Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 30th. CFA Sunday. 30th. CFA
Sunday. 30th.

Morning cloudy and it looked like rain but it cleared with only a trifling shower. I was engaged a part of my time in making a copy of my correspondence with Mr. Hallett. This I mean to keep in reserve to publish in case he is disposed to continue the game of delay he now appears to be playing.1

At Meeting all day where I heard in the morning a very fine discourse from Mr. Lunt from Corinthians 10. 12. “But they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.” The object seemed to be to recommend the Christian Religion through the principal effect of its doctrines, humility, particularly in this age of self confidence and presumption. The close was very eloquent. Afternoon, Romans 10. 3. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” I failed in attention.

On our return home we had much company. Mr. Wm. Lee and a Mr. Campbell of Alabama. Mr. Quincy and his daughter Abby, J. H. Foster and Elizabeth C. Adams. I managed however to read a Sermon 288of Sterne’s upon the prodigal son. Luke 15. 13. “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all he had together, and took his journey into a far country.” He begins with some comments upon the parable and finishes with the fashion of travelling then prevalent when he wrote, with much sound sense but occasionally a levity which reminds one of the author of Tristram Shandy.


Hallett had replied to CFA’s letter of the 15th on the 22d (Adams Papers), attempting to explain his position on Kendall’s policies to CFA’s satisfaction but avoiding any commitment to retreat publicly from his earlier endorsement or to publish CFA’s letter. CFA, in reply (to Hallett, 25 July, LbC, Adams Papers), reiterated his demands for a public disavowal or for publication of his letter of protest.

Monday 31st. CFA Monday 31st. CFA
Monday 31st.

Cloudy day with occasional heavy showers. I remained at home and passed my time much as usual. At the house where the Masons still go on though with a slight prospect of terminating very shortly. They have delayed much and this has given to the carpenters an excuse for similar delay. I regret to say that I am entirely disappointed in every capacity of Mr. Ayer excepting his mechanical skill. He does his work well, but he has no discrimination about it. This has made my present experiment a costly one, when I meant it should have been otherwise.

Read eighty lines of Homer’s Iliad with great facility and superintended the removal of several chests which have been accumulating in my father’s study, to the farm house which has at last been vacated by Mr. Carr.1

Afternoon, read part of Lessing’s Laocoon. What is it makes the difference between one mind and another, which gives a keenness to some which others do not possess. This is a very acute thinker. Evening, finished copying out the correspondence with Mr. Hallett.


In a note at vol. 5:61, the editors incorrectly placed John G. Carr’s tenancy at the Adams farm at the foot of Penn’s Hill in Quincy. The evidence here is that he occupied the farmhouse located within the grounds of the Old House. A part of the second floor of that building had served JA as an office and library for his books and was thenceforward known as “the Office.” It continued to house the books JA had deeded to the town of Quincy until 1869; other books were also stored there from time to time (vol. 4:139, 389–390).