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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Wednesday 10th

10 February 1864

Friday 12.th

12 February 1864
11 February 1864
Thursday 11th

The regular recurrence of this day’s work brought me fewer Despatches than usual to answer, but still I had many new subjects to treat. I have looked over the publication of papers by Mr Seward. On the whole the book is more creditable than the last. Yet I cannot help feeling that there is that little weakness visible in him which tempts him to expose to the world his productions and his skill in managing the intricacies of Diplomacy, much too extensively either for his own good or that of his country. The great defect of Mr Seward is his want of refinement of feeling, and perhaps a little tendency to what the French call arrières pensées in his conduct. He has not suffered this to warp his really great ideas of policy through the tremendous trial, but occasionally he has belittled the details. Mr Evarts came in and talked an hour. He is just from Paris. He thinks the French government well disposed, and that it will before long adopt a new policy towards the rebels. Their tricky proceedings in the ports begin to fatigue them. Well, they may. Mr Sanford came in afterwards and spent a couple of hours. He is going back to the United States. He thinks better of French policy, but ill of the influence exerted by M Mercier. I suggested the possibility of a substitution of some really well disposed man. He said something of the kind was suggested at Paris. Mrs Mercier was very homesick in America and he would be glad to change if he could. I thought it would be a great step, as I was convinced he had been an enemy from the first. In the evening, I with the ladies attended Mrs Gladstone’s reception. Lord Stanhope told me that Lord Derby had been paying me a high compliment in the Lords. I said I supposed it was about the suppression of the Despatching containing the instructions.571 He replied affirmatively. I added that I could claim little merit from my act, inasmuch as I had already anticipated them in my letter, so far as the reasoning went. The other portion did not seem essential enough to require a new note. On the whole my course was singularly fortunate. Or rather I prefer to believe there is a Divinity that shapes our ends. Ever since I came here, it has seemed to me as if I was only acting as an humble instrument to do the will of a superior power. My mind has always been clear and calm in the midst of all the difficulties that have surrounded me. This is not my will, O Lord, nor my work. Let me only strive with proper humility to do thy bidding.

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=DCA64d042