Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday February 1st. CFA Friday February 1st. CFA
Friday February 1st.

Cloudy with snow. Morning as usual. Dine at Mr. Brooks’. Evening at home.

Continued my labour at the Office in reading Burr all the morning and made some progress. I think I shall yet screw something useful out of this dissipated winter.

Home, to read Electra and then to Mr. Brooks’ house to dine in company with Dr. David Gorham, a nephew of his settled in Exeter as a physician, whom I recollect at Cambridge graduating in the year that 183I entered. He has much of the manner of that family and some of the face.1 Home to tea and quiet evening. Records nowadays insignificant.


Dr. David Gorham must have been the son of a brother of Mrs. Peter C. Brooks (Ann Gorham). The family resemblance would refer to the Gorhams of Charlestown.

Saturday 2d. CFA Saturday 2d. CFA
Saturday 2d.

Clear day. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.

This is a period of such profound quiet in all affairs domestic, political and literary that my Journal is in very poor case. Read Burr today at the Office finishing the first Volume, and the Journal in the afternoon. There is a marked defect of principle running through his whole conduct and yet a singular privation of complaint in his Record. He experiences bad treatment more often than good but abstains from censure in most cases even when he feels most strongly. This excites sympathy.

Read Electra with which I am refreshed. Classical study is like drinking wine. A stimulating pleasure. Evening sat down to make a draught of a paper upon the currency. Found thoughts enough but not facts and hence a difficulty.

Sunday. 3d. CFA Sunday. 3d. CFA
Sunday. 3d.

Cold and clear. Exercises as usual. Evening at Mr. Brooks’.

I have finished Milman and am now in want of some substitute. In the mean time and not to be idle, read the last number of the North American Review, two leading articles with neither of which I was entirely pleased.

Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Proverbs 3. 5 and 6. “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” A good Sermon pointed at the extremes very prevalent in these times of utter incredulity and of extreme confidence. If there is any portion of my religious feeling to which I adhere constantly it is to my reliance upon a power in comparison with which the intellect of man is a cipher. After dinner, Matthew 12. 33. “Make the tree good and his fruit good.”

Read as usual a discourse from the English Preacher. Proverbs 3. 17. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness; and all her paths are peace.” A discourse by Dr. Foster upon the value of religion as productive of happiness a variety of the old doctrine of honesty the best policy.

Evening, Mrs. Adams and I to Mr. Brooks’. The usual family and C. 184Brooks and F. Gray. Rather dull. Home where finished Burr’s first Volume of Journal and began second.