Friday, February 25, 2011

22Jul1879, Comments Around Gladstone Portrait

CASTLE GORING, July 22nd-28th, 1879.
Tues., came off an excellent P.M.W. [FN: Parochial Mission Women.] treat at Ashridge — the entertainers, Ly. Lothian (Constance), Ly. Brownlow, Ly. Pembroke, and Margaret Talbot, [age 9 1/2 months] a glorious sight to see, among all the good homely bodies....

Wednesday, July 24th.—A ball at Spencer House on the ground-floor. I wonder when I last went to a ball! Felt sadly old and wizzy. F. in speechless amazement at seeing some middle-aged society birds still at it diligently, as they were 20 years ago. Charlotte is grown fat, but is still lovely. Althorp so taken out of at the death of an ex-aide-de-camp of his, Capt. Wyatt-Edgell, at a great slaughter of the Zulus, that he would have put off the ball, if he had heard of it in time....

F. at last accomplished R. Academy on Saturday; doesn't rave of Millais' noble picture of Uncle W. as much as I do. A Tory lady was looking at it, and said, "Why, it makes the old scoundrel look quite respectable!" when a voice behind her said, "Madam, I heard you call Mr. G. a scoundrel. Allow me to tell you I have known him from boyhood—at school, at college, and up to the present time: and I can only assure you that there is no one of more thorough religious principle and conduct." The speaker is said to have been Sir Thos. Acland. Sunday we spent in London: S. Margaret's and S. James, where they have put up a fine new reredos. Afternoon to Kew — my 1st sight of it: very pretty, and fragrant with lime blossom. Really a mild day. Met Ld. Alington in Piccadilly: when we told him we had been to Kew he looked scandalized and vowed that going to church afterwards was mere "hedging."

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