Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

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

Fine day. An hour before service devoted to arrears of my Diary. Then attendance upon divine service and reading. Evening a walk with my father to see Mr. and Mrs. Quincy. Mr. W. Lee called to see us.1

Mr. Lunt preached two Sermons from the text John 17. 21. “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Full of excellent reflection upon the tendencies of the present age to error either by excess or deficiency with allusions to the doctrines in philosophy which are at present somewhat in vogue among us. Mr. Lunt dissented from the views of John Locke as tending to establish materialism which I agree 108with him in. At the same time he did not clearly explain the reply which I wish to obtain.

Read a sermon in the English Preacher by Bishop Hutton. 2. Corinthians 8. 21. “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” Upon cultivating with proper attention the good opinion of the world. An unnecessary exhortation.

Mr. Lee was dull and out of spirits. At Mrs. Quincy’s, a dissertation upon the Bible history and upon some disputed points of doctrine which cannot interest me much although Mrs. Q.’s mind seems much exercised by them.


William Lee, a resident of Washington for most of his adult life, was a friend of JQA’s both during their youth and in their foreign service years. See vols. 1:51; 3:355, 375.

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

Warm and hazy. Morning to town. Afternoon devoted to reading and evening at the Mansion.

My duties were all of the drudging kind today connected with the management of my father’s real estate and my own. I was very glad to get out of town and only felt worried at the amount of this kind of occupation which seems to be preparing for me during this Autumn.

The ride was dusty and unpleasant so that I enjoyed the more my sitting down after the lapse of a week to Lucretius 2d book. 1. 623–825. A few of Bayle’s letters afterwards.

My father appeared seriously unwell. He sinks from want of intellectual stimulus. Such is the formation of unnatural habits.

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

Warm and cloudy. Morning to town. Afternoon reading and evening at the Mansion.

I went to the City to perform the duties in which I failed yesterday and at last set in proper train the work for one of my houses. These visits are fatiguing and dispiriting. On my return I read Lucretius 1. 825–930, and some of Bayle’s letters. Deacon Spear interrupted me by a call on business.

My pleasure is mainly in the hours of literary occupation, varied in a degree by domestic and social relations. Evening is generally devoted to this at the other house. The political accounts from Maine this morning are rather favorable to the Administration.1 Such are the fluctuations of popular opinion.

109 1.

In Maine, the Van Buren party succeeded in electing its candidate for governor, in gaining control of both branches of the legislature, and in winning all but two of the congressional seats (Boston Courier, 13 Sept., p. 2, cols. 1–2).