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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Saturday 25th

25 March 1865

Monday 27th

27 March 1865
26 March 1865
Sunday 26th

The mild temperature of last evening was today converted into a cold and blustering wind from the north, with snow flurries from time to time until sundown when it cleared up cold. I went in company with Mr Alward to the City, and attended Divine service at St Martin’s, Ludgate. This239 is the remaining edifice of Sir Christopher’s devising which I had not visited, that is standing, unless I except St Divinis, which I visited twice in vain. The interior of St Martin’s conforms to the architect’s middle manner. The four supporting columns to a vaulted ceiling, and the single gallery at the side. The difference in this case is that the entrance is at the side under the gallery, whilst the organ is mounted high on a small base opposite the altar. All the light comes from there large and one round window on the north side. The effect is a little gloomy, by no means a customary attendant of this artists style. The ceiling is raised unusually high, which causes the composite columns to be lifted and proportionally raised bases, a defect in many of his churches, but nowhere so glaring as here. Over the gallery are vaulted arches to admit windows that give no light. But there is some decoration in the mouldings which is also carried round the architecture of the pilasters and the walls. The woodwork is black oak, with carving on the pulpit and doorframes. The same heavy altar piece seen in so many other cases. The Walls clean but plain, and I noticed but a single and ordinary moral tablet. On the whole the interior may be said to be imposing but not attractive. There was a rather better than average attendance. The sermon was very short. We then returned home by the earliest train in the afternoon. Thus it is that I have completed my survey of Sir Christopher’s productions in Church architecture. They give me a high idea of his power as a master, the sum of which may be studied in the great edifice of St Paul’s. An edifice, which if it could have been placed on an eminence where its effects could be really seen, free from the blackening soot which impairs all the outlines would have been ranked as among the very greatest of human conceptions in this line of art. At home all day reading. No interruptions. Quick walk around the outer ring of the regent’s Park. Mr Alward dined with me, and remained until ten. Continued the life of Julius Cæsar.

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=DCA65d085