Monday, June 01, 2009

23Jul1866, We Might As Well Be French

LONDON, July 23rd, 1866.
—I went to a meeting at Stafford House for promoting Saturday half-holydays. Then to see Emma, who was yesterday not at all well, but is all right to-day. The "populace," poor souls, having been goaded all the summer for not making any demonstration in favour of Reform, wished to hold a big meeting in Hyde Park to-day to express such an opinion. In a most un-English fashion the meeting was forbidden, the gates of the park shut at 5, and all the police had to come out to guard them. There was not the smallest pretext for believing there would have been any riot ; but naturally this tyranny produced one among the roughs, who uprooted the rails (probably they were pushed down, being rotten), and remained masters of the field. The Life Guards were called out, which was not done in '48, and which was truly absurd as they did nothing whatever ; and the people dispersed in time after some knocks had been exchanged. We might as well be French authorities, screwing down the safety-valve ! and very nice and high-minded it will read on the Continent. Auntie P. went to the London Hospital to-day, and was dismayed at the number of cholera patients. She went down their ward. A ton of ice a week is used for them. God help them !

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