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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Saturday 14th

14 January 1865

Monday 16th

16 January 1865
15 January 1865
Sunday 15.th

Cool, but calm and clear. Went into the city, and made another attempt to get the Church of Saint Dionis or Dionysius in Lime Street. It was closed as before. A careful examination of its avenues of approach convinced me that it is no longer opened for service. I then followed Lime Street into Aldgate being so late for service that I was glad to take the first Church in my way. It proved to St Botolph’s by Aldgate. I saw at once that it was none of Sir Christopher’s, but bears the marks of the heavy, bad taste of the last century. Two very heavy galleries projecting deep into the body of the Church, with columns supporting a plain, flat ceiling. Yet though unattractive, there was an air of respectability about it, and the light was abundant. As an exception to the general rule, the building stands north and south. Behind the altar was a stained window with a representation of Rubens’s Descent from the cross.180 This evidently very lately put in, and had the intensity of fresh coloring. The services as usual, except the Sermon, which on the whole I must put at the foot of the list of mediocrity, that marks the Church. Perhaps I noticed it the more from the boldness of the attempt. The text, “To him that hath shall be given, and from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he hath,” requires skilful handling to bring out the true moral principle which is applicable to the conduct of life. This man evidently had no conception of it. His discourse might have suited almost every other text in the Bible as well. After luncheon, a visit from Mr and Mrs Stevens—and then a walk to my old haunt the Zoological Gardens in the Regent’s Park. The evening closes in so early that I had not time for a general survey. Went into the Monkey house, which is a great improvement on the old one. There I was interested in the Chimpanzee, which is a new acquisition, as also a new baboon. There is something in the bearing of this volatile race that marvellously approaches the intelligence of man. It looks to me like the expenditure of human emotions on trifles, without any of those restraints on the manifestation of them which are imposed on children even at the earliest age. In the evening, we had visits from Mr Heade, the artist, and Mr Alward.

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=DCA65d015