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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 25th

25 May 1861

Monday 27th

27 May 1861
26 May 1861
Sunday 26th

Cloudy but mild. Not being disposed to remain entirely at home, I sallied forth with my son Brooks to find some place to go to church. I was curious to witness the service at Westminster Abbey, so we turned our step in that direction. Being somewhat after eleven, I found access only by the way of the poet’s corner, and even here every seat was filled. The service was read in audible manner, the voice of the reader clearly sounding even through the lofty arches of nave and transept, but the chanting of the choir seemed to me rather mechanical and ineffective— The attendance seems to be made up of the middle and poorer classes who go in and occupy the seats free. I could see but a small part of the crowd. The sermon was appropriate to Trinity Sunday, being from the text “What think ye of Christ?” It recapitulated the well known positions of the Church with no novelty or variety of illustration. I believe it is a maxim of this as of the Roman Catholic sect to venture no where out of the beaten path. I could not help contrasting with this the discussion of the same text by Dr Channing. After the service we lingered round the monuments int eh corner until routed by the Beadle. I must visit them more at my leisure, on some week day. We took a walk from here along the strand through Fleet Street and around St Paul’s, the most crowded thoroughfare of the city. Much of it looked more naturally to me than I expected. Living in the neighborhood of the strand for the short time my father was in the capital, my impressions connected themselves with the only line of egress we had to other parts of the city. Of this portion in which I now am I only remember the House Guards in St James’s park and a part of Hyde park. I was at home the rest of day, and very quiet. Mrs Motley came in to see Mrs Adams. She speaks in harsh language of the style of conversation in American affairs in fashionable circles. The truth is that the native British arrogance will bust out at times, no matter what restraints are put upon it. The division of the United States in a peaceful manner is now the leading idea. Any continuance of the struggle is likely to produce effects upon the industry of the manufacturing districts of the most unpleasant character. On the whole, this is the quietest and pleasantest day I have passed in London.149

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA61d146