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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Friday 5th

5 June 1863

Sunday 7th

7 June 1863
6 June 1863
Saturday 6th

Showery, like April, with some thunder. The usual arrears to make up, after which I pursued the examination of my coins. I find this occupation a good division to my mind from the cares and anxieties of the moment. It is singularly calming to go back thousands of years and review the series of persons and events so completely passed away, that the remem­381brance of some of them depends on these trifling records. They are types of art, of civilization, of thought, of habits and manners, of national character. They show the diversity of human nature so much that practised eyes seldom mistake either the nation, the region or the age to which they respectively belong. The only thing that does not now belong to them is passion. That belongs only to the existing generation. A great element in the actual movement of the race, it leaves its traces in precisely such memorials either to their honor or to their disgrace. We can now examine and speculate on them so as to reduce our contemplation of near objects to their proportionate relation in the world’s progress. As Mrs Adams was not quite well, I went in the carriage with Mary and returned a number of visits. Then a long walk home. As this was the day designated as the Queen’s Anniversary, it was celebrated by the customary dinners of the Ministers. Lord Russell had the Corps Diplomatique in Downing Street, in full dress. The Austrian, Turkish, Russian, Prussian and French Ambassadors, the Belgian the Bavarian, Saxon, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Swedish Dutch, the Honduras, Peruvian, Guatimala, and Haytien Ministers. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, Messr Layard and Hammond, Assistant Secretaries, Messr Doyle, Christye, Sir Rutherford Alcork, Sir Hamilton Seymour, Sir Charles Wyke and several other ex enjoys from this court. The entertainment was very elegant and the dinner was good. I sat between the Danish and Swedish Ministers and enjoyed myself as well as I could in my stiff guise and on so formal occasion. The usual formal toasts; the Queen, by Mr Musuras, and the representatives of friendly nations were drank, and we dissolved. From thence we passed to Lady Palmerston’s, where there was rather a limited assembly. His Lordship was civil but nothing more. I presume this to be the footing on which we are to remain for the rest of my time here. I hope it may be so. I want no more experiments of familiarity. Got away about midnight. There was a partial illumination, at the Club Houses, and at the principal shops which the Queen patronizes. The same general monotony of design which marked the general one in March.382

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=DCA63d157