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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Saturday 7th

7 May 1864

Monday 9th

9 May 1864
8 May 1864
Sunday 8th

The day was cold and rainy. I went with my son Brooks to the city to church. We dropped into St Augustine’s close by St Paul’s. This is a small composition at Sir Christopher Wren’s and marked by some of the his characteristics. Instead however of the usual abundant supply of side light, this necessary element is furnished by large openings worked in the circular arch of7 the ceiling running over the centre aisle. This is so contrary to all my notions of his style, that I infer it have been, like the side galleries, a modern invention. These changes however, differ essentially, inasmuch as one is an improvement, whilst the other is a defect. The arrangement is simple; two rows of Ionic columns, from which spring arches in each direction. In centre forming the favorite semi circle over the aisle, on the sides making a pointed arch. One defect of the columns is that they are set up on tall and thin bases which rise above the level of the pews. The effect is nevertheless rather pretty. The space behind the altar is supported by four small corinthian columns of great beauty, a mixture of orders visible in the outside of St Paul’s. Over the altar is a paining of a large cross, which is an improvement upon the royal arms, stated in the books to have been there formerly. There is a good deal of ornament in painting and gilding which does much to set off the whole. To my surprise I discovered that Mr Milman, the son of my friend the Dean was the Rector. The service was much after Cathedral fashion. Most of it charted by a small choir of men and boys. Attendance good, but all young people. The sermon preached by a young man, on the duty of labour, in the work of Christ. He alluded to the shocking condition of the population in the City, and the necessity of working to improve their moral and religious condition of the population in the City, and the necessity of working to improve their moral and religious condition. I presume there is no less Christian mass of human beings in any large turn in Christendom, than the lowest class here. Sincere and honest efforts are now making to improve it. There was a collection afterwards. It is not unusual to find in these collections counterfeit half-crowns. Such is the testimony given by the Clergy in a late lawsuit. We got home in season for me to fulfil my engagement to take Mr Dayton to Pembroke Lodge to see Lord Russell. The chilly, drizzly weather spoilt the excursion. We found the family alone, but soon after came in Mr Bille and his usual train, Count and Countess Bernstorff, and Mr Wachtmeister, as well as Mr Stanley. We remained an hour. I spoke to Lord Russell about Mr Teran who had called to see me with General Lerman, and had asked me to get him an interview if possible. He is one of the Ministers of Juarez, and is trying to procure a delay in the recognition of Maximilian, by Spain and Great Britain. Lord Russell told me8 they had agreed to recognize as soon as Maximilian should get into possession in Mexico. This is one of the follies of this Ministry, to conciliate Napoleon. Whatever may be in the future of that country, it is not in this man to give the needed stability. There appeared a little more of courtesy in the relations between the Danes and the Prussians, but I though I detested that the latter felt as if playing the winning cards. We got home shortly before dinner. We had to dine Mr Dayton, Mr Bright and Mr Gibbs. In the evening about a dozen people came in so that it was more sociable. The American news by the Asia still detailing little reverses and defeats. These are the invariable attendants of our spring, whilst Parliament sits. What has become of the immense force which the government tells me of? Especially how is it that with six hundred or more vessels, we are always at fault for the right one to repel the attack of one? It is the navy that disappoints me most.

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=DCA64d129