Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. 14th.

Saturday. 16th.

Friday. 15th. CFA


Friday. 15th. CFA
Friday. 15th.

Fine morning. I rode to town as usual and passed my morning partly at the House making a new arrangement of my Library, partly at trying to obtain some new Furniture for our return, and the rest at my Office reading Mr. W. F. Otis Oration, which has just come out. The spirit of its principles is rather wild for a very wild age. What he can think will be the use of his advice passes my utmost comprehension.1 I could not finish it today. Returned home to dine.

Afternoon, I was tempted by the heat to go and take a bath with I. Hull, which lasted longer and tired me more than usual so that I took a Nap after it. The consequence was that I did very little during the 90afternoon. Finished Racine’s Phedre the poetry of which strikes me much. I had formed much too low an idea of the character of the French drama, from reading only some of the most indifferent of their best authors, always excepting Voltaire who made some alterations and is hardly classed with the old School. Evening with the Family. I afterwards read Grimm and the Spectator.


As a part of the Independence Day celebration in Boston William Foster Otis, Harvard 1821, delivered an oration in the First Church, Chauncy Place (Boston Daily Advertiser, 6 July, p. 2, col. 1). It was published in pamphlet form as An Oration ... before the Young Men of Boston, on the Fourth of July 1831, Boston, 1831. In substance it was an appeal that precedents and subservience to old institutions not be allowed to deter the country from experimentation and the development of new forms.