Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

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

Warm though hazy and ending in clouds. I read some of Dr. Paley’s Horae Paulinae. Attended divine service and heard Mr. Lunt preach from a text in I Corinthians 10. 16. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ.” A communion sermon turning very much into the cast of thought of his 4th of July Address, the progress of Religion in ameliorating the social feeling of the world, and hence extending the effect of benevolence in dissipating the great evils of life. Afternoon. Revelations 11. 17. “We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty which are, and wast, and art to come;” The consideration of the Deity in these three relations, very ingeniously managed but rather pretty only.

At home I read a discourse from the English Preacher by Dr. Smalridge. Luke 8. 18. “Take heed therefore how ye hear.” The duty of preparation for instruction, that is by listening with attention and with meekness for the purpose of improvement. A good discourse. Eve-89ning Mr. E. Price Greenleaf came in, and accompanied us to the Mansion. It rained slightly.

Monday 6th. CFA Monday 6th. CFA
Monday 6th.

Morning warm but at noon the wind changed and brought with it a very cool and refreshing shower. I had just seated myself to pursue my morning avocations when Deacon Spear came up to inquire if I would accompany my father to see the course of a new road through his land, as laid out by the Commissioners. This passion for new Roads is one of the fancies of the times, occasionally doing good but more often wasting money. I think this is the case here.

We returned at twelve, and I passed the remainder of the time before dinner in correcting MS and filling up an omission. After dinner, I finished the Panegyric of Trajan and with it the works of Pliny. As a book it has interest from it’s date, but the gratification from reading it is not the same derived from the works of Cicero or any of the classical writers. His mind is artificial and his style rhetorical. His letters are compositions as much as his oration. Nothing further of interest. Evening at the Mansion.

Tuesday 7th. CFA Tuesday 7th. CFA
Tuesday 7th.

Pleasant day. I went to town and was occupied mostly at the Office after going through the usual routine of my affairs. Nothing new but the arrival for the third time of the Great Western. This seems to be making the question of Steam Navigation across the Atlantic almost a matter of certainty.1

The Courier of today contains an acknowledgment of my fourth number but not the number itself. No notice whatever of the series, in any press of either side and I begin to think they are of no value and that I have made a blunder. Home.

Afternoon, began Titus Lucretius, de Rerum Natura,2 and consumed some time idly in reading a French book picked up the other day about the rules of entertaining. Evening at the Mansion. Conversation. No finer night could be imagined.

1.

The steam packet Great Western from Bristol arrived at New York on the 5th after a voyage of 14 ½ days. It brought London papers of 20 July (Boston Courier, 8 Aug., p. 2, col. 3).

2.

At MQA are four copies of Lucretius’ De rerum natura, two having belonged to CFA (Glasgow, 1813; London, 1821), two to JQA (Birmingham, 1772; Zweibrücken, 1782).

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