Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 16th.

Wednesday. 18th.

331 Tuesday. 17th. CFA Tuesday. 17th. CFA
Tuesday. 17th.

Fine morning. I concluded not to go to town today. My Mother received a letter this morning from my father mentioning the probability of his starting from Washington about this time, and my brother’s family is to accompany him.1

I continued reading Thucydides—The Funeral Oration of Pericles, which partakes much of that style which foreigners are fond of charging upon us. I am also reading Sydney on Government, a work written to refute the singular system of Sir Robert Filmer.2 It has many points, sarcasm, logic, ridicule, and vigor. But the only wonder is that a refutation should ever have been needed. The science of government has been prostituted to the designs of the few servile scoundrels who look to their own interest, cost what it may to the world.

Afternoon, finished the first volume of Seneca. Read also a part of the proceedings of the first Congress under our Constitution, relating to laying an impost.3 How the Southern section of the Union can get over it, I do not see. Evening quiet. My Mother does not seem well at all, today.

1.

JQA to LCA, 11 July (Adams Papers). The plan for JA2 and his family to accompany JQA to Quincy was later abandoned because of the added hazard to travel imposed by the cholera. Instead, JA2 accompanied JQA as far as Philadelphia to consult a physician there about his own persistent eye trouble (JQA to LCA, 19 July, Adams Papers; entry for 19 July, below).

2.

Algernon Sidney’s Discourses concerning Government, first printed in 1698, was written, probably as early as 1680, in answer to Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, which was published in that year. See the DNB notices of each.

3.

Presumably in Thomas Lloyd, Congressional Register; History of the Proceedings and Debates of the 1st House of Representatives of the United States, 3 vols., N.Y., 1789–1790.