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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0009-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-08-14

Saturday. August 14th. VI.

Attended Prayers, but we were rejoiced this morning at finding that Mr. Hayward was absent and consequently we should have a miss. This is a thing which has not happened before for a very long while and was hailed with pleasure by all the class. I returned home and read my Bible. After breakfast I wrote my Journal which took me almost all the morning, the rest, I spent in finishing the article on the West Indies in the Edinburgh Review. It exhibits as dreadful a picture of slavery there as I have ever seen, the Government also is horribly corrupt. As to the plan of converting and civilizing the slaves I do not see how it can be done and they kept in the same way, but he gives some strong instances in favour of the supposition. It does appear to me, a free citizen of a free country, perfectly unnatural that any body else should be suffering the most extreme of torture without power to move in resistance. It is a shocking view of human nature when we look over the larger part, cannot I say all the world. And these men who are eternally crying up liberty and equality of rights are furious in putting them down. Nature is a paradox and daily exhibits examples of the truth of the assertion.
After dinner which was eaten with Sheafe only, I went to the reading room and took up the New Monthly Magazine, the greater part of two numbers of which I read. Not much interesting in it, for I fell asleep in the middle of an article upon the expedition to find a passage North of America.1 I returned home after taking a warm bath on this very cold day. I read a number of Pope’s letters.2 They appear to me by far too studied and cold, indeed they also sent me to sleep, which I did not get over until the bell rang for Prayers which I attended.
Dwight came to tea, he has been away for three days and I went up to his room where I had two hours conversation with him upon different subjects. I talked to him concerning the Knights, and wanted { 290 } to say more but he on the whole turned the conversation. We had some laugh at his account of his adventures at Cohasset and some serious conversation on other topics. He is unquestionably the pleasantest man and the most sensible I find here. I returned home, spent a little while at Sheafe’s and then went to bed. X.
1. John Dundas Cochrane, “Advantages of Attempting the North-East Passage Round the American Continent,” New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 7:393–403 (Jan.–June 1824). CFA probably read the Boston edition of this periodical, originally published in London.
2. CFA’s set of Alexander Pope’s Works, 8 vols., London, 1812, is in the Stone Library, along with another edition of the poet’s writings, 6 vols., Edinburgh, 1764, and JQA’s copy of Additions to the Works of Alexander Pope . . . with Many Poems and Letters of Cotemporary Writer Never Before Published, ed. W. Warburton, 2 vols., London, 1776. Among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library are three sets of the Works of Pope. See Catalogue of JA’s Library , p. 199.