Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

405 Thursday. 20th. CFA Thursday. 20th. CFA
Thursday. 20th.

The Weather looked very much as if it was going to give us snow for the day, but instead, after a few flakes it cleared away and became cold. I went to the Office as usual, and was occupied in reading Enfield’s Account of the Alexandrian Philosophy which is less interesting than the preceding portion of the work. For it presents a sad spectacle of the utter waste of human abilities. Took a walk with J. Chapman whom I happened to meet, and afterwards Mr. G. Lunt,1 with both of whom I had a pleasant conversation.

I then went according to agreement to dine at Mrs. Frothingham’s where were my Wife and Mr. Brooks, in order to be near and attend the funeral of poor Mrs. Sargent.2 She is at last dead after a lingering illness. What a change since I was last in her House. Then I went to congratulate and sup with her immediately upon her Wedding.3 Now it was to follow her to the last repository of mortal clay. But I remember still more strongly when she was a lively and blooming girl at Medford in the first Summer that I came here. She seemed to have every thing to enjoy in life. Fortune, friends, and health. What could one wish more. Happy in her marriage afterwards and with a blooming child, this was the period in which she was struck down from among us, to present another striking memento of the fleeting character of human happiness.

Returned home and passed the rest of the Afternoon in finishing the review of the Partitiones Oratoriae and reading the short piece de Optimo Genere Oratorum. Evening French, and the book upon Spain after which a portion of Vossius and two numbers of the Tatler.


George Lunt, Harvard 1824, is identified at vol. 1:128.


Mrs. Ignatius Sargent (Charlotte Gray), ABA’s first cousin; see vol. 2:155.


The marriage was on 23 Dec. 1828, the supper party at the Sargent home was on 13 Feb. 1829; see vol. 2:326, 346.

Friday. 21st. CFA Friday. 21st. CFA
Friday. 21st.

The coldest morning we have yet experienced. This may be considered as a truly bitter winter. I went to Market to obtain some things I especially needed and then returned to my Office to finish my Journal and read my usual portion of Enfield. But I am less interested in the result of the Philosophers of the particular time I am now about. The Account of Seneca is yet worthy of great attention.

I went down to the Athenaeum for my Wife and then took a short walk but it was so cold there was no comfort in it. Returned home and passed my Afternoon in beginning upon the Orations of Cicero, a 406much pleasanter field. I took up the Oration for P. Quintius, which I found easy though upon an intimate question of private Law. I could not account for my understanding it so readily until I remembered I had read it when I first came to Boston though the name had escaped me.1 It is a wonderful production as a first specimen of a young man’s powers. It shows how strong he felt upon his past education.

Evening, French and the book upon Spain to my Wife who appeared quite unwell. After which more of Vossius and two numbers of the Tatler.


See vol. 2:239–245 passim.