Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 15th.

Thursday. 17th.

Wednesday. 16th. CFA Wednesday. 16th. CFA
Wednesday. 16th.

The weather suddenly changed during the night, and it was sultry with a Southerly wind and rain in the morning. I went to the Office. A letter from T. B. Adams, in reply to my semi-annual statement and mentioning his departure from Camp Armistead to Fort Mitchell in Alabama. He seems to be likely to pass pretty thoroughly over the Southern Country.1 I read Lingard and wrote my Diary as usual. Nothing new. Walk and home.

Afternoon, resumed the second Philippic of Cicero which I had begun some time back. It is a powerful specimen of invective although far too personal for what we should call good taste. Yet I am at a loss to know why if a man confines himself to speaking truth of an adversary he should not as well expose private as public vices. The latter are a natural consequence of the former. The only obstacle is the difficulty of avoiding slander in the mouths of the unscrupulous. In other respects, the power of Cicero is no where more visible than in this 12Oration. It’s vehemence is charming. That is the study for a writer who desires to assume the grand style.

Evening quiet at home. Read more of the Margravine. A curious book for trifling. Resumed my German which my studies had broken off.

1.

While Thomas Boylston Adams Jr., a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was in service and after his father’s death, CFA acted as his financial agent; see vol. 3:2, 337, and Adams Genealogy. The letter is missing.