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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Saturday 3d.

3 October 1863

Monday 5th

5 October 1863
4 October 1863
Sunday 4th

Cloudy, warm day. Went into the City to church. This time I visited All Hallows in Bread Street. Here was John Milton born, and at this Church, though not now the same edifice, was he baptized. England has no greater name. A little marble tablet on the corner of the street has inscribed on it the well known lines of Dryden, “Three poets in different ages born” &c The old building was destroyed in the great fire, and this one was build by Sir Christopher Wren. It differs in many respects from his usual plans. There is no round window, and little ornament in the interior. The light is given by several long windows on one side, that on Watling Street. The pulpit is affixed to that side, between two of the windows. There is a gallery over the entrance, and on the side opposite to the pulpit is a projection like a gallery but extending only the length of a pew or so. Otherwise the arrangement is simple. A light cornice makes a parallelogram in the railing which is supported by arches springing from a capital, projecting from the dead wall, but without a column. Could it have been that he expected something like pilasters to have been painted on the walls? As it is, I do not like the effect. The interior is in excellent order and the dark and rich oak panelling and pulpit with the neutral tint of the walls gives a quiet and respectable air that is attractive. The services were much as usual. The text of the Sermon “To him that overcometh &c” was better than the commentary. I counted only sixteen worshippers. Such is the consequence of tenacious adherence to established things. What answered for two centuries ago is wholly out of place now. Here is an ecclesiastical machinery in the city which seems at a great expense for the benefit of no one but the officials. I notice that the banns of matrimony are never called at these churches, for there are no young people. There are perhaps ten churches within a radius of one quarter of a mile, where one would accommodate the attendance upon all— On the other hand in the newer parts of the town the attendance is too great for the churches. In America we accommodate ourselves pretty fast to these changes. Here the service will probably continue to be read to empty walls for two centuries more, and every body will wonder why the Church477 with all its rich endowments does no more good. I got home almost as soon as I should have done from the Chapel in little Portland Street. I called to see Mr and Mrs Harrington as Edwards’s Hotel. Mr Harvey whom I met coming to see me went with me. She was Miss Scott, the niece of Mr Seaton at Washington. From thence I went to see Mr Bates and Mr R J. Walker. Found neither of them at home. Called also to enquire of the health of Lord Lyndhurst who has come to town very ill. The medical report not favorable. Then a walk and home to my solitary dinner. Cheered in the evening by a telegram in a steamer one day later, which gives confirmation to our impressions in favor of Rosecranz. On the 23d. General Thomas’s division had come in very well and he had not been attacked in his intrenchments. I have faith in the dogged tenacity of Rosecranz. The other news was good too.

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=DCA63d277