Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 27th. CFA Saturday. 27th. CFA
Saturday. 27th.

Morning mild. Office as usual. Read the article in Mr. Hale’s Paper which is very pretty. It says just enough in commendation of my part without saying too much.1 On the whole I now feel tolerably content with my position and not very anxious to labour more this winter. Having proved my powers to some extent I feel less uneasy, the course of providence will not need my fretting to direct it.

388

Deacon Spear came in and talked about Quincy matters and after him Mr. Beale. There is more trouble among the Banks—one not much suspected, the American Bank, having stopped yesterday. The public uneasiness is pretty great, and yet I wonder they bear their losses so well.

Accounts after which home, Sophocles. Afternoon, continued father Jobert the main portion of whose book I have now finished. Evening at home, reading Lockhart very quietly and patiently. Scott’s letters to his son are by far the most interesting portion of the book, because they are the most thorough expositions of himself. Continued writing.

1.

The article by T. K. Davis (Daily Advertiser, 27 Jan., p. 2, col. 5) described CFA’s lecture as “singularly interesting and instructive,” and continued, “It consisted mainly of extracts of confidential letters, written by the wife of the late President John Adams to her husband during the early scenes of the American Revolution. The lecturer used these materials with great skill ... in perfect delicacy and fairness. Keeping in view the relationship he bore to her of whom he treated, he spoke not a syllable of eulogy. ... Upon the evidence thus furnished by these precious fragments of a precious spirit, we must say ... that for a combination of great qualities seldom found conjoined, the late Mrs. Adams has a rightful place among the noted women of ancient and of modern story. ... In the finely balanced character of this noble matron, a lofty daring—born of a strong mind—was grafted upon tenderness and even romance of feeling. ...

“From such a correspondence as the lecturer gave us glimpses of, we pluck out the heart of that heroic mystery, the American Revolution. ... We know of no better service than to go back, as did Mr. Adams ... to the invaluable legacy of an age, when self sacrifice and love of country were realities not words, and conduct us, as to a sanctuary, into the innermost feelings of the high souled men, and high souled women who nerved the high souled men of our Revolutionary era.”

Sunday. 28th. CFA Sunday. 28th. CFA
Sunday. 28th.

Morning cool and cloudy with rain. Read some of the North American Review. W. H. Gardiner’s article on Prescott’s book, an ox dancing an Irish jig.1 What is it gives me such a distaste to the literature of the day? My own fastidiousness or vanity, or its inferiority?

Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham from Nahum 1. 15. “Perform thy vows.” A good discourse upon the making and performing of promises, with an application to the practice of associations so common in this country. Afternoon. Proverbs 29. 20. “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

Upon my return home I read a Sermon of Buckminster’s being the first in the published volume.2 Galatians 4. 4. “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his son.” Upon the mission of Christ and not containing much of original view, but remarkable as showing 389the Unitarian position of the time which was by many afterwards departed from, although with most it remains much the same. Evening at home. Call from H. G. Gorham. He staid rather late.

1.

William Howard Gardiner’s “Prescott’s Ferdinand and Isabella” is in the Jan. 1838 issue (vol. 46:203–291).

2.

Joseph Stevens Buckminster, Sermons, Boston, 1814.