Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 18th.

Wednesday. 20th.

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

The morning was foggy with occasional rain but the weather cleared away in the course of the day. After reading Aeschines I went to the Office and was busy there with my Accounts after which I began reading an Analysis of a Work called La Politique naturelle1 which seemed to contain much that was good. I could not give it my undivided attention from the nature of my morning work and interruptions which have the effect of preventing any continued action of the mind upon one subject. I lose though not without perpetual regret much of my most valuable time.

Afternoon. I completed a large part of the Oration de Haruspicum Responsis. It seems to have been a burst of Anger against Clodius in the usual manner of this Orator, attacking him at all points. As specimens of Invective these are wonderful but it is to be doubted whether on the whole this species of Oratory helps a man. It was the source of most of Cicero’s sufferings and it will always make abundance of enemies so watchful that your fortune must be surprising to escape their shafts at every point. I think this remark applicable to my father who has drawn much of his manner from these sources.

Evening, we continued Dr. Walsh but Edmund Quincy came and spent two hours. After which I continued Mackenzie and read the Spectator. My Wife received a letter from my Mother,2 containing nothing new.

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1.

By Paul Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach, in Bibliothèque de l’homme public, vol. 6.

2.

15 April (Adams Papers).