Friday, January 09, 2009

15Apr1864, I Am in a New Life

WINDSOR, Friday, April 15th, 1864.
—The quiet monotonous day, outwardly so like my 1st days of waiting, had this wonderful undertone running through it, and I am in a new life. If I could only feel more comprehensibly : see more clearly ! But I trust to God's Love for that. I wrote to my little Bob, and to Papa and Atie. P. Walked and drove with Miss Cathcart. Ly. Jocelyn is Ly.-in-Waiting. The Queen has got neuralgia in her face, and has accordingly put off the reception that was to have been to-morrow. The Duke and Duchess of Argyll came to dinner. At bedtime the dear kind little Duchess took me to her room, and kissed me, and said how good he was. 0 that I may deserve it all !

14Apr1864, Foolish and Bewildered

WINDSOR, Thursday, April 14th, 1864.
—Ld. Frederic came to breakfast. After luncheon Ly. Louisa came to see me. I strive to lean entirely on the Loving Hand which has led me all my life long until now, and has ordered this for me. But I seem frightened, in spite of the strange happiness. God make it right for me ! God guide me in my decision ! I am so foolish and bewildered. It is a thought full of peace that I am surrounded with many prayers. I came here, where all feels dreamlike to me. Darling Meriel came to Carlton Terrace, saw Ly. Louisa, and took me to the station.

13Apr1864, A Memorable Evening

Wednesday, April 13th, 1864.
W.E.G.'s dined at Stafford House, to meet Garibaldi : We went there in the evening. And it was to be a never-to-be-forgotten evening to me.

12Apr1864, Luncheon with Garibaldi

LONDON, Tuesday, April 12th, 1864.
—I bkfasted in Geo. St., whence, to my delight, I was summoned by Atie. P., an invitation to a Chiswick luncheon given to Garibaldi having been sent to me. So I saw the great man close ; and was immensely struck by his simple dignity of manner during the trying process of being introduced to different people by the Dow. Dss. of Sutherland. One saw his mind was too great and humble for shyness. I had a very happy afternoon. Ld. Frederic (who was at Chiswick) came to high tea with us, and thence with us to the Adelphi, where "Leah" was acted.

11Apr1864, Garibaldi Arrives

LONDON, Monday, April 11th, 1864.
—We spent a notable aftn in a window of the Privy Council Office ; Atie. P., Agnes, and I, with Ld. Frederic and Mr. Palgrave, waiting to see Garibaldi pass, on his way to Stafford House, which takes him in. We waited, and so did the great crowd that had assembled, till 6½, when at last, some time after a long procession of Working Men's Clubs and societies, with banners, had passed, the great man appeared in a carriage-and-six, wearing a blue-and-red cloak and wideawake. I suppose such a scene as has greeted him has never before been known, and never could be but in England. All the working people, of their own free will and enthusiasm, turned out in his honour ; nobody directed or controlled them (very few policemen), and to be sure it is grand to feel and see the perfect trust that may be placed in the mighty free action of Englishmen and their sympathy with what is high-minded and disinterested. They poured and flocked round the carriage, shaking hands, waving hats and handkerchiefs ; and he was accompanied all up the street by unbroken cheers. We were tolerably knocked up, even I ; yet I with Mary and Helen went after dinner to the Bishop of London's, to hear a woman read (not particularly well) passages (mostly beautiful) from Shakespeare, Tennyson, etc. The W.E.G.'s afterwds to Stafford House to meet Garibaldi ; poor Aggie to bed.

09Apr1864, Viewing Herbert's Painting with Lord F.

LONDON, Saturday, April 9th, 1864.
Atie. P. whisked off to the H. of Charity, then to be photographed ; and after luncheon, to which came Ld. Frederic and Ld. Richard Cavendish, and Uncle Henry, she went with Ld. F. and me to see a fine fresco of Moses showing the Tables of the Law, which Herbert is painting in one of the chambers of the Houses of Parliament. I conjecture humbly that its faults are, some monotony of expression and attitude, and something feeble in the drapery ; but the grouping and colouring are beautiful, I think ; also Moses' face, and the soft hot light and shade wonderful. I went to tea at the Stanleys of Alderley ; pleasant enough. Very pleasant party at Ld. Palmerston's.

08Apr1864, Garibaldi and Red Shirts

LONDON, Friday, April 8th, 1864.
—All the papers smile upon the Budget, even the Standard saying nothing more snubbing than that it was a réchauffé of one of Dizzy's 2 years back ! Uncle W., speaking of certain plays moving one to tears, said that there was something that made him feel ready to cry in his Budget ! viz. the description he gave of the gigantic power and prosperity of England. This I can well fancy. Drove with Agnes to call on wonderful old Miss Robertson, in her 89th year, able to walk briskly, and hear well, and bent upon coming the night Garibaldi dines here to squint at him from behind the door. For Garibaldi is in England, which fact makes everyone stand on their heads ; and I suppose all young ladies will shortly appear in red shirts, which, to my disgust, have come into fashion.

07Apr1864, The Queen's Peculiar Desolation

LONDON, Thursday, April 7th, 1864.
—London feels oppressive and almost hot after Hagley : streets already a good deal blocked. The Saturday Review the other day had a disagreeable sort of threatening article about the Queen's maintaining her retirement ; and this (as is supposed) has led to her putting into the Times a statement of her determination to continue to delegate to others the matters of mere ceremonial, at the same time that she will never shrink from anything that may be beneficial to the people, of whose loyal affection she speaks warmly. She also says that the quantity of business that falls upon her in her loneliness and desolation has tried her health. Now all this should never have been allowed, as it is undignified for the Queen to defend herself in the Times against a wretched article in the Saturday Review ; but the expressions are most touching and pathetic, and I for one cd never bear to blame her. The country knows nothing of the Queen's peculiar desolation. It behoves us better to pray for her and to have pity, than to goad her, when she is devoting herself to duty and works of mercy, into Court gaieties. Aggie and I had the treat of going to hear the Budget, which took 3 hours, and was very interesting on the whole. A splendid surplus of 30,000, [FN: Sic ; but presumably a mistake for £3,000,000.] accordingly the income tax comes down from 7d. to 6d. and the sugar duties are greatly lowered.

06Apr1864, Dinner and a Party

LONDON, Wednesday, April 6th, 1864.
—Got here only just in time to scramble into a pink silk gown for a dinner and party. At dinner were Sir Robert and Ly. Emily Peel, Mr. [FN: Afterwards Lord Selborne and Lord Chancellor.] and Ly. Laura Palmer, Ld. Frederic Cavendish, Mr. Stansfield, Herbert the painter, Baron Rothschild.

04Apr1864, Three Pummelled

HAGLEY, Monday, April 4th, 1864.
Nevy and I had a splendid ride on to Kinver Edge and thence through Wolverley to Summerhill, where we called on Amelia Anson who looked very well. Claughtons out. A 3-barred fence obstructing the way on the top of the Edge, I put the hunter at it. He chose to take it standing, and alack ! off I rolled, dexterously falling pretty gently on my side on soft ground. Thus, mercifully, no harm resulted ; but I expect to feel well pummelled to-morrow. Perhaps, had I been 3 pummelled at the time I shd have stuck on ! but I won't stoop to that. We had grand gallops and only just got home in time for dinner.

19Mar1864, Sibyl Grant's Wedding

LONDON, Saturday, March 19th, 1864.
—Sibyl Grant's wedding day : I was to have been bridesmaid, but feared I shd be late for the drawing-room. To the which I went, in a magnificent made out get-up of lilac train over white net, and in a Royal carriage. Made acquaintance with my colleague Miss Cathcart, a pretty, attractive person whom I think I shall get on with. The Princess looked very well, though thin : and the Prince immensely improved in looks and expression. Prss. Helena was there. I saw my 1st Court acquaintances, in the shape of Col. Liddell, Gen. Grey, and Ly. Ely. The latter not on duty as she had a daughter to present. Miss Cathcart and I being in waiting, failing 2 absent ones, stood on the steps of the Throne, just behind the fat backs of the Dss. of Cambridge and Prss. Mary ; and I was amused beyond measure at looking at the stream of old and young with their great variety of clumsy curtseys. At best, I came to the conclusion that people look rather like fools ; and at worst ! . . . Catherine Phillimore, whom her mother presented, looked better than any other young lady ; and went through the ordeal gracefully and with no apparent self-consciousness or affectation. The other people whom I knew were Ly. C. Lascelles and her daughter Beatrice, Ly. Meath, Mrs. Malcolm, Helen Baring, Ly. Clifden (looking ill and unhappy), Ly. Holmesdale, Mrs. Welby (late Victoria Wortley), Ly. A. Stanley, also a bride ; the Archbp. of Canterbury.

18Mar1864, Mrs. Gladstone Very Busy

LONDON, Friday, March 18th, 1864.
—Found Atie. P. out, and heard that she is more overwhelmed with hard work than ever, as she attends certain meetings at London House where the Bp. assembles ladies to associate them in different acts of charity : an admirable thing, but Atie. P. has undertaken to visit a hospital in S. George's in the E., besides 3 other things. And how is she to do that, and all her own innumerable kind deeds, and her season and societyums, and be deep in politics, and be everything to Uncle W.—all at once ? She looks terribly fagged already. So does he, having been badgered in the House in re his excellent Government Annuities speech.

17Mar1864, A Small Congregation

HAGLEY, Thursday, March 17th, 1864.
—Such a bright serene day, with warm sun and the early songs of birds all round one, that the E. wind could not make it disagreeable. I sat on the octagon bench after church, thoroughly enjoying the dawn of spring. Cong. 1.

13Mar1864, Good Shooting

HAGLEY, March 14th, 1864.
—Did myself good by going out shooting with Charles, the dogs, and the little boys. But the result was small : 3 rabbits only falling victims, and those after I had set off churchwards.

12Mar1864, Promise of Spring

HAGLEY, Saturday, March 12th, 1864.
—Lovely sunny fresh day, full of the sweet promise of spring : a thing which has a power, unknown to summer, of "filling one's heart with joy and gladness."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

09Mar1864, Jowett's Greek Professorship

HAGLEY, Wednesday, March 9th, 1864.
—Uncle Stephen went to Oxford yesterday, to vote in favour of Jowett's Greek Professorship having its salary raised, as has been done with all the others. His heresies not affecting his Greek teaching, this seems only fair ; but multitudes of furious clergy, frightened by the Privy Council judgment, posted up to oppose the measure, and it was negatived by a majority of 72 out of nearly 900. All Jowett's admirers, and all undecided and neutral men, will now think of him as a martyr. Of all pities, to pin such a grievance on him as this, when he confessedly throws his whole heart into his professorship and is now only paid £40. It does seem spiteful and blind. Surely truth can prevail against error though a heretic receives a sufficient salary for teaching Greek !

07Mar1864, Unutterable Things

HAGLEY, Monday, March 7th, 1864.
—Miss M. looks unutterable things, but says nothing.

03Mar1864, A Relief

HAGLEY, Thursday, March 3rd, 1864.
—Miss M. got the letter, we presume ; but she gave no sign of surprise, indignation, or wounded feeling, and was particularly affable at luncheon. Such a relief !

02Mar1864, Miss Merlet is Dismissed

HAGLEY, Wednesday, March 2nd, 1864.
—Papa went to Worcester for 2 nights, which fact is the prelude to one of our many small but unpleasant catastrophes : his letter of dismissal to Miss Merlet whose "rapports" between us and the girls are very objectionable, and whose tone of mind and conversation is flippant and sarcastic.

26Feb1864, Made Southerners of Us All

HAGLEY, Friday, February 26th, 1864.
—Went on trying to thaw. I did district. I received a most disquieting letter from Ly. Jocelyn, announcing the Queen's wish that I shd take the 1st half of an absent M. of H.'s waiting, begg. on Mar. 17, unless it is very inconvenient. I wrote word that it was very inconvenient, and await the result in a state of nervous tension. I shd be there for Holy Week and Easter Day ! Horrid thought ! A Southern American called Harrington gave a very interesting lecture on the secession and its causes, and made Southerners of us all. Though he has been a slaveholder himself, he wd not defend the institution of slavery, and said he believed the war wd do good in leading to gradual emancipation. In his state (S. Carolina) they don't allow husband and wife to be separated. He spoke with great bitterness of the Yankees.

25Feb1864, A Decision by the Privy Council

HAGLEY, Thursday, February 25th, 1864.
—There is violent excitement at the Privy Council having passed a judgment in favour of Wilson and Williams, 2 writers in the " Essays and Reviews," whom the Bp. of Salisbury and another indicted before it. Some think the decision of terrible consequence, and likely to compromise the Church, but Papa and others take the more reasonable line of viewing it as what it is—a mere legal acquittal of men whose opinions the Church has disavowed and protested against as strongly as she is capable of doing. And the Judgment carefully disclaims any intention of expressing approval of the horrid book. The "counts" were unwisely chosen, and not to be legally considered as proved against them.

11Feb1864, Reading The Birthday

HAGLEY, Thursday, February 11th, 1864.
—I went with Lavinia to Stakenbridge, where we gave broth to the Wm. Smiths, pudding to Mrs. Billingham, and an egg to Betty Poole. I have been reading the chapter on Self-denial to the little boys (in "The Birthday"), and to-day there was a bit about not giving in charity of what costs us nothing. They soon understood what was meant, and thereupon we went in to luncheon. I put some broth into a can, and told Alfred I shd like him and Newmany to take it into the village. "0," says Alfred, "but I want to go and slide !" "Now then," said I ; no more ; to remind him of what we had been reading. "0, I forgot !" said the little fellow in a moment, getting quite red ; and he went as willingly as possible.

Finding, to my delight, that I have £70 at My Bankers', I spent most of the morning sending off cheques in different directions, to my infinite pride.

05Feb1864, Parliament Opens Without the Queen

HAGLEY, Friday, February 5th, 1864.
—Frost, and the 1st snow worth mentioning lay on the ground ; real enough to be galoshed against. Parliament opened yesterday : again by Royal Commission. One can't blame the Queen for shrinking from doing it this one year more : even with the Prince by her side, her nervousness used to be nearly overpowering ; and she must have broken the ice by going through some less trying State duty first. This year, too, of course the speech had to take a Danish line about the wretched duchies, whereas the Queen's private sympathies must be German. But alas ! there is an official announcement in to-day's Times that she still feels unequal to any State ceremonials, and the Prince and Princess of Wales are to hold levees and drawing-rooms. I fear there will be great grumbling and discontent at this ; and Oh the difficulty of the Prince of Wales' position !

01Feb1864, Many Die in Chili

HAGLEY, Monday, February 1st, 1864.
—Made a tremendous scrimmage and rout among my clothes against the arrival of my new abigail ; a nice-looking, quiet-mannered body called Morgan, foreign only inasmuch as she is Welsh ; I have had enough of French (Ducelliez), Swiss (Henriette), and German (Gielen) experience ! The papers are full of the most horrible calamity ever heard of : the burning of 2,000 people, chiefly women and children, wedged together in a great church at Chili, where a great festivity was being held in honour of the "Immaculate Conception." The place was crammed with oil lamps and draperies and burnt so fiercely that all was over in a quarter of an hour. The two chief doors were blocked up with bodies, so wedged that hardly any could be dragged out by main force. Whole families have died together. The wretched priests secured the door of the sacristy for the saving of holy sofas, images, etc., and then escaped themselves.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

29Jan1864, Dinner at Ld. Russell's With Dickens

LONDON, Friday, January 29th, 1864.
—We dined at Ld. Russell's, which was very pleasant. There were there Dickens & Landseer ; neither very pleasant to look at, though one saw wit and genius in Dickens' odd eyes. Ld. Amberley took me in : seems clever and acute, but like so many men nowadays takes one's breath away by unchurchlike, not to say unbiblical, opinions, as for instance, that all mankind are born innocent and without the germs of sin ; and something very like "truth is what every man troweth."

25Jan1864, Stanley's Farewell Sermon

LONDON, Monday, January 25th, 1864.
— I read Stanley's farewell sermon at Oxford (Ch. Ch.). It grieved and shocked me, in spite of great eloquence, earnestness, and feeling ; for I cannot help seeing that the aims and the standard he puts forward are not distinctively Christian, but more like those of some refined philosophy ; and one asks oneself, where are the old paths ? the Bible rules, the humble obedience, above all, the following of the simple but Perfect Pattern ? These "dangerous days" are full of teaching that wanders from all these, and bewilders one with false liberality and confused belief. God keep us to the strait and narrow Way !

20Jan1864, Dining With the Queen Again, So Sad

OSBORNE, Wednesday, January 20th, 1864.
—A 2nd time I have dined with the Queen ; this time I felt a good deal of trepidation, for in the 1st place I was the only one who received the order, and after waiting in vain for the Princesses as long as I dared, I had to march down all alone, when to my relief I found Ly. Biddulph sitting in the drawing-room. And she, Pr. Leiningen, and I got on cheerfully till the Queen appeared abt ¼ 9. She goes straight into the dining-room now without entering the dr. room. Well, in the next place, I had 2 speeches hanging over my head, one respecting a tinted photogr. of myself for the Queen : the other, to tell her I was going to-morrow. I sat opposite the Queen, and was much moved and taken out of by her expression of sadness. It was as if she had had to go thro' something which had stirred up the grief : her eyes reminded me of Mme. de Sévigné's description "des yeux qui ont pleures," and her whole look had a pathetic and patient sadness in it. And it touched one more from her affecting nothing. At first she was rather silent, but she spoke and smiled. And after a time she cheered up again ; but it has put before my very eyes something of the sorrow which hitherto I cd only picture to myself ; and this did go deep into my heart. She accepted the photograph and admired it. And then came her goodbye, and I felt I cd not help pressing her hand as I kissed it ; for what wouldn't I do for her?

17Jan1864, Dining With the Queen

OSBORNE, 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, January 17th, 1864.
—Poured all the morning. After many vacillations of the Royal will, the upshot was that the Household went to church on its own account, Ly. Ch. and I being diddled out of half the service by the Queen's keeping us to go with her for the latter half. And she did not go. Mr. Prothero preacht on death. In the aft., however, the Queen went, and thus I saw her to speak to for the 1st time. She took my hand and kissed me so kindly before getting into the carriage. A very good thanksgiving prayer was read for the Prss. of Wales and her baby. The Dean preacht, with a beautiful allusion to the little Prince's birth close to his grandfather's tomb. There came off my great event of dining with the Queen, which was very much more pleasure than terror to me. There was much more conversation than I expected ; the Queen talking and laughing cheerfully. She and the Dean spoke about sermons and Presbyterian preachers ; and the Dean made no bones of making occasional hits at the Scotch reverends, which the Queen took as a good joke. Then came a good deal about the poor of the great towns ; and how I should have liked to have brought the Mission Women on the tapis ! But brazen as I was, I hadn't quite that courage. The Queen spoke to me 2 or 3 times very kindly. We stood talking in the dining-room for a little while afterwards, then the Queen vanished, and we went to the ladies' room and joined the others.

16Jan1864, Parkhurst Women Convicts

OSBORNE, Saturday, January 16th, 1864.
—Cold wind, but fine. At Parkhurst, the poor women convicts found out it was the Queen and numbers fell on their knees begging for mercy and pardon, so as quite to upset those who heard them, and the Queen said she was sure, if one had managed to fall down at her feet, she must have forgiven her ! I rode with Prss. Louise, on Sampson. Prss. Hohenlohe is ill with a feverish cold. Whist in the evening, with Sir Th. Biddulph, Mr. Holtzmann, and Col. Ponsonby ; Dr. Jenner dined, and horrified me with his ugliness which is something suggestive to me of Voltaire.

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.