Saturday, February 07, 2009

17Nov1864, Time Crawls

CHATSWORTH, November 17th, 1864.
—The time crawls ; to that degree that I dated a letter the 18th to-day, thinking 2 nights must have passed ! Nevertheless this day was much brightened by my Fred's dear letter, the 1st I've had since our marriage, and by the report of his Female speech in the Leeds Mercury. It must have been an excellent one ; to the point, original, not too long, and with his own self shining through it.

16Nov1864, Fred Away Again

CHATSWORTH, November 16th, 1864.
-A sad day for me, and a very long one. My Fred went away for three nights, and though I know that isn't really endless, yet it feels like a great separation, as, except for one night, we have not yet been away from each other. But I must learn, I suppose, not to miss him so grievously ! He has gone to preside at a Female Education meeting at Bradford, and at a Mechanic's Institute at Halifax.

10Nov1864, Came Down Plump After Running

CHATSWORTH, November 10th, 1864.
—Misfortunes never come alone ; having grown cold with a slow walk, I thought proper to have a run down one of the gravel walks, and catching my foot in my crinoline, came down plump, and broke both my knees !

08Nov1864, An Excellent Lecture

CHATSWORTH, November 8th, 1864.
—I looked through a precious book full of Rubens, Vandyck, and Rembrandt sketches and copid a nice big horse's head. Instead of Butler, Fred finished to me a very thoughtful, earnest, and, I think, excellent lecture by the Bishop of London, given before a scientific institution at Edinburgh, on Science and Theology, which I had begun to myself. I believe no one doubts the Bishop to be a profoundly religious man, and so his words on such a subject have great weight ; I hope I am not wrong or rash in finding much comfort in them, as to all the present difficulties and alarms. I think I can feel strong faith that God will ever reveal the Truth to those that love it, and seek humbly either in His Works or His Word ; and that what seems perplexing and contradictory ought not to be put aside, but carefully looked into, in the hope—the certainty—that "what He does, we may not know now, but we shall know hereafter." And if people will only keep vividly in mind the consciousness of their own imperfect knowledge, I think no apparent contradictions need much move them. If only one could hope that all enquiries would be made in an honest and good heart, and that people would keep their footing on the Rock ! But this is the terrible danger, that men will abuse the reason given them to guide them, making it an infallible rule. Whereas it can at best only accompany us a little way, and then leave us with a Higher Guide, to pierce into infinite things.

04Nov1864, Sir Joseph Paxton Dined

CHATSWORTH, November 4th, 1864.
—Catalogue, Butler, Fawcett, Carlyle, letters ; a walk with all the womankind. Mr. Frank Smith, Frank and Beatrice [FN: Afterwards wife of Archbishop Temple.] Lascelles came. Beatrice looks very ill. Sir Joseph and Lady Paxton dined.

29Oct1864, A Catalogue of Pictures

CHATSWORTH, October 29th, 1864.
—We began discussing a wonderful catalogue of the pictures which I am to undertake.

28Oct1864, Fred Returns Home

CHATSWORTH, October 28th, 1864.
—Read Fawcett, and began "Martin Chuzzlewit" for the 2nd time. Capped verses after dinner, almost up to the time that, hearing certain sounds, I peeped out of the tea-room, and saw my Fred marching up the hall, about 10¼. It's ridiculous how long I seem to have been without him ! Dear old Nevy 19 to-day.

27Oct1864, Fred Goes to London

CHATSWORTH, October 27th, 1864.
—My first separation from my Fred, who went up to London (with the Duke and John) for 1 night for a Furness railway meeting. He has only been gone 6 hours and yet I miss him grievously !

26Oct1864, Return to Chatsworth

CHATSWORTH, October 26th, 1864.
—We all left Hardwick together ; Ld. Richard alone not coming here. I needn't describe my curious feelings on coming to this stately place as my Fred's wife. It was when I was here the first time with Aunt Yaddy that the thought first struck him, and I think it was while I was here last year that I began really to like him. And now how happy I am ! Our room is an Indian-papered one, looking east up the hill. We dined in the Stag parlour, where I well remember arriving at tea-time both years in a considerable accès of stiffness and shyness.

21Oct1864, A Visit from Meriel and a Ball

HARDWICK, October 21st, 1864.
—A nice little tramp again, with F. and Lou, in the garden and park. I rather scampered home to be in time for what makes this a red-letter day for me : the arrival of my old Meriel with John and Mrs. Talbot. M. is not looking well, but she is. Mrs. Talbot was here for her honeymoon : it must seem dreamlike to her, and haunted by the echoes of happiness. What should we go to, the Duke, Lou, F., and I, but a ball at Chesterfield ! My last ball having been the Hawarden one, made this feel curious. I rather hoped not to dance, but no such thing ; and it didn't break my heart to have my Fred for vis-à-vis. I wore some of the Duke's diamonds on my head and round my neck for the first time.

19Oct1864, Selling at a Bazaar

HARDWICK, October 19th, 1864.
—I did what I little thought to do again at all—least of all as a sham charity — helped to sell at a bazaar. It was at Chesterfield, in aid of funds for the hospital. Though I think such a thing a miserable make-shift, whereby people's grudging help towards a good object is obtained by dint of giving them in return a foolish, frivolous, wasteful, and generally tuft-hunting, day's jollification ; yet of course I don't think it distinctly wrong, and would not put up my back, beyond having a few little kicks about it in private ; and I sold to help Lou. Everybody was full of bustle, good nature and energy, the room crammed, and everything likely to turn out successful. It was opened with a splash by Cavendish's making a speech. Fred and Eddy didn't come, my poor old Fred being very rheumatic, and Eddy disinclined. The Duke and Cavendish went back early ; we stayed till 3½ and I felt somewhat done up. We came away in style (open carriage and 4), almost smothered in fairings. I got a doll for little Mary, and 3 sets of poor children's clothes, methinks for Hagley.

15Oct1864, Above and Below the Mark

LONDON, October 15th, 1864.
—I inspected the Curzon Street House with Mrs. Hislop, one of the 7 ducal housekeepers ; and Fred had another Currian interview. The melancholy result is the condemnation of both houses, Curzon Street as not being up to the mark, C. H. T. as being above it.

14Oct1864, Sniffing After Houses

LONDON, October 14th, 1864.
—A day of care and responsibility ! We had a solemn interview with Mr. Currey, an excellent fat factotum of the Duke's, who has been sniffing after houses ; and the result was that Fred and I made a tour of inspection. Only 2 houses seem at all desirable ; one in Curzon Street, small and with some disadvantages ; the other a beautiful bran-new one nearly opposite the Gladstone one in Carlton House Terrace. This is somewhat too large, and only to be bought ; and is therefore very expensive. . . .

We finished Mill who has certainly filled my mind with new notions. How far they will become convictions, I'm sure I don't know.