Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Friday. 4th. CFA Friday. 4th. CFA
Friday. 4th.

Astonishing weather. No frosts and the air like April. I went to the Office. My time is very much taken up by accounts. My father’s collections come in with amazing slowness, and I make up as I go both from his and mine.

In consequence of conversation last night I read the North American Review upon Mrs. Trollope. Good but as Mr. Frothingham said very coarse. I think unnecessarily so.1 I am getting tired of censuring however. I feel more and more that in this world it is more easy to censure than to praise, that every person involves himself in cases where a 4double construction of his conduct can be admitted and therefore that a man should do to others as he would that others should do unto him.

Took a walk. Afternoon, I wrote more of Anti Masonry. Decided upon withdrawing my Article for the North American Review and wrote a Note to Mr. Everett to that effect.2 That is one step. Went to the Theatre, with Gorham Brooks and his Wife. Opera of Massaniello. Music of Auber. Some pretty things but in general too noisy. Sinclair very good in a Barcarolle and leading a Chorus. One or two other Choruses also well got up. I came home on the whole very much pleased. Miss Hughes not so good. There is much of the Melodrame about the piece. On the whole, good.3


The essay-review (vol. 36:1) of Frances Trollope’s Domestic Manners of the Americans was by Edward Everett.


CFA customarily felt that articles he submitted to the North American Review were subjected by its editor, A. H. Everett, to intolerable delays and postponements. His article in defense of the Puritan cause, submitted in July 1832, finally did appear after numerous vicissitudes in the July 1833 issue (see vol. 4:428).


John Sinclair and Elizabeth Hughes, whom CFA had heard with no greater enthusiasm during the preceding season (vol. 4:283), were appearing with augmented chorus and orchestra in a production at the Tremont Theatre said to be “in a style of excellence hitherto unattempted in this country.” Masaniello reached its climax in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (Columbian Centinel, 1 Jan. 1833, p. 3, col. 5).

Saturday. 5th. CFA Saturday. 5th. CFA
Saturday. 5th.

Delicious day. I never knew in this climate, so extraordinary a week as the last, in this month. It is much more like May weather. I went to the Office. Engaged in Accounts, and paying innumerable demands that were pouring in upon me. I must stir myself or else demands will exceed the supply. Wrote up my Diary which the occupations of the week had thrown somewhat behind-hand.

At one o’clock, I had made an Engagement to return home, for the purpose of going with my Wife, Mrs. Frothingham, and P. C. Brooks Jr. in a Carriage to Medford. The road was exceedingly bad, the frost being quite touched even to it’s extreme depth. We found Mrs. Everett and Miss Lydia Phillips quite well. Mr. Brooks came in shortly afterwards.1 For myself I never care to go out in the Country during the Winter months. It looks so dreary and blank in them. But on the whole I enjoyed myself pretty well today. Returned home and took Tea quietly, after which I read Burns and wrote a little piece of a Skit.


Contrary to his general practice, ABA’s father, Peter C. Brooks, remained at Mystic Grove, his Medford estate (vol. 3:xviii, 10), through the winter season, 1832–1833, in company with his daughter Charlotte (Mrs. Edward 5Everett), who, expecting a child, did not accompany her husband to Washington for the Congressional session (vol. 3:6). After Mrs. Brooks’ death in 1830 one of the daughters of Mrs. John Phillips of Andover, Mrs. Brooks’ sister, was often in attendance to share in the household management. P. C. Brooks Jr., usually called Chardon, was the third of ABA’s brothers currently living in Boston (vol. 3:4). On the Brookses and Everetts mentioned here, see also Adams Genealogy.