Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. 31st.

Saturday. 2d.

Friday June 1st. CFA


Friday June 1st. CFA
Friday June 1st.

June in name but the day was more like September. My wetting made me determine not to risk another directly if I could avoid it, so I decided to remain at home. Morning was so cold I found it uncomfortable sitting without a fire in the Library. I continued reading Gibbon and finished his Memoirs with several of his letters to Lord Sheffield. I then took up Homer with a view to read the Iliad and finished fifty lines.1 Upon consideration however, I concluded not to continue upon it. My line is History and Eloquence. So that I believe I shall settle down upon Thucydides.

My afternoon was passed in the Garden engaged in doing by little and little something in the way of improvement. So much seems to have resulted from my trifling efforts this year that I am much encouraged to go on. But I must check a tendency to expense. The adaptation of means to an end is a great secret of all economy. My work did me a great deal of good. Quiet evening at home.


The Adamses had numerous copies of the Iliad in the original Greek. The edition in Greek and Latin published in 2 vols., London, 1754, is among JA’s books at the Boston Public Library ( Catalogue of JA’s Library , p. 122); another copy is at MQA. JQA’s bookplate is in editions published in 2 vols., at Leipzig, 1804; Oxford, 1811; and N.Y., 1826; all now at MQA. A presentation copy of the Grenville Homer (Oxford, 1800–1801) to JQA is now among his books at the Boston Athenaeum ( Catalogue of JQA’s Books , p. 99–100).