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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Tuesday 16th

16 February 1864

Thursday 18th

18 February 1864
17 February 1864
Wednesday 17th

The mornings are clear, but the days variable, rainy and uncomfortable. I had my customary quantity of small work today before luncheon— Then I went to the house of the late Lord Lyndhurst to have a private view of things which are all to be sold off without exception. My principal object was to see the pictures of his father the painter. It happened to be very dark just then, so that I scarcely judge of the merits of any of them. Neither have they been in any way done up to look their best. One little picture of three children of George the third struck me the most. The man who suffered by the shock was scarcely visible. The portraits of the artist’s family ought to go to the Greenes in America. The death of Major Reison is perhaps the best thing he ever did but it is too large for any common private house. I should like one of these as a memorial of the old man and of his son, but I fear that the prices customary in this country are above my level. The other furniture in the house is poor and shabby. The house itself is a very curious one—all show rooms, adapted to the compound wants of an artist and of a Lord Chancellor. I and Mrs Adams with Mary dined with Sir Robert her son, Sir Stephen Glynne, her brother, Lord and Lady Dilamae, Lord Harris. Mr Gladstone was to have been there, but a telegram from the Queen summoning him forthwith to come to Osborne had intervened. There was some speculation as to the cause of this. The behavior of the Queen in secluding herself so far from London is causing more and more dissatisfaction. The Ministry begin to murmur aloud about the inconvenience to the despatch of business. From there we went to a reception at Lady Waldegrave’s. This is the first invitation sent to us from her. She is a remarkable example of the success of a woman who came up without advantages of any kind in society. The daughter of Braham, the singer whom I recollect as wandering about America, in quest of a living by his voice, after it had been thoroughly used up at home, she has by a succession of four marriages, attained rank, wealth and social influence, so that she is now at the head of a house, to which the highest nobility are glad to be invited.576

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=DCA64d048