Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Monday 31st. CFA Monday 31st. CFA
Monday 31st.

Cold and clear. Distribution as usual. Evening Assembly ball.

The time passed at the Office is not easily to be accounted for because I interrupted my pursuits for this and that little commission in the shops. The procuring of little remembrances for the children took much time. And after all I missed my hour for Greek. J. T. Kauffer one of the Tenants came with his bills manufactured in a very curious manner. I must get rid of him but it will be hard work I foresee. Coins and Crevier.

Evening to the first of the Assemblies which some gentlemen have gotten up here at Papanti’s rooms.1 There were about two hundred persons present I should think, among whom were the principal people in the place. The hall is a good hall, and the collection was very well made, but there are great difficulties in all such cases from the 163impossibility of drawing any lines in this Country. There were lines in this case attempted and that very strictly which could not fail to give much offence. Another subject of grievance arose among those admitted. The managers were self appointed and had proscribed wine, at which every body rebelled whether they wanted it or not. The result was they had to give way and Champagne was brought at midnight.

Thus ended the year 1838, and in looking back upon it I can scarcely trust myself in the expression of my feelings. Few of the Community enjoy what I enjoy, and in this sense I am constantly grateful I hope properly so for my advantages. Yet what can be the measure, when a kind Providence has dealt so kindly and bountifully by me. I close this book as the record of mingled feelings of gloom and joy, of pleasure and pain, which nevertheless have left behind them no mournful reminiscences and very many highly delightful ones. May it be so ever is the prayer of one who relies far more upon the benevolence of the Deity to us unworthy mortals than upon any foundation of hope or fear in his own heart.

1.

“Papanti’s rooms” were and remained over two generations a center for balls, “assemblies,” dancing classes, and the like in Boston. Located at 23 Tremont Street, the hall was presided over by Lorenzo, the first of the Papanti family to settle in the city (Mary Caroline Crawford, Romantic Days in Old Boston, Boston, 1910, p. 314–315; Abigail Adams Homans, Education by Uncles, Boston, 1966, p. 100).