A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0008-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-07-11

Sunday. July 11th. VIII.

Arose considerably refreshed this Morning, and took breakfast. Found Cunningham here, an addition to our number at the table, and I forgot that Silsbee had been here ever since the death of Gray, and the consequent dispersion of his mother’s boarders. The table is in consequence rather larger than I wish it and I shall not be content until the Seniors leave and reduce it. The character of Cunningham I { 233 } have never given which is surprising as he has always ranked among my friends but the reason is that I find it difficult to judge of it myself. That he is a man of talents of a superior sort, I am exceedingly inclined to doubt, that he is a would be fashionable and lady’s man, I am certain and therefore think less of him, that he is stiff and affected I am also certain, but at the same time I believe he has many good feelings. His friendship is not to be slighted, because he will do a man a service and he is pretty firm. There are sundry reasons which I cannot myself tell, which make him agreable and as he is now endeavouring to correct his faults which certainly want it.1 His habits are acquired and if they once are broken he will become the same natural man which he ought to be.
This morning, I wrote my Journal and attended Chapel, where I heard the President deliver a sort of a farewell funeral Oration. It was a queer mixture of the Lord knows what. In the afternoon Dr. Ware delivered an excellent sermon to the Seniors as parting advice. It was plain and simple and extremely pleasant to a man’s feelings, I should imagine, who was about to leave College. There is a pleasant and at the same time a melancholy sort of feeling in seeing this class depart. Why should I be sorry to stay here, where I enjoyed myself as much as I ever shall in any part of my life, perhaps more? It is because I wish for home as it is now and when I think that soon all the pleasure of that home will be gone, even before I get out, I cannot help feeling sorry. There is a happiness for a social being in the bosom of a family, which I am afraid it is my lot never hereafter to enjoy perhaps, but all things are in the womb of futurity and however anxious I may be to know them, I must e’en content myself with the maxim “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Such has been the state of my feelings today. I am glad when I think that we stay here but one year more and sorry when these Seniors come to my remembrance. At the same time I am attached to Cambridge and should scarcely feel less melancholy if I had directions to leave it tomorrow, with a degree. My only desire is to rush into the world. I wish to be acting my part like other men and feel now like a small dog trying to leap a wall while the larger ones pass over and squeeling his soul out in a fret because he cannot succeed. This is my first set figure in this book, and perhaps not the most consistent with the rules of style. In writing however I am a racer overleaping all obstacles and never returning over the course. This is my second, and indeed I feel so metaphorical this evening that I shall run over every thing so I will e’en return to my subject.
{ 234 }
After tea I took a walk with Richardson, in which we had some conversation concerning Wheatland with whom he has had a quarrel. He appears to be considerably exasperated against him, on account of an affair about the Major’s detur2 in which I must confess from Richardson’s account of it, I do not think that the former has acted as consistently with honor as he ought to have done. But we must always make allowances for him. Every one who chooses to overstep the rules of honor and good breeding will take the consequences upon his own head. And I believe it will be found that as long as a man [preserves?] them he will pass easily through life. Our walk was a long and a pretty pleasant one as he was in a humour which forbid his making so much of a fool of himself. Indeed could I have the tutoring of that man without the intervention of any body else, I doubt not but what I could make him at least tolerable. I could make him equal to Howard in manners and his own sense, which is a little superior to the other’s, would assist him and make him do. His natural wit, a good deal of which he has, would make him entertaining.
After our return, I went and did some business concerning the Knights with Mr. Willard then came up and read over my lesson and Bible and then went to bed. I did not get to sleep for some time however, as Tudor and Elliot were drinking Champagne, in the third story. X:15.
1. Punctuated thus in MS.
2. A prize of books given annually at Harvard College to meritorious students.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/