Friday, January 18, 2008

10Feb1863, Pottering about Althorp

ALTHORP, Tuesday, February 10th, 1863.
—Delightful day, which got brighter and warmer every hour, and ended in a lovely mild starlight night. We drove with 4 in hand to Weedon, thence with 4 posters to Worm¬leighton. Pottered abt pleasantly among the cottages while Althorp and Ld. Suffield tried hunters, and had excellent luncheon at the agent's. Mem. the white-haired wizzy woman of 50, who had a fat 17th baby of 16 months old ! ! The drive home was very charming ; Miss Spalding and I capped verses most of the way. The open carriage wasn't a bit cold at ¼7. The D. of Rutland has had another tremendous fall out hunting. Papa went to London at 6½ a.m.

12Jan1863, American War may possibly end

HAGLEY, Monday, January 12th, 1863.
—There is a real steady increase of work in the N., thank God, and a notion that the American War may possibly end.

11Jan1863, A copy of the Prince's speeches

HAGLEY, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, January 11th, 1863.
—Granny has received from the Queen a copy, in white morocco, of the Prince's speeches, with an inscription written by her own hand, and most touching.

23Dec1862, Papa's lecture on poetry

HAGLEY, Tuesday, December 23rd, 1862.
—And, in the evening, came off a memorable delight : Papa's lecture on poetry, with selections from Milton, Byron, Shelley, Pope, Wordsworth, Cowper, Rogers, Longfellow, Burns, Hemans, Hood, Crabbe, and others. I can't go into raptures somehow on paper about it ; but it was to me enjoyment only next to listening to mighty music, and I am in a realm of beauty and harmony which has, Oh me ! too much of heaven in it to abide long with me in this work-a-day world. Charles' raving of it to me afterwards, showing all his deep and high appreciation, was not the least of the delight. Mr. Claughton, Mr. and Mrs. Turner, Mr. Stayner, and the Miss Rogerses dine, the latter much gratified and touched by the beautiful bit of "Human Life" which Papa read from their uncle's poetry. Win greatly delighted in spite of her prosaic nature. Alas for M. and John ! Mem. very especially " My Mary."

21Dec1862, Lancashire distress widens

HAGLEY, 4th Sunday in Advent, December 21st, 1862.
-Collections for Lancash. came to abt £16 : the statistics are still awful, in spite of the enormous sums that have been sent ; more mills stop every week, the population is losing wages at the rate of £8,000,000 annually, and the distress is gradually widening to other classes.

18Dec1862, One of the very best balls I ever was at

HAWARDEN, Thursday, December 18th, 1862.
—With anything but alacrity, Albert and I, minus the dear young couple, came to Hawarden, where we find Ly. Louisa and Ld. Frederic Cavendish, Lascelles and Wilbrahams, Mr. F. Wortley, Hugh and Arthur Gladstone, Ly. L. Cotes, and some others. Stephy, and Willy, who, poor fellow, has only taken a 3rd in Law and Modern History ; but hardly expected to do better, as he had to begin late. I must say, if anything cd comfort me for leaving home just now, it wd be one of the very best and most lively balls I ever was at. We began at 9½, and ended about 2½. My partners Ld. F. Cavendish, Mr. Astley, oh I cannot remember them, but I danced everything. Two glorious country dances, and a reel ! Not that I danced that, except a hop or two to relieve Atie. P.

07Dec1862, Lancashire distress

HAGLEY, 2nd Sunday in Advent, December 7th, 1862.—
Uncle B. on the Lancash. distress, for which the collection was made ; viz. £1.

03Dec1862, Uncle William, King of Greece

HAGLEY, Wednesday, December 3rd, 1862.
—Bp. Colenso has written a foolish and shallow little set of arithmetical doubts about the Pentateuch. Garibaldi's ball has been got out ! The Greeks want to elect as their king either Prince Alfred or — Uncle William !

30Nov1862, Kitchen feeds 1,000 daily

HAGLEY, Advent Sunday, November 30th, 1862.
—Letter : from Atie. Pussy, who gave many Blackburn and other Lancashire details : they are collecting to give the poor people a Christmas dinner. Her kitchen already feeds 1,000 daily.

28Nov1862, Ticket-of-leave men

HAGLEY, Friday, November 28th, 1862.
—Garotting and ticket-of-leave men are great subjects ; they are rife enough to make even the principal London streets unsafe.

27Nov1862, A fall from a horse

HAGLEY, Thursday, November 27th, 1862.
—I rode on the hunter with Winny on the Maid, and Bobby (who is a sad coward, but doesn't sit amiss) on Charger with leading rein. The hunter was exceedingly fresh, but went pleasantly enough, with occasional capers, which I am used to and rather like, till we got to the Brake, and there cantering along the sandy bit of road beyond Widow Smith's, he gave a tremendous kick, the 1st time he has ever done so with me. To my astonishment and humiliation, off I fell, but, thank God, was only rather bruised, falling on my side and arm. We went home by Stukenbridge, but I couldn't canter without a kick, so we trotted and walked. But we set off as usual for the avenue, and accordingly the hunter gave another amazing kick, worse than the first, in spite of which I rejoice to say I kept on : and so we got home with my nerves a little shaken.

26Nov1862, Papa whistles

HAGLEY, Wednesday, November 26th, 1862.
—I heard Papa whistle (softly and half to himself) for the 1st time since '57.

24Nov1862, Returning to threadbare home

HAGLEY, Monday, November 24th, 1862.
—Mr. Smith (one of the guests) came with us to Derby, where I sat for an hour ; got home at 4, and had a snug evng nearly do. to last Monday. The house looks a little scrubby and threadbare !

24Nov1862, Bidding a round of good-byes

CHATSWORTH, Monday, November 24th, 1862.
—Sharp frost. I have not often done a more blowing thing than marching into the breakfast-room this morng at 1/4 10 and bidding a round of good-byes to all the august guests there assembled ! Like many awful things, however, it was soon over, and I was immensely flattered and a little astonished at receiving a kiss from both Ly. Louisa and the Duchess of Argyll ! !

23Nov1862, The church is something dreadful

CHATSWORTH, 23rd Sunday after Trinity, November 23rd, 1862.
—Fine bright day. The church (to which we went in the morng) is something too dreadful : behind the altar and sitting upon the E. window, which it entirely hides, is a hideous and purely heathen monument of two brothers (one a skeleton) supported on one side by Mars and a suit of armour, on the other by Minerva and a peer's robes ; the whole surmounted by a clumsy trumpeting angel (or Cupid ?) What words can describe the worse than Smithfield pens we were jammed into ? and in which the care necessary to avoid falling foul of everyone's eye, kicking everyone's hat, and sitting upon everyone's lap, was most oppressive. Oh dear ! how can people go Sunday after Sunday to such a place, and think they are worshipping God in the beauty of holiness ? Scott has, however, made a plan for a new church.

22Nov1862, Exploring Chatsworth

CHATSWORTH, Saturday, November 22nd, 1862.
—Lovely morng, very little frost. As usual the 3rd day makes a great step in pleasantness ; but be at my ease I cannot. The poor little nervous Miss Howard (Ly. Fanny's daughter), who comes meekly up to one as if for protection, touches me. She has ill health. We saw the state rooms and the statue gallery, all full of splendour. Drove behind the p. carriage with Ly. Louisa and Ly. Constance (not behind !) to beautiful Haddon Hall : the retriever who came with us caught a rabbit on an ivy-covered buttress. Tallee drove back instead of Ly. Constance, and we three capped verses. The Argylls came, and Ld. Grosvenor is expected. Tallee read a still more beautiful sermon of Stanley's preacht before the Prince.

21Nov1862, My form of shyness

CHATSWORTH, Friday, November 21st, 1862.
—We walked in the grounds, and saw the glorious conservatory, and the Emperor [FN: A fountain.] playing. Ly. C. Grosvenor came. Ld. Granville was expected, but Ly. Granville is ill. Oh dear, I have an oppressed feeling, which is my form of shyness, I suppose. Nice bits of Tallee ; she read aloud one of Stanley's sermons in the East : beautiful. Letters from and to Papa.

20Nov1862, First Meeting With Future Husband

CHATSWORTH, Thursday, November 20th, 1862.
—A notable day ; I came to Chatsworth chaperoned by At. Y. and Tallee, in default of Papa, who is too busy commissioning, besides he told me he had a romance abt Chatsworth, and wanted to see it in lovely weather, never having been here since '39. It is most delightful being again with my Tallee, and we have managed already a quiet sit and a spell of capping verses ! I can't judge of the house yet, only it seems immeasurable. We find the Duke of Devonshire, Ly. Louisa, and Ld. Frederic Cavendish,[FN: This is the first mention of her future husband.] Ld. and Ly. George Cavendish and daughter, Ld. and Ly. Fanny Howard and daughters, Mr. Charles Clifford, Mr. Vyner, etc., all family I fancy. Round game, at which I won 4s.

19Nov1862, Clothes for Lancashire

HAGLEY, Wednesday, November 19th, 1862.
—Went to the Rectory after church ; found At. E. up to the ears in old and new clothes which have been sent for Lancashire, and which filled the large bedroom.

14Nov1862, Half-starved constitutions

HAWARDEN, Friday, November 14th, 1862.
—The Relief Committees have a miserable mania for economizing, in order to give more later in the winter : this is horrid, because it is urgently necessary to feed the people now, that they may lay in some stock of strength to resist the bitter weather and the almost inevitable fever, which coming upon half-starved constitutions must be fatal.

10Nov1862, Soup kitchen in Blackburn

HAWARDEN, Monday, November 10th, 1862.
—We wrote many copies for Atie. P. of a plan for setting up a soup kitchen in Blackburn, which is the sort of thing best to be done ; for the papers say if the people are not fed now, before the great cold begins, it will kill them, with fever and atrophy coming upon exhaustion and depression of mind and body.

07Nov1862, Riot in Blackburn

HAWARDEN, Friday, November 7th, 1862.
—Alas ! a riot broke out yesterday in Blackburn—the 1st there has been, but not against the Guardians or mill-owners, but about some sentencing of poachers. But one fears the example may spread. There seems miserable close-fisting on the part of the Board, which in one case allowed only 4s. to a man and wife and 4 children, who had besides only 6 lbs. of bread and 6 lbs. of meal from the relief committee, and it was reduced to 3s. because he got one week's work. The poor wife fainted 2ce in one morng from hunger. And there are many like cases. It is in the papers, but is hardly credible that the Bishop of Gloucester (the youngest on the Bench) is appointed Archbishop of York ! It is an injury to all the Bishops, but a positive insult to the Bishop of Oxford whose curate he was ! As to Church views and general excellence, however, Bp. Thomson is admirable.

06Nov1862, A little tired of balls

HAWARDEN, Thursday, November 6th, 1862.
—The ball was very pretty and first-rate ; but I have come to the melancholy conclusion that I have become a little tired of balls !

05Nov1862, Shining upon the dear picture

HAWARDEN, Wednesday, November 5th, 1862.
—The aftn sun has a beautiful trick of shining upon the dear picture in the dining-room, making it so lovely, that I am reminded of the lines:
And yet a spirit too, and bright
With something of celestial light?

[FN: Wordsworth wrote : " Something of an angel light."]

01Nov1862, The Cotton Famine

HAWARDEN, All Saints', Saturday, November 1st, 1862.
—Much talk about the cotton famine ; in Preston what they call the " famine fever " has broken out, and everywhere thousands of fresh paupers come upon the parish weekly. Some of the mill-owners do a good deal, but others, they say, make money by secretly selling the cotton they have in stock while their hands are starving for want of work. Next year cotton things will be frightfully dear. Nobody knows what dreadful misery the winter will bring, as there doesn't seem a hope of improvement for months.

30Oct1862, Lord Brougham seems altered

HAWARDEN, Thursday, October 30th, 1862.
—I am a fool to leave this place with no more notes abt Ld. Brougham, but he is silent and seems out of spirits and we see little of him. Papa thinks him altered, as he used to be full of fun and conversation.

31Oct1862, Helping the Lancashire unemployed

HAWARDEN, Friday, October 31st, 1862.
—Drove with Atie. Pussy to the new walks on which they are employing 6 poor Lancashire unemployed factory men. Such an excellent plan ; the poor fellows work with a will, and get 12s. a week, and 2 are to have their wives up. The walks will be an immense improvement, there surely never was another park with only one drive through it ! I followed the marked-out track with the children. Papa rode to Chester on Uncle's beautiful horse Firefly. In the house, being trained for service are 10 factory girls ; I wrote letters home for 2 of them, nice forthcoming simple creatures. One dictated : " Please to let me know if trade is any better " —alas ! it gets steadily worse, but there will surely be an end.

29Oct1862, 10 years waiting for a living

BROUGHAM, Wednesday, October 29th, 1862.
—Very lovely day, with a sharp frosty feeling in the air. Cross Fell looked beautiful all day with the purple shadows of the clouds upon it. We spent most of the day seeing the coursing, which was certainly fine on the whole, with the drawbacks of having to walk and stand about in bog, getting cold and clammy feet in consequence, and living in an atmosphere of tobacco. But such of the courses as I saw well made it worth while. The eldest Miss Brougham, poor thing, poured out to me all the griefs of her 9 years' attachment and 1 year's recognized engagement to their clergyman Mr. Edwardes, brother of Ld. Kensington : they are to wait for a better living.

27Oct1862, Lord Brougham makes me shy

BROUGHAM, Monday, October 27th, 1862.
—This visit I shall look back upon as historic. There are here certain Spaldings, and the William Broughams, with sons and daughters, with the eldest of whom (drs) I cuddled amazingly after dinner ! Lord Brougham [FN: The Lord Chancellor of 1830. He was 84.] took me in, and made me shy and deaf, the latter misfortune generally following upon the former. He has not a sign of failing intelligence : asked kind questions and isn't deaf himself —hardly— which made me feel the stupider.

22Oct1862, A glorious day of beauty

CONISTON, Wednesday, October 22nd, 1862.
—The very wildest howl of wind and pelt of rain, with one or two short bursts of sunshine, till luncheon ; and we sat resignedly in "Mum Atkinson's parlour " with books and letters, giving up all hope of doing the Old Man. But after luncheon, it cleared, and we set off just to go up a little way, and to our joy it kept fine, and we went further and further there, into all the beauties of glen and mountain and, what delighted us most of all, innumerable waterfalls. One was a really great one, and all most lovely and the delicious music of the rushing waters was all round us, everywhere. Tiny threads of water came dancing down the side of all the hills. And oh, the tinting lights, the towering peaks, and the deep valleys ! We got up as high as the last cascade of any size — abt 2/3 of the way, and then, as it began to rain and the wind became so wild that I was actually blown down, I was pintoed enough to turn back with Uncle Stephen, Papa going on. We came down quickly, hopping across innumerable little streams and torrents, and when we were as far down as the copper mills, the tremendous cloud which had been scowling over the Old Man, contrasting most beautifully with the serenest sky and golden sunset light over the lake and valley below us, came down in one of the violent storms. It caught Papa sitting like Pillicock on the top ! which he reached triumphantly. A glorious day of beauty : a joy for ever !

17Oct1862, First Visit to The Lakes

WINDERMERE, Friday, October 17th, 1862.
—Papa and I left Hagley at 10 1/2, and arrived at Windermere, joining Uncle Stephen at Kendal, at 4 1/2. A gt event for me to see the Lakes ! And my 1st glimpse, I must say, was most beautiful. There was a regular angry lurid sunset over the Old Man, breaking through the heavy clouds, and sending a yellow gleam of light along the neighbouring ridges, as we came puffing up to Windermere. We trapesed a little abt the village, Papa being frantic to get a ferrol on his new stick ; and the stormy weather, though it makes us shake in our shoes, made grand effects in the sky ; and I am in hopes of every sort of light and shade. Meanwhile, a clatter-patter of hail comes dash agst the windows of what Uncle St. calls "Mum Rigg's parlour" from time to time. We had a splendid dinner, and, barring a soupcon of exceedingly bad tobacco in the passages, all is luxury.

06Oct1862, Uninteresting Day

HAGLEY, Monday, October 6th, 1862.
—Grey, uninteresting autumnal day. After such a glorious moonlit night. I said my Prayers looking out into it, and it seemed to purify and exalt them.

25Sep1862, Horrid Knickerbockers

HAGLEY, Thursday, September 25th, 1862.
—Charles went out shooting, in horrid knickerbockers.

24Sep1862, Charles bags 12 stags

HAGLEY, Wednesday, September 24th, 1862.
—At about 11 a.m. darling old Charles arrived, having been travelling from Sutherland since 7 on Monday morning, with only one night's rest, and having had 2 or 3 accidents from first to last. But here he is safe and sound, thank God, in a most splendid state of health and vigour, and having killed 12 stags, more than anybody else.

23Sep1862, Billiards

HAGLEY, Tuesday, September 23rd, 1862.
—Played a game of billiards with At. E.

20Sep1862, Prince of Wales engaged to Alexandra

HAGLEY, Saturday, September 20th, 1862.
—Delightful accounts of the amiability and attraction of Prss. Alexandra , of the P. of W's. state of bliss, and the Queen's pleasure in the engagement, have come to Granny from Ly. Caroline Barrington. But there is a difficult future, in spite of its immense advantages, before the 18-yr.-old bride.

18Sep1862, Papa has a tooth out

HAGLEY, Friday, September 19th, 1862.
—Papa has had an enormous tooth out, under choloroform. He didn't feel the smallest pain, tho' it took a quarter of a minute.

18Sep1862, Darling Tallee Spencer

HAGLEY, Thursday, September 18th, 1862.
—A melancholy day, for the Spencers went. Darling Tallee makes a vacuum in my heart more than most people : many things go to make up my warm love for her, and I miss her dear bendable tall figure, with its indescribable grace, her face, which has a charm to me shining thro' its plainness, but above all, herself : all the anxious, loving, self-condemning humility that comes out in all her talk with one : her reverence and beautiful thoughts. And then she is a little fond of me, which is so nice.

07Sep1862, Happy Bright Sunday

HAGLEY, 12th Sunday after Trinity, September 7th, 1862.
—A happy bright Sunday — I could not but think the cloudy weather as we entered church, and the glorious sunshine as we came out, typical of the cloud of sins over one as one goes in, and the joy and light in one's heart as one emerges blessed and purified. 0, what a thought that is!