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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Tuesday 5th

5 May 1863

Thursday 7th

7 May 1863
6 May 1863
Wednesday 6th

The beauty of the weather and the period of the season have prompted me to propose to the ladies a visit to the gardens at Kew. A thing which has been somewhat long delayed. Yesterday I was prevented by the press of persons to see me. In order to escape the same risk today we started early and drove to the gardens so as to reach them by two o’clock. The season is just in the beauty of vegetation. The horse chestnuts are in great splendor. On the whole no single tree appears to flourish better in England. The little old palace is no longer the abode of the sovereign, but like Hampton Court and Kensington accommodates the collateral branches of the royal family or else the decayed members of the female nobility. The Duchess of Cambridge and the Princess Mary inhabit this place. It is set off from the body of the360 gardens, in order to be private from the great influx of people who crowd here from London, especially on Sundays. The place is rather flat, but naturally pretty, so far as it reaches along the river. Art appears to have done every thing else. Very large seems have been spent upon it, so that it has become famous for its collections of rare plants. We wandered into the wilder forest portion, which was made very attractive by the unusual warmth of the sun. I enjoyed it; but not without thinking how much more of interest I should take in the much less shows development of vegetation now going on among my own trees at Quincy. At my age what is all the magnificence of Europe to me? At home I have before my eyes the humble labors of thirty years carried on with very limited means, but for that reason enjoyed the more. My longings to be relieved from the cares of public life and to go back to my old pursuits are becoming more intense, as the time passes. We remained here only two hours and yet I did not get home until near six o’clock. In the evening we continued Kinglake, who grows more and more absurd as he goes along. My confidence in his accuracy and judgment is entirely gone.

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=DCA63d126