Monday, April 13, 2009

26Sep1865, Lou and Frank are Married

HOLKER, September 26th, 1865.
Frank and Lou were married in Cartmel Church, and, 0 dear, I am almost too tired and pompé to say anything about it. But must. The weather quite perfect ; warm and serene and sunny, and with breeze enough to wave the flags with which house, church, and villages were adorned. Nothing could have been nicer than the feeling shown by all the people : it went through and through one. The day, of course, managed to be endless ; every hour taking 2 hours to pass ; owing to the big intervals between acts. The church was carpeted with red-cloth and looked its best. I did not expect to be upset by the service which is a calming thing, I think ; but when dear Lou came up the choir with the poor Duke, to the sound of a beautiful wedding-hymn, and one looked at her dear, tall, bending figure standing by her father, to whom she has been all the world !—Cavendish's face, too, struck me and moved me exceedingly—full of deep feeling which I had never seen called forth in him before. My poor Fred's love for her I knew all about, and pretty well Eddy's too ; so that I did not wonder at their regularly crying—and could only be a little glad that they have wives to comfort them ! I can't go into all the details of the cheers, the crowds, and the triumphant arches : everything meant the same : true, loving enthusiasm. It was a pretty compliment to Frank, the sticking up in the arches divers little ships, full rig—but he was rather distressed at one being a merchantman. When we got home, following immediately after the Duke (who drove back with Cavendish and Eddy—without her, 0 dear !), and I came upon him standing alone in the corridor, if you had shot me I couldn't have helped it, I went up and kissed him and squeezed his hand. It was the very spot where he kissed me so kindly when Freddy first brought me to Holker, and ever since Lou has been a sister to me. Then I made Frank kiss me, which he did very warmly. She kept herself composed with some difficulty, and broke down more than once in private ; especially when Cavendish went to her room before, and was much overcome himself. Most of us went to the tenants' dinner which I would not have missed for anything. The Duke could not trust himself to go, so Cavendish returned thanks for him, his voice trembling, and his face quite white. What he said was perfect, in its simplicity and depth of feeling : it gives me a new affection for him, showing me how tender his heart is. Freddy and Eddy each had to say a word or two of thanks for their healths being drunk. Fred spoke very well. At last came the going away, and I realized fully for the first time how terribly we shall all miss her, and Freddy and I went upstairs and cried frightfully. The three kept much with their father, and it was very comforting to see them with him, and to know that they are almost like daughters to him.
For about 24 hours, I should say, judging by the exhaustion that followed, we stood on a bench against the garden wall, being great audience to games ; and finally the evening blew up in fireworks, and that's all I can put down about it. P.S.---Lord Granville was married to his 18-year-old bride to-day : and they telegraphed congratulations, which were returned.

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