Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Thursday. 26th.

Saturday 28th.

Friday. 27th. CFA Friday. 27th. CFA
Friday. 27th.

We returned to town this morning, my Wife in the little Carriage with my Father, myself with Mr. Brooks. The weather had cleared off and was rather pleasant although the roads were obstructed with the snow which fell in quantity of about three inches upon a surface during the Night. Such are the varieties of our weather. I found my father at the Office, and we then performed a considerable number of the remaining little pieces of business necessary to be transacted previous to his leaving this part of the Country. This took a considerable time and I had not much of the morning left. The remnant of it was taken up in reading a Number of the Edinburgh Review which I had brought with me from Medford which had an interesting article upon America and one upon the Drama.1 I read them with much interest and although I cannot think that they are fair or correct Articles yet I must allow them to be interesting. My father who looked into one of them appeared much incensed. He is almost too quick however upon matters relative to this Country.

After dinner, I occupied myself in making a draught of what I had translated during the two last days of Aeschines into my little pamphlet book,2 and as Abby went down to take tea with Mrs. Frothingham, I read Potter’s Translation of the Seven against Thebes of Aeschylus and tried to steer clear of the excessive partiality of Potter on the one side, and the other extreme of La Harpe on the other. Aeschylus must not be read as an Author of Dramas of the present day. But he contains much which has never been since exceeded. I had barely time to finish, before it became time to go down and hear Mr. Channing’s second Lecture to the Society of Useful Knowledge. It was upon Climate acting physically, and upon Diseases the effect of Climate or Soil, particularly alluding to those which go under the names of Yellow or Malignant Fever. It was interesting, to some extent, although not in itself so much so as to pay me for my trouble in coming down. On my return, called for Abby at Mrs. Frothingham’s, this lady 89being sick with a headach we hurried home, and I passed another hour in reading Voltaire’s criticisms upon Moliere’s Plays.

1.

The Edinburgh Review for June 1829 contained an article on the ancient and modern drama (p. 317–361) and an article on the United States, ostensibly a review of James Fenimore Cooper’s Notions of the Americans by a Travelling Bachelor, 2 vols., London, 1828, and Travels in North America by Capt. Basil Hall, 3 vols., Edinburgh, 1829 (p. 473–525). Peter C. Brooks had subscribed to the Edinburgh for a number of years (see Brooks, Waste Book); his file of the magazine is in MHi.

2.

See above, entry for 26 Oct., note