Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Friday. 2nd.

Sunday. 4th.

Saturday. 3rd. CFA


Saturday. 3rd. CFA
Saturday. 3rd.

The weather changed during the Night and saluted us this morning with a most bitter cold. The Thermometer was some degrees below zero and I really suffered more than usual. During the whole of the last Winter, I felt nothing like it. At the Office. Wrote a letter to my Mother and examined my Law Case for the evening, which occupied me diligently.1 I read some of Mr. Burke upon the Catholic question in Ireland, in the afternoon, and studied my subject for delivery at the Moot Court. I find the principal thing consists in the due arrangement of thought. Extemporaneous delivery consists in some measure in the strength with which the mind grasps an idea preserving the distinctness of it, and thereby rendering explanation easy. In the evening, I argued the case and was on the whole pretty well satisfied, as I had no great difficulty, although very far from elegance. This will come afterwards. Once confidence is gained in my own powers, I will not fear for the rest.


The made-up case concerned the master of a ship who was obliged to sell part of her cargo in order to repair damage done by a storm. On the return voyage the vessel was lost. The owners of the part of the cargo sold brought suit to recover the amount of the proceeds from the owner of the vessel. The case was decided against CFA (Law Miscellanies, M/CFA/17, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 311).