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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Wednesday 4th

4 May 1864

Friday 6th

6 May 1864
5 May 1864
Thursday 5th

My day for Despatches, but luckily the week was light for once. For I had a steady stream of person to see me. The most interesting was the Prince of Joinville who came to ask me to forward to Mr Seward a packet entertaining an explanation of the reasons that had led him to withdraw his son from our navy in order to put him into that of Portugal. He went from that into a general survey of the state of Europe, and the position of the various powers. Of Napoleon, the great enemy of their family he spoke cautiously and moderately. But he considered the moment critical, and a war almost inevitable. England could scarcely keep out of it, after which the Emperor would make the best of his time to go to the Rhine. The course of affairs had been thus for irritating and mortifying to this Kingdom, but after all it had more power and resources than any other country. Under present circumstances he thought it to be his son’s duty to be nearer to the scene of action in which he was most interested. I agreed to transmit his letter, and he took his leave. Soon afterwards Mr Dayton and Mr Evarts came in. We talked of Mexico, and the plans of Maximilian, as well as those of those of the Emperor. He construes this policy, precisely as I did, as the5 index of hostility to us. I then told him of Mr Senior’s report of his conversation with M Drouyn de l’Huis last season, and of the pretence put forward that the intention had been to erect a barrier against the growth and spread of slavery. He seemed interested in my account, but equally disbelieved in the sincerity of the talk. Mr Evarts came to take luncheon and bid Goodbye. He goes to America on Saturday. He spoke of Mr Foster’s intention to more the case of the Georgia in Parliament. I doubted whether good would come of it, but had given him all the information in my hands, on his application either that day or this morning. On the whole, I have seldom had more constant interruptions. Nevertheless I got a fair walk. Dined quietly at home. Afterwards to Her Majesty’s opera to witness the performance of the Merry Wives of Windsor in an Italian libretto. The music by Nicolai, a German composer. It is a pretty thing, with some pleasing airs but nothing striking. The orchestra is excellent, and the company sings well, but without either spirit or humour. I do not feel the singing of Titiens nor greatly admire the character of her voice. As to Falstaff, he was as dull as he looked heavy. The close of the first act, a duet in the second, and a solo by the tenor appeared to me the best things. The scenery was lovely—and there was a species of ballet between the acts. Home at midnight. Mary was with me.

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=DCA64d126