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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-23

Tuesday. 23rd.

Arose this morning to see a little snow. But it lasted only a moment, and the day was clear and mild. Read some of the Massachusetts Reports, but was principally engaged all day in considering the propriety of answering in some measure the words of the Solicitor General in the late Trial.1 I could come to no conclusion. In the evening, read Dr. Johnson’s Life of Brown. This evening, Mr. Ignatius Sargent was married to Miss Charlotte Gray.
1. Daniel Davis, the solicitor general, concluded his speech in the libel trial of Theodore Lyman with a fling against JQA for defaming “the good and the patriotic and the pious” Federalist leaders now dead. JQA’s charge that the New England Federalists had plotted for the disruption of the Union, Davis declared, “exhibits every abandonment of principle—of unutterable depravity. It is an infamous falsehood” (Benton, A Notable Libel Case, p. 93–94).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-24

Wednesday 24th.

Morning at the Office as usual. Read a part of the Massachusetts Reports. In the afternoon, Clay’s Speeches and a few numbers of the Federalist. I attempted to write something upon the case of the Solicitor General but could not please myself. The unwarrantable language which that gentleman used in the Trial will not however escape my recollection soon. In the evening, Boswell and Johnson’s Life of Ascham.
My feelings now are of a singular kind. They are more quiet and settled than last year, and my tone of mind is much more healthy. The little melancholy I experience is of a placid and settled nature and rather serves to tinge me with a pleasant shadow than with the darkness of former days. Religious confidence has done much of this and a more measured way of life, a great deal. May it continue, for the easy passage of days is one of our greatest pleasures though it brings little of that turbulent felicity which is the element of many. I would hardly now stretch out my hand to accelerate or retard the passing moment. For the present is without trouble, and without pain. There is happiness even in this idea. For though I look with less dread upon the future now, it is still a mist capable of producing both good and evil. The present has neither. Method, regularity and the due employment of time, produce equanimity which, after all, is the great source of comfort here below.
Conversation with Mr. Tarbell. Property.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-25

Thursday. 25th.

Morning fine. At the Office. The associations with the recurrence of { 327 } this day have been to me most generally productive of pleasure. But for the two last there has been nothing to support them. At College, I looked to it as the certain period of reunion with my own friends, and afterwards, as the time in the year when all were disposed to pleasure and congratulation and happiness. These ideas are not congenial here, for with the customs of the Puritans they transfer to Thanksgiving, an Institution of their own, what ought to come at Christmas and New Year. My day was a dull one, being passed alone, my landlord and lady having gone out of town. But it was spent in study unremitting and brought in the evening satisfactory reflections.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.