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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 16th

16 May 1864

Wednesday 18th

18 May 1864
17 May 1864
Tuesday 17th

Another bright and very warm day. I thought I would take advantage of it to execute one of the expeditions I have been postponing ever since I came. This was to visit the gallery of pictures at Dulwich. At an early hour I started, but without any accurate notion of my course, the consequence of which was that I walked about from place to place until I accomplished as great a distance as it would have been if I had gone strait to the place. It was two o’clock when I17 finally took the train at Victoria Station. Although not more than five miles in a direct course, it took thirty five minutes to get to the place by rail. I then walked perhaps a half a mile to the College. The road was perfectly charming. Quiet, moral, shady, with fine trees putting out their fresh green foliage, the horse chestnuts, the lilacs, the hawthorn, and the laburnum all in brilliant flower, the birds in numbers in full song. This gave me the only full idea I have ever obtained of the poetry of English Country, as it has been described by its enthusiasts, before coal smoke, and railways, and manufacturing, and wealth hard came in to detract from the coloring of the picture. Dulwich College is a very quiet spot. The gallery an excrescence caused by the testamentary legacy of an individual, is composed of three hundred and sixty six pictures of various degrees of merit, contained in a small edifice constructed for the purpose of holding them. I noticed particularly four pictures by Murillo, as many by Albert Cuyp, and several by Van Dyke, one by Hobbema, three or four by David Teniers, one or two of Claude, and a flower piece of Van Huysum, the most perfect thing of the kind I ever saw. There are others well worthy of study. With those by Rembrandt, Rubues and the higher class of Italian Painters I was not much impressed. After an hour and a half spent in this way I strolled back to the Station, and thence home to London. Three of us dined with Mr and Mrs Bentson. The company consisted of Messr Dickens and Wilkie Collins, Dr and Madame de Mussy, Miss Senior, Mr and Mrs Lehman Mr and Mrs Halle and other whom I did not know. There was a reception and music afterwards. Mr B. always entertains like a prince. But I became weary with the length of them.

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=DCA64d138