Monday, June 22, 2009

03Apr1867, A Very Busy Day

LONDON, April 3rd, 1867.
—A very busy day. At 10½ I paid a flying visit to the workhouse. Soon after 11 went with Auntie P. and Mrs. Hampton shopping for the Convalescent Home : got coal-scuttles, crockery, coffee-mill, knives, forks, and spoons, canisters, etc., etc. N.B. stone ware cup, with its saucer, price 2d. ! ! Luncheon, and at 2½ I drove off to Westbourne Terrace to call on Mrs. Martineau ; found Mrs. Monsell (the Great) with her ; learnt useful text-painting particulars ; looked in at St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, but the service was just ending ; visited Aunt Caroline (who is just come home from abroad), who was out, and Lady Albemarle whose daughter sang most delightfully ; sagged to Paddington to meet Mazy, but, being a few minutes late, missed her. And finally we dined at Lady Estcourt's, meeting Robartes's.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

01Apr1867, Mrs. Scott-Siddons Reads Shakespeare

LONDON, April 1st, 1867.
—A young Mrs. Scott-Siddons, about 20 years old, and great-grand-daughter to the great Mrs. Siddons, recited some Shakespeare and Tennyson at the Hanover Square rooms. She is beautiful, and sometimes like the famous pictures of the Tragic Muse ; her voice lovely ; soft, but clear and ringing ; all was good, but the tragedy parts really excellent. Such grace, and pathos, and passion ! but always natural, and with no rant. I cried dreadfully over Constance and Arthur ; finishing with a good hearty howl when it was over ! But what promises most of all by far is her acting. I feel as if the dream I have had all my life of what should be on the stage is to be realized.

27Mar1867, Labourers on Strike

LONDON, March 27th, 1867.
—The engine-drivers on the Brighton line and elsewhere, and the wretched starved Buckinghamshire labourers, are on strike ; the latter only demanding 12s. a week.

24Mar1867, Sermon by Magee

LONDON, March 24th, 1867.
—Went off in a hansom to St. Paul's Cathedral, inside which neither of us had ever been : grand and stately it is, but crying out for splendid rich decoration. Thousands of people. Magee , Dean of Cork [FN: Afterwards Bishop of Peterborough.], preached a glorious, eloquent sermon, outpoured with great fire and earnestness without a single note. His voice and action perfectly beautiful—unaffected and persuasive and powerful.

23Mar1867, Dined at the Argylls'

LONDON, March 23rd, 1867.
—Dined at the Argylls', meeting a rugged, clever old Scotch Lord Colonsay, Mr. C. Howard, and George [FN: Afterwards 9th Earl of Carlisle.] (who gave a better account of Rosalind, and said his baby was like the Stanleys, which is rather sad, if it ever lives to be Lord Carlisle), etc. I made acquaintance with Edith Campbell [FN: Daughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll ; afterwards Duchess of Northumberland.] who is just out, and would be lovely but for her tiny shrunk figure ; beautiful Evy ; Elizabeth, who is less pretty, but has a better figure and very delicate features ; Lorne [FN: Afterwards 9th Duke of Argyll. Married Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria.] and Archie very pleasant, taking, gentlemanlike fellows, Lorne seeming very clever ; has just written a book about Travels in America and Jamaica.

18Mar1867, Household Suffrage

LONDON, March 18th, 1867.
Susan and I went to the House of C. before prayers (with which I was not edified : such an inaudible mumble, and nobody pretending to follow ; yet the crowd of members standing up together and keeping entire silence was striking). Dizzy made a painful, laboured speech, bringing forward his badissimus bill : Household Suffrage, with actual personal, as distinguished from compounded, rate-paying, and a marvellous scheme called "duality of votes," which Uncle W., who followed in a more vehement, bitter onslaught than I have ever heard him make, called "a gigantic engine of fraud." Household Suffrage pure and simple would perhaps have been accepted by the Liberals, though many of them do not think the country ripe for it ; but Dizzy dursn't do that as a leader of the Conservatives ! and now they are nevertheless, many of them, as discontented as possible : Sir W. Heathcote and others spoke against the Bill, and it is supposed not to have a chance. Never shall I forget the fire and scorn and vehemence of Uncle W.'s speech : he glared from one side to the other, gesticulated with both arms, often spoke with a kind of bitter laugh, stumbled over the formal phraseology of the House, in his violent feeling ; but the whole gave such an overwhelming notion of righteous indignation stirred up by moral convictions that there was no effect of temper about it.

17Mar1867, Withering, Shivering Blast

LONDON, March 17th, 1867.
—Withering, shivering blast, drying up one's miserable throat and making one like a nutmeg-grater inside and out. Also a keen frost. I never could feel, with Dr. Watts, the pleasure of reflecting upon the "starving wretches," in contrast with my comfortable self on a night like this. It is almost maddening to think of anybody out-of-doors in tattered clothes ; and oh ! I wish it would rain seal-skins !