Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. 11th.

Friday 13th.

Thursday. 12th. CFA


Thursday. 12th. CFA
Thursday. 12th.

It rained occasionally throughout the day so that I concluded to remain quietly at home. Time taken up in reading Thucydides whose first book I finished and reviewed a considerable part of it. This makes rather an introduction to his History, than any part of the History itself. I think it valuable for its matter and manner, although a strict copy of it in these days would hardly be popular. The present age calls for more breadth as people take less time to think upon single subjects.

Afternoon read Seneca upon tranquility of mind. It is unfortunate for this author, that all his contempt of riches, and love for the most complete absence of cares arising from such a source, is set off against the fact in his life that he was himself immensely wealthy. Perhaps, 328abstractly considered there may be justice in his reflections. But I cannot help thinking the exercise of moderation in poverty, whether voluntary or involuntary, much easier, than in the possession of abundance. It is true that man’s course is more sure and safe from avoiding temptation, but it is certainly more honourable to resist it. I believe Seneca has the greater merit. He was rich and yet frugal, not from a saving or accumulating spirit, but from a feeling of moderation. In the evening, I read Ludlow and the usual Ramblers.