Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 6th.

Sunday. 8th.

Saturday. 7th. CFA


Saturday. 7th. CFA
Saturday. 7th.

Morning clear and pleasant. I read a large extract of Demosthenes and am surprised at its facility. This expression is pedantic. Went to the Office and was busy in my usual avocations after which I copied out my Article signed Cimon for the press. It took up nearly all the time I had remaining. On looking back this week, I find very little reason to be contented. Much of my time has been wasted, the remainder not properly improved. Writing for the Newspapers is not a very satisfactory Account to give of one’s self. I wonder that I am tempted to do it. What good can it produce to me in any event? If reputation is to be sought, my way should lead to paths far higher than ephemeral politics.

Returned home and spent the afternoon in reading the Oration for 43Sextius. I have lost the track being so long since I broke off, and therefore after a most superficial examination of it, I commenced a thorough review. This is the only way of resuming when one has a backward lurching.

Evening, I read Grimm. There is acuteness of criticism in this book though excessive partiality. Diderot and philosophy are his two great hobbies, and as he lived just at the era of the French revolution, much of the slang1 which was then used is in his mouth. Even now the Age is infected with it. As if we possessed all that is excellent and our fathers nothing. Perhaps the old adage may turn out true, Ignorance is bliss. It certainly was so, as to the rights of Man in France at that period. Spectator as usual.


That is, “cant.”