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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 11th

11 April 1862

Sunday 13th

13 April 1862
12 April 1862
Saturday 12th

Immediately after breakfast the boys took their departure and left me in the house entirely alone. The sensation was rather peculiar, for my life is so essentially domestic and all my enjoyments spring so much from the association with my family that I scarcely know where to turn in a strange city to supply the void thus created. This was rather a leisure day too. So after finishing up a parcel of answers to72 letters that came during my absence, I ordered the carriage and went out. My first visit was to the gallery of pictures of French and Belgium artists, to the private view of which I had received a ticket. I spent two hours there, not unprofitably. The workmanship of the pictures is careful and elaborate. Most of them are what the French call Genre, or of familiar subjects. Very little of high genius. Rosa Bonheur has a hill most forcibly delineated. Yet after all it is nothing but a hill. She gets for this effort a fabulous prize. Such are the caprices of life. Three little things of Meissmeir are exquisite in their kind which is that of Gerard Dow. Some large dramatic pieces did not please me. But here and there was to be found a gem. I met with no acquaintance there but Mrs Parkes. From here I went by appointment to see the Duchess Dowager of Someset. She had left card and sent me a note. She is a lady of perhaps fifty years old. Evidently what is here called an odd woman. She discovered to me of her admiration for America of her devotion to her deceased husband, and of her enthusiasm about Mr Peabody’s gift, and of her own desolate condition. I listened very attentively, only now and then putting in a sentence of assent or explanation. I was thus kept nearly for an hour. On taking my leave she urged me much to call and see her, and hinted something about a dinner which I put off for the return of my Wife. I then called on a Mr Godkin, and his Wife, Americans who brought me a letter from Mr Bigelow at Paris. He is intelligent, and I staid some time. After a solitary dinner I went to see Mr Morse, to talk with him about the Exhibition and the position of the Americans in regard to it. He is constantly out of condition. The climate seems not to suit him.

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=DCA62d102