Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

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

Day fine but cold. Services as usual. Evening out.

I read more of Milman’s history of the Jews, relating to the disturbances in Judaea and the reduction of the country under Vespasian. This is a very interesting portion of the Roman history of which I hardly recollect enough.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. W. Ware all day.1 John 17. 15. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” A sensible discourse upon the necessity of keeping among men and avoiding temptation, which can be done under the guidance of religious feeling alone. Romans 8. 24. “For we are saved by hope.” The power of hope. Mr. Ware is not interesting as a preacher but he has evidently a sound and cultivated mind.

Read a very sensible and excellent discourse by Dr. Evans in the English Preacher from Ephesians 4. 25. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.” With a great deal of legal acuteness, he distinguishes the precise moral wrong after which he enforces the value of the precept. This appears to me the best Sermon I have yet read in this collection. I read also some of Crevier.

153

Evening my Wife and I went to Edward Brooks’ and spent an agreeable hour in conversation. Home to continue Crevier.

1.

On Rev. William Ware, see vol. 6:22.

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

Fine day though cool. Usual division of time.

I was at the Office as usual. Making up arrears of Diary. The accounts from Washington contain nothing new, but the insurrection at Harrisburg continues. It is yet questionable on which side the result will turn whether on that of order or of anarchy. Walk to the Athenaeum and then home. Alcestis with which I am quite delighted.

After dinner, attended a meeting of the City Hotel Corporation a pendant of the South Cove. The undertakers made it more extensive than they could execute and therefore left the building half finished and subject to a debt. It was now proposed to create more stock and go on. I listened to the arguments of the Speakers and only regretted that they were not cogent enough to overrule my determination not to go into that slough.

Home before the decision. Evening, read Miss Martineau’s last book aloud,1 and after it, Crevier and coins.

1.

Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel, 3 vols., London, 1838.

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

Fine day. Usual division of time.

I was at the Office, but the Editor of the Courier sent me an article from the Globe bringing up the whole story of my papers of the Conservative criticizing the doctrine much in the manner it formerly did.1 I think it a good opportunity for throwing in another dose to rectify public opinion, which has been operated upon, I perceive although without any immediate outward demonstration, by what I have already written. I therefore occupied myself both morning and afternoon in producing something which I think would answer.2

Went also with my Wife to make a formal call upon Mr. and Mrs. Webster, he having left a card for me when he returned my father’s visit. This is a poor business. Also called upon Mr. and Mrs. Seaver at Mrs. Carter’s. And did not omit Alcestis. In the evening continued a goodly portion of Miss Martineau who is amusing and egotistical. And sat up late doing the revise of my Article.

154 1.

The Globe, on 4 Dec. (p. 3, cols. 4–5), reasserted the interpretation of CFA’s papers it had made earlier (cf. the entries for 15 and 17 Aug.).

2.

To The Globe’s reiterated charge that “A Conservative’s” articles in the Courier were an expression of Webster’s views and were representative of northern whig positions generally, CFA, again signing as “A Conservative,” replied that the administration organ lumps together all varieties of whig opinion “to drive the South into a concentrated support of the only Northern man who dares in high office to think and act as if he was a slaveholder.” To demonstrate the lack of validity in The Globe’s position, he reveals his support of Van Buren over Webster in the last presidential election. That support ended, however, when Van Buren, in his inaugural address and after, “made himself the instrument for perpetuating the slaveholding policy” (Boston Courier, 14 Dec., p. 2, cols. 1–2).