Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 6th.

Wednesday. 8th.

Tuesday. 7th. CFA


Tuesday. 7th. CFA
Tuesday. 7th.

Morning at the Office. Nothing of any consequence. I tried to finish the fourth Volume of Gibbon but did not make out. Occupied in reading Newspapers which consumes much time and writing my Journal. I then started for a walk, but what with my hair to be cut and two or three orders for purchases I did not get very far.

Afternoon. Finished the remainder of the fourth Book of Quinctilian in which he gives excellent advice upon the distribution of the essential parts of an Oration. The narration, proof and conclusion. This is illustrated principally from Cicero’s practice, which proves that this author did not agree with the idea of Cornificius or whoever is the author of the four Books to Herennius.

As my Wife was out, I read also Gorboduc or Ferrex and Porrex by Lord Sackville which is the first attempt at the Drama in the English Language.1 It is curious but on the whole hardly pays the perusal. 236Afterwards, I went down to Mrs. Carter’s where my Wife was spending the Evening with her daughter, and stupified2 for a little while. I am not now fit for young ladies Society. Returned home at ten. Read a little of the 8th book of the Odyssey over again and the Guardian.


Volume one of Old English Poets, 4 vols., London, 1820, is devoted to Thomas Sackville’s works, including Gorboduc. The copy at MQA has CFA’s bookplate.


CFA’s apparent meaning, to indulge in stupid conversation, is derived from the intransitive and already rare use of stupefy: to become stupid ( OED ).