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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Sunday 14th

14 August 1864

Tuesday 16th

16 August 1864
15 August 1864
Monday 15th

The place is so pleasantly situated that the family incline to spend an extra day or two. This morning we took an open vehicle and drove to Carnarvon, which we prefer to visit, rather than to stop at as we intended. Here we found letters from London. The only thing to see was the Castle, which lies on the water side, its exterior almost completely preserved. It is obviously a different work from such structures as Crow and Dolbadarn. The tradition is that Edward the first built it, and his Wife was confined in it one year afterwards in order to conciliate the Welsh by the idea of having the child who proved to be Edward the second, a native of Wales. In point of fact the building took many years, as nobody who examines it can fail to perceive. It is certainly very imposing, and gives a better idea than I have ever had of the mode of life of the higher class of that time. At best, it must have been rough and inconvenient enough. The stairs are all narrow and winding, and they lead to passages close and dark. Even in the best of rooms in the towers, the light in cloudy weather must have been scanty. The dining hall must have been in the court, but it seldom is to be found remaining. It is difficult to imagine a garrison life more dull and fatiguing. Adjoining the castle is still found a continuous wall flanked by towers which ran around the old limits of the town. I followed it some distance, and understood how the burgher had need of protection to make his fate tolerable to him among the prowling wolves that harried the face of the land. Perhaps this pile of the first Edward was in reality the avant courier of the profound repose of the present day. For after all the liberty of Wales as a separate kingdom is a figment as compared with its actual condition as a constituent part of a great State. Carnarvon in other respects is a mean and ugly town like all others in Wales. The country around it is flat and uninteresting. We drove back to Llanberis with a coachman as tipsy as possible. Mr Kuhn kept guard over him, and I got out and walked the last half of the way, which is very pretty. In the evening, visits from Mr Twisleton, and Mrs Parkman, who goes to America on Saturday. Also Sir Robert Collier, the Solicitor General, who is here on a sketching tour, as he is something of an artist.

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=DCA64d228