Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 5th. CFA Sunday. 5th. CFA
Sunday. 5th.

A cold, cloudy day with a slight sprinkling of snow. I spent an hour reading Lady Blessington’s Conversations with Byron. I think they bear their own stamp of genuineness. They portray his character most fully, a genius most fearfully gifted with evil passions. I am not one of those who condemn Lady Byron for at once leaving him. A woman with the sense of duty he admits her to have had must have had provocations amply sufficient to justify the step. And there is every thing in his 179character to confirm the presumption of such provocations. Her very genuine English domestic virtues would have made her appear humdrum and pall upon the vitiated palate of her husband. Thus his irregularities of temper would all have been vented upon her, and the very perfection with which she bore them would form an additional incitement to their excess.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham. John 16. 7. “If I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” I gathered little from this discourse. Mr. Walsh dined with me and afterwards Proverbs 20. 1. “Wine is a mocker” This was upon the subject of temperance. It seems that the society had sent a circular to Clergymen requesting them to preach upon the subject last Sunday. Mr. F. had declined doing this on that day as he desired to maintain the independence of his pulpit, but he went to day into an examination of the doctrine of temperance as well in the pursuit of the object as in the object itself. I have heard him preach a strong Sermon from this text before, parts of which I thought I recognized in this.

Read a discourse of Dr. Barrow from Luke 24. 46. “And he said unto them, Thus it is written; and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.” Upon the resurrection, it’s needfulness and expediency. Very full and satisfactory. Evening at home. Finished Lady Blessington with which I have been amused, and finished another paper.

Monday. 6th. CFA Monday. 6th. CFA
Monday. 6th.

Morning fine. At the office, then to attend a Meeting of Stockholders of the Suffolk Insurance Company for the purpose of diminishing their capital. This is under a proposition of Mr. Perkins the President, who was not there to sustain it, being confined by sickness at home. It was advocated by Mr. Savage and opposed by Mr. W. Sturgis and myself. In conclusion, voted to postpone for a fortnight in order to hear the opinions of the President.

Diary and Accounts as usual. Home. Livy, finished the forty second book. Afternoon, Burnet and looked into Chateaubriand’s Itineraire.1 Finished the first volume of Forster’s Travels. His account of Brussels is quite interesting.

In the evening I went up to the Boylston Market Association to the annual Meeting of the Proprietors. I was the only Stockholder present out of the direction. The accounts were submitted and appeared quite 180favourable. Nothing material was done and after the usual organization I retired. Home where I began the biography of Lucien Bonaparte.2 Was struck with one anecdote of Napoleon’s refusing to go to Paris under Robespierre. Writing.


François Auguste René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem, 2 vols., Paris, 1812.


Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte, Memoirs, N.Y., 1836.