Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday. 13th. CFA Sunday. 13th. CFA
Sunday. 13th.

Pleasant day. Services as usual. Evening at Mr. Brooks’.

I passed my time as usual, continuing the History of the Jews by Milman which is my Sundays reading besides one Sermon and the regular devotional exercises. Dr. Frothingham preached in the morning from 1 Timothy 2. 4. “Who will have men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” A discourse upon the probable design of the deity, in signifying the spread of the gospel and the universality of the Christian Religion which had not as yet taken place.

Afternoon Luke 16. 24. “I am tormented in this flame.” Dr. Frothingham is one of the class who draw every thing into the vortex of fancy. I for one am not prepared to pronounce that hell is a place of fire where flesh is burnt, but then on the other hand I am not prepared to maintain it’s impossibility or that after admitting for once the resurrection of the body, there is any sort of improbability in it. After all, the subject is beyond us.

Read a Sermon of Dr. Holland in the English Preacher, Psalm 34. 19. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” The favourite subject of the action of the Deity 172upon good and bad alike, which is puzzling to many but plain enough to any one who believes in a future state. The one proposition hangs upon the other.

Evening, as my Wife had a cold I went down and paid a visit to Mr. Brooks. Found there Mr. and Mrs. Story and after a pleasant hour walked home with them in company.

Monday 14th. CFA Monday 14th. CFA
Monday 14th.

Morning pleasant, time divided as usual. Evening Assembly.

I went to the Office and from thence attended the annual meeting of the Stockholders of the Suffolk Insurance Co. The President Mr. Perkins was understood to be about to give in his resignation upon which the question of continuance was to depend. There was a large attendance and a letter from him was submitted. The substance of it was that there was a deficiency in the capital Stock to the amount of twenty five per cent during the last year, occasioned by losses, that during his management of twelve years one hundred and three per cent had been paid in Dividends and that he left it now because if to be redeemed at all, it should be redeemed by younger direction. This was a doleful account particularly when an exposition of the invested capital showed that the bank stock was rather estimated at cost than at value. It was evident that there were dissenting opinions from that of the existing board of Directors but a motion was made to appoint a Committee to examine and report upon the state of the Office and this carried the majority. Adjourned to meet again a fortnight hence.

Insurance property generally is in a very bad way here and there is a movement to reduce the amount of capital concerned in it. I have always heretofore considered this my best property but such are the fluctuations of it, I shall probably have eaten up at the end twenty per cent of my investment.

Read Electra and worked upon coins. Evening alone to the second assembly which was very pleasant. Returned about midnight. Mrs. Gorham’s funeral.1


See entry for 20 Jan., below.

Tuesday 15th. CFA Tuesday 15th. CFA
Tuesday 15th.

Cool day. Division as usual. Evening at home.

Every thing falls now with me into arrears so much that I refused to day going to Cambridge upon the examination of the second section of 173the Sophomore class. And in the evening, received a slightly complaining letter of the same, from the President,1 as none of the Committee had come. At the Office I did not execute great things neither.

Continued Electra and made some progress in coins. While reading Crevier I glance off to read Gibbon’s opening chapters of his history which never struck me so masterly as now. He is certainly in most respects unique. Evening we were quietly at home. Edmund Quincy stopped in to take tea and talked for an hour. After whom, Mr. Beale and his son George.


Letter missing.