Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday 22d. CFA Sunday 22d. CFA
Sunday 22d.

Fine day. Exercises as usual. Evening, family with us. J.Q.A. 6 years.

I devoted my morning to the usual course of occupation with my daughter and only changed the subject for my superfluous time from the study of Tucker which turns out unprofitable to that of Herschel’s Astronomy.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Newel of Cambridge preach from 1 Corinthians 13. 9.10.11. “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” And in the Afternoon from Genesis 2. 15. “And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden to dress it and to keep it.” Mr. Newell is very sensible but he wants energy. His manner gives to his matter an inertness which appears effeminate. I think Menzel is right in one particular that there must be something wrong in the forms of Protestant worship which turn off so much of the attention from the subject to the Preacher.

Read a Sermon in the English Preacher by Mr. Balguy. Psalm 97. 1, “The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.” The active government of God a certain and joyful truth. Menzel wonders at the fact of the ordi-298nary character of all the sermons that have been the result of so many centuries of weekly preaching. The reason is that the text is better than any amplification of it. The sole useful end of a sermon is exhortation and that must be done much within the circle of old truths.

In the evening the family were all with us and Mr. Degrand and E. P. Greenleaf. After they had all gone I read the news by the British Queen which looks badly. We must be rapidly nearing a crisis in the United States.1

My boy John this day six years old. How much have I to be thankful for in him and how much cause to pray for his continued progress in mental and moral and physical health!


The British Queen docked at New York on the 20th, bringing news of declines in the value of securities, of rising interest rates, and of a state of crisis in the money market (Boston Courier, 23 Sept., p. 3, cols. 2–4).

Monday 23d. CFA Monday 23d. CFA
Monday 23d.

Continued fine day. At usual occupations. Ride and evening at the Mansion.

My morning passed in pretty steady application to the business of copying which went on pretty smoothly. I also read some of Menzel, beginning his discussion of the department of philosophy which promises to be more interesting to me. After dinner, finish the fourth book of Tacitus and read five sections of the fifth. These are remarkable as introducing some remarks upon the Jewish character and traditions.

Went out and took a ride to Mount Wollaston beach and from thence round to Newcomb’s landing with the two boys as my companions. The day was finer and clearer even than it’s predecessors, and we enjoyed it much. In the evening, down to the Mansion as usual.

Tuesday 24th. CFA Tuesday 24th. CFA
Tuesday 24th.

Fine day. To town. Return to dinner. Evening at the Mansion.

It was a lovely day like all the days since Miss Hall’s visit who today returned to town with me, to our great regret, who have been pleased to have her with us.1

My time much occupied in town with visiting my house where all the workmen are in full operation, and with matters of business, so that I was a little later at home than usual. When I got there, I found our town usually so quiet, in a perfect turmoil with a general muster 299which was held in the Hancock Lot. As usual, worthless people of all kinds were upon the spot and made one or two rows, the first of which was too near my father’s house not to disturb the females. The day however passed off without much difficulty and before sunset the spot was clear.

Evening, we paid our usual visit to the Mansion. Nothing of material consequence. Finished the History of Tacitus.


Mary Brooks Hall, daughter of Peter C. Brooks’ sister, Mrs. Nathaniel Hall of Medford, had been a guest for four days or more. A special bond between Mary and ABA had been created by Mary’s assuming the household responsibilities at the Brooks home in Medford for a period after the death of Mrs. Brooks. See vols. 2:155; 3:123, 181; 5:122; and JQA, Diary, 20 Sept. 1839.