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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Sunday 28th

28 August 1864

Tuesday 30th

30 August 1864
29 August 1864
Monday 29th

It looked cloudy and threatening in the morning but cleared off at last very fine. We visited the Cathedral again for the sake of seeing it as an edifice. On my addressing one of the vergers he asked me if I would like to see something in addition. On my assenting he led us into a chapel made by partitioning off one portion of the transept102 which is much larger than that on the other side of the Nave. Here we found the Bishop engaged in the service of confirmation of a youth of about eighteen. Nobody present but the members of his family, and a few spectators like ourselves. After the customary prayers, he made a brief address which for simplicity, affectionate earnestness, and fitness for the occasion, was admirable. He is not a comely person, perhaps a little ordinary in his appearance, and somewhat advanced in life, all which served perhaps to heighten the effect. He alluded to the boy’s being about to go to a land far way, but he did not specify. This being over in about fifteen minutes, we resumed the object which brought us. There is much that is curious in this edifice which was once the Monastery of Saint Werburgh—that is about a thousand years ago. Here is fine Chapter House, old and interesting cloisters, a singular crypt or cellar, a interesting court and a monument or two. The crumbling of the red stone of which the exterior is built imparts more dignity to it than if it were smooth and polished. From here we went to St John’s, now a parish church for within the limits of the old edifice, a portion of the coins of which yet remain. After luncheon I walked with Brooks to Eton Hall, whilst the others drove in a carriage. We made a detour which extended the way. This is the place of the Marquis of Westminster, on which he has expended a great sum in rebuilding the mansion. The interior is certainly very handsome and it is adorned with works of art as well as every luxury. To me the most attractive portion was the library, through it betrayed no signs of that sort of use for which alone such a place is worth having. The family are here but little, which is commonly the case with such ponderous magnificence. I was much disappointed by the exterior, which is neither massive, nor elegant. Drove home with the ladies.

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=DCA64d242