heard Mr. Frothingham in the morning, Mr. Greenwood in the Afternoon.1 House nearly empty. Revelations 5. 9. “And they sung a new song saying Thou art worthy to take the book and open the seals thereof.” Proverbs. 28. 14. “Happy is the man that feareth alway.” The first discourse I lost the thread of, the last had little or none worth following. Mr. Greenwood is commonplace and sleepy. I cannot find much ore in him. Yet he has many and warm admirers. He has an easy delivery which many prefer to animation but it appears to me to be always tending to a doze.

Returned home and read Barrow’s second Sermon upon slander, the text being the same as before. His last described the character of slander, this exposed it’s folly. The text however was not a very happy one for folly is an inappropriate word for slander. The discourse was short and sensible but not one of the best. Afternoon and evening, Grimm and Wilhelm Meister.

1.

On Rev. Francis W. P. Greenwood, see vol. 3:49.

Monday. 6th. CFA Monday. 6th. CFA
Monday. 6th.

Continued Schiller. My Wife coughs so much that I again sent for Dr. Bigelow who advised the application of Leeches. Office. Received a long Letter from my father making the second of a series which he has addressed to me upon the subject of the political intrigues of last winter.1 He seems still to be involved in them and to take as much interest in them as if he was a young man. Yet the result was and is only bitter ashes. The field of politics is a shining one but it requires a sacrifice, and that is happiness. I do not like to look forward to my father’s future.

Read a little of the North American Review—Enough to be disgusted with it’s littleness. Then to my house to make examination of 111things. The time of transfer is drawing near. Short walk and visit to T. K. Davis where W. C. Gorham and Mr. Walsh came in so that I left. Afternoon continued Marmontel’s Biography with as much charm as ever. He has arrived at his marriage with a niece of the Abbé Morrellet at the age of 54. A pretty adventurous thing in the then state of Morals in France—She being only eighteen.

Evening, Coleridge’s Ode on War Pestilence and Famine, the spirit of which I do not admire. It is a miserable party piece of malignity against Mr. Pitt, which his Apologetic Preface does not succeed in defending. Coleridge should have blotted it out of his works. Continued reading Wilhelm Meister.

1.

On the two letters from JQA (31 March, 2 April; both in Adams Papers) relating to the senatorial contest in Massachusetts and to JQA’s course in Congress on the French question and other matters, the first of eight in the series, see note to entry for 11 Feb., above.