Saturday, May 02, 2009

06Feb1866, The Queen Opens Parliament

LONDON, February 6th, 1866.
—A notable red-letter day. The dear Queen opened Parliament in person for the first time since her widowhood ; going in great state, drawn by 8 cream-colours, all her other carriages with 6 horses ; a large escort attending her. I went to the terrace of No. 11 and saw famously. She looked out, and bowed incessantly—her own gracious bow ; the enthusiasm was great among the big crowd ; and she had "Queen's weather." Arthur, to his great delight, was in waiting, and arrayed himself here, which gave much enjoyment to our household ! According to his report, the Queen wore pale lilac (qu. grey ?) silk, but according to Papa, it was black, and according to others it was to have been purple velvet ; so my ideas are not very clear on the subject. As she seated herself on the Throne it appears that she wrapped herself in the state mantle which was laid ready for her. She did not read the Speech herself : it was uncommonly long. My great excitement of hearing F. move the Address came off about 5. He was nervous, but got through it very well ; his voice much better and clearer than I expected, and plenty in his speech, which has received enough compliments to turn my head : "full of thought"—"the stuff to make a good speaker"—"the best mover and seconder speeches in somebody's recollection." Mr. Graham, the seconder, was very successful, and a good deal the most fluent. The funny thing was that old Yankee Freddy entirely forgot to allude to the American peace and the abolition of slavery ! after carefully preparing his say on that point. But he spoke nearly 1/2 an hour, which was long enough. Great is my repose and relief to-night, and I am proud of my Fred. He went off to the House after dinner, a fate which must inevitably befall me very often, and I sat solitary.

05Feb1866, Arnt Suverland is ill

LONDON, February 5th, 1866.
—We went to luncheon at Aunt Caroline's. They are all uneasy about the Dow. Duchess of Sutherland's [FN: Wife of the 2nd Duke : sister of Lord Frederick's mother.] health. Instead of the unwieldy title I might perhaps adopt Freddy's "Arnt Suverland." But I have always held her in awe, in spite of, or because of, her gentle, Royal sort of kindness.

01Feb1866, The Great Man Gives Fred a Speech

LONDON, February 1st, 1866.
—We went across the way, and F. had a sit with Uncle Wm. who gave him the heads of the Queen's Speech ; which are ticklish enough to handle, what with Fenianism, Jamaica, Cattle-plague, and Reform Bill. Would it were all triumphantly over ! Fenianism, though apparently aimless and frantic as to organisation and object, is a terrible symptom of the miserable cankers of Ireland. The hope about vaccination is pretty nearly at an end. More than 10,000 beasts were attacked by the last week's return. Farmers and even gentry are ruined or 1/2 ruined. Cheshire is the worst county. Joints of beef are 1s. a lb., which is a cheat just now, as the market is full of meat ; but by and bye higher prices are inevitable.

F. went to a meeting about improving poor people's houses in Westminster, and to the House for the 1st time as M.P. to help re-elect the Speaker. I drove with Auntie P. and Mary (the great man with us part of the way, in high force) in the well-known old park, with a handful of riders adorning it already.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

29Jan1866, A Merry Servants' Ball

HOLKER, January 29th, 1866.
—A most merry, successful servants' ball came off in the corridor downstairs, reminding me of old Hagley doings. Dear me ! my last was at the coming of age ! For the 1st time in my life, indulged in polkas and other whisks, with Frank and Eddy, and enjoyed them hugely. Little Mary Cavendish [FN: Daughter of the 2nd Lord Chesham and, later, wife of Lady Frederick's eldest brother, Lord Cobham.] danced delightfully.

27Jan1866, A Charming Ride

HOLKER, January 27th, 1866.
—Grey and Scotch-misty all day. Shooting as before. Palgrave, Corpus, Hume ; began "The Heart of Midlothian" to the girls. Had a charming ride on Punchy with Lavinia on Empress and Georgina on Ossa, by Mt. Barnett and Hill Mill to Speel Bank.

26Jan1866, Flookburgh Remains

HOLKER, January 26th, 1866.
—After luncheon, Flookburgh remains, viz. dear doting Betty Moore, late washerwoman, and dreadfully dirty Agnes Haddath, bedridden.

25Jan1866, Never Ending Shooting is a Tax

HOLKER, January 25th, 1866.
-The never-ending, still-beginning shooting, which becomes a serious tax to pay for the necessity of ducal preserves. Uncle Rd. and I walked by the park and fields to Flookburgh, where I hooked on to Lou, and we did a selection of poor folk ; viz. Mesdames Ellen Rose, Betty Turman, Cornthwaite, Bradley, Cooperthwaite, and wonderful old Geoffrey, who will stick to his assertion that he came to Flookburgh in Sir Something Lowther's time.

17Jan1866, All Expecting, Ah Dear Me

HOLKER, January 17th, 1866.
Ld. Stanhope, who flatters me with his attentions, sent me some letters that passed between certain French big-wigs and the then Ld. Stanhope in 1792, of which he has just had 50 copies printed ; they have not much in them, but I feel much grattered and flattified. Ly. Henry Scott, Ly. Granville, and Ly. Dudley are all said to be expecting babies. Ah, dear me !

14Jan1866, A Tiff With Morgan

HOLKER, January 14th, 1866.
—I verily believe I have never mentioned F.'s having got the oppressive honour of moving the Address before him ! My day much overclouded by a tiff with Morgan, serious enough to entail upon her a talking-to from Fred and a threat of giving her warning ; but the sky is all clear again this evening ; and possibly all the clearer !

18Jan1866, Eddy and Emma visit

HOLKER, January 18th, 1866.
Eddy and Emma came from London, having done a good spell of Sussex civilities. Emma very well and prosperous. Her baby is expected early in August. Oh, how I hope it may be a good omen for Lou and me!

12Jan1866, Finished "Kenilworth"

HOLKER, January 12th, 1866.
—Yesterday I finished "Kenilworth," which excited and interested me fully as much as when I was 14 ; perhaps more, as it has haunted me at night.

Monday, April 27, 2009

11Jan1866, Goschen and Peel Promoted

HOLKER, January 11th, 1866.
—There is good deal of talk about Mr. Goschen being made something (FN: Chancellor) of the Duchy of Lancaster, unbeknown to Lord Russell's colleagues, and not having had time to do much to deserve it. Sir R. Peel over the moon at having been made K.C.B.

06Jan1866, Cattle Plague

HOLKER, January 6th, 1866.
—The cattle-plague is fearful, more than 7,600 attacked a week, by the last return. We tremble for the beautiful herd of shorthorn cows and bulls here ; but it is not in the near neighbourhood. Worcestershire has been wonderfully free ; but it is bad on one of the Hawarden farms. Many places are forbidding all transfer of cattle. There is a notion that it is small-pox.

05Jan1866, Reading "Kenilworth"

HOLKER, January 5th, 1866.
—I began dear "Kenilworth" for the 2nd time, the 1st being at St. Leonard's in the happy spring of 1856.

04Jan1866, Deserve to be Destroyed

HOLKER, January 4th, 1866.
—Fearful accounts in the Times of the state of London houses for the poor. If something is not done, the country will deserve to be destroyed.

02Jan1866, The Downfall of Slavery

HOLKER, January 2nd, 1866.
—It is wrong to set out on the New Year without thinking of the great event of 1865: the American war ending with the downfall of Slavery. It is nothing short of a fulfilment of the words : "With men it is impossible : but with God all things are possible."
Of course there is awful perplexity and misery connected with the coloured people ; but one may trust that God, Who has worked one miracle for them, will make a way for bringing good and blessing upon their future. The worst fear at present seems to be of their dying out in the mysterious way uncivilized nations have before, when attempts have been made to make them live on equal terms with civilized men.

01Jan1866, One Thing Wanting to Us

HOLKER, New Year's Day, 1866.
—God grant us another year of peaceful happiness, if it be His Will, and the one thing wanting to us. Emma has that precious hope for which I long sadly.

31Dec1865, Nice Little Boys

HOLKER, December 31st, 1865.
—I had a class (before morning church) at the school, of nice little boys, 2 or 3 very intelligent

29Dec1865, Xmas Charities

HOLKER, December 29th, 1865.
—I took Lou's place in giving away Xmas charities of sheeting, blankets, flannel, etc., to divers poor folk, under the excellent Mrs. Birkett's eye. Got into the p. carriage in an interval of fine weather with Lord Rd. and drove to call on Mrs. Hubberty, but we were well wetted with driving rain. The poor little skeleton child is dead. Palgrave, Milton, letter-sorting. We had a snug little tea in our room, and entertained Cavendish, to my pride.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

19Dec1865, The Little Boys Arrive

HAGLEY, December 19th, 1865. . . . Later arrived the 3 little boys, escorted by Newmany, looking famously well ; Bob with a good conduct prize, Edward with one for classics : jolly little Alfred with nothing but his own charms.

15Dec1865, General Mourning for the King of the Belgians

HAWARDEN, December 15th, 1865.
—The King of the Belgians is dead, and there is a general mourning for 10 days. The Queen will nevertheless appear at the opening of Parliament, but will not read the Speech, or wear the robes (which are to be laid on the throne !). A great thing it is, however.

We turned a "little dancing" into a mad and scampering little ball, which ended with an uproarious country dance, a final waltz, and "God save the Queen."

09Dec1865, The Jamaica Massacre

HAWARDEN, December 9th, 1865.
—The Jamaica massacre, in which it seems 2,000 blacks have been killed to revenge the deaths of 18 whites, was much talked of.

07Dec1865, A Meeting at Idle

ESHOLT, December 7th, 1865.
—Good-bye to Chatsworth and our smartest month of the year. I am in love with Ly. Dalkeith, and bewitched with Ly. Dufferin. We came here (the Fairbairns) for a Mechanics' Institute meeting at Idle—a big, overgrown, manufacturing village, with 9,000 people in it, but no particular streets. I was much delighted with the warmth and heartiness of the audience, all apparently working folk. My Fred spoke well. One old gentleman, in broad Yorkshire, got into such cloudland about Freddy's future among Cabinets and Councils that I feared he would come down with a bump ; but it rather thrilled me !