Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Saturday. 25th.

Monday. 27th.

Sunday. 26th. CFA Sunday. 26th. CFA
Sunday. 26th.

This was a lovely day more like the softer air of the Spring Season than the weather common at this time of the year. My Wife went with me to Meeting in the morning, and I went alone in the Afternoon. The Sermons by Mr. Frothingham were in the morning upon the nativity of Christ as a moral lesson in it’s Anniversary, in the afternoon, the close of the year. I thought neither of them in his best style. He labours too much. The finish of every sentence is the close of an idea, so that the next comes after it, without any absolute dependence upon that which has preceded it. My own notions of beauty are so different, they depend so much upon what I call flow in which the ideas seem almost to suggest themselves in a train of harmony, that I cannot listen long to Mr. F. without feeling fatigued.

At home I was occupied the remainder of the day and evening in reading Middleton’s Life of Cicero over,1 and I was surprised to find how little impression it had made upon me before. If this is to be always the result, I can think of no other fate but that of the daughters of Ixion. Am I right? for it is so long since I am forgetting mythology and have no means here of ascertaining.2 My Wife read her usual portion of French this evening. I could not continue my Catalogue having no blank book but I read the Tatler.

1.

CFA had read Conyers Middleton’s Cicero in Jan. 1828; see vol. 2:200–210 passim.

2.

Perhaps CFA is thinking rather of the story of Ixion himself who, despite divine favor and forgiveness, repeated and magnified his earlier transgressions, profiting less from experience than any other figure in mythology.