Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 9th. CFA Sunday. 9th. CFA
Sunday. 9th.

The morning was cloudy with a chilly wind from the Westward. I passed an hour in reading Wraxall’s continuation of his biography. It is quite amusing though suffering appears to have checked his indulging so much as before in spicy anecdotes. Some of his insinuations respecting Pitt however take off somewhat from his reputation.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Peabody of Springfield. Morning from 1 Corinthians 15. 45. “That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” A very sensible and beautiful discourse upon the formation of the religious character and the difference between the mere pliability of happy natural temperament and the firmness of a cultivated spiritual system. To me however, manner is so necessary that I must frankly confess I did not relish. I should as little relish the finest wine if it was thick with lees. Mr. Peabody has nearly as bad a style of delivery as I ever heard. Mr. Walsh and I walked and we dined. Afternoon, another discourse from the same gentleman. 1. Corinthians 13. 9. “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” It was better delivered and equally polished although perhaps not quite so striking.

Read a Sermon of Sterne, upon Charity, 1. Kings 17. 16. “And the 221barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by the prophet Elijah.” The widow of Zarephah, an example of charity with an application of its value to the giver and to the receiver. It is somewhat laboured and evidently was considered a master piece, but it appears to me to have little beyond what may be found in a text or two of Scripture. Evening, brought up arrears of Diary again. I have now transferred it to my house. G. Gorham came in for an hour.

Monday. 10th. CFA Monday. 10th. CFA
Monday. 10th.

Clouds and wind but not positively uncomfortable. I went to the Office after a general visit of the dunning sort to all the Tenants. Occupied in accounts which are rather voluminous at present. Mr. Walsh came in and I had a talk with him, then a walk. Nothing remarkable.

Home in season to read a little of Homer and in the afternoon Burnet with Plutarch and Agathon. Thus my time passes in a circle of literary pursuits. All of which I enjoy particularly the Greek in which I incline to make myself more of a proficient. To go back to literature as I have done somewhat of late from the heat and glare of political strife is refreshing. I incline again a little to the poetical for the sake of not stripping my mind entirely bare of foliage. Evening at Home. Moore and Wraxall.

Tuesday. 11th. CFA Tuesday. 11th. CFA
Tuesday. 11th.

A beautifully clear and fine morning, which I took advantage of to start for Quincy with Mr. Walsh. We arrived at the House by nine o’clock and I went directly up the hill to observe what they might be doing. I found less change from last Friday than I had expected. Mr. Spear had not yet come upon the ground at all which was rather a disappointment. Kirke was working hard upon removing the ground and the framers much where they were.

After loitering about doing little or nothing for an hour, I concluded to go over to the Quarries and see what they were about. Found them very busy at Hardwick’s and Dutton’s, but doing nothing at Colburn’s, and Chadwick wishes to surrender his Lease. I had some little commissions for the active men which being performed I returned and then to Boston which we reached before one o’clock. This is the agreeable way at this season of the year.

Home to read Homer. Afternoon Burnet a little, then Plutarch and 222afterwards Agathon. My wife went to Medford with her father and did not return until late. So we did not read. Afterwards writing to Mr. Johnson.1

1.

To T. B. Johnson, 12 April, LbC, Adams Papers, an addendum to the letter of the 10th.