Friday, March 12, 2010

05Jan1872, Sir Briggs Shows Off Farley Hill

FARLEY HILL, January 5th, 1872.
—The Govr. showed off his wonderful shells and other sea-creatures yesterday. Sir G. B. bore us off, and Dismal [FN: Mr., afterwards Sir William, Des Voeux, Governor of Hongkong, whom she always called "Dismal Jemmy."], in the early morning, and we arrived at his house, Farley Hill, about 10.30. Odd to say, we were treated to an impromptu and highly regal reception : triumphal arches, all the population turning out, and general excitement. We are told the chief enthusiasm is over F. as "a Lord" ; a Lady being of course a comparatively humdrum being ; and disappointment seems to prevail at his wearing a panama hat instead of a gold crown. Greeted by My Lady Briggs and 3 old-maid sisters, two with rather knifey parchment-hued faces ; all very kind and pleasant. A bevy of mounted gentlemen escorted us the last mile, who drew forth two neat speeches of a minute apiece from Sir G. B. and F. Delightful cool house in only two stories ; drawing-rooms opening into each other with doorless doorways and the incessant warm breeze blowing everywhere ; wide corridor running round the whole.

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