Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday 7th. CFA Sunday 7th. CFA
Sunday 7th.

Beautiful day. Time given to exercises as usual. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s.

I spent the morning hour with my daughter, in reading two chapters in the book of Genesis, hearing her repeat a hymn of Watts and one of Mrs. Barbauld.

Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Luke 6. 26. “Wo unto you when all men shall speak well of you.” An admirable discourse upon the value of fame, with allusions to the classes of men some of which seek too much to run counter to the opinion of the world and others follow it implicitly. I could not help thinking the Dr. had in his mind as models for his description my father and Governor Everett who are indeed antipodes in this respect. He went on to recommend an adherence to the strict rule of upright-214ness in conduct respecting public opinion as often right without obeying it when certainly wrong which did me good because it encouraged me to persevere in a course of conduct which I have selected very much upon the principle laid down. Afternoon, Matthew 16. 6. “Then Jesus said unto them Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadduces.”

Read a discourse in the English Preacher by Mr. Gough upon the necessity of virtue in all things. James 2. 11. “For he that said do not commit adultery said also do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” A sensible discourse upon this difficult text. Finished the pursuit of knowledge, and on the whole have received an impulse from it.

Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s where were the Wales family. He goes tomorrow for a week or two to New York.

Monday 8th. CFA Monday 8th. CFA
Monday 8th.

Windy and cool. Distribution as usual. Evening at home.

I was at the Office this morning somewhat earlier and sat down resolutely to work upon Burr. Made a beginning which I liked and on the whole found an advantage in morning work. If I could, I would divide my day, into three parts. Morning, for the hard work of composition. Afternoon for relaxation, either by reading or exercise. Evening for reading and meditation. But business calls and money affairs, the newspapers and politics make sad interruptions. Never mind. I will keep on trying.

The Trachinians. Afternoon, Chevaliers book upon the United States,1 very clever and very French. Evening quiet at home.


Michel Chevalier, Society, Manners, and Politics in the United States, transl. T. G. Bradford, Boston, 1839.

Tuesday 9th. CFA Tuesday 9th. CFA
Tuesday 9th.

Pleasant. Morning to Quincy. Afternoon at home. Evening, W. C. Gorham came in.

I went to Quincy this morning and was fully occupied in attending to the various people whom I am setting in motion. Found my drain in progress slowly, contracted with the man about my wall, directed the Carpenter and worked with Mr. Kirk in setting the plants which I have either had purchased or brought out to me. I had barely time to execute every thing and get into town to dinner.


Afternoon, Chevalier, with whose book I am pleased although it is more superficial than Tocqueville’s. Evening, W. C. Gorham came in before going on a voyage. He is intelligent and pleasant.