Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Sunday. June 13th. VII:30.

Tuesday. June 15th. VI.

Monday. June 14th. V:30. CFA


Monday. June 14th. V:30. CFA
Monday. June 14th. V:30.

Attended Prayers and recitation this morning, read my two Chapters as usual and the fourth book of Cowper, the feelings upon which I have described in my observations on the first part of the same book. I attended a lecture also from Mr. Channing. He went on to examine the subject of eloquence. He said that it did not consist of perfection in any particular quality but in a union of all in such a way as to produce sensations purely pleasing. I do not know what the reason was but my thoughts wandered here and I did not gather all that I ought to have done, he did not appear however to progress much, as he is very general in his language. The style is a pretty one, he is neat and even elegant at times, but there is not much mind displayed and what I am surprised to see, not much classical feeling. The truth I imagine is that this is a quality he is not in possession of. Dr. Ware had a review of the class in Paley instead of the Greek recitation which is now a morning exercise. I did not attend the evidences though for I intend to trust altogether to Providence in my examination.

In the afternoon I read a little of Mitford containing the history of Lacaedemon, of the Institutions of Lycurgus and of the Messenian War. It gives us an astonishing instance of a government which never has since and probably never will again see its equal. The people be-186came a remarkable one and is an astonishing record of the most persevering and successful victories over the weaknesses and passions of nature. I attended a recitation also in Mathematics in which I was called upon and much to my surprise, passed off quite successfully. I had a little conversation with Mr. Farrar concerning this subject and made an arrangement to study a plainer treatise in case one was necessary. He is a remarkably obliging man and really appears to be more desirous to do good to the constitution of the College by affording the students real instruction, than any one of the rest. I then went to Cunningham’s and had some conversation with him on the subject of his quarrel with Dwight; it is a disagreable circumstance which really I wished over and have made a half day’s exertion but it is too stubborn.

In the Evening, I had intended to have done something but Brenan, Rundlet and others came in so that it was impossible and I was obliged to entertain my good companions with Northern and Southern pacts and the numerous rebellion.1 After the Bible I retired. X:10.


This semilegible passage apparently alludes to the sectional rivalry in the Porcellian Club; see note on preceding entry.