Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday 6th.

Friday. 8th.

Thursday. 7th. CFA


Thursday. 7th. CFA
Thursday. 7th.

Much the same cloudy, unpleasant weather which we have had all along. I remained at home today. Read a portion of Thucydides but my time was very considerably interrupted. I have now reached the causes of the famous War, and the author becomes more interesting. His style is peculiarly compressed. He leaves to the reader every thing but the leading word. It is like striking chords in music when you supply the rest of an octave. This to a man so superficial in Greek is not perfectly easy reading. Took a walk with my Wife at noon, and searched the Gardener’s books afterward, but without much success. It is difficult to reduce theory to practice.

Afternoon, I finished Seneca’s first book De Ira and passed an hour in the Garden. Seneca writes with an attempt to concentrate sense. It is as if you would feed a man always upon brandy. It is no doubt very fine but the human mind will put up with no such tax, and straightway forgets as much as is not most prominent. In the evening, read a little of the Memoirs of the Due de St. Simon. A cynical historian of the age of Louis 14. But he probably tells much truth.1


Mémoires ... sur le règne de Louis XIV. JQA’s bookplate is in the 3-vol., London, editions of 1788 and 1789, both now at MQA.