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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Friday 11th

11 November 1864

Sunday 13th

13 November 1864
12 November 1864
Saturday. 12th

Day overcast. I turned my attention first to the company I was with, and found it to consist principally of the family of the Duke himself. His daughter, his son Frederick and his Wife, his son Edward, his brother George and wife, his brother Richard and Wife, his sister Lady Howard and her husband, with all their children. Outside of these were Mrs Gladstone and her daughter Madëmoiselle Denet the french lady whom I meet at supper at the ball of the Duke de Charter last season, and several of the Lascelles family. Mr Gladstone was expected but could not come. The first thing after breakfast was to look at the interior of the house itself. The State rooms, which are left unfurnished, excepting with articles of show that have been presented to previous Dukes, the library, the sculpture gallery the pictures and the sketches of great artists. Of course there was time only for a cursory glance at riches which could fully occupy many hours of profitable study. The rooms are moreover rather cold and forbid much delay. In the library however we looked over a few of the rarities in illuminated manuscripts and early printed books, the luxuries of bibliography. These however take me less than the useful books of which there is great store. I fear that nobody uses them. The British aristocracy is not scholarlike. Here and there is an exception, but the great majority have as M Van de Weyer says, for their main object, the desire to kill something. They race, they hunt, they shoot or they fish, or if not these, they do worse. The young men were all out after hares today. After luncheon, we went out to see the grounds. The great fountain was set agoing for our view. It rises over two hundred feet but owing to the leaden sky it lost its sparkling appearance. There is a wide tract of territory laid out in walks, with trees of many chimes set out to give it beauty and statues, and grottoes, and rocks and brooks and summer houses, in short all that art can do to polish nature. It must be beautiful in summer, but, alas, that is precisely the time when the owner is never here. He comes only for six weeks in the whole year, and that is at this period when the leaves are gone and the temperature is repellant. The motive of the selection is to gives his guests the occupation of killing something. Home to another grand dinner. Twenty eight at table, and all the state of London life. In the evening, a round game of cards for the young people. Rather dull conversation for us of the elder class.146

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=DCA64d317