Saturday, May 02, 2009

01Feb1866, The Great Man Gives Fred a Speech

LONDON, February 1st, 1866.
—We went across the way, and F. had a sit with Uncle Wm. who gave him the heads of the Queen's Speech ; which are ticklish enough to handle, what with Fenianism, Jamaica, Cattle-plague, and Reform Bill. Would it were all triumphantly over ! Fenianism, though apparently aimless and frantic as to organisation and object, is a terrible symptom of the miserable cankers of Ireland. The hope about vaccination is pretty nearly at an end. More than 10,000 beasts were attacked by the last week's return. Farmers and even gentry are ruined or 1/2 ruined. Cheshire is the worst county. Joints of beef are 1s. a lb., which is a cheat just now, as the market is full of meat ; but by and bye higher prices are inevitable.

F. went to a meeting about improving poor people's houses in Westminster, and to the House for the 1st time as M.P. to help re-elect the Speaker. I drove with Auntie P. and Mary (the great man with us part of the way, in high force) in the well-known old park, with a handful of riders adorning it already.

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