Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

75 Sunday 8th. CFA Sunday 8th. CFA
Sunday 8th.

A very warm day having however at noon a Slight easterly breeze which checked the excessive heat. Occupied some time in copying which I still endeavour to continue.

Dr. Frothingham came out shortly before service and I attended him to the building. He preached in the morning from Psalms 22. 29. “And none can keep alive his own soul.” A sermon upon the duty of prudence and selfpreservation occasioned by the late disasters at sea and the drowning of a little boy in his parish.1 The merit of his discourses to me is in the nice moral discrimination which he endeavours, a merit he rarely can get much credit for, as the tendencies of men are ever to general conclusion. Afternoon from 2 Kings 5. 25. “And Elisha said unto him, whence comest thou, Gehasi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.” The prevailing tendency to conceal the truth by covering it with a shield of obscurity. A great deal of ingenious thought here, but I lost my nap by being obliged to attend him after dinner and was drowsy.

He returned and took tea before his departure for town with two of his boys who accompanied him. Evening my Wife and I went down to see Col. and Mrs. Quincy, who were not at home, but one of his sisters and T. K. Davis’ grandmother were there as was Price Greenleaf a visitor. We returned shortly after nine, I walking—a most glorious evening.

Read a sermon of Mr. Buckminster’s. Philippians 4. 3. “I entreat thee—help those women, which laboured with me in the gospel, whose names are in the book of life.” This appears to have been a discourse delivered before a society of females and is a review of the historical record of the benevolent of the sex. I do not think it in the author’s best manner, for it betrays the confined extent of his observation, but yet it has some of his merits too.

1.

On one of the disasters, see the entry for 15 July, below.

Monday 9th. CFA Monday 9th. CFA
Monday 9th.

I was up and dressed early this morning for the sake of going to Cambridge through Boston, in time for the commencement of the examination of the Junior class in Homer’s Iliad. Found there were present four other members of the Committee, J. C. Gray, Judge Merrill, Mr. Hillard, and Mr. Forbes, a new member.1

The general appearance of the class was creditable, and that of some 76members, very good. But of the whole, there was but one thorough recitation. A young man, Eliot, who bears a high character here as a scholar. I recollected him last year.2 At dinner, the usual persons with a Mr. Couthouy, attached to the expedition which is to go out in time.3 Conversation not so lively as usual.

I returned home through town by four o’clock, with my horse who ran away with me, and which I have purchased. The heat of the day very great indeed. I amused myself with Pliny. Evening quiet on the portico watching the beauty of the scene and luxuriating in the freshness of the breeze.

1.

There was no one then living who bore the Forbes name and had attended Harvard College before 1838 ( Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ). Perhaps John Murray Forbes (1813–1898), not a Harvard man, is meant ( DAB ).

2.

Samuel Eliot, class of 1839, later professor of history and president of Trinity College, Hartford, and a Harvard overseer ( Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ).

3.

J. P. Couthouy, a sea captain, was associated with the Wilkes Exploring Expedition which sailed from Norfolk, Va., in 1838 for the Antarctic (MH-Ar).