Sunday, February 13, 2011

15Jul1878, Parliament and Princesses

LONDON, Monday, July 15th – 22nd, 1878.
Dizzy has returned high-gee his horrid Anglo-Turkish Convention which he has signed and ratified without the knowledge, much less the consent of Parliament.

—Tuesday. Dizzy returned, with colours flying, from Berlin, Ld. Salisbury with him (the captive, says the Spectator, of his sword and of his bow). A triumphal entry was his into Charing Cross; red cloth, thrilling ladies, cheering crowd, and a fine bouquet handed to him in Downing Street from the Queen. I wouldn't go within earshot! Friends and foes alike will have it he is to be made a Duke; by all means, say I, if they will make him Duke of Jericho, and send him to administer his duchy.

—Friday. In the House of Lords came off a horrid scene. Ld. Derby explicitly stated that a main cause of his resignation was its being said in the Cabinet that Cyprus would have to be taken, with or without the consent of Italy, our ally. Hereupon Ld. Cranbrook was heard to exclaim, "That's the biggest lie I ever heard"; and Lord Salisbury deliberately (for Ld. Derby's speech lasted a good while after this statement) denies the fact; introducing into his denial, however, the words "the Cabinet came to a resolution," which Ld. D. had never said. Of course he modified this giving of the lie into Parliamentary language; but he was immeasurably bitter, comparing Ld. Derby to Titus Oates for revealing secrets. Ld. D. says he has a memorandum, made at the time, giving his reasons. We dined with the Selbornes, meeting the usual episcopal element. Bps. of Rupertstown, Long Island, and Nova Scotia. F. made great friends with Rupertstown, whose diocese he hunted buffalo in 20 years ago, but which is now a great thriving populous region, lately divided into 3 dioceses....

—Sat. Early to Compton Place. [FN: . The Duke's house at Eastbourne] Old Church in the morning. In front of us sat 3 very good little fair girls and one very good little knickerbocker boy, who turned out to be Princess Royal's younger children: very ugly though nice little phizzes. Edith and I in the evening to the new chapel of ease close to Compton Place, where were a whole bevy of Princesses, the number being swelled by 3 Hesse girls [FN: One of these girls became the unfortunate Empress of Russia, murdered by the Bolshevists.], who are pretty, slim, and distinguished-looking. Should have liked to have talked to them of their mother and Uncle Billy, who have made tremendous friends at Darmstadt: she is in England now.

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