Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday 3d. CFA Friday 3d. CFA
Friday 3d.

Cold. Time as usual. Evening at Governor Everett’s.

My record has nothing to vary it from preceding days. I went to the 352Office and although not at all incommoded with duns as I was yesterday yet had so much to do in bringing up accounts that I found it impossible to bring up my Diary which is falling into arrears.

Home after a sharp walk. Finished the Oedipus Tyrannus which has given me much gratification to read. I think it a masterpiece of dramatic construction. Afternoon Storch.

Evening to see Governor and Mrs. Everett. Nobody there but the family, Dr. and Mrs. Palfrey, and Mrs. Hunt a lady known to them with her children, Mrs. Hale and her children and Mr. H. Chapman who plastered me with flattery and talked as fast and as superficially as ever. Return home at ten, pleasant enough.

Saturday 4th. CFA Saturday 4th. CFA
Saturday 4th.

Cold. The winter appears to be set in. Time as usual. Evening at home.

After my usual time in coins I went to Market and Office. Plenty of calls for money which I answered as fast as I was able. Home after a walk. Began Oedipus Coloneus, a play which I thought the most poetical of those of Sophocles when I read it before. The remainder of the day as usual.

My record will soon decline to a single line. I ought however to have mentioned that I received another application to repeat my Lecture, by the Lyceum through their Secretary Mr. George T. Bigelow. This I consider as somewhat a victory, for two years ago when Mr. Everett, Mr. Bancroft and myself were in succession before the Historical Society and not unequally successful, the former two were immediately called to repeat at the Lyceum and I was left out. I have overcome scruples since. Evening at home. Sent one paper on the Message.

Sunday. 5th. CFA Sunday. 5th. CFA
Sunday. 5th.

Moderating. Services as usual. Evening at home.

The day was dark and I was up so late as to be quite unable to finish my usual lesson with my daughter before service. Attended as usual and heard Dr. Frothingham all day from Psalms 90. 5. “As with a flood” and from Acts 26. 27. “I know that thou believest.” Very good both of them but my mind has fallen into so unsettled a state that I do not attend quite as well as I used to do. The passage of time and the new year seemed to me to be described in the former sermon, first by regarding the flood from antiquity and then from the future. In endeavoring to analyze the causes of the defects of interest in most of Dr. 353Frothingham’s discourses, I know none more striking than that his laboured attempt at novelty of thought removes him too much from the reach of most men whose mental path is commonly a very beaten track. The motto from Terence, Homo Sum, is one which no speaker should keep out of his mind.1

Afternoon, read in the English Preacher, a discourse by the Revd. Mr. Leechman upon Prayer, its uses and advantages and the duty of praying, Matthew 26. 41. “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” A very sensible and judicious discourse. Evening at home. Continued Walpole’s Letters which are extremely amusing. After which I went on with my comments upon the President’s Message.


For the motto, see above, entry of 13 Aug. 1838.