Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 30th.

Friday. Feby. 1st.

Thursday. 31st. CFA Thursday. 31st. CFA
Thursday. 31st.

A snow storm and the first we have had this season. It makes a great change in the appearance of things. However severe the cold may be, there is nothing of Winter until snow comes. I went to the Office. Examined and squared my Accounts for the month.

Then read Lingard whose fourteenth and last Volume I finished. His history has on the whole been quite interesting. It is avowedly written to sustain a religious party and is therefore occasionally rather disposed to conceal the true state of the Catholic question. But apart from this it is generally candid and disposed to sustain the liberal view of the British Constitution. I believe I shall now read James Macintosh for the purpose of rectifying.1 And if this does not give me some basis in English History I do not know what will. I have an idea of undertaking an examination of American History from the beginning to help me in any future undertakings I may meditate. But it is dimly 21shadowed forth before me. I know not exactly where to begin. Supposing I were to write at the same time.

Did not walk today. Afternoon, I continued Anquetil’s spirit of the Fronde. Character of Mazarin. How the world has been governed, and is and will be. Evening quiet at home. Caroline of Litchfield, Lady Craven and reviewing Wieland.

1.

Sir James Mackintosh was a writer for whom CFA came to feel a peculiar affinity and from whom he frequently derived stimulation. He returned to the reading of one or another of his historical or philosophical works again and again. The History of England, for example, which he was to pursue for the next several months, had been part of his reading program a little more than a year earlier; see vol. 4:165, 441.