Monday, January 25, 2010

18May1869, Finished "Phineas Finn"

CHATSWORTH, May 18th, 1869.
—Finished "Phineas Finn" [FN: Anthony Trollope's novel. I have heard it described by a Cabinet Minister as the truest picture of Parliamentary life in English fiction, And he quoted a Prime Minister who shared his opinion.] ; it has cleverness and some successful characters, but is a disagreeable, sham sort of book.

28Apr1869, Meeting Mrs. Mildmay

LONDON, April 28th, 1869.
Meriel, the girls, and I and Charles, all saw Mrs. Mildmay for the 1st time at George St., Papa bringing her. It must have been even more awful for her than for us ! We all liked her much ; she is not in the least pretty, and looks some years older than she is (33), but she has a dear good face, and nice, steadfast-looking, kind eyes ; a very sweet voice, and a manner at once dignified and gentle. The children were brought down for her to see, which was a great help in the desperate stiffness and shyness of all parties. She first saw the girls alone and was very nice to them : begged them to think of her as a sister and to call her Sybella ; and to tell her everything Papa liked.

27Apr1869, Papa is Engaged

LONDON, April 27th, 1869.
—It was a day of a great event ; Papa's engagement to Mrs. Mildmay, née Clive, was settled. I have said nothing about this before in my journal, but for months some of us have known and thought about it ; and now, thank God, we can all feel thankful that it has been brought to pass. There has been no managing or interference ; it has come about quite rightly and naturally, and so one can rest in the certainty that it is God's hand that has led dear Papa to this "evening-time light." He is very happy. She seems to be the very person one could have wished for ; we do not know her, but there is only one voice as to her goodness and gentleness and sense ; she is also very clever and accomplished.

24Apr1869, Newly-Arranged National Gallery

LONDON, April 24th, 1869.
—Drove with the girls card-dropping ; they shopped, not I, viewing Saturday. [FN: She was active in the movement for closing shops on Saturday afternoon.] The shops in Regent Street are very generally closed. Dev. House late. F. and I went to a private view of the newly-arranged National Gallery, which now takes up the R. Academy rooms. It is delightfully well done. Dined at the Clarendons' ; meeting Seftons (0 dear ! he nearly drives me wild with his wonderful noise and bad style), Brunnows, Sir H. and Ly. Howard, Lord and Ly. Grey, Miss Lister, etc. The Clarendons in high delight at Lord Hyde's victory at Brecon over young Lord Claud Hamilton ; both had been beaten before. Drum at Ly. de Grey's with Lavinia.

22Apr1869, Charlie Wood Marries Lady Cortenay

LONDON, April 22nd, 1869.
—Mr. Charlie Wood [FN: Now Viscount Halifax.] married Lady Agnes Courtenay : they received the H. Communion afterwards and the service took an hour and a half.

20Apr1869, Windsor Visit Ends

LONDON, April 20th, 1869.
Princess Louise saw me to say good-bye, and so ends my new experience of Court life. Got back before 12. Went to see Lou. ; Cavendish came to dinner, and was a little cross and disloyal, I think on purpose to aggravate me.