Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 26th. CFA Wednesday. 26th. CFA
Wednesday. 26th.

Cool but clear. I went to the Office after lounging some time over Mrs. Jamieson. Her account of Maria Theresa is very interesting. The Austrian Princes have seen great reverses. And even now they cannot be free from anxiety. Office. Jefferson. His Early Letters want interest. 284I find only one upon the subject of the Cincinnati deserving of notice.

Walk. Afternoon, Benjamin Constant. Mr. Price Greenleaf came in and spent an hour. He had little news from Quincy excepting that the distress had extended there. I suppose we shall know more of this hereafter.

My wife and I went to the Theatre, to see Miss Kemble and her father. The piece was modern—The Wife or a Tale of Mantua.1 It turns upon a wish to undermine a wife in a husband’s affections. In order to do which, recourse is had by the villain to the force of suspicious circumstances. The result is defeated by the fact that the man selected to effect the object turns out to be her brother. Her part is not much. That of the brother is very well and Kemble performed it in his best style. We returned home early and much gratified.


The engagement of Miss Fanny Kemble and her father at the Tremont Theatre had begun three days before and was to continue until 11 April. The Wife is by James Sheridan Knowles.

Thursday. 27th. CFA Thursday. 27th. CFA
Thursday. 27th.

Fine morning. I went to the Office and was occupied part of my time in Accounts and part of it in reading Mr. Jefferson’s Letters, then I went to the Athenaeum where I wasted time in looking over the Athenaeum Newspapers and English Periodicals. They have little in them that is not flimsy and yet they amuse me.

Walk. Afternoon at home. Benjamin Constant and Cicero. Finished the second Tusculan Disputation.

In the evening, my wife and I went again to the Theatre. The Gamester1—Mr. Beverley by Mr. Kemble, Mrs. Beverley by his daughter. The tragedy is of the most gloomy description. An amiable but weak man led on to his own destruction by the arts of a treacherous friend who works upon his passion for gaming, first to enrich himself, next, to seduce the Wife. The performance was good. He certainly suited me better than Cooper in the same part.2 After piece “Turning the Tables.” Home rather late.


By Edward Moore.


CFA had seen The Gamester in 1825 with Thomas Abthorpe Cooper in the role of Beverly (vol. 1:437, 448).

Friday. 28th. CFA Friday. 28th. CFA
Friday. 28th.

The season is uncommonly clear and dry. I went to the Office and occupied myself as well as I could, not however without reading News-285papers an undue portion of the time. The state of public affairs is becoming daily more critical. The Bank of Maryland has failed, and the Governor of New York has sent a Message to the Legislature which looks very much as if the Safety fund was in the most imminent danger. Yet there is not a symptom of relenting on the part of the Government.

Walk. Afternoon Benjamin Constant—The Age of Homer which he construes to please himself. Began Cicero’s third Tusculan Disputation upon the Stoical doctrine of endurance. We passed a quiet evening at home quite alone. Finished Madame de Fleury. I pursued German.