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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Thursday 28th

28 January 1864

Saturday 30th

30 January 1864
29 January 1864
Friday 29th

The weather is becoming clear and cooler—fine for the season. I had only a single visit from a Mr Byrd, an American from my old District, who came to beg a small contribution to bury another American who has lately died here in distress. There are many such poor creatures who drift here on adventures more or less hopeless. I wrote my usual private letters but did not get through until late. I then walked round the Regent’s Park. In the evening, as Lady Russell had called to invite us, I went with Henry to pay a visit at her reception— Most of the Corps Diplomatique, and a few others. Quite amused by falling into a discussion between the Russian and the Turkish Envoys about the differences that mark the558 separation between the Romish and the Greek Churches. M Musunes is a Greek, although he represents Turkey. He said they denied the authority of the Pope, and yet they acknowledged no superiority in the Patriarch excepting merely that of precedence. I spoke of the claim of the Pope to hold the keys of Heaven, which Baron Cetto entirely disavowed. I could only appeal to the papal coins in which the keys make a significant symbol. He denied that the Pope held any authority but that of absolution, which he had only in common with every priest. My policy here is always to listen than to talk so I drew back and amused myself with Mr Musunes’s earnestness. Lady Russell rather took me aback by saying first to me, You know, I suppose, that we are out of place. It seemed so gravely and quietly uttered that I thinking at first it might be earnest replied, “You don’t say so.” “Yes,” she went on, “two or three persons had told her that very evening that The Queen had had a sharp quarrel with my Lord, after which he had resigned and Lord Derby had been sent for to Osborne.” Seeing her drift now I answered that I had seen some such rumor mentioned in the newspapers, but as I never put any trust in what I saw there with no authorized name, I had not thought of it a second time. She said it was that if it was true, My Lord had kept it very close from her. The story has been very formally denied. Yet the fact is certain that the Queen is strongly on the German side in the Danish question, and therefore quite averse to the policy of ministers to support Denmark. It is also true that Lord and Lady Derby have been invited and have just been to Osborne what is more remarkable is that Sir Henry Holland who called in today, and who always heretofore has laughed at any idea of displacing Lord Palmerston, seemed inclined to believe that a change would take place during the approaching session. This is doubtless what he gathers in the higher circles. M de Bille the Danish Minister told me tonight that he had no doubt of a war. The Austro German force would attack them. He seemed to think they could offer no effective resistance except by sea.559

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=DCA64d029