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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 2d

2 May 1864

Wednesday 4th

4 May 1864
3 May 1864
Tuesday 3d.

Breakfasted at Edwards’s Hotel with Mr Evarts, in company with Messr Gibbs, Bright, Cobden, Foster, Evans and Cyrus W. Field. Some conversation upon American affairs, but more about the condition of Ireland. There is a little uneasiness growing up about the German question, and the newspapers give out sounds of war. But although the situation of England is very mortifying I doubt whether there is any party leader equal to the responsibility of such a policy. There are hints from several quarters of a yielding of Lord Palmerston’s vigor, but nothing certain. The German tone and conduct are firm. Very little sign of giving way. The complaint is of Napoleon who is playing false. Suddenly when England rouses herself to a notion of action she finds that she has no friendly nation to rely upon, to cooperate with her. Not much was said about this, inasmuch as the liberals always lose ground during a period of war. Home before noon, in order to prepare for the Drawing room, which was held at two. Only Mrs Adams and Mr Moran attended me. The company was not much more full than on the last occasion. The Corps Diplomatique was much enlarged by the presence of the members of the conference which adjourned over for it. The various members appeared more ill at ease than I ever noticed before. The recognitions were formal and as if mechanical. The Princess received, with only the Duchess of Mecklenburgh Stretlitz and her sister the Princess Mary of Cambridge3 The royal family have all gone to Osborne. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge shook hands with me as usual. Very few Ministers present. Lady Palmerston with all her diamonds as usual.. I found nobody disposed to talk with me. Evan Bille, the Danish Envoy was monosyllabic. He intimated but little hope. Glad to get home before four o’clock. Long walk. Dined with Captain Douglas Galton. Mrs Adams, the Marquis of Hartington, Sir Harry and Lady Verney, Mr Thomas Baring, Sir Roderick Murchison, Mr and Mrs Hankey and Lady Noel, the grand daughter of Lord Byron, the poet, with Lady Eastlake made the company. It was social and pleasant. Lord Hartington is the person who went to America last year and distinguished himself by insulting the natural feeling at a ball in New York by consenting at the invitation of a lady to wear the rebel colors at his button hole. He pleaded innocence of intention it is true. But this is a feeble apology in high party times for a man who has otherwise acknowledged his sympathy with those people. This is the heir to one of the great Dukedoms. What would be thought of an American guilty of a similar piece of rudeness here? He has always been shy of me, though he was one of the first men I met in England. His brother, Lord Frederick Cavendish is a good friend of ours, and has always been very courteous.

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=DCA64d124