Tuesday, March 02, 2010

25Jul1871, Rather She Than I

WREST, July 25th, 1871.
—To Wrest this evening ; find Lady Cowper, Florence, and Annabel ; Florence engaged to Auberon Herbert (rather she than I !) ; a very nice brother of said Auberon, Alan, who was in practice as physician in Paris and staid there thro' the siege ; Mr. Dicky Doyle ; Lord Ralph Kerr ; the Cowper-Temples ; Mr. Newton of the British Museum ; Mr. W. Harcourt, as disagreeable and sardonic as usual.

22Jul18871, Visiting Limehouse

LONDON, July 22nd, 1871.
—I went with Miss Oldfield to Limehouse, where we visited good Miss Lilley, who took us to see Sarah Dorrington, a young woman who was once a mission woman in the parish, now dying of internal disease. She is beautifully tended out of pure love by a girl whom she had been the means of helping to be good, and who supports her and an old mother by hard work. The room and all about it as clean and fresh and pretty as possible : and Sarah herself beautiful to look at from spiritual expression, gentleness, and resignation. God help me to learn from it all.

14Jul1871, Brothers at Cricket

LONDON, July 14th, 1871.
—Went to Lord's for the Eton and Harrow, and had the delightful excitement of seeing Bob get 29 in a very masterly manner, he having only just scratched into the 11. It is only lately that he has begun to do at all well at cricket, but his batting is now very good : like Spencer's. A proud old grandmother of a sister I felt watching my Bob play ! the 5th brother who has been in the 11 ; poor old Albert's accident prevented him, or there would have been 6. Dined at the Stratford de Redcliffe's : I sat by him, and he was as agreeable as ever. Heard both Pitt and Fox speak when he was a boy.

11Jul1871, The Princess Royal

LONDON, July 11th, 1871.
—I dined at No. 11. . . . Smart 5 o'clock tea there, for the Crown Prince and Princess, lately arrived at Prussia House. It was nice to see our dear little Princess Royal again : her face and whole self the most loveable and winning that can be imagined, considering that she is just a little bunchy German woman. But it is the Queen's grace, dignity, and straightforward kindliness of manner exactly. She came into the room asking eagerly for Agnes, to whom she spoke affectionately of Meriel but, to my grief, never made me out. The Crown Prince was always attractive-looking, but now he is most noble ! such a powerful brow and eye, he must be destined to do great things.

10Jul1871, Dressed a la George IV

LONDON, July 10th, 1871.
—Dined at the Arkwrights' and played a rubber with old Lord Bathurst dressed a la George IV.

08Jul1871, Lord Tennyson: Rat-Taily Hair

THE COPPICE, July 8th, 1871.
—I partook of no less than 3 teas : Sir J. Lefevre's, Auntie P.'s at Downing Street, and Charlotte Spencer's to Ly. Superintendents. At Downing Street I was introduced to Tennyson, a dirty man with opium-glazed eyes and rat-taily hair hanging down his back. He asked if Papa still translated, and when I said his only original compositions were comic, said he had never seen them. It tickled me, the notion of "The Tale of the Sewers," "Gongenbühl, Gig-and-Buhl," etc. in print. He rhapsodized about various waterfalls. At Spencer House a lovely sight was the Faerie Queen receiving the good dowdies with all her gracious bright courtesy.

06Jul1871, House of Commons Can't Work

LONDON, July 6th, 1871.
—I can't take any interest in this dull, cross Session, with its endless powder-of-post talk. A fragment of the Army Bill has passed, and does duty for the whole ; the Ballot (which I hate) is now on the stocks. The only measure I liked, the Licensing Bill, was dropped long ago. The worst of the whole business is that people begin to say the House of Commons can't or won't work, and that it is becoming unworthy of exercising its high functions. Oh for working sub-committees, such as we work Woodford with !

01Jun1871, "Le Malade Imaginaire"

LONDON, July 1st, 1871.
—Treat of all treats, F. took me to the "Théâtre Français" play, at the new house ; Opéra Comique. Two acts of "Le Menteur," and "Le Malade Imaginaire" : perfectly done.

20Jun1871, Unmitigated Boys and Girls Don't Do!

LONDON, June 20th, 1871.
—We had a portentously dull dinner party, F. not arriving till afterwards and Sissy Ashley coming minus husband. Unmitigated boys and girls don't do ! and we had no couple. Even Gertrude was struck with sotto-voce shyness ; Mary Howard, Messrs. Strutt, Sturgis, and Willy held their tongues ; Beilby Lawley made fitful conversation with me, Edith asked questions and I prosed.

14Jun1871, Talking With Lord Russell

LONDON, June 14th, 1871.
—Dined with the Wortleys ; he looks wonderfully better. No less (and no bigger) a person than Lord Russell took me in to dinner, and was delightful, with his dry humourous anecdotes. Said his 1st political recollection was Pitt's going out of office ; also said Lord Castlereagh used to be very kind to him, but, on his displeasing him once, told him he ought to be whipped ! He remembers Princess Amelia whom he used to be very fond of when he was 7 years old ; told me, what I never knew, that she married a Col. Fitzroy. Drum at Devonshire House ; rather dull and frumpy.

10Jun1871, Church Matters

LONDON, June 10th, 1871.
—Uncles twain [FN: I.e. Mr. Gladstone and the Rev. the Hon. William Lyttelton.] had an interesting argument upon whether the admission into English Orders ought not to be allowed under less stringent terms of subscription. Uncle W., true to his old Church colours, strong against further relaxation, and cleverly maintaining that the Low Church party had never in old times been a genuine growth within the Church. . . . He would cease having recourse to legislation in Church matters, and trust to subscription, and moral influences.

05Jun1871, Farewell Glorious Place!

—Farewell ! glorious place ! The last evening or two I have sat in the little state-room about 7, rejoicing in the perfection of things seen from the window. The lovely stretch of lawn, the stately trees on either side of the Emperor pond, the park sloping steeply up ; and the grand crown of woods, all in "various green." London ; and East London ! blocks in Cheapside, grimy streets, roaring crowds, Hospital wards.