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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Sunday 8th

8 February 1863

Tuesday 10.th

10 February 1863
9 February 1863
Monday 9th

A day of rather painful reminiscences to me. It was fine and clear, yet I felt rather sad. This unsettled condition of our public affairs and the doubt that overhangs the future both financially and morally cast a shadow upon every thing. In the mean while I am worrying along far into my term of Office in this country. There is a period of calm now which might justify a confidence that it might continue the customary period, if we did not know how utterly vain are human calculations in a season of storm. I had a long visit from Mr Bright, who came to ask about the expediency of proposing a question to the government. I rather dissuaded it just at present. We talked over the290 position of parties here and the temper of Ministers. I did not conceal my profound distrust of Lord Palmerston. That his disposition at heart was against us I could not doubt. How far he would let it out was a different question. The turn of the popular mind just now might keep him steady. Mr Bright remarked upon his speech the other night as being quite up to his average, but his physical power, were perceptibly declining. At seventy nine this is natural. He is probably not anxious to disturb the calmness of his setting, and this is our best security. In case of a change we should scarcely get so favorable a cabinet—though the course of Lord Derby rather favors the idea that the policy would remain the same. I had a visit from Mr Marshall, the Consul at Leeds, about the appointment of an agent at Huddersfield. I washed my hands of further proceedings. My time very much consumed in these and other visits. What some drafts of notes to Lord Russell to carry out the suggestions of Saturday. Evening a walk, and after dinner completed the reading of Orley Farm. It has much merit, though unequal. The vulgar scenes are not so good as Dickens. The quiet dialogue, and English character painting are those points in which he is strong.

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=DCA63d040