A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0008-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-07-29

Thursday. July 29th. V:20.

Arose and looked over my lesson, but felt so much fatigued that I went to sleep again until the Prayer bell, which I obeyed and attended recitation. I was called upon this morning for the first time since Friday, and in consequence was not remarkably well prepared. I was rejoiced at finding two letters for me in the Post-Office, one from my Mother who has at last returned to Washington and seems to write with much more life than usual, and one from John in his usual style.1 It has been so long since I received one before that really my spirits were considerably affected for the better as I really felt as if I had a home again. My Mother does not appear inclined to come on here this summer but I doubt very much whether she will persevere in her resolution. John is as wild and extravagant as usual, talks about a certain Theresa whom he met at Bedford, and became very suddenly exquisitely pathetical.
{ 264 }
I regretted exceedingly being compelled to withdraw from these and commence writing a Forensic on the negative of the question whether, the fear of man in animals arise from adventitious circumstances. Which I argued in surprisingly short time. It was a very easy subject and all my difficulty was that I had such little time left me. After hearing all the Forensics which were very good today and which forced a compliment from Mr. Hedge, I cannot say which my opinion is and am rather inclined to think that it is much like all other questions of this sort, not worth disputing about. This over, being the last Forensic in the Junior Year, I spent the rest of the time until dinner reading the newspapers.
After dinner, I did nothing until I attended Mr. Nuttall’s lecture upon the unimportant parts of flowers, such as the stipella, tendril, spine, thorn and other little appendages. I have got extremely tired of these lectures as I do not learn any more than I already have. Returning home, I still found Chapman and Otis here, playing upon a miniature billiard table. They had been here ever since dinner. It proves the interest of the game that such a wretched imitation should please. I did nothing of importance but write my Journal, this afternoon. As to reading, it appears to me that I have entirely given that up. I am somewhat ashamed but it does not really seem as if I had one moment of time to spare to do anything. I cannot be angry with myself.
I attended Evening Prayers. After tea the Company was ordered out. As Cunningham had not returned, Cenas the First Lieutenant took his place. He was not much in the Company, last year, and consequently had not learnt any thing correctly. This together with the fright came near exposing him considerably. Luckily a gentle rain, as soon as we had commenced manoeuvring, made us return in quick time. And the company was dismissed in a hurry. I escaped with a gentle wetting. We immediately adjourned to Mr. Willard’s where we refreshed ourselves, we wanted it very much. None of us however were in fine humour. These meetings of the officers are not so agreable as I was inclined to suppose they would be. Our tempers are all three cornered and it is only chance which makes them come compactly together. Lothrop appeared in singular humour, at the appointment of Markers which came round tonight. He displayed feelings which surprised me very much indeed. The Northern feelings which I have indulged of late considerably, have had a fine opportunity for being gratified, as the Northern men have been the superior soldiers. But Lothrop, this afternoon or evening, appeared to be anxious to have some Southern man in, before Lowell2 and Phillips upon whom3 I { 265 } was piqued. It was a singular circumstance but had no effect, for my Candidates were carried by a decided vote. I had no idea of allowing a superiority where there was materially the reverse, and thereby injuring the feelings of certainly that portion of the class which we are most bound to support.
The provision for the Evening made by Cenas was most wretchedly deficient, as it was at his room, and I returned thirsty and dissatisfied with every thing and every body and, now that Cunningham is sick, with but a gloomy prospect before me. The rain had ceased and I returned home after having had considerable conversation and some argument. I came back and read over my lesson and went to bed, feeling again dissatisfied and feeling again a sort of disappointment and disgust. The vanity and mutability of feelings was strongly exemplified in these cases as in any I have ever known. I also read my Bible and went to bed. X.
1. The letter from JA2 is missing.
2. Charles Russell Lowell, a sophomore, was a member of the distinguished Boston family of that name ( Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
3. Thus apparently in MS , but CFA may have meant to write “which.”