Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 29th.

Thursday. 31st.

Wednesday. 30th. CFA


Wednesday. 30th. CFA
Wednesday. 30th.

The weather was cloudy this morning with a warm Southerly Wind and very heavy showers at Intervals. I finished Boswell’s Tour to the Hebrides this morning. This work is amusing, but it ought to have been read before the Life of Johnson to give it a proper effect, as the latter work contains much the best Picture of the Dr’s mind. None has ever been so fully laid bare to the public, and none could exemplify more strongly in itself the singular medley of weaknesses and power of which the human mind generally is composed. I do not know that such books are a blessing, for they tend to destroy all the Romance about perfection of character which though occasionally it may do harm, yet will more generally produce good in leading us to think favourably of our powers of virtuous action.

At the Office, where I passed my time in reading the Analysis of the Republic of Plato.1 Went afterwards to the Athenaeum, thence home, and in the afternoon read the Third and fourth Orations against Catiline. They are able, and breathe a spirit of Patriotism which though it sometimes goes a little on Stilts, is on the whole very admirable. The composition of all but the fourth is simple. The arrangement of that is tolerably artful.

Evening, continued Parry, to my Wife; after which the third Volume of Kotzebue containing the Science of the Expedition. After which the Spectator.


In Bibliothèque de l’homme public, vol. 4, with CFA’s marginalia.