Saturday, May 23, 2009

12Jul1866, Picnicky Little Business

LONDON, July 12th, 1866.
- I had a real treat and refreshment after luncheon : driving to Pembroke Lodge [FN: In Richmond Park, lent by the Queen to Lord Russell.] with my Fred (in a ducal brougham too, so as to relieve our minds of our much put-upon horse) to a picnicky little business there. The glorious green summer beauty and sweetness of everything was delightful ; and took away the cockney cloud of hot street atmosphere. Ld. Russell appeared, much hidden by an enormous white beaver hat : he looked extremely placid and light-hearted, and cracked some little jokes. I believe he has got over the defeat now.

09Jul1866, Lansdowne Dies Suddenly

LONDON, July 9th, 1866.
Ld. Lansdowne died suddenly the other day, being seized one night with a stroke while playing at cards, at White's : she was sent for, and getting home and finding him speechless, in her agony tore off her necklace, so that the pearls were found scattered over the floor. They were to have given a party the same day, and we had just got a card for it.

08Jul1866, Equally Bad For All

H.M.S. VICTORY, July 8th, 1866.
—The Service on board would be as nice and hearty as possible, if the Chaplain was not terribly dull and inefficient, preaching a sermon that would have done for Dukes, or undergraduates, or labourers, or anybody ; and been equally bad for all.

06Jul1866, On Board the Victory

H.M.S. VICTORY,[FN: Where she was the guest of her sister-in-law Lady Louisa Egerton, wife of Captain Egerton.] July 6th, 1866.
—The 4 a.m. gun is a startling event, and made me jump. We went with Frank early to see the Block machinery, which delighted me ; also on board a hideous splay-shaped monster called the Royal Sovereign, one of the turret ships. Her luckless turret has been a good deal smashed by experiments with a 12-ton gun. But the Captain (Herbert) showed off the wounds with more pride than grief, being over the moon at the steel plates having been only smashed, not cracked. Afterwards we went (all of us) by train to Southampton, and were a good deal impressed and bewildered by information about Ordnance Survey maps ; and were shown a mysterious process, half-photography, half-engraving, called zincography, lately invented.

05Jul1866, Some Civilities for the King of the Belgians

LONDON, Thursday, July 5th, 1866.
—I drove with Emma. Atie. P. begged for a lift to M. Van de Weyer's, wishing to set some civilities on foot for the King of the Belgians, who has come for Pss. Helena's marriage, and is not only quartered at an hotel, which is the poor Queen's way now, but left without even a Royal carriage.

04Jul1866, Big Party at D. House

LONDON, July 4th, 1866.
—Big party at D. House: I chaperoned Mary Wortley and Charlotte Farquhar ! We dined there ; Cavendish pretended to weep over his fall : I am very cross at it ; for he was doing his duty famously, as all sides say more or less.

02Jul1866, Prince of Wales Knocked Over

LONDON, July 2nd, 1866.
—We rode. A runaway man and horse, we heard, came full tilt against the Prince of Wales, who was riding with the Princess and the Queen of the Belgians, and knocked him clean over, horse and all. He rode home, and dined out this evening ; so I suppose he is not much hurt, but it seems hardly possible. We dined at Ly. Newburgh's (?) meeting the Duke, the Cokes, a little Prince Borghese, Ld. Clanwilliam, Count Pahlen, and the Duchess of Buccleuch . It was too swell ! and rather silent. Afterwards to Ly. Welby-Gregory.

01Jul1866, Fred Visits the Paupers

LONDON, July 1st, 1866.
—I took Fred to see the poor old paupers, to their great delight.

30Jun1866, Never Go There Again

LONDON, June 30th, 1866.
—I took Agnes to a party at Ly. Derby's, and fervently resolved never to go there again, such were the stick-in-the-mud arrangements of the comings and goings.

29Jun1866, The Times Makes A Rumpus

LONDON, June 29th, 1866.
—The Times makes a rumpus about the cheers and groans of "the mob" and Auntie P. coming out to them on the balcony the other night. Who could resist it, if they were cheering one's husband, and one knew he deserved it !

27Jun1866, Uncle W. and Auntie P. are Cheered

LONDON, June 27th, 1866.
—We had a great excitement, hearing a continuous roar of cheers, beginning at Trafalgar Square, where a meeting has been going on, culminating in front of No. 11, where a good crowd collected to cheer Uncle W., who was dining out ; I drove, and went to Stratton St., where Granny was entertaining her great-grandchildren, helped very pleasantly by Harry Lyttelton, who seems to have much that is nice about him : is more like his mother, to look at and to listen to, than ever. Auntie P. came out on the balcony, with the girls, and bowed to the crowd.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

26Jun1866, The Liberal Ministry Has Resigned

LONDON, June 26th, 1866.
—The Liberal Ministry has resigned ; and now we shall see what sort of hash the Tories will make of things. Their Adullamite majority will give them more terror and trouble than it is worth, or very possibly won't work with them at all. The war on the Continent is regularly afoot, and poor Italy has been badly beaten. The nice young Prince de Condé, who danced with me at Charles' coming of age, has died in Australia of typhus. Poor Auntie P. came to see me this morning, more miserable and taken out of than I have often seen her. Freddy and a good luncheon set her up a little again ! and then to-night, when the House was up, Uncle William was well cheered by a crowd in Palace Yard.

25Jun1866, Universal Complaint

LONDON, June 25th, 1866.
—We left Latimer early, and I went to the Ladies' Association Service at St. James', where the Bishop of London preached very earnestly, and we all received the Holy Communion together. . . .
The poor Queen's terrible fault in remaining (or indeed being) at Balmoral has given rise to universal complaint, and much foul-mouthed gossip. She is travelling up to-night.

22Jun1866, The Queen is to Blame

LONDON, June 22nd, 1866.
—The Queen is seriously to blame for staying at Balmoral till Monday ; nothing can be settled without her presence, and rumours run wild : resignation, dissolution, and a vote of confidence being all on the cards.

19Jun1866, The Fate of the Bill

LONDON, June 19th, 1866.
—Government beaten last night by 11 ; and I have really felt unhappy all day at the fate of the poor Bill which is like a child dying of the chickenpox after it has got through measles, scarlet-fever, and whooping-cough. The Queen unluckily at Balmoral, so nothing was done to-day but an adjournment till Monday ; and nobody knows if a resignation or a dissolution will be the upshot. The defeat is caused by horrid Adullamites.

Little George [FN: George Talbot, now Mr. Justice Talbot.] 5 to-day ; I gave him a carpenter's box. I went to Lord's to see the Oxford and Cambridge match which we lost by 14 after a good fight ; a grim day, altogether ! We dined en famille at D. House where there was afterwards a big drum. It was got up partly as a proper civility for the Secretary of War [FN: Lord Hartington had just entered the Cabinet as Secretary at War.]; and under the circumstances felt rather like inviting people to see Cinderella after 12 had struck !

Monday, May 18, 2009

14Jun1866, That Person... Bright!!

LONDON, June 14th, 1866.
—Dined with the Amberleys, meeting only one person, and that person . . . Bright ! ! (Oh that one could become a Boswell now and then !) He was very agreeable, but only upon the one topic of politics, having little to say, for instance, when we started the new question of the establishment of central pauper infirmaries, instead of the present wretched system for the sick. He was certainly as violent and one-sided in his execration of Tories as any of them say ; and said of the Adullamites that he hopes not one will ever be re-elected by their constituencies. He spoke of the Bill for allowing real property to be divided among the children in cases of intestacy ; and said that the present tendency to accumulate land in few hands would lead to compulsory and equal subdivision (of which he said he disapproved) by the force of a strong reaction. He defended the Ballot ; but I could not understand. I was struck by his ease, and unaffected, simple manner. Afterwards I went to the House and saw a riotous but very victorious division upon a concession of Uncle W.'s. A letter telling Bright of this concession came to him at dinner and made him angry. He spoke against it in the House, and wouldn't vote, whereat the Opposition cheered derisively. F. didn't vote.

12Jun1866, Prince Alfred Very Short

LONDON, June 12th, 1866.
—We dined at the Gladstones', meeting Falmouths, Wharncliffes, Amberleys, Count Strilezecki, the Duke, and Uncle Dick. Afterwards a little tail. Ball at Lady Blantyre's. The Duchess of Manchester there, looking rather ill and more middle-aged. Prince Alfred (who has just been created Duke of Edinburgh—a funny title) was there, looking somewhat handsome, but very short.

11Jun1866, The Bakers of Africa

LONDON, June 11th, 1866.
—I went to Ly. Amberly's, and saw the famous Bakers who have been in the depths of Africa. He dismayed me by the description he gave of the hopeless materialism and brutality of the people, who are without any religion, sense of duty, or even natural affection.

05Jun1866, Rather Bored at the Ball

LONDON, June 5th, 1866.
—We dined cosily in, Stratton St., going afterwards with Aunt Coquitty to hear Mr. Brookfield read "Hamlet," which he did very well, especially the comedy parts. Queen's Ball, where we were rather bored ; Ld. Sefton was there with his bride-elect, and Ld. Brecknock with his ; neither very pretty, if I was right in shooting them. Princess of Wales looked lovely, though thin ; the Prince's looks are improved by an advancing yellow beard.

03Jun1866, Read Some Old Letters

CHISLEHURST [FN: Lord Richard Cavendish's house.], June 3rd, 1866.
—After 2nd church, we walked on to the Common, and sat there some time, listening to birds and chiming bells. I read some of the old letters to F. He says it is curious to be hearing about his mother from his wife ; I do like that. After dinner, I sat alone in the garden ; and read a fine sermon of Robertson's, on God's Revelation of Heaven. The other two came out too. It was very delicious.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

31May1866, Treason in the Liberal Camp

LONDON, May 31st, 1866.
—The Conservatives have been and gone and done it to-day ! for they have been supporting a proposal for an educational franchise versus the modest Government rental one for no other conceivable purpose than to defeat Government : if they had divided and won they would have had to come in pledged to a franchise that points straight to universal suffrage ! Bright is not such a Radical ! his ideal being household suffrage ; and he made a conservative speech opposing this. I suppose Uncle Wm. is wanting in tact ; for there is treason through the camp ; and the oddest fermentations and combinations of parties against him.

27May1866, Remembering 1st Communion

CHATSWORTH, May 27th, 1866. Trinity Sunday.
—The anniversary Sunday of my 1st Communion. It was sad not to find it administered to-day. I remember that happy, blessed Trinity Sunday so vividly ; and grieve to think how fresh and pure and strong my feelings were then to what they are now, on the greatest things. The happiness of my married life is such an absorbing happiness ! I fear it binds me round more closely than it ought ; it is difficult in heart and mind to ascend, when I have such great treasure on earth. God grant us to love Him above all things.

21May1866, Blue With Hyacinths

HAGLEY, May 21st, 1866.
—We walked to Wychberry wood, which was blue with hyacinths, up to the obelisk and home by the Birmingham approach. All the place is decked out in every shade of green, and is radiant.

20May1866, Heart Happiness

HAGLEY, May 20th, 1866.
—The services very nice. The beautiful "Veni Creator" carried me back to '64 especially. After church we sat for a little on the octagon bench as we did then ; the same glorious springtime ; the same heart-happiness, and yet a very different one. We walked with Papa through the park and up Clent Hill.

16May1866, Milman, Fawcett, Ecce Homo

LONDON, May 16th, 1866.
—The poor Westminster bank where all Meriel's kitchen money and other charities bank, has shut up like the others. . . .

We dined at Ld. Taunton's, meeting Dean Milman and Mr. Fawcett. The latter very agreeable, only rather too talkative for a young M.P. He seems to take his blindness very cheerfully. The new book which is making the most wonderful noise, and of which nobody knows the author—"Ecce Homo"—was discussed. It has been put down to all the notable writers of the day, pretty nearly. People differ widely about it ; some thinking it most pernicious, aiming at undermining belief in the Divinity of our Lord ; others thinking it noble, and likely to build people up in the Faith. Papa and Uncle Wm. are of the latter opinion : I long to read it but the Talbots dissuade me. Mr. Fawcett held forth against the Bank Act ; and against Uncle Wm.'s plan of paying off the National Debt, which he considers no better than the old sinking fund. There is much talk of our coal ceasing to pay for the expense of getting it, in 3 generations !

15May1866, Lord Overstone Against All Charities

DIARY, MAY 1866—JUNE 1868

LONDON, May 15th, 1866.
—We dined at the Loyd Lindsays [FN: Afterwards Lord and Lady Wantage. Lady Wantage, who inherited Lord Overstone's fortune, had certainly no "monomania against charities."]. I sat next Ld. Overstone, who put me into a rage by crowing over his sagacity in snubbing begging-letters. He is choked up with money, and has a monomania against all charities.