Saturday, March 14, 2009

10Apr1865, Travelling to Lismore

HAGLEY, April 10th, 1865.
—It is a great trouble to me having to travel these 2 first days of Holy Week, but we couldn't rightly help it on many accounts. We left dear Hagley at 8, the little fellows (whom I shan't see again until they're schoolboys, alas !) scampering headlong down the avenue clinging on to the carriage. By a blunder of Head's, we had to delay crossing from Holyhead till night, spending the time from 2 till 11½ at Holyhead. Luckily it was the brightest, most unclouded afternoon, and we walked, and sat and talked and read pleasantly enough. Embarked at 12, three and a half hours before the boat started. A mild, still night, bathed in wonderful moonlight ; and the passage was as smooth as a pond. We got berths and slept pretty successfully. April 11th.—Landed before 8, managed to squeeze in breakfast at Dublin, railwayed to Cahir, and thence posted 12 miles. The descent to Lismore seemed to me marvellously beautiful and like a fairy-tale : the hills covered with budding woods, the deep glen, the winding river, the glorious castle standing on its steep hill. Lou and Eddy met us some little way off ; he nearly independent of sticks. Nobody else here but the Duke. The view from the north windows still more lovely and stately. One looks sheer down the precipitous bank into the Black water which is; and the castle is beautiful inside and out. April 12th.—Lou and I fished or rather toddled up the river, throwing lines with no result, encouraged by a dear enthusiastic Paddy and enjoying the delightful day.
F. and I had happy reads of my "Thoughts for Holy Week," etc., and the quiet is very nice, though nothing else would have made me like this for just this week. There was service, but, instead of the Communion Service, a Mr. Brown preached a dreadful sermon.

05Apr1865, Doing a Stakenbridge

HAGLEY, April 5th, 1865.
—Actually did my poor Stakenbridge after luncheon, driving thither without Aunt E. and May. People very nice and dear and cordial at the sight of me. "And how's Mr. Scavendish? I should say, Lord Scavendish," said old Mrs. Poole.

30Mar1865, Odiousness of the Pew System

LONDON, March 30th, 1865.
—We went and did the deed of taking seats for ourselves and servants at St. Martin's ; and were considerably disgusted by the drive-a-good-bargain fashion in which the official did it ; certainly putting before one the odiousness of the pew system in most lively colours.

29Mar1865, Gladstone Supports Dillwyn on Irish Church

LONDON, March 29th, 1865.
F. read me in the evening a clever speech of Uncle W. supporting a motion of Mr. Dillwyn's that the state of the Irish Church is unsatisfactory. It isn't because I'm becoming a Radical that I think, according to my lights, that it ought to be disestablished. My very faith in the Church makes me sure that its continuance is in no need of being insured by being forced down the exasperated throats of Romanists numbering 7/10ths of the population. The Scotch Church is in a nobler position. Not that I have an inkling what ought to be done with the endowments.

26Mar1865, Selecting a Parish Church

LONDON, March 26th, 1865.
—We went to St. Martin's in the morning ; and as the service was very respectably conducted and the sermon good, we have decided, it being our future parish church, to take sittings in it for ourselves and servants. It seems right to go to one's parish church, unless the objections to it were very grave indeed ; and I think we are right. The singing was very nice, though only by Charity children. I wish I didn't so much depend upon externals, for I feel that the frightful glaring kaleidoscope of an E. window without a single reminder of Christianity in it will be a real trial.

23Mar1865, Joyful Hope Withheld

LONDON, March 23rd, 1865.
—Saw Sibyl Ryder and her husband, and the J.G.T.'s , which was a great break. Sibyl is expecting a baby : I trust she will get well through it, but she used to be very delicate. (It went off.) That wonderful, joyful hope has hitherto been withheld from me : this makes a little cloud in my "great heaven of blue."