Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Saturday 16th. CFA Saturday 16th. CFA
Saturday 16th.

Weather dull and foggy. Much the usual distribution. Evening at home.


At the Office this morning where I was occupied by Deacon W. Spear who came from Quincy with the usual amount of applications. This day of the week is commonly frittered away in things of this kind. Home to read Antigone. Mr. Brooks and P. C. Jr. dined here today by way of remembering the birth day of my youngest boy Henry who is a year old. There is no intelligence of any kind, and on the whole we are growing very dull. Evening passed very quietly at home. Finished the first draught upon the currency not at all satisfactory.

Sunday. 17th. CFA Sunday. 17th. CFA
Sunday. 17th.

Snow and drizzle. Exercises as usual.

I follow up my investigations respecting Aaron Burr during my day light hours and write upon the currency in the evening. Attended divine service all day and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from 1 Thessalonians 4. 1. “We beseech you that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” And from Matthew 25. 13. “Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh.” I paid rather a languid kind of attention.

A Sermon of John Balguy from Esther 5. 13. “Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King’s gate.” The story of Haman as illustrating the restlessness of human desire. There is something a little extravagant to us in this excess of Haman’s and yet not at all inconsistent with the passions we know to exist in man when left as in Eastern countries entirely unbridled.

Evening at home the first time for several weeks. Writing afterwards but I know not how it is I can by no means satisfy myself.

Monday. 18th. CFA Monday. 18th. CFA
Monday. 18th.

Still dull and cloudy. Division as usual. Evening to the Theatre.

This gloomy weather continues long. At the Office not having any other definite occupation, I made an overturn in my collections of old papers and began to destroy with very little mercy. Home where I continued Antigone. I felt extraordinarily unwell all day and began to apprehend being taken sick but as I fasted, towards evening grew better.

Went to the Theatre to hear a play called “Il Giovanni” being an English hash of Mozart’s music. Mrs. Bailey sung as Zerlina.1 But nothing could well be poorer. This piece I had always expressed a great wish to hear, never having had an opportunity, but either this gives no 191sort of idea of it or I should not like it. Returned home much disappointed and resolved not to go to the Theatre again with such performances.


At the Tremont Theatre, Mrs. Bailey, the former Charlotte Watson, also sang the principal role in the comic afterpiece “Pet of the Petticoats.” In “Il Giovanni,” Joseph Pearson was Don Octavio and Miss Morgan was Donna Leonora (Boston Evening Transcript, 18 Feb., p. 3, col. 2). “Il Giovanni” may have been the extravaganza titled “Giovanni in London,” which was introduced in New York in 1827 and was popular for many years (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage , 3:246).