Saturday, January 03, 2009

13Jan1864, Queen Causes General Acceleration

OSBORNE, Wednesday, January 13th, 1864.
—A little before 5 the Queen returned from Windsor, and what Granny says Miss Skerritt used to call a "general acceleration" seemed to me at once to be observable. Bustling footsteps, doors opening and shutting, the Lady-in-Waiting taking audible possession of the room next mine, unknown men cropping up in the corridor, and all the blazing liveries bursting out. I saw Prss. Helena, but no one else. Household dinner, whereat were Ly. Churchill (the Lady-in-Waiting), Mrs. Bruce, the Biddulphs, M. Holtzmann, and those already in the house, except Countess Blucher. Conversation flowed about the Princess and baby. It is wrapped up in cotton-wool, but thrives and is perfectly formed ; wd have been a very big child if it had waited the proper time. When the Queen arrived there were 7 doctors in the house who had all appeared on the scene just in time to be too late, except Brown, who came in for it all. The name was discussed after dinner ; is to be Albert-Victor, I believe (Albert ought to be Godfather !). Both names much too foreign, as one can't but think, in spite of one's love and veneration for the Queen and Prince.

11Jan1864, Pitying the Royals

Monday, January 11th, 1864.
—Grey and mild. Miss Bowater and I rode very pleasantly with Prss. Louise, I on a nice little horse called Claudio. I was got up regardless of expense in a splendid new Wehnerhausen habit, with the horrid fashionable swallow-tail, and a chimney-pot ! which was so good as to fly off. Prss. Louise spoke of her father more than once, and mentioned one thing which touched one much. Speaking of the trees he had planted, he said once to the Queen : "I shall never see my trees grow up." "0, why not ?" said the Queen. "You wd only be 60 ; that isn't so very old." "No," he repeated, "I shall never see them grow up." And Ly. Caroline said that he always knew, if he had a fever, that he shd never recover from it. I walked in the grounds after luncheon with the Prss., which was a little dull, especially as a new boot pinched me ; and I cd not help pitying all these Royal people who are never allowed to go out of their own domain, Miss B. and I during the ride raving of country-house visiting. "I should like it !" said the Prss., half hesitatingly. "Ah, that is one thing we are deprived of." Goodness ! life must be rather monotonous. Excellent accts again : and the Princess of Wales delights in her baby. Poor tiny infant, how little it guesses of its great future, supposing it is to live !

10Jan1864, Missed Second Service

OSBORNE, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, January 10th, 1864.
—A complete thaw, rather damp and chilly. To my satisfaction, we all attended the whole service at Whippingham (except Prss. Hohenlohe) in the morning. The church is fantastic and of no definable style, but rather attractive ; music bad. Mr. Prothero preached on the Magi. Nobody went to church again, so I missed the 2nd service for the 1st time since I recovered from the fever. Was glad I brought Arnold's sermons, and Archb. Leighton with me ; but 0 dear, it doesn't feel much like Sunday. Had tea with Prss. Louise and Pr. Leopold. Evening diversified with ivory letters, as at Windsor.

09Jan1864, Second Waiting Begins

OSBORNE, Saturday, January 9th, 1864.
—I left Hampton Court at 9½ and got to London early enough to have another 20 minutes of M., which rejoiced my heart. And at George St. I heard the wonderful news of the Princess of Wales's premature confinement at Frogmore of a "fine boy," [FN: Afterwards the Duke of Clarence. Died 1892.] yesterday evening at 9 ! A seven-months child ; but so was George III, who certainly throve nevertheless. Astonishing to think of the Prince of Wales with a baby. My journey was successful, the crossing entirely peaceful and unruffled, and a regal conveyance met me at Cowes. To my relief, I was shown straight up to a sunny little room, where I was discussing some chicken, and had just paused to count a quantity of money into which I had changed a cheque, when, to my horror, in walked Princess Louise, and it's a wonder I did not precipitate £37 at her feet. She has an exceedingly pretty manner, like all the others, compounded of dignity and kindliness. The Queen and Princess Helena went to Windsor early ; and this evening the Queen sent a telegraph saying all was well, but the poor wee Prince very small, and no wonder. There were at dinner Miss Bowater (I don't exactly know in what capacity, but she is an intimate friend of Prince Leopold—I was glad to see somebody under 40 !), Ly. Caroline, Countess Blucher, and Col. Ponsonby ; and we dined with Princess Louise and Prss. Hohenlohe. The dinner was certainly sepulchral, but the evening much helped by Prss. Louise showing Miss Bowater and me her photographs, and laughing and talking gaily. I was delighted to see photographs of Princess Royal's trio, of whom Pr. William seems like her brothers, Prss. Charlotte like her, and Pr. Albert something too ugly. There was a little playing.

08Jan1864, Shopping for the Second Waiting

HAMPTON COURT, Friday, January 8th, 1864.
—Frost felt less severe. 0 such a scramble of shopums as I have gone through ! That kindest of people, At. Yaddy, took me up to London this morning (darling Va with us), and under her auspices I have bought velvet and cloth cloaks, a hat, flowers, a bonnet, boots and shoes, gloves, collars and cuffs, a canezon, a sealskin muff, a linsey petticoat, a set of jet, a buckle, a set of studs, a fan, a new gown, etc., etc.

07Jan1864, Meriel's Third Baby

HAMPTON COURT, Thursday, January 7th, 1864.
— A commission or two, and then came the comfort and delight of driving to dear George St., going up to the baby's room, and having my 1st sight of her, hearing my old darling's voice calling me and finding her on her sofa in her pretty room, all warm and snug in the firelight : a picture of peace and brightness ! And such a delightful 2 hours of talk as followed : all my excitement and perturbation are stroked down ; Osborne itself puts on a less awful face ; for old Meriel has a calm good judgment and serenity about her that infect me. The baby is a decidedly improved version of George [FN: Mr. Justice Talbot.] at the same age, the same fair skin, shapely little head, and besides tiny taper hands ; but she is a great deal larger and has a prettier mouth. Of all dear couples George and Mary are certainly the dearest. He greeted me with the most beaming smiles and hugged me in his soft arms, knowing me perfectly but not coming out with my name for some time. His talk is ridiculously fluent, as is proper indeed for the eldest of three !—himself not 3, however, till June. He is a regular Talbot, both in looks and ways. I asked him if Xmas was gone. " It's not gone, it's come." On my becoming a horse for him to ride, he immediately became a tiger to jump upon me. When he was consulted as to the baby's name he at once suggested Bison.

06Jan1864, Dreading a Second Waiting

HAGLEY, Wednesday, January 6th, 1864. Epiphany.
—This good-bye to home is most disquieting, and fills me with every sort of anxiety and bewilderment. I dread Osborne very much—indeed I am altogether awed in looking forward ; and the one thing only can make me quiet-minded — "So long Thy Hand hath blessed me, sure it still will lead me on."

Friday, January 02, 2009

31Dec1863, Looking Forward with Awe

HAGLEY, Thursday, December 31st, 1863.
— . . . Last come my happy visits at Chatsworth and Hawarden. There is much in my heart to make me thoughtful, and to give me a sort of awe, in looking forward ; and if it were not for my trust—a faithful trust, though so weak and blind—in the Heavenly Guidance, I shd be full of restlessness and excitement. And as it is, I fear I shall be, sooner or later. But the Love of God has shone round us all for many years, through the shadows, and all the bright sunshine : to Him I would leave all the coming time, "casting all care upon Him, for He careth for us."

26Dec1863, Hallelujah Chorus

HAGLEY, Saturday, December 26th, 1863. St. Stephen's Day.
—I had a famous ride to Kinver Edge with Spencer and Arthur. I rode the Maid, and jumped clean over a gap, successfully. Cong. 3. The girls, Albert, Nevy, and Spencer and I had the treat of going to Birmingham to hear the "Messiah," which was performed admirably, the solo singers being Sims Reeves, Winn, Mme Rudersdorf, and Julia Elton. It was the 1st time the girls had heard an oratorio, and great was their enjoyment. I do believe one's joy in listening to the Hallelujah Chorus brings one nearer to Heaven than any other joy which is not directly religious.

23Dec1863, Swallows Seen

HAGLEY, Wednesday, December 23rd, 1863.
—Lovely and soft. A man writes word to the Times that he has seen swallows.

16Dec1863, Spade Makers Strike

HAGLEY, Wednesday, December 16th, 1863.
—They say it lightened early this morning. I wrote a long letter to M. Did district, where I found distress, owing to a strike among the spade makers. Sum-total I have collected there in the yr, mostly monthly pennies, 18s. 11½d.

14Dec1863, Something of a Dream

HAGLEY, Monday, December 14th, 1863.
—Lovely and very mild. This day 2 years ago the Prince Consort died. A Times leading article takes the opportunity to give the poor Queen another of its numerous lectures about coming out again, as if two years of the most piteous and terrible of all widowhoods was too much to allow for mourning ! At the same time it is only fair to say that the tone was loyal and loving, and full of respect for the Prince's memory.

I feel in something of a dream.

10Dec1863, A Most Delightful Ball

HAWARDEN, Thursday, December 10th, 1863.
—The most delightful ball I have ever had, beginning before 10, and ending after three. Asked to dance by Lds. Brabazon and F. Cavendish, Messrs. Tollemache, L'Estrange, Finch, Tracy, Ross, Stopford, Charles Robarts, Hugh Gladstone : and Aggie and I did Sir Roger.

09Dec1863, A Capital Little Dance

HAWARDEN, Wednesday, December 9th, 1863.
—A slight touch of frost. Arrived Ly. De Tabley and her 2 daughters, Ly. Louisa and the Miss Pennants, Ly. and Miss Seymour, Ld. Brabazon, Messrs. Tracy, L'Estrange, Stopford, Ross, Finch (the last 3 caught at Hagley by Atie. Pussy !), and then 2 Robertson Gladstone eldest sons. We had a capital little dance : I was asked by Messrs. Tollemache, L'Estrange, Hugh Gladstone, Ross, Stopford, Lds. F. Cavendish and Brabazon. Such was the number to-night that I went to evening church instead of to dinner ! to save space.

Odd subjects sometimes come uppermost when hardly to be expected : I have been discussing Church questions with Ld. F., and the end not justifying the means with Mr. Tollemache, in re charity balls and bazaars.

08Dec1863, A Visit from Ld. Frederic

HAWARDEN, Tuesday, December 8th, 1863.
—Same soft weather, turning to rain after luncheon. It was delicious walking to early church in the spring-like mildness. Breakfasted at the Rectory. Drove in the rain for an hour with Mrs. and Emily Mildmay and Agnes. Ld. Frederic came. Pleasant evening of whist. Mr. Tollemache,[FN: This, I think, must be Mr. Lionel Tollemache, author of "Talks with Mr. Gladstone," and other works.] though nearly blind and with a terrific stutter, is clever and can be agreeable.

07Dec1863, Leaving Chatsworth

HAWARDEN, December 7th, 1863.
—I left beautiful Chatsworth and all its nice kind people, at 9½.

05Dec1863, Viewing Hardwicke

CHATSWORTH, Saturday, December 5th, 1863.
—Stormy soft wind, with a good deal of small rain, and a beautiful sunset. Such a pleasant day ; Papa and I drove with the Duke and Ly. Louisa to Hardwicke where we spent 2 hours going over the wonderful old house : I wished for Tallee with her antiquarian tastes, and I do wish indeed for a head that would remember all the curious things. The drive there and back very enjoyable, in spite of boisterous wind and wet : Ly. L. and I capped verses coming home. Dinner pleasant, my neighbours being Lord Frederic and Mr. Ashby who are both nice.

04Dec1863, An Argument with Ld. Frederic

CHATSWORTH, Friday, December 4th, 1863.
—Fine, though grey. We came here, arriving about 12½. Saw nobody till luncheon time. Walked after luncheon very pleasantly to the rabbit-warren, whence the view was lovely, lit up with a sort of sunless brightness. Found a number of gentlemen shooting there. At dinner I got into an argument with Ld. Frederic Cavendish on the Church, which excited and interested me. I don't think I was wrong, as I did not introduce the topic on purpose ; but I wish I had been somebody who cd have convinced him !
Round game. There are here the Duke and Ly. Louisa, Ld. F. and Ld. Edward, Mr. and Ly. Fanny Howard and their 2 daughters, Ld. and Ly. George Cavendish, and their daughter, lately married to Mr. A. Egerton, Ly. Caroline Lascelles and her 3 daughters, of whom Emma [FN: Afterwards Lady Edward Cavendish ; mother of the present Duke of Devonshire.] is a new Maid-of-Honour like me, with her 1st waiting, however, still to come.

03Dec1863, Stranded in Derby

RAILWAY HOTEL, DERBY, Thursday, December 3rd, 1863.
—A day of adventures. First, such a hurricane of wind in the night as I have never heard, which only subsided a little in the day to rise again in the evening. Results in the park were two trees on Prince's Hill, one huge bough near the church and another in the avenue, and a fine chestnut in the shrubbery blown down. The morning I spent peacefully enough, entering the names in the club book for next year ; church, letters, etc. At 2½ set off with Gielen and Rowe, bound for Derby where Papa was to meet us at 6.20 and go on with us to Chatsworth. We got to Dudley with nothing more exciting to remark than the unfortunate station shed at Brettel Lane blown down upon its back. But on leaving Dudley my griefs began. First, Gielen bothered me with a disagreeable bit of abigailums [FN: Talk about servants' affairs.] ; squabbles between her and Ellen, which led, by the bye, to the latter giving me warning immediately after Prayers this morning. After Gielen had said her unpleasant say, I begged her to hold her tongue (not in those words), and morne silence prevailed for some time. Darkness fell, and we stopped dead for more than an hour at some horrible junction on the Dudley side of Burton, while the wind took the opportunity of howling wildly, accompanied by hail which encrusted the windows. The upshot was that we got to Derby at 7.40 instead of 6.20. No Papa ! And there we sat till past 10, waiting for the last London train—which never came in. At that hour into the waiting-room marched a maukin, with a telegram directing me to go to Chesterfield by the 8.15 train ! This delay was caused by the blowing down of the telegraph wires. Nothing now remained to me but to come here, and order dinner and beds. And I was comfortably writing this account of the day's proceedings, when Papa himself turned up, furious with the telegraph ; mutual explanations took place, and now bed, 0 bed !

30Nov1863, A Weary Evening

WITLEY, Monday, November 30th, 1863.
—I joined Papa at the station at 4 and came here with him. Find here Ld. Dudley, Mrs. Ward, her two very pretty daughters, Major Anson, and other gentlemen. A weary evening consisting of an hr and ¼'s waiting, then a long-drawn-out silent dinner, then sitting up till nearly 12½ , playing at a feeble sort of bowls! Our long drive from Kidderm St. was the pleasantest part, Papa and I having much to talk about.

28Nov1863, Spring

Saturday, November 28th, 1863.
—Lovely. Newmany has brought me a bunch of big fragrant violets ; the pear blossoms (misguided creatures) are coming out ; and the other day we shot wild geranium and a harebell in the hedge, not to speak of light green fern. The very words breathe of spring.

25Nov1863, The Homeless Poor

Wednesday, November 25th, 1863.
—Papers talk about the homeless poor, but nothing effectual is ever done : a poor man died of sheer starvation the other day.

21Nov1863, Billiards

HAGLEY, Saturday, November 21st, 1863.
—Rained with few intervals all day : about 3.20 there was a hurricane of hail. At. E. turned up at 1 for an inauguration game of billiards on the newly cloth'd table in the hall, in which I made the 1st stroke, while she won the game. Billiards, Quartets, "Romeo and Juliet" with the girls.

16Nov1863, Godley's Letters From America

HAGLEY, Monday, November 16th, 1863.
—I am reading Mr. Godley's letters to Mr. Adderley with gt interest : there is one in '43, treating of the terrible state of things then—misery of the working classes, and luxury of the upper—which anticipates, as if no one cd be surprised at such a result, an outbreak like the Fr. revolution : and which finds comfort in the Church movement then beginning to make way, as a counteracting and energetic principle opposed to the evils of the time. And to think that we have weathered the storm ! It gives one courage to face all the new and different dangers which are now around us. "Though I am sometime afraid, yet put I my trust in Thee," are words which true Religion and Loyalty might—and do, I think—take for their motto. There must be mighty prayers shielding our country, and much faith and love leavening it, or there could not be in it such life and earnestness working among all its terrible sin and darkness.

07Nov1863, Sounds Distsurb Unprotected Females

HAGLEY, Saturday, November 7th, 1863.
—A great deal of drizzle, but rather a pleasant mild afternoon. Abberley the deepest purple. We had a little fright last night to break into the monotony of life. Hearing mysterious sounds, as of knocking at a shutter, and steps on the gravel under my window at 11½ , I called up Newmany, and she called up Shirtliffe, and both called up Jane Brown, who was attired in the most astonishing huge frilled mob-cap. A footman upstairs was sought for in vain, so the 1st-mentioned trio of witches prowled down the wooden stairs, and by dint of 5 or 6 peals at the drawing-room bell, we elicited a response from William, who appeared dimly in the distance on Elly's stairs, and protests he had heard nothing, knew of nothing, and nothing was to be found. So we all went back to bed again, rather flat and very cold. This morning I solemnly summoned William, and soon the cat came out of the bag. "To tell the truth, Ma'am, I had been out smoking a pipe of tobacco !" and he was the tapper at the pantry window, at 11 he says ; but I maintain at 11½ , the doors being then all locked. I next had a pompous interview with Herbert and begged him to let a man sleep upstairs, while we are a set of unprotected females ; and he will restrict William and his pipe to more respectable hours. Peace then resumed her sway.

03Nov1863, The Servants' Ball

HAGLEY, Tuesday, November 3rd, 1863.
— Grim weather. A splendid servants' ball, to which came Stourbridge tradespeople and Hagley farmers, ended our week's doings ; and perhaps was the merriest and most spirited thing of all. The only drawback, but 0 dear, it was a great one, was dear old Elly knocking up this very day, and having to go to bed ; so that she missed the servants' ball for the 1st time. Charles had to go down the middle with Gielen, which was very flat. But great was the fun. I had Herbert ; Lavinia, Rowe ; May, Robson ; Edward, Shirtliffe ; Alfred, Jane Brown ; Johnny Mooreman ; Miss Merlet, Stephens ! In Sir Roger it was pretty to see Charles lift up Alfred that the couples might duck under his little arm. Before supper, Papa made them all a little speech, thanking them warmly for all their good feeling and heartiness. This seems to have delighted them all extremely : 3 cheers followed and another ("and a good one too") for Charles, and then the "Fine Old English Gentleman," Stephens solo, everybody chorus, and fiddle obbligato. Papa having incautiously said he hoped they wd stay as long as it suited them, we heard they kept it up till 6½ ! and many of our servants didn't go to bed at all. Great was the enthusiasm for Papa and Charles, as Newmany told us afterwards, and altogether it puts another warm bit of gratification into one's heart.

02Nov1863, A Dinnery Given by the Gentry

HAGLEY, Monday, November 2nd, 1863.
—Alas, alas, exeunt Granny, At. Coque, and Ly. Estcourt. Granny has been here 4 months, with a short interval. A dinner was given to Papa and Ch. by the gentry, which was as successful as everything else, only poor old Charles at last made one recollect that it was his 7th speech on the subject, and hesitated a little ; but ended well with some pretty words about his love for the place and neighbourhood. "The retired medical man," who has been all along beside himself with enthusiasm, was there, clapping fervently. On its being suggested that "the ladies" ought to have some wine, he flew up to me with a glass of claret, and such were his feelings that he could utter nothing but "I hope . . ." Mike Grazebrook was in the chair, and spoke at some length quite remarkably well and strikingly. Old John, at a moment's warning, had to propose the Army, Navy, Yeomanry, and Volunteers, and did it capitally. As we came home, we found, to our grief, that one of the fine old avenue elms had been blown down right across the road, and indeed the wind has been tremendous. Granny's health was drunk, Papa returning thanks beautifully.

01Nov1863, Mad Hypotheses

HAGLEY, November 1st, 1863. All Saints' Day, 22nd Sunday after Trinity.
—This was a day of real peace after all our happy but exciting and overpowering week. Dear Sunday comes like a chime of bells over all the bustle of life, with its "sweet thoughts of peace." Uncle B. preached on All Saints, Mr. Stayner on being good. Having a remarkable croak in my voice which reached its climax a day or two back, I had no class, and much enjoyed the leisure. At dinner Ly. Estcourt gave vent to the following singular remark : "If my mother had been a boy, and if I had been a boy, I shd have been Lord Lyttelton !" Which led to a great many mad hypotheses of the same nature.

30Oct1863, The Tenants' Dinner

HAGLEY, Friday, October 30th, 1863.
— Weather howled again all night and nearly all day. Addresses have poured in-50 tenants dined at the Arms, Papa and Charles Mathews, etc., spoke : M., girls, J., and I came in for a little while to hear them. Charles wisely took the facetious line, as it was plain enough the stolid party wd have been entirely unmoved by any expressions of feeling. As it was, some of them laughed till they were purple, when he said his knowledge of farming consisted chiefly in his being aware that when turnips were good the partridges lay better in them, and that when fences were well kept, he found wounded birds in them the sooner, and was less likely to tumble off when riding at them. The cheers were famous. A great melting away of guests took place, none being left but Lady Estcourt.

29Oct1863, A Gentlemen's Dinner

HAGLEY, Thursday, October 29th, 1863.
—The kind weather, which I do think I shall never abuse again, having done all that could be expected of it, and more, naturally gave way to its feelings to-day, and we had a most astonishing howl of wind and rain nearly all the morning. But nothing happened to-day except a highly successful and delightful dinner at Halesowen, to which went all the gentlemen except Lord Wenlock and Ralph Neville, who stayed at home and squired us. They all came home about 11½ in tremendous spirits, everyone having spoken, except John ; Albert returned thanks for Granny ! Uncle W. excelled himself, and was full of praise of Charles' speech (saying he had the making of a good speaker, which I note down for the benefit of futurity) ; Mr. Ross and Ld. J. Hervey both spoke capitally ; in short all was charming. To-day went away Braybrooks, and Ric., I think.

28Oct1863, More Celebrations

HAGLEY, Wednesday, October 28th, 1863. SS. Simon and Jude.
—Old Nevy's birthday ; like Charles, he spends it at home for the 1st time since he went to school, 10 years ago. The weather was exactly what one wanted ; bright and pleasant, with gleams of sunshine breaking out. Breakfast was rather promiscuous, between 10 and 11, everybody appeared in high spirits, and delighted with last night's success. Church at 11½, with about 40 people ! which was very nice to see, after a ball.
The labourers' dinner, which included all, in and out of the parish, who work for tenants, was at 1. 250 men were the numbers. Capn. Wolrige spoke very well, proposing C.'s health, and presented an excellent address, signed by nearly all the parish : Chs. responded in another excellent little speech, and thanked good old Dilworth for a splendid basket of fruit. Then Uncle Wm. got up to give Papa's health, which he did most beautifully, speaking of the one terrible shadow over all this joyful time ; Papa's answer dwelt upon it for a little while in a way that moved and overcame me indeed ! but I was so glad that her dear name was not left out at such a time as this, when the longing for her presence—for her to be there if only once to smile upon her boy whom she wd have been so proud of —was so deep in one's heart. The one thing wanting : surely meant to draw our thoughts upward where she is, and remind us of the better things, when we might be rejoicing overmuch in all this earthly pride and happiness. Oh, darling Mammie, you may have looked down upon him ! you may have been praying for him with the pure prayer of those who are with Christ !
After this, all went to the park for games, which were very successful, and then came the poor women's tea, most comfortable, amusing, and satisfactory. Great was the delight when Uncle William dandled a twarly Meredith twin, and made it quite good ; also my telling them all they were each to drink 10 cups of tea was reckoned an excellent joke. Kind At. Yaddy and I marched off to the lodge with a jug of tea, 4 pieces of cake, 6 (I think) bits of bread and butter, about 8 slices of meat and 13 lumps of sugar, for Mary Page and Widow Read, who couldn't get to the Arms. Fire balloons and red and blue lights came off at night, and the perron (the hideousness of whose ball-awning was quite made up for by evergreens, flowers, and flags) looked lovely with innumerable little lamps. Our huge horse-shoe dinner went off with éclat, as did the evening spent in the hall and billiard-room, enlivened by At. Y's singing. I gave old Nevy a print, at sight of which he fell on my neck with a burst of affection !

Thursday, January 01, 2009

27Oct1863, Charles Turns 21

HAGLEY, Tuesday, October 27th, 1863.
—A red-letter day, adding to the many that shine out at intervals through my life. Not that it was by any means a day of unmixed enjoyment ; on the contrary, I don't think I began really to enjoy myself (such was one's anxiety) till after midnight ! But it was a day of deep thankfulness, and awakened bright hopes for the future. The events that happened to mark dear old Charles' birthday were guns fired early in the morning ; a procession of the school with garlands and flags to the back of the house, where they sung, and an address to Papa was read by Stephens ; wine and cake were given to all the children at the school ; and finally a ball given to all the county (about 500), including the Duc and Duchesse d'Aumale and the Prince de Condé. We received in the hall and the billiard-room : danced in the gallery and drawing-room : supper in the dining-room, tea in the library, Papa's two rooms cloakrooms. There arrived to-day Wenlocks, Braybrookes, Neville Grenvilles, Mrs. Charles Robartes, and, to sleep in the village, Lord John Manners, Ld. John Hervey, Messrs. C. and H. Wynne, Ross (the gt rifle shot), Stopford Selfe and Stewart. Also C. Robartes slept out. At the school was Charles's first speech, my first time of hearing him : his opening sentence was enough to relieve one's fright as to how he wd do it. It was really perfect : simple and to the point, forgetting no one, and just the right length. One word about Papa my wretched head has managed to retain. After saying something of desire to be like him, "not that I can hope to emulate him, for who could?" The simplicity of this made it so much better than a long compliment. After this had ended with tremendous cheers from all the children, some of us went to church, where the Psalms for the day spoke to one's feelings at the time, as they always do in every marked circumstance of life. The 126th, 127th, and 128th psalms put into words all that could come into one's heart about Papa, and left one with a happy trust that the blessings there spoken of would long be his. "Blessed are all they that fear the Lord, and walk in His ways."

The monster dinner of 38 people came off at six : we had to sit round the room at a horseshoe table ! In the middle of it arrived the Wenlocks ; about 9½ the guests began to arrive ; old Meriel helped me to receive them, and looked so handsome in her lace. The Royal people came early, and were established on a little dais opposite the fireplace in the gallery. The Duc was exceedingly gracious and pleasant : in the first Quadrille he and I danced, Charles with the Duchesse vis-à-vis ; the Prince de Conde proved to be very pleasant and conversible too ; talked a good deal about his dislike of having to go for his "stoodees to ze continent," and so missing the season ; and announced that he was quite an Englishman, except as to politics. "How should I be elsewise ?" I couldn't help thinking his English might have been a little less unmistakably French, therefore ! Till supper, I was a little unhappy : the room grew terribly hot and the crowd certainly was ; but everybody seemed exceedingly jovial. We went in state to supper at 12 ; the Royalties had a round table apart under the middle window, where was a small platform. Papa, At. Yaddy, Granny, Atie. P. , and I sat down with them and I suppose about 200 people squeezed into the room, the rest remaining in the drawing-room, and as many as possible in the doorway. In progress of time, the Duke mounted the platform and made an excellent speech proposing Charles's health, very fluent and graceful, in spite of the strongest French accent ; and then dear old Charles got up, and stood for some minutes while everybody cheered him. He did look grand, with his face softened by feeling, and a little paler than usual. He spoke slowly, especially when what he said moved them, and there was a manly modesty about his manner that went straight to one's heart. He thanked them all most heartily, and then dwelt really beautifully on how he felt that he owed their kindness entirely to their love for Papa, reserving nothing for himself, and how he knew he cd say nothing stronger than that he hoped to follow his example. Spoke of hoping soon to know them all, and of always remembering their kindness. Oh dear ! if I cd but remember it all ! It was such real happiness to hear him give expression to such deep and true feeling : I always instinctively felt that he had it in his heart, but his reserve is so great that he has hardly ever spoken out anything of the sort, and now to hear him say he rejoiced to be able "thus publically and emphatically" to express his sense of all Papa's example was to him, and his hope that he should prove himself not altogether unworthy of it, was an overpowering joy to me. . . . I went out of the room with a light heart indeed ! but had a blow in missing Papa's speech, which was unexpected, Ld. Dudley giving his health after we had marched out. It was beautiful, all say who heard it. The last guests got away about 1/4 4, and the happy, successful end of everything rubbed out all the previous anxieties, and I can only repeat that it was a red-letter day.

26Oct1863, Mrs. Gladstone in Mama's Room

HAGLEY, Monday, October 26th, 1863.
—Raw yellow fog. Ld. George and Ric. Quin, Atie. P. and Agnes, Uncles Stephen and Henry and the 5 boys came. I stayed in to get rid of the end of my cold. Ld. George [FN: Lord George Quin married Lady Georgiana Spencer, sister of Sarah, Lady Lyttelton.] has never been here since before Meriel's birth.

Atie. Pussy is in the dear room, never used till now since the night when our darling [FN: Lady Frederick's mother, Lady Lyttelton.] rested there in her arms and then passed to the blessed repose of the Everlasting Arms.

23Oct1863, A walk with Aunt Yaddy

HAGLEY, Friday, October 23rd, 1863.
—Slight morning frost, but became very mild : a profoundly still, hazy day. I walked with At. Y. (Adelaide Seymour) We were audience to two splendid triumphal arches in the avenue.

19Oct1863, More Preparations

HAGLEY, Monday, October 19th, 1863.
—Most delightfully soft and warm, though cloudy all day. I went to Birmingham, after oilcloth, satin shoes, blotting-books, winter jackets for the girls, and a print for Nevy. The gallery floor begins to assume a lovely light toffee hue, by dint of rubbing. At. Yaddy came. It's odd to see her here in autumn, and without her little couple, who are recruiting at Brighton. She is full of the departure of the Spencers, who have set off for Egypt with Tallee, he having not recovered all his strength after inflammation of the lungs. Thus we lose the three people we most wanted for the do-ment (Mary Page's forcible word for doings). Letters : fr Albert and Bob. I missed Church.

15Oct1863, Getting Ready

HAGLEY, Thursday, October 15th, 1863.
—The billiard-room was transformed into an elegant Louis XV "salon," with the drawing-room furniture, china, etc. Gallery emptied and uncarpeted. A little parochial toddle with May.

13Oct1863, Step-carpetums and ball-chairums

HAGLEY, Tuesday, October 13th, 1863.
—A good deal of rain : still mild. Big club day. It's pleasant to see these girls come back as cheerfully and heartily to their work after such a holyday. The sort of thing that used to try me beyond anything ! Cong. [FN: I.e., congregation at church, exclusive of Hall and Rectory.] 2. Girls, Miss M., and I took pudding to Mrs. Burford, and visited the Stringers' new house. Paperums, perron-awning-ums, step-carpetums, ball-chairums, stableums.

01Oct1863, Guizot's Charles I

HAGLEY, Thursday, October 1st, 1863.
—I translated and finished Guizot's " Charles I," finding myself as much moved at the account of the King's death as I was on reading it in Clarendon 9 or 10 years ago, although I do now see, very unwillingly, the faults of the Royal martyr.

26Sep1863, Mobs and Riots

HAGLEY, Saturday, September 26th, 1863.
—Lovely golden day, with a few heavy showers, after a night lit up with a harvest moon that dazzled one to look at. I saw a little black cloud, just like an armed man, march up to her in a threatening manner, and vanish into nothing on coming within the influence of her pure and steadfast rays.

To dinner came Sir Th. Philips : disturbances, mobs, and riots were talked of ; and Charles and I showed our ring at recollecting something about the Chartist riots in '48 ; especially how we were sent into the Green Park as likely to be a quiet place, and how yells in the distance drove us home in double quick time. Also there is an impression on both our minds of a bludgeon ; not unnaturally, as Papa was a Special Constable.

19Sep1863, Reading Shakespeare

HAGLEY, Saturday, September 19th, 1863.
—Began "Henry VIII" with Arthur who likes both poetry in general and Shakespeare in particular.

18Sep1863, Sankoo

HAGLEY, Friday, September 18th, 1863.
—Busy most of the morning after church in going over the rooms with Elly : we shall be 30 in the house, besides servants, if we live till dread October. Played at billiards with At. E. and afterwards walked parochially with her. Took a partridge to Mrs. Stringer, who held up her hands in speechless bliss before bursting into gratitude —poor old body. Met sweet Mary and Annie Herbert in their little white sun-bonnets, out of which they look at one with shining open eyes of a kind peculiar, I think, to tiny maidens under 5. Said their new sister was to be called Lucy. "Is baby well?" "Ess, sankoo." Also took pudding to the Mrs. Meredith with twins, which have both lived after all.

16Sep1863, Sedate Pleasures

HAGLEY, Wednesday, September 16th, 1863.
—Fine, serene, mild day. At. Coque, Lavinia, and May set out for "Orchard Neville" (late Baltonsborough) en route for Antony ; whose name recalls to me one of the very happiest and merriest weeks in my life. I think these girls much enjoy the prospect, but they enjoy things (especially Lava) as grown-up people do, to whom life has a little outgrown its freshness : take events and pleasures, I mean, with sedateness ; I have never seen them really carried off their legs with excitement, or anything like it. And this is a little sad at their age. Poor pussy's [FN: Lavinia] head discomforts account for a good deal, no doubt.

14Sep1863, My First Waiting Ends

HAGLEY, Monday, September 14th, 1863.
—And so it is over ! I almost feel as if I had spent a fortnight here. It is peaceful and pleasant indeed to think I have gone through my first waiting and really without a rub. The Queen was to go to Balmoral this evening, but we were allowed to go early. Got home in time for dinner. We did certainly make a noise ! and the evening was a funny contrast to my last four.

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.

12Sep1863, Beginning to Like Court Life

WINDSOR, Saturday, September 12th, 1863.
—Fine, but rather misty and Novembery. I have got rid of "les vapeurs" and begin rather to like Court life ! I asked leave to go to S. George's in the morning (more like a peggy than ever ! " Please'm, may I go out for an hour ? "). Little I thought on the great marriage day when I shd next be in the glorious Chapel ! The singing lovely. Anthem, "0 sing joyfully," not very pretty. Then came my own room. At luncheon were several Privy Councillors. Ld. Palmerston, his beauty much impaired by particularly bad slate-coloured false teeth, the D. of Newcastle, looking ill, Ld. Granville, Sir George Grey, Sir Andrew Buchanan. Horatia rode with Prss. Helena and P. Arthur. The Queen went, unattended, to plant a new oak in the place of Herne's oak, which has lately fallen. I walked with Ly. Ely from 5 till 4 to 7 : she sent a cold chill through me by saying I shd very likely dine with the Queen to-morrow. Sir T. Biddulph and Ly. Augusta Bruce dined : Ly. Biddulph came in the evening. The same party, transposing Sir Thomas for Gen. Seymour, played whist. Prss. Louise sent for Horatia, and cried and sobbed at the thoughts of losing her on Monday, after their long bit at Osborne together. The same soft heart and quick affections that Granny found in the elder ones. Letters : fr. Papa, Atie. P., Meriel. To Atie. P., At. C. and At. Yaddy. The sentries presented arms to Ly. Ely and me ! misled by the Queen's little dog, who was with us, and who doubtless took all the honour to himself.

11Sep1863, Poor Peggies

WINDSOR, Friday, September 11th, 1863.
—Oh dear, I shall sympathize for the rest of my life with poor peggies [FN: I.e. maidservants.] launched at their first place ! To-day has taught me what it is to "feel strange." I am not naturally shy ; and the actual bathing-feel has pretty nearly gone off, but I am unked and forlorn, in spite of everybody's kindness. Ly. Ely took me to the kennels (mem. 16 puppies), the lovely dairy, and to Frogmore, where the mausoleum, which does so jar upon one's English feelings, is still being worked at. The Queen goes there daily. Ly. Ely told me much that was interesting the while. After breakfast we were in the corridor, when the Queen came in with the children. Prss. Louise brought little darling Prss. Beatrice up to me and I kissed her tiny hand. She is not pretty, but has a dear little intelligent face. The little Princes were at the kennels in the aftn, when Miss Stopford and I passed. They called, and we joined them. Prince Arthur is very handsome, if only he looked more like 13 years old ; but he is wonderfully small. Prince Leopold has a funny, waggish face, with the brightest blue eyes ; he is miserably thin and puny, though they think him stronger : Lady Caroline Barrington told me the doctors hardly expect him to live—poor darling ! Miss Stopford told me much about Prss. Louise, whom she has been with at Osborne. H.R.H. seems to be rather naughty, with a mischievous will of her own ; draws beautifully.

Miss S. and I had a pleasant walk, seeing the old porter at the garden gate, and the tombstone to the memory of a magpie he loved. I was afraid the dinner wd be worse than last night, as Miss S. (who begs me to call her Horatia) and Ly. Ely dined with the Queen ; but it was not dreadful ; I had to sweep down the stately interminable corridor all by myself to dinner ; but luckily caught Ly. Caroline. In the evening, Gen. Grey and I, Ly. C. and Gen. Seymour played at whist ! which made the time go pleasantly.

10Sep1863, First Day as Maid-of-Honour

WINDSOR, Thursday, September 10th, 1863.
—The much-to-be-remembered day of my first entering upon Maid-of-Honour duties. I left Hagley at 9, inside out with bathing-feel, reached London in time for a scramble of indispensable shopping, and thence to Windsor, which looked noble and ethereal, bathed in hazy sunset light, as we came in sight of it. I was shown up to 2 snug little rooms by a comfortable old body, and soon made the acquaintance of Miss Stopford and Miss Kerr, who came to me. They are both together here by some mistake ; but it is very pleasant for me. Miss Stopford has won my heart, and I wish she was to be my colleague (Miss Cathcart, a dread being, is to be). They were most kind, comforting me by declaring my clothes all right. Lady Ely next came in, and took me to Ly. Caroline Barrington, and next I saw Lady Augusta Bruce for a few minutes. All kind and comfortable. I was prepared for finding the dinner and evening silent and stiff ; but it was much better than I expected. Present, Lady Ely, the two above named Maids-of-Honour, Lord Caithness, General Seymour, Colonel Liddell, Major Cowell, M. Buff, Major Elphinstone. The Queen dines apart now. The sotto-voce conversation on very Courtly and regal subjects was impressive ! And I confess I was also impressed by the 8 noiseless servants and indeed by all I saw. 0 the dignity and beauty of the corridor and rooms ! After dinner, Miss S. and Miss C. having disappeared, I was sitting alone with Ly. Ely, when one of the noiseless servants came and said : " Her Majesty desires your Ladyship to bring Miss Lyttelton into the corridor." So kind Ly. Ely put my arm in hers, and I went, trembling. The Queen came forward from the end of the corridor, and gave me her hand with all the grace and gentle dignity of old times. And 0 what it was to kiss her hand again, for the first time since I saw her at the height of her happiness, without so much as a shadow cast before by the dark sorrow in store for her ! I can't exactly tell what it is in her face which is altered, for she looks well ; but she has gained an expression which there used not to be : her grief has set its stamp there, but so as to refine and ennoble it. Her sweet and kindly smile went to my heart. She asked after Granny, Papa, At. Coque, and "Meriel," saying of the latter, " She has two children, has she not ? " Said more than once that I was like Mamma, but also like Aunt Lavinia. Lady Ely said I was nervous; the Queen said smiling, "Nervous ! 0 no ; she will soon get over that," or words to that effect. She then beckoned up the 2 Princesses who were with her ; they both kissed me. Prss. Louise is very pretty—Prss. Helena asked after " Laddle " [FN: Lady Lyttelton, Lady Frederick's grandmother.] — Prince Alfred was in the distance (grown rather fat), also pretty Prince Arthur. The interview lasted only a few minutes ; but after it was over, I shd have liked nothing better than rushing off somewhere and having a good cry ; instead of which I had to go back in a very tremulous state to the solemn drawing-room, where we sat round a table the rest of the evening, and were rather dull. I went to bed tired with excitement.

09Sep1863, A Bewitching Linsey

HAGLEY, Wednesday, September 9th, 1863.
—Mild and fine, but with something of the Novr. look and feel. My bathing-feel "va crescendo." I drove with At. E. and May to Stourbridge, and falling in love with a bewitching linsey, bought it against winter for 33s. ; 12 yds.