Sunday, February 14, 2010

31May1870, Briggs From West Indies

LONDON, May 31st, 1870.
—The excellent Briggs, F.'s W. Indian friend, not content with giving him a turtle, and me an ivory work-box, now offers to present the Convalescent Home with hogsheads of brown sugar off his own plantation! — break major. He and his wife (a brown-parchment little wizzy person) dined with us, likewise the P.M. and Grande Dame [FN: I.e., of course, Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, who was often called the Grande Dame by her intimates ; I suppose as a sort of feminine of the "Great Man."], Willy and Charles. It was necessary to "make a house" at the unpleasant hour of 9, accordingly the P.M. poked the 3 youthful M.P.'s into his brougham (thereby obliging poor Willy to leave behind half his help of cherry-pie which he was deliberately discussing), got up himself on the box, and so exeunt. All came back to dessert.

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