Monday, February 21, 2011

20Oct1878, A War With Afghanistan

HIGHCLERE, October 20th-27th, 1878.
—At Highclere found Ld. Carnavon and a little sickly, gentle, faded, old-maid sister, Ly. Gwendolen, Ld. Bath, Mr. Watson, and Mr. Rowsell of the Admiralty. A nice little daughter [FN: Now Lady Burghclere] of 15, with intelligent brown eyes and arched eyebrows, came down shyly to pour out the tea. There is a boy just gone to school, and 2 other damsels; the youngest, at whose birth Ly. Carnarvon died, only 31/2. The hall is fine and makes a pleasant reception-room when one arrives; but the castle disappoints me, having gone through the usual fate of castles, gingerbreading and gimcracking; with a late outbreak of Morris. The view from the S. windows enchanting.

The Bp. of Oxford and Mrs. Mackarness, Mr. Lowe, Mr. and Mrs. Hutton arrived. Much politics prevail, and Dizzy's left ear ought to burn continuously! Ld. Bath and Ld. Carnarvon are desperately down upon him. We are on the verge of a war with Afghanistan, upon a squabble with the Ameer for which we have ourselves to thank; it would be a horrid calamity, and the jingo notion that our Indian frontier wants advancing is shown by Lord Lawrence to be utterly wrong: it could only weaken us.

—Sunday. Morning church at the nice little new church, with a beautiful memorial window to Lady Carnarvon. Bishop preacht excellently on Charity, the spirit that, without imagining good that does not exist, finds it out wherever it is. I hope Mr. Lowe will lay it to heart! absolute cynic that he is.

Beautiful walk to the Roman (no, British) camp. I cuddled with Miss Graves the governess, who has been teacher at both Notting Hill and S. John's Wood High Schools, and only gave up on account of eyesight. Evening service in the hall after dinner—rather a horrid plan.

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