Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 5th. CFA Sunday. 5th. CFA
Sunday. 5th.

Another fine day which I hope my Mother will be induced to improve, and thus take her out of the reach of our bad weather hereafter. According to my calculations she will reach Stafford Springs tonight.1 376I attended divine service all day, while my Wife went with her brother Chardon to Watertown and Medford. Heard Mr. Frothingham in the morning and Mr. Motte in the afternoon, but neither of them were interesting enough to excite my attention. The latter is infinitely stupid. His manner is absurd, his matter, bad taste. I do not know a poorer Preacher in Boston.

I pursued my occupations very quietly in my study all day. Read a portion of Mr. Drake’s sketch of Addison. Mr. Drake is a pleasant second hand Writer. His own thoughts are worth little, his compilations are in good taste and well selected to illustrate his subject. Proceeded with my Catalogue, and read a little of Enfield’s History of Philosophy2 in order to obtain a clearer idea of the Grecian Schools before passing to Cicero’s Philosophical Works. My Wife was so fatigued with her ride that she retired early. E. Quincy called upon a short visit. I read the larger part of Addison’s Critique upon Paradise Lost having finished my Review of the Twelfth Book last night. Two Numbers of the Tatler.

1.

The journey had been slowed by the extremely bad condition of the roads; LCA reached Waltham on the 3d, Worcester on the 4th, and Sturbridge on the 5th, reporting her arrival in each place by letter (Adams Papers).

2.

In MQA is JQA’s copy of William Enfield, The History of Philosophy, 2 vols., London, 1819.

Monday. 6th. CFA Monday. 6th. CFA
Monday. 6th.

The morning was dark and cloudy and it commenced raining, changed afterwards to Snow and assumed the regular appearance of one of our North Easters. I regret that two days more were not allowed to my Mother to get beyond the reach of it all. But I hope she has gained so much on it as to make her Journey easy compared with what it might have been.

I went to the Office as usual and after arranging all my balances, paying off the sum chargeable upon me from my Fathers property, which makes my Investment complete, I sat down and progressed somewhat in my German. But the book I brought from Quincy is altogether too hard to begin with.

Returned home and the storm was so high I was afraid of having a fire in my Study. I sat in the basement room and accomplished twenty three Sections of the Second book de Oratore. They had been read pretty thoroughly before. But now comes the series of Jokes which is somewhat more difficult. I hope to accomplish this better than before. Evening, the usual portion of Corinne and Lady Morgan’s nonsense. After which I completed Addison’s Critique upon Paradise 377Lost with Johnson’s remarks upon the versification. This study has not been without benefit to me. It has served to give me a better idea of the nature of this great Poem. Two Numbers of the Tatler.