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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Thursday 18th

18 June 1863

Saturday 20th

20 June 1863
19 June 1863
Friday 19th

Heavy rain in the morning, but it cleared warm and summerlike. My letters were all finished before two o’clock, in order to give me time to go to the city to get money, and do some other business. Called on my return at Mr Morse’s Office, the Consul’s, to make some arrangements about the government prosecutions for forging their notes, and the supply of the requisite payments. At home, Mr Evarts came in on his return from his excursion to Oxford and Warwick and Chatsworth. He had no farther intelligence respecting the suit against the Alexandra which comes up on Monday. Evening, we all went to the play to see Ristori in the part of Elizabeth of England. It was in Italian which of course interposed some difficulties in our way. The piece is wretched as a composition. almost as bad as the common run of words to an opera. Lord Burleigh, and Baron are brought in talking in a manner which puts to flight all previous conceptions of their wisdom. And Shakespeare is made the recipient of a share of loyal generosity in payment of petition debts which would have amazed him in his lifetime. James comes down from Scotland to talk pretty to the Queen at a moment when his mother is experiencing the nature of the security to be found in such a proceeding. All these absurdities and a thousand more such are patent. The declination of the character of the Queen remains the only strong point of the piece. Even that is not very well done. Ristori makes the best of it. She is perhaps more familiar and demonstrative than accords with northern ideas of royalty. But she throws out with force the prior feminine emotions which actuates that personage as we know her in history. Her weaknesses, her follies, her faults and her virtues. On the whole I think she is as repulsive a female as I read of in the royal history of England, unless I except her sister. The Tudors are all hard and ungenial. Britain has had few really great or good sovereigns. The good Queen Bess cannot be counted among the number, in spite of the adulation of her own times. The ladies went on to a ball at Lady Townshends393

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=DCA63d170