Tuesday, April 04, 2006

25May1859, Henry V and London News

LONDON, May 25th, 1859.
—Midnight : going to bed after " Henry V " at the Princess's. It's strange the strong charm a play acted has for me, viewing that I dislike more or less all the acting, which seems to me invariably " outrĂ©," unnatural and vulgar. But oh, dear ! the scenery and some feeling which makes it almost seem real, and brings the olden time before one. Before this, we went to a very pretty amateur concert at Ly. Barrington's and toodled about Covent Garden etc., with Atie P. Black Miss Brown and a maukin called in the morning. There has been a battle at Montebello, the Austrians beaten, it is said with great loss. The Duchess of Kent is ill. Princess Royal is visiting the Queen. 6th of the 10 babies born : Mrs. Bradley's. My poor old Preece is dead ; I shall never read to him again ! But please God, I shall see him again ; and he me, with opened eyes there, in the Light that sorrow can never dim.

24May1859, Another Ball

LONDON, May 24th.
—A little past 3 a.m. ! Our first ball is over. We danced much more than I expected : M. 6 times and me 4: twice with Reginald Yorke, Ld. Skelmersdale, and Mr. Something Stone. It was fearfully crowded. I saw Wilbrahams and Warburtons, Mary War., just come out, and very pretty, Ld. Mahon, J. Gladstones, A. Woods, Mr. Rolle, Ldy. Constance Grosvenor, etc. Shall I ever remember them all !

23May1859, Party at the Admiralty

LONDON, May 23rd, 1859.
—It's 1.15 on Tuesday morning, for we are just come in from our First Party a the Admiralty, where little Sir John Pakington looked Hagley-ey, and where we saw the great Sir John Lawrence, who saved the N.W. Provinces of India, Capn, Mrs. and Miss Gladstone, Lady Raglan, so thin and changed, the Saxon minister, Ld. Carnarvon, Lord John Manners, Dean Trench, Miss Leigh, Mr. and Mrs. Adderley, Drummonds, and what not. I believe it was a dull party, but we were much amused, and struck with the almost invariable ugliness.

18May1859, Journey to London

HAGLEY, May 18th, 1859.
—After a most smutty journey, for we travelled in the open britschka, we arrived prosperously in London, Papa the complexion of a stoker, having faced wind, rain, and dirt on the box. Found Atie P. very well. Papa and M. dined with At. Wenlock, I was begged off, being the colour of a blotchy turkey-cock from having to wash my face with cold water.

14May1859, Led Into Evil

HAGLEY, May 14th, 1859.
—One of the village girls has been led into evil : such a rare thing in this parish, that it is extra horrible.

13May1859, Irrevocableness of Sin

HAGLEY, May 13th, 1859.
—Granny finished " Adam Bede " to us. It is a heart-rending book, with its stern true moral of the irrevocableness of sin.

11May1859, Unitarians and Dissenters

HAGLEY, May 11th, 1859.
—" Adam Bede " is full of dreadful interest. C. Jem Wortley (Cousin James Stuart-Wortley) has been beaten for the W. Riding by 2,000: not a large majority. The Leeds people are wild with fervour at Dr. Hook ; Unitarians and Dissenters speak enthusiastically of him. The school eat up yesterday's remains. There is a new cart foal.

08May1859, Park Too Beautiful

HAGLEY, May 8th, 1859.
—Most lovely clear and bright, many of the trees, sycamores and chestnuts, with quite a depth of foliage, the others the tenderest green : yet a " soupcon " of N. in the wind : the park too beautiful. We went, 8 strong, excluding that most pintoed M., up Sparry's and Obelisks Hill.

07May1859, First Drinking Fountain in London

HAGLEY, May 7th, 1859.
—The first new drinking-fountain in London been inaugurated.

30Apr1859, Bright Beats Acland

HAGLEY, April 30th, 1859.
Bright has beaten Mr. Acland at Birmingham by 3,000, and has made a magnificent speech, the wretch.

29Apr1859, Adam Bede Bowdlered

HAGLEY, April 29th, 1859.
—Granny began yesterday to spout to us the new novel about which the world raves, " Adam Bede," to be duly bowdlered for our young minds. (Only 1 chapter was missed out.) So nice.

16Apr1859, Grinding Despotism for France

HAGLEY, April 16th, 1859.
—I finished Bourrienne's " Napoleon " : very interesting and apparently trust worthy. It is curious how he declares a free government to be indispensable to France, and yet it has never succeeded under one ! On the contrary, this grinding despotism seems the only thing for it. Oh, one has a sort of feeling as one thinks of that, and hears of the decrease of the population, that the everlasting stain of Louis XVI revolution, and the slow murder of his saintly little son, has robbed the nation of all vigour and healthy prosperity.

07Apr1859, Over Clent Hill

HAGLEY, April 7th, 1859.
—I rode till 6 with Arthur, over Clent Hill, by Hunnington and Halesowen-Birmingham road and Wassell road home. Delightful ! The child asking all manner of questions about macadamized roads, poor-law guardians, fire insurances, etc.

06Apr1859, Summer, Spring, Winter

HAGLEY, April 6th, 1859.
—It is hot and fragrant ; summer in the sun and air and scents, early spring in the leafless beeches, oaks, and elms, winter in the here and there nipped young leaves, consequence of this day week's frost and snow.

04Apr1859, In Full Leaf

HAGLEY, April 4th, 1859.
—I hope we appreciate this beautiful early summer : larches, sycamores, in full leaf, everything all life and warmth and loveliness.

02Apr1859, Exit Snow, Exit Frost

HAGLEY, April 2nd, 1859.
—Oh, bliss ! the dear soft glorious air again : exit snow, exit frost, exit the last remains of chilliness, but pouring rain all day. I adventurously took pudding and barley-water to the Pratt child ; which is recovering from croup, as none but a poor child would at 6 ½ : warm, green, and delicious.

29Mar1859, Ld. Derby Will Go Out

HAGLEY, March 29th, 1859.
—Every expectation that Ld. Derby will go out, and Radicals come in for good ! ! ! Thunder ! ! ! Uncle Billy lectured on Bodies again.

17Mar1859, Trapes thro' the Mud

HAGLEY, March 17th, 1859.
—Ceaseless rain till sunset, when soft glowing light broke over everything : too beautiful, contrasting with the heavy clouds. I took advantage of the evening beauty for a 6 o'clock trapes thro' the mud into the villages : hedges quite green in parts. Congregation 10.

04Mar1859, Drive to Obelisk Hill

HAGLEY, March 4th, 1859.
—Most deliciously soft, with dark blue distance, and gleaming sun : coming out of church was like emerging from a well into full summer. A very pleasant day : we went an uproarious and boggy driving-and-riding expedition up the obelisk hill, whence the view was. Thence set off for St. Kenelm, but a much tormented spring of U. B.'s (Uncle Billy's) carriage broke, and we all turned out. Great and high was the facetiousness of the party, in course of which, by an awful absent thoughtlessness, what should I do but call Mr. Pepys Herbert ! The evening is memorable for the surpassing beauty of the singing, which came off in the hall, and for an exciting game of Commerce and Fright. The Miss Yorkes have won our hearts ; especially I like Bertha, who is decidedly pretty.

01Mar1859, Little Tiddly Lambs

HAGLEY, March 1st, 1859.
—Delightful day, exactly the spring of books, which I used to quiz as never existing. Hedges breaking out here and there into precious little ducky tender green baby leaves : three little tiddly lambs, with only one mother, three calves, rose leaves appearing, primroses, and a scrap of (forced) mignionette.

25Feb1859, Parish Matters

HAGLEY, February 25th, 1859.
—Aunt Emmy came, and we talked parish matters, which are unusually exciting with illness : 6 people prayed for ; 4 expecting babies, 3 of whom are anxious cases ; my old Priest ; little Wright children with disgraced father, mad mother, and no money ; little Shilcocks ill with the dregs of scarlet fever ; and to wind up, a bewildering bother about Annie Farmer—who we trusted was off our hands. I drove the children exploring.

22Feb1859, Mr. Calthorpe wins

HAGLEY, February 22nd, 1859.
—As a counterpoise to this excellent news, Mr. Calthorpe came in by a majority of 320 odd.

23Feb1859, Soft Weather

HAGLEY, February 23rd, 1859.
—I rode in the brilliant and exhilarating soft weather, through the sprouting wheat and up lovely hill and dale, with Mr. and Amelia Claughton, and Arthur who fell flump on his back once. Most pleasant. Oh, the view from High Down !

03Feb1859, Hounds at the Hunt

HAGLEY, February 3rd, 1859.
—Some frostiness. The hounds met in front of the house, and they had a run over the place, which later fun, alas ! we missed. I have been in at the death ; it would have been but reasonable to have seen full cry.

28Jan1859, Princess Royal Has a Son

HAGLEY, January 28th, 1859.
—The Princess Royal had a son yesterday at 3 a.m., being of the mature age of 18, bless her ! The little Queen a grandmother, Princess Beatrice an aunt ! ! The Duchess of Kent a great-grandmother ! ! ! Princess Alice wrote the news to Granny : " My dear dear Laddle "—such a happy, natural letter.

27Jan1859, There's to be an Election

HAGLEY, January 27th, 1859.
—East Worcestershire has lost its member, and there's to be an election : Calthorpe, Liberal, against Pakington, Derbyite : goodness knows which is best !

26Jan1859, We Shall Not Be Able To Come Out

HAGLEY, January 26th, 1859.
—Corfu news : horrible fear that his Xcellency (Gladstone) will stay indefinitely, in which case he will miss all or a great part of the session, and oh ! result to shake all plans and politics ! we Shall Not Be Able To Come Out ! !

14Jan1859, Bishop of London

HAGLEY, January 14th, 1859.
—I have just read the Bp. of London's charge, which is everywhere reckoned admirable : temperate, wise, careful, showing active knowledge, research, and appreciation of what there is to do, with a humble un-self-asserting tone. May he only act up to it ! The India troubles seem settling down. Our Princess Royal's confinement is daily expected. There is talk of a war between France and Austria.

11Jan1859, Papa Lectures on New Zealand

HAGLEY, January 11th, 1859.
—Papa lectured in the evening on New Zealand — as none but he can ; clear, true, full of bits of his peculiar irresistible fun, and sustaining one's interest perfectly. He left one with such a happy, satisfactory idea of it all, and with proud thrills over its English-born goodness and prosperity. The end was a dear, beautiful allusion to the cloud " abiding "—yet not without light—over his life, and which he likes to speak of—as to those who can know and feel—to his neighbours and people at home. And surely it has gone into all hearts.