Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 21st.

Wednesday. 23d.

Tuesday. 22d. CFA


Tuesday. 22d. CFA
Tuesday. 22d.

Morning pleasant but still cool. Read Buffon for an hour as usual, and then went to the Office. Nothing material took place; I received a letter from my Father, and a Copy of Verses addressed to me.1 He frequently poetizes, and what he writes is in the usual strain of lofty morals. The remainder of the morning was taken up in my common duties, and in reading over the Essays of Hume which affected me 14much in the same manner as heretofore. They made me doubt not principles but his system of explaining them. My Uncle Judge Adams from Quincy paid me a long visit and gave me some Account of the proceedings at that place in relation to the House &ca. He seems puzzled in regard to the Posts.

Returned home, having lost my walk and after dinner was busy in reading over the Orations against Rullus. They do not strike me as very much deserving further Comment. But as a peculiar kind of Oratory, they deserve some attention. Speaking against the Popular Current.

Evening, Parry’s second Voyage, which appears to have been unsuccessful enough. He was entangled in Bays all the time. It is on the whole somewhat doubtful whether there is any passage through Hudson’s Bay. But we shall see more. Buffon afterwards and the Spectator.


15 March (Adams Papers), with an attachment, “To my Son, Charles Francis Adams,” entitled Wisdom, being a paraphrase of Proverbs, 3:13–35, in eight of JQA’s favorite eight-line stanzas. The purport would seem to be related to JQA’s reflections on CFA expressed a week earlier (above, entry for 14 March, note). The apposite lines read: My Son! thy Soul let Wisdom keep: So shall thy heart to God be true. Then walk thou safely in thy way: Path’s steep and rugged thou shalt meet: But fearless march—thou shalt not stray, Nor stone of stumbling strike thy feet. Thy heart, no terror shall affright.... In vain the malice of thy foes Shall spread to catch thy feet the snare, Thy God shall shelter thy repose And guard thee with unsleeping care. On him with stedfast soul rely; Like him with Goodness, others bind; The stream of Bounty still supply And prove a blessing to mankind.