Friday, January 23, 2009

29Jul1864, Back to Devonshire House

LONDON, Friday, July 29th, 1864.
—Devonshire House is a little wonderful to arrive at ! Greatly we appreciated cream, chops that were mutton, toast, brown bread !

20Jul1864, A Fairy-land Dream

STRESA, Wednesday, July 20th, 1864.
—This hotel (des Iles Borromées) is in keeping with everything else here, by being unlike anything I have yet come across ; deliciously cool, with its stone floors, high rooms, and spotless cleanliness : hardly so much as a whiff of tobacco to be met with ! We sat blinking at the lovely blue lake, blue mountains, blue sky, for some time on the balcony. At 5½, we went in an open boat, shaded by an awning, to the Borromeo Palace, and round the other island. The most delightful afternoon of luxurious enjoyment ! The palace and terraces, the glorious tropic flowers and trees, and the all-surrounding loveliness of the view from the island, was like a Fairy-land dream. I have not seen my old Fred so enchanted before. Then we rowed about, watching the golden sunset light up all the hazy mountains, sky, and water with tender light. I am getting hideously mawkish and sentimental ; so will change the subject, and end with the fact which is the real culminating point of all our delight in this perfect place :
No Fleas !

10Jul1864, No Dissolution!

CHAMOUNIX, 7th Sunday after Trinity, July 10th, 1864.
—Behold ! a telegram from the Duke, with the news that there will be no dissolution, Government having a majority of 18. This evening F. has spouted to me Layard's admirable defence of Ld. Russell's policy, which one wd think must have influenced votes. I am come to a pretty pass, when I find myself crowing over the Whig victory !

09Jul1864, Bits of Coleridge

CHAMOUNIX, Saturday, July 9th, 1864.
—Spouted to Fred some bits of Coleridge's "Hymn in the Vale of Chamounix," which he liked. We have no telegram to-day, and have some faint hope.

07Jul1864, Walked, Ridden, Driven, and Railwayd

MARTIGNY, Thursday, July 7th, 1864.
—The day month since our marriage. A month of ever-deepening happiness, just now of a peculiar brightness and absence of care : a sort of rocking on bright waves before launching out upon new seas—which I know is never to come again ; but as long as this wonderful sunshine is poured round me—I mean the great, new sunshine of our love for each other—all the coming waves must look bright to me ; as the past ones have the golden radiance of memory upon them. Only may all such light and joy lead us nearer to God.

We rode and walked in lovely weather to Camballas ; there, having leisure, sat in the flowery long grass, and read "Westward Ho !" and had milk and bread and butter ; then a most lovely drive down the deep rich valley des Ormondes to Aigle in the valley of the Rhone. Here we walked up a moderately high, but nearly perpendicular hill, and enjoyed a sight of Lake Leman and some noble mountain-tops ; then had dinner, and went on by railway to Martigny ; having to-day therefore walked, ridden, driven, and railwayd. Got into a bus at Martigny crammed with English folk, but they don't seem to overrun this hotel. Why does one hate and despise nearly all one's fellow-countrymen abroad ?

05Jul1864, No More Maidlessness

THUN, Tuesday, July 5th, 1864.
. . . Then by fly and steamboat through Interlaken to Thun, where it was a little refreshing after 4 days' maidlessness, makeshifts, and packing for oneself, to find Holffmann and Morgan ; also a magnificent suite of rooms, and a landlord in an ecstasy of bows, who introduced me to the pretty verandah, saying it was at the disposal of my Excellency ! ! ! Last not least, delightful letters from Atie. P., Lou, Lavinia, At. Emy, M., and one from Mrs. Bruce, inviting F. and me to luncheon at Windsor "de part la Reine," on Saturday, June 26 !

02Jul1864, Through Alpine Snow

MEYRINGEN, Saturday, July 2nd, 1864.
—A perfect, serene, summer day, with such hot sun, that we are as red as turkey-cocks this evening. We left Engelberg (n.b. unbitten by a single flea) at 6½ and went by the Joch Pass to Meyringen, resting for about 2 hours at a little chalet inn, which, though on the descent from the mountain, is 6,000 feet above the sea. We reached it about 12. I set off from Engelberg riding a pony, which carried me wonderfully up a tremendous mountain-side, of which I only got off at the steepest bit. We got once into clouds, but emerged from them into more and more glorious beauty. Coming to a glacier-stream, my pony thought proper to lie down in it and roll with me ! and soon after this we came to such deep patches of snow that I walked the rest of the way. We were often up to our knees, ascending considerably all the time, and I am not a little proud of my first great mountain-climb. It is such pleasure among these glorious Alps never to be disappointed. After our longest pull through snow, I was enough tired by the exertion, and thirsty withal, actually to enjoy and be refreshed by some of F.'s nasty kirchwasser mixed with snow ! Changing of boots (which were soaked), washing of feet, an excellent little dinner of soup, cutlets, omelette, bread and butter and ice-cold water, and a nice sit on the grass letting the beauty of the mountains sink into my heart, cured me of all tire. From the inn to Meyringen (Hotel Sauvage) I rode most of the way. To-night we have anointed our sun-burnt phizzes with milk and lemon. We are in a fix, a bag with clean things from Lucerne not having turned up.

01Jul1864, Travel Plans Get Complicated

ENGELBERG, Friday, July 1st, 1864.
—We had meant to leave Lucerne at 5.15 and go by the passes of Furca and Grimsel to Mayenwand, but soon after four the voice of dear Holffmann was heard at the door, announcing that the weather wouldn't do ; and as it was hideous to think of going such an expedition in pouring rain, we gave it up : and after yesterday's proceedings did not break our hearts at having 3 hours more in bed. By breakfast time, complication upon complication arose upon us. In the 1st place, behold Morgan upset by her travels and pronounced by the quizzical little doctor unfit to move till Monday ; in the next place, Fred at last getting hold of a Times only 2 days old, discovers that the motion of vote of want of confidence isn't to come off till Monday, which leaves us pretty safe till this day week, and makes it necessary for us to re-cast all the arrangements for next week ; in the 3rd place we had let slip the early steamboats, and it seemed impossible to get away from Lucerne so as to fit in a church-going place for Sunday. Under these cheerful circumstances, I sat composedly down to write to At. C., while old Fred, whose head never fails, evolved ideal plans by slow degrees out of Murray and Bradshaw. The upshot is, that we leave Morgan to get well under the auspices of Holffmann and the doctor, and come here alone with 2 bags, i.e., Engelberg. We drove from Stanz, all up a most glorious valley, towered over by mighty mountains. No rooms in the inn but 2 tiny unpainted garrets at the top of the house, which we are now occupying, F. conjuring up horrible visions of fleas, and imagining scores running over his legs already.

30Jun1864, A Day in the Mountains

RIGI, Thursday, June 30th, 1864.
—We got up soon after 3, and went to the highest point to see the sunrise. The morning was somewhat misty and the sun had to surmount a bank or two of cloud, so that this was not the greatest thing we saw to-day ; still it was very lovely to see the giant peaks brightening one after the other, and those in the W. catching the faint pink reflection. All had a look to me of standing around, waiting for the light. We nearly died of the cold. Had breakfast, and set off walking down the mountain about 6 ; and this soon warmed one. And now we were steeped in glorious sights. The day grew clear and serene, and only white fleecy clouds floated among the snowy mountain-tops. The climax was a certain view we had when a little way down we sat on the grass for a good while. We drank it in at our leisure ; and it went deeper into my heart than anything has yet done. Such a communing with God's glorious works is a mysterious sort of worship, or something very akin to it ; for "He in His strength setteth fast the mountains, and is girded about with power." All the descent was beautiful, but this was the crown, for the day went off, and the deep, soft blue of the atmosphere became grey ; and the Jung Frau and her neighbours vanished, and Pilatus put on his invariable cap of clouds. But I have seen enough ! and moreover am a little tired.

29Jun1864, To Earth With a Bump

RIGI, Wednesday, June 29th, 1864. S. Peter.
—I can't say much about it ; but it is true, I do believe, as F. said to me, when I said I dreaded my usual fate of being to some degree disappointed, that the great glories of nature cannot disappoint one. They seem to come too near Heaven. And so I found it as I looked from the top of the Rigi. The hotel quite at the top with its swarms of cockneys, table d'hôte, and scrubby allowance of washing apparatus, brought one to earth with a bump. We came upstairs after the table d'hôte, and laughed till we ached at some charming snobs who sat opposite to us at dinner. So cold, we sat in cloaks.

26Jun1864, Dissolution Anxiety

MAYENCE, 5th Sunday after Trinity, June 26th, 1864.
—We wrote letters, and went through a "crise" of dissolution anxiety on the strength of a paper announcement that the Conservatives meet on Tuesday. The Duke is to telegraph next Friday to F., if necessary.

That I should have come to wish the Conservatives at the bottom of the Baltic ! Having written letters and read the aft. Psalms and Lessons, it cleared delightfully and we had a nice tramp about the town and public gardens, and into the wonderful, rich, peculiar Cathedral, which struck us immensely. Looking into another church, we found service going on in German, and the crowded congregation responding loudly in Litany fashion ; a thing I did not know was usual in R. C. services, at which the cong. generally only assists. After dinner F. read aloud Trench's 2 fine 1st sermons on "the subjection of the creature to Vanity."

24Jun1864, Honeymoon Part 2 Continues

COLOGNE, Friday, June 24th, 1864. S. John Baptist.
—We have been over the glorious Cathedral, and have streamed a little about the town, making one feeble effort to get an ice at a café which was too insufferable with smoke and too low altogether for us to stop in it. I am great audience to the wonderful, clear, bright atmosphere, and all the manners and customs. We have bought two cases of eau-de-Cologne, which I trust will turn out the genuine thing.

23Jun1864, Ice in June - A Princely Idea

BRUSSELS, Thursday, June 23rd, 1864.
—We breakfasted at 7, and set off directly afterwards ; I first going to Lou in bed to say good-bye. We shall be lucky if we are not posting back again for the election in a fortnight or less ! We crossed to Calais, the sea rather rough, and the boat rolling a good deal : I was perfectly well, but poor old Fred, after sitting meek and silent beside me, getting whiter and whiter, succumbed once about of an hour before the boat came in. The landing, the railway, the people, and all the look of things carried me back wonderfully to our delightful Paris trip in 1860 : little I thought then of all this state of things ! We had a charming luncheon at Calais. Got here about 7 : all new to both Fred and me. We have an affable courier called Holffman, who ordered us a sublime fly and pair at the station, and for dinner we two had soup, fish, beef, cutlets, chicken, salad, ice ! ! ! ! Steps must be taken to cut down these princely ideas.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

21Jun1864, And So Ends Our Honeymoon

BOLTON, Tuesday, June 21st, 1864.

—And so ends our honeymoon.

It is a bewildering, but by no means unhappy thought, that we shall probably be here again for the grouse shooting in 7 or 8 weeks ! We arrived at Devn. House soon after 6. To dinner came Grauntcoque and then J. G. T.'s,[FN: I.e. the J. G. Talbots, her sister and brother-in-law.] then afterwards Atie. P. and Agnes. Which was very nice. The Duke, sons and daughters, and Ld. Richard also dined. When all my own people had gone, and I found myself left in this big house with Cavendishes, I underwent my first actual feeling of home-sickness. A very gentle one, and soon absorbed in the new, deep feeling which is growing downward, downward into my heart. Found certain tardy presents. We have fine big rooms looking over the park.

18Jun1864, Off in an Open Fly and Pair

BOLTON, Saturday, June 18th, 1864.
— A very delightful, long, happy day. We set off in an open fly and pair soon after 10½, and drove up the valley past Borden and Grass Wood, to Elmsey Crag, and then to Gordale. This was new to Fred as well as to me, and how we enjoyed the glorious things together ! Lovely glorifying weather. From Gordale we walked to Malham, where we had a charming luncheon at the, little inn, and then walked to Malham Cove. The long drive home very nice : we have done abt 36 miles. It is wonderful how the returning each time into this dear peaceful valley brings to me already a happy homelike feeling. Yet I have only been here one week. I think it can only be because I am beginning to find that wherever I am with Fred, there home comes to me. Such a thought of bright repose it is.

17Jun1864, His American Life

BOLTON, Friday, June 17th, 1864.
F. told me about his American life, and how he killed 2 buffaloes, which made me proud of him !

14Jun1864, Honeymoon Books

BOLTON, Tuesday, June 14th, 1864.
—Grey, misty day ! but among these hills even such an atmosphere has some grand effects. We have at last tackled to at some books F. chose for the honeymoon : rather an odd trio ! Carlyle's "Fr. Revolution," Butler's "Analogy," and "Westward Ho !" Had a nice little brisk walk before luncheon : afterwards drove very pleasantly to Barden Tower, plunged on foot down a little deep gorge near it to see a waterfall, and old Fred gave me a little lecture on ferns which grew thick all about it. Then on to Broad Park moor, and round by Halton Heights. Often it rained, but we didn't take much notice.

13Jun1864, A Summer Saunter

BOLTON, Monday, June 13th, 1864.
—Delightfully fine on the whole. We went a nice little saunter to the wooden bridge before luncheon. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson called, which brought over me a fresh attack of who's who and what's what especially when Mrs. R. was glad "Lady Frederick" saw the place to advantage ! After luncheon we set off to go to Simon's Seat, I riding a fat dun pony, F. walking. It was the first time I was ever on a moor and very grand and striking it was ; contrasting too with the lovely, luxuriant wood, still blue with hyacinths, from which we emerged upon it. Got home a little before 7½. Snug evening. At nearly the top of Simon's Seat we were caught in the fragment of a thunderstorm, which was rather grand. Shelterd in one of the luncheon huts, which I shall remember, methinks, if we come here, as we hope to do, for the August shooting. Can it be me I am writing about ?

11Jun1864, Smashing the Ice

BOLTON, Saturday, June 11th, 1864.
—Left pretty Chiswick, which has been perfect for these first few days, and drove back to London. We went first to Devonshire House, where we saw the Duke, Lou and Eddy (I may as well smash the ice at once !), and then to St. St., where we saw Grauntcoque , Atie. P., Papa and Meriel, and I found the seeing them rather strange and upsetting : feeling that it wasn't me. Also was taken out of at none of them but Papa looking very bright. M.'s dots have got the whooping-cough. We stayed about ½ an hour, and then went off ; and arrived here about 8. Drove under a tiny triumphal arch, with " Welcome to Bolton " on it. I felt more wonderful and bewildered than ever ! but Oh the green, still loveliness of the place in the evening light, with the sound of the running river in one's ears. And then, there is Fred to make my very bewilderment a sort of happiness. Really tired I was.

10Jun1864, Spouting Literature

CHISWICK, Friday, June 10th, 1864.
—The rain has only beautified and brightened the delightful weather. We sat out, spouted "In Memoriam" ; and he, to me, Canning's "Letter from Lord Russell to Lord Cavendish," which was after F.'s own heart, with its liberty and patriotism-ums. Also Carlyle. Walked in the Horticultural Gardens after luncheon. Wrote, and talked, and were very peaceful.

09Jun1864, My Pretty New Name

CHISWICK, Thursday, June 9th, 1864.
—I have received my first letters with my pretty new name, from Atie. P., M., Agnes, and At. C. We have begun "Westward Ho !" and Carlyle's "Fr. Revolution" ; also I spouted to Fred the "Allegro" and the "Penseroso," and other bits of poetry ; and I don't find him entirely un¬worthy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

07Jun1864, Our Wedding Day

CHISWICK, Tuesday, June 7th, 1864.
—Our wedding day. I cannot write about it. I can only look backwards with loving regret, and forward with bright but trembling hope. We were married in Westminster Abbey, by Uncle Billy, and came here [FN: The Duke of Devonshire's house at Chiswick in which both Fox and Canning died. It is now the property of the Municipality.] about 4 o'clock, into peaceful summer loveliness and the singing of birds.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

05Jun1864, Gifts from Papa

LONDON, 2nd Sunday after Trinity, June 5th, 1864.
—Beautiful warm day, and 0 such a refreshing and peaceful one ! In the Holy Communion I tried to lay down all this past life of mine at the foot of the Cross, and I trust that all the sins and neglects are forgiven, and that the never-failing blessing will be outpoured upon the future. And this hushed and calmd all my anxieties. It was at the Temple, whither I walked with At. C., joining Papa and Lavinia, and coming back with Papa, which was very nice. I had told Fred not to come : I wanted to be with Papa : but his not being with me did not signify, for he received the Holy Communion ; and that draws us together in the most blessed way. Papa and I found him in St. St., and we went with him to luncheon at Dev. House. Afterwards such a nice talk ; he told me much of the sermon of Maurice's he had heard. Papa brought me his cross, with these words engraved inside. On the transverse, my new name, which I can't yet write ; then : "From her loving Father, June 7th, 1864. In Memory and in Hope." And he gave Fred a Communion book, in which he wrote the last verse of the "Christian Year" on Marriage.

30May1864, Riding the Donkey-cart

LONDON, Monday, May 30th, 1864.
—Bright lovely morning, with lights and shades. Our departure [FN: From Falconhurst, where they had been staying with the Talbots.] was comical : some hitch in fly-orders resulted in a necessity for some couple or other to go to the station in the donkey-cart ! It was decided that F. and I were the least likely to mind taking an hour going the 4½ miles ; so we drove off in triumph, I conducting and the Mesds. Talbot looking on in convulsions of laughter. It was a little trying being a gazing-stock to the beauty and fashion of Edenbridge as we hirpled through.

27May1864, Bewilderment

LONDON, Friday, May 27th, 1864.
F. came soon after 11, after I had undergone a little course of trousseau worrits, and we had a snug little sit together to compose me. At times the bewilderment of all the unknown new clothes, and the vague state of mind I get into as to where they will all go to, and what new place I myself am going to, make my poor addled head spin ; but through it all, the sunshine is bright over the future ! The days go slowly by, and the wonderful new life still feels very distant.

26May1864, Did a Shy Thing

LONDON, Thursday, May 26th, 1864.
—Did a shy thing in the evening : dined all by myself at Devn. House, meeting only the Duke, Ly. Louisa, F., and Ld. Edward. They were kind and nice, setting me at my ease ; but I cd not quite say I was at my ease ! though very happy after dinner with my Fred holding my hand. Lord E. very taking and pleasant. Came home in a ducal brougham, and read the Guardian till 11¼.

24May1864, Luncheon at Devonshire House

LONDON, Tuesday, May 24th, 1864.
—Bright and fine. The Queen's birthday was kept for the first time since the Prince's death : plenty of illuminations. My Fred came about 1, and took me to luncheon at Devonshire House, which I was glad of in spite of being rather shy, as it got me over some more first steps of acquaintance. I am hardly shy at all with Ly. Louisa now ; my chief awe centres round Lord Hartington, who is very kind to me, however. At luncheon were Mrs. Coke, Emma and May Lascelles. Afterwards F. and I went to Garrard's and got a pretty crystal locket with an emerald cross on it, for Atie. P. to have our hair in. At Dev. House, Papa turned up and gave me a beautiful large gold cross, in which I shall have his dear hair and Mamma's. At 5¼, F. and I, with Willie and Agnes for chaperons ! rode in Rotten Row ; and I thought of our last ride at Hagley. I was on a charming little horse of Ly. L.'s called Snap.

22May1864, He Has Music In Him

LONDON, Trinity Sunday, May 22nd, 1864.
—After luncheon came Fred, who had been to hear Maurice, and told me some beautiful bits of his sermon. And I read him the " Xtian Year " for the day, and some other verses, and played him some hymn tunes, which he liked enough to show me he has music in him. [FN: A romantic delusion ! (added later).]