Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 12th.

Wednesday. 14th.

135 Tuesday. 13th. CFA


Tuesday. 13th. CFA
Tuesday. 13th.

Morning cool and clear. Pursued the study of the Oration against Aeschines which has a great deal of power. Indeed it is worth full the same study as a specimen of Attack, that is bestowed upon the famous Crown Oration as a Defence. I then went to the Office and occupied myself in writing my Journal. Tried to take my Grandfather’s book upon the American Constitutions. But it is absolutely too dull and I give it up. I then went to the Athenaeum where I lounged half an hour in the Gallery and another half hour in the reading room. Looked at one or two of the political Papers and regretted that the state of public affairs should look so gloomy. But a most astonishing combination of events is favouring the most unprincipled Rulers we as a Nation have ever had.

Returned home and after dinner read the Letters to Atticus, Book 4th. No man probably ever had his whole soul so fully laid open to the public as Cicero. This may be said in palliation of the faults of the man, but it condemns all men. Human nature is not perfect, every body knows. Nor is Cicero the best specimen of that nature. Read Bacon’s Essay on Dispatch which is as sterling sense as any of the rest of his Works.

Evening, made a little further progress in my translation. I have copied it, into the margin of the Quarto Copy of Cicero which I have.1 This is perhaps wrong. The translation is rather difficult from the concise style of the Text. He rather touches than opens his ideas. This is unusual with him but he had written a great deal upon Oratory and was probably tired of detail. The Spectator. My Wife and Child tolerably.


See entry for 8 Sept., above.