Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Thursday 21st. CFA Thursday 21st. CFA
Thursday 21st.

Rain and clouds and darkness. Time as usual. Evening at Mr. Brooks’.

I worked hard this morning and made out to finish the fourth and last number of my papers, which after once reading over I sent to the 206Courier. It pleases me much but I do not find that it pleases any body else, or excites even a passing thought. Was there ever a young man who exerted his powers to so little purpose? I have laboured much upon these and yet not a soul will feel the wiser.

Home to read Philoctetes. Afternoon finished the sixteenth chapter of Gibbon which excites in me nothing but disgust, and continued at work upon the MS. I have now disposed of all of the first class of papers.

Evening, notwithstanding the rain I went to see Mr. Brooks, hearing he had been confined two days at home with a cold. He seemed very well and cheerful. Home, on with Burr.

Friday. 22d. CFA Friday. 22d. CFA
Friday. 22d.

Cloudy but clearing. Office. Nickleby. Philoctetes. China. Evening at Mr. Brooks’.

My day at the Office today was full of laziness. This I took out of pure revenge for my work on preceding days and more particularly yesterday. Read part of the Novel of Nickleby which is much after the style of all other of the works of that writer, highly unnatural, and overdrawn. It is the sardonic laugh at the miseries of human kind.

Continue Philoctetes. I. Hull Adams and his friend Campbell dined with me. Read a portion of an Essay upon the Chinese in the Library of Entertaining Knowledge, prepared in so very slovenly a manner that I confess I wonder a little at its being ushered forth in such presence. The subject is curious.

Evening, Mrs. Adams and I to Mr. Brooks’ where were the female branches of the family. On with Burr.

Saturday 23d. CFA Saturday 23d. CFA
Saturday 23d.

Clear. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.

At the Office I did little or nothing. My last paper upon Currency was published and adds one more to the list of fruitless efforts. I read it over today and am confirmed in my belief that it is good, even though I stand alone in it.

Walk round the South Cove to watch the improvements going on in the property. My stake in it makes me feel anxious in these times of difficulty.

Finished Philoctetes, a remarkable specimen of the ancient Greek drama as it has hardly any plot at all. The dialogue is extremely rapid 207and the text easy. I shall therefore omit a Review of it and instead, go on to the Trachinians with a view of reading all the rest of Sophocles this winter. Afternoon, the Chinese. On with Burr.