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.

20May1877, Sunshine Bits of Time

CHATSWORTH, May 20th-27th, 1877.
—A week of pleasant, pleasant leisure and enjoyment, to be thankful for. 0, how I do love and appreciate the sunshine bits of time, all the more for the growing and deepening sense of their insecurity. Rides every day, nice readings with F. and with Mazy likewise (she has brought fine sermons by Mr. Illingworth, and "Through Nature to Christ" by Abbott), famous spirited l. tennis. Weather growing kinder, young beech and larch most lovely and promise of blossom. We have ridden about Calton and New Piece and Stand Wood, and along the Rabbit Warren and green ride, escorting F. towards and from Chesterfield: the poor dear having had to go and hold forth at Brighouse on politics and at Bradford on Political Econ. Tues. and Wed. Called on Mrs. Cottingham Sat.; she showed me a Sheffield paper in which F.'s part in bringing about the arrangement on the Resolutions was sniffed out, and he patted on the back as a person of highly agreeable and conciliatory manners and very popular.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

14May1877, Dissatisfaction With Turkey

HOLMBURY, May 14th-20th, 1877.
—The debate ended in a division on the 1st resolution, which merely expressed dissatisfaction with Turkey's disregard of Ld. Derby's first despatch. Government has said as much over and over again; but they met it with an amendment objecting to "embarrass" the Government, and of course their party voted almost to a man for the amendment; tho' I know many of them are thoroughly anti-Turkish. The Liberals all voted together, except the Irish, who have the Pope to please, and whose support is no compliment.

Cavendish made a perfectly admirable speech, leaving nothing to be desired: he is come on enormously in readiness and delivery, and not only argued excellently but did good cut-and-thrust work and was effective and humorous. I didn't quite approve of Uncle W.'s concluding speech: thought he trotted out the dear departed Resolutions unnecessarily (having made it already as clear as day that his own opinion of them is unchanged). But he made some very telling points. The division was, of course, a penance to one's feeling; Government getting "a clear majority of the whole House."

Mr. Chaplin was one of those who badgered Uncle W. on the 7th, but the great speech absolutely overcame him (he, a regular man of the world), and he was heard to say, "Certainly this is a marvellous man!" And in a fine elaborate speech last Monday, tho' of course taking the strong Government line, he paid a famous tribute to Uncle W., especially to his earnest convictions. Old Ly. Lothian is dead in Rome, of a pleurisy caught while entertaining pilgrims at a reception (such a funny view of pilgrims !)....

The "Ridsdale Judgement" is out: it forbids vestments, but I don't see how that is to be accepted while the "Ornaments Rubric" remains unchanged and stares one in the face; and it allows the Eastward position, provided the priest does not wilfully prevent Communicants seeing him break the bread and take the cup into his hands. I am afraid it will be universally considered an "expediency" judgment.

08May1877, The Wortley-Talbot Wedding

LONDON, Tuesday, May 8th, 1877.
Regd. Talbot [FN: Major-General the Hon. Sir Reginald Talbot, K.C.B.] married Margaret Wortley in St. James's Church: her 4 sisters [FN: The youngest of the four sisters, Katharine, afterwards married Lady Frederick's brother Nevill.] the only bridesmaids. Seldom were seen more tall and beautiful people assembled together: bride and bridegroom, Lady Brownlow, Lady Pembroke, the Shrewsbury daughters (all unmarried), etc.: not to speak of the three 6 feet 2 in. Clergy who officiated, Stephen Lawley, Mr. Arthur Talbot, and Edwarden [FN: Edward, Warden of Keble.].

It was like the London world for my next sight of Uncle W. to be in the church struggling with a favour and begging for a pin! He talked a little to me: seemed harassed to death for fear the country should have misunderstood his course of action, and utterly oblivious, as he always is, of the great effect of his speech.... All he said of the speech was: "To make matters worse I had no spectacles. I could not read!" I am sure I never discovered the fact, but he had, I believe, to omit some quotations from Govt. speeches and writings with which he was crashing down upon them.

06May1877, Gladstone Speech after Pandemonium

—Pleasant cold day. F. appeared at 10.30 very tired but happy and satisfied. I can't but be proud of what he has done. The gentlemen and I all walked to Eversley; Charles and I being much agog to see Kingsley's Church and home, after reading his noble life. It was a 9-miles business there and back, and I was proud of my legs....

Monday. For once Auntie P. and I sacrificed L. Hospital bodily, having places at the House for the Great Speech. I was with Gerty in the Ballot box. After the altered mode of procedure was announced there were 2 hours of pandemonium. The Tories received Mr. Trevelyan's amendment and Uncle W.'s acceptance of it with shouts of laughter, and of course from their side came many taunts. But the horrid part was the disorder of the extreme Radicals who had meant to support the whole of the Resolutions. As they profess the most thorough belief in Uncle W. they might, however perplexed and mortified they were—quite allowably—have had sufficient trust in him to hold their tongues, knowing he would not sacrifice principle, and waiting to hear his own explanation. Instead of which one after another got up to badger him with impossible questions, till one was ready to scream. But I kept saying to myself, "The speech—the speech will set all right!" and so indeed it did. After the 2 hours' baiting, at 7 o'clock, members pouring out to dinner, and when one would have supposed him exhausted in spirits and strength, up he got and delivered a magnificent 3 hrs' speech, admirable in argument, in irony, in frank explanation, in uncompromising principle, in detail; but perhaps unequalled by any of his former great speeches in intense feeling and force of conviction: his voice and delivery gaining as he went on, and the peroration a glorious burst of eloquence which moved people to tears. It was wonderful to see the effect as he went on. The House filling by degrees—the half-hearted cheers warming up—the silent and disgusted Radicals gradually joining—and at last, united enthusiasm. The Willy's, Charles, F., and I went home straight to dinner (at 10!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

30Apr1877, War Between Russia and Turkey

LONDON, Monday, April 30th–May 6th, 1877.
—Dined with Bob at Meriel's and went with him to a Philharmonic, where the music was soothingly easy. Overture to "Midsummer Night's Dream" the chief delight.

War is declared between Russia and Turkey; the beginning, I should hope, of a great and decisive drama. It is a blessing that dread of war has reached to such a height as it has in England nowadays; but I do think people ought to see how there are deep-rooted iniquities which can only be got rid of through suffering and struggle and sacrifice, in which the innocent must bear their part as well as the guilty. It seems as if the divine words "Without shedding of blood there is no remission" had a wide human application, along with their more sacred meaning.
Tuesday, May Day. A frightful crisis in politics is gathering up. Hitherto the Liberal leaders, though they have from time to time made speeches more or less hostile to the Government's Eastern policy, have never come to a direct vote upon it. The outbreak of war, coupled with the increased and ever-increasing pro-Turkism of Government utterances, has poked up Uncle W. to a conviction that it is the duty of the Opposition to protest distinctly against Turkey's utter disregard of all Ld. Derby's threats and expostulations, to declare that she has forfeited all claim upon English support, either material or moral, and to pronounce in favour of European concert to coerce her. He justifies this by the serious danger we are in of Ld. Beaconsfield entangling us, or letting some diplomatic turn of the wheel entangle us, in war on behalf of Turkey. Dizzy's real heart (for once!) seems to be in the matter; at all events for months past the Government tone has been steadily growing milder towards Turkey, while their organs in the press are diligent in fanning the panic-distrust and hatred of Russia to the utmost. One knows that neutrality is always a position full of anxiety, at a time of war about which one's country is deeply excited, and though there is a strong desire in this country to keep out of it, it hardly wants all Dizzy's great gifts of craft and party-management to get us involved, with his big and most submissive majority at his back. On the other hand, Hartington and the rest of the ex-Cabinet do not consider it right at this time to tie the hands of the Government, or embarrass them by an attack. Their view is that as long as strict neutrality is observed we have no business to take so serious a responsibility at such a moment, on mere vague grounds of possible machinations in favour of Turkey; that to do so would split the Liberal party and thereby directly strengthen Dizzy's hands and encourage the Porte; whereas if we waited until a real proposal of going to war for Turkey was before the House, the party would unite as one man against it, with far greater effect. The upshot is that Uncle W., after much discussion with Lord Granville, and finding that Hartington can't conscientiously support him, is going to move certain Resolutions conveying all he wished, independent of the front Opposition Bench; Sir John Lubbock will move the "previous question," and dreadful confusion and ruin of the party accordingly stares us in the face....

To Harley St. after dinner; poor Auntie P. looked worried to death, and F. is nearly wild. How can he leave Cavendish in the lurch, and yet to be driven to vote against Uncle W. seems almost inconceivable to him.

Thursday, 3rd. Agnes went to the drawing-room with Auntie P. and they looked a beautiful couple.

Friday, May 4th. Went to see Alice Egerton and Gertrude Pennant. Gertrude and I talked politics, my only wish about her in that line being to keep up her faith in Uncle W. being an honest man, for the Toryissimus Toryism in the midst of which she now lives has a bitter hatred of him and disbelief in his public, and private ! ! morality, as its centre. Dined with Mr. Balfour, Ly. Rayleigh entertaining.

Saturday, 5th. Poor distracted F. has taken up a notion (of Mr. Dodson's) as to altering the Resolutions, which gives a ray of hope. He was busy scribbling down an amended 2nd Resolution all breakfast time, being off afterwards to breakfast at Grillion's, whence he went on to Harley St. I augured well from his not turning up again till luncheon time, and sure enough Uncle W. was very willing to do all in his power, short of giving up his attack, to keep the party together: influenced by loyal feeling to Hartington, and the horror of giving Turkey the triumph of seeing the party split by an anti-Turkey motion. The main principle is clearly laid down in the 2nd Resolution as it is to be amended, viz., "that the Porte has sacrificed all claim to either moral or material support from England." This amended form is to be proposed by Mr. Trevelyan, and Uncle W. will not press the remaining Resolutions. F. was busy all the morning between Harley Street and Devonshire House, and Ld. Granville and others confabulated also with Hartington. All was arranged, and Charles and I went off to Wellington College immensely relieved ; F. settling not to come till Sunday morning in case he might be wanted.

27Apr1877, A Reading a Mrs. Loyd Lindsay's

LONDON, April 27th, 1877.
—Delightful reading at Mrs. Loyd Lindsay's by a first-rate Mr. Brandram of "Midsummer Night's Dream."

21Apr1877, Figure of Papa by Forsyth

LONDON, Saturday, April 21st, 1877.
Our golden day. A prosaic treat for it, going together to hear Mr. Bartley lecture a roomful of P.M.W. [FN: Parochial Mission Women] and their ladies on Provident Knowledge. Afterwards we both with M. went to see the recumbent figure of Papa by Forsyth for Worcester Cathedral. It is a fine thing, and has much likeness, tho' Forsyth never saw him. To tea with the Wortleys, high gee Margaret's engagement to Reginald Talbot; a handsome couple; also Constance Lawley's to Eustace Vesey, after some years' attachment, he in India, lately returned. Dined with the G. O. Trevelyans, meeting the Secularist Education firebrand Mr. Morley [FN: John Morley, afterwards Viscount Morley of Blackburn], who, however, was as gentle as a sucking dove to talk to.

17Apr1877, The Unfortunate Nobleman at Dartmoor

LONDON, Tuesday, April 17th, 1877.
—The idiotic lovers of the "Unfortunate Nobleman at Dartmoor" (i.e., Orton the swindler) tried to get up a "Demonstration" to besiege the H. of Commons with some crazy petition. It ended, in true British style, by policemen preventing more than the orthodox ten men marching into the lobby, Mr. Cross receiving a deputation and snubbing them all round with perfect civility, and Whalley inviting the leading donkey, one De Morgan, to a cup of tea in the tea-room of the H. of Commons; a delightful bathos. "De Morgan" being a bankrupt hatter, Punch has a nice picture founded on the Mad Tea-Party in "Alice in Wonderland."

19Mar1877, Uncle Wm. Wouldn't Rise

CAMBRIDGE, LONDON, March 19th-25th, 1877.
— King's Coll. Chapel at 8. Came back to London Hospital. Dined in Harley Street to see the last of Stephy and Herbert. Uncle W. did not put his best leg forward; I wanted him either to talk over his sons and the Cape; or Cambridge with me; or Eastern Question; or Newnham College and Helen: but he wouldn't rise much to anything, and went off into trolls about wine (than which! — all men are subject to attacks of it) and old jokes. After dinner I believe he was eloquent about the Montenegrins and their wonderful courage.

18Mar1877, Visiting Alfred at Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE, Sunday, March 18th, 1877.
—Walked about with F. afterwards and ended at Alfred's rooms for luncheon. Enjoyed the sight of his beautiful books — presents and prizes, with such loving head-turning inscriptions within! He and we thence to S. Mary's, where F. and I had to stand all thro' a gorgeous rhetorical sermon by Dr. Farrar in aid of schools: there was not much in it, however; but what there was, good. A mighty mass of undergraduates. He caused a good deal of stir last Sunday by a great onslaught on Drink. After this, we went straightway to Newnham Coll., where they left me and I had a delightful troll with the nice old Principal (Miss Clough) and sight of the girls' rooms. It seems doing admirably; and the tone of the girls feminine and unaffected. They attend lectures in Cambridge and hear some in their College. Some go in for the whole University course, but the most part are content with the Higher Local Examination. Mazy, who was here last week (staying with the Sidgwicks), is hot upon the brilliant idea of Helen going up there for a few years. F. and Alfred returned for me, and were shown all over the Coll., bedrooms and all ! by one of the students, to their great amusement; but Alfred looked so academic in his cap and gown that it seemed quite the right thing. There seems to be all proper care and chaperonage, and regular hours, but no stupid primness or unnecessary constraint. Went round by the Backs to call on Nora Sidgwick: then paid a visit to Mrs. Thompson. The Master came up, and was most kind and cordial; delighted us beyond by saying that he would have given the Hulsean Essay Prize to Arthur, who was so nearly successful as to be printed full length as "prox accessit" or whatever the sayin' is. Likewise said the Master that he greatly regretted Arthur's not getting the Fellowship, for which he was better suited, in every respect but pure learning, than the man who got it. Oh, how my mind turned at once to darling daddy! it seems as if I must tell him.

19Feb1877, Dear Hon. and Rev. Arthur

LONDON, February 19 th-25th, 1877.
—Stopt at Reading on my way to London, F. being obliged to go on for the House. Dear Hon. and Rev. Arthur [FN: Her brother Arthur was a curate at Reading at this time] met me on the platform, walked me about the town (mem. quite the finest new town-hall I have ever seen), gave me an excellent luncheon in his snug lodgings all be-booked and be-pictured (I buttered his good ugly landlady for making him so comfortable), and then took me to see his new church, and his mission-room, etc. He is very happy, and the parish most beautifully organized and full of flourishing good works: services and schools crowded, young men's guilds, and what not; and a galaxy of what he calls "holy spinsters" ready to fly to the rescue on all occasions. Being a supernumerary, he is not over-worked, but has time for reading, just as Papa would have wished.

11Dec1876, Comments on Gladstone

HAWARDEN, December 11th-17th, 1876.
Uncle W., in spite of hankering after his tree-cutting, was inveigled into walks. He goes at his old pace and is as well as possible. I don't know anyone who strikes one as happier; sorrows don't take the spring out of him, and he finds constant delight in all his work and interests; his strong steadfast religion (like Papa's) underlying and shining thro' his whole character.

04Dec1876, An Odd Trio of Books

HOLKER, December 4th-10th, 1876.
Tallee the greatest of breaks and helps to me—the more that F. was busy Mon. and Tues. We read and greatly enjoy the odd trio of books—Butler's "Analogy," the "Faery Queen," and Carlyle's "French Revolution." Good heart for 5 days. In the evening with F. "The Abbot."

30Oct1876, Cavendish and the Eastern Question

CHATSWORTH, October 30th–November 5th, 1876.
Cavendish came, and on Friday he and F. went off to Keighley for the opening of a Liberal Club, and Cavendish made an excellent straightforward speech on the Eastern Question, which must do good: it was the more weighty against Government for its sober moderation of tone.

16Oct1876, Cavendish Meets with the Turks

HOLKER, October 16th-22nd, 1876.
Cavendish writes from Constantinople to the Duke, full of contempt for Turkish truth or capacity for reform, yet speaking of the impossibility of securing other good government for the Provinces (which, left to themselves, would fall into civil war or anarchy) without foreign occupation agreed on by all the Powers—which agreement he sees little hope of securing. A nice kettle of fish altogether. Meanwhile Uncle W. is aghast at Cavendish having dined with certain representative Turks, and wrote to F. that they were "symbols of iniquity"; but how was he to have any intercourse with them, such as seemed necessary for forming opinions about the future, and yet refuse hospitality? especially in the East.

02Oct1876, Gladstone and the Eastern Matter

CASTLE HOWARD, October 2nd-8th, 1876.
—The most magnificent rainbow I ever saw on Saturday just before sunset, bending over the mausoleum right across the whole sky; the colours fairly dazzling, which I never saw before in a rainbow. While we were gazing at it, we became gradually aware of cheers, and at last took it into our heads to guess what was up; rushed to the N. front, and sure enough, there was the omnibus containing the W.E.G.s being dragged up to the door by a multitude of men; with Aunt Lizzy and dear old Bob (kindly asked over from Escrick) sharing the honours, and no doubt sadly conscious of their extra weight. The W. E. G.s have been paying various visits in the N. and undergoing many receptions and addresses, in spite of efforts to dodge them. . . .

Morning Church at Welborne; walked back with F. and Uncle W. If I was but a Boswell, my journal might be worth reading! but I can never trust my memory. He has the most absolute disbelief in the Government upon the Eastern matter, considering Dizzy to be Dizzy, and Ld. Derby, from his hatred of responsibility, Dizzy's mere tool. Much of the press is open-mouthed against. Uncle W. for impatient and factious action; but he thinks that he gave Government all imaginable rope and hoped against hope to the last moment; this being Oct. and their course having been obstructive and pro-Turk and neutral and shilly-shally for many months. I don't think he weighs the great difficulties ahead as to bringing about local self-government in these partially (and only partially) Christian provinces; he is absorbed in the one strong feeling that the Turkish Government is so execrable and hopelessly vile and bad, that it must be put a stop to in the oppressed provinces at all hazards—just as slavery had to be abolished. "Only," says he, "the present case is so far worse than slavery that it is no inferior race which is being abused."

I said something of the Pall Mall and the World's supreme contempt for the national indignation, warning statesmen against "mob rule," and this set him off upon a grand burst of "When did the Upper Ten Thousand ever lead the attack in the cause of humanity? Their heads are always full of class interests and the main chance"; or words to that effect. Of one thing I am as certain as I have been all my life —that there is no personal ambition or any motive but love of justice and mercy (and utter disbelief in Dizzy, I allow) in his present course.

28Aug1876, A Shooting Machine

BOLTON, August 28th–September 3rd, 1876.
—N.B. Speaker and Harry Brands (sic) and Ld. De Grey came this week. Ld. de Grey [FN: The last Marquess of Ripon, a very famous shot.] a curious mixture of both parents to look at. He can be pretty nearly summed up as a shooting machine; kills double anybody else.

21Aug1876, Lady of the House

BOLTON, August 21st-27th, 1876.
Frank and Lou and their little company came on Tues. to my great refreshment; the having to be lady of the house and bother my head over muffins and bedrooms is quite absurdly trying to me now I am so down on the springs; but besides, Lou is the greatest dear to me and rests my spirit.