Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. 7th.

Friday. 9th.

Thursday. 8th. CFA


Thursday. 8th. CFA
Thursday. 8th.

As the Judge is so sick, it is on the whole lucky that I invested the last remnant of T. B. Adams Jr’s money yesterday,1 for after his TBA’s death I imagine there will be no further opportunities.

The day was cloudy with rain so that my Wife did not go out and I read Demosthenes very slowly and imperfectly gathering the Sense from a first perusal. Then to the Office.

I had three Clients today. One, Mr. Curtis to draw a Deed which occupied me all the Morning. One a tipsy Baker who had just been sued and came to me to know what it meant. The third Mr. J. Minot, a reformed Custom House Officer,2 who came in consequence of my letter of Collection. He seemed to think he had suffered enough on my father’s account not to be troubled by the Son. I felt sorry, but how can I mend the matter?

Returned home and read Cicero making no great progress. The Letters to Atticus are excessively difficult, from their concise style and the allusions to subjects now forgotten. If I remarked the same upon the familiar Letters how much more I have occasion to do so now.

Evening quiet at home. I finished a rough and literal translation of Cicero de Optimo genere Oratorum.3 How hard any translation is? Read Bacon on Counsel and the Spectator.


CFA bought for Thomas B. Adams Jr. one share of State Bank stock (M/CFA/3).


John Minot had been an inspector for the Custom House in Boston and Charlestown during the Presidency of JQA ( Mass. Register, 1828), but he had apparently lost his post upon the change of administration. On the use of “reformed” in this sense, see above, entry for 29 May.


CFA used two editions of Cicero’s Opera: the large-paper edition published at Oxford in 10 vols. in 1783 and the typographically undistinguished but more useful one edited by Ernest and published at Boston in 20 vols, in 1815 (see above, vol. 3:328, 364–365; below, 132entries for 11 and 12 Jan. 1832). His practice seems to have been to translate from Ernest’s edition, then compare the text with the Oxford edition, entering errors or variants in the margin there and even his translation itself (below, entry for 13 Sept.). The “De optimo genere oratorum” is in vol. 3 of Ernest’s edition; in vol. 1 of the Oxford edition, the copy of which at MQA contains CFA’s translation in his hand (p. 540–544). See above, p. xvi–xvii.