Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

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

Clear. Morning Office. Afternoon to Quincy.

At the Office working upon Burr which I am now finishing. Nothing else shall take precedence of this because it has been so long upon hand. Home a little late but went on with Ajax. After dinner my Wife accompanied me to Quincy together with my second boy. Found the men at work clearing rocks but having made exceedingly indifferent progress. They blow1 tomorrow. I was not very well satisfied and man-230ifested my sentiments. They go on tomorrow, but finish in the evening for I shall be exposed to severe expense otherwise in letting these men hang along. Home to tea. Short evening. Continued Tucker.

1.

That is, “blast”; see OED , 24, under “blow.”

Tuesday. 7th. CFA Tuesday. 7th. CFA
Tuesday. 7th.

Clear. Morning Office. Afternoon to Quincy. Evening to Mrs. Frothingham’s.

I continued Burr today with so much assiduity as to bring me to the last Sheet which I propose to finish tomorrow. This work must be done and shall be done. Also Accounts and home to read Ajax.

Afternoon to Quincy. The men had made not much better progress in blowing than half what I think will be enough to do the remainder of the wall. But this has been a heavy and expensive business and I have my doubts whether I ought to have undertaken it. I earnestly hope that it will prove the last. Remained to tea and did not get home until after eight o’clock.

My Wife had engaged to go to Mrs. Frothingham’s so I went directly there to meet her. Found Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Thayer. People whom I do not greatly fancy.

Wednesday. 8th. CFA Wednesday. 8th. CFA
Wednesday. 8th.

Cloudy day. Morning Office. Afternoon to Quincy.

I this morning finished my last sketch of Burr. Good, bad or indifferent I am not going to trouble myself more about it. It is not worth the candle to play the game of reviewing. There are passages in this which I know are good but the average is below my usual force. Let it go and I will transfer myself to something else.

At home, finished Ajax, thus completing the plays of Sophocles. I admire them much. Perhaps this last one has single passages of the greatest power, but it is not so skilfully arranged as Oedipus King nor so highly poetical as Oedipus at Coloni, nor so pathetic as Antigone. On the whole, Sophocles is the most remarkable of all the poets of antiquity for the variety of his talent, from the high lyric to the most gentle and simple. I shall return to the study of him hereafter.

After dinner to Quincy. The workmen had completed their labour in blowing and now comes the getting out. I remained until sunset and did not get home until nearly nine. Fatigued and went to bed early.

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