Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 24th.

Sunday. 26th.

Saturday. 25th. CFA


Saturday. 25th. CFA
Saturday. 25th.

Morning cold with snow. At the Office where I was occupied in reading a little more of Gibbon. But it is heavy work. The style of that author is cumbrous. His regularly balanced periods become tiresome after a certain time. And his sneers are too constant to vary materially the monotony. Attended a Stock sale but made no purchase. Manufactures appear to be very much at a stand. Took a walk.

Afternoon. Took up Virgil and read his five first Eclogues.1 I have read them so often before that I am enabled to do a good deal at once. They are fine specimens of the highest polish of which verse is susceptible. Vigorous yet smooth.

Evening. Continued Ariosto and finished Pope’s version of the Odyssey. On the whole I think the criticism of Longinus correct. Homer does nod in this Work pretty often. The Iliad is a splendid performance for its vigor, and its beauty. This has less of the former, but yet in places more of the latter. It is as the female in comparison with the male. Finished also the first Volume of the Guardian.


Of the numerous editions of Virgil in Latin, French, and English at MQA, two London editions of the Opera, 1818 and 1824, have CFA’s bookplate; and that of 1824 has marginalia in CFA’s hand. CFA noted there that the source of most of his comments was the edition of Heyne published at Leipzig in 1798, “with which I have compared [this].” Above his signature he has entered, “January 21, 1834. I this day finished this volume.”