Friday, January 02, 2009

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 !

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