Saturday, October 02, 2010

25May1873, Lady Essex's Children

CASSIOBURY, May 25th, 1873. Sunday after Ascension.
—Some enchanting weather. Nice warm services at Watford Parish Church. Pretty poking about in the aftn., with tea out of doors at a bewitching dairy. Ly. Essex, in a bright green silk and yellow hair, looked like an emerald pin. Her little boy of 8 is nice-looking, though terribly blind ; but the creature to enslave all hearts is Lady Betty Capel, aged 2 1/2.

24May1873, Junket to Cassiobury

CASSIOBURY, Saturday, May 24th, 1873.
—Had the junket of going to Cassiobury [FN: The house of Lord Essex.]. So seldom do we see new places, that I do enjoy it. Lovely warm day ; birds clamorous, foliage tender green. The house, in spite of much ginger-breading outside, very delightful and with a Gloire-de-Dijon rose in bloom growing up it. The Powerscourts and Fredk. Stanleys are here. F. had to do birthday dinner at No. 11 and came here Sunday.

20May1873, Doomed Northumberland House

LONDON, Tuesday, May 20th, 1873.
—Drum at poor doomed Northumberland House at which we all took a sad farewell.

16May1873, Uncle W. Overthrows Disestablishment

LONDON, Friday, May 16th, 1873.
Uncle W. made such a brilliant overthrow of Miall and his Disestablishment as the cause ought to take long in recovering from. No one so much as answered him and the whole thing was over before dinner. Smart drum at Lansdowne House, stifling crush at Baroness Coutts's.

13May1873, Delightful and Intensely English

CHICHESTER, Tuesday, May 13th, 1873.
—Nice service at the cathedral at 10. Miss Durnford took me about the enchanting garden, all sweet and old and peaceful ; and to the top of the Tower, whence the views of the quiet, red-tiled town, green blossoming fields and orchards and woods, Goodwood hills, the Channel and the faint blue Isle of Wight, were delightful and intensely English. Somehow this sort of sight always gives me a strong sense of the healthiness and peace of England, with her Church and her home life deep-rooted in the hearts of her people ; and all notion of disestablishment or revolution seems a perverse dream. How unlike Ireland!

Friday, October 01, 2010

12May1873, Bishop's Palace of Chichester

CHICHESTER, Monday, May 12th, 1873.
—Here I am at the Palace of Chichester. Having been put, rather willy-nilly, on the Bishop Otter College Committee, I cd not resist an invitation from Mrs. Durnford to attend a meeting to-morrow. A dream of delight to my Cockney eyes was the Palace as I drove up to it under a "sunbright" sky: the tall glorious cathedral, spire-towering above, the green gardens, the quaint old house....
The Bp. a dear, kind, very episcopal old man, wife nice and homely, daughter lively. Poor old Dean Hook dined ; he is terribly unwieldy and infirm, and can't sit upright. On collapsing into his chair after a prodigious business—"sic a-getting up stair"—he puffed and panted most desperately, and then broke out in a funny laugh at himself.

09May1873, Huges and Manning

LONDON, Friday, May 9th, 1873.
—Meeting of the "Provident Knowledge Society," a new thing, likely to be very useful in puffing and explaining P.O. Savings Banks, Govt. investments, penny banks, etc. Ld. Derby presided, and the Bp of Exeter, Mr. Th. Hughes, [FN: The author of "Tom Brown."] Manning, etc., spoke. The contrast between the ascetic, skeleton, spiritual face of Manning and the florid, well-fed, pink face of Mr. Hughes, as they sat side by side, was very funny.

08May1873, A Gamboge-ey Green Gown

LONDON, Thursday, May 8th, 1873.
—Why did I go to this May Drawing-room? Endless dismal business, too late to see the Queen, squeeze, and dead tire. Sarina [FN: Mrs. Godley, afterwards Lady Kilbracken.] and I went together, she wanting to kiss the Queen's hand, being presented on her marriage. No such honour. Baroness Burdett, poor old maid, with her very red nose and flurry colour, thought fit to wear a befurbelowed gamboge-ey green gown, "couleur aeuf pourri" as near as could be imitated. Ly. Airlie's fine big girls looked well in a sort of new-ink colour, with white, and Ly. Brownlow was a radiant sight.

02May1873, The Albert Memorial Cross

LONDON, Friday, May 2nd, 1873.
—Had a little junket with my Fred to choose him a library table and then to examine the Albert Memorial Cross in Hyde Park. It really is a beautiful thing, but, placed where it is, it will look like a gingerbread ornament just taken off the top of that Twelfth cake, the Albert Hall!

29Apr1873, A New Carriage

LONDON, Tuesday, April 29th, 1873.
—Had the immense break of going out for the first time in My Victoria —an elegant little equipage with a good-looking black horse, and all ship-shape. Inaugurated it by taking F. to Downing St. (a good omen, I hope!), and then went to S. James Hall and heard an interesting S.P.G. speechification. Ld. Napier dry and John Bull but telling, in his stout defence of missionary work in India. Canon Lightfoot excellent, cheering one up by comparing the progress in given districts with the progress ditto in the third centy, and proving we gained much by the comparison.

20Apr1873, Evangelical Sermon

LISMORE, April 20th, 1873. 1st Sunday after Easter.
—Dr. Morgan preached a sermon with much beauty and eloquence in it and the charm of strong feeling: but all "Evangelical" sermons leave me in the same vague state of mind as to what they mean us to do or to be. Lovely delightful walk on the greenissimus grass up the river.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

26Mar1873, Burials Bill Carried by 63

LONDON, Wednesday, March 26th, 1873.
—The precious Burials Bill (2nd reading) carried by 63, in spite of a capital, I shd say unanswerable speech, unluckily of Dizzy's. The line is to talk as if the Church was the persecuting virago in the matter, which is rather too bad when she meekly buries everybody, unlike any sect, and merely begs to be left to use her own service on her own ground. Dizzy's best point was the inconsistency of the Dissenters claiming exemption from the Ch. rates some years ago because they wd not pay for what did not concern them, and now, while never offering to pay rates as before, calmly claiming a right to what, on their own showing, is the Church's ground. Of course there is not a shadow left in their way, either of principle, logic, or common sense, when they take it into their heads to announce their "right" to do what they please in the Church's fabrics. But in this proposal, as in the sister-in-law one, consistency and principle are utterly scouted. And to think that my perverse Fred shd support them both! It isn't for want of many a talking to.

22Mar1873, The Duke of Cambridge

LONDON, Saturday, March 22nd, 1873.
—Dined at the Staffd. Northcotes' to meet the D. of Cambridge whom I have never talked to before : I liked his simple, jolly, straightforward way and famous laugh. He broke the ice and our courtly silence on arriving, by shouting out to someone at the top of his voice, "COLD to-day."

18Mar1873, Dined at the Deanery

LONDON, March 18th, 1873.
—Dined at the Deanery, the little Dean [FN: Stanley] in high form; maliciously made out that Pusey had adopted his clumsy way of using and italicizing the word "that" from Gibbon! I wonder which wd be most affronted!

16Mar1873, A Cabinet Council on Holyday

CLIVEDEN, March 16th, 1873. 3rd Sunday in Lent.
—The decrepit old Prime Minister walked us off to Burnham Church (3 miles) at a killing pace, and likewise sallied forth again with wife and daughter (who drove before) in drenching rain to another church a mile off in the afternoon. Georgey Grenfell came to dinner with Lena, who sang delightfully. After dinner came despatches from Windsor, including a long letter from Dizzy to H.M. definitely backing out. As the D. of Argyll and Uncle W. put their noses together on the sofa over the box, the faithful Willy and Fred hovering near, I thought it was a fine thing to assist at a Cabinet Council. No one can regret his being obliged to take up office again, but it has its keen disappointment to him, loving the prospect of a holyday as he had been doing, and having ticklish business to carry through in a rather dislocated House.

15Mar1873, Uncle W. Gives an Ivory Madonna

CLIVEDEN, Saturday, March 15th, 1873.
—Raw and ungenial. Abbey. We came to Cliveden [FN: Then the Duke of Westminster's house.], with the W. E. G.'s (he walking to Paddington), Mazy, the Dss. of Argyll, and Mr. Leveson. Uncle W. has given me a little ivory Madonna he picked up on his way to the station, in a shop ! I told him it was highly compromising and Ultramontane.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

11Mar1873, Gladstone's Finest Speech

LONDON, Tuesday, March 11th, 1873.
—To the House again, but not till after dinner (at Ly. Mt. Beaumont's), as a pack of wild Irish were to begin the debate [FN: On the Irish University Bill]. Heard the main part of Dizzy's speech, which was wild-hitting and weak. He cast "longing lingering looks behind" on concurrent endowment! an unearthly sort of card for Tories to depend on. As the clock struck 12 down he sat after a strained bit of declamation, and up sprung Uncle W. and made "the finest speech" of his life—so say many folks. It took exactly 2 hrs. He may have been more strikingly eloquent at other times ; but for strong conviction, perfect temper, mastery of his subject, brilliant hitting and power and fervour and ability, nothing cd equal it. He ran splendid tilts against Ld. Edmund Fitzmaurice for reversing the ancient custom of elders castigating the young, against Dr. Playfair for being misled by his professorial position into thinking nothing cd be done without lectures, whereas he, Uncle W., had gained all the academical trifles he had gained with hardly the help of a single lecture—(but this attack was most gracefully done so as to be complimentary both to Playfair and Scotland)—and against one or two others ; with a delightful quizzing of "Big Bentinck" as a "repentant rebel." It will be hard to look upon Uncle W. after this vigorous feat of arms as an old man in great want of rest, which he rather tries to make himself out! He drank nothing but water, despising his usual egg-flip, as it was after dinner. Well, it was over, with a fine appeal to the Liberal Party at the end, urging them to put the crown to their work of justice to Ireland. I cdn't help thinking such a speech wd turn the tide, but Atie. P., an older hand than me, did not let herself hope. When I saw F.'s face coming back from the lobby, I foresaw defeat; and so it was, by a majority of 3, showing a coalition between the Irish Ultramontanes and the Conservatives. Old M. was in Sir Ch. Russell's box [FN: "Sir" in the Diary : but she probably refers to Lord Charles Russell, then Serjeant-at-Arms.] and greatly delighted with the speech: wigged Johnny for voting against. Mr. Forster came to the Speaker's box and said, "I don't care for anything after that speech"—touching, as I know he is wretched at the prospect of going out before carrying through his Education Act. Uncle W., finding us waiting at the Ladies' Gallery door, mornes et mélancoli-ques, for the carriage, gave me a kind little kiss. Mary [FN: I.e., of course, Mary Gladstone, afterwards Mrs. Drew.] was there : it was the 1st time she had heard him.

25Feb1873, Shot Albert's Quondam Tutor

LONDON, (Shrove) Tuesday, February 25th, 1873.
—Went with old M. to a special Committee at the House in hopes of hearing Papa examined about Endowed Schools; but only came in for a rather inaudible duel between Mr. Roby and Sir Michael Hicks Beach. Shot, to my amusement, Albert's quondam tutor Mr. Richmond, doing Secy. to the Schools Commission. Afterwds to my Chelsea School Council : felt like a strong-minded woman altogether. We have started a Beautiful Being named Henderson as butler.

24Feb1873, The Horrible Price of Coal

LONDON, S. Mathias, Monday, 1873.
—I went with Mazy to represent Aggy at a Poplar tea-party : very successful. The poor women talked of the horrible price of coal, which, owing to strikes in Wales and other labour hitches, has gone up to 40s. and even 50s. a ton. The poor people buy a ¼ of hundredweight. A sack costs 3s. and only lasts, for two fires, 10 days.

06Feb1873, Parliament Open, Charles Speaks

LONDON, Thursday, February 6th, 1873.
—Parlt. opened (alas ! no Queen) ; old Charles moved the address, capitally well in expression and matter, and only a trifle too stiff in manner. He looked beautiful. So did not the seconder, Mr. Stone (a Waterloo House bigwig), who was gig major, but spoke well.