Tuesday, December 23, 2008

08Sep1863, Summoned to Windsor

HAGLEY, Tuesday, September 8th, 1863.
—A notable and most upsetting, exciting, and bewildering day. There came a letter from Ly. Ely (which lost a post by going to London), summoning me to Windsor on the 10th to be in waiting till the 14th. Having been told Xmas was the earliest date possible, this interesting communication finds me without "a thing to my back !" I tore off to Stourbridge with Gielen and At. C. and bought silk, etc., for two black gowns ; must trust to London when I go up for bonnet, flowers, and so on. The wretched Gielen must go blind and mad with work, in spite of many helpers, but ! "la Royne le veult." An unpleasant state of bathing-feel I am in ; still, when the terrific 4 days are over (they never will be, I think !), without any hitch or blunder, I shall be glad to have made the 1st plunge.

05Sep1863, Hereford Cathedral

HAGLEY, Saturday, September 5th, 1863.
—The eleven of us, with Papa, Newmany, and Miss Merlet, had a most jovial and successful monster expedition to Hereford ; and so I have, to my great delight, added that noble Cathedral, in all the glory of its matchlessly excellent restoration, to my list. Tho' small, the richness and variety of its Norman work, its perfect specimens of E. English, in which were specially beautiful deep mouldings, and many details, as the early Decorated 2-light windows 50 feet high, the lovely tiling, and the splendid screen, make it rank very high in beauty. Alfred much struck with his first Cathedral service : said he liked the Cathedral better even than the dinner, or the uproarious fun in the train.

29Aug1863, Wordsworth's Tour in Italy

HAGLEY, Saturday, August 29th, 1863.
—Have finished Wordsworth's tour in Italy, which gives a thoughtful, temperate, and far-seeing view of the Church of Rome, the possibility and the crying need of its reformation, and (which is the point of the book) the necessity of its reforming itself. Present political excitement and disturbance seem to open up the way.

27Aug1863, Riding the Hunter

HAGLEY, Thursday, August 27th, 1863.
—I then rode on the hunter, with Lavinia and Bob, and had the satisfaction of keeping on in spite of a very lively kick.

26Aug1863, Warrant of Appointment

HAGLEY, Wednesday, August 26th, 1863.
—I received my warrant of appointment, for which superfluity I am to pay £25.

24Aug1863, Volume 8 of the Diary Begins

HAGLEY, Monday, August 24th, 1863. S. Bartho's Day.
—Prescott with Arthur, Tasso with Nevy, "Childe Harold" with Albert, Yonge with Bob. Old M. came in after church, rather wretched with a cold. I rode with Arthur.

05Aug8163, Visiting the Thrown Boy

HAWARDEN, Wednesday, August 5th, 1863.
—Walked with Ats P. and C. and the 2 Marks to see the poor thrown boy at Mancot : he seems recovering.

03Aug1863, Energetic Duty

HAWARDEN, Monday, August 3rd, 1863.
—Papa went off to night to sleep 4 hours at Chester, thence to Birmingham for breakfast, thence to the Board of Guardians at Bromsgrove If that isn't energetic doing of duty, I shd like to know what is.

01Aug1863, Arrow Into the Blue

HAWARDEN, Saturday, August 1st, 1863.
—I got an arrow into the blue at 60 yards, shooting with Uncle Henry's prize bow, weight 55. Could only manage abt 15 shots, and my arms ache a little.

30Jul1863, Boy Thrown from Horse

HAWARDEN, Thursday, July 30th, 1863.
—A horse ran away with a boy of 16, who was thrown and grievously hurt, midway between the Chester Lodge and Broughton Church. Atie. P. flew off to nurse him.

25Jul1863, Willow Leaves on the Sun

FALCONHURST, S. James, Saturday, July 25th, 1863.
—We went for luncheon to the Nasmyths', a delightful old couple, he the gt sledge-hammer man. Their house lovely and full of interesting and beautiful things. Mem. especially, his observatory—where he showed us a model of the face of the sun, which he has just discovered to be covered promiscuously by willow-leafshaped things, from whence comes the light, and which Sir J. Herschel, from observing that they move independently of each other, is inclined to suspect may be living creatures. They are 2,000 miles long and 90 broad ; if they are beings they must be mighty dazzling Archangels indeed.

16Jul1863, Last Clever Breakfast

LONDON, Thursday, July 16th, 1863.
—Suddenly on the cold side of cool, without rain or anything to account for it. Last clever breakfast, to which came the Dss. of Sutherland and Ly. Herbert, Dr. Acland, Dean Trench, "Garibaldi's Englishman," Ld. Frederic Cavendish, and a china dealer. Slavery was talked of. The Duke of Hamilton has died of congestion of the brain from a fall downstairs. I went with Atie. P. to Heath's for a chimney-pot riding hat (the height of the fashion). A detachment from S. Martin's school came for tea, games, and little gifts, and enjoyed themselves hugely ; more delighted with the scamper on the gravel terrace than our sch. children are with half the park to play in. Mary and Maud Herbert came to see. Gladstones to a tiny dance at the Grosvenors' ; but I have actually wound up my gaieties, which have consisted of : 17 balls, 8 parties, 9 dinner parties, 8 private concerts, besides breakfasts of different sorts, etc. Letters : to M.

14Jul1863, A Good Recherché Ball

LONDON, Tuesday, July 14th, 1863.
—We went to a Chiswick bkft, and got a little revived by the bit of country. The D. of Sutherland and other young men played at leap-frog ! and there was croquet, a country dance, and valsing on the grass. A good recherch√© ball (my last) at Ly. De Grey's : I was asked to dance by Lords George Lennox, Frederic Cavendish, Amberley, and Messrs. Lascelles and Stanley.

12Jul1863, Last London Sunday

LONDON, 6th Sunday after Trinity, July 12th, 1863.
—Very hot. I have at last reached, I really believe, my last London Sunday. Went with Papa and Charles to the John St. Chapel to hear Mr. Brookfield, who preacht. with great fervour, point, and severity on Pharisaism. Saw there old, old Lady De Dunstanville, who still enjoys London gaieties, tho' looking as if a pinch wd crumble her. Also the Mildmays and Montgomeries were there. It refreshes one to see people whom one only connects with diamonds and wreaths—in church. Aftn to hear Dr. Goulburn preach very well on behalf of the Whetstone Penitentiary. Charles went back to Cambridge after dinner. The match was drawn. Harrow not going in at all for 2nd innings : wd have had 200 to get, so we shd probably have won. Spencer got 10 runs 2nd innings, and he and Nevy got 6 wickets between them.
I read a short sermon, and began Goulburn's "Study of the Holy Scriptures."

09Jul1863, Charles Fechter

LONDON, Thursday, July 9th, 1863.
—To breakfast came the Comte de Paris, grown manly-looking since his American campaign ; his manners very noble and graceful ; his English extremely French. Also came no less a man than Fechter, who was very agreeable. His face is finer seen in private life than on the stage : a great look of the great Napoleon—full piercing eyes, hooked nose, and expressive mouth ; his figure dumpy and fat. Ld. De Grey's little boy, who is frantic with admiration of Fechter, was sent for to see his hero : his parents being here.

08Jul1863, Jenny Lind

LONDON, Wednesday, July 8th, 1863.
—I had the wonderful treat of going to S. James Hall with Miss Gladstone, to hear Jenny Lind sing in the " Allegro " and " Penseroso." I suppose her high notes are a little gone, but the matchless expression and heart-feeling can never go out of her voice, and there is a ringing purity of tone unlike anything else. Mem. "Sweet bird," "Hide me from day's garish eye," "Let the merry bells," and "May at last my weary eye." It was a rare perfection to have words, voice, and airs all so glorious and all glorifying each other.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Twelve Lyttleton Children

07Jul1863, A Dance with Fred Cavendish

LONDON, Tuesday, July 7th, 1863.
—We went to a breakfast given by the Dow. Dss. of Sutherland at Chiswick, meeting the Prince and Princess. She is in mourning for some Danish relation, and wore a hat which didn't quite suit her as it hid her lovely brow. We had a country dance on the grass : she went down it with dignity with the Duke of Sutherland. We were immense audience to the darling little Grosvenor children. The eldest Sutherland boy, little Ld. Stafford, isn't pretty and lookd delicate, but his brother (who is called Ld. Macleod, I believe : his mother's 2nd title) is a beauty. Mary and Helen came with us. I played one game of croquet ½ through. In the evening an exceedingly beautiful ball at Stafford House. I was asked to dance by Lords Amberley, Fred. Cavendish, George Lennox, Mr. Lascelles and an innominato with whom I executed what pretended to be a Scotch reel ! We walked home, Atie P. with Willy, Agnes, Ld. Adare, and I, like a convict, marched in the middle, thus guarded. The night was lovely ; and before getting into bed, about 4, I counted 20 towers and spires in the serene, opal-like morning atmosphere.

04Jul1863, May Has Scarlet Fever

LONDON, Saturday, July 4th, 1863.
—We got the anxious news that poor old May has got the scarlet fever, in spite of having had it slightly in '56. Her throat is bad, but the telegraph this afternoon said it was a favourable case. The 6 who have had scarlet fever have all had it favourably, and how often altogether anxiety of this sort has ended in relief and thankfulness ! God grant it may be so again. We did not hear of the certainty till the aftn. In the morning Papa and I went again to the Oval, and this time saw Charles get more than 20 runs in most beautiful style ; getting a lovely cut for 4, first ball, and a square leg hit for 3 the next.

02Jul1863, A Northern Yankee

LONDON, Thursday, July 2nd, 1863.
—A most delightful clever breakfast. At the table (1 of 3) where I was sat Papa, Mr. Monckton Milnes, Mr. Herbert of Muckross, Miss Stanley, Count Struzlecki (there is no spelling his name), and a Northern Yankee, Mr. Cyrus Field. I'm afraid I shd have preferred being disgusted with the latter ; but truth compels me to say that he was agreeable, and seemed to be candid and modest—the very last 2 qualities I shd have looked for. Also free from twang properly speaking, tho' his accent and pronunciation were curious. He said "poblic," "Onquestionably," "South Car'lina," and once "no thing" in 2 distinct words. He spoke with contempt of Lincoln to whose inanity he attributed the duration of the war, said that he wished no ex-president cd be re-elected, or given any government office, as according to what it is now, presidents are more occupied in the effort to secure future votes than in their duty to the country. This he implied: and said the whole war might have been crushed in the bud, if President Buchanan had not been thinking of the Southern votes. A nice state of things indeed ! The expenses of the war hitherto amount to half our national debt ; but he said much of the money spent circulated profitably in the country.
Beautiful select concert at the Aumales' to which Papa and I went, kindly lifted by Lord Harrowby. Mario, Grisi, Alboni and Delle Sedie sang, and Thalberg played ; and tho' Grisi's voice is much gone, and Mario's high notes a little strained sometimes, it was glorious. The Duc de Chartres [FN: perhaps Duc de Guise?] was there with his nice young bride : also the Comte de Paris ; it was nice to see the two brothers' evident affection for each other. Ld. Amberley [FN: Son of Earl Russell, the Prime Minister, and father of the present Earl and Mr. Bertrand Russell.] took me to supper ; a very small, scrubby-looking youth, but full of intelligence and with pretty manners.

26Jun1863, The Guards' Ball

LONDON, Friday, June 26th, 1863.
—At 11 we went to the great thing of the season : the Guards' ball, in what was the English picture-gallery of the Exhibition, given to the Prince and Princess. It was all on a royal scale ; and I shan't soon forget the beautiful effect, when T.R.H.'s went away, of the procession streaming through the antechambers and down the flag-emblazoned staircase lined with picked Guardsmen ; "God save the Queen" going on the while. The Princess looked lovely and as if she enjoyed herself, but pale. I didn't dance "nor didn't expect to" The Royal quadrille was often a lovely sight, being composed of many beauties : Charlotte Spencer, Ly. Adelaide Talbot, Ly. Mary Craven, the Dss. of Manchester, Princess Mary, etc. Lord Dunmore dancing with the Prss. was a sight to see of good looks and perfect manners.

25Jun1863, Stage Stories from Charles Kean

LONDON, Thursday, June 25th, 1863.
—Hot. The Duchesses of Sutherland and Argyll, the Duke of Argyll, Charles Kean, the Cambridge Public Orator, Dr. Stanley, Papa, etc., came to the clever breakfast. The Exhibition building and what is to be done with it was the prevailing topic : rather a dull one. After bkft, however, Agnes and I had Kean to ourselves, and he was very entertaining with stage anecdotes and experiences. Said nobody would guess what an inclination to laugh comes over actors at the most awful moments. As when Garrick was playing King Lear (the last thing I should have thought he ever cd do, by the bye), a butcher in the pit, who had with him a dog which stood with its forepaws on the seat in front contemplating the stage, took off his wig to cool his head, and having no peg, put it for a moment on the dog's head. As Garrick advanced, preparatory to falling on his knees and uttering the tremendous curse on Goneril, he caught the eye of the bewigged dog ; and went into such hysterics of laughing that he had to go off the stage. I received the last quarterly allowance I shall ever receive from Papa's poor pinched pocket, I suppose ! And I floundered about in my accounts as usual. At 6 we rode with Willy and saw the Prince riding with Althorp and Col. Keppel. Mr. Baird joined us—I broke my stirrup strap but can luckily manage without : so we put it into Willy's pocket, and went on unheeding.

24Jun1863, The Beau Monde Responds

LONDON, Wednesday, June 24th, 1863. S. John Baptist.
—Six letters of congratulation poured down upon me, which, added to what greets me everywhere in the beau monde, make me feel very much as if I were going to be married.

22Jun1863, So Know All Men

LONDON, Monday, June 22nd, 1863.
—The Belmores came to luncheon. After which came Granny and At. K., bringing with them the Queen's official offer of the post to me, through the Duchess of Wellington, Mistress of the Robes. So know all men by these presents that I am a Maid-of-Honour. This is a momentous event in my life, and I am quite tired of ruminating and speculating about it.

21Jun1863, A Confirmatory Letter

LONDON, 3rd Sunday after Trinity, June 21st, 1863.
— Maid-of-honourums : a confirmatory letter came from Ly. Augusta.

20Jun1863, Maid-of-honourums

LONDON, Saturday, June 20th, 1863.
—I breakfasted in G. St., and we talked a good deal Maid-of-honourums.