Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

369 Sunday. 2d. CFA Sunday. 2d. CFA
Sunday. 2d.

Clear and cool. Divine service as usual. Evening to Mr. Brooks’.

After the usual hearing of my children for an hour, having now regularly joined my second child John in the reading of the Scriptures, I attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Joshua 4. 6. “That this may be a sign among you.” A communion sermon discussing the peculiar characteristics of that service. I shall soon reach an age now when it will be advisable for me to reflect more seriously upon the propriety of my partaking of it.

Afternoon Dr. Henry Ware Jr. from Luke 10. 40.41.42. the well known verses addressed to Martha and Mary. Upon the attention to worldly matters, a very beautiful discourse much affected in the delivery by the defect of enunciation caused by the loss of his teeth.

Read a Sermon by the Reverend John Balguy Proverbs 12. 15. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Mr. Balguy has had some reputation in the English reviews without much deserving it. Evening, we paid a visit at Mr. Brooks’. Nobody there but C. Brooks. Home shortly after ten.

Monday 3d. CFA Monday 3d. CFA
Monday 3d.

Wet and damp clearing off cold. Division as usual. Evening at Mr. B. Gorham’s.

My time at the Office is taken up principally in the arrangement of my Diary which continues in Arrears. I have little to place upon it of interest and the mere keeping of so monotonous a record is tiresome. My Greek for one hour is also rather vexatious as I have already read it over and want the stimulus of novelty in the pursuit.

Afternoon examining authorities and attempting to methodize but as yet without success. It is a little curious to notice how many sheets of paper I spoil before I begin.

Went to a small party at Mrs. B. Gorham’s. Talk with Miss Jones about coins, and with Dr. Palfrey about my Article. I sounded him today about the severity necessary in the Review. I told him that I feared it would not suit him, but he rather to my surprise professed a preference for that tone. So I shall go on boldly.

Tuesday 4th. CFA Tuesday 4th. CFA
Tuesday 4th.

Excessive cold. Usual division. Evening at home.

After the time spent in coins, I went to the Office and occupied myself in Diary and accounts.


I propose to give up my Politico-Economical Studies as dry things in which but a very limited number of the Community take an interest and go into more general literature. It is pretty plain to me that the present state of political affairs is such as to forbid me all hope of making any headway in that line. I am too squeamish for the very low standard of morals that is adopted on all sides at present. If circumstances should change, perhaps my principles might be useful.

Oedipus and studying Hazard, and Hallam, and Sharon Turner and The Planter’s Plea. Evening at home. Still groping about after a beginning.