Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday. 20th. CFA Friday. 20th. CFA
Friday. 20th.

Cold but clear. Division as usual. Evening at home.

I do not know whether I have said that my occupation for one hour after breakfast every morning is in making a catalogue of my Cabinet of my Cabinet of coins and medals. This is interesting as connected with the fine set of Roman Silver which I have acquired.

Then to the Office where I received some letters from my mother and felt bound to do my best to answer them. So I sat down and de-345voted my remaining time and continued at home in the Afternoon until it was a very poor letter finished.1 An hour of Greek as usual. Read some of Pinkerton. Evening Walpole and the Lecture which goes on increasing when too long already.


The letters of LCA were of the 13th and 15th; these, with CFA’s to LCA of the 20th, are in the Adams Papers.

Saturday 21st. CFA Saturday 21st. CFA
Saturday 21st.

Moderating. Distribution as usual. Dine with Mr. Brooks. Evening at home.

I devoted my time to the usual course of morning proceedings. At the Office. Deacon Spear came in, and I had an application to repeat my old Lecture from the Managers of the Franklin Lectures, on Monday Evening at the Masonic Temple. These are now mere common place matters, that excite about as much attention as a Sunday Sermon.

Took a brisk walk round the Common and felt better for it. Then home reading Oedipus. Dined with Mr. Brooks. Nobody there but the family. That is Edward and Chardon and the three sons in law. Pleasant enough. The first dinner in the new house.1 Home to tea and quiet evening. Walpole, after which, on with the Lecture.


Peter C. Brooks had purchased the residence of Daniel Webster (above, entry for 4 May), along with the furnishings. Brooks’ former home on Pearl Street would become the residence of his son Gorham. Although Brooks took possession following purchase, he did not begin his occupancy of the house until his return to the city in November from his Medford residence (Brooks, Waste Book, 6, 14 June, 26 Nov., 31 Dec. 1839; above, entry for 13 Nov.).

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

Cloudy and wind. The usual exercises. Evening to Mrs. S. C. Gray’s.

A very dark day for a short one making it still shorter. I had a brief lesson with my children, for I am now bringing my eldest boy John into train. Then attended divine service.

Heard Dr. Frothingham in the morning from Luke 2. 40. “And the child grew.” A sort of Christmas sermon which did not seize upon my attention as much as I wish. Afternoon, Mr. Ware from the same book 17. 21. “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.” Perhaps it would be a good plan to analyze the grounds for inattention to moral discourses. I cannot command myself at all. Read a sermon in the English preacher being the last of the fifth volume, and by a certain Dr. 346Mackewen from 2 Timothy 4. 7.8. “I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith,” &ca. too long to quote but indicative of a termination of a career of usefulness and piety. Took a good walk between services.

Evening Edmund Quincy came in and took tea. He is so curious that I do not care to have much intimacy with him. So many topics upon which we cannot venture to talk with him, and so few in which we can agree. He talked much about T. K. Davis from whose account of him I rather infer he is insane. We afterwards went over to see Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Gray. Several persons there who settled down to Mr. and Mrs. Pratt and F. Gray. Pleasant evening and then home to continue Lecture.