Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

5 Friday. 9th. CFA Friday. 9th. CFA
Friday. 9th.

Morning mild and cloudy. I went to the Office and my time was taken up in Accounts and in arranging my pamphlets. Not any thing new. Read a little of Sismondi’s second volume which is upon the subject of currency and contains many valuable thoughts. Political Economy is the strangest science in the world. It contains so many propositions true in themselves when made precisely to regard a certain combination of circumstances, which become untrue when those circumstances change.

Home. Sophocles. Afternoon coins. My Wife grows better slowly. Evening, read Swift’s Pamphlet upon the Civil dissensions in Rome and Athens1 and wrote for exercise a page or two of composition for possible future use.

1.

“Contests and dissensions between the nobles and commons in Athens and Rome” in vol. 3 of Works of Jonathan Swift, ed. Sir Walter Scott, 19 vols., Edinburgh, 1824.

Saturday 10th. CFA Saturday 10th. CFA
Saturday 10th.

Morning clear but it clouded, and the mild weather has flooded the streets. Office where I am endeavoring to reform my habits about papers. I destroy many but retain more. The only plan for me is to return to my old habit of filing, especially letters which crowd upon me. Pamphlets also I am attempting to bind up.

Home. Sophocles in which I make regular progress of about a hundred lines a day, although I find a difficulty in pursuing Greek in this manner from the number of collateral investigations which are necessary to a thorough understanding of the text.

Afternoon coins, and wrote a letter to my father.1 The condition of my Wife is so little improving that the doctor has recommended her not nursing her child, and I went out to Mrs. Frothingham’s to see about it.

1.

See note to entry of 6 March, above.

Sunday. 11th. CFA Sunday. 11th. CFA
Sunday. 11th.

Fine clear day. Morning passed upon coins excepting a portion spent with my Wife who appears now gradually on the recovery. Attended divine Service and heard N. Hall Jr. preach in the morning from Acts 3. 6. “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee.” A good sermon upon the cultivation of the kindly affections as 6superior to the possession of wealth. Afternoon. 2 Peter 3. 18. “Grow in grace.” Moral culture. Mr. Hall is evidently a sincere and an earnest preacher and thus he gives to his words additional force.1

Walk after both services with one or the other of my children. Read a Sermon of Buckminster’s, John 6. 12. “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” A Sermon upon the profits of economy or frugality being a charity lecture written about at the time of the commercial restrictions here. Very good though not so remarkable as some of the others. Copied part of the letter to my father and went in the evening to see Mr. Brooks. Nobody there. Home at ten.

1.

On Rev. Nathaniel Hall Jr., a kinsman of ABA, see vol. 6:32.