Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 28th.

Thursday. March 1st.

Wednesday. 29th. CFA


Wednesday. 29th. CFA
Wednesday. 29th.

A fine day. Morning passed at the Office very quietly reading Gibbon, and the close of the Western Empire. Nearly five Centuries from the commencement of the Christian Era and Twelve from the foundation of Rome. A very long period for the continuance of a Nation in power. The Romans were a fighting people and died from excess of conquest. They are the only persons who can be said with any truth to have governed the world. And they manifested most clearly that the thing could not be made to last. The Globe is too large; even one division of it is more than can be managed. Our Country has grown out of our means to control it. Interests are so various and so opposite that it is not easy to say what the result will be. Took a walk with Mr. Peabody.

Mr. Brooks dined with us and staid so late that I only got a chance to read a small part of Virgil’s second Georgic. My energy for study seems certainly to be much damped. I do not clearly see what the result may be. But I am as far off as possible from any thing in which I can be of use to myself or to others. Evening quiet at home. Read Dryden’s Religio Laici and Threnodia Augustalis. The first remarkable as the author soon after turned Catholic; the second as being a Panegyric upon one of the most execrable kings who ever sat upon the English throne.1


Charles II.