Saturday, October 09, 2010

05Aug1873, Thickening of Ministerial Plot

LONDON, Tuesday, August 5th, 1873.
—Thickening of Ministerial plot. Thank goodness F. was able de refuser l'offre d'être "fouet" en place de G. G. G. [FM: George Grenfell Glyn, the then Whip ; afterwards 2nd Baron Wolverton.], chose qui lui serait insupportable et pour moi un supplice. Uncle W. le lui offrit d'une fawn tres aimable et ne voulut point insister, surtout en comprenant que le duc s'y opposait fort. Je ne crois pas que F. s'en tirerait bien : it n'est pas assez rapide et il est trop scrupuleux-peut-être aussi trop enthousiaste.... The interesting event took place of Mr. Bright and Uncle W. dining with us (a dead secret!) ; said Mr. B. having consented to take office. He was very pleasant and downright ; during a few minutes that I had him alone said he would never have done it for anyone but Uncle W.; spoke of him in the warmest way; said of himself that he felt quite well now, but was apt to flag, and get discouraged over work. I happened to say during dinner that I had no Scotch blood. "Nor have I," said he; "I wish I had; then perhaps I should have been a less lazy man." They talked composedly of the price of cotton, the Shortening of Hours Bill for women (of which Mr. B. disapproves), and such subjects, most of dinner time.

04Aug1873, Unpleasantnesses

LONDON, Monday, August 4th, 1873.
—Eastward, I hope for the last time, but there are unpleasantnesses in les hauts quartiers qui retiennent notre chef en ville, et nous par consequent. Il doit y avoir plusieurs échanges de role.[FN: Rearrangement of the Cabinet took place at this time.]

30Jul1873, Jubilee Singers

LONDON, Wednesday, July 30th, 1873.
—We went yesty to breakfast at No. 11, along with the "Jubilee Singers"— emancipated slaves, every one of them from the Southern States. They sang quite gloriously. Never shall I forget the enthusiasm and inspiration of their poor ugly faces in "John Brown," especially at the line "All mankind is free." Trumpet-like tones and wonderful softness, too, in their voices. One hymn was most beautiful—"Can I forget thee?" Little Sarah was brought in and listened entranced, instead of screaming at the black faces as was to be expected.

21Jul1873, Bp. of Winchester Dies From Fall

FALCONHURST, Monday, July 21st, 1873.
—A letter from Atie P. at Holmbury came to me this morning with the appalling news of the death of the Bp. of Winchester. He travelled with Ld. Granville to Leatherhead, where they were met by horses that they might ride the rest of the way to Holmbury. The Bishop immensely pleased with the beautiful weather and scenery and with the horse Ld. G. mounted him on. They were cantering down a grassy slope not far from Abinger Hall, when the Bishop's horse stumbled at a grip, and came down on his knees (or all but). The Bishop was thrown over its head and, falling heavily on his head and turning right over, dislocated his neck and was killed on the spot. It is certain he cd have had no moment's pain or even consciousness of danger, but went in one instant from his enjoyment of earth to the Presence of God. It is an unutterable loss.
We came home. Went E. with poor Atie. P., who is dreadfully taken out of: they were at Holmbury to meet the Bishop, and were just expecting his arrival when the groom brought word of a "bad accident," but they all tried to hope the best, until poor Ld. Granville arrived at 10, looking ghastly, with the fatal news. About a week ago we rode with the Bp. in Rotten Row ; he was in all his usual health and vigour and high spirits, and, when we got upon Church matters, said much that was interesting and that I shan't forget.

18Jul1873, Scott-Siddons and Mrs. Siddons

LONDON, Friday, July 18th, 1873.
—Had a delightful Scott-Siddons reading for a charity at Grosvenor H.; made her acquaintance aftds at tea with Constance : we reminded her of Granny's interview with her after a reading abt the year '67, when Granny told her of her likeness to her great-grandmother Mrs. Siddons. She remembered it well, and was so delighted to be told who Granny was; said it chanced to be the 1st time she had been told of the likeness. We made her pose under the famous Sir Joshua of the Tragic Muse, and the likeness was most striking, only this little person is very dark. She is exceedingly handsome—almost beautiful.

16Jul1873, "Marie Antoinette" by Ristori

LONDON, Wednesday, July 16th, 1873.
F. and I, May and Atie. P, went to see "Marie Antoinette" done by Ristori at Drury Lane. It was grand tragic acting—the only thing of the sort I have ever seen (except the same actress in "Medea" when I was fifteen, of which I have only a confused recollection). The awful truth and recentness of the events made it almost intolerably painful and pathetic to a degree that set many off crying, me to a frightful extent! A tiny girl who cdnt have been more than 8 played the poor little Dauphin's part wonderfully and the King was well done too. But oh, the Queen!—especially when she asks the King's forgiveness, when she cows Simon and aftds appeals to him before he carries off the child, and at the end when she goes to execution, and with her hands tied behind her, is sublime. The horror and pity of the whole thing was to me intensified by realising what the sufferings of the miserable mob must have been, and of their ancestors for generations, brought before one in the play by the clamour and shouts for bread coming from a distance nearer and nearer—and all the vengeance falling, as so often, on the guiltless heads. But they were happier in death than their predecessors had been in the pride of life.

14Jun1873, Larking to the Opera

LONDON, Monday, July 14th, 1873.
—Dined en garcon in Gt. George St., and went larking aftds with old "Henry Barker" to the Opera. "Don Giovanni" with Patti, most delightful.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

12Jul1873, Professional Billiards

WIMBLEDON, Saturday, July 12th, 1873.
—Came to Wimbledon to dine under canvas with the Ducies, very pleasant and pretty. Met the Tecks, Selbornes, Ripons, L. Lindsays, Ld. Ossulstone, etc. Aftds saw some tip-top professional billiards (Cook and Bennett), to my delight ; a wonderful break of 117.

10Jul1873, Variegated Bonbons Or Christians

LONDON, Thursday, July 10th, 1873.
—Beautiful garden party at Montagu H. Tho' individually people are apt nowadays to look more like variegated bonbons than Christians, yet en masse the effect of the gay colours is very bright and successful.

07Jul1873, Shah Goes to France

LONDON, Monday, July 7th, 1873.
—The Shah went off to France on Saturday, having pretty well tired out King, Lords, and Commons. Even the Prince of Wales is said to be dead beat. The French are going to make the best splash they can, but how poor, with no National Anthem, no flag, and nothing but a mushroom President. One of these days the Gladstones had the Shah to tea, and little Mary and Agnes Talbot were fetched upstairs to look at him. What shd he do but pat them on the cheeks and say, "Tres jolies," to their infinite excitement. "He patted me twice," quoth Agnes, "because I'm fair; so he is sure to ask for me as his 4th wife."

04Jul1873, Ball for the Wales'

LONDON, Friday, July 4th, 1873.
—Ball at the Goldsmiths' Hall, for the Wales's; a fine sight: entrance-hall like a small Stafford House, only better, inasmuch as the marble is all real.

02Jul1873, Squirming Duke of Wellington

LONDON, Wednesday, July 2nd, 1873.
—Lovely concert at Mrs. Ralli's ; took Agnes and Helen to Apsley House ball and left them there. Never noticed the D. of Wellington before! Why does the poor little squirming man look as old as his father?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

28Jun1873, Meeting Young Nicholas II

LONDON, Saturday, June 28th, 1873.
—Smart garden party for the Shah at Chiswick; the Queen came and looked very cheerful with a little white about her. The Czarevitch and Cesarevna [FN: Afterwards Alexander III; the Cesarevna, afterwards Empress, was the sister of the Princess of Wales.] are here; he is an ugly, fair, big dog of a man; she dark and pretty and with our Princess's manner; but not high-bred looking. I had the honour of shaking hands with their two little Grand Dukes Nicholas [FN: Afterwards the ill-fated Nicholas II.] and George; fine children, but plain. The little Wales girls dainty and pretty, and two bouncing handsome Teck boys. The public in rainbow hues, "only more so." The sister Princesses dress alike and seem immensely happy together.

19Jun1873, A Fine To-Do

LONDON, Thursday, June 19th, 1873.
—London had the Shah-ums; streets in horrid state. We went in full fig to the Guildhall for a fine to-do; he is a small brown man, with a handsome cruel face: diamonds wonderful to behold.

18Jun1873, The Shah of Persia

LONDON, Wednesday, June 18th, 1873.
—The Shah of Persia arrived in London and everything is turned inside-out in consequence. We saw him arrive in a thunder pelt by the Mall and go to Buck. Palace.

15Jun1873, An Extreme Ritualistic Church

OXFORD, June 15th, 1873. 1st Sunday after Trinity.
—We went to S. Barnabas for Matins ; an extreme ritualistic Church, but with nothing I much disliked in the Service except a side-altar!! and the odd take of the Clergy marching in to the Church in "birettas." Fine hearty singing, good clear reading and intoning. But the sermon was misery to us both, from inordinate affectation of delivery and emptiness of matter. "Father" Benson was the man, and I am told he is a saint, which grieves me the more.

11Jun1873, Smart Evening-looking Skirts

LONDON, Wednesday, June 11th, 1873.
—Garden party with Mazy and Helen at Ly. Airlie's: I was enraged at people's appearing in smart evening-looking skirts.

09Jun1873, Back Into the Collar

Monday, June 9th, 1873.
—Went off a little with the feeling of putting one's head back into the collar. The unlucky Alexandra Palace, opened only t'other day after two former collapses, was being burnt to the ground as we came along the line. I stayed at Hatfield till 2, to see my dear Bp. Confirm, which he did beautifully. Also got a basket of rhodos, etc., with the help of Fish [FN: Now Bishop of Exeter.] and Nigs,[FN: Late Lord Edward Cecil.] left it behind, and dear Jim (the eldest) [FN: Present Ld. Salisbury.] tore down to the station, hatless in the heat, to catch me!

08Jun1873, How I Have Enjoyed Myself

HATFIELD, Sunday, June 8th, 1873.
—Annivy. of my 1st Communion. Early Celebration here at 8. Resisted a temptation to go with the Bishop and see his Ordination at St. Alban's Abbey and was rewarded by the fine hearty service in the parish church. Evensong in the beautiful private chapel of the house—very delightful—"rivers of water."

Pleasant to sit in the vineyard in fine warm weather: the children tumbling up and down the grassy slope.

Before dinner the dear Bishop read to his wife and daughter and me the "Xtian Year" for the day and for the 2nd Sun. aft. Trin, recalling a long-past happy visit to Summerhill, where he read the same hymns to M. and me. Also some good and very devout verses on the H. Communion by Uncle W. written in 1838, which I showed him.

Then a little walk with Ly. Salisbury and a sister and F., among the abundant rhododendrons and pines, and a pleasant evening ; folks telling each other what their earliest recollections were. No one cd cap the Duke's, which I told of—viz., the Battle of Leipzig ; imprinted on his infant ears by hearing it spoken of thus, "Boney has been well licked," and taking the verb literally.

Mr. Richmond had painted Mr. Tom Grenville, who knew Sir Joshua Reynolds well.
How I have enjoyed myself!

07Jun1873, Riding Through the Green

HATFIELD, Saturday, June 7th, 1873.
—The Cowpers and Mr. Leveson came over to luncheon, and we went back with them to Panshanger, Blosset Alderson, Ld. Edmund, and I riding through the green Hagley-like lanes. Pictures beyond at Panshanger. Dear Bp. of Rochester, Mrs. and Lucy Claughton came; also Brownlows, and Sir A. and Lady Gordon and a Miss Lefevre.

05Jun1873, This Noble Place

HATFIELD, Thursday, June 5th, 1873.
—Parted with F. on the railway ; he going to Kirby Lonsdale for more speechifying; I (chaperoned by a clever little Cambridge oddity named Stuart [FN: Afterwards Professor Stuart, M.P.]as far as Hitchin) came to this noble place. Find host and hostess, 2 Miss Aldersons and Mrs. Cocks, Ld. Edmund Fitzmaurice, Uncle Dick, Mr. Balfour, and Richmond père [FN: George Richmond, the artist.] : very pleasant.

30May1873, Uncle W. Don't Believe

CHATSWORTH, Friday, May 30th, 1873.
—Uncle W. don't a bit believe in Mr. Harcourt's Bright story.

27May1873, Harcourt Cynical and Unprincipled

LONDON, Tuesday, May 27th, 1873.
—Dined with Sir Harcourt Johnstone, meeting Wenlocks and various folk ; Mr. W. Harcourt was there, as cynical and unprincipled in talk as may be! The most pleasing thing he had to say was that Cavendish was the only member of the Govt. who had common sense : "He's the leader for me." Informed us that he sat near Bright during Uncle W.'s fine anti-Miall speech the other day (on Church disestablishment) and that Bright was in a fury therewith.