Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 16th. CFA Sunday. 16th. CFA
Sunday. 16th.

The Storm had abated very little when we arose this morning, and it continued during the day, piling its heaps around us. We have had no such storms for two years. I did not stir out of the House all day. My occupation was reading Middleton’s Life of Cicero, and Drake’s Account of the Authors of the British Essayists, which last in it’s original shape I concluded. On the whole I have not experienced disadvantage from this reading. It has given me a view of the History of 403Essay Writing in England which I had not before. The acquisition of new ideas is always of value. The same Author has continued the History since the age of Addison and Steele, which I propose also to examine.1 I did not feel the pressure of time and accomplished a good deal.

Evening, reading to my Wife, from the Book upon Spain. This work of Mr. Slidell’s2 is really an acquisition in it’s way, it does credit to our Country. I afterwards read the North American Review, Article, The American System,3 which is a good Commentary upon Mr. Cambreleng’s miserable misrepresentation of our affairs—A statesman who is for setting a foreign Country over his own by a series of perversions of fact. After this, I read my regular quantity of the Tatler.


Nathan Drake, Essays, Biographical, Critical, and Historical, Illustrative of the Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler, 2 vols., London, 1809–1810.


Thus in MS; the reference is to the book by Alexander Slidell Mackenzie.


North Amer. Rev. , 32:127–174 (Jan. 1831); A. H. Everett was the author.

Monday. 17th. CFA Monday. 17th. CFA
Monday. 17th.

The Streets presented quite an extraordinary appearance this morning as the snow lay piled in heaps on every side. The People however turned out with great alacrity and began to clear out the paths for people riding, and walking. The horses had great difficulty to keep their course, as the snow was removed from the sidewalks only to be piled in their way.

Occupied at the Office with my Journal and with writing out a sketch of some papers on the present state of public affairs but the spirit does not yet come to me. Returned home after a walk to the Athenaeum to get a book or two. Afternoon, reading the Oratoriae Partitiones of Cicero which appears to be a mere summary of what has already been said, in the shape of a Dialogue between himself and his Son. It was therefore uninteresting although I succeeded in accomplishing one half of it. After what has preceded, it is not difficult.

Read French with my Wife and then continued the Year in Spain which gave us a clear sketch of a Spanish Bull Feast. My Ideas of Spain have obtained some clearness by this book. Afterwards, I began a book called Rhetorices Contractae Libri 4 by Gerard Voss.1 It is a mere abridgment of Cicero and Quinctilian, and after them is hardly worth the trouble of reading. Two Numbers of the Tatler.


An edition published at Amsterdam in 1685 of Gerard J. Vossius’ Rhetorices contractae, sive partitionum oratoriarum lib. V, is in MQA.