Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday June 1st.

Sunday. 3d.

Saturday. 2d. CFA


Saturday. 2d. CFA
Saturday. 2d.

Went to Boston this morning. Time engrossed in Commissions of various kinds and in copying the letter written the other day to my 308Father. I was at the House where I executed all my final purposes. Perhaps this is one of the pleasures of being out of town, that when I come in, my time is so much taken up. It gives me occupation of an agreeable kind. But the mind runs to waste.

Returned to dinner. Passed the afternoon in the Library reading. Made some progress in Seneca whom I have taken up as a kind of relaxation.1 His Essay upon Anger has some good ideas in it. The leading and best one is that anger is of no service. It denies the utility of it to the performance of great actions. It is undoubtedly true, but the occasional success which it gives blinds many to the fact. The real secret is that all such success is accidental and can never be counted upon. He who desires to make himself Master of Fortune must always be cool. Quiet Evening at home. I. Hull spent an hour with us.


Seneca’s philosophic works in the original Latin are well represented at MQA. Now there are editions published at Geneva, 1620, in 2 vols.; at Amsterdam, 1659, in 3 vols.; also an edition, Philosophi ... opera, 4 vols., Biponti, 1782, with JQA’s bookplate, a quotation from Dibdin on the flyleaf of vol. 1 in CFA’s hand, and underlining characteristic of CFA in the essays “De irae” and “De consolatione ad Helviam.”