Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 23d.

Thursday. 25th.

Wednesday. 24th. CFA


Wednesday. 24th. CFA
Wednesday. 24th.

Morning quite cool with an Easterly Wind. After examining Mitford and several other books for the purpose of writing an article on the subject of Demosthenes, I went to the Office. After sitting there and accomplishing my Diary and several other duties, I thought it a favourable day to go and look at the Athenaeum Gallery as well as to see the London Papers. I was pleased in looking at the Pictures, but more particularly with four pieces of Vernet, and one by Cole. They are in their respective styles extremely beautiful.1 But I did not like Allston’s style so well.2

Returned home after dining at the Tremont House. Read and finished the letters of Cicero ad Diversos. On the whole I have not often read a more interesting collection. I propose now to give up my regular studies for the purpose of finishing this undertaking of mine.

My Wife and Child both doing well. I sat with her until eight when I went upstairs and read Mitford and the Edinburgh Review, which has some Masterly Articles upon the subject.3 Read an Essay of Bacon on Parents and Children and the Spectator as usual.


The paintings by Claude Joseph Vernet (1714–1789) were seascapes, that by Thomas Cole (1801–1848) a landscape. (JQA, Diary, 2 Sept.; Mabel M. Swan, The Athenaeum Gallery, Boston, 1940, p. 214, 282.)


Washington Allston (1779–1843) had two paintings in the exhibition: “Miriam” and “Saul and the Witch of Endor” (JQA, Diary, 2 Sept.). In an article reviewing Remarks upon the Athenaeum Gallery of Paintings for 1831 (Boston, 1831), Franklin Dexter singled out the two Allston paintings as outstanding among all those exhibited ( North Amer. Rev., 33:506–515 [Oct. 1831]).


The ambiguity of the reference does 120not permit absolute identification of the articles meant. However, on the assumption that “the subject” is that on which CFA was writing, Demosthenes and the rhetoric and oratory of Greece, the likelihood is that the essay with the running-head title “Greek Philosophy of Taste” is one of those meant. Edinburgh Review, 54:39–69 (Aug. 1831). See also above, vol. 3:147.