Saturday, December 04, 2010

21Mar1875, Her Sister Mary Dies

HAGLEY, Palm Sunday, March 21st, 1875.
Edward Talbot (who with Lavinia was at the Rectory) [FN: Her sister May had been very ill for some weeks, at Hagley Rectory.] came down at 8, and came to our room. The night had been profoundly quiet: nothing swallowed; no pain. Except Newmany's name, which has all along been oftenest on her lips, I believe she did not speak. It was a bright, clear morning, with shining sun. F. and I walked up together about 9 o'clock, and he went upstairs with me. We knelt together by the bed; he saw her last at Chatsworth in her beauty and brightness. She lay a little propped up, breathing gently; her look was a little troubled. Auntie P. was on the bed at her right side, stroking the wavy hair; Newmany holding her left hand, close to me; poor Edward also near me, watching her earnestly. Auntie P. said, "It's all right, darling; God is taking such care of you," and she told me to say some verses. I repeated, as slowly and clearly as I could, only 2 or 4 lines at a time, parts of Keble's Evening Hymn. The morning must have been streaming in; but the words fitted the awful, still approach of death. The troubled expression passed from the darling's face, and she stretched her hand out to me. When I paused she would look at me, and then turn her pretty head and look up at Auntie P. as if appealing for more words of comfort. I kissed her hand, and we went away. Dr. Wade could not tell how long it might last, so we went down again to be with poor Papa and Sybella. They were setting off to go up the Hill and I was sitting in the Library, looking out other hymns which I thought I might repeat to our darling, and I had chosen "There is a green hill far away," which she so loved to hear Spencer sing — Alfred was playing soft, solemn music, and the pathos of it was bringing floods of tears — when Meriel came down and gently told us the end had come. Not a sound, not a pang: the breathing died away imperceptibly as Uncle B. read the last prayer.

11Feb1875, Cavendish Elected to Liberal Leadership

HAGLEY, February 8th-11th, 1875.
—Oh dear, not a word have I said of the public and private event of Cavendish's unanimous election to the Liberal Leadership a week or so ago. There would have been great conflict of opinion between him and Mr. Forster, if Mr. F. had not generously refused to be put forward. I believe he would have been the right man; but neither the frantic League dissenters (fools that they are!) nor the old Whigs would follow him. Cavendish seems to be very generally respected and trusted, and he has plenty of abilities, besides great accuracy and good judgment; the worst of him is that I can't imagine him ever strongly zealous or earnest about anything; and he may be lazy; but this I don't expect, as the sense of responsibility will weigh much with him.

18Jan1875, Gladstone May Retire

HOLKER, Monday, January 18th, 1875.
—To-day the blow that has so long been dreaded falls on the unhappy divided Liberal party. Uncle W. writes to Ld. Granville resigning the Leadership, in a short letter. He says he feels he may fairly retire, after 40 years of public life and at the age of 65, when there is nothing in the state of politics to justify him in hoping his leadership will serve the party, and when his hands are full of other important matters—by which no doubt he means the Papal controversy. We somehow hoped he was willing to come to a compromise, such as being in London thro' the Session, tho' with slight attendance at the House, but so as to be at hand whenever he might be wanted as leader, and thus avoiding the difficulties that came last year of his absence from town, colleagues, and newspapers; (for he never will take in any but the Echo!! when out of Office).

01Jan1875, The Skating Was Grand

HOLKER, Friday, New Year's Day, 1875.
—Yesterday should have changed places with to-day for weather; it was dismal, black, and raw. Nevertheless we set out stoutly for Windermere along with Drewry sons and daughter. Began to snow halfway there, and went on till dark with hail, sleet, and rain modifications at last. The skating, however, was grand, the wind blowing much of the snow off the ice, which was splendid, black, and hard, the lake frozen quite round, right across, and nearly up to Bowness.

10Dec1874, The Hunting Proved Fragment

CHATSWORTH, Thursday, December 10th, 1874.
—Fairly fine again. L. tennis; Charlotte very eager. It froze sharp, in spite of which Spencer, like his uncle before him ("Uncle Jack"), arose before the dawn on the chance of hunting being possible in S. Derbyshire, and departed with the hapless Mr. Coke and brothers Buller, all en route for various destinations. The hunting proved fragment, as was to be expected. Scarsdales came. [FN: "Uncle Jack" is the Lord Althorp of the great Reform Bill, who was afterwards 3rd Earl Spencer. Spencer in the text means Lord Spencer, not her brother] [FN: Lord and Lady Scarsdale, father and mother of Lord Curzon of Kedleston, the statesman.]

09Dec1874, Prince George and the Greville Memoirs

CHATSWORTH, Wednesday, December 9th, 1874.
H.R.H. is very good-natured and jovial, nudging and patting his neighbours, and putting his nose in their ears: he looks 70, which is a pity, at 55. He declaims about Bismarck and the Pope, and lets fly at the "Greville Memoirs" which are just out. No wonder! I have not read it yet, but everyone is open-mouthed about its unkind and trivial gossip, and absence of praise of anyone. To be sure the Regency and late reign must have been thoroughly evil times; and one good the book must do by showing one the present times in bright contrast. What are the Queen's retirement and over-weening love of Scotland, or even the P. of Wales' bad habits, in comparison with the vile Court of Geo. IV, the debts and scandals of the Royal Dukes, and the horrid Queen Caroline chapter!—Thick mist and rain on the top of half-melted snow all day: an appropriate reminiscence of the P. of Wales' visit. We took H.R.H. and the guests over the house.

08Dec1874, The Chatsworth Magic Lantern

CHATSWORTH, Tuesday, December 8th, 1874.
—We are come to the last slide of the Chatsworth magic lantern: the Duke of Cambridge and his equerry, a funny little man called Tyrwhitt, of no particular age, in a grey wig; Lord Carlingford and Ly. Waldegrave, the Spencers, Mr. Leveson, Cavendish.

01Dec1874, Pope Calls Uncle W. a Viper

CHATSWORTH, Tuesday, December 1st, 1874.
Manning has thundered out a circular letter, informing the world that whoever does not accept and believe Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility is no Catholic. The Pope has made a funny metaphor in an angry speech calling Uncle W.. a viper attacking the bark of S. Peter!!

24Nov1874, Cavendish and Flo?

CHATSWORTH, Tuesday, November 24th, 1874.
Florence [FN: Lady Florence Leveson-Gower, daughter of the Duke of Sutherland.] is a most winning creature, and we can't help a little exciting hope that Cavendish thinks of her. He certainly likes her better than other girls; and at his age one almost feels it is now or never. One evening he even condescended to billiard-battle when she was in the room, and he talks a good deal to her, and what's more watches her. Some people think her like her mother; I don't, thank goodness, see this in the least either in looks or ways. First and foremost, she is extremely natural and genuine.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

22Nov1874, Letters From R.C.s Keep Appearing

CHATSWORTH, Sunday, November 22nd, 1874.
—Hoarfrost, hardly visible for fog. Georgiana Cavendish played, and Spencer sang delightfully, in church between services; the new organ being lately put up. Various other remarkable letters from R.C.s keep appearing in the papers; Mr. Shee, Mr. Petre, Lord Camoys, and others, disavowing the Decree in very plain language; Sir Geo. Bowyer, etc., taking Manning's view. The whole thing reveals deep and wide differences among R.C.s; and, if Ld. Ripon reads the controversy, he surely must feel a little uncomfortable. Manning, by the bye, pronounces Ld. Camoys a heretic, if he sticks to what he says.

13Nov1874, Manning Answers the Pamphlet

CHATSWORTH, Friday, November 13th, 1874.
Manning has answered the pamphlet in the out-and-out Ultra-montane style, arguing as if submission to Papal Infallibility was identical with obedience to God and conscience, and stoutly maintaining his own loyalty. Ld. Acton, on the same page of The Times, takes the very different line of assuring the world that the Papal pretensions are no worse than they ever were; that R.C.s have been loyal in spite of them before, and will be loyal in spite of them now!!

11Nov1874, Gladstone Pamphlet on Catholocism

CHATSWORTH, Wednesday, November 11th, 1874.
Uncle William has sent F. a pamphlet just brought out on the Vatican decrees. It is a "Remonstrance," elicited by an outcry which has been raised by one sentence in his article on Ritualism. This is the sentence: "Rome has substituted for the proud boast of 'semper eadem' a policy of violence and change in faith; she has refurbished and paraded anew every rusty tool she was fondly thought to have disused;... no one can become her convert without renouncing his moral and mental freedom, and placing his civil loyalty at the mercy of another;... she has equally repudiated modern thought and ancient history." The Irish and other R.C.s are frantic over this. I can't imagine why. They have always been in the habit of giving hard knocks, and should take return ones philosophically. It almost looks as if they had been imagining Uncle W. a sneaking Romanist, and are now disappointed. This pamphlet defends and substantiates his accusations, and is a powerful and telling show-up of the new and intolerable position in which the Infallibility decree has placed R.C.s who accept it, with regard to their national allegiance. He gives them full credit for practical loyalty; but in face of the demand now made upon them to be absolutely governed by the personal will of the Pope, he calls upon them to declare their allegiance as English subjects. The whole pamphlet is in better and clearer style than anything of his I ever read, has some eloquent passages, and ends with all the fire and dignity of one of his great speech perorations. G. G. and I rode.