Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday 26th. CFA Sunday 26th. CFA
Sunday 26th.

Lovely day. Services as usual. Evening at the Mansion.

I passed the morning, devoting the usual portion of time to Louisa, and reading the two first dialogues of Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher. This is quite a celebrated work of Berkeley to prove the truth of Religion.1 As yet I find little that appears to me like serious argument in the Dialogue. Alciphron is made to talk for the purpose of being confuted.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Morison of New Bedford preach from Acts 17. 23. “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the unknown God,” and also from Luke 15. 23. “Let us be merry.” One of my uncontrollable fits of abstraction prevented me from deriving as much good from these Sermons as perhaps I ought to have done. I regret them even when I find myself unable to correct myself of them.


Read a discourse of the Reverend John Balguy upon the conduct of the Bereans in being convinced of the truth of Christianity by examination. Acts 17. 11. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” This finishes the third volume of the English Preacher. Evening at the Mansion. Mr. Price Greenleaf was there. Dull political conversation.


Bishop George Berkeley, Alciphron; or the Minute Philosopher, Containing an Apology for the Christian Religion, 2 vols., London, 1732.

Monday 27th. CFA Monday 27th. CFA
Monday 27th.

Warm but cloudy. Distribution as usual. Evening at the Mansion. Rain.

My morning was not very profitably spent. Yet I managed to put together some materials for the shape of my Review and matured it very considerably in my mind. This process always appears to me a waste of time even when it is in fact the most undoubted improvement of it.

Read a little of Lessing’s Contributions to the life of Sophocles but as they appear to me to end only in verbal criticism I shall give it up for Nathan the Wise.

After dinner, occupied in wandering among the fields but read of Lucan book 3. l. 1–300, and a little of Grimm. Evening at the Mansion. It rained a warm rain.

Tuesday 28th. CFA Tuesday 28th. CFA
Tuesday 28th.

Morning rain but cleared. To town. Afternoon at home. Evening at Mrs. T. B. Adams’.

I went to town this day, but not much of importance to do. Looked over my accounts and found my affairs better than I anticipated. The time for my annual balancing is now coming round. I shall then have occupation enough. A few trifling commissions.

In the Afternoon which was short in consequence of a dinner delayed for the return of my Wife who had gone to Boston, read Lucan 3. 300–535. The same general characteristics throughout. Much sprightly vigor with excess. Also Grimm which is my delassement.1

I went up in the evening to see Mrs. T. B. Adams and her family. Mrs. Angier is now there.


That is, relaxation or diversion.