Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

[29 June.] CFA [29 June.] CFA
29 June.

It was late before we saw each other on Thursday Morning, and from the appearance of one or two of the party, one would have judged that they had been carousing. For myself, the wine and the New York water together certainly affected me violently but not singularly, from what I could gather among the Strangers who are now here. I had a number of calls today from various gentlemen. Satterllee Clark,1 whom I did not know, he took me for my brother. Mr. Geo. Sullivan, Blount Blunt, Mr. Bradish, Col. Trumbull,2 and a variety of others. Indeed I have been made quite a great character 57since my residence at New York whenever I have travelled, at home I sink into my original situation. I went to Blunt’s room too and had a good deal of political conversation with him. I am not altogether an admirer of Blunt. He is an able man so far as natural powers are concerned, but he has managed to scrape up a world of self conceit which has injured him as a companion very much. He talks despondingly. I was glad to get rid of him and return home to dinner. We sat rather late and only had time after dinner (that is, Richardson and I) to go down to Browere’s and see my bust which is laying there and has been for a considerable time.3 I see no probability of ever getting it at Washington. As I found him in the midst of his vocation, I remained a very short time. In the evening we all went to the Park Theatre and assisted in damning an actor by the name of Mumford who tried to perform Bertram in the play of that name.4 It was a sleepy business however and I remained rather impatiently until the end. Some of my companions found more amusing entertainment than Love laughs at Locksmiths,5 and did not accompany the rest to the National Hotel.

On this morning Tudor took leave of us in order to accompany his mother to Philadelphia. I forgot to mention it in it’s place as his absence did not occur to my recollection at the moment, and my Notes mentioned only his return. I was rather pleased than otherwise as he was in a humour to make us all excessively wild. And I was anxious for a little respite at least.

1.

Satterlee Clark, a West Point graduate originally from Vermont, served as army paymaster from 1821 to 1824, when he was dismissed for his failure to settle his accounts (Heitman, Register U.S. Army ; Wiltse, Calhoun , 1:345).

2.

John Trumbull (1756–1843), the Revolutionary patriot and painter, most famous for his portrait of George Washington and for his pictures in the rotunda of the Capitol ( DAB ).

3.

CFA had also visited Browere on the previous day (D/CFA/1).

4.

Edmund Kean was famous in the title role of Charles Maturin’s tragedy, Bertram, while the obscure actor Mumford was making his debut (Thomas Allston Brown, History of the American Stage, N.Y., 1870, p. 254).

5.

An English play by George Colman.

[30 June.] CFA [30 June.] CFA
30 June.

Friday was consequently passed in comparative quiet, although I was still obliged to go through the ritual routine of Turtle and wine by way of a Luncheon. In the afternoon we lounged away a short hour at the Panorama of Athens.1 It is a pretty thing and in the absence of the original is of some Service to discover the locations of the interesting spots of ancient history. I think it would be an excellent arrangement for the Professor of Greek Literature at Cambridge 58to lecture in a room surrounded with this. It would be the most instructive use the University could put it to. It was altogether too warm however for us to sit with sufficient patience to see the whole of it. But thus the day elapsed and in the evening we went to the Park Theatre and saw the Marriage of Figaro murdered, as sundry amateurs failed very much in their endeavours to get over their first Appearance. The whole was consequently turned to ridicule. We were paid however by the Garcias who sung a little Spanish piece “en famille” quite sweetly. The idea and the melody made the thing singularly charming. In common life unfortunately voices do not agree so exactly. Miss Garcia afterwards sang an English song, which was pretty well. We returned home late and retired almost immediately, pitying the poor Comte Almaviva, on his mortification.2

1.

In D/CFA/1, CFA mentions visiting the panorama on 29 June. This replica of Athens in modern times was displayed at the Rotunda, at the corner of Chambers and Cross streets (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage , 3:223; Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island , 6:542).

2.

The singer in Mozart’s opera is not named, but his performance was also poorly noted by others (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage , 3:198).