Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 2d.

Sunday. 4th.

Saturday. 3d. CFA


Saturday. 3d. CFA
Saturday. 3d.

Morning Cloudy but it did not rain until Night, and then a mere Shower. I did very little. Went to the Office after leaving my Father to go and complete his arrangements at Cambridge in relation to the admission of Ward N. Boylston.1 My time was not well employed. I did however succeed in reading some of Longinus. I found many views of the sublime which pleased me though I cannot say I was equally gratified by the lengthy remarks of the Commentators.2 What a disposition there is in the human mind to be prolix; to run out ideas as far as you can drive them.

Returned home and after dressing started for Medford where my father and I found Messrs. A. H. and E. Everett, Capt. Morris, Mr. Bigelow, Mr. Gorham, Sidney Brooks and his Wife, Chardon and Edward and the usual family. The dinner was pleasant enough though I am tired of precisely the Company. Mr. E. Everett is a man of rather pleasing general manners at table, but his talk is all for effect. He aspires to shine by brilliancy till he satiates. So it is at least with me.

We returned home in the shower, and my father proceeded directly to Quincy. I am glad the week is over, a week of excitement as unusual as it was unwelcome to me. Read Bacon’s fine Essay on Sedition and the Spectator.


As one of the executors of the estate of Ward N. Boylston, JQA had assumed the task of arranging for the admission of Ward N. Boylston 2d to Harvard. Having been notified on the day before that the entrance examinations which had begun at 6 a.m. had been satisfactorily met and having taken Ward to the president’s house to meet Mrs. Quincy and the young ladies, JQA this day completed the procedure for admission by executing a bond with John Lane Boylston, Ward’s father, in the president’s office (JQA, Diary, 1–3 Sept.).


Of the numerous English translations of Longinus, On the Sublime, with notes and commentary, the most recent was that published at London in 1830. However, the likelihood is that CFA was referring to the translation from Boileau’s French version and commentary which was published in vol. 2 of the English edition of Boileau’s Works, London, 1711; see entry for 6 Sept., below.