Wednesday, September 06, 2006

23Apr1861, A First Rate Ball

LONDON, Tuesday, April 23rd, 1861.
—I dined [FN: I.e. at 10 Great George Street, her sister's house] there, and then came to Downing Street, [FN: To which Mr. Gladstone had now moved as Chancellor of the Exchequer] where Atie. P. and Aggie were looking well. I am so glad it ain't Carlton Terrace : grim grandeur, and how I shd hate it without Meriel! A first-rate ball at Ly. Egerton of Tatton's, where we both danced plentifully. My partners were Ld. Carnarvon, Althorp (oh, little Charlotte [FN: Lady Spencer, wife of "Althorp."] I fell over head and ears in love as usual), Mr. Wortley, Lord Cowper, and Mr. Sarin. Home abt. 3. So off we go !

16Apr1861, St. Mary's Home

BRIGHTON, Tuesday, April 16th, 1861.
—I went with Papa over S. Mary's Home ; a penitentiary, hospital, sisterhood, school, and nursery all in one, under Mr. Wagner. The Lady Superior showed us all over ; a cheerful, pleasant woman. The penitents do all the household work. Everything beautifully arranged, clean, bright, and airy. The sick children's room very touching ; one poor pretty little fellow, hopelessly ill with abscesses, knitting in his crib, with such a placid angel look in his small wasted face. There were some things rather shocking to one : a picture of the Blessed Virgin crowned, with the words in Latin, " Holy Mother of God, pray for us " ; which I trust was only there for ornament ; otherwise it goes beyond mere sentiment. Also a large crucifix in one of the sisters' rooms. But it is a wonderfully good and great work, and one must believe it is done in the full strength of the text which was in nearly every room : " The love of Christ constraineth us."
Nevy, Spencer, and I had an hour's boating. Papa said (of St. Mary's) that it was always a striking thing to go among people who were in the very straightest road heavenwards.

14Apr1861, Fine Singing

BRIGHTON, 2nd Sunday after Easter, April 14th, 1861.
—We all went to St. Paul's in the morning ; fine singing ; anthem, Spohr's "Blessing and honour." S. Mary's aftn., sermon by Mr. Elliott on the tremendous Indian famine: he got £73 from his morning congregation !

11Apr1861, A Dance With the King of France

LONDON, Thursday, April 11th, 1861.
—There departed today Charles and I to London for the ball, which came off at Carlton Terrace with great success : I can't remember all my innumerable partners ! One, however, I do remember ; the " King of France " (Comte de Paris) asked particularly after me and danced with me : stomach-ache of thrill ! For the rest, Messrs. Trefusis, Ryan, Le Fevre, [FN: No doubt G. J. Shaw-Lefevre, afterwards a Cabinet Minister and now Lord Eversley] Hope, and Capt. Grant, Mrs. Percy's distinguished son, are all I remember. Charles was quite the handsomest man there : enjoyed himself, and danced with Warrens, T. Gladstones, and Sybil Grant. Introduced me to the D. of St. Albans with great propriety ! Declares he will learn to valse ! ! Everyone looked well in white and black. The house recalls the days of courtship [FN: Presumably referring to her elder sister Meriel's marriage] and matrimony wonderfully !

04Apr1861, An Escort

BRIGHTON, Thursday, April 4th, 1861.
—Went to St. Paul's for 3 1/2-o'c. service ; having to walk back alone, I pretended to belong to two elderly ladies in succession, who I don't think found out that they were escorting me.

02Apr1861, Scampish

BRIGHTON, Tuesday, April 2nd, 1861.
— I walked alone on the pier, which it suddenly struck me was scampish.