Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Sunday. 12th.

Tuesday. 14th.

Monday. 13th. CFA


Monday. 13th. CFA
Monday. 13th.

I spent more than an hour reading the Newspapers. I suppose if a man wishes to appear informed in this Country he must keep up with the debates in Congress at least. But even this takes much time. Things at Washington are getting into a most confused miserable state and it is really impossible to foresee what the result may be. The prospects of the Nation so far as they depend upon Rulers are poor enough. And what road there is to reach improvement is not so clear. But I am not particularly concerned so that I shall not trouble my head with croaking.

After dinner. Continued Quinctilian. A Dissertation upon Wit similar to that which is in the second book De Oratore of Cicero. It is pretty plain from both of these that this Article will not bear keeping. Much of it is totally lost, much so dim as to be no longer amusing, and much really very bad. Perhaps a man might moralize to some purpose in a case like this. The Jest of Yorick will hardly outlast his skull.

Evening. Reading to my Wife from Hunt’s book. Recollections of several characters who have made a noise in the world, put in to aid the sale. They show the author however to more advantage as they are of an amiable cast. Indeed he is as partial to Keats and Shelley on one side as he is to Byron on the other. His Judgments are very far from being critically sound.