Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Friday. 22d. CFA Friday. 22d. CFA
Friday. 22d.

Morning clear but extremely windy. I went to the Office and was engaged as usual—Accounts and bringing up Diary. Mr. Walsh came in and talked so that my hours flew without much account. Walk and home where I read Livy.

Received a letter from my Mother speaking rather discouragingly of my father’s condition.1 I feel some anxiety on his account. What the result is to be, God only knows, and to him I am always disposed to trust it. To him, unwilling as he may be to think it, the political world is closed—And to me, it never will open. I see the difficulties that embarrass me and am therefore disposed to think it wise not to set my mind upon ambition.


Afternoon, MS papers, after which Sismondi and then Fouqué. Evening, a party at Mr. Edward Miller’s—Only about twenty, but a very lively young set and it was very late before we got away. As we were walking home about midnight we were much struck with the extraordinary splendour of the Aurora Borealis, appearing in lines converging from the center at the zenith, and in flying masses like the appearance of a silk handkerchief when waving in the wind in the sun. It was not so beautiful in variety of colours as that last autumn but was more like the appearance described by the Northern Navigators.


18 April (Adams Papers).

Saturday. 23d. CFA Saturday. 23d. CFA
Saturday. 23d.

Morning cold and very windy—Clouds collected and then dispersed. I went to the Office with the intention of doing a good deal. But was first induced to attend a sale of Stocks where I bought nothing and then was taken up by visits from Mr. Hallett and afterwards A. H. Everett. The particular topic of the first seemed to be the bringing Mr. Everett forward as a Representative in the Norfolk district. I urged it provided the people of the County would bear it, and at the same time reminded Mr. Hallett of the gross inconsistency of which he would be guilty with the course he adopted respecting General Dearborn. The conscience of an Editor must have many of the properties of India rubber. How many mere tricks they resort to for the purpose of effecting a favorite object which are so many pitfalls for future partisanship. I spoke to Mr. Everett about it afterwards, and on the whole think on every account that the measure will be advantageous.

These visits detained me so late that I could not walk and missed Livy. Home, then to dine with Mr. Brooks by invitation—Only Edward, Mr. Frothingham and myself. P.C.B. Jr’s wife not well and therefore not at table. We had a pleasanter day than usual. Home at six, and I passed the remainder of the evening reading Madame Junot to my Wife. Afterwards, Swift, various political pamphlets.

Sunday. 24th. CFA Sunday. 24th. CFA
Sunday. 24th.

The season continues cold beyond all example. I read a little of Swift this morning but had not much time owing to late rising. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham, from strange texts 376both morning and afternoon. The first from Zechariah 5. 2. “And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll.” Applied to the spread of the Scripture truth. The other from 1. Corinthians 9. 9. “Doth God take care for oxen” which however ingenious appeared better calculated for agricultural tastes than for mine.

Mr. Walsh walked and dined with me. I like his visits very well. Afternoon a discourse of Barrow’s from 1. Tim. 4. 10. “The living God; who is the Saviour of all men especially of those that believe.” The first of a series of Sermons designed to show that God’s intention of salvation applies to all men—A sort of counter doctrine to the calvinistic tenet of election which is to be sure bigotted enough.

Evening out to Edward Brooks’ where my Wife and Mr. Brooks also were. Conversation, nothing particular, home. My boy John was ailing today which is always very unpleasant to as his general health is so sound. I feel anxious. Swift, and Rose’s Ariosto.