Tuesday, January 23, 2007

08Jul1862, A Ball at Devonshire House

LONDON, Tuesday, July 8th, 1862.
—I am writing at 5 a.m. Wednesday morng, in the little smoking-room; looking over the poor old town reposing in the pure light, its spires sharply cut up agst the sky, its clock chimes pealing with peculiar clearness thro' the unwonted silence; its birds waking up, and in the distance the 1st rumbles only just beginning. If the ball had over-excited, as it had heated me — this is the sight to calm and purify one!
The ball has been the 1st thoroughly enjoyable: at Devonshire House; and we didn't miss more than 3 or 4 dances. My partners: Mr. Cameron; a nice innominato Cambridge acquaintance; Ld. J. Hervey; Mr. Baker — and finally, for an ideal country dance, Ld. Schomberg Kerr. Never was country dance more delightful! The valsing was immense fun to look at. I was asked once or twice over and above the times I danced, and altogether this last ball has put me in spirits, and made me feel I go off with éclat! Now for quieter thoughts, that better suit this placid day-break.

04Jul1862, Scrubby Napoleon

LONDON, Friday, July 4th, 1862.
—We went to a very smart and charming aftn and eveng at the Duc d'Aumale's; where the impress of ancien régime dignity — the arms with all their array of noble old French names round the room, the pictures of the victories of Louis XIV, the banners and fleurs-de-lis on the wall, filled one with a thrill of respect and compassion for the descendants of the hundred kings of France, ousted by this scrubby Napoleon; and with pride that our country is the one which receives them as Royal guests, all the more because they are fallen. The Prince de Conde is short and not handsome, but with a very pleasing countenance; the little Duc de Guise is a tiny fellow of 8, pretty and exceedingly fair. There were 2 comic Fr. plays, which were an immense delight. In the eveng dancing began, but we stayed a very short time.

01Jul1862, Powdered Hair

LONDON, Tuesday, July 1st, 1862.
—I made luncheon my dinner; tea and cards when I came home, then the old dear took At. C. and me to a big party at Devonshire House. I saw one foreigner who actually had white powder in her hair! She looked lovely. At. Henrietta had an approximation to it; only her powder was brown, which simply looks dirty.

28Jun1862, Three Day Cricket Match

LONDON, Saturday, June 28th, 1862.
—A splendid match between Gentlemen and Players has been going on at Kennington Oval for the last 3 days; Gentlemen with a prospect of winning. Charles got 57 his 2nd innings in perfectly faultless style, and Papa had the famous luck to see most of it, in spite of being up to the ears in commissionums. Also he caught out 2 or 3 beautifully. At. Wenlock has given me a ball-gown! Letters: to Albert, At. Wenlock, Mrs. Robartes.