Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 4th.

Monday. 6th.

Sunday. 5th. CFA


Sunday. 5th. CFA
Sunday. 5th.

The dry weather perseveres. Vegetation begins to suffer by it. The wind was however very high from the South West, so that it was not oppressive while quiet. I attended Meeting all day, and heard Mr. Whitney preach Sermons as uninteresting as usual. There is a placidity however and above all a shortness which is pleasing. I rank both these qualities high in the character of a country Minister. Miss Smith dined with us.

I spent much of the day in the review of the Oration for Milo which I finished. This is considered as one of the masterpieces of its author, and it deserves its reputation. For whether we consider the artful arrangement of the evidence, the selection of the defence, or the management of the Judges and of Pompey, it is a model, or whether we look into the richness and melody of the language, and the pathos of expression.1 Perhaps this last may be considered as the most general characteristic of his eloquence. It pervades every defence, and generally the allusions to himself. Evening. Took a salt water bath, read a little of Emile, finished the second volume of Grimm and two Spectators.


Sentence thus in MS. CFA’s words on the Oration for Milo have much in common with those which JA wrote when he was undertaking the study of oratory. See JA, Earliest Diary , p. 74–76.