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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-03

Thursday. June 3d. IX.

I was compelled to change my determination of returning to Cambridge today partly by the result of the conversation with my Uncle on the other day and partly by the rainy weather and cold wind with which we were affected today. I staid in the house all day. Most of it being spent in my Grandfather’s room reading to him. I went over almost all the articles in the North American Review. Most of which I had read before at Cambridge. They did not interest me, with the exception of that on Wordsworth’s Poems1 which I was happy to read again as my opinion of the poet is still farther confirmed. If his poetry is good then I do not know what poetry is not? This is the course of the words of the reviewer and my settled opinion. A weak poet can be forgiven, a silly one, never. I also read to him a notice of Irving’s Orations2 with some extracts. I like parts. He said it might be good but he did not understand it. I have been of late, surprised to find the method he has of regularly constructing his sentences when he speaks of any thing warmly, arranging his words as he goes on and chang• { 169 } ing them when not perfectly correct. I presume this comes from a habit of public speaking.
My Uncle returned to day from Dedham not having been any further on his intended journey. Somebody came with him in a chaise. I did not see him as he did not make his appearance in the house. In mentioning this to my Grandfather I heard him say more than usual on the unfortunate conduct of his sons—he laments the fate which has thrown so much gloom over our house, something was necessary to check our pride and we have suffered bitterly. We should have been crushed, had the Sons all been distinguished, but now while the World respects us, it at the same [time] pities our misfortune and this pity destroys the envy which would otherwise arise. So we see that some good comes from even the worst evil. Having been with him all day, I spent the Evening in the Parlour with the ladies. Something dull still hangs over them. Mrs. Adams is still angry with me for handling Joseph as I did last night. It was intolerable however and I did what I have often done and what has made many angry with me. I have become quite pleased with the girls, particularly Abby, since my stay. She is so easy and obedient in temper to all appearance, a thing I like in a woman. This is not her character in Quincy. XI.
1. F. W. P. Greenwood, “Wordsworth’s Poems,” North American Review, 43: 356–371 (April 1824).
2. Edward Irving (1792–1834), a Scottish religious enthusiast, published, among other works, For the Oracles of God, Four Orations, London, 1824. A Philadelphia edition of the same year is in the Stone Library.