Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Saturday. 20th. CFA Saturday. 20th. CFA
Saturday. 20th.

Morning cold and windy. I was occupied much of my time at the Office. Accounts and writing my Diary. As this is the first year in which I have kept my books of double entry I wished to close them 162properly and for that purpose have begun early. I this day succeeded in bringing them out so as to make the process easy and in future I think I shall incorporate into them my father’s business, dropping the two fold system together with one of my books and taking a single book for his Accounts, and the usual Quarterly Account Current. Most of my morning was thus spent.

I called upon Mr. Hallett to give him my second number and to propose going to Quincy some afternoon to see my father. Then to the Athenaeum to see Durand about Mr. Brooks and his picture. Afternoon at home. I made a draught of the third number which is the concluding part of the argument. I shall have difficulty with the authority I foresee. But thus far at least I have gone before the wind. And when I consider the nature of my undertaking I feel grateful that I have been able to go even so far well.

Sunday. 21st. CFA Sunday. 21st. CFA
Sunday. 21st.

The weather has changed to quite cold. I sat at home with the windows closed. Occupied myself in the morning partly in reading Madame du Deffand and partly in general examination and preparation for a continued exposition of Whig principles.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham from Psalms 12. 1. “Help, Lord, for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” Yes they fail, sometimes by oppression as the Psalmist seems most particularly to say, but sometimes also by death. This was a fine introduction to some general observations upon the death of men in early maturity, and to a particular notice of Dr. Stevenson. The eulogy was one of Mr. Frothingham’s happiest efforts, not too little and not too much. I was a good deal affected as I was aware of Dr. Stevenson’s merits and was myself under obligation to him which I cannot forget. Afternoon, Exodus 32. 1. “When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron and said unto him, Up, make us Gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” I could not fix my attention at all. Home.

Read a discourse of Barrow which I must pronounce in many respects one of his best. Romans 12. 18. “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” According to his usual custom he first defines his words. Live peaceably, that is cultivate a disposition of positive kindness and do not rest satisfied with a nega-163tive fulfilment of duty. “All men,” that is men of every class and disposition. “As much as lieth in you,” that is, sometimes the acts of others may disable you from it but not your own. He then enters into a specification of the duties incumbent upon man in such cases and these are very well described, with the exception perhaps of a little too much Tory politics.

Afterwards Mad. Deffand whose letters I now read with much zest. She is a genuine French woman, amusing and frivolous and withal very sensible. Evening sat with my Wife who came down to dinner today for the first time. She seems well but quite feeble. Afterwards wrote but without satisfying myself.