Saturday, January 01, 2011

18Oct1875, Willy Gladstone Brings New Wife Home

HAWARDEN, October 18th-24th, 1875.
—I got up at daybreak on Tuesday and arrived at Hawarden in pouring rain about 12, in good time for the arrival of Mr. and Hon. Mrs. W. H. Gladstone! [FN: Mr. Gladstone's eldest son had just married Gertrude, daughter of the 12th Lord Blantyre.] Old Meriel also turned up; and she and Aunt Coque and I went to Mrs. Burnett's when the striking up of the dear old bells told us that the couple had arrived at Q.'s Ferry (they had been a little turn in N. Wales and came from Capel Curig). The weather was merciful, and held up just for the important hour or two. G. G.'s happy brown face peeped down upon us from Mrs. B.'s window, cheek by jowl with old Miss Scott! she is exactly Cinderella at this moment. The carriage, drawn by men from the top of the village, and surrounded and pursued by cheers, came opposite us in due course, and it would be hard to say which of the two beaming faces were most good to look at! I always did think Willy's face beautiful, especially with his bright embellishing smile ; and she! she's a fair noble creature that all Hawarden will be proud of. When they had passed, we took to our heels and came in for them again as they turned in at the Wynt Gate, and thence to receive them at the S. terrace wall, where they got out and mounted up it by temporary red-cloth'd steps. Uncle W. and Auntie P. met them at the big Lodge gates, and thence managed to get to the old Castle bridge to see them drive under—a pretty sight amid the autumn foliage —and so to the Terrace. Address, cheers, and a very nice speech from Willy, full of feeling.

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