Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Saturday. July 3d. VIII. CFA Saturday. July 3d. VIII. CFA
Saturday. July 3d. VIII.

Missed Prayers and recitation again for I could not help it, the lesson was so hard and I had been unwell, which shall be my excuse for I cannot possibly go on in this way, continually missing and continually cautioning myself. The summer is always a bad season for studying as the Evening will never admit of it. After breakfast, I sat down in my room and read over my Journal for the last Month in order to review it which I did this Morning, not with feelings of the greatest satisfaction either. This being done I went to the Bookstore and reading room where I spent the rest of the morning with Tudor. 220I attempted to buy a plate which he had there at somewhat of a bargain but did not succeed. From there I came home and amused myself until dinner with a little of Salmagundi. A most singular assortment of queer ideas and humourous description. More here at dinner than usual, Wheatland, Tudor, Sheafe and Dwight.

I spent the afternoon, employed pretty closely in writing up my Journal which I did and in reading a Chapter in Mitford which I have again resumed. It was an account, today, of the battles of Plataea and Mycale and the final defeat of the Persian forces, very well given indeed. As it is mere description, although very interesting, it has few of the properties of history. I can therefore say but little on the subject. Suffice it that when the prayer bell rang I felt far more satisfied with myself than I have for sometime.

After tea Dwight, Tudor and I took a walk and walking by Mr. Rules’ we went in and took some strawberries. I was much pleased with the walk, indeed my feelings which were so lately affected against my friends are now as much in their favour. The truth is, I have become fastidious and wish to enjoy them alone. Richardson is now such an eternal pest that I can hardly like their society when alloyed by his. It is singular that I should have such feelings towards an individual for whom I was exceeding sorry in the fall but he is a man who pleases better by a distant acquaintance. I do not think any thing but a change in his character could reconcile him to my comfort. Returning as the Evening was a very beautiful one, we remained in front of the house until quite late, and conversed concerning the work of the day. In truth it is long since I have spent a pleasanter evening than this, the more so as I was to incur no consequences in the enjoyment of it. XI:15.

Sunday. July 4th. VIII. CFA Sunday. July 4th. VIII. CFA
Sunday. July 4th. VIII.

Arose, after having again missed Prayers, but this is as usual for I have not attended one on Sunday morning since the commencement of the Junior year, I might say since the middle of my Sophomore. I wrote my journal in the morning and read a few numbers of Salmagundi which diverted me as usual. I do think however that his sort of wit has too much sameness to delight all the time. I also attended Chapel and heard the President and Dr. Ware deliver consolatory sermons to the widower Professor Willard.

I have omitted to mention, although I have thought of it more than once, the death of Lord Byron in Greece, which is announced in the newspapers. There are but few men in an age of real talent, he was 221one of these few. He had a mind comprehending far more than this earth, there was no subject grand enough for this man’s conception. He strained for more than the lot of man and missed his aim by falling into obscurity. He could not understand the 1 which he himself was desirous to aspire at. His head grew giddy as he ascended and wishing nevertheless to continue distinguished, he plunged into a marsh below. His last productions disgrace him, they do him no honor even for talent; for morality, he never was distinguished.

After dinner it being the fourth of July, we, Sheafe, Tudor, Richardson and myself determined to celebrate it and therefore drank a bottle of Champagne. We toasted the day, the signers of the declaration of Independence and withal I drunk success to my brother John who is on this day, twenty one years old. May he be happy, distinguished, and may he maintain the dignity of the Adams family. I unintentionally almost spent in this way, nearly all the afternoon, and had no power to do any thing but read over my lesson for tomorrow morning and the one for the review. My afternoon went in this way, the Evening was taken up in walking, taking out Mr. Norton’s2 swing post and performing sundry other feats too numerous and too heroic to place in my Journal. I returned home and after some conversation with Richardson which was as usual very troublesome.3 I wonder if I am to be bored with him all my College life. In the Evening I studied my Enfield over again and read my Bible as usual. Went to bed early. X.


One word overwritten and illegible in MS.


Presumably Andrews Norton (1786–1853), Dexter professor of sacred literature at Harvard from 1819 to 1830 ( DAB ).


Thus in MS.