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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 3

Docno: ADMS-13-03-02-0003-0002-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1831-02-11

Friday. 11th.

Morning as usual at the Office. But my time was passed in a singular way. The interruptions were so numerous, that they hardly left me the power even of doing nothing. I was desirous of conversing with Mr. Peabody but was unable owing to the very singular manner in which different persons kept coming. Mr. Jones the Auctioneer from Weston, an applicant or two for Houses, the old Tenant Mr. Spear all came in turn to talk and make their different requests or excuses. This took up the morning in a very desultory kind of way. I had time only for a short walk before returning home. I might say in further extenuation that I spent some time at Market.
Afternoon Engaged in reading the second Oration against Verres and with difficulty finished it. The last part of it is very hard to be understood from the entire allusion to the habits of the age. It is necessary to remember that they had customs which in themselves involve a knowledge of all the manners of the age. Since I began Cicero I have exceedingly enlarged this knowledge, but it is yet sadly deficient. And the acquisition of it implies an amount of time that I am afraid I should find it hard, unless I materially improve my present economy, to apply.1 The Applicant for my House vacated by Mr. Spear called again in the Afternoon and having softened down in his demands, agreed to take it,2 which will relieve me from any further trouble about it, I hope.
In the evening, I went to see the young Roscius who is making a great stir here. Master Burke in Shylock, and Looney McTwolter. A Wonderful boy certainly but not half so astonishing as he has been represented. Better in the latter than the former part.3 Returned in good season, and read the Tatler.
1. Commas editorially supplied.
2. John Gulliver followed John I. Spear as the tenant of 103 Tremont Street (M/CFA/3).
3. Master Burke, “the celebrated Irish Roscius,” during the five weeks of his appearance in repertory in Boston regularly appeared in the leading role of the principal play on the bill, in the farcical afterpiece, and also conducted the orchestra between the two productions. The farce on this occasion was “The Review, or the Wags of Windsor,” in which Burke played his acclaimed creation, Looney McTwolter (Boston Daily Advertiser, 11 Feb., p. 3, col. 5).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.