Sunday, December 28, 2008

13Sep1863, Going to Chapel Bonnetless

WINDSOR, 15th Sunday after Trinity, September 13th, 1863.
—Serene mild day. Having reached the top of the tree as to great houses, I find here no exception to my reflection made at Cliveden, that magnificent places have shocking Church arrangements. In the 1st place, it is startling to one's feelings to go to a Sunday service in a chapel bonnetless, as the household have to do here. No chanting, except in very bad style to the responses to the Commandments, disagreeable tunes to inferior hymns, sung in a drawl, and the Morning Service divided in two, which last plan has, I know, many advantages, but not to a strong person whom the longest service cannot tire. The Queen, Prince Alfred, and all the children attended the first half alone ; and 3 carriages were used during the day. One wishes (I fear vainly) that something cd lead the Queen to find comfort in that most consoling and peace-giving thing—our Church's Liturgy—that thereby she might be helped and strengthened on her desolate way. How the words in the Psalm went to one's heart—"He is the Father of the fatherless, and defendeth the cause of the widows." Well, we must trust our Queen to Him, and His Loving Wisdom. He has answered many prayers for her ! I walked with Lady Ely again in the garden, and ended, to my refreshment, at S. George's ; anthem, a spirited, florid one, "When Israel came out of Egypt." Mr. Ellison preacht in the noon-day half of the Chapel service, on Hades and death. I was told it was possible I should dine with the Queen, but it was not so. The evening was lightened by ivory letters. [FN: I.e. I (John Baily, editor) suppose a game played with ivory letters.] I think I must have met the pick of the Court for pleasantness and kindness.

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