Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 4th. CFA Tuesday. 4th. CFA
Tuesday. 4th.

Lovely morning. The fine weather this season decidedly predominates. A person disordered in his stomach takes very little notice of the beauties of nature, and today I did not enjoy myself. Attended an 273auction and walked a good deal but I did not feel much better. I wish I could be sure my system was not disordered, somehow or other. Felt relieved after dinner.

Read Dubos and had a visit from Mr. Frothingham and talked of books. Terence. Mr. Brooks took tea with us, and we went to the Theatre to see Mr. Power the Irish Comedian.1 St. Patrick’s Eve, a piece of his own writing to describe an Irish Gentleman, and Teddy the Tiler, an afterpiece to show a vulgar Paddy. He does not overdraw. His Irish is characteristic and highly amusing. His own piece is not bad in effect though it has little in its substance of particular merit. He has taken advantage of Stage effect and sentimental places. We came home on the whole, quite well pleased, But my head ach had returned.


Tyrone Power, the first of that name celebrated in the American theater, had made his New York debut in the preceding August (Odell, Annals N. Y. Stage , 3:655).

Wednesday. 5th. CFA Wednesday. 5th. CFA
Wednesday. 5th.

Another very beautiful day. I went to the Office and occupied myself as well as I could with the Parliamentary Debates. As I find however that these are rather heavy and that I can get the cream of them in the Annual Register, I conclude to return this work to the Athenaeum and get the other.1

Received a letter from my father2 which is not in very good spirits upon the subject of the Bank, and upon public affairs generally. He thinks the votes of the House of Representatives will sustain the President and that commotion in the principal cities will be the consequence.

Walk. Afternoon read Dubos, and finished the Adelphi of Terence. The close of this play is abrupt and disappointing. The character of Micio is suddenly changed and becomes a mere nose of wax. Began the Hecyra. My wife took tea at Mrs. Frothingham’s and I went in the evening. A family party, W. G. Brooks and his wife with her sister. Mr. Bierley was the only stranger. It was to me decidedly dull. Returned at ten.


By “this work” CFA means the Parliamentary Debates, by “the other” he means the Annual Register for the same year. On the 5th, he borrowed from the Athenaeum the volume for 1776.


27 Feb. (Adams Papers).

Thursday. 6th. CFA Thursday. 6th. CFA
Thursday. 6th.

Hazy and clouds. A few drops of rain from time to time but it cleared away in the evening. Office, where I was not regularly occupied 274but still managed to make a little progress in the Annual Register. Went home and passed much time in making up a party to go to the Theatre. But failed in the party though I got tickets for myself and wife. There is always much vexation in getting any thing which depends upon others, to take. I never did any thing of the sort without cause to regret it.

Walk. Afternoon copied a letter to my father which I wrote yesterday,1 and read a part of the Hecyra of Terence. After tea went to the Theatre, accompanied by my wife and the two Frothingham boys—Mr. Power in Ettiquette run Mad and Born to good Luck. The first piece by himself. His genuine humor was visible most clearly in the latter, but I came away sated with laughing and Hibernianism. It is not an amusement which with me would endure as there is little variety in the humour and no wit. An Irishman is after all a very ordinary body. The Actor inclines too much to gentility too, and his Paddy o’Rafferty changes too easily from a rough Kilkenny boy to a Neapolitan Marquis. His dancing especially belied his brogue. Returned after ten.


5 March (Adams Papers).