Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday 21st. CFA Friday 21st. CFA
Friday 21st.

Cloudy but very warm. To Boston with my Wife. Afternoon at home and evening.

My Wife accompanied me to town, and the carriage took Mrs. J. Adams, Miss Cutts and all the children for the purpose of our meeting at the Court house and seeing the Giraffe which is now exhibiting. We found there Mrs. Everett with her children, Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Gor-253ham Brooks with her boy thus with our own tribe making quite a family party. I was curious to see this creature which is so singularly formed and so seldom met with, and my expectations were abundantly gratified. It is said to stand sixteen feet high, out of which the legs make nearly six, the difference in the length of which is much less than I imagined. It is quite tame, fond of apples which it will take from any one and show signs for more. At first sight the neck seems out of all proportion, but I fancy our ideas are merely relative on that subject and adapt themselves to what we see around us.

Office and commissions as usual. Home to dinner. The morning was warm but a sea fog came up by night. Lucan 9. 540–660 and a little work on the grounds. Evening my father sat with us so feeling rather tired I remained entirely at home.

Saturday 22d. CFA Saturday 22d. CFA
Saturday 22d.

Clouds and rain. At home all day. Evening at the Mansion.

My intention had been to accompany my father to town this morning but as I found that the weather did not promise very favorably, I concluded to remain at home. Began this morning, the diplomatic correspondence of the Revolution and read a considerable portion of Silas Deane’s correspondence. I also spent about two hours at the lower house reading over the file of Mrs. Adams’ letters to my father. They are many of them very good but will not admit of publication just now.

Only a little of Lessing. Afternoon, Lucan. 9. 660–986. The serpents of Africa all enumerated with embellishments. Texier and Grimm. Evening, as it cleared we went to the Mansion.

Sunday 23d. CFA Sunday 23d. CFA
Sunday 23d.

Cloudy but warm. Exercises as usual. Evening at the Mansion.

I devoted my usual time to my daughter Louisa and read some Chapters of Tucker’s Light of Nature. This Author has been much admired for his easy familiar way of illustrating metaphysical truths, but it seems to me that he is feeble.

Attended divine service all day and heard Dr. Lamson of Dedham preach from Matthew 20. 22. “Ye know not what ye ask.” A poetical discourse upon the unreasonableness of human wishes very much in the allegory of the old school, and also Matthew 25. 21. “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I 254will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

I also read a sensible discourse by the Revd. John Holland upon the duty of attendance at public worship. Hebrews 10. 25. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.” Man is so much the creature of habit that he becomes religious as often from the performance of external rites as from internal reflection. And the satisfaction of duty performed grows upon one as time goes on. Read some of Le Comte, Account of China. Evening at the Mansion.