Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Thursday 27th. CFA Thursday 27th. CFA
Thursday 27th.

Pleasant day, usual course, evening visit Mr. Brooks.

At the Office I executed my entire revision of the accounts of the 161last six months and rectified two small errors which had crept into the arrangement. But it took up my time excepting a visit to Kauffer and to warn him out of the premises,1 and a walk. Then Alcestis the review of which I finished today and with which I am as much pleased as with any Greek drama I have yet read. Coins and Crevier. Mr. Brooks was here in the evening and talked pleasantly for a couple of hours. Miss Martineau and French.


CFA had employed John T. Kauffer, a painter, two years earlier; see entry for 1 Oct. 1836, above. The circumstances of an ensuing quarrel are not known to the editors, nor of what property he became a tenant; entry for 31 Dec., below.

Friday. 28th. CFA Friday. 28th. CFA
Friday. 28th.

Cold and clear. Time divided as usual. Evening at home.

At the Office I was engaged in writing Diary and then beginning the re-examination of the Life of Burr with a view to writing a review. This is a business I do not much take to, but as I have nothing on hand at present, it will save me from idleness. I must first however notify Dr. Palfrey of the same. Walk.

Began today the Electra of Sophocles, an unfinished work of last Spring and drew some conclusions in favour of my progress from the facility with which I read it.

After dinner coins down to Pupienus. I go too fast for my historical study which has not as yet gone farther than Galba. And what a record for the mind of a philosophical observer of human affairs. And what mere puppets are men and women when they give up the guidance of noble thoughts. Evening, French and a chapter of Miss Martineau’s amusing book.

Saturday 29th. CFA Saturday 29th. CFA
Saturday 29th.

Snow and rain with clouds. Time as usual. Evening at home.

At the Office today as usual. Nothing material. I read some of Aaron Burr’s Life and made notes of it. The weather was dull and at the close of the year one feels always slightly inclined to melancholy. I have however experienced very little of it this season. A walk, and then Electra. Coins getting through Philip. So we go. French and Crevier. Thus a very quiet, uninteresting day.

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

Clear and cold. Usual exercise. Evening out.

I continue Crevier with diligence in order to get up in my historical 162commentary upon the coins. But I cannot do so, being now with Vespasian in the one and Gallienus in the other.

Attended divine service all day and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from 1. Samuel 16. 45. “And Samuel came to Bethlehem and the elders of the town trembled at his coming and said comest thou peaceably? And he said Peaceably.” A discourse upon the character of the Christian doctrine emanating from the same town described as the scene of the words in the text, with some pretty pointed allusions to the benevolent fanaticism of the day which is militant. No doubt it is true that the spirit of the Christian system is thoroughly peaceful, and yet no man can forget the memorable saying of Christ that his doctrine would prove a sword even in the midst of families. Truth and right cannot always be retained without contention even when the spirit of proselytism is not existing. All maxims in short have their qualifications and sometimes very important ones, particularly when they lead to indolence and self excuse from the support of truth. Afternoon, Philippians 3. 13 “forgetting those things which are behind.” A discourse upon the close of the year, very appropriate and judicious.

Read a Sermon by the Rev. J. Tidcomb, from 2 Timothy 1. 10. “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” A discourse upon the value of Revelation, neither new nor original.

In the evening my Wife and I went to see Edward Brooks and his Wife and we had a pleasant evening enough. Home at ten.