Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday. 21st. CFA Sunday. 21st. CFA
Sunday. 21st.

Cold east wind but clear. Services as usual. Evening visit to Mrs. Everett.

I passed an hour this morning in my usual exercises with Louisa. Tried to teach her the ten commandments. But she learnt three only imperfectly.

Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from that beautiful text in Ecclesiastes 12. 7. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” I was disappointed in the sermon which is natural. I incline to think that the most beautiful and pithy sentences in the Bible are not those 221best calculated to amplify into discourses. The starting post is too lofty. There were allusions to the late melancholy accidents here and at Lowell which destroyed two useful men.

After dinner Dr. Palfrey from James 4. 14. “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life.” The strain of reflection upon the nature of life and the predominance of it’s good over it’s evil is encouraging.

Read a Sermon of Dr. Clark in the English Preacher. Job. 23. 15. “Therefore am I troubled at his presence when I consider I am afraid of him.” The difference between Religion and superstition.

In the evening Mrs. Adams and I went to Governor Everett’s to pay an evening visit. I had much talk with the Governor about the MS in my possession which he wishes to see for the sake of some information respecting the North Eastern boundary.1 Home to read Tucker.


Perhaps the allusion is to JQA’s message to the Congress in 1828, referred to in the entry of 4 March, above. However, CFA may be speaking in a more general way of JQA’s papers of the same period.

Monday. 22d. CFA Monday. 22d. CFA
Monday. 22d.

A lovely day. At Quincy all day. Home late. Evening fatigue.

I went to Quincy as soon as possible after breakfast, and worked there all day with Kirk in setting trees and bushes. I find in this manner that I execute a great deal, when if the work is left to others I find it only half done. I took about half an hour for a little dinner at home which I brought out with me, and devoted the rest of the time to labour. I succeeded in setting the remaining bundle from Winship’s and in transferring great numbers of plants from the other house to cover a naked fence on the South side. Thus it was sunset when I was about halfway home. And I found myself pretty well tired out by evening.

Tuesday 23d. CFA Tuesday 23d. CFA
Tuesday 23d.

Fine day. Morning, Office. Afternoon Quincy. Evening to Mrs. H. B. Rogers’.

I made a little more headway upon Burr but not much. I am almost discouraged about it. I must increase the number of my working hours. For at this rate I shall get nothing done. Ajax for an hour.

Afternoon to Quincy where I kept on my work transferring trees to the bottom of the slope in front of my house. But I had so short a time to do it in that I could not finish.

Home late where I found Mr. Brooks, who took tea. After which we 222went to a small party at Mrs. H. B. Rogers’. A few persons to meet Mrs. John Rogers from Northampton. Middling dull.