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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Wednesday 16th

16 July 1862

Friday 18th

18 July 1862
17 July 1862
Thursday 17th



The weather continues showery. I was busy in preparing the despatches of the week which are numerous and important. The reverses at Richmond have such an important effect in precipitating opinion that I must prepare myself for the contingency of a sudden termination of my mission, in certain contingencies. It seems as if I was to be constantly without a sense of security during my stay. This has gone so far that I think I should be glad to be relieved of the mission. Nothing but a sense of duty to the public reconciles me to the trial a moment longer. Mr Morse called to se me with an opinion of Mr Collins very decided in the case of the vessel building at Liverpool. I sent it to Mr Dudley forthwith, together with instructions how to proceed. Mr Morse likewise showed me more papers obtained from the Austrian Embassy which expose the nature of the moments making up the two powers to get up a congress for the disposal of our affairs. It is tolerably certain that Lord Palmerston must be the main instigator of the policy which looks to the final disruption of our country as the true interest of Europe. It seems to me that this makes emancipation on our part a positive necessity. I write so home. After dinner we all went to the Opera at Count garden, to see Meyerbeer’s piece of Robert the Devil. Many years ago I saw this in an English dress performed in Boston by Mr and Mrs Wood, and I was curious to witness a repetition of it with all the advantages of a full apparatus. I twas well done, but without producing half the effect on me that it did before. The singing seemed cold and mechanical—and even Frances did not move me as he used to in America. The females were barely respectable. And the famous scene looked too much like the Melodrama of Sadler’s Wills. The music I think the best of Meyerbeer. Wild, joyous and yet stimulating. The melodies are thin but spirited. After the play, I went with Henry to the Exhibition. A prodigious assemblage of citizens and strangers without much order, but with a great profusion of refreshment tables in every direction. We did not get home until two.155

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=DCA62d198