Friday, April 03, 2009

30Jun1865, "Israel in Egypt" at the Crystal Palace

LONDON, June 30th, 1865.
—The happy day of my Fred's return. All sorts of vague fears have occurred to me ; but he has come safe back to me, and everything looks different already ! Nevy, Aunt C., and I had the great treat of hearing the "Israel in Egypt" (that is, about 3/4ths of it, being late) at the Crystal Palace. Much squash and crowd and rush and stoppage beset the journey to and fro ; not to speak of rain all day ; but the glorious things we heard made amends. Patti sang, but her voice isn't strong enough : it should have been Titians. Mme Rudersdorf has immense power, but little sweetness ; and Mme Sainton Dolby ought to leave off as her voice is cracked ; but Sims Reeves and Schmidt were grand, and the choruses magnificent. I had to skurry into evening things after we had got home (taking a 3rd class carriage by storm), and dine at Aunt Wenlock's, and so was forced to miss my Fred's arrival ; but found him at home soon after 11.

29Jun1865, Electionums

LONDON, June 29th, 1865.
—I at D. House, where I had an agreeable dinner, sitting between old Panizzi and Lord Houghton whose ungainly manners and voracious appetite contrast curiously with the quick, deep, poetical feeling which comes up in him now and then. Gladstones were there ; really what with N.W. Riding, E. Sussex, Oxford, Chester, and Malmesbury, I may be said indeed to have the electionums.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

28Jun1865, Althorp Pays Uncle Spencer's Debts

LONDON, June 28th, 1865.
—Ball at Auntie P.'s. to meet the Prince of Wales. I had to go, which I didn't like without my Fred, but it was amusing. Refused stoutly to dance with Mr. Ashley ! Saw poor Aunt Henrietta there : one doesn't know how she has the heart to go out ; for Uncle Spencer has had one of his turf smashes, and though kind, good Althorp has paid, he is to go abroad for an indefinite time, partly to be out of the way of (English) betting, partly with a chance of finding something to do. We much fear that they have settled to live apart, she remaining in England ; so terribly wrong.

26Jun1865, Two Letters

LONDON, June 26th, 1865.
Two letters from my Fred gladdened my eyes, and brightened up the day. He wrote the 1st before 7½ on Saturday morning, hoping it might reach me that evening ; 0 so dear of him.

24Jun1865, Be Civil to the Constituents

LONDON, June 24th, 1865.
—If only the time would go quicker [FN: Her husband was out with his Yeomanry.] ! but here is the 1st day only just over. In some ways it was better than I expected, from having plenty of things to do and people to see—much better than in the country. I went to St. James', thence to D. House and then home again, where I found Mr. Thompson who awestruck me much by deputing me to give F. his opinions on F.'s address, which he sent him yesterday to criticize : also certain remarks on other election topics. He especially flattered me by strongly advising that I should go with my Fred into the Division during the autumn that we might be civil to the constituents. I wrote the necessary troll to F. instantly ; and these different proceedings, with a little reading, filled up my morning. Had luncheon at D. House, and told the Duke all about Thompson : didn't find it blowing. Old M. is bereaved like me, John having gone off high gee a prospect of getting in for Malmesbury. She picked me up at 4 in her nice open carriage, and we dropped cards. Mary and Victoria Clive came to tea, M. to dinner, in the middle of which turned up old Nevy, and was most delightful all the evening. His whole tone and turn of mind does seem most sound, high-principled, manly, and modest : just what one would wish and pray for a young officer ; and one can't but rejoice in the hope that he will have influence, and use it for good.

23Jun1865, Granny Reads a Picture Book

LONDON, June 23rd, 1865.
—To St. St., where Great-Granny was entertaining with a picture-book little George and Mary. Dined there, and chaperoned Aunt C. afterwards to Ly. Windsor's.

Monday, March 30, 2009

22Jun1865, Alice Arbuthnot Killed by Lightening

LONDON, June 22nd, 1865.
—We went to one of Uncle William's man breakfasts, where we met the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, the Duke of Brabant, Mr. Goschen (a young M.P. whose abilities are much thought of), M. Van de Weyer, etc., and were reminded of certain last-year breakfasts of the sort, when somehow we did not sit at different tables, as to-day. It was sad and shocking to contrast with our bright associations the terrible news which came before we left the house. Lord Granville, who had been expected, wrote to say that he had that moment heard of the death of his niece Alice Arbuthnotkilled by lightning ; at Interlachen, as they were coming home from their wedding tour. They were devotedly attached, and had been married barely 2 months. I did not know her, but remember her beautiful, gentle face. She was only 23. It is one of those things which make all earthly joys tremble under one ; and when I think of our precious year of happiness I can hardly dare to look into the future, for how little do I deserve the sunshine which in the case of so many is eclipsed at its height. It is overwhelming to think of poor Lord and Lady Rivers, who have already had such sorrow in the death of their 3 sons. The Howards, and Kitty Feilding with her sister Lady Adelaide Murray came to luncheon with us. Lady Ade. was engaged to be married the same day as the Arbuthnots. I went with M. and Mrs. Talbot and Edward to Chiswick, which the Duchess of Sutherland had lent for a P.M.W. fete. I went on the strength of being Supplemental Lady to Limehouse, and saw its 2 mission women, Mrs. Bush and Sarah Darrington : also Miss Lilley the Superintendent ; and heard a good account of the mission. The poor bodies had a beautiful tea, with fruit and flowers ; and were immensely pleased. M. and I went early on her baby's account ; but we heard that they ended by singing, and made Mrs. Talbot thank the Duchess for them. One woman said it was like Paradise. The Duchess gave each a rose to take away. I had a little walk by myself to see certain dear spots in the garden, where we spent "golden hours," also went into the house ; into the drawing-room where we sat together on the sofa in the deep summer stillness that June evening ; and all was dreamlike to me, and fairyland. But to those who knew and loved Alice Arbuthnot the place must be for ever saddened, for the Rivers's used to live there.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

21Jun1865, Encountered Great Swells

LONDON, June 21st, 1865.
—We drove about paying some of the monster bills incident to setting up house. We much fear the total of the furnishing, including linen, crockery, and kitchen apparatus, will be quite £3,000. Dined at Lady de Grey's [FN: Wife of Earl de Grey, afterwards the 1st Marquess of Ripon, the statesman.], to meet the D. of Cambridge, and encountered great swells, viz. the Duke and Duchess [FN: Afterwards Duchess of Devonshire.] of Manchester, she looking brilliantly beautiful and attractive as usual ; he certainly a foil ! The Ailesburys (she has grand remains of beauty), the Skelmersdales, Lord Sefton, Sir R. and Lady Emily Peel, Mr. and Ly. Augusta Sturt, Ly. Molesworth, and one of the Ladies Cowper.

20Jun1865, Our First Real Dinner

LONDON, June 20th, 1865.
—I fussed and fidgeted a good deal all day under the anticipation of our First Real Dinner Party ; arranged flowers, mused over the bill of fare, contemplated the table, displayed china, likewise did books which have hitherto proved fearfully high, received visits from Papa, Aunt Coque, and Albert who also dined with us and is very well ; we went to the Academy with F. which struck me less favourably than before. To dinner came M., John, and Edward, the Aglys, Agnes, Albert, and Mr. E. Ashley. All went very well ; but I began with a good fit of nervousness, which, however, I craftily concealed.

19Jun1865, Getting Mourning Clothes

LONDON, June 19th, 1865.
—Drove about getting mourning (4th since my marriage) for a great-uncle-in-law, Lord Charles Fitzroy.

18Jun1865, No Afternoon Sermon

CHISLEHURST, June 18th, 1865.
—Grey and rather chilly all day. But we had a very pleasant, pretty afternoon walk to Lord Sydney's fine park. The church close by Lord Richard's garden (N.B. I am to say Uncle Richard, says he !), pretty and carefully arranged. Singing very good and hearty. An excellent sermon from Mr. Murray on the apparent discrepancies between Scripture and Science. No after. sermon. We read Goulburn, and I some Th. à Kempis which Kitty Feilding has given me.

17Jun1865, Visiting Lord Richard

CHISLEHURST, June 17th, 1865.
—At ½ past 4 we set off for Chislehurst which it interests me to see. Uncle Richard and his dog Maida (descended from Sir W. Scott's) received us very kindly. The pretty garden is full of roses.

16Jun1865, Another Fall from a Horse

LONDON, June 16th, 1865.
—We drove together to get a wedding-present for dear Mr. Hugh Smith. At 6 we picked up Lou, and went off riding together. I was on Revolver, and the ill-behaved old fellow chose to come flop down on his knees at the end of a foolish gambol, rolled on his side, and deposited me on the ground. It is my 3rd tumble, and for the 3rd time I fell harmlessly on my side. I feel no worse result, thank God, than a bruised, aching leg. Lou fortunately was able to join on to the Lascelles, and F. and I rode sedately home at a foot's pace. We had one of our snug and rare tête-à-tête evenings, and sat in the drawing-room, which is too lovely lit up. Dear Lou came at 10 to see how I did, and said the Duke was very near coming !

15Jun1865, Wrong Hour for Service

LONDON, June 15th, 1865.
—Went to All Saints' at the wrong hour for service, but remained there for quite 20 minutes, which was very nice.

14Jun1865, Busy Day in London

LONDON, June 14th, 1865.
—Hot and fine. F. went off to Sussex before 8 a.m. and I had a solitary day. Made the best of it by hanging Lord Richard's beautiful engravings in the drawing-room (which also Lou and I decked out with wedding-presents), and the Smithian water-colours and "The Happy Valley" in the study, to surprise F. on his return. He was a little pleased ! Lou and Adéle d'Henin came to luncheon ; the Gladstone girls, Granny, Julia Robartes, and the Arthur Ellisons called, and all were great audience. I picked my Fred up about ½ past 4 ; but had to dine without him at Lady Rivers', as he had a clashing engagement. Mr. Leveson took me in, and was pleasant. Met the Carmarthens [FN: Afterwards 9th Duke and Duchess of Leeds. The Duchess was a daughter of 4th Lord Rivers : the Pitt ladies were, no doubt, her sisters.] and rather fell in love with her : two very pretty unmarried Pitts ; Hal with whom I had much confidential conversation.

13Jun1865, Fields Cleared of Hay

LONDON, June 13th, 1865.
—Hotter again. We saw field after field cleared of hay on our journey up. Lord Richard came to breakfast, and brought us lovely pinks and roses from Chislehurst. I took some, with my daisies and clover, to the workhouse : old folk charmed. Cut my way through my mountain of notes.

12Jun1865, Flowers for the Workhouse Bodies

LONDON, June 12th, 1865.
—We picked a good load of daisies and clover for my poor old workhouse bodies ; and I bore off besides a lovely nosegay of other flowers.

08Jun1865, Family at Hawarden

HAWARDEN, June 8th, 1865.
—We left dear, beautiful Chatsworth about 10, and travelled here in much dust, dirt, and heat, arriving at the Rectory about 3. It is a year and a half since my last memorable visit here ; when the feeling which is now like my own life to me really began. There is a halo round the recollection, as round so many others ! I believe I haven't slept in this house since 1854, when I was 13 ; and everyone was full of the Crimean War. We find here Uncle Stephen, Auntie P , and Mazy [FN: Mary Gladstone, afterwards Mrs. Drew.] ; and after dinner Willy and Stephy turned up from Chester, where Willy has been hard at work canvassing. He seems thoroughly to have warmed up to the work ; and has made one speech which has gained him much applause for its good sense, manliness, and caution. We trolled electioums beyond ! The new curate and his wife, (Chamberlains), nice people, dined. 0 what a contrast to that 1st peaceful day of our pretty honeymoon ! But my Fred and I had a little honeymoon on the lawn here ; and I spouted to him my Hawarden bits of poetry.

06Jun1865, Eddy Visits the Queen

CHATSWORTH, June 6th, 1865.
Eddy came, looking very bright and dear : says the Queen and Princess Helena have been very kind and cordial ; but the poor Queen says, as soon as anyone thoroughly suits and pleases her, she marries !