Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. 27th.

Saturday. 29th.

Friday. 28th. CFA


Friday. 28th. CFA
Friday. 28th.

Fine day. I went to the Office and was engaged in my usual way. Read Lingard and had two or three interruptions on Account of bills. This is the season for the making up of all the yearly Accounts. And a shower of Papers falls upon one, who has only to deem himself lucky that he has wherewith to meet them. Took a walk as usual.

Afternoon, for the sake of refreshing my Memory, I took down a volume of Cicero, and read the Oration for Milo. It is admirable. I find I relish his style more and more. The flowing measure of his periods, the power of his phrases, the adroit management of the strong points of the case. All wonderful. It has been always a question whether Milo was really the attacked party in the scuffle, but who can doubt it when he reads Cicero’s defence? As my Wife was out, I accomplished the whole of it at a sitting and afterwards read the rest of Voltaire’s Summary of events during the time of the troubles. A singular mixture of penetration and absurdity.

At eight I went down to Mrs. Frothingham’s. She had a few friends belonging to the family. Mrs. Hall of Medford, Mr. and Mrs. F. Parkman, Mr. and Mrs. Story and Miss Gray, W. G. Brooks, Gorham Brooks and his Wife, P. C. B. Jr. and ditto. Returned at ten. Heard of the loss of the frigate Constellation in the Mediterranean.1 Bad enough. Hammered over some German.


An unconfirmed report of the sinking of the Constellation off Rhodes was carried in the newspapers on the 29th, but information received within the two days following seemed to justify the denial of the whole story (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 29 Dec, p. 2, cols. 4–5; 31 Dec, p. 2, col. 2).