Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

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.

Monday 4th. CFA Monday 4th. CFA
Monday 4th.

Cool day. Distribution as usual. Evening at Dr. Frothingham’s.

I have only to repeat that I worked upon Burr today, attending however the annual meeting of the stockholders of the Middlesex Canal. No report this year, the agent being sick, so adjourned for one month, after renewing the direction, and raising a committee to make a protest against the water project of the City from Long Pond.1 I am afraid the managers are losing their interest in this property, yet to me it has been very productive.

Electra. Steady at the Private Journal of Burr which wants positive interest and yet is amusing. How to reconcile these.

Have I mentioned having a curious visit from Russell Freeman entirely laudatory of the letters to Biddle, the papers of the Conservative, and requesting a copy of my Pamphlets. What does that mean? He is as usual upon the world, has thrown off the Administration only because they do not want him. Evening at Dr. Frothingham’s. A very pleasant supper.


A project that would divert water from Long Pond, lying between Billerica and Tewksbury and close to the Middlesex Canal, would affect the canal unfavorably.

Tuesday 5th. CFA Tuesday 5th. CFA
Tuesday 5th.

Cool and clear. Distribution as usual. Evening visit Mrs. Bates at Papanti’s.

At the Office I am often bored by countrymen who come in about the farm at Weston. They seem to have little or no idea of the value of time. I suppose a farming life rather begets indolence.

Continued Burr, and today wrote a note to Dr. Palfrey proposing to him a review of the same.1 So now my head is in for it. The truth is that I am conscious of being eaten up by indolence and luxury.

Home reading Electra. Average about 110 lines of review in the hour. This is slow. But I read most of the Greek Scholia.2 Finished the private Journal of Burr. Quite a tragedy finale. A case entirely unexampled in America and perhaps in the world.

The ball at Papanti’s was as splendid as money could make it, and on the whole quite pleasant, although by no means so much so as the Assemblies. We returned at one o’clock in the morning of Wednesday 6th..

185 1.

To J. G. Palfrey, Adams Papers.


Marginal notes to Sophocles’ text, commenting either on language or subject matter, and originating in the first century B.C., or earlier. N. G. L. Hammond and H. H. Scullard, eds., Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2d edn., Oxford, 1970, p. 960–961.