Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. 23d.

Friday. 25th.

Thursday. 24th. CFA


Thursday. 24th. CFA
Thursday. 24th.

Morning clear and cool. I went to the Office and was occupied in my usual way. First in my Diary and Accounts and then in the Life of Sheridan which afforded me a great degree of amusement. His at-184tempts when compared with his subsequent performances are enough to encourage writers like myself who have no great confidence in themselves. He pruned and polished with a care which is not consistent with the general character of indolence sustained by him. Took a walk.

Afternoon finished the first Tusculan upon Death, which is one of the most pleasing to me of all Cicero’s works. I like the spirit in which it is written, the philosophy which it inculcates and the acquaintance with nature it displays. Cicero is the first remarkable instance in Antiquity of Versatility of Powers. He was a Poet, a Philosopher, an Orator and a Statesman. In three of these he reached the first rank, and his claim in the other is not settled. Perhaps he may be considered as the only instance for Voltaire was no Orator, not much of a Statesman and though dealing in many things was superficial in all but his Poetry.

Evening, reading the Italian, to my Wife who is suffering from a Cold. After which I continued my sketch, the substance of which is much better than the way it is managed. Read the Spectator.