Wednesday, January 19, 2011

28May1877, Praise for Gladstone

CHATSWORTH, May 28th–June 3rd, 1877.
—Growing loveliness and warmth, tho' fires are still grateful. Rode to Haddon one day, D. of Rutland's moors another, Laugh Ghyll (shot at the spelling) a third. Forget-me-nots and the little faintly-sweet white flower that spangles New Piece, lovely; blue-bells only beginning.

Tues. F. and I escorted Mazy and Spencer to Hardwick, driving with ducal horses to Chesterfield and posting thence. Very glorious day, in spite of many showers. Hardwick inside and out, and on its roof, enchanting.

—Wed. Spencer went.

—Fri. Howling stormy day. At Hagley a very odd party received us, viz., Auntie P., Mr. Balfour, Albert, and Mr. Otley the young Keble man lately started as Curate at Hawarden. He was one of the happy Abendberg party, and Albert said was deeply interested in seeing Hagley because of May. Albert had taken him to see the graves and the painted window. Charles turned up after a long day's farm inspection.

—Sat. came Uncle W. from Birmingham, as hoarse as a crow, having made an hour's speech on Thurs., in an enormous hall quite unfit for the purpose, to 25,000 people. He was only imperfectly heard of course, tho' he shouted at the top of his voice. The "demonstration," however, was the grand thing: the whole town turning out to receive him, and no end of people from elsewhere: it was more like a Royal progress than anything else. He confined himself entirely to the E.Q., but Mr. Chamberlain (whom he stayed with) is getting up some big Liberal organization for political purposes and I only hope won't involve Uncle W. in it before he is aware! Birmingham politics, all Secularism and that figment "Religious Equality," aggravate me!...

Crowds of artisans, etc., from the Black Country to see Uncle W.; church quite crammed and behaviour very good. Uncle B. walked with one of the working men who said, "Ah, Sir, you must have composed that sermon for Mr. Gladstone—faith, hope, and charity, that's what he's got!" (N.B. the sermon was an old one, written years ago). Uncle B. said he hoped some of them were Church-goers, not only going out of mere curiosity. "Curiosity, sir! it wasn't curiosity; it was love of the man, sir." A great break this for Auntie P. We all went to Wychbury Wood, and walked along the Roman encampment under the yews: my Fred said he went there last when I took him to see it Whitsuntide 1864: it was new to Uncle W. Unspeakably beautiful was everything.

No comments: