Saturday, June 13, 2009

02Mar1867, John Parry and German Reed

LONDON, March 2nd, 1867.
—I went with Grauntcoquitty [FN: I.e. "Granny" and "Aunt Coque" and "Aunt Kitty" : the Dowager Lady Lyttelton, Hon. Caroline Lyttelton, and Miss Pole-Carew.] , Meriel, and Mrs. Robartes (very childish of such old matrons and maids !) to see John Parry and German Reed. Laughed till I was exhausted !

21Feb1867, Visiting the Very Poor

LONDON, February 21st, 1867.
—At the poor dinner was a pretty, bright-eyed little pussy-girl of five, whose remains of dinner I carried home for her, for fear she should come to grief with the plate. She showed me the way, trotting fearlessly along down a squalid street and court, up to the top of a wretched house. On the last landing, a door opened and out peeped another darling little girl. This was "home," and I went in. Father and mother, 4 children, and a baby were in the tiny place ; the little things all pretty and chubby, but the parents pinched and starved-looking: it was a tidy room considering ; I felt ashamed of myself, coming back to this big house, where there is not even one little baby to take up room.

We successfully entertained at dinner the Eddies, the Forsters, Agnes, Mr. Charles Howard , Mr. Tom Hughes. There was some discussion about the volunteers, who were called out illegally to, defend Chester from the Fenians the other day, and are really supposed to have saved the town from attack. The question is, whether it ought to be legal to arm them in cases of civil riots. Mr. Hughes was against it, saying they were and ought to be perfectly free to choose either side ! ! and so it might be awkward.

20Feb1867, Poor People's Dinner

LONDON, February 20th, 1867.
—Yesterday and to-day I have been to preside at a poor people's dinner just set going in this parish : went afterwards, with a little dot of a girl who had dined, to the district school in Bedfordbury, where were over 100 little creatures, the lowest of the low, in a nice airy room at the top of the building, which has a chapel for its basement, and another school and a mission room "au second."

16Feb1867, Macleod and Canterbury

LONDON, February 16th, 1867.
—We went to Lady Augusta Stanley's, and were introduced to Dr. Macleod, the editor of Good Words, whose Liberalism and penchant for painted windows has affronted certain stiff kirk-people ; but he is a Presbyterian all the same : a big burly man, with a great face full of power, very like my idea of Dr. Johnson. The Dean of Canterbury (Alford) was talking to him ; such a contrast, with his spare figure and thin, sensitive features.

15Feb1867, Maid Parry is Expecting

LONDON, February 15th, 1867.
—To my bewilderment and dismay last night, my poor maid Parry, who is married, announced in a tremulous voice, that, when she had been with me only a few days, she suddenly and unexpectedly discovered that she was several months gone with a luckless baby ! My head span, but I hope to manage a stop-gap, and take the poor thing back.

12Feb1867, Uncle W. Much Disgusted

LONDON, February 12th, 1867.
Uncle W. looks blooming after his holyday. He is as much disgusted and bothered by the course of the Government as it's possible to be : when I said something about the emptiness of the Resolutions, he said, "But there is plenty of poison in them," and later spoke of the difficulty of dealing with "a tortuous policy." He has the profoundest faithlessness in Dizzy ; almost the only man of whom he does not think better than he deserves !

07Feb1867, Tea wth the Stanleys

LONDON, February 7th, 1867.
—Entertained at 5 o'clock tea Agnes, Ly. Augusta Stanley, and her little Dean, who got through an alarming amount of bread and butter. Later, had the honour of a visit from Cavendish who stopped till Freddy came home.

02Feb1867, Landseer's Lions

HOLKER, February 2nd, 1867.
Landseer's lions are actually mounted on the pedestals of the Nelson monument.

30Jan1867, A Plot Among the Whigs

HOLKER, January 30th, 1867.
—There are dismal indications of a plot among the Whigs against Uncle William's leadership of the Opposition, and some have dragged up Cavendish's name to take his place. He has heard nothing of it directly, and would have nothing to do with such a dirty job.

27Jan1867, Bread Riots

HOLKER, January 27th, 1867.
—Afternoon school. There is terrible distress in London. . . . There have been actually bread-riots in the E. ; bakers' and butchers' shops rifled : the Poor Law as usual at a dead-lock.

22Jan1867, Lady Herbert's Impressions of Spain

HOLKER, January 22nd, 1867.
—Bitter grey cold : snow again to-night. A poor postman near Compton Place was found frozen to death in his cart holding the reins, when the horse stopped at the post-office. And there have been several other deaths from the same cause. . . .

Finished a silly book upon Spain by Lady Herbert, chiefly filled with eulogies upon the state of religion there, which I suppose is about the most degraded in Christendom, Romanism having overlaid nearly all pure Catholicism. It aggravates me much ; for one who spent 40 years of her life in communion with our own Church, with Sidney Herbert for her husband, and the Bishop of Salisbury for her friend, and who, if she isn't quite a fool (which she isn't) must know something of the devotion and piety and zeal, yes and Catholicism, of the last 30 years in England—that such a one should coolly imply all through that all in England but the Romanist sect are under the sway of bare, cold irreligion.

20Jan1867, Thames Population Unemployed

HOLKER, January 20th, 1867.
—The distress in London is terrible ; all the Thames population being badly off for work, owing to the losses of the employers of dock-labourers last year in the Bank failures.

17Jan1867, Discontent with Keble

HOLKER, January 17th, 1867.
—A great discontent has arisen (in which I share) at an alteration having been determined on in the next edition of the "Xtian Year," because of an expressed wish of Keble's, which however he never lived to carry out. The words at present (in the Gunpowder Plot poem) are :
" . . . there present in the heart,
Not in the hands, th' Eternal Priest
Doth His true Self impart " ;

the subject being Holy Communion. It is to be altered to "As in the hands." It is said the present reading seems to go against the Real Presence, which of course Keble held ; but the proposed one is liable to an equally important misunderstanding (is far more liable) ; viz. it will certainly be understood by the many as plain Transubstantiation ; and the book, which has been beloved by thousands of all opinions, including dissenters, will frighten away many, even loyal, Churchmen.

Monday, June 08, 2009

15Jan1867, Female Suffrage: Odious

HOLKER, January 15th, 1867.
—The subject of female suffrage (odious and ridiculous notion as it is) is actually beginning to be spoken of without laughter, and as if it was an open question. I trust we are not coming to that. Bright and certain of his vilifiers have been throwing mud at each other in the papers, in a most objectionable fashion, which some years back would have led inevitably to a duel.

S. John's Day, 1866, Reading and Writing

HOLKER, S. John's Day, 1866.
—We read Hooker, and began a little Shakespeare ("King John"). I wrote to the Eddies, to Florence. Heard from Aunt Emy. Froude's 2 new vols. of Elizabeth's reign must be very odious reading ; he blackens Mary Queen of Scots' character at great length and in indescribable ways.

20Dec1866, Some Mourning Things

HICKLETON, December 20th, 1866.
Ly. Halifax and I drove to Doncaster, where I got some mourning things for old Lady Chesham who has just died.

19Dec1866, Thoughts on Confession

HICKLETON, [FN: Lord Halifax's house.] December 19th, 1866.
Dr. Pusey is waging a war in The Times upon Private Confession and Absolution, which he advocates most strongly, tho' not condemning those who differ from him. It seems to me wrong to oppose private confession if it is quite voluntary ; but it is all but inconceivable to me. Many things it would be entirely impossible to put into spoken words, and so one would be false ; then under or over-statement of others would be inevitable ; as to motives, one would get into hopeless perplexity ; and then there is forgetfulness. My strong feeling (and I know it is not pride) is "0 keep the softening veil in mercy drawn, Thou Who canst love us, though Thou read us true" ; and no special confession to man, that I can imagine, could be to me what the silent appeal of one's soul is, lying with tears at His feet Who sees all, and pities all. "0 Lord, Thou knowest." Then comes the message of the priest, as if straight from Heaven—more consoling and reuniting, to my mind, than if the preceding confession had been a set one to him.

16Dec1866, Made One a Ritualist by Rebound

OSSINGTON, December 16th, 1866.
—Dank. Church an 80-year-old meeting-house, too dreadful, and the clergyman's attire, which was simply that of a particularly dirty chorister, made one a ritualist by force of rebound !

14Dec1866, Galloping on a Glorious Horse

OSSINGTON, December 14th, 1866.
—Delightful mild day. Spent most of it galloping on a glorious horse, with F. and the Speaker, amid the wide glades and grand trees of Welbeck and Thoresby.

13Dec1866, Lady Dorothy Nevill

OSSINGTON [FN: Speaker Denison's house.], December 13th, 1866.
Mr. and Ly. Dorothy Nevill came : she is a quaint, piquant, clever little woman, like a funny old picture.

12Dec1866, A New Maid

CHATSWORTH, December 12th, 1866.
—To my inexpressible relief and comfort, my odious little maid went off, and gentle, pleasant-looking, quiet little Mrs. Parry came, who will probably turn out a Felon, but is meanwhile very soothing.

11Dec1866, Lady Fortescue Dies

CHATSWORTH, December 11th, 1866.
—A terribly sad thing has happend : the death of Lady Fortescue in her confinement, leaving 13 children, the eldest only 18. It takes me back to '57, and awakes in me afresh the sense of what a piteous thing it is—so many orphaned.

10Dec1866, Valsing at the Servants' Ball

CHATSWORTH, December 10th, 1866.
—A delightful servants' ball came off in the Banqueting-room. I valsed. [FN: As a girl she had not been allowed to valse.]

08Dec1866, Queen Unveils a Statue

CHATSWORTH, December 8th, 1866.
—The Queen has sent Wolverhampton into an ecstasy by going there herself in full state, open carriage and all, to unveil a statue of the Prince Consort. It is the first time (in England) since his death, that she has taken such public part on a festive occasion.

04Dec1866, Duchess of Manchester, Too Beautiful

CHATSWORTH, December 4th, 1866.
—I am shivering all over with a miserable scene with my maid who squabbles with all the servants. The Duke and Duchess of Manchester came. Most of us walked. Battle in the evening. [FN: The Duchess of Manchester became subsequently Duchess of Devonshire. In the next day's entry she is described as "too beautiful and winning, with the most perfect manners—-high-bred, gentle, and intelligent."]

Sunday, June 07, 2009

03Dec1866, I Do Hope and Hope

CHATSWORTH, December 3rd, 1866.
—With Lou and Emma to see the infant-school ; the bright little faces set me longing as usual. Poor Emma [FN: Lady Edward had had a stillborn baby.] goes to see tiny children whenever she can. She is really only just beginning to regain spring and liveliness, but I can almost envy her, for knowing what it is to be a mother ; and then she can hope more than I can do, tho' I do hope and hope. We must "wait patiently."

29Nov1866, Gov. Eyre, Ritualists, One Church

CHATSWORTH, November 29th, 1866.
—The papers go on fighting over Gov. Eyre, whom one party is going to try for murder, which I can't think right, as he was a high-minded man, wishing to act for the best, and carried away by the panic around him ; and the other party getting up a Defence Fund, and defending him thro' thick and thin, which is a shame and disgrace to English people, who would not bear the wholesale vengeance if it had been upon whites, but cannot see the harm of unlimited killing and flogging when negroes are in question. The Ritualism controversy is hot ; many of the extreme school openly professing disloyalty to our Prayer Book, and disavowing the name of Protestant altogether. Now it is odious, I think, to let "Protestant" be our chief name, or to sink in it the noble name which carries with it all the glory of Christ's one Church—"catholic"—and plume ourselves upon a mere negative which we share with every sect of Christianity, or non-Christianity ; but it is wrong and miserable to disavow it altogether, and with it the whole principle of the Reformation. But the Ritualists are consistent, for many have ceased to protest against any Roman error, unless it be Papal Supremacy. Still, tho' this is bad and dangerous indeed, I do hope that nothing violent will be done : it is a great stir and enthusiasm ; much in it is great and true, full of love to Christ, work for the poor, and yearning for union ; and I can't but hope that what is wrong will counteract itself, and the good remain and abide.

26Nov1866, Engagements

CHATSWORTH, November 26th, 1866.
—Poor squinny dwarfish little Lord Milton is desperately in love with Lady Mary, daughter of Lady Ormonde, who won't have him. Lady V. Cecil, one of the best and nicest of girls, is engaged, after 2 years of ardent attachment on her part, to a little Mr. ________, a widower 30 years older than herself.

24Nov1866, Byegone Stories of Chatsworth

CHATSWORTH, November 24th, 1866.
—I sat by Sir Augustus [FN: Sir Augustus Clifford] at dinner, and, tho' he seems to be an empty-headed old gentleman, he entertained me much by his byegone stories of old Chatsworth and Althorp days.

23Nov1866, Discussing Lavinia, Lady Spencer

CHATSWORTH, November 23rd, 1866.
—I have delightful sits and trolls and "sweet converse" with old Tallee, whose goodness and charm to my mind give her grace and beauty that wins me more than a lovely face ! We walked, she and I and Lou, and talked, amongst other things, of the lady who was grandmother to Tallee, great-great-aunt to Lou, and great-grandmother to me [FN: Lavinia , daughter of the 1st Earl of Lucan and wife of the 2nd Earl Spencer. Her face is well known from Reynolds' portrait, so often engraved.]

19Nov1866, Admired by Mr. Bright

CHATSWORTH, November 19th, 1866.
Bright, on the strength of our meeting, announced to Mr. Trevelyan that he admired me much, and contrasted me favourably with Mrs. Lowe, a compliment that doesn't turn one's head.

18Nov1866, Thirty Walk to Church

CHATSWORTH, November 18th, 1866.
—Alas it poured and blew so that I could not coax Fred to let me go to Church ; it certainly would have damaged him, as he is rheumatic. We read the service together. Cleared later and we all walked, 30 of us ! Chapel service at 6.

15Nov1866, Indoor Tennis-Battledore

CHATSWORTH, November 15th, 1866.
—Rained nearly all day. Womankind staid at home, and some of us had three furious games of tennis-battledore in the banqueting room. Gentlemen drove to the shooting place and then—drove back again.