Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 13th.

Thursday. 15th.

Wednesday. 14th. CFA Wednesday. 14th. CFA
Wednesday. 14th.

I went to town, accompanied by my father. The day was warm but not oppressive. I was occupied in the various little ways which consume so much time. First, went to the House where I found the workmen had been careless enough to leave the windows and doors open, and that with such a rain as we had yesterday. This is the consequence of trusting people. But what can a man do? The Grate is changed and thus is one of the Jobs out of the way. I saw the Carpenter, the Painter and the Whitener today and gave to each of them their several directions.

Called in accidentally to see some Statuary now exhibiting and was quite agreeably surprised. It is a group composed of four separate figures each in a single block of stone representing Tam o’Shanter, Souter Jonnie, the Land lord and Landlady from Burns’ famous little Poem. They are all seated on large chairs and all expressing a different particular and yet the same general character. I was charmed with the effect. The material is the hard Ayrshire reddish stone. And the artist, a common Scotch Stone Mason who knew nothing by science of the human anatomy. Under these circumstances, the effect is wonderful.1

My father was quite punctual, and we returned home to dine. Afternoon short. I passed it in writing, and reading the second Eclogue of Virgil. After tea, the Ladies went out to see Mrs. Quincy, and I had a conversation with my father upon the moral character of our nation as influenced by it’s politics. I cannot but think that we are driving here a very dangerous political experiment. And what is worse, the world is becoming involved in it’s success. Mirror.

1.

The pieces by J. Thom had occasioned great interest earlier in New York City, an interest being repeated in the exhibition at Harding’s Gallery (Columbian Centinel, 23 May, p. 1, col. 6; 29 July, p. 2, col. 2).