Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Wednesday. July 21st. VI.

Friday. July 23d. VI.

Thursday. July 22d. VI. CFA


Thursday. July 22d. VI. CFA
Thursday. July 22d. VI.

Attended Prayers and recitation in Topography. After breakfast I sat myself down and wrote a theme upon the subject of Lord Byron’s death. It was very easy and fruitful, although my Class have been assuring me that it is already hackneyed. I commenced with a few observations upon his future character and then went on culling the remarkable parts of his character good and bad, as well as I could within so short a time. I then concluded with my own sentiments upon his character, and quoted the late toast of Mr. Sprague’s which I think is one of the sweetest things I have seen for a great while. I shall insert it in my Common Place Book.1 I was obliged to go to the Athenaeum to obtain it, which delayed me considerably and I was not released until almost half past ten, which was the time appointed for a meeting of the Officers at the Arbour. We all attended and went through the form of Parade, and performed all the evolutions which we intend to do tomorrow night. This employed us all the morning. 253We adjourned to the Ensign’s to appoint Markers which we did and took a little refreshment. Some strong punch upon an empty stomach affected us all a little.

We dined and after dinner, I attended Mr. Nuttall’s lecture upon leaves. The heat of the weather made me so exceedingly sleepy that I attended to very little indeed. The leaves were a dry subject and as I could read my own book exactly as well, I was rather sorry I attended. I know not how it was but I spent the whole of the rest of this afternoon in writing my Journal. The listlessness occasioned by the warm weather destroys all power of fixing the mind in writing particularly. My Journal is a weight and in case I feel it next month I shall take leave to abridge it considerably without feeling in the least as if I had infringed upon my first intention.

After Prayers, we received the unwelcome news that Walley the Sophomore2 had applied for Tudor’s room and would probably obtain it. We had a consultation at which Dwight and Chapman attended and found ourselves in a great quandary upon the subject and adjourned without doing any thing. I was affected with a bad head ach, and therefore was glad to read my Bible and go to bed. Every body appeared to be sick this Evening. X:15.


In his literary commonplace book (M/CFA/18, p. 104), CFA did copy the toast Sprague gave at a dinner on 5 July 1824 to the memory of Lord Byron:

“O’er the tomb of Childe Harold Greek maidens shall weep In his own native land, his body shall sleep With the bones of the bravest and best But his soul shall go down to the latest of time Fame tell how he rose for Earth’s loveliest clime And mercy shall blot out the rest.”

Samuel Hurd Walley, of Boston ( Harvard Annual Cat., 1824).