Tuesday, June 02, 2009

07Nov1866, Maid Troubles

CHATSWORTH, November 7th, 1866.
—I am worried by my new maid turning out dreadfully huffy with the Duke's household, and unmanageable when I tell her to show my gowns to other people. She is going. It perplexes me sadly how all I say and do, though it is not without prayer, seems to fail utterly with one maid after another. This is the 4th I have had that has behaved ill in her rapports with some fellow-servant or other, and they have not a notion that they can be in the least to blame, though by their own showing (certainly in this one's case) all grows out of the pettiest jealousy and pride. There is a code of morals among them which not only is nowhere in the Bible, but flat against the whole tone of the N. Testament from beginning to end ; the supreme and pre-eminent commandment of this code being : "Thou shalt never let thyself be put upon; and thou shalt attribute the meanest motive to the conduct of thy fellows." I wonder how they understand our blessed Lord's words about the peace-makers, the poor in spirit, the meek and lowly. It makes one fear that one may be doing something like it, according to one's different temptations, with the same self-complacency ; but then one does learn a little to mistrust oneself.

06Nov1866, Agonistes into Greek

CHATSWORTH, November 6th, 1866.
—I am copying the text of Samson Agonistes for Papa who has translated it into Greek.

14Oct1866, Cession of Venetia to France

HARDWICK, October 14th, 1866.
—Sir James [FN: Lacaita] told us a capital story, which he said was highly characteristic of the two men. When news was brought to Card. Antonelli of the cession of Venetia to France, and France's intention of handing it on to Italy (an arrangement, by the bye, that the Italians kicked at, from pure pride, rightly or wrongly), the Cardinal sat horrified and dumbfounded ; then, covering his face with his hands, said, "Dio mio !—cade it cielo" He settled with the news-bringer that he (the latter) must go and break the fact to the Pope, he (the Cardinal) not having the courage to do so. But when the other told the Pope the news, the Pope in a radiant state exclaimed, "Benedetto Dio!—non udiremo piu parlay della questione di Venezia"

12Oct1866, Moliere

HARDWICK, October 12th, 1866.
—I am enjoying some Moliere.

06Oct1866, Arrived Safely

HARDWICK, October 6th, 1866.
—The hounds met at the back of the house, and Emma and I drove about there. My own Fred arrived safely before 1 o'clock ; and I had such happy bits of talk and felt my heart satisfied ! He and Eddy rode with the hounds (it was only pottering after cubs) and afterwards shot ; poor Freddy sleepy enough in consequence. Emma and I visited 2 or 3 folk at Rowthorne.

05Oct1866, He's Coming Home

HARDWICK, October 5th, 1866.
—At last, at last, the day is come ! But he won't be here till past 1 at night ; leaving Lancaster this morning, going to a public dinner at Knaresborough, and riding from Chesterfield. It is a starless, moonless night, but fine, I hope.

Michaelmas Day, 1866, Visiting the Locals

HOLKER, Michaelmas Day, 1866.
Freddy wrote it isn't likely he can come to-morrow. 0 dear ! My tête-à-tête dinner was rather awful. I did a good deal of text. Visited Sarah Carter and Alice Haddatty (the most fearfully dirty, witch-like old woman), Sarah Bradby, Widow Dickinson, at Flookburgh ; Sarah Newby at Cark ; Mrs. Walker, and another Dickinson (Mrs. Birkett's sister) at Quarry Flat. Missed my Fred terribly.

28Sep1866, Yeoman Fred

HOLKER, September 28th, 1866.
—One of my black days, my Fred going off to do yeomanry at Lancaster for a week. Such a long day as it felt ! but I am a ridiculous fool to mind so much, especially as he will make a flit back for Sunday.

11Sep1866, £1 Per Word

HOLKER, September 11th, 1866.
—The 2 Atlantic telegraphs are now in perfect order. They charge £1 a word for messages, and yet they pay enormously. While the '65 cable was lying broken at the bottom of the sea, 3 miles deep, natural causes set the electric fluid in motion continually, and fragments of words and incoherent sentences used to be spelt out at the shore-end.

20Aug1866, Swarms of Grouse Killed

BOLTON, August 20th, 1866.
—Soft rain most of the day, in spite of which we bumped valiantly up to the Roggan House, and saw two drives. The swarms of grouse killed become a perplexity in the disposing of them : 400 brace to-day.

Monday, June 01, 2009

10Aug1866, At York For the Show

ESCRICK, August 10th, 1866.
—We went again into York for the Show, as did the Prince and Princess, and saw numbers of fine horses. The hunters jumping a hurdle very good fun. Lord Zetland (who is here) escorted Miss Foljambe and me to York and back in his clarence. He is smitten with Carry, and wants his nephew Mr. Dundas (also here) to make up to her. But the youth looks shyissimus. F. and I deliberately shirked a big Royal ball at York, whither everybody went except us, Lord Macclesfield, Sir Watkin, Sir John Trollope, blind Mr. Foljambe, and one or two other gentlemen whose talk was of fox-hounds. I am glad to hear the Gladstones have left London ; for brave Auntie P. was straining her nerves and strength to the utmost, going almost daily to the London Hospital. The terrible thing spreads fast in London. Young Lord Downe is here, a very handsome, agreeable youth. I should think clever but rather head-turned by his position. Also nice little Lord Ellesmere.

09Aug1866, York Topsy-Turvy for T.R.H.

ESCRICK, [FN: The house of her cousin, Lord Wenlock.], August 9th, 1866.
—We drove to Bishopsthorpe, a dragfull and four, to dinner, to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales, to honour whom all York is turned topsy-turvy. Fifty-four people dined and it was very well done. T.R.H. each talked to me afterwards : the Princess looks lovely, but thin and tired ; I do think we trot her about too much ; the Prince has a good-natured face, improved by beard and whiskers ; but he looks 10 years older than he is, and is likely to smoke himself to death.

31Jul1866, Slate Quarries

HOLIER, July 31st, 1866.
—We all 3 went to the slate quarries. . . .
The factotum Mr. Eddy made all the quarrying details quite clear to me. I could have wished he had not been pleased to call me Lady Fred!!

28Jul1866, Transatlantic Telegraph

LONDON, July 28th, 1866.
—The greatest of pacific events (I did not mean a pun, "which it's the Atlantic" besides !) has come to a triumphant conclusion. After 2 failures last year and in '58, the Transatlantic telegraph cable has been successfully laid, and had its shore end landed in America yesterday ; the Great Eastern having done the whole business in . [FN: A blank in MS.] Cyrus Field is the man who has accomplished this.

26Jul1866, Hyde Park Riots

LONDON, July 26th, 1866.
—All London talks about the Hyde Park riots ; and I am put into a violent rage by people's unfairness. To be sure I should state that it is undoubtedly the right of Government to close the Park which is Crown property ; and it would be a pity to make it a usual place for political meetings ; but the present occasion was one of all others for granting the people's wish as a favour. The Trafalgar Sq. meeting the other day was orderly enough to prove that no rioting would have taken place ; and the last Government (in the person of Sir G. Grey) having declared they would not allow the meeting in Hyde Park is a fact that ought to have made the Conservatives take the opposite course. It would have been very open to objection for the Liberals to have allowed what might have been called an agitation to bolster up their own measure ; but nothing could have been more graceful and high-minded than for the Conservatives to have allowed it. Everybody has been blunderpated : the members of the "Reform League" drew off peaceably when they were stopped at the gates, and the row was entirely caused by the riff-raff. The rails are prostrate, coping-stones and all, nearly all the way from Hyde Park Corner to Bayswater ; and the wretched police, enormously outnumbered, are said to have hit savagely. But the accidents are very few ; and on Monday night I believe the flower-beds were carefully kept from harm. Mischief and blackguardism now prevail every evening. Mr. Walpole, the Home Secretary, whose feebleness has caused the whole thing, won the heart of a deputation of Reformers by bursting into tears ! !

23Jul1866, We Might As Well Be French

LONDON, July 23rd, 1866.
—I went to a meeting at Stafford House for promoting Saturday half-holydays. Then to see Emma, who was yesterday not at all well, but is all right to-day. The "populace," poor souls, having been goaded all the summer for not making any demonstration in favour of Reform, wished to hold a big meeting in Hyde Park to-day to express such an opinion. In a most un-English fashion the meeting was forbidden, the gates of the park shut at 5, and all the police had to come out to guard them. There was not the smallest pretext for believing there would have been any riot ; but naturally this tyranny produced one among the roughs, who uprooted the rails (probably they were pushed down, being rotten), and remained masters of the field. The Life Guards were called out, which was not done in '48, and which was truly absurd as they did nothing whatever ; and the people dispersed in time after some knocks had been exchanged. We might as well be French authorities, screwing down the safety-valve ! and very nice and high-minded it will read on the Continent. Auntie P. went to the London Hospital to-day, and was dismayed at the number of cholera patients. She went down their ward. A ton of ice a week is used for them. God help them !