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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Friday 9th

9 August 1861

Sunday 11th

11 August 1861
10 August 1861
Saturday 10th

A fine, warm day. Having completed all our arrangements, the whole family took our leave of London for a little excursion into the interior. We drove for ever to the easterly side of the city to the railway terminus of the Easter Counties road. Our trip was to Cambridge through Waltham, Bishop Stratford, Shelford &cc, pretty country but not in any way remarkable. We reached Cambridge at two, and I walked about a mile and a quarter to the Bull Inn, a comfortable looking old English Hotel. Not to lose a moment some of us sallied forth to visit the Colleges. We went at once to see the famous chapel of King’s College, of which we only had time for the outside. Thence to Trinity to get a view of the Library, the Hall and the chapel. The interior is remarkable for the delicate wood carving of Gibbons, the marble bust of Rankiliae, and Thorvaldsens Statue of Lord Byron. The edifice itself is the work of Sir Christopher Wren, and if in itself207 good is certainly not in harmony with the style around it. The idols of this seat of learning are Lord Bacon and Sir Isaac Newton. Dr Isaac Barrow, Dr Bentley and Sir Edward Coke are the secondary planets. Milton planted a tree in one of the gardens, and Lord Byron pequented rather profited by the place. The State is a striking one. It came to the college because the Dean of Westminster would not consent to let it go where it had been destined, into the Abbey. It is far better where it is. In the Library are many curiosities among which are the original draughts of Milton’s W poems in a very clear handwriting, and the old League and Covenant. The books generally look old and the collection is scarcely large. In the chapel we saw the statue of Sir Isaac Newton by Roubiliac. It is excellent. In the Senate House, there is another of William Pitt which is also good. The grounds around these building are kept with great beauty which adds materially to the effect. Certainly the air of repose and contemplative meditation which obtains here must be favorable to study. After dinner we drove around the town, visited a very old round Templar church and various other public buildings, returning at last to our lodgings pretty well tired out. We had been greatly favored by the weather which was warm and fine.

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=DCA61d222