Sunday, March 05, 2006

02Oct1858, Mrs. Preston

ESCRICK, October 2nd, 1858.
—I haven't spoken of the people that are here : three daughters of Sir Guy Campbell, one married, Mrs. Preston, the most fascinating beauty I have ever seen : shady deep eyes, all expression and grace ; and such a lovely classical mouth ; figure and manners most winning and refined. All this in spite of a strange impediment in her speech, which makes it a sort of nasal prolonged drawl, but which one does not care for in the fascination of everything about her.

01Oct1858, Lord Boyle

ESCRICK, October 1st, 1858.
—Lord Boyle turned up in the evening, and we sat up till nearly 12 with a round game, whereat I won four shillings.

30Sep1858, A Pleasant Dinner

ESCRICK, September 30th, 1858.
—A pleasant dinner and evening, with a round game, in which for the first time in my life I played for money.

28Sep1858, The Baby

HAGLEY, September 28th, 1858.
—Baby a bad stye : he kisses his hand to wish good-bye, says please, makes little bows and curtseys, understands all you say to him, pretends to read, takes everyone and everything for horses, clicking to them like a jockey, and talks much in his own way with many intelligible words. But it is impossible to describe the " winsomeness " of him. Newmany has taught him to know and kiss Mamma's picture in the dressing-room and study, and to call her name when he goes there, in a little sighing plaintive voice, oh, so darling and so deeply mournful. He will never know anything but the shadow : poor precious !

27Sep1858, Quarrel About Confession

HAGLEY, September 27th, 1858.
—The papers are all wrangling over the new quarrel about confession : how odd people are ! What can be easier than the gentle and wise directions of the Prayer Book to ask advice and guidance when in difficulty, or oppressed with some sin, of the clergyman who has authority to declare forgiveness in the Name of Christ ? And why shd these directions lead clergymen to force their parishioners to unwilling confession ? Or why shd they be made stumbling-blocks and be reckoned popish, as long as St. James' words stand : " Confess your sins one to another " ? Marvellous extremes people fly to ! on whichever side, missing the truth, which is Scriptural, temperate, and wise. In difficulty, with something on your conscience, go to a clergyman ; without a difficulty, without anything on your conscience, do not go. Who wouldn't say Amen to that ?

25Sep1858, Back to Hagley

HAGLEY, September 25th, 1858.
—Three cheers, we came home, having been much pleased and amused with our visit. I am amused at everything, dulness and all, and in part it has been very pleasant. Oh, the refreshment of coming into the glowing evening beauty of Hagley, and its dips and rises, even after three days of country as flat as a pancake, and as dull as ditch-water !

24Sep1858, Orphan Home in Glostershire

HAMS, September 24th, 1858.
—They gave us an interesting report of a wonderful Orphan Home in Glostershire (managed by Mr. Muller, a Plymouth Brother), which is flourishing and increasing, though he has no certain money whatever. His strange one-sided religion is sad and unfortunate, for one can hardly tell what lasting and sterling good he may do ; and with such noble singleness of mind and faith, how one longs he should teach all that's right. Then it seems there would be no end to the good he would do. He has nearly 1,000 orphans. If they did but all turn out high-principled, right-minded Christians and Churchpeople ! This they can hardly do, as Plymouth Brethren, poor things, are not allowed to say their prayers till they are converted : what a horrible idea, that one has been a heathen for exactly fourteen years, 11 months, and 864 days, and that then on the 31st of December 185- one becomes a Christian for life ; for this it seems they think happens regularly. And the calm, complacent way in which he talks of the converted and unconverted, those who are Christians and those who are not, settling them up in respective little packets as it were. Who are we to judge our brothers ?

22Sep1858, Behaving Properly

HAMS, September 22nd, 1858.
—I am exhausted with behaving properly, and feel as if we had been away from home a week !

21Sep1858, Going Out On Visits

HAMS, September 21st, 1858.
—And here am I going out on visits ! Oh, there is something forlorn in us two alone with poor Papa ! It goes to one's heart his taking care for us, and fetching us to go down with him.

12Sep1858, A Comet

HAGLEY, September 12th, 1858.
—Tallee and I read and talked poetry together, in the most romantic fashion, very greatly to our mutual enjoyment. We saw a comet and a meteor.

28Aug1858, Arley Castle

HAGLEY, August 28th, 1858.
—Seven of us, from me downwards excluding Charles, went to Bewdly with Papa, and Miss S. and Uncle Sp. to see the Bakers, and go up the Severn in a barge to Arley Castle, all which was accomplished most satisfactorily. Arley was in our family, but was given away by naughty Tom [FN: The second Lord. "A nobleman," as Sir George Trevelyan has said, "who, rather by contrast to the others of his name than for any exceptionally heinous misdoings of his own, goes by the sobriquet of 'the bad Lord Lyttelton.'"] ; we saw some family pictures and monuments. Such a hideous little church. Beautiful wooded banks and islands up the Severn : I never gave it credit for such beauty.

20Aug1858, A Ride to Kinver Edge

HAGLEY, August 20th, 1858.
—Spencer and I went a seventeen-miles ride with Papa to Kinver Edge, most lovely : a hill from which we looked down about 600 feet, as perpendicular as the cliffs of the sea, and the cliffs at the bottom are covered with fern, gorse, and heather, a mass of warm, picturesque colour. A bright view, and such a stirring fresh breeze, all fragrant with heath, the horses enjoying it as much as we.

18Aug1858, The Atlantic Telegraph

HAGLEY, August 18th, 1858.
—Aunt Wenlock came, and played whist with us, graciously bearing with our third-rate powers. The first message arrived in 36 minutes by the Atlantic telegraph : " England and America are united. Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men." Amen, from the bottom of my heart !

11Aug1858, Mr. Girdlestone

HAGLEY, August 11th, 1858.
—Mr. Girdlestone came for two nights, and we had a pleasant evening, combining words, poets, concertina, whist, reading, and conversation.

05Aug1858, Out of the Schoolroom

HAGLEY, August 5th, 1858.
—This day month I shall be seventeen, and shall come out of the schoolroom ! Oh dear, my old journal : " I'm 13 years old, I wish I was only 12." " Fourteen years." " I have lived fifteen years." " The beginning of ' mortal woe ' with me at sixteen." I recall perfectly each of the days on which I wrote those words, as well as if I had written them yesterday. Oh, the deep sadness of the flying years !

30Jul1858, First Omnibus in New Zealand

HAGLEY, July 30th, 1858.
—Heard of the first omnibus appearing with honours in New Zealand.

20Jul1858, Ordering Dinner

HAGLEY, July 20th, 1858.
—I ordered dinner for the very first time in my life. Oh dear !

04Jul1858, Teaching Bobby

HAGLEY, July 4th, 1858.
—I told Bobby about the Creation, and with some difficulty made him attentive and interested ; when I was describing the empty world with no animals in it, he added : " No stable-yard."

29Jun1858, The Filthy Thames

HAGLEY, June 29th, 1858.
—Every paper is full of outcries about the filthy state of the Thames, which has reached an appalling climax : affecting the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain itself, which accordingly sticks chloride of lime in its windows, and has stomach-aches nevertheless. Therefore we may hope that something more effective may be done : filthy lucre should be no consideration in the case of filthy smells.

23Jun1858, The Mayde of Alle Worke

HAGLEY, June 23rd, 1858.
-I rode a grey mare in the morning, which Papa means to buy, for my riding, the boys', and his own when necessary, and also for hunting and to go in the gig. Therefore is she to be yclept " The Mayde of Alle Worke."

11Jun1858, Becoming Grown Up

LONDON, June 11th, 1858.
—I dined with Papa at the Bp. of Worcester's, M. being still feeble, where for the first time I was bowed at to leave the room, and taken in by the Bishop ! I didn't know if I was on my head or my heels.

01Jun1858, Selling the Rubens

LONDON, June 1st, 1858.
—The great Rubens out of the billiard-room came up to be valued, as Papa wants to sell it.

29May1858, The Crystal Palace, Edmund Kean

LONDON, May 29th, 1858.
—Glorious summer heat, hazy and dazzling, with soft fragrant wind. We went with Aunts Coque and Kitty and Uncle Spencer — such an odd party — to the Crystal Palace, where I have only been once before, 3 or 4 years ago. It was lovely : the trees and grass in early green, and the masses of rhododendrons in flower. We came in for the playing of the fountains, and also heard " Der Freisch├╝tz " on the noble organ, and many rather dull things by a brass band. We also dined there, and had delicious strawberry cream ice. The heat was great : overpowering I may say at times, but so beautiful. We stayed till 6, then rushed off in frantic hurry to be in time for the Princess's at 7. We actually were in very good time. Much we admired the marvellous scenery, which is the very best that ever was, and this helping out the noble words of the great play (" King Lear ") made it delightful. But I can't abide the acting. Surely it ought to aim at being natural, not perpetual forced gestures and voice, affected and ranting. Yet we saw Kean, who is reckoned capital

26May1858, Charles' Noble Play

LONDON, May 26th, 1858.
—Many spoke of Charles' noble play, which has been mentioned in the Morning Post as some of the best ever seen ! ! !

24May1858, Charles' Innings

LONDON, May 24th, 1858.
—Papa came back from Eton, so pleased with just coming in time for Charles' innings at cricket, where he stayed in for an hour and a half against the best bowler at Eton, and got 57 runs, and 13 later.