Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

103 Tuesday. 24th. CFA Tuesday. 24th. CFA
Tuesday. 24th.

Clear and cold for the Season. I began Schiller’s Cabal and Love, but finding it somewhat difficult and my Dictionary defective I laid it down for the purpose of taking up Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship as it is translated by the English. This has been much praised.1 It is not difficult.

Office where I was occupied though not very usefully. Col. Jones from Weston came in and paid his Note which turned my attention more particularly to money affairs. Walk. Home. Read Chateaubriand. Letters from Italy.2 There is something rather pleasing in the style of this Author. He writes with feeling and that in these days is something.

Afternoon Grimm. And Guizot’s Course of Lectures upon the general civilization of Europe which is something different and precedent to the particular one of France.3 He refines and subtilizes in a manner which English writers very seldom are found to do. But some of his positions are curious and instructive.

Evening Mr. Brooks went out again to the Theatre. I remained with my Wife who is suffering severely from a cold. Miss Forbes came in and paid her a visit. She is a niece of the Perkins family who are near us in the Street—her mother resides at Milton. She spent half an hour in conversation and then took her leave. Afterwards I read Wilhelm Meister which did not prevent my being drowsy.

1.

Carlyle’s translation of Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre is probably meant. During the following month’s reading of the work CFA was using the German text along with the English in the volume of Goethe’s Werke, Vienna, 1816–1821, he borrowed from the Athenaeum.

2.

In Chateaubriand’s Oeuvres, 28 vols., Paris, 1826–1831, borrowed from the Athenaeum.

3.

Guizot’s Histoire de la civilisation en Europe, Paris, 1828, had been borrowed from the Athenaeum.

Wednesday. 25th. CFA Wednesday. 25th. CFA
Wednesday. 25th.

Morning pleasant but still cool for the season. We received news of the confinement of Mrs. Frothingham. She has a daughter. I felt a wish my Wife was equally safe through it. But I checked myself as unreasonable not to trust in the disposition of the Creator who brings every thing about in its proper time.

Read Wilhelm Meister which is very interesting, much more so than I had anticipated and the style is easy. Office. After my usual occupations, sat down to a new draught of my Essay and as usual rewrote the greater part of the two first pages. Walk. Home. Read Grimm, and Afternoon Guizot. Nothing new or interesting.

104

Mr. Shepherd was here in the evening. He goes to Baltimore next Monday—he thinks to settle down there or at Shepherd’stown in Virginia. Read Wilhelm Meister and found myself much aided by a new Dictionary which I purchased and which ought to have been bought long before. These helps should never be grudged to a person really in want of them.