Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Friday. 21st. CFA Friday. 21st. CFA
Friday. 21st.

Pleasant day. I went to town and first to my House where I was very busily occupied in copying my letter to Mr. Hallett which he has never taken the least notice of. I feel very unwilling to push the matter against him, and yet see hardly any other alternative. He has driven so violently against a wall that there is no rescue for him and his act depresses those who have gone with him. If he perseveres in this plan of silence, I must publish in another form.


To the Office where I had visits from Mr. N. Curtis about the affairs of Mr. Boylston, and Mr. Sayer who is making my furniture. And I went about on commissions. Thus passed the morning. Home to Quincy.

Afternoon at the House as usual. Regretted deeply to hear of the death of a poor man here who in assisting the mason to set the last steps at my house last Friday trod upon a nail which went into his foot. He paid no attention to it and continued work until the day before yesterday when symptoms of lockjaw appeared, and he died today. There is something particularly unpleasant in accidents of this nature as connected with work upon a House and it would seem as if there had been many of them since my undertaking. I felt depressed by it although I had hardly seen the man and did not know he was employed there. Evening, the ladies went over to Mr. Beale’s, but came home shortly. Conversation.

Saturday 22d. CFA Saturday 22d. CFA
Saturday 22d.

A clear pleasant day. I was engaged much as usual, indeed so regularly that it seems hardly worth while to repeat the notification of it here daily. After giving the directions as usual to Mr. Kirk who keeps at work very steadily forming the bank in front I went down and devoted myself with some fidelity to Homer, sixty lines of which is now my daily exercise, to Plutarch and to the Port Royal Grammar. I take more interest in my Greek studies daily and will I think master the language before long.

Having a little leisure time I took up a volume of the morals of Dionysius Cato,1 a small number of excellent maxims in not very perfect latin with a great accompaniment of commentary and disputation. After dinner, Sidney Brooks and his Wife with Mrs. Frothingham and Mrs. Everett came out and took tea, after which we had visits from Miss E. C. Adams, and Miss Miller who returned with the children from their party at Mrs. Adams’. Evening, Humboldt.


At MQA is JQA’s copy of Dionysius Cato, Disticha de moribus ad filium, [London?], 1735.

Sunday. 23d. CFA Sunday. 23d. CFA
Sunday. 23d.

Pleasant day with a slight but refreshing shower. I passed my morning in copying the letter I had written to Mr. Hallett which he has not condescended to take the least notice of.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Lunt, in the morning Ephe-284sians 3. 19. “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with the fulness of God,” and in the afternoon Job 21. 7. “Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power.” Two good sermons of which I heard less than I could wish from my bad habit of inattention.

Read a Sermon of Sterne’s upon covetousness Acts 24. 26. “He hoped also, that money should have been given him of Paul that he might loose him.” The conduct of Felix swayed by the mercenary motives here discussed. I like these discourses much. They present a contrast to Barrow very surely, but are likely to be of far greater practical use.

Read a part of Lessing’s Laocoon.1 Evening, walk with my father to Mr. Edward Miller’s. Found there himself, his wife and daughter, and there came in Mr. Price Greenleaf, Mr. J. H. Foster and J. Q. Adams who dined here, and E. C. Adams. Home at ten.


Two sets of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Sammtliche Schriften are at MQA, one 21 vols., Berlin, 1771, the other 9 vols., Berlin, 1785.