Tuesday, August 11, 2009

03Aug1867, A Cockney Expedition

LONDON, August 3rd, 1867.
—We failed to get the Devonshire House carriage, and found ourselves at 5 with nothing to do with our holyday. What should Fred hit upon but a delightful cockney expedition by boat to Greenwich ! where we kicked our heels in the park and toodled about very pleasantly, and wound up with a fish dinner, my intense enjoyment of which I am quite ashamed of !

01Aug1867, Kick-up in the H. of Lords

LONDON, August 1st, 1867.
—I have never stayed in London straight on into August before ; it is owing to the kick-up in the H. of Lords. . . .
There have been other amendments, including an unlucky one of Papa's, that nobody should vote who could not write a legible hand. The joke against him was that the clerk had to ask him to read the amendment, as he could not decipher it ! F. had thought of a similar proposal, but would have put it : "that all votes should be given in writing." However the notion is snuffed out. There is a strong party in the Lords' in favour of cumulative voting. Uncle W. is against it, F. for it. Bright violent against it.

23Jul1867, Birthdays

LONDON, July 23rd, 1867.
—Birthday of little Edward and of Cavendish [FN: Her brother Edward and her brother-in-law, Lord Harlington]. I wrote to the former, and sent the latter a little gift of Hymns Ancient and Modern for his pocket.

19Jul1867, Like Babies to the Zoo

LONDON, July 19th, 1867.
—My Fred's holyday : we went like a couple of babies to the Zoological Gardens, to my great enjoyment, and topped up with a really capital play, "The Lady of Lyons." N.B. It brought two tears down Freddy's iron cheek.

17Jul1867, The Review for the Sultan

H.M.S. " VICTORY," July 17th, 1867.
—Howling day with heavy storms ; but between acts beautiful sunshine and picturesque lights. Where these naval people put us all, it would be difficult to say. There are here, we two, Lady Ellesmere, Lady Enfield, Ld. Ellesmere, Mr. Egerton, the Duke, Mr. Jervoise Smith, and to-night come a Mr. Hope and Cavendish. The review came off in a wet and windy fashion, but was amazingly successful nevertheless. Only Alice Enfield of the womankind braved the ocean. Lou, Ly. Ellesmere, the Duke, F., and I contented ourselves with land views. We went to the Victuallers' Yard and saw the potentates arrive ; the Sultan, a thin-faced, fat-bodied, shrewd-looking creature, whom one would take for 60 whereas he is said not to be 40 : no ! I find I took the interpreter for him ! he is good-looking. Gorgeous persons in red and gold and Albanians in white petticoats attended him. The Prince of Wales came with him. They embarked in the Osborne, and the Queen, in spite of the weather, came from the Isle of Wight to meet him in the Victoria and Albert, took him on board, and invested him (more's the pity, and great the scandal, to my mind !) with the ribbon of the Garter there and then, taking it off Prince Louis of Hesse for the purpose. What would Edward III have thought ?

16Jul1867, Last Visit to the Victory

H.M.S. "VICTORY," July 16th, 1867.
—We came for a last visit to the Victory, for the naval review in honour of the Sultan to-morrow.

15Jul1867, The Sultan and Viceroy of Egypt

LONDON, July 15th, 1867.
—Big swell drum at Stafford House in honour of the Viceroy of Egypt ; for, by the bye, all London is turned out of window to welcome him and the Sultan. I am a little exasperated at such a splash for 2 scampish old Turks, when nothing has been done for any Christian potentate ; however, it is a good thing to see Buckingham Palace doing duty, and the Queen coming forward with gracious civilities.

13Jul1867, The Housekeeper Drinks

FALCONHURST, July 13th, 1867.
—Miserable catastrophe again in our household ; the housekeeper drinks, and has wretched health. Kind Dr. Clark came to see her for me. I gave her warning. My life feels shortened by these things.

11Jul1867, Lady Churchill's Little Boy

LONDON, July 11th, 1867.
Lady Churchill brought her wonderful little boy to see me ; born after 12 or more childless years of married life : a strapping, sharp, ugly little fellow.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

06Jul1867, Flung in the Mud by a Riderless Horse

LONDON, July 6th, 1867.
Fred's holyday, so we went together to the Portrait Exhibition, and afterwards had a ride. I had so narrow an escape as to fill one with trembling, awestruck thankfulness. Coming home at a foot's pace, a riderless, runaway horse came full gallop against my poor horse's off side. Over we went a regular "culbute." I was flung clear off on the near side, flat on my back in the mud, and poor Ossa rolled completely over on to her back, but, somehow, mercifully she did not touch me, and I was up in a moment, quite unhurt. My poor Fred came up white and frightened ; his horse plunged and kicked so that he could not come near me for a minute, the runaway having nearly bumped him too. I was a perfect mud plaster, horrible to behold, my head and face, however, all right. What to be done with me would have been a question if dear Aunt Lou had not dropped from the clouds in her open carriage, and taken me home from the midst of an admiring circle. I am stiff and achy, but don't feel at all shaken. It is a serious thought to me, how close I cling to all my happiness. The thankfulness, when I thought of Freddy, rushed over me like a flood. God help me to love Him more !

02Jul1867, A Monster Cavalcade of Swells

LONDON, July 2nd, 1867.
—A monster cavalcade, got up by Auntie P. (who but she !), consisting of 9 carriages, containing about 30 picked swells, was actually induced to travel all through N.E. London to Snaresbrook, where the many-coloured party dispread themselves about the garden of the Home, and inspected our 19 convalescents. After which we went on to a to-do at Mrs. Warner's, where high jinks were kept up till night-fall. I had to get home for dinner-time, as had some others ; we dined at the Calverts', meeting dear dear "Mr. Claughton," [FN: Bishop of Rochester.] whom I laboriously and elaborately called My Lord about 3 times. Before luncheon we paid a rapid visit to Lord's where the Oxford and Cambridge match was going on. We saw the 5th Oxford wicket go down (2nd innings) for 124, and shook in our shoes ; but the remaining wickets went down fast, and Cambridge went in with 110 to get. This was done with 5 wickets to go down, Spencer taking his bat for 20.

01Jul1867, Refreshing Service at Fulham

LONDON, July 1st, 1867.
—There was a beautiful, refreshing service at Fulham, for the members of the Ladies' Association ; a short earnest sermon from the Bishop (who had to deliver it sitting), and the Blessed Communion. The happy feeling came strongly over me that, under all the miserable disagreements, there is in the Church a deep foundation of mysterious, holy union ; the belief, whether defined in this way or that, of the near and consoling Presence of our Lord when we receive His Sacrament. Thank God for that Blessed Faith, uniting His whole visible Church each member to each, and all to Him.

30Jun1867, Wedding Ring Off for First Time

LONDON, June 30th, 1867.
—Have just been much put about by discovering I had unbeknown pulled off my wedding-ring for the very first time. Made my Fred put it on again, as I remember Mamma used to make Papa.

27Jun1867, Hearing Dean Magee at the Abbey

LONDON, June 27th, 1867.
Nevy and I went to an S.P.G. service at the Abbey and heard Dean Magee again. It was a grand torrent of eloquence ; he stumbled over his words from the very overflow of them, and yet his burning thoughts seemed to outrun them. His gesticulation is so admirable that it makes his little ugly figure impressive ; he pushed the cassock-sleeves as far back as they would go as if to give himself freedom. His voice wonderful. Drove to Heal's to buy a washhand-stand for Charles whom we have actually encamped in one of the pretty bright rooms that we hoped to see gladdened with faces of our little children.