Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Saturday 10th.

Monday. 12th.

Sunday. 11th. CFA


Sunday. 11th. CFA
Sunday. 11th.

Amazingly cold for this Season. I spent the morning very quietly at the house reading Dr. Channing’s Review of the late work of Walter Scott’s upon Napoleon.1 It is written with his peculiar force and felicity of expression. The views which he takes of his character are striking and altogether new. And nothing could more effectually demolish the famous position which Mr. McDuffie assumed last summer as to the Standard of merit. Whether he had this gentleman’s ideas in his mind when he wrote, it is impossible to decide. In the afternoon I attended Meeting and heard my old Minister, Mr. Whitney of Quincy, deliver one of his old sermons. In the evening I sat with Abby and alone. Which last part of the time was disposed in melancholy reflection upon the old subject.


William Ellery Channing (1780–1842) was the influential Unitarian minister of the Federal Street Church in Boston. His “Remarks on the Life and Character of Napoleon Bonaparte,” which appeared in two parts in the Christian Examiner for 1827–1828, was intended “to destroy the romantic glamor that invests the successful warrior.” See DAB ; The Works of William E. Channing, Boston, 1847, 1:69–166.