Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

187 Sunday. 10th. CFA Sunday. 10th. CFA
Sunday. 10th.

Cold and clear. Services as usual. Evening to Edward Brooks’.

I continued my attempt at composition this morning without success. One thing is certain, my dissipated way of life entirely kills connected thought or I am not as well charged with ideas upon the subject as I apprehend.

Divine service as usual. Dr. Frothingham from Psalms. 131. 2. “My soul is even as a weaned child.” I had heard of this sermon and text some time ago, but gained little from it I regret to say. Afternoon, S. K. Lothrop from Exodus 20. 3. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Upon idol worship of this age, more refined but equally marked with that of antiquity. The ancient mythology personified passions and gave them divine attributes and then worshipped them. We do so without personification. It was a good but not a new discourse in invention delivered with the peculiar artifice which deadens the effect of his performances.

Read a discourse in the English Preacher from a Mr. Bourn, Psalm 103. 2. “Bless the Lord, O my Soul; and forget not all his benefits.” Upon religious gratitude, a respectable discourse. Made a pleasant visit in the evening at Mr. Edward Brooks’.

Monday 11th. CFA Monday 11th. CFA
Monday 11th.

Cloudy and more mild. Day spent in attending corporation meetings. Evening Assembly.

I was entirely unable to be at my Office this morning as I was first called to attend a meeting of the Directors of the Middlesex Canal to organize, then to the Suffolk Insurance Company where the struggle between the Stockholders about the continuance of the charter was at length brought to a close, those who favored a continuation having the majority by a small number of votes. I was of the minority but am satisfied with the result if by it I am any better protected from loss. But my confidence in joint stock companies grows less every day so that having now nearly got myself out of Banks I propose to begin the same operation with Insurance companies, which are now at so low an ebb as to make it a more slow and dangerous process.

After the meeting I got into a conversation with Mr. H Cabot upon the subject of joint stock and expressed opinions which find very little currency here. I might have saved my labour.


Afternoon to the Annual Meeting of the South Cove Corporation. No subject of much interest agitated. Directors elected, but I found the feeling much firmer as to the success of the undertaking. I hope it is well founded for I have now too great a stake to be trifled with in that corporation, which I hope will not try it’s vitality as others do but die gently and gradually. Evening to the Assembly, thinner than usual, but very pleasant. We remained until after midnight.