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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0011-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-11-23

Sunday 23rd.

Morning clear and rather cold. I attended Dr. Channing’s Meeting and heard Mr. Gannet, his Colleague, both morning and afternoon.1 Although going with every intention and desire to feel the solemnity of the service, there was nothing which could draw that deep pathos from my heart which I experienced last Sunday. Perhaps my soreness had healed. It has somewhat, but if the chord had been touched, it would have burst forth again. This is my first Sunday in Boston this year. It will be followed by many more, and I hope they will on the whole be all as satisfactory as this one. There is much dependance to be placed in religious feeling. It calms the agitation of the mind, and I have traced to it’s healing influence in me, much of the quiet and serenity which I now feel upon the subject which harassed me so last year. This is a prodigious gain. It is of very great importance as it regards my future prosperity. To Mr. Gannet’s Sermons I did not agree; they were the opinions of a man and what is he. Neither more nor less that I am. Some portions, I thought false, others strained, and very few useful. That is the great end. Evening at Mr. Tarbell’s. Conversation and quiet.
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1. Ezra Stiles Gannett (1801–1874), Harvard 1820, had served as W. E. Channing’s assistant at the Federal Street Church since 1824 (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0011-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-11-24

Monday. 24th.

Morning at the Office. Walked again to the Middlesex Canal Office, again to be disappointed. Returned and busied myself reading Law. No note from Abby nor any letter from home which surprised me and had no good influence upon my spirits. I occupied myself notwithstanding as much as I could during the day. Walked up to George’s to see him in the afternoon, nothing remarkable. Evening at the Office much amused with the second part of Percy’s Reliques of Ancient Poetry, containing those ballads connected with Shakespear.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0011-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-11-25

Tuesday. 25th.

Morning at the Office. Received a letter from my Mother, a little dull, but still in tolerable spirits. It affected mine a little but not much. Read Law as usual. Mr. Brooks notified me that Abby was in town, and I went to see her immediately. She was very dull and evidently showed signs of sorrow and heaviness. I conversed with her and found very soon that my plan had produced a very bad effect. This put me again in a quandary. I had adopted it as the best result of my reason and understanding. I must now abandon it and subject myself to all it’s accompanying trouble, without any adequate justification to myself other than to keep her from being unhappy. I did give up the plan. I consented to see her once a week but with one condition. She promised solemnly that this engagement should terminate in October. She promised that at all events I should have her hand if I demanded it. This at any rate will give a definite close to my waste of time and is a feeble palliation for my want of resolution. With regard to Mr. Brooks I must take a more decided tone with him or it will never finish. I trust the whole in the hands of a higher providence.
George came in the afternoon and talked, but I read a good deal of the secret Journal of Congress besides.1 Evening, at the Federal Street Theatre. Colman’s Heir at Law. A good piece and tolerably well cast. Finn’s Pangloss bad in general. Some good bits, but the starched formality of the character was displaced for ill placed jest and buffoonery. Duberley and Ezekiel Homespun very good.2 The Epilogue was very well done. The ballet of the Barber of Seville closed the performances. It was very well got up. Dancing is a singularly fascinating amusement. It seems to be one of our original tastes judging from the Indian habits. On the whole, well satisfied.
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1. JQA’s set of the Secret Journals of Acts and Proceedings of Congress, from the First Meeting Thereof to Dissolution of the Confederation by Adoption of the Constitution of the United States, 4 vols., Boston, 1821, is in the Stone Library. JA’s copy, published in 1820, is in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 61).
2. Dr. Pangloss, Baron Duberly, and Zekiel Homespun were characters in George Colman’s comedy.
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/