Friday, January 09, 2009

11Apr1864, Garibaldi Arrives

LONDON, Monday, April 11th, 1864.
—We spent a notable aftn in a window of the Privy Council Office ; Atie. P., Agnes, and I, with Ld. Frederic and Mr. Palgrave, waiting to see Garibaldi pass, on his way to Stafford House, which takes him in. We waited, and so did the great crowd that had assembled, till 6½, when at last, some time after a long procession of Working Men's Clubs and societies, with banners, had passed, the great man appeared in a carriage-and-six, wearing a blue-and-red cloak and wideawake. I suppose such a scene as has greeted him has never before been known, and never could be but in England. All the working people, of their own free will and enthusiasm, turned out in his honour ; nobody directed or controlled them (very few policemen), and to be sure it is grand to feel and see the perfect trust that may be placed in the mighty free action of Englishmen and their sympathy with what is high-minded and disinterested. They poured and flocked round the carriage, shaking hands, waving hats and handkerchiefs ; and he was accompanied all up the street by unbroken cheers. We were tolerably knocked up, even I ; yet I with Mary and Helen went after dinner to the Bishop of London's, to hear a woman read (not particularly well) passages (mostly beautiful) from Shakespeare, Tennyson, etc. The W.E.G.'s afterwds to Stafford House to meet Garibaldi ; poor Aggie to bed.

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