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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Friday 30th

30 October 1863

Sunday 1st

1 November 1863
31 October 1863
Saturday 31st

This is to me, as it is to many good housewives, cleaning up day for the week. I drew up three notes to Lord Russell, in reply to as many from him, and wrote one or two to consuls, and other persons. A visit from MrArchibald, brother of the British Consul at New York, apparently of civility. Mr R. J Walker was likewise here, much elated by the result of the elections in America, which appear decision of the policy of the country during the rest of this Presidential term. After that I imagine things will have gone too far to change. Afternoon I went out on an investigation of historical antiquity. As I had pursued the examination of churches so much, I though I could take this opportunity to try taverns. So I went and ordered a dinner at the Mitre in Fleet Street. This is the place to which Dr Johnson used to resort, and where Boswell relates that the plan of the trip to the Hebrides was arranged. It is a very small and mean room with a few tables separated from each other by partitions and curtains. There is an open fireplace on the right of which is a corner which Johnson is said to have been in the habit of occupying. There is a bust of the Dr on a bracket overhanging it. It is a type of the Drs character and habits which were essentially vulgar, that he should incline to such a resort. I got a fair dinner at a rather high price. The literary men of the last age were mostly in circumstances which made the society of a small town a great recreation. The present age does better for them. It has invented club houses. From here I went to the Polytechnic in Regent street to witness the entertainment there. It consists principally of dioptric effects produced by concentrating rays of light on a single object, which is thus made to appear out of a film or curtain. This has made much noise of late as it is called evoking ghosts. Two or three illustrations of stories of Dickens and Walter Scott were made. But the ghosts were such decided examples of flesh and blood as to make no illusion. All that could be said was that it was neatly done. I remember when a boy seeing the phantasmagoria which imposed on my imagination then far more. There was a representation of seems in the opera of Faust afterwards with dissolving views. place excessively crowed.493

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=DCA63d304