Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday. 15th. CFA Wednesday. 15th. CFA
Wednesday. 15th.

Morning fine but the season continues cold. I went to the Office and was occupied much as usual in drawing up the Arrears of my Diary. Passed some time in an attempt to get a box at the Theatre but without success. Walk. Home to read Homer, which I was in a degree prevented from doing by interruptions. Afternoon at home, reading Burnet and Forster. I am rather slow in my progress, I know not exactly how. The days are longer and yet I do not effect so much. In the 205evening, called at Mr. Frothingham’s and went with him to the Odeon to hear a Concert of the Academy of Music. The house was thronged. From bottom to top nothing but one mass of living beings. The performance consisted of a translation of Schiller’s Song of the Bell set to music, the translation by S. A. Eliot now Mayor of the City. The choir appeared to be a large one, in all not less than two hundred and fifty I should think. I thought the leading singers all defective and the chorus rather noisy than musical. The music is of Romberg a German and did not strike me. The poem of Mr. Eliot also wants poetic vigor, though a very respectable attempt. Afterwards an Ode to Harmony which was sung inharmoniously then Mr. Isenbeck on the flute whom I heard last night. An overture and a Chorus from Rossini’s Moses in Egypt which was the best thing of the evening. Home, stopping a moment only at Mr. Frothingham’s on my return.

Thursday. 16th. CFA Thursday. 16th. CFA
Thursday. 16th.

A very bright, clear day. I went to the Office and was occupied there much time in making up Accounts and in writing. I had however but little time as I was obliged to return home early for the sake of dining to go to Quincy in the Afternoon. All this being accomplished, I started with Mr. Ayer my carpenter and we reached the town shortly after three. My first application was to the Bank where I had made an arrangement for a loan on my father’s account which they had allowed. I effected all that business in a few minutes and from thence went down to the Lumber Wharf to settle some disputed items upon their last bill to me. This was as easily and definitively done as the other, and from thence we went to the site for my House. The space is very much crowded with the materials which they have been taking up most of the winter. The stone, bricks and timber besides the boards. And now they are ready to go on. The cellar has much ice and snow and appears to have been somewhat exercised by the frost, but on the whole it appears to have maintained its position with some firmness.

On coming to the spot I could not help feeling an impatience to see it go on which my town life this winter had pretty much chilled. Even now the frost is yet to come out before any thing can be done. Mr. Ayer talks of beginning next week but I think he will not go much before April. When he does come, I shall hope to see him follow up the business very actively.

I went down with Kirk, who was working at the bricks, to see his wife who was at the House. Had some talk with her and remained 206there until nearly seven when I went up to the tavern to attend a meeting of the Proprietors of the Quincy Canal. They came straggling in one after another and were unable to organize until near eight o’clock. When this was done, the Committee appointed, proceeded to report upon the Shareholders opinions as to the Assessments, and the result was the consent of all but three. These three however interposing obstacles almost as great as if half were opposed, presuming the assessment to be voluntary. I suggested the expediency of at once applying to the Legislature for an amendment to the charter which would authorize the assessment. This appeared to take very well, and a resolution was passed to the effect. I then took leave before the meeting adjourned and got back to town at about ten. My wife was still out at a small party at her father’s.