Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

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

Clear and warm. Two hours devoted to my article, one to a play of Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, and two to Lessing’s Laocoon. Dinner as usual at the other house. Afternoon, reading and watering plants. Evening again at the Mansion.

The article goes very heavily indeed. I have no zeal and therefore it cannot be good. With respect to Marlow I took him up to see if I could find any Jewels in him, but quickly satisfied myself he was but a botcher of pewter. Lessing 172–208. continues interesting and in many respects just. Lucretius l. 450–578.


Such my reading for one day interrupted only by social meals. This is rather a poor account to give of valuable time. Joseph H. Adams and Elizabeth dined at the house, and the latter passed the evening.

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

A very warm day. An hour upon my article which I finally conclude to give up as a bad job. Then fell into desultory reading which ended in the examination of Dr. Franklin before the House of Commons.1 Lessing which was however cut short by a visit to Mount Wollaston with my two elder boys to take a bath. Afternoon reading and a ride towards sunset. Evening, to return Mr. Whitney’s visit and home.

I never could entirely satisfy my mind respecting the distinctions set up about the power of Parliament over the Colonies. Dr. Franklin does not clear the matter. The fact is the connexion was not a fair nor just one and was therefore properly terminated. Lessing 208–222. Lucretius 578–735. Nothing of interest from Mr. Whitney nor in the Newspapers.


Examination ... relating to the repeal of the stamp act, in 1766, n.p., 1767.

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

Clear and very warm. Morning in town. Afternoon spent in reading and attending to my trees affected by the dry weather. Evening, a call at Mr. Daniel Greenleaf’s for a short time and at the Mansion but hurried home from both by the threat of a thunder shower which however passed south.

Did little in town, having no business. The Afternoon was also much taken up by the process of refreshing my trees, made somewhat fatiguing by the hot weather. Lucretius 735–783. A pretty obscure part of the text. The author is vigorous but not clear. Our visit, (my Wife, and Mary with me) to Mr. Greenleafs was cut short by a dark cloud. It is one of the return visits in the neighborhood which I have neglected too long. After our return home I read a few of Bayle’s letters which fail in interest.

Saturday 25th. CFA Saturday 25th. CFA
Saturday 25th.

A very warm morning which ended in a thunder storm shortly after dinner of unusual violence. Morning passed in reading at home till noon, and then a ride to Mount Wollaston for a bath with my boys. Afternoon and evening at home.


Locke on Education in the 8th volume of his works,1 from page 1 to 106. I wonder that I never read this very sensible Treatise before, which points out to me a few errors in my own action upon my children and confirms my belief in some points to which I had already been brought without knowing his work. After all education is a great problem not often solved correctly by any general rule.

Of Lessing today in consequence of my bath only from 222 to 235. And Lucretius, 785–920. As we remained at home in the evening in consequence of the continued rain, I also accomplished some of Bayle’s Letters.


The London, 1794, edn. in 9 vols. is in MQA.