Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Thursday. 28th.

Saturday. 30th.

Friday. 29th. CFA Friday. 29th. CFA
Friday. 29th.

Another cool fine morning. I went to the Office and passed my time principally in Accounts, bringing down those of the Quarter to the close of the month. I also went out to purchase a copy of the Report of my father which I found selling very cheap.1 The Edition at this rate must circulate.

Passed an hour in looking at Haydon’s Picture of Christ entering Jerusalem.2 I was on the whole disappointed. The canvas is too much 58crowded, it takes away all feeling of unity in the composition. Had the crowd been represented more distant this would not have been so striking, the face of the Saviour is totally unworthy of him. A gigantic figure of the Canaanitish Woman is disgusting both from its bold prominency and from it’s ugliness. Even the Penitent girl which the Painter tells us he considers as his best composition, is a great masculine figure with her back to the Spectator and without expression from her face being covered. I confess I was most pleased with the face of Joseph of Arimathea and the Ass.

Took a walk at one. Afternoon, the Memoirs of Joli.3 He is dry and uninteresting. There is none of that philosophical observation of human character that help one out so much with De Retz. Evening at home, finished Trollope, Les Parvenus, and Schiller’s Thirty years war.

1.

John Quincy Adams and Lewis Condict [of New Jersey], Report of the Minority of the Committee on Manufactures, Submitted ... February 28, 1833, Boston, 1833 [37 pages]. On the inside front cover, along with Walsh’s comments (entry for 18 March, above), is a preface, unsigned [by CFA?], giving the background and circumstances of the preparation of the Report and estimating its significance beyond the immediate issues: “Under the guise of a Report, Mr. Adams enters into a full exposition of the domestic policy of the country, taken as one connected system, and he explains the principles which for forty years guided us in our unprecedented career.... The peculiar character of this paper is to be found in the ... complete issue it makes up with the President, and the whole race of what are called ‘strict construction’ politicians, nullifiers, and all who would stop the prosperity of the nation on a cavil for a ninth part of a hair.”

2.

The painting had been on exhibition for some months at Harding’s Gallery on School Street. It was described as 15 feet long and 12 high, six years in the painting, and the only work by Benjamin Robert Haydon in America (Columbian Centinel, 1 Jan., p. 3, col. 2).

3.

At MQA is a copy of the Mémoires de Guy Joly, 3 vols., Geneva, 1751, the third volume of which contains the Mémoires of Claude Joly and of the Duchess of Némours.