Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Wednesday 11th. CFA Wednesday 11th. CFA
Wednesday 11th.

Lovely day. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mr. Brooks’.

The weather remains extraordinarily pleasant for the season and today was such a one as we have few at any time of the year. At the office where I was so occupied about arrears of Diary and accounts that I could not read further of Storch.

Then home where I finished Hecuba. This is the easiest of all the greek dramas that I have ever yet read. There are many fine points of pathos in it, and many moral reflections of great beauty. But I feel the want of greek and latin notes, and a critical apparatus. Inasmuch as I cannot afford to purchase one new and I cannot elsewhere procure it, I think I shall postpone the Author and go back to a thorough re-examination of Sophocles with the edition I procured last year that is very complete.

After dinner, read The Review without much increase of pleasure. 341There is nothing flatter than the aspirings of middling minds to appear great by putting themselves on Stilts. Tried to read my Lecture loud to ascertain its length but was interrupted. Evening, to see Mr. Brooks where were several of the family. Miss L. C. Smith was with us to spend the day.

Thursday. 12th. CFA Thursday. 12th. CFA
Thursday. 12th.

Rain, but cleared up in the evening. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s.

The morning looked very dark and threatening but it turned out to be only a very short Southerly rain. Office nevertheless where I read a little of Storch and brought up my arrears of Diary. Home where I began Sophocles with the Oedipus Tyrannus and read forty lines very thoroughly.

In the Afternoon I read through my Lecture in one hour and five minutes which in delivery would take an hour and a half. This is too long. And I find deficiencies to be filled up which would add another half hour. I am now disposed once more and for the last time to remodel the whole, and I began upon it today. After all, if this does not suit I can retreat upon my old performance which I know I can make successful.

Evening, to Mrs. Frothingham’s where was a little party of young and old, few of whom I knew. Home at eleven.

Friday 13th. CFA Friday 13th. CFA
Friday 13th.

Pleasant day. Distribution as usual. Evening at home.

I was at the Office this morning with my time much taken up in writing. Began a letter to my Mother but was interrupted by Winch the Tenant of the farm at Weston who came to pay rent. Then home where I read about forty lines more of the Oedipus.

In the afternoon, reading and writing upon my Lecture. I never was in more doubt in my life. I think what I have written is pretty good but I doubt it’s telling well upon an audience. Evening at home, reading.

The accounts from Washington are very bad. The dignity of the country is much implicated in this proceeding. I hope my father will get through with credit in this perhaps the most perillous situation of his life.1

1.

JQA’s ordeal as presiding officer would end on Monday, the 16th, when sufficient votes were mustered to elect a Speaker.

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