Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

425 Friday 18th. CFA Friday 18th. CFA
Friday 18th.

Morning cold again and perhaps more trying to the feelings from the change we experienced yesterday. I went to the Office as usual and was occupied with my books and Papers, with a visit to Mr. Peabody and Enfield. The time flew much as usual. I received a letter from my father written in my Mother’s handwriting from the first half page1 It was in tolerable spirits, and in a pretty good natured tone considering how I wrote to him. I believe I am pretty impudent.2

Mr. Horatio Brooks and Miss Abby Adams were with us at dinner, after which I sat up in my study as usual and read part of the Oration against Verres upon the supplies. Interrupted by Dr. Tuckerman upon that odious business. He came to see if he could not induce me to pay the sum but I would not do it. I told him precisely how I was situated, and gave him some information about the case which he had not had before. He left me saying that the matter of the reference was not settled yet as Mr. Pickering hesitated about accepting.

Evening we went together to the Theatre, Mr. Angier’s attending Miss Adams. The performance was Romeo and Juliet with a silly afterpiece.3 I was much more astonished at Master Burke’s performance of Romeo than that of Shylock. It certainly was wonderful. The Theatre was full but very few acquaintances. Returned late, I read the Tatler.


JQA to CFA, 11 Feb., Adams Papers. JQA’s continuing trouble with his eyes did not permit him to write himself beyond the eight lines of verse on his affliction with which the letter begins.


In his letter to his father on 5 Feb. (Adams Papers), CFA had written that there was an error in chronology in JQA’s account of the composition of Cicero’s “Topics.” Perhaps more “impudent” in CFA’s view, however, was the renewal of his effort to curb what he called JQA’s tendency toward speculation in financial matters.


The farce was Barney Brallagan (Boston Daily Advertiser, 18 Feb., p. 3, col. 5).

Saturday. 19th. CFA Saturday. 19th. CFA
Saturday. 19th.

Morning delightfully mild and pleasant. I went to the Office as usual and passed my time in writing my Journal and afterwards in reading a little of Enfield. But one or two interruptions. One from Judge Adams who came for the purpose of getting some Money for J. Q. Adams’ Quarterly Allowance due tomorrow. I paid it. Mr. Peabody came in and talked very pleasantly also. I began writing a letter to my Father but could not progress much in it. Went down to the Fire and Marine Office to get Powers of Attorney for the repayment of Capital which is about to take place there. Thence to the Athenaeum for books.


The Judge, my Uncle dined with us and was tolerably pleasant. After dinner I continued Verres and read twenty sections more in the Oration upon provisions. The Account given of the oppression exercised over the good People of Sicily is terrible enough. How thankful should we be who are able to consider what we have our own, without fearing rapine and extortion. But the detail is tedious.

Mr. Angier took tea with us in the Evening and I went to the Debating Society. A small Meeting. Question upon the present excitement in South Carolina.1 Debate short and warm and the subject put over. After we adjourned as the Evening was delightfully mild, I took a long walk with several of the young men. Returned home and read the Tatler.


There had been much public agitation in South Carolina for direct action unless legislation were passed in Congress to reduce or repeal import duties, particularly those on salt (Boston Daily Advertiser, 10 Feb., p. 2, col. 4).