Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Sunday. August 22d. VIII.

Tuesday. August 24th. IX.

Monday August 23d. VII. CFA


Monday August 23d. VII. CFA
Monday August 23d. VII.

Arose earlier than usual this morning in order to prepare for the Stage to go to Boston. I determined to do so because I do not believe I shall obtain an opportunity after this morning. I accordingly went, walked the streets, did nothing and at twelve went to Cambridge. I forgot to mention in it’s proper place, I believe, that I had received an admonition for wearing illegal clothes,1 some time since. I was so unlucky today as to go to Cambridge with one of the Tutors, with the repetition of the offence broad staring in his face. Mr. Heyward reported me. It does not trouble me though.

Arrived at Cambridge I found Mrs. Saunders’ entirely unprepared for my reception consequently I lost my dinner, a conclusion not the most agreable. I spent the afternoon at the Athenaeum quite pleasantly. I commenced a novel called the Spare Wife but I was so revolted by the style, after the manner of the author of Waverly, that I changed it for Percy Mallory2 which was hardly less so. I managed to go on however until I got so interested in the story that I paid no attention to the style. I met Lothrop who told me that they were waiting for the answer of the Government to Cunningham’s request to come out with the Company. The Captain made his appearance and, upon applying, found the Government had declined his offer. This was no more than I expected but I think they pursue a wrong policy in this respect, they discourage the applications of students when there appears to be little reason for so doing, and encourage a feeling of bitterness towards them which does them no good certainly. This was a reasonable request, and it would have gratified the Students very much, but now 299they will only grumble. Cunningham being satisfied went to Boston.

I attended Prayers this Evening, they were thin, and found that my name had not been taken out by Otis as he promised. There was not a single student in town this Evening whom I knew intimately so I took up Waverley and commenced reading the first, and some say the best of the admirable series of the Novels, which I have often mentioned.3 There is something though in the first part of Waverley which is extremely dull and I fell asleep over it more than once. Indeed having lately read nothing but novels I want something exceedingly interesting. I just began to feel excited at the story when I found it time to retire. XI.


For a description of the prescribed college dress, see entry for 29 June, and note, above. There is no record of the admonition given CFA in the Records of the College Faculty, Harvard Archives.


James Hook, Percy Mallory, 3 vols., Edinburgh, 1824.


Sir Walter Scott, Waverley; or, ’Tis Sixty Years Since, 3 vols., Edinburgh, 1814.