Saturday, November 18, 2006

18Dec1861, Prince Albert Has Died

HAGLEY, Wednesday, December 18th, 1861.
—Sullen, dark, dark weather. Poor Granny received many sad and touching letters which took out of her grievously [FN: The Prince Consort had died on December 14th] ; and the service was strangely overpowering ; the familiar prayers for the Queen full of deep pathos ; the funeral Psalm, some parts of the 1st lesson curiously appropriate, and greatly moving one ; and then the missing of his name, and the Prince of Wales' coming alone, reminding one of his altered and responsible position now, left fatherless to be the stay and support of the desolate Queen. God enable him to be so ! We heard that Her Majesty is still calm and, thank God, can sleep, and cries much : finds consolation in her children ; and Prss. Alice, whose "life was bound up in her father's," is an Angel in the house. Miss Hildyard's letter one almost dwells most on ; none knew the Prince better than she and Granny, and accordingly there are none who so loved and looked up to him. But indeed, everyone does that in proportion as they knew him. Miss H. said that a hasty word was never heard from him. His last words to Prss. Alice were : "Good child." She will love to remember them ! When someone mentioned Granny to the Queen, she said, "Ah, she knew our happy, happy life." Most nobly and patiently she seems to be taking up the cross, set upon doing what would have pleased her husband, and saying : "I will do anything " —showing that she accepts the dreadful change with meekness and courage. I can't help going on about it all, for the cloud over the days is ever before me, and it is such a great, solemn, and awful thing.

03Dec1861, War With America

HAGLEY, Tuesday, December 3rd, 1861.
—We shall go to war with America if the Govt. doesn't apologise ; which it is far from likely it will do. On the side of the slave-owners too.

29Nov1861, Yankees Stop the Trent

HAGLEY, Friday, November 29th, 1861.
—Those precious Yankees have stopped a merchant ship of ours (the Trent) and carried off, from under her flag, certain accredited commissioners, which proceeding excites great uproar. I spouted the Times account and leading article.

20Nov1861, Rifle Shooting

HAGLEY, Wednesday, November 20th, 1861.
—Went with Papa and Uncle Henry to see rifle shooting at 900 and 650 yards. Only one man got in at 900 while we were there.

10Oct1861, Anxiety Taken Away

HAGLEY, Thursday, October 10th, 1861.
—All the suspense and anxiety of the last days is taken away and I feel proportionably light-hearted.

05Oct1861, Looking Forward

HAGLEY, Saturday, October 5th, 1861.
—I keep myself to a wonderful extent from looking forward.

04Oct1861, Peerage Corrections

HAGLEY, Friday, October 4th, 1861.
—Very mild and pleasant. Church ill attended. I walked with At. C. towards the Rectory, to Mrs. Preisse and to croquet : 1 game ; a little accounts, Peerage corrections (of which I make, I suppose, on an average 1 every 2 days), little boys' Bible and singing, Promessi Sposi, 5 o'clock sit with Granny, 6 o'clock ditto with schoolroom ; whist, reading and At. Coque's music ; so I filled up the quiet day, which had, however, its worry and distress, over and above the strange sense of suspense just now.

Letters from C. Neave, and (dreadfully angry) Miss S. ; to C. Neave, Arthur, and Mrs. Oxley (not sent).

02Oct1861, These Quiet Days

HAGLEY, Wednesday, October 2nd, 1861.
—I wish I could stay a little while longer among these quiet days —that this calm sort of pause in our life might last a little !

29Sep1861, Trial Before Me

HAGLEY, Sunday, September 29th, 1861.
—Anxiety and trial are before me ; but I think I have strong hope and trust about whatever may happen. "So long Thy Hand bath bless'd us, sure it still will lead us on."

28Sep1861, Worcester Gaol

HAGLEY, Saturday, September 28th, 1861.
—Went with John [FN: John Talbot] to see wretched Henriette in Worcester gaol. Found her in strapping health and unchanged in manner, only I discovered she cried for the first time after I had spoken to her. Has needlework to do. We were taken over the gaol and were much edified : the prisoners looked subdued but not sullen, all busy at something or other, everything as clean as it's possible to be, and beautifully ordered. But what an oppressive thing to feel oneself under that irresistible overlooking and coercing power and obliged to revolve in that invariable round !

20Sep1861, Hard Labour

HAGLEY, Friday, September 20th, 1861.
—Wretched Wheeler went to witness against Henriette, who was sentenced to 14 days' prison and hard labour, after Wheeler had been well badgered by a rascally attorney, who got Henriette to engage him in her defence.

19Sep1861, Taken Into Custody

HAGLEY, Thursday, September 19th, 1861.
—The horrid business of Henriette's being taken into custody took place, Mr. Marcy coming over about it. She showed strangely little feeling ; some loud crying, but did not beg off or defend herself, or say she was sorry. Went away with the policeman very quietly, tho' rather red in the face. But my spirits are low, thinking of her loneliness and disgrace to-night.

18Sep1861, Thieving Maid

HAGLEY, Wednesday, September 18th, 1861.
—A horrid business turned up : the girls' Swiss maid, Henriette Descoster, has been thieving and is to be prosecuted, as an example to others and a warning to herself.