Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

140 December. 1836. Thursday. 1st. CFA December. 1836. Thursday. 1st. CFA
December. 1836. Thursday. 1st.

Morning fine although colder than it has been. I passed part of the morning in reading that amusing romance of Voltaire’s of Zadig1 and part in reading Livy. This was the day devoted to the observance of the Annual Thanksgiving. I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham from Ecclesiasticus 32. 11.12.13. “Get thee home without delay, there take thy pastime and do what thou wilt, but sin not by proud speech, and for these things bless him that made thee and hath replenished thee with his good things.” I was not much struck with the Sermon although it was sensible.

For myself I reflect upon this Anniversary that I have every cause to be grateful and thankful to divine providence. Prosperity has been to me uninterrupted and if I have ever been inclined to repine it has been that I have not exerted myself more to deserve it. My prayer is one of perfect submission to the divine will and yet of continuance of these blessings which I do not deserve.

I walked with Mr. Walsh and he and Mr. Davis dined with me quietly, without form or parade. This is the way that I like to entertain—my friends, sociably and without any of the burden of company. After dinner they sat some time. Evening Mr. Brooks and Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham came in and we had a pleasant little Supper.


Whether CFA, in returning periodically to the reading of Voltaire, was using the 100-volume Deux-Ponts edition at MQA (vol. 1:139) is not clear.

Friday. 2d. CFA Friday. 2d. CFA
Friday. 2d.

My cold appears to be coming on very gradually but decidedly. I thought I would nevertheless go to the Office and follow my work as usual. I wrote my Diary, balanced my books for the month and looked over the account for lumber sent me by Mr. Spear of Quincy, from the Company. On examination I found more to complain of than I had expected.

In all matters of dealing in the Country, it is important to stick to the terms, but they are apt to refuse it. I dislike these differences about them more than any thing else. Mr. Ayer came in and I showed him the account, after comparing which, I inquired about the agreement with Mr. Robbins and found there was none. Such is the honesty of 141people. Mr. Ayer is a clever man but he will not advance much in the world. I took a walk with Mr. Walsh and then home. Livy.

Afternoon, reading Grahame. I think there must have been intention on his part in leaving out so entirely all notice of my grandfather. Perhaps as he comes down he partakes the democratic prejudices. I know not how else to explain it.

In the evening after my Wife had retired I read Voltaire’s Zadig. An extremely amusing tale, perhaps the best of that Author who for the most part disfigures his wit with coarseness and impiety.