Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Friday. 17th. CFA Friday. 17th. CFA
Friday. 17th.
Medford

Morning cool and delightfully pleasant. I occupied myself for an hour after breakfast with my coins and then went up again to renew my negotiation with Mr. Sharpe. But I did not find him. At the Office engaged in Accounts and Diary.

My No. 4 of my publication appeared this morning in both papers simultaneously. No editorial comments in the Centinel. I fancy he finds the thing beyond his mark, and abandons in despair. So much the better. Those articles cannot fall to the ground, they are too strongly reasoned not to produce some public effect.

I though I would go to Medford at noon. Accordingly I started at a little after one and arrived to dinner. Found my Wife and children tolerably, but the former not so much improved as I had anticipated—indeed as I thought not looking so well. Mrs. N. Hall dined there. In the afternoon I took a lounge and a nap in the grove upon my return from which I found the house full of company. Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Tucker, Mr. R. D. Shepherd and a Mr. Mayhew from Baltimore. Mr. and Mrs. Palfrey with Mrs. Phillips and Miss Salisbury. This is the weariness of Medford.

I could not help a feeling of relief when I thought I was not living 180here this Summer, to go this heavy round every day. My Wife is gregarious like all other Americans and this is perhaps what I regret most in her. The party retired at sunset, and in the evening I remained at home, in spite of an invitation to Jonathan Brooks’. My Wife was so fatigued as to stay too. Read an Article upon Coleridge in the new Edinburgh.1

1.

Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge was reviewed in Edinburgh Review, 61:68–81 (April 1835).

Saturday. 18th. CFA Saturday. 18th. CFA
Saturday. 18th.
Boston

Returned to town this morning from Medford. Nothing extraordinary moving. I find my letter to the Bridgewater Newspaper, “We the People,” is published and they sent me the number. I find also that it contains as is said by the request of several subscribers, the first number of my Appeal. This looks like a Victory in Plymouth County.1

Occupied in writing and accounts until one when I went home and read part of the third Satire of Juvenal. Strong and coarse. Afternoon quietly at home. I divided my time between my coins, my MS labours and Mons. Thiers—So that I found my lonely state not at all burdensome. Yet there is something cheering in the noise of children. Their glee and their simplicity, the curious manner in which ideas form and develope themselves. On the whole with all the care they impose, they draw out of man feelings of a grade far beyond his usual level.

Evening, a solitary walk and listening to music at the foot of the Common. A crowd of idlers. Home and work upon my Paper No. 8 without making much progress.

1.

See above, notes 1 and 1, respectively, to entries of 23 June and 8 July.

Sunday. 19th. CFA Sunday. 19th. CFA
Sunday. 19th.

Cool and pleasant day. I was engaged in the morning upon my coins until service time. Heard Mr. Frothingham from 2 Esdras 1. 27. “Ye have not as it were forsake me but your own selves, saith the Lord.” The necessity of self control, of governing the passions, but I was drowsy and did not listen well. Afternoon Mr. Emerson from the 139 Psalm 14. “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” A curious Essay upon the creation of man, to physically, but intellectually, drawn up with great ingenuity and considerable force. The point mainly to draw away the minds of the active classes from the pursuit of wealth as the end of all things and fix them upon 181the cultivation of reason. Alas! Alas! the world is six thousand years old and reason has been made an idol only to be trampled into the mud of gold and silver.

I went home and read a Sermon of Barrow upon the passion of Christ. Philippians 2. 8. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” There was a good deal concerning the doctrine of the Atonement which I cannot say I was perfectly master of. I am somewhat given to imitating Coleridge in his plan upon the obscurities of Plato. I decline to judge of things beyond my comprehension. The remainder of the Discourse devoted to considering the causes for so ignominious a sacrifice was very good and the close powerful.

Evening quiet at home. I worked upon No. 8 hewing out the rough block. As this is my last piece of labour, the Bridgewater paper having declined giving battle, I mean to try and polish it finely. It is a little remarkable how much superior is the typography of “We the People.”