Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 28th.

Monday. 30th.

Sunday. 29th. CFA


Sunday. 29th. CFA
Sunday. 29th.

Our Weather hitherto since our stay at Quincy has been exceedingly cool, and often unpleasant. Today it was clear and very warm—The Thermometer rising to over 80° of Fahrenheit. I attended divine Service with my Father all day. We heard Mr. Flint of Cohasset, the very dullest Preacher that ever existed. It passes my comprehension to understand how a man could so totally deprave1 what might be supposed implanted by nature, the power of delivering a man’s own words and ideas to advantage.2 This gentleman dined with us. He seems to be a Man of naturally good strong sense but rough as a block of granite unhewn.

I took the leisure time to finish the Oration against Piso. It is worth studying for those who feel disposed to deal in invective, but for my own part, I prefer the more moderate, and argumentative discussions. And I cannot get over the strong inconsistency of his subsequent conduct. For Piso and Gabinius both afterwards were defended by him. I also read Grimm. Mr. Degrand and Mr. Dodge, a reformed Consul at Marseilles, paid a visit here and took tea,3 otherwise evening quiet and warm. Read the Spectator as usual.


Deprave as a verb with the meaning to corrupt or degrade seems to have been already by this date an archaism ( OED ).


JQA pronounced the sermon delivered by Rev. Jacob Flynt a good one but “much injured by a sluggish and ungraceful delivery” (Diary, 29 May).


Joshua Dodge, who had served during JQA’s administration and had been removed from his post at the beginning of the Jackson administration, was now seeking reappointment. It seems unlikely that an ironic note was intended in the use of reformed. CFA seems to have been using the word here and in the entry for 8 Sept., below, with the meaning, already archaic or obsolete, ordinarily restricted to the military: an officer deprived of or left without a command ( OED : reformed, 4).