Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Monday. 18th.

Wednesday. 20th.

Tuesday. 19th. CFA Tuesday. 19th. CFA
Tuesday. 19th.

The cold now begins to make us sensible of the approach of Winter. I went to the Office and passed my time in reading the remainder of 216 image Milton’s answer to the publication made under the name of the King called Eikōn Basilikē, in modern character. There is roughness and yet vigor in his manner of controversy. I should prefer some more polished weapons. There is one merit however in his style worthy of imitation. There is no surplusage in his style. No superabundance of words to represent ideas.

Took a walk as usual and in the afternoon, read Bacon’s Novum Organum which I find I have mastered pretty well. Here is an author who has more ideas than words, whose style becomes involved because he is so cumbered with them. Yet his page is one a man will return to again and again, while the mass of works of the present day pass to be forever forgotten. I read my usual portion of the fifth book of Virgil.

In the evening, read to my Wife from Tom Jones1 —A mine of sense and feeling but unfortunately alloyed with immorality and with disgusting ideas. Delicacy seems to be unnatural to the native English mind. All its vigorous productions of an original character are coarse.

1.

Broken sets of the, London, 1789 and 1795 editions of Tom Jones are in MQA, along with JQA’s set of Fielding’s Works, 12 vols., London, 1766.