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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Saturday. 12th

12 November 1864

Monday 14th

14 November 1864
13 November 1864
Sunday 13th

The cold east wind which has so long prevailed gave way today, to a driving rain from the southward. After breakfast we were called to decide the question of Church attendance. I made my own way quietly to the little village of Edenser, about a mile off, where is a small edifice which the Duke attends in the morning. He came in afterward with five or six of the ladies who drove down. The place might hold fifty people. Behind the altar is a very singular monument to me of the former Dukes which I could but partially comprehend. In front was a reliving figure in stone, under a glass case, and beside it the image of a skeleton only the ribs of which were visible to me. Back of this was a very elaborate representation in porphyry, with two standing figurines, and a representation of a suit of armour placed upright but without a body in it. Of course I could made out no inscription. Altogether it seemed to me in the very worst possible taste. I did not find the family much disposed to enlarge upon it, through I learned that in the proposed reedification of the Church, the whole of it is to be restored. I walked home with His Grace, Lord Frederick and others. Towards night, the evening service was held in the Chapel within the palace. This is an interior highly ornamented with paintings on the walls and ceiling by Vernio, by carved woodwork, and by an altar in the same species of marble or porphyry which made the monument of the church. The attendance of most of the guests and the great retinue of the household made quite a number. The service by Mr Hall, the same person who officiated at Edensor, and a choir of little boys from that village sang without accompaniment. I liked it all, as I do every thing in this country which indicates the religious tendency of the higher classes. It is the very best feature of English society in this age. Another large and very elegant dinner with thirty at table. The room is certainly very fine, and the sculptured figures which stand at each side of the two fireplaces mark it distinctly from any other I ever saw. After dinner Sir Joseph Paxton was presented to me, and I had a good deal of conversation with him. Like most self made men his main topic was himself, and I was well disposed to humor him. He is certainly a remarkable person. He invited me to visit him tomorrow.147

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=DCA64d318