Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 8th. CFA Sunday. 8th. CFA
Sunday. 8th.

A fine day although cool. Morning I hear the children read a portion of the bible which takes much time before the service. Dr. Gray of Roxbury preached from Proverbs 25. 28. “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.” And from 2. Timothy 5. 22. “Neither be partaker of other men’s sins.” Dr. Gray is very clever but very common place. Many men could write worse sermons and make them at least to me far more interesting. The hour had been changed today and I was belated.

Read a discourse of Sterne’s upon the course of the world disregardful of all the warnings of religion. 2 Peter 3. 11. “Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved,—what manner of persons ought ye to 327be in all holy conversation and godliness? Looking for and hastening unto the coming of God.” Sterne’s description of the manners and morals of high life in his day was no doubt correct then, but the world has changed since his time for better or worse. Morality is more fashionable and aristocracy is more democratic. Still there is however a great deal to gain in this path.

I was engaged in reading Ross’s Voyage most of the day when not otherwise occupied, but I had one interruption in a visit paid to Mr. J. Quincy with the ladies and another in a call at Mrs. T. B. Adams, to take leave of Elizabeth who goes to Fishkill to pass much of the winter,1 and of John Quincy who starts upon another long cruise.


With the John Peter de Windts.

Monday 9th. CFA Monday 9th. CFA
Monday 9th.

I have not much of an account to give of this day inasmuch as no labourer ever worked harder for his day’s wages than I did. This was the last day for the carting of gravel and I was so anxious to have it finished that I gave it all my personal superintendance. The day was very fine and so cool as to make work of this sort not unpleasant, besides giving me an appetite such as hard labour alone produces.

John Quincy and Joseph H. Adams dined with us, the party from that house having postponed their departure until tomorrow. I felt thoroughly fatigued and therefore did not follow up my work so assiduously, but I finished Ross and have now a general view of my materials, so that my first draft will now soon be done.

Tuesday 10th. CFA Tuesday 10th. CFA
Tuesday 10th.

My day for going to town. Occupied as usual. Walked up to see the Tenant in Tremont Street, thence to my house and to Hancock Street. Nothing done. Had a call at Office from Hayford the Mason about a furnace, from A. H. Everett about nothing and from a Mr. Newman who had as little business. To see Mr. Brooks for a few moments and then after various delays, home to Quincy.

Afternoon as usual at my house where the next business is the moving of trees which I began this day. Evening, finished my first drafts of both Lectures. Mr. Beale and his two daughters came in for a short time. I made a blundering speech. Luckily they are not sensitive or I would have wished my tongue out.