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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0002-0009-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1826-07-01

July 1st. 1826.

I found an invitation to dine with the corporation of the City on the 4th. this morning and this combining with the urgencies of my friends induced me to postpone my departure until the middle of the succeeding week, making my stay longer than I had anticipated, but these things happen but seldom in man’s life and it is wisdom to prolong them to the utmost. I spent the morning however in making and receiving calls, and spent half an hour with Blunt in the Chancery Court. Little was done of interest and I was glad to get away. I walked in to see Mr. Hone the Mayor,1 who seems to be a most exceedingly pleasant man. I went to see Mr. Bradish, Mrs. De Wint and others, and received calls from Mr. Chew,2 Mr. Sullivan and others. The former is a very pleasant acquaintance, I made by means of Mr. Bradish, he is of Philadelphia and like myself on a visit here. Having been extremely civil to me as indeed every body has been, I have enjoyed myself very much.
The afternoon was spent in a short stroll in the Castle Garden,3 and in the evening Tudor returned apparently determined upon being more mad than ever. We went immediately to the Opera and heard Tancredi performed.4 Garcia certainly sings delightfully although on the decline, Miss Garcia performed very well, but on the whole I liked the piece little as it is cut down to be performed with us. It is { 59 } a mere exhibition of select passages which certainly are very fine but not to be entitled to be called a regular Opera. The piece is famous so that it would be useless to speak of the extracts which have been so generally called fine. Madame Barbieri is pleasing, her voice has not the melody nor the full rich tone of the Garcia but notwithstanding she does exceedingly well, particularly when in contrast with the amazingly powerful deep notes of Angrisani. I do not think much of the younger Garcia. On the whole I came away with less pleasure to night however than on Tuesday for although passages were eminently fine in this piece yet considering it as a display of voice, I thought it not equal to what the other would have been had Garcia performed. And it had the disadvantage to an unpractised visitor of being serious Opera which cannot be so pleasing as the Comic until Music is made every thing to the mind. We left some of our party at the Theatre and returned to the National Hotel early.
1. Philip Hone (1780–1851), the wealthy, cultivated diarist, who was serving a one-year term as mayor (DAB).
2. A member of the famous Philadelphia family, descendants of Benjamin Chew, the jurist (same).
3. A pleasant park located in the Southwest Battery, formerly the fortification, Castle Clinton (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage, 3:227; Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 6:406, 622).
4. Tancredi and Almenaide, a novelty opera by Rossini, whose usual cast is listed in Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage, 3:187.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0002-0009-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1826-07-02

[2 July.]

On Sunday, we determined to go to Staten Island and spend the day as it was dull in the City. We found little or nothing to interest us, dined, drank wine, enjoyed some delicious Oysters, and returned to the City to tea. A little rain and thunder made our passage over the bay quite picturesque. Blunt called upon me and insisted upon my going to Dr. Hosack’s,1 this evening. I unwillingly consented. Found a large family Circle, and a few visitors. Miss Fairlie a famous belle although of some standing was there and struck me with her manners.2 They are very uncommon. Free, bold and original. Something to rest the eye upon in looking over the barren sameness of society, but whether to see agreeable visions or not, I will not undertake to say. Miss Hosack is a lady like woman, the Miss Costers who are the famous heiresses are very second rate animals in a drawing room. On the whole I was rather amused, although not sufficiently to desire a repetition.
On my return however, I found that I had been saved a wild harum scarum scrape of Tudor’s invention, and therefore I blessed my good Stars at being so fortunate. For on the return of the three, { 60 } I found a misunderstanding had taken place which produced some warm words, and it was not until four or five hours afterwards and a supply of Champagne, that all things were amicably restored. The affair originated in the extravagant thoughtlessness of Tudor and his love of mischief. He was sorry for it however before it closed.
1. David Hosack (1769–1835), the renowned physician, was active in the city’s social and cultural life. His third wife was Magdalena Coster, who was also a cousin of Philip Hone (DAB).
2. Louisa Fairlie, the daughter of Major James Fairlie, was “a great belle with a power of repartee that bordered on genius” (Gouverneur, As I Remember, p. 94).
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.