Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Wednesday. 22d. CFA Wednesday. 22d. CFA
Wednesday. 22d.

Rainy with cold, raw east wind. At home all day. Evening at the house.

It was a very cold disagreeable day and although wanting fires ex-239ceedingly I could not summon resolution enough to order one which made me peevish and uncomfortable. I am very doubtful whether the Stoical system is useful to the temper. I know mine goes on the most easily when I am externally comfortable.

Worked upon Tucker and finished Locke upon raising the value of Money, i.e. depreciating it.1 A very clear minded man.

After dinner Lucan finishing the first book, but I executed nothing very heartily. Evening at the Mansion house where was nothing new.

1.

CFA’s meaning here, badly expressed, would seem to be, “Locke upon lowering the interest rate and increasing the supply of money, i.e. depreciating it.” See entry of 20 May, above.

Thursday 23d. CFA Thursday 23d. CFA
Thursday 23d.

Another cold, cloudy day. At home. Evening, the family at my house.

Determined not to suffer so much again from cold I had the furnace heated this morning and enjoyed a very comfortable morning. Finished my review of Tucker’s book and began writing upon it, but my vigor flags. I do so much in writing now that I have lost interest in it. Yet I promised and will perform.

Read a part of Lessing, Life of Sophocles or rather notes of what is said about him in the writings of the ancients.1 Lessing is among the most acute of all the critics I ever read.

Afternoon, Lucan book 2. l. 1–300. And Grimm. But my Mother and the other ladies came in to spend the evening. Nothing at all new.

1.

On the German editions of G. E. Lessing’s works at MQA, see entry for 23 July 1837, above.

Friday 24th. CFA Friday 24th. CFA
Friday 24th.

Cloudy, cold and rainy. At home all day. Evening at the Mansion.

This was my day for going to town but the weather seemed so very unpleasant that I decided to postpone it. Sat down quietly instead to write upon Mr. Tucker, but I must have overtasked myself heretofore or there is some other reason, for the extraordinary indolence which comes over me. I cannot write as I would. Perhaps it will come to me presently.

I read a little of Lessing’s Notes of a Memoir of Sophocles which are uncommonly adroit, and show how much may be made by an ingenious man out of very small materials.

Afternoon finished the second book of Lucan’s Pharsalia and read 240Wellwood’s Preface to the translation made by Rowe.1 Read a little of Grimm.

Evening passed at the house below. There is little or nothing stirring to excite any interest. A season of profound peace is now in the Country, such as we have not enjoyed for a long time, and the people appear to be striving to repair losses as earnestly as possible. Even politics are dull.

1.

Nicholas Rowe’s translation of the Pharsalia, London, 1720, is at MQA.