Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Wednesday. 28th. CFA Wednesday. 28th. CFA
Wednesday. 28th.

Morning at the Office. Nothing new of any importance. Studied but not with effect. In the afternoon copied some of the Lecture on Practice. Went with George to the Theatre in Common Street. The first play was the Wonder or a Woman keeps a Secret by Mrs. Centlivre.1 It is tolerably well performed. But my principal object in going was to see the French Opera Dancers who are here.2 I was much delighted. The music here is fine. There is such a union of all attractive circumstances in this display, that it is not wonderful that the senses of many 188become bewildered. It is a new thing that a Boston audience can bear them. But the world wags and we change. Afterpiece, the Romp, which I have heard often but still admire the music.


This English comedy was by Susanna Centlivre.


The French Company of the New Orleans Theater had made its New York debut in July, presenting French opera and vaudeville, with dancing (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage , 3:252–253).

Thursday 29th. CFA Thursday 29th. CFA
Thursday 29th.

Thanksgiving day. Arose quite late and occupied myself for some time in reading. At eleven o’clock I started to go to Medford which place I reached in an hour, before the family had returned from Meeting. Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brooks came out and dined here. I am always indisposed to these visits and the more I see of them the less I like them. Coming out as I do to see only Abby, I take no interest beyond her and feel as if I was not in my element when circumstances force me into the society of others. Mrs. Frothingham I like however independently of them or Abby. My patience was very much tried by some remarks which Mr. Frothingham made upon Dr. Channing’s life of Napoleon and I was finally compelled to express my opinion and reasons for it. A circumstance for which I was quite sorry as every thing of this sort here looks like display. At home it would be merely an every day business and looked upon as such. It is in this that I feel most the want of mine, for now I am obliged to contain my own thoughts upon literary subjects instead of deriving light and aid from what I certainly now discover was a highly cultivated literary domestic taste. I passed the evening in company with Abby.

Friday. 30th. CFA Friday. 30th. CFA
Friday. 30th.

The weather was so very stormy this morning as to prevent my being able to return to Boston. It was passed mostly with Abby. But my spirits were in the most dreadfully distressed condition. My thoughts turning upon the old subject. Indeed I do not know that for a day, they ever were before so completely gloomy. I read part of Mr. Burke’s Speech on Indian affairs, and at four determined to return to town. Had a rainy ride but a quiet evening and occupation began to make me feel that the current had changed.