Saturday, March 28, 2009

03Jun1865, Chatsworth in June

CHATSWORTH, June 3rd, 1865.
This place in autumn, beautiful as I thought it in 3 successive Novembers, gave me no notion of what it would be in June. After breakfast I coaxed Fred out with me ; and we walked about the garden in a maze of loveliness ; rhododendrons and azaleas, in wonderful beauty ; the shrubs all crowned with their spring shoots, the young fern in curl, the hyacinths ! "It seemed the heavens upbreaking through the earth" : birds and bees filling the air with sweet sounds ; the distance soft blue, and all the intervening country varied green : such a walk it was ! Drove with Lou and the ponies Friar and Nun to the stand and the Warren. It all was. Fiz delighted to see us. Gipsy and Moy in good health. We had tea with them in the Granville corner. Evening papers brought the good news of the Princess of Wales' 2nd baby [FN: King George V.]; another little Prince ; born soon after 1 a.m. this morning after she had undergone a concert ! It is 6 weeks earlier than was expected ; curious, a 2nd premature baby. Willy has made a good, spirited modest speech at Chester : and is patted on the back by the Spectator. Uncle W. went there to back him.

02Jun1865, We Shut Them Up Together

CHATSWORTH, June 2nd, 1865.
—I sent poor Morgan off to her sister-in-law, and got in the good old Grim One for stop-gap ! .. .
We went to Lady Caroline's and told Eddy and Emmy to come to luncheon with us. . . .
We shut them up together in the empty drawing-room, where I think they were tolerably happy. I saw M. At 6 we joined the D. and Lou and came here : even in the dark, how delicious the country is, with its deep stillness and fragrant smell !

01Jun1865, Transatlantic Cable

LONDON, June 1st, 1865.
—We spent most of the day in an expedition to Sheerness, to see the new Transatlantic telegraph : 1,800 miles of which are coiled up on board the Great Eastern ; there are 500 more miles not yet on board ; but before long she will set out on her mission of paying it out at the rate of 7 miles an hour. It is supposed it will take a fortnight. I have brought home a bit of the electric cord ; it is about the thickness of my middle finger, and consists of 7 copper wires enclosed in 5 layers of gutta-percha. This, in the cable as we saw it ready to be laid down, is surrounded by 10 steel wires, each wire cased in several strands of hemp, so that the whole looks like a hempen cable about the thickness of one's wrist. They are able to discover if the slightest puncture appears in the gutta-percha ! the whole cable being tested over and over again at all possible stages of its progress towards the paying out process. It seems a noble, gigantic work. The enormous ungainly ship took one's breath away by her size. . . .
Poor Morgan has lost an only brother.

31May1865, A Visit to Sir J. Paxton

LONDON, May 31st, 1865.
—We had a delightful drive with Lou in the open carriage to Sydenham, to see Sir J. Paxton [FN: Architect of the Crystal Palace ; originally superintendent of the gardens at Chatsworth.] (who is ill). How we did talk ! and how pleasant it was in the balmy summer beauty. Poor Sir Joseph shocked me terribly with his changed looks. He seemed very weak and low at first, but was brightened up a good deal by our visit. He by no means approved of Eddy's marriage ! His little house under the shadow of his great Palace was lovely with verandah and garden : and married daughters with him. Derby day, so the carriage was well yelled after by swarms of little ragamuffins.

30May1865, Eddy and Emma Engaged

LONDON, May 30th, 1865.
—A great day ! Dear, dear Eddy, after long having it in his heart, proposed to Emma Lascelles, and they are engaged and as happy, I do believe, as we were. It has been sad to see her, poor dear, for a long time past, looking thoroughly out of spirits, but behaving quite beautifully, under the doubt whether it was going to be ; and now ! Oh dear, I have an odd feeling like an echo of my golden spring ! She looked so bright ; and talked incoherently of being in a dream, etc., etc. As for dear Eddy, I kissed and hugged him with my whole heart. He would win anyone with his simple, truthful, humble goodness ; and his nature which is as pure and sunny as Albert's. He squeezed my hands, and said, "Do you think (fink) I shall make a good husband ? and that we shall be as happy as you are ?" Lady Caroline's face did look good to see ! I paid happy May a long visit : Di and Lucy came in, and we all jabbered in a mad way. Of course one is sorry for the 1st cousinship [FN: Lady Caroline Lascelles was a sister of Lady Burlington, Lord Edward's mother.] but nothing has been done to lead up to it ; and what can one say in such a case of real, tried, and genuine affection, and when everyone has behaved rightly ? Truly one may feel God's Providence over them. Meanwhile, what a moment he has chosen ! His leave is up, his election coming on (the whole country is agog over the coming dissolution), Emma's waiting just over and she must have another ! The poor Queen may have reason to complain and to wish the Lords Cavendish would not make a point of marrying her Maids ! I suppose Cavendish will make choice of E.'s successor.

29May1865, A Visit to Stafford House

LONDON, May 29th, 1865.
—Went to Stafford House, which has a corner of its own in my heart. We went to the very place where my Fred spoke to me ; and I recalled it all vividly enough. What should happen this very night but a proposal ! Lord Henry Scott [FN: Afterwards 1st Lord Montagu.] to Cissy Wortley . He has loved her for 10 years, but her ill-health led to the breaking-off of their engagement. Now it is happily on again.

28May1865, Servants go to Church

LONDON, May 28th, 1865.
—St. Martin's, where I had the pleasure of seeing 4 of our servants file into their pew.

27May1865, An Amusing Party with the Palmerston's

LONDON, May 27th, 1865.
—Wound up with Lady Pam's [FN: Lady Palmerston.] ; an amusing party ; Lord P. looked very old and stiff and shaky. Didn't I remember my last party there, when we didn't see Fred for a long while, but at last he turned up and talked to me the rest of the evening !

24May1865, Sunday Jackets but Rather Bored

LONDON, May 24th, 1865.
—Very delightful and lovely with freshened air. Queen's birthday, kept with guns, bells, illuminations, and holyday as of old. George Street in the morning : M. was to be churched to-day. Auntie P. flew across to see us, her clothes tumbling about her ; sat down on the floor, and poured out Willy's electionums, which are exciting her as she can be excited. The girls came to luncheon with us, and with me to Waterloo House for Sunday jackets like old times ! We drove to Richmond, and dined at the Star and Garter with Mr. C. Clifford, meeting Mr. and Mrs. Leo Ellis, Mr. and Lady Augusta Bromley, Mr. and Mrs. Millais (the great pre-Raphaelite), Mr. and Lady E. St. Aubyn, and the Delameres. The evening very lovely and the view ; but I was rather bored.

23May1865, Proportional Representation Just a Dream

LONDON, May 23rd, 1865.
—We dined at home, entertaining the W.E.G.'s, which was a great treat. He was in great force ; and didn't I enjoy hearing him in his swing of brilliant talk, and drawing out my Fred's energetic opinions ! All the political talk nowadays is of extended franchise ; and F. is rather full of an astonishing brand-new plan of Hare's [FN: The original scheme of Proportional Representation.] of allowing a quota of two thousand votes, pollable all over the country which shall qualify a candidate for any seat for which he may stand. Uncle W. thought his plan somewhat of a dream.

22May1865, Charles and Willy Might Stand

LONDON, May 22nd, 1865.
—Dear old Charles dined with us : a proposal has been made to put him up for the county against Messrs. Knight and Lygon, but, though there is much reason to prophesy that he will become Liberal, he is still very Conservative, and also unwilling to come in so soon. His decision pends a little, and depends on what would be asked of him. Papa dined too, so we were a snug quartette. Stately royal concert, to which we went in gorgeous array. There is great prospect of Willy standing as a Liberal for Chester, but it is a pity, for he is exceedingly unwilling, and has shown some signs of being at heart Conservative ! But Time will show.

21May1865, Sunday Shopping

LONDON, May 21st, 1865.
—Workhouse, where I sung "All shall be well," "Nearer to Thee," and "Thy Will be done." One poor dying woman entreated me to send her a few biscuits, the only thing she could fancy eating ; so I did a little Sunday shopping for the 1st time in my life.

Monday, March 23, 2009

20May1865, Dined at Lord Wharncliffe's

LONDON, May 20th, 1865.
—Very warm and lovely. I made a rout-out of groutle and hydra. We walked to Fisher's in the Strand to get a writing-paper box for Fred. Had a flying visit from Aunt Coquitty. [FN: I.e. her aunt, Miss Lyttelton ("Aunt Coque"), and her cousin, Miss Kitty Pole Carew, who were much together.] Papa and F. went in red and gold to the Levée. Afterwards I drove to Mrs. Milbank's and some card deeds : tried to go to All Saints', but was too late ; saw Meriel who was dressed and downstairs, and looking very nice and well ; had tea and bonbons at Adéle's. We dined at Lord Wharncliffe's, meeting the Wenlocks and Carry, Colonel and Lady Louisa Feilding, Captain Egerton, Lord Claud Hamilton (a pleasant, simple-mannered, good-looking little youth), the Burys, Cissy Wortley, etc. Afterwards to Apsley House, which I never was in before, and which struck me very much.

19May1865, Walking Unchaperoned

LONDON, May 19th, 1865.
—I went to St. James' at 11 ; enjoy the privilege of walking unchaperoned in the morning. Visits, visits in the afternoon : I don't see when they will end. Everybody out. Saw Meriel who is on her legs and very well : the baby went his 1st walk to-day, into the Abbey ! which all the four have been to see first thing. The excitement came off of the Duke and Lou dining with us : it was very nice and wonderful.

18May1865, Princess Helena Holds a Drawing-room

LONDON, May 18th, 1865.
—I awoke with a sense of household cares such as I used sometimes to have at dear old Hagley, but they melted a good deal away on my conversing with Ross and the peccant but candid Eliza. The next thing is the Drawing-room whereat Aunt Fanny presented me on my marriage. I went in gorgeous array of white lace (my wdding lace) and white moiré train, with my beautiful diamond tiara on my head, and felt every inch a married woman. Princess Helena held the Drawing-room for the Queen, who has held 5 "Courts" this year, but is a little perverse (I must use the word) in refusing to hold Drawing-rooms, which are much less exertion. Carry Lawley [FN: Daughter of Lord Wenlock.] and Mary Wortley [FN: Afterwards wife of the 2nd Earl of Lovelace. The two girls were cousins of each other and of Lady Frederick] were brought out : Carry is very handsome, towering above her jenny-wren of a mother.

17May1865, Maid Troubles

LONDON, May 17th, 1865.
—Some pleasant weather : laburnum, chestnut, and may-blossom look lovely. I am beginning upon troubles I was experienced enough to foresee when I was preparing myself for a new chapter of household cares : viz., failures. The kitchen-maid turns out sick and incapable ; the upperhousemaid pert, fine, and lazy. Woe is me ! . . .

We went to Lady Waldegrave's and Lady de Grey's ; where we were well squashed, but somewhat amused. I find, old wife as I am, novelty and fun in going out with my husband ! Was very smart in trailing white satin.

16May1865, Potations of Sal-volatile

LONDON, May 16th, 1865.
—My cold still makes a haggard object of me, the more because I have grown thin. I took divers potations of sal-volatile, which is a new remedy. Did my house-books for the first time ! They came to a heavy total, but I trust that is only the start.

12May1865, Constance Kent Confesses

LONDON, May 12th, 1865.
The Duchess of Argyll was getting signatures to an address of condolence to be sent to Mrs. Lincoln. Lou and I signed it. . . . The papers are pretty full of Constance Kent's confession of the Road murder, which she has made through the influence of Mr. Wagner, of Brighton, while in a sisterhood there ; but entirely by her own free will. The Times accounts for a girl of sixteen stifling, stabbing and cutting the throat of her little half-brother of 4, for no better motive than that of spiting her step-mother, on the ground that all girls between twelve and twenty are hard-hearted ! !

10May1865, Underservants Minus Crinoline

LONDON, May 10th, 1865.
—I am triumphant at starting the underservants minus crinoline during their work ! Did shopping for the drawing-rooms with Lou ; but only decided on two blue-velveted tables at Howards. Afterwards to Stratton St. in Our Brougham, which turned out to-day and is ! F. dined at some Railway Benevolent thing ; I at No. 11, [FN: The Gladstones' house.] where the old well-known manners prevailed : no particular moment for going in to dinner ; Auntie P. in bed and asleep instead of dining, and appearing late bedecked for a ball : the party was Willie, Agnes, Kate Gladstone, and me. Home. That it hardly feels yet !

09May1865, Family Prayers

LONDON, May 9th, 1865.
—Our first family prayers ; all the servants attending. My Fred read a beautiful prayer of his own. We chose the 3rd Col. and the 2 first verses of the 4th to read, and for the other prayers, the confession ; a thanksgiving and a benedictory prayer out of the "Liturgia Domestica," the Lord's Prayer, and 2 others.

08May1865, Our Own New Home

LONDON, May 8th, 1865.
—One of the great days of our life : the day of taking possession of our own new home. We spent a good deal of the day here, unpacking and arranging ; but we only go into our rooms upstairs and the study to-day. I spent some time with M. in the afternoon ; then we dressed here, dined at Dev. House, and returned here at about half past 10. Tea came up in the lovely tea-pots and cups we chose, and was our first meal. Our rooms are too pretty. This is likely to be the last of many wonderful bewildering days that I've had since my marriage : my life has now so settled into quiet every-day brightness, that its strangeness has long worn off. But this building of our own nest is wonderful and notable !

05May1865, The Bishop's Children

LONDON, May 5th, 1865.
The Bishop of London preached well ; his little children are so brought up in the midst of work for the poor, that one of the tiny girls was heard saying : "When I am six, I shall have a ward to visit !"

04May1865, Reform Bill and Pre-Raphaeliteism

LONDON, May 4th, 1865.
—I read with a good deal of interest a speech of "Bob Lowe's" against Mr. Baines' Reform Bill which is for a £6 franchise. Mr. Lowe made me agree with him, which is sad, as wicked Radical Fred is all for the £6 franchise. But if Uncle William, as is expected, makes a good rattling speech on the other side, I shall probably go comfortably round. I foresee that I shall get desperately political ; but I don't think that must necessarily make me an odious woman ! I shall try and not let it at all events. Went with Lou to the Royal Academy ; where were many pretty children, and cottage interiors ; two excellent pictures of the Bishops of London and Oxford, by Sant and Richmond, and other good things. Pre-Raphaeliteism seems, like homeopathy, to be becoming less a school apart and more infused into schools than it was. Not but what there are still some tinny, papier-mâché, gaudy skies, solid green seas, ugly red-haired, pink-faced women in all colours of the rainbow, and cotton velvet grass ; and also some soft sketchy pictures aiming at the other extreme, which I can't but prefer, even in their extremes.

03May1865, An Old Prosaic Couple

LONDON, May 3rd, 1865.
F. and I called on Mrs. Milbank, who is to be my Prime Minister in the getting up of the horrid Yorkshire quadrille. Lord Richard came. We went (and I chaperoned Lou ! at which I died) to a concert at Auntie P's. Carry Lawley was there, just out, and very good-looking. F. shrunk off early to his Cosmopolitan club ! Shows me we are getting a humdrum old prosaic couple. Letters : to little boys ; from Mrs. Otley scolding me for becoming Northern. But I know more about it than she does.

01May1865, Commons and Lords Discuss the Murder

LONDON, May 1st, 1865.
—I saw two Jacks-in-the-green, which I thought were nearly obsolete. . . .
Lou and I went to the H. of Commons and heard Sir George Grey move, and Dizzy second, both in very good, suitable speeches, a resolution of sympathy with the United States. Then to the House of Lords, where Lord Russell was inaudible and Lord Derby spoke coldly and grudgingly ; it was rather disgraceful ; and in the House of Commons, it was horrid to hear so little cheering on the Conservative side. Seward is likely to recover. Johnson has made remarkable and powerful but dangerous and vindictive speeches.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

26Apr1865, President Lincoln is Murdered

CHESTER, April 26th, 1865.
—Left Lismore soon after 9 ; posted to Fermoy, which was charming ; railwayed to Dublin, where we dined. Were shocked and aghast beyond measure, Fred especially, at the terrible news of the murder of President Lincoln, placarded in the streets. For him one can hardly mourn ; for it is a glorious thing to die at the climax of victory (and this the fall of Richmond brought to him), and with almost his last words those of peace and goodwill. All his conduct showed a noble forgiveness and desire of brotherhood ; and there seems no one capable of carrying out the great work of reuniting the country. Least of all the wretched man who perforce succeeds him : Andrew Johnson, "a mean white," who, on his election to the vice-presidency the other day, made an incoherent drunken speech, and who may very likely think of nothing but blood and vengeance and defiance of Europe. The murder was on Good Friday evening at the Theatre (!), and the murderer leaped on to the stage afterwards, brandishing a knife, and escaped. Almost at the same time Seward, the Secretary of State, was stabbed as he lay ill in bed, and is not expected to live ; and his son badly wounded.

25Apr1865, Making Talk and Receiving Butter

LISMORE, April 25th, 1865.
Lou, Eddy, Hal, and Claude tried to fish soon after breakfast ; about 12 I went to join her, and falling in with the Duke, walked tête-à-tête with him down the river-side ; whereat I found my shyness at him rather revive ! We then went all three to the Convent, being joined on the road, to our despair ! by Father Fogarty, who would come in with us. It was wonderfully good of the Duke to undergo what of all things he hates most : a long series of making talk, and receiving butter of the most fulsome description ; in which the old priest certainly excels. The poor nuns were rather bores too, but enchanted at our visit. We saw their school. They were urgent for F. and me "to reshide at Lismore" —sanguine ! After luncheon Lou and I bumped in the car to call at Glenatorr. Oh the loveliness of the country ! But more from its outburst of spring greenness than any special beauty of its own. I am sentimental at going. Finished "The Clever Woman" ; a sad failure of a book, and mostly very dull.

24Apr1865, Delighted With the Girls Reading

LISMORE, April 24th.
Lou and I paid visits, which were immensely appreciated, to a part of the town called Botany, and to the National Schools. Nearly all the female inhabitants of Botany turned out in front of their houses, and fervently blessed Lou as we passed. At the school I was greatly delighted with the girls' reading, which was far better than the best at Hagley ; the brogue rather bewitches me ; and some little ragged dots of six did huge justice to " The Ant and the Grasshopper " in English verse.
We spent some of the afternoon in again sanguinely flogging the river (in vain) for salmon.

22Apr1865, We All Rowed, Even the Duke

LISMORE, April 22nd, 1865.
—Lovely and very warm. Many oak trees are in leaf ; and 0 the sweet smell of laurel blossom and gorse ! To-day we passed a bank so covered with primroses that we smelt them driving by. I have been much derided for comparing them, when one sees them clustered together, to fairy pats of butter ; but I declare it is a very good notion. We had a delightful row down the river, as far as Strancally, going ashore for luncheon on a little clear plot of ground, under overhanging woods near Dromana. We all rowed at one time or another ; the Duke and all ; and I am growing a little complacent over my feathering, albeit divers crabs were the result. Drove home most of the way, distributing remains of provisions to the different little tatterdemalions on the road. Household cares are beginning with us : Ross and some of the servants are in the mansion, but it is frightfully behind hand and won't be ready for us for three weeks, prob¬ably, instead of by next Thursday. But our chief trouble is much more serious, a bad story has come out about the young Gladstone footman we had engaged, and we have had to decide on getting rid of him directly.

21Apr1865, I am Still Happier Now

LISMORE, April 21st, 1865.
—The anniversary of our engagement. My Fred gave me a darling little signet ring to mark it with. I spent a good deal of time thinking over my last 21st of April : F. coming to the clever breakfast, but not sitting by me, and looking a little white and odd : a certain old Dean who was a long while before he would make himself scarce : our finding ourselves alone in the bare little conservatory —then everything happy and wonderful ! Papa coming in with his dear bright smile, and Auntie P and Uncle William ; Lou coming to see me with Fred ; luncheon in St. St. and all the excitement and crying there ; happy, happy bits with Fred afterwards and his giving me my precious locket ; his dining with us, and the day ending as if with sunrise instead of sunset. But I am still happier now, in my settled sunshine !

20Apr1865, Wonderfully Few Casualties

LISMORE, April 20th, 1865.
—After luncheon the rest of us boated to Glencairn, Eddy and Hal rowing up the river, Lou and I down. Wonderfully few casualties occurred, and it was charming. Divers neighbours dined, including old Dr. Fogarty, the R. C. priest, who spat on the carpet.

17Apr1865, American War to be Ended

LISMORE, April 17th, 1865.
—I ought to have mentioned some weeks ago the bad bit of news that Lady Herbert has gone over to the Church of Rome ; announcing it at last after more than a year of sham. Neville knows Lord Pembroke a little, and thinks him clever, and likely to be firm ; but he is hardly 15. Richmond has just been taken by the Federals, and the war is supposed to be ended. It will have done the great deed, and solved the mighty problem—of the abolition of slavery ; so thinks Fred ; and so an infinite good will have come out of indescribable suffering and bloodshed. Lou and I paid a long visit, immensely appreciated, to the Convent, where a band of very merry, brisk Paddy nuns received us with 3 cheers (Glynnese)*.

15Apr1865, Five Shillings a Week

LISMORE, April 15th, 1865.
—Horrid accounts of the poverty of the people : some families live on five shillings a week.