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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 8th

8 April 1862

Thursday 10th

10 April 1862
9 April 1862
Wednesday 9th

On my way to this place a little mistake was made by the conductor in taking my ticket that I found it would embarrass me in my return if I did not set it right, so my first this morning was to drive to the railway station and apply to the proper quarter to rectify the error. After some delay to look up the evidence, it was all verified to my satisfaction. From thence I drove to my banker Mr Hottinguer to make arrangements for friends for Mrs Adams in my absence, and then to see Mr Guizot. Last evening M Laugel had suggested this visit and assigned the hour, so I went. I found an old gentleman with a large round grey head, and a clear intelligent eye who received me civilly and invited me into his library. He talked in an extremely friendly way about the dispute in America, avowing himself entirely on the side of the government. He asked some of the usual questions which I answered, and then turned the conversation to European politics, and the position of Italy and the Pope. He said that quiet depended upon that person’s continuance in Rome. His expulsion would rouse all the Roman Catholic sympathy that now laid dormant. He though Napoleon would not touch him for that reason. I believe Mr Guizot has written a pamphlet in that sense, which has been ill received as coming from a protestant. On the whole his conversation did not seem to me very striking, and I am somewhat at a loss to comprehend the reasons for his reputation. There can be little doubt that his errors of judgment cost Louis Phillippe his crown. Since which time he has been out of politics, and writing rather dull memoirs.70 I was glad to have seen him as one of the notable men of France though rather of a past age. I returned home only to sally out with my family on a general excursion. We visited the palais de Justice, and the Sainte Chapelle of Louis neuf. It is a curious relic of antiquity renovated and beautiful by the present sovereign. Then to Notre Dame. A fine exterior, and in process of renewal inside, but the old past still retained for worship remains disfigured with the tawdry colours that are found in so many Roman Catholic edifices. The new portion is yet free form it and bids fair to be grand. We were shown into the sacristy where we saw the silver and jewels and magnificent vesture given by various monarchs on great occasions. There is also a statue of the Virgin in solid silver which requires ten men to carry it on days of procession in the church. All this looks a little superfluous in the genuine worship of God, but old counties still delight in show. We then went to the Pantheon, to the church of Saint Sulpice and to that of Sainte Clotilde. The interior of each is interesting and in the last we came upon a funeral ceremony of one of the highest class which was imposing and impressive. A great crowd was in attendance. By this time so much of the day was spent, that we had only some minutes to call at Edward Brooks’s and bid him Good bye. He has taken cold and remains in the house today. He and his Wife both bear the marks of age, and grow feeble Mrs Adams and I dined at Mr Dayton’s. Mr and Miss Senior, Mr Weed, Mr and Miss Morse, Mr de Circourt, Mr Rawle, and some others whom I did not know made the company. I had some conversation with M de Circourt on French politics. Although himself a legitimist he regards the continuance of Napoleon as essential to the safety of France. But in case of his demise the succession must fall upon the strongest will, which in his belief is that of Jerome. The child is out of the question. I then spoke of the Orleans dynasty as an ultimate resource. He admitted it as possible, but it must be military, or nothing.71

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=DCA62d099