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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Monday 18th

18 August 1862

Wednesday 20th

20 August 1862
19 August 1862
Tuesday 19th

On stepping out of my room I found the sky so clear and the air so fine as to tempt me to a stroll before breakfast. I took a path which led me a distance along the cliff overhanging the water. A prettier scene I never desire to look upon. The new little cove that makes into Lynton, the bold shore on both sides, the clear blue of the sky and the water, the foliage around the houses nestled on this high point, and the opposite shore of Wales all contributed to give me a degree of exhilaration to which I have been a stranger heretofore in England. Returning with the family after breakfast light fleecy clouds had changed the aspect so as to dispel the emotion. Yet it was very pretty. We walked along for a mile and a half to a place called the Valley of Rocks. In fact only a number of projecting rocks exposed by the gradual action of the weather upon the cliffs. Still they are picturesque in their roughness and appearance of partial decomposition. The other object of curiosity we visited later in the day. After following a small steam for more than two miles, we came to a point at which another flows into it. These are called the East and West Lyns, and the place goes by the name of Waters meet. At certain times in the spring the roar and rush are stated to be quite startling, and doubtless it may be so. But as we saw it the Volume of water scarcely raised the spectacle into a point of interest. Still the walk along the bank was pretty, and after my return I enjoyed still more the lonely view from the windows of our parlor. Close by us, only separated by a narrow pathways, I observed a grave yard attached to a small church, in which about thirty of the residents were gathered around a Clergyman reading the service over a body about to be committed to the grave. I could hear the words, and could see the emotions of the mourners. Such is the kaleidoscope of humanity. It takes but a slight turn to move it from joy to grief, from hope to fear, from happiness to despair. And then I thought of America and the unnatural war which was precipitating so many of these scenes upon us daily, and a shadow came over me in singular contrast at evening to the emotion with which the morning began.179

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=DCA62d231