Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Saturday 24th. CFA Saturday 24th. CFA
Saturday 24th.

Warm day. At home, bath. Work as usual, evening at the Mansion.

I devoted myself to the usual train of occupations, with the exception of an hour for the bath to which I went with my father. I copied two or three letters and read Storch who is a very clear and sensible writer, but my programme is a pretty extensive one and I must shortly begin to devote more time to it than I do if I expect to fill it up well. This copying too can not be postponed a great while.

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Afternoon, twenty sections of the sixteenth book of the Annals, and a little of Grimm. An hour at the Mansion in the evening.

Sunday 25th. CFA Sunday 25th. CFA
Sunday 25th.

Warm. Exercises as usual. Evening at the Mansion. Mrs. Angier.

I spent an hour with my daughter in her lessons. Read more of Tucker and attended divine service all day. Heard Dr. Francis preach in the morning from Acts 17. 31. “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.” I could not fix my attention upon this discourse respecting the judgment. That in the afternoon was more interesting from Acts 21. 11 “And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle and bound his own hands and feet and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So Shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” Upon the language of action and treated with some variety of illustration as well as original thought. But Dr. Francis is not one of those who seem to find any path into my feelings. His voice is harsh and his delivery formal and cold.

Afterwards read a sermon by Bishop Conybeare from Matthew 25. 5. “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept,” upon the infirmity of human nature and it’s sources, sensible and moderate. Finished today Mr. Huskisson’s Dissertation upon the depreciation of the English currency,1 the most wonderful part of which seems to be that it was deemed necessary to maintain it. In the evening Mrs. Angier and E. C. Adams were with us to tea and we accompanied them to the house below.

1.

William Huskisson, Question concerning the Depreciation of our Currency, London, 1810.

Monday 26th. CFA Monday 26th. CFA
Monday 26th.

Warm day. At home, bath. Usual occupations. Evening visit to Mr. Whitney.

My time was consumed much in the manner that it usually is. I devoted some time to copy which goes on pretty slowly, and to Storch’s chapter upon credit and paper money with which I am certainly much edified. I think him next to Smith of all the writers whom I have read.

In consequence of my going to bathe I was obliged to forego reading Menzel whose spirited style amuses me. Reading is on the whole a very 285great pleasure when the writer puts in action the mind of the reader. Whereas writing as an elaboration of thought is exceedingly tedious and painful. Yet a reasoning mind commonly will succeed in turning over an old train into a new shape and perhaps may draw something out of it worth recording. Menzel however shows us what this impression in a studious age will lead to and that is to the multiplication of worthless books.

After dinner, finished the remainder of the fragment of the sixteenth book of Tacitus whereby we lose the closing scene of the tyranny of Nero. I have refreshed my ideas by this perusal very much.

A ride to Mount Wollaston and Germantown afterwards, accompanied by my father. A visit in the evening to Mr. Whitney’s to see his son Frederick who was not at home. Returned early.