Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 9th.

Sunday. 11th.

Saturday. 10th. CFA


Saturday. 10th. CFA
Saturday. 10th.

My health is declining in spite of myself. The distress I endure every morning is something more than the vision of a hypochondriac. Yet it is aggravated by want of occupation. I know not what to turn my attention to but this I know that something must be done or I shall be very good for nothing.

Went to the Office and read Lingard — The Catholic account of the Reformation. Prejudiced but not with any appearance of intentional unfairness. He has hit upon the great truth without appreciating it, 396and without seeing the effect it produces upon the whole of his history. The struggle of Luther was the struggle of the human mind, for liberty, moral, religious, political and ecclesiastical. Its consequences are not yet fully developed, both in good and in evil.

A walk at one. I propose to adhere strictly to exercise this winter. Afternoon, reading Antimasonry. I read and read but am not yet master enough of the subject to compose. Discouragement in all my preceding undertakings gives me little hope upon this. Evening. Read to my Wife two or three interesting lives of Painters—Copley and Mortimer.1


A fourth volume of Allan Cunningham’s Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters and Sculptors had recently been published in the Harper’s Family Library edition (see above, entry for 11 March, note). John Singleton Copley, John Hamilton Mortimer, George Romney, William Owen, and Sir Henry Raeburn, whose lives CFA was reading during November, are all included in this volume, which CFA borrowed from the Athenaeum.