Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 4th.

Sunday. 6th.

Saturday. 5th. CFA


Saturday. 5th. CFA
Saturday. 5th.

Morning fine and cool. I read a little of Demosthenes and then went to the Office. Nothing of any consequence. I was busy in my usual way, spending half an hour however in writing to my Mother the exact state of our affairs. How sick our woman was and how much my Wife had been worried by various cares.1 Called to see Mr. Brooks and went to find Mr. Curtis about the Boylston matters, but did not make out. I was not able to take much of a walk.

Returned home and passed the afternoon in reading the fragment of the 1st book of Academic Questions, which with the assistance of Enfield’s Philosophy I made out to comprehend. Metaphysics in themselves exceedingly difficult of comprehension even in the language with which a man is most familiar, embarass much more in any other. The technicals must all be settled first, and after all a great deal of the Ancient philosophy resides in hard words.

I spent my evening quite actively and read Mackintosh comparing him with Goldsmith.2 In this way I find his superiority in philosophical reflection though his style is singularly careless. Surely he ought to have set the present age a better example. Read a little of Condillac and the Spectator.


CFA to LCA, 5 Nov. (Adams Papers). On this letter, see further the preceding entry and the entry for 25 Nov., below.


Oliver Goldsmith, History of England. The edition at MQA, published at London in 3 vols. in 1794, has the signature of GWA, with annotations in his hand indicating that he had purchased and read the History in 1817.