Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday, March 1. CFA Friday, March 1. CFA
Friday, March 1.

Day cloudy. Time divided as usual. Evening at home.

At the Office today I was so busy in attending to business that I could not go on at all with my papers. Wrote an answer to Mr. Johnson’s letter received yesterday as also a letter to my father covering an Account current for the last Quarter.1 This with a walk up to the house in Tremont Street on a dunning expedition took much of my time.

Antigone as usual. Afternoon, indulge in reading Crevier and Gibbon. The whole history of the Roman Empire ought to be a profitable one to the thinker, but I have great doubts whether any existing gener-196ation draws much of instruction from any past one excepting in the sciences which yield palpable results and mathematics.

Evening at home. Continued my Essay upon Burr. I write easily but as usual now with me dislike what I write.

1.

The letter from T. B. Johnson is missing; CFA’s letters to him and to JQA (LbCs) are in Adams Papers.

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

Lovely, spring day. Time as usual. Quiet evening.

The season appears to open quite early. Office doing business with William Spear and others. The sensation here about the English War becomes greater in consequence of the reaction produced by the debates in Congress. Parties are agreed upon the subject. And a belligerent tone runs through all the proceedings. There appears to be no foundation for the suggestion respecting my father. The danger seems to be so imminent that in my opinion Mr. Van Buren could not do a wiser thing than to avert it by the measure proposed but it would be a concession to his superiority which can not be expected from a man who builds on party walls his defences. We are too commercial here to be warlike, and this news strikes like Ice.

Walk round by the South Cove to see the improvements which are already beginning. Antigone. Also at work finishing the fifth volume of Crevier and upon Burr.

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

Snow but cleared off very cold. Exercises as usual. Evening at Edward Brooks’.

I spent half an hour this morning over my cabinet of Medals. Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Luke 22. 8.9. “And he sent Peter and John saying Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.” A communion sermon. I noticed that the Dr. in his prayer alluded to the threatening political appearances of the day. What a nation of excitements are these United States! Two weeks ago and who would have earned any but a character of a madman in proclaiming the least possible chance of war. Now it is so familiar an idea as to call forth a prayer to Heaven to avert it. I cannot yet persuade myself there is danger, but I find myself very ill informed of the true merits of the question.

Afternoon, I Kings 17. 14. “For thus saith the Lord God of Israel 197The barrel of meal shall not waste neither shall the cruse of oil fail until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” Trust in the Lord as exemplified in the instance of the widow and Elijah. A trust which with me has been, I believe, perfectly uniform though I ought to take no credit for any trial.

Read a sermon of Tillotson. Psalm 119. 60. “I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” Immediate obedience inculcated with calmness and good sense. Evening to see Edward Brooks and his Wife. Found there Dr. Bigelow. Conversation, the frontier question and the fancy ball.