Tuesday, January 06, 2009

14Jan1864, Die Or Go Out of Her Mind

Thursday, January 14th, 1864.
—Yesterday's weather aggravated. Poor Miss Bowater heard of her cousin's death, and went away in great trouble, thus interrupting the early growth between us of a very promising friendship : indeed I miss her much as the only companion among all these elderly people. I walked with Lady Churchill, who is a most winning and attractive person ; quite the most highbred-looking woman I ever saw, and with the kindest and most simple, unaffected manner : tall, dignified, and graceful, with a small noble head ; and her whole look reminding one of a gazelle. Saw Prss. Helena for a moment in Miss B.'s room : she received me very kindly ; interests one from her gentle, thoughtful expression, and lovely smile like the Queen's, on a face otherwise plain. Her manner is like one who has thought and done too much for her age, and been a comforter when others are only thinking of being merry-makers. Spent the aftn in my own room after the announcement of "No orders," till tea, after which kind, nice Countess Blucher took me to her room, where we had pleasant talk till 6¼. She spoke strongly of the improvement that strikes her in the Queen since her terrible loss : increased seriousness and patient earnestness in doing her duties, which are so heavy that the Queen has sometimes said they are too much for any woman ; and who can tell how terribly she must miss the Prince whose advice she used to ask in every detail, great and small ! Why won't people realize the burden and loneliness, and thank God for the strength He has given, instead of fretting at her not doing this and that ! Countess Blucher said that when Princess Hohenlohe heard of the Prince's death, the Countess found her walking up and down the room in real despair and saying, "One of two things must happen to my sister : I know her. She must either die of this, or go out of her mind." Isn't it a direct answer to prayer that instead of this the Queen is well, doing her duty, and resigned so entirely to God's Will that she said herself she wd not wish him back? The Household dinner consisted of the Dean and Mrs. Wellesley, Ly. Churchill, Col. Ponsonby, M. Holtzmann, and Mrs. Bruce ; and I was interested all thro' dinner talking of languages with M. Holtzmann ; and whist enlivened the evening.

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