Sunday, November 21, 2010

19Oct1874, Deep But Cheerful Mourning

RABY, Monday, October 19th, 1874.
—We 3 went on to Raby, where we found the Duchess of Cleveland, in deep but cheerful mourning for her sister-in-law Ly. Augusta Milbanke who died last month; entertaining Foresters, Carpenters (Talbots), and Miss Mundy, a Mr. Crofton and Mr. Williamson. Whist with the gracious old Duke.

09Oct1874, Walked With Florence

DUNROBIN, Friday, October 9th, 1874.
—Yesterday at noon- the beauty of things was intense. It was radiant, cloudless S. Luke's summer weather, and I went down to the sea—blue, blue sea, with the glowing woods sloping down to it, and the kingly white pinnacles of the castle towering up into the heavenly sky. Muggy to-day. Lawn-tennis. I walked with Florence, [FN: Lady Florence Leveson-Gower. She married Henry Chaplin afterwards 1st Viscount Chaplin.] whom I greatly like. She is very pretty, without real beauty; very high-bred and with a delightful figure: coming in from tennis in a big Rubens hat, she looked enchanting.

23Sep1874, Hardly Any Royal Proprieties

INVERARAY, Wednesday, September 23rd, 1874.
—We have hardly any Royal proprieties with H.R.H.—an occasional "Mum" from us visitors, and a very feeble pretence at getting up when she comes in late for breakfast, is about all. She seems very much devoted to her husband: jumped up from the floor where she was playing with the little Percys when he came in from shooting, saying, "Oh, I must go and see about his clothes or he will never change!"... I had a lovely walk. The giant beech avenues and other glorious trees are a great delight.

21Sep1874, Driving With the Duchess and Edith Percy

INVERARAY, September 21st, 1874.
—Much rain. F., however, had an enchanting day's shooting: black game; the grouse are more destroyed here than in Yorkshire. I drove with the Duchess and Edith, and darling Lord Warkworth [FN: Afterwards Earl Percy and Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs.] who loves my catspaw seal being stamped on his little white arm. He is Percy-ish and not pretty, but has a dear smile: Josceline, a fat two-year-old, is the only beauty, being like his mother; the twin girls are like demure damsels in stiff long frocks out of a Vandyck picture, and there is a baby called Margaret with the D. of Argyll's red-gold hair. We drove in the woods amid magnificent trees, and ended along the loch to see the yacht appear, which brought home the Lornes and Ld. Percy. Princess Louise very pleasant and easy; seems comfortable with them all.

20Sep1874, In a Scotch Kirk

INVERARAY, Sunday, September 20th, 1874.
—I had my first experience of a Scotch kirk. Lifeless and dull and dead—a very frame of dry-bones it was to me! and I can't get over my amazement at such services being the food of so much religious life, as no doubt they are in this country. Two chapters in the Bible, and the fine old rolling tunes to which they sang the rough metrical Psalms, and "Sun of my soul," with which we ended (at noon!) were the only comforts.

19Sep1874, Touring Scotland, Visting the Argylls

GLASGOW, Saturday, September 19th, 1874.
—Did Glasgow; viz., the quay, where F. had to acknowledge Barrow immensely outdone, tho' Barrow has some better appliances; some shopping, and the noble cathedral, whose Presbyterian arrangements nearly gave me a fit: the crowning object being of course the pulpit. As soon as we were clear of the town, about 11, rain set in, and lasted without intermission all up Lake Lomond, all thro' our 24 miles' posting by Glencroe and Loch Long, and so up to the castle door of Inveraray. We made the most we could of the bases of the mountains, and the innumerable torrents, and were much refreshed by a nap in the midst of the grandest part of the posting! In the blur of the mist and rain we both took a cluster of tree-tops above the town of Inveraray for the castle!! and as the effect of lofty, hoary towers and pinnacles quite out-Hardwicked Hardwick, we wondered at what we had heard of the ugliness thereof. But the real article, seen in the gloomy twilight, looked dismal enough: rather like Milbank Penitentiary. Warm and kind and comfortable within, however: Duke and Duchess, Edith Percy and her 5 children, Colin, a very beautiful youth, Libbie, Victoria, Evelyn, Mary, and lovely little Constance. [FN: are children of the Duke of Argyll, not of his daughter Lady Percy.]

18Sep1874, Crossing the Border for the 1st Time

GLASGOW, Friday, September 18th, 1874.
—The great event came off of my crossing the Border for the 1st time. We reached Glasgow about 6 and went to the Queen's Hotel. It is great fun for me; so little do I see of new places in Great Britain. We are rather dingy, but comfortable.

17Sep1874, Lawn-Tennis Prevailed

HOLKER, Monday, September 7th, 1874.—Lawn-tennis prevailed.
HOLKER, Thursday, September 17th, 1874.—Lawn-tennis.

05Sep1874, Lord Ripon Gone Over to Church of Rome

HOLKER, Saturday, September 5th, 1874.
—One horrid thing signalized my birthday: the news in the paper of Ld. Ripon of all people in the world having gone over to Rome. I knew months ago that it was brewing: in March. How any sensible, straightforward, middle-aged Englishman can bring himself to believe the Infallibility of the Pope and the Immaculate Conception, as he believes the Apostles' Creed! or can in conscience accept these doctrines without believing them, beats me. Even if (which God forbid) I saw no alternative between this and infidelity, I had far rather "wait in the darkness" patiently, and be as illogical as possible, than so force my conscience.

03Sep1874, Potentate Impressed With the Duke

HOLKER, September 3rd, 1874.
—Gentlemen perdus as before. A very funny Belgian potentate named d'Andrimont is here, and makes himself agreeable to us on their return after dinner: he is greatly impressed with "l'activité du Duc, qu'on dirait un jeune homme de 17 ans: il saute, il danse, comme un chevreuil." (looks like a young man of 17 years: he jumps, he dances like a deer) Not quite one's idea of His Grace!

06Aug1874, Floods of Butter Over Dizzy

HOLKER, Thursday, August 6th, 1874.
—We stuck up lawn-tennis just outside the garden-gate, on a bit of grass Eddy had been cutting and rolling....
The H. of Lords has kicked out the "appeal" to the Archbishops, and the Commons have had the sense to submit, and so the Bill [FN: The Public Worship Regulation Bill.] is passed, decidedly improved. It is a triumph for Uncle W. to have gained this point about the Archbishop appeal, in spite of his small and disorganized party. But indeed parties have been mixed up in an odd confusion upon the question. At the 3rd reading, Sir W. Harcourt was so insufferably insolent to his late chief, that he, at last, after long patience on the part of Uncle W., caught it uncommonly hot from him! and the House seems to have been delighted thereat. To make his speech still nicer, Sir W. poured floods of butter over Dizzy, while Dizzy, on his part, made savage tho' sly cuts at Lord Salisbury; so it was a surprising and peculiar scene altogether.

23Jul1874, Fancy Dress Ball at Marlborough House

LONDON, Wednesday, July 23rd, 1874.
—We dined with the Granvilles, meeting Cowpers, Cavendish, Ld. Mandeville [FN: Afterwards 8th Duke of Manchester.] (an ugly youth, but rather taking), De Vescis and daughter, Bertie, Duke of Sutherland, and certain Americans, etc., one of whom got drunk. Conversation turned much on the fancy ball at Marlboro' House, which came off t'other night, and for which I saw Cavendish arrayed in Tudor costume. He looked famously well and handsome—very like one's idea of Henry VIII [FN: I think he again appeared as Henry VIII at the famous fancy-dress ball given at Devonshire House after he had succeeded to the Dukedom.] in his youth, before he was fat. Lord Cowper was in Venetian dress, and, quoth Ly. Cowper, "looked beautiful," as I can believe. Among the ladies (who clearly produced less effect) Ly. Hardwick seems to have been preeminent; Ly. Granville very striking in Vandyck dress, with great shady hat. The whole thing was arranged and set in order by Leighton the artist.

07Jul1874, Old Sir Anthony Panizzi

LONDON, Tuesday, July 7th, 1874.
—We dined with Uncle W. at old Sir Anthony Panizzi's [FN: An Italian patriot and refugee who became Principal Librarian of the British Museum and a K.C.B.]: he is chair-ridden and very helpless, but amazing good company. Flew at Uncle W. for having too much to say to "priests"; and would not be pacified by his rejoinder of "How comes it, then, that no man is so hated as I am by the Roman Curia?" or by his announcement that it was orders from Rome that shipwrecked the Irish Universities Bill. Capital good dinner for us four. The old fellow kept breaking out with his objurgations against "priests" at odd moments all the evening through.

11Jun1874, Thoughts on The Archbishop's Bill

LONDON, Thursday, June 11th, 1874.
—The Archbishop's Bill for facilitating legal proceedings against supposed law-breaking clergy is passing thro' the House of Lords. Some of the Ritualist proceedings are nearly unbearable. The enforcement of Fasting Communion as a sort of 11th Commandment is one common practice. I mean it is made next to impossible for people to Communicate at mid-day; so that the mid-day Celebration (generally the musical and "High" one) is fast becoming a Service to "assist at" instead of a Communion to receive. Urging habitual confession on all, instead of recommending it in extreme cases to some, is another. Invocations to the B. Virgin and the Saints, imploring their prayers, is another; and along with this one cannot but be suspicious of side-altars which one sees now and then in ordinary-sized churches where they cannot be required for duplicate services. These things are distinct disloyalties to the Prayer Book; and therefore I think show more than anything else that distaste for our Church as Anglican which leads people to Rome. They fix their whole affections on Catholicity, and cease to be watchful against its medieval and modern corruptions, and drop altogether all interest in the English Church.

20May1874, A Meeting of Supplemental Ladies

LONDON, Wednesday, May 20th, 1874.
—Went with Lady Granville to a little meeting of Supplemental ladies at the Oldfields', to discuss a little "Steppingstone" Home for little would-be servant gals of low degree. Charlotte Spencer, Mrs. Loyd Lindsay, Ly. Marion Alford, Aunt Yaddy, and other great dames were there.

19May1874, The Queen and Nicholas I of Russia

LONDON, Tuesday, May 19th, 1874.
—One of these days came off a fine ball at Stafford House, where the Czar, [FN: Alexander II] who has just come over to see his daughter, was entertained. He is a dignified, well-looking man, but must be immeasurably inferior in appearance to his splendid gigantic father, of whom the Queen must often have thought as she received this one with the same honours. Well do I remember Granny's description of the grand parting of the Queen and the Emperor Nicholas; when, encircled by the whole Court in the great hall, the Queen bade him farewell with a magnificent curtsey, and he made a magnificent bow.