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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 15th

15 August 1862

Sunday 17th

17 August 1862
16 August 1862
Saturday 16th

Bath makes much less figure now than it did during the reign of George 3d. It is no longer the fashion. The days of the Pump room and of the hot well have passed away—yet it is a handsomely built, clean and apparently substantial city where people with limited means come to repose and enjoy the advantages of pleasurable174 living which it affords. I went out before breakfast to look at the place and find a bath. Visited the pump rom and the hot baths which are kept in fine order. But I was searching for something cooler and was at least referred to what were called the tepid plunging bath. It seemed to be a large inclosure of very greenish looking water which I concluded to attempt. My plunge took me into a temperature of ninety degrees, which I scarcely found tepid. I got out more quickly than at Malvern. Of the two extremes I must prefer the latter. After a rather late breakfast we all went out ot look at the curiosities of the town. Of these the church was the first. It is not a Cathedral although the Bishop of the Diocese is named from Bath conjointly with Wells. The front is curious for its sculptured figures, and particularly the design of two ladders running to the top, with a representation of person in various grades of ascent. The interior is simple, and uniform, of the late or perpendicular style. There is full of moments of which the most curious are those of Sir William Waller and his Wife, of Quin with an epitaph of Ganrick, and of Mary Framptom with an inscription by Dryden. William Bingham, and a Senator in Congress from Pennsylvania, and the ancestor of the Barings, is also here. The church shows the disadvantage of accepting so many of these things. Many have been already moved once, and they probably will be again. We looked in at the Pump room and drank some of the warm water. We saw too the great hot spring, still regarded as beneficial to many disorders. The room is a neat quadrangle, occupied at this moment only by a few person who sat reading the newspapers at a table in one end. The motto by a few persons who sat reading the newspapers at a table in one end. The motto on the front is from Pindar . I doubt whether the poet thought of hot water. From here we took the carriage and rove to see the Ascents and parades and squares and parks of which we have heard in the novels and poets of the last age. Perhaps Smollett Humphrey Clinker gives the best picture of all. English life has been175 a little refined since that day, but substantially it remains the same. We then took a drive in the environs as far as Keynsham. They are pretty but in no sense remarkable. The place is in a hollow, the effect of which is to condense it as seen from the surround bills, and thus to give it architectural effect. I think I could be content to spend some time here if I were obliged to. We got home to an early dinner in order to take a train which goes in the evening to Wells. The route is slow and circuitous, but we got safely established in good season, at the Swan.

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=DCA62d228