Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Sunday. 10th.

Tuesday. 12th.

Monday. 11th. CFA


Monday. 11th. CFA
Monday. 11th.

I had designed going to town today, but the clouds threatened rain so much that I felt unwilling to trust myself. After balancing a longer time than was necessary, I sat down and made considerable progress in Thucydides. This writer is worth studying on account of his moderation and his sententiousness. I propose hereafter to translate some of the principal passages. The Sun came out with some force at Noon, and I felt a little the indisposition of yesterday so that I did not stay out long.

Afternoon, finished the second book of Seneca de Ira. I admire much of the wisdom contained in it. The forgiveness of injuries is perhaps the greatest pagan approximation to the doctrines of the Christian Religion. But he mixes with it advice which does not suit a Code of Ethics or a Moral Philosopher however well it may turn out practically in life. Submission to the caprices of the powerful is a maxim of policy for a tyrant’s Court, not a principle of morals which lead to setting aside artificial distinctions. I passed an hour or more in a visit to our neighbour Beale who seems to feel alone in the world. He wants to be married again but hardly dares express it.1 The night was clear.


On the tentative approaches by the widower George Beale to Mary Roberdeau, see above, entry for 4 Oct. 1831. His shy probing continued and was duly reported to the lady: “Let me beg that you ... come and take compassion upon your Swain who really seems to be in a deplorable state and complains bitterly of his loneliness” (LCA to Mary Roberdeau, 12 June); “Your Swain droops very much.... Mrs. Miller insists if you were here he would offer himself and 313I have been sounded shyly more than once to know if I thought you would have him” (same to same, 28 Aug., both letters in Adams Papers).