Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday 25th. CFA Saturday 25th. CFA
Saturday 25th.

Morning very fine. I went to the Custom House in order to get my Wife’s things and was detained there an hour. The arrival of two or three large vessels within a day or two had made a crowd. But I was much struck with the active, business like manner of the Officers, who

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expedited things quite as much as the nature of the details would allow.

Having got through there, I no sooner reached the Office, than I found Mr. Carr from Quincy, and after him, Deacon Spear and Mr. Whiting, the Mason. Mr. Carr came about his Mortgage. He had one ready executed but it would not answer inasmuch as he had not put land enough in it and had no clause of Fire Insurance. I filled out a form for him and he promised to come in early next week and get it. Mr. Spear brought me the new Certificates of Canal Stock, and I had some talk with him about the carting necessary to be done out of Boston. I also had an understanding with Mr. Whiting about the very unfair manner in which he treated me in the case of the bricks. He seemed to become sensible of it, although he said he thought little of it when he did it. He offered to make it up and was in all respects so reasonable that I decided upon retaining him to do the work about which I had doubted.

Thus the morning passed and I had only time to despatch a few of my pamphlets. They are out today.1 My diffidence in the merit of the production grows rather than diminishes, but it is now beyond my reach and I can say that it is my winter’s product.

Home. Then to Mr. Brooks’ to dine. Venison. The company consisted of the male members of the family and Mr. P. R. Dalton. Home early. Evening quietly at home. Lamartine, and afterwards Chateaubriand.

1.

Reflections upon the Present State of the Currency in the United States, Boston: printed by Ezra Lincoln, 1837, 34 p., is a reworking of “Mr. Webster and the Currency” and includes the final issues not printed in the Advocate. On the general tenor of this and of its sequel, Further Reflections, published in December, see Duberman, CFA , p. 56–59. Duberman errs, however, in stating that both pamphlets were issued under CFA’s name (p. 58). Reflections was published without ascription of authorship.

Sunday 26th. CFA Sunday 26th. CFA
Sunday 26th.

A cooler but yet a pleasant day. I read a portion of Chateaubriand before service in the morning—Egypt and the pyramids which after all he only saw at a distance. This book turns out to be only scraps saved from the materials used in the Martyrs and is interesting only in the first volume.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham. Matthew 6. 13. “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” This is a text upon which I have heard many discourses and none as it seemed 193to me very perfectly conclusive. The preacher expressed surprise that any doubt could be entertained upon it’s meaning which he thought was this—Suffer us not to be led into temptation too great for our strength. After all this appears to vary the sense but little and the whole question goes back to free Agency. If the Deity controls all actions, the prayer is one of supplication to an all powerful judge and executioner. If on the contrary and as I incline to believe, the individual has a power to guide himself then it is a request that his power may be strengthened against temptation or that he may not be called upon. The other portion of the text seems to apply the same idea, an escape from danger brought upon ourselves either by our own imprudence or in the course of providence.

Afternoon, Mark 6. 25. “And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.” He proceeded to illustrate the common character of this request in ancient times by anecdotes of ancient history and then made his application, not by alluding to the possibility of any similar incident in these days, but by speaking of the tendency to unreasonable demands. Mr. Walsh walked and dined with me.

Read Barrow. Acts 10. 42. “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be Judge of the quick and dead.” The last judgment. Christ and not God to be the Judge, and to judge both living and dead. These were new views to me which in many respects required reflection. I did not read the discourse thoroughly enough. Evening at home. Conversation and Lamartine.