Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Friday. 11th. CFA Friday. 11th. CFA
Friday. 11th.

Morning windy but clear and mild. I went to the Office and turned my attention immediately to a settlement of accounts upon the draft of Mr. Johnson. I called at the Bank, settled with it for the interest and then drew the balance with which I redeemed my Cheque payable this day, of Mr. Stanwood. Thus one half at least of Mr. Johnson’s property is disposed of. I received a letter from him,1 requesting advice and information which I laid before Mr. Brooks. So far so good.

Wrote some Notes to several guests for Monday, and took a walk. My resumption of this practice even for three days has been decidedly beneficial. Home, to read Livy, the history of Camillus– Hooke’s Commentary not by any means the most favorable. In order to form an 350opinion, read Plutarch’s Life,2 which is after all a meagre abstract of Livy.

Evening, began my third number respecting General Harrison which I propose to make the finisher of the correspondence. Went to Mr. Brooks’, a supper party—Judge Lyman and his daughter Mrs. Henshaw, W. G. Brooks and his Wife and Elizabeth Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and ourselves. Home late.

1.

6 March (Adams Papers).

2.

A set of the Lives, 6 vols., London, 1758, is in MQA.

Saturday. 12th. CFA Saturday. 12th. CFA
Saturday. 12th.

Morning cold and clear. I went to the Office and was occupied much of my time in a variety of ways. Accounts, Diary and one or two interruptions from visitors—Mr. Humphrey from Weymouth about a surveying bill, and Mr. Ladd about his rent with an occasional word from Mr. Walsh. The whole world is pretty quiet now, so that we have breathing time before the next and decisive election. But there are indications of uneasiness every where which portend no good to the party coming into power at the next election.

Short walk because I was engaged very much in commissions for Monday. Home, Livy. Afternoon, Niebuhr and de la Motte Fouqué. The first is incomparably tiresome. Evening quietly at home reading Madame Junot, who is still quite entertaining. I afterwards sat down to finish my third and last letter to Mr. Slade. Vermont has followed his lead, but it will not carry the party with it, unless the democrats should foolishly insist upon leading as much as they have done here. My feelings soften towards Slade, as I go on.

Sunday. 13th. CFA Sunday. 13th. CFA
Sunday. 13th.

A raw East wind with clouds and a slight snow. I wasted my morning in looking over some numbers of the London Court Journal lent to my Wife by some of the Bootts. I could not help being much struck with the contrast between the state of society therein described and our’s—An accumulation of forms through which display is cultivated as a passion. My habits are becoming so fixed that I think I never could fancy so artificial a condition, and I regard our lot in a country of simple manners as being far more desirable than that where overgrown power makes excessive subservience.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham. 1. Corinthians 35115. 51. “We shall all be changed.” A beautiful idea, that change is to us an object of desire while we dread it, that it is constantly taking place while we are not sensible to it. But I lost the train of illustration by my wandering head, and could not fully recover it. Matthew 3. 9. “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” A vehement squinting at the doctrine of election, the idea of the Jews that God had them in his keeping and that for them was to be reserved all future happiness. There are some who have similar fancies now, not mindful that to the power of the Deity, every thing remains open.

Mr. Walsh walked and dined with me. I like very well to have persons do this in a quiet, sociable manner and without ceremony. Read Dr. Barrow, in continuation of last Sunday’s Sermon and with the same text, giving further reasons why we should act openly in the support of virtue. The principal ones are the force of example, the spirit of charity as well as justice. Evening Madame Junot, and Montagne.