Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday. 2d. CFA Friday. 2d. CFA
Friday. 2d.

A beautiful morning with some little admonition of the return of a more genial season. My Wife still continues much in the same condition, but mending. Office, where was Mr. Walsh on a begging errand of which I am tired and besides myself much straitened. Then Mr. Ladd to pay rent and finally Mr. S. O. Mead to announce his entire inability to do any thing about his Note. This was not unexpected to me though I confess very far from agreeable. How I shall get out of the scrape I know not but it is at present a pretty deep one. After talking it over a good deal without coming to any result we separated. Home. Sophocles.

Afternoon, Mr. Eddy1 called to notify me of annual accounts on a committee of the Middlesex Canal from which I had once been liberated and now remonstrated against my serving. He asked me to go over and look at a house which is just finished in the Neighborhood which he was showing to Mr. Brooks. I did so and was not greatly pleased with it.

At five I started to go to Medford according to arrangement to de-2liver my Lecture to the Lyceum there. Stopped to take tea at Mr. Angier’s. Found my Aunt much as usual. Delivered the Lecture to a numerous audience and was received as favourably as I could expect. Home by a few minutes past nine. What a matter of vanity this Lecture eloquence is, and what is fame but a shadow? Yet how men pursue it. Eckhel finished. Read Poggiana.2


Caleb Eddy was superintendent and treasurer of the Middlesex Canal Co.; see vol. 5:224.


Jacques Lenfant, Poggiana; ou La vie ... et les bon mots de Pogge Florentin [Poggio Bracciolini], 2 vols., Amsterdam, 1720.

Saturday. 3d. CFA Saturday. 3d. CFA
Saturday. 3d.

My Wife was again not so well this morning having had a bad night. She seems rather disposed to magnify her own evils, and that almost without any exercise of will. I regret it but trust firmly in the providence of God. I went to the Office where I had some accounts to make up but otherwise did perhaps too little. I always regret my mornings. Home to read Sophocles. Afternoon engaged upon the coins which I pursued very assiduously, but there are many rather provoking ones. Evening quietly at home. Poggiana and Potter’s Archaeology.

Sunday. 4th. CFA Sunday. 4th. CFA
Sunday. 4th.

Morning very fine. My Wife was more quiet and better today. I am in hopes she will be making progress now. Worked on my coins until time for divine service which I attended and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from John 9. 41. “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” The discrimination between the ignorant and the wilful guilt is an ingenious one to draw and perhaps the most useful question of practical morals which can be agitated.

Afternoon Job 29. 2. “Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me.” A very beautiful moral discourse upon regret for the past, showing that it is inconsistent with the desire for progress which should animate men and can never be supposed to have existed in Jesus Christ the great exemplar of our faith. But this is no parallel for the consciousness of trial made life to him a suffering experience whereas to man generally the pleasures balance the pains.

Walk with my boy John, and Mr. Walsh dined with me. Read a discourse of Buckminster’s upon the epistle of Philemon, illustrating historically the character of Paul. Evening at home. Wrote a short letter 3to my Mother,1 and read attentively the seventh book of Politics of Aristotle.


Letter missing.