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Title: The Story of My Life, volumes 4-6

Author: Augustus J. C. Hare

Release date: May 22, 2013 [eBook #42770]
Most recently updated: January 25, 2021

Language: English

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE STORY OF MY LIFE, VOLUMES 4-6 ***


Every attempt has been made to replicate the original book as printed.
Some typographical errors have been corrected. (a list follows the text.)
No attempt has been made to correct or normalize all of the printed accentuation of names or words in French.
(etext transcriber’s note)

bookcover

THE STORY OF MY LIFE

VOLUMES 4-6

enlarge-image
Augustus J. C. Hare

Augustus J. C. Hare
1871

 

THE STORY OF
MY LIFE

 

BY

AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE
AUTHOR OF “MEMORIALS OF A QUIET LIFE.”
“THE STORY OF TWO NOBLE LIVES.”
ETC. ETC.



VOLUME IV


LONDON
GEORGE ALLEN, 156, CHARING CROSS ROAD
1900
[All rights reserved]

Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contents of Volume 4
List of Illustrations Volume 4

Contents of Volume 5
List of Illustrations Volume 5

Contents of Volume 6
List of Illustrations Volume 6

Index to Volumes 4-5:
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z
Footnotes

PREFACE

WITH the exception of the last two chapters, these three volumes were printed at the same time with the first three volumes of “The Story of my Life” in 1896, therefore many persons are spoken of in them as still living who have since passed away, and others, mentioned as children, have since grown up.

Reviews will doubtless, in general, continue to abuse the book, especially for its great length. But personally, if I am interested in a story, I like it to be a long one; and there is no obligation for any who dislike a long book to read this one: they may look at a page or two here and there, where they seem promising; or, better still, they can leave it quite alone: they really need have nothing to complain of.

In the later volumes I have used letters for my narrative even more than in the former. Many will feel with Dr. Newman that “the true life of a man is in his letters.... Not only for the interest of a biography, but for arriving at the inside of things, the publication of letters is the true method. Biographers varnish, they assign motives, they conjecture feelings, but contemporary letters are facts.”

C. HARE.

CONTENTS PAGE

PAGE
IN MY SOLITARY LIFE1
LITERARY WORK AT HOME AND ABROAD162
LONDON WALKS AND SOCIETY352

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

VOL. IV

The illustrations may be viewed enlarged by clicking on them. In order to ease the flow of reading, some of the illustrations have been moved to before or after the paragraph in which they appeared in the book.
(note of etext transcriber)


AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE.From a photograph by Hill and Sounders. (Photogravure)Frontispiece
PAGE
HIGHCLIFFE, THE KING’S ORIEL9
FRANCIS GEORGE HARE.(Photogravure) To Face 20
THE CHURCHYARD AT HURSTMONCEAUX15
GIBRALTAR FROM ALGECIRAS.(Full-page woodcut) To face 34
TOLEDO. (Full-page woodcut) To face 38
SEGOVIA. (Full-page woodcut) To face 42
FOUNTAIN OF S. CLOUD45
FROM THE LIBRARY WINDOW, FORD52
HATFIELD75
FIDENAE86
VIEW FROM THE TEMPIETTO, ROME91
SUBIACO.(Full-page woodcut) To face 96
ISOLA FARNESE96
PONTE DELL’ ISOLA, VEII97
CASTEL FUSANO100
CYCLOPEAN GATE OF ALATRI104
THE INN AT FERENTINO105
PAPAL PALACE, ANAGNI106
TEMPLES OF CORI107
NINFA108
S. ORESTE, FROM SORACTE109
CONVENT OF S. SILVESTRO, SUMMIT OF SORACTE111
SUTRI112
CAPRAROLA113
PAPAL PALACE, VITERBO114
FROM THE WALLS OF ORVIETO115
PORCH OF CREMONA120
PIAZZA MAGGIORE, BERGAMO121
THE HOSPICE, HOLMHURST130
LANGLEY FORD, IN THE CHEVIOTS138
RABY CASTLE146
LAMPEDUSA FROM TAGGIA167
STAIRCASE, PALAZZO DELL’ UNIVERSITA, GENOA168
CLOISTER OF S. MATTEO, GENOA169
COLONNA CASTLE, PALESTRINA172
GENAZZANO173
SUBIACO174
SACRO SPECO, SUBIACO175
S. MARIA DI COLLEMAGGIO, AQUILA176
SOLMONA177
HERMITAGE OF PIETRO MURRONE178
CASTLE OF AVEZZANO179
GATE OF ARPINUM180
TRIUMPHAL ARCH, AQUINO181
PORTO S. LORENZO, AQUINO182
FARFA190
GATE OF CASAMARI191
LA BADIA DI SETTIMO195
AT MILAN197
PARAY LE MONIAL198
THE GARDEN TERRACE, HIGHCLIFFE210
THE HAVEN HOUSE211
THE LIBRARY, HIGHCLIFFE214
THE FOUNTAIN, HIGHCLIFFE216
GATEWAY, LAMBETH PALACE220
THE BLOODY GATE, TOWER OF LONDON221
COMPIÈGNE225
HOLLAND HOUSE227
HOLMHURST, THE ROCK WALK229
HOLLAND HOUSE (GENERAL VIEW)231
HOLLAND HOUSE, THE LILY GARDEN234
COBHAM HALL238
LOUISA, MARCHIONESS OF WATERFORD. (Line engraving)To face 256
THE SECRET STAIR, FORD257
NORHAM-ON-TWEED259
THE KING’S ROOM, FORD263
THE PINETA, RAVENNA302
IL SAGRO DI S. MICHELE313
CANOSSA314
URBINO315
GUBBIO316
LA VERNIA319
CAMALDOLI320
BOBBIO321
FRANCES, BARONESS BUNSEN. (Line engraving) To face 322
LOVERE, LAGO D’ISEO322
LAMBETH, INNER COURT324
DORCHESTER HOUSE332
CROSBY HALL337
THE GARDEN PORCH, HIGHCLIFFE341
THE SUNDIAL WALK, HIGHCLIFFE342
FOUNTAIN COURT, TEMPLE361
IN FRONT OF ST. PAUL’S364
CHAPEL AND GATEWAY, LINCOLN’S INN372
STAPLE INN, HOLBORN373
JOHN BUNYAN’S TOMB, BUNHILL FIELDS377
TRAITOR’S GATE, TOWER OF LONDON378
THE SAVOY CHURCHYARD380
RAHERE’S TOMB, ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S, SMITHFIELD381
THE SLEEPING SISTERS, ST. MARY OVERY382
CHARLTON HALL389
COURTYARD, FULHAM PALACE399
HOLMHURST405
LOUISA, MARCHIONESS OF WATERFORD. From a photograph by W.J. Reed. (Photogravure) To face 406
CHURCHYARD OF ST. ANNE, SOHO413
LONDON BRIDGE FROM BILLINGSGATE485

XVI

IN MY SOLITARY LIFE

“Console if you will, I can bear it;
’Tis a well-meant alms of breath;
But not all the preaching since Adam
Has made Death other than Death.”—Lowell.

“Whoever he is that is overrun with solitariness, or crucified with worldly care, I can prescribe him no better remedy than that of study, to compose himself to learning.”—Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy.

“E certo ogni mio studio in quel temp’ era
Pur di sfogare il doloroso core
In qualche modo, non d’acquistar fama,
Pianger cercai, non già del pianto onore.”
Petrarch, In Morte di Laura, xxv.
“Why should we faint, and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so Heaven hath willed, we die,
Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,
Knows half the reasons why we smile or sigh?”
Keble.

“Let us dismiss vain sorrows: it is for the living only that we are called to live. Forward! forward!”—Carlyle.

I SPENT the greater part of the fiercely cold winter of 1870-71 in complete seclusion at Holmhurst, entirely engrossed in the work of the “Memorials,” which had been the last keen interest of my Mother’s life. In calling up the vivid image of long-ago days spent with her, I seemed to live those days over again, and I found constant proof of her loving forethought for the first months of my solitude in the materials which, without my knowledge, and without then the slightest idea of publication, she must have frequently devoted herself to arranging during the last few years of her life. As each day passed, and the work unravelled itself, I was increasingly convinced of the wisdom of her death-bed decision that until the book was quite finished I should give it to none of the family to read. They must judge of it as a whole. Otherwise, in “attempting to please all, I should please none: shocking nobody’s prejudices I should enlist nobody’s sympathies.”

Unfortunately this decision greatly ruffled the sensibilities of my Stanley cousins, especially of Arthur Stanley and his sister Mary, who from the first threatened me with legal proceedings if I gave them the smallest loop-hole for them, by publishing a word of their own mother’s writing without their consent, which from the first, also, they declared they would withhold. They were also “quite certain” that no one would ever read the “Memorials” if they were published, in which I always thought they might be wrong, as people are so apt to be when they are “quite certain.”

My other cousins did not at first approve of the plan of the “Memorials,” but when once completely convinced that it had been their dear aunt’s wish, they withdrew all opposition.

Still the harshness with which I was now continually treated and spoken of by those with whom I had always hitherto lived on terms of the utmost intimacy was a bitter trial. In a time when a single great grief pervades every hour, unreasonable demands, cruel words, and taunting sneers are more difficult to bear than when life is rippling on in an even course. I was by no means blameless: I wrote sharp letters: I made harsh speeches; but that it was my duty to fight in behalf of the fulfilment of the solemn duty which had devolved upon me, I never doubted then, and I have never doubted since. In the fulfilment of that duty I was prepared to sacrifice every friend I had in the world, all the little fortune I had, my very life itself. I felt that I must learn henceforth to act with “Selbständigkeit,” which somehow seems to have a stronger meaning than independence; and I believe I had in mind the maxim of Sœur Rosalie—“Faites le bien, et laissez dire.”

A vivid impression that I had a very short time to live made me more eager about the rapid fulfilment of my task. I thought of the Spanish proverb, “By-and-by is always too late,” and I often worked at the book for twelve hours a day. My Mother had long thought, and latterly often said, that it was impossible I could long survive her: that when two lives were so closely entwined as ours, one could not go on alone. She had often even spoken of “when we die.” But God does not allow people to die of grief, though, when sorrow has once taken possession of one, only hard work, laboriously undertaken, can—not drive it out, but keep it under control. It is as Whittier says:—

“There is nothing better than work for mind or body. It makes the burden of sorrow, which all sooner or later must carry, lighter. I like the wise Chinese proverb: ‘You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you may prevent them from stopping to build their nests in your hair.’”[1]

I had felt the gradual separation of death. At first the sense of my Mother’s presence was still quite vivid: then it was less so: at last the day came when I felt “she is nowhere here now.”

It was partly owing to the strong impression in her mind that I could not survive her that my Mother had failed to make the usual arrangements for my future provision. As she had never allowed any money to be placed in my name, I had—being no legal relation to her—to pay a stranger’s duty of £10 per cent on all she possessed, and this amounted to a large sum, when extended to a duty on every picture, even every garden implement, &c.[2] Not only this, but during her lifetime she had been induced by various members of the family to sign away a large portion of her fortune, and in the intricate difficulties which arose I was assured that I should have nothing whatever left to live upon beyond £60 a year, and the rent of Holmhurst (fortunately secured), if it could be let. I was urged by the Stanleys to submit at once to my fate, and to sell Holmhurst; yet I could not help hoping for better days, which came with the publication of “Walks in Rome.”

Meanwhile, half distracted by the unsought “advice” which was poured upon me from all sides, and worn-out with the genuine distress of my old servants, I went away in March, just as far as I could, first to visit the Pole Carews in Cornwall, and then to the Land’s End, to Stephen Lawley, who was then living in a cottage by the roadside near Penzance. I was so very miserable and so miserably preoccupied at this time, that I have no distinct recollection of these visits, beyond the image on my mind of the grand chrysoprase seas of Cornwall and the stupendous rocks against which they beat, especially at Tol Pedn Penwith. I felt more in my natural element when, after I had gone to Bournemouth to visit Archie Colquhoun,[3] who was mourning the recent loss of both his parents, I was detained there by his sudden and dangerous illness. While there, also, I was cheered by the first thoughts for a tour in Spain during the next winter.

 

To Mary Lea Gidman.

Penzance, March 13, 1871.—I know how much and sadly you will have thought to-day of the last terrible 13th of March, when we were awakened in the night by the dear Mother’s paralytic seizure, and saw her so sadly changed. In all the anguish of looking back upon that time, and the feeling which I constantly have now of all that is bright and happy having perished out of my life with her sweet presence, I have much comfort in thinking that we were able to carry out her last great wish in bringing her home, and in the memory of the three happy months of comparative health which she afterwards enjoyed there. Many people since I left home have read some of the ‘Memorials’ I am writing, and express a sense of never having known before how perfectly beautiful her character was, and that in truth, like Abraham, they ‘entertained an angel unawares.’ Now that dear life, which always seemed to us so perfect, has indeed become perfected, and the heavenly glow which came to the revered features in death is but a very faint image of the heavenly glory which always rests upon them.”

 

To Miss Wright.

Stewart’s Hotel, Bournemouth, March 30, 1871.—The discussion of a tour in Spain comes to me as the pleasant dream of a possible future.... It is of course easy for us to see Spain in a way in a few weeks, but if one does not go in a cockney spirit, but really wishing to learn, to open one’s eyes to the glorious past of Spain, the story of Isabella, the Moorish dominion, the boundless wealth of its legends, its proverbs, its poetry—all that makes it different from any other country—we must begin in a different way, and our chief interest will be found in the grand old cities which the English generally do not visit—Leon, Zaragoza, Salamanca; in the wonderful romance which clings around the rocks of Monserrat and the cloisters of Santiago; in the scenes of the Cid, Don Roderick, Cervantes, &c.

“You will be sorry to hear that I am again in my normal condition of day and night nurse, in all the varying anxieties of a sick-room. I came here ten days ago to stay with Archie Colquhoun, whom I had known very little before, but who, having lost both father and mother lately, turned in heart to me and begged me to come to him. On Tuesday he fell with a great crash on the floor in a fit, and was unconscious for many hours.... It was a narrow escape of his life, and he was in a most critical state till the next day, but now he is doing well, though it will long be an anxious case.[4] You will easily understand how much past anguish has come back to me in the night-watches here, and I feel it odd that these duties should, as it were, be perpetually found for me.”

 

In May I paid the first of many visits to my dear Lady Waterford at Highcliffe, her fairy palace by the sea, on the Hampshire coast, near Christ Church, and though I was still too sad to enter into the full charm of the place and the life, which I have enjoyed so much since, I was greatly refreshed by the mental tonic, and by the kindness and sympathy which I have never failed to receive from Lady Waterford and her friend Lady Jane Ellice. With them, too, I was able to discuss my work in all its aspects, and greatly was I encouraged by all they said.

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HIGHCLIFFE, THE KING’S ORIEL.

HIGHCLIFFE, THE KING’S ORIEL. [5]

For many years after this, Highcliffe was more familiar to me than any other place except my own home, and I am attached to every stone of it. The house was the old Mayor’s house of Les Andelys, removed from Normandy by Lord Stuart de Rothesay, but a drawing shows the building as it was in France, producing a far finer effect than as it was put up in England by Pugin, the really fine parts, especially the great window, being lower down in the building, and more made of. In the room to which that window belonged, Antoyne de Bourbon, King of Navarre, died. The portraits in the present room of the Duchess of Suffolk and her second husband, who was a Bertie, have the old ballad of “The Duchess of Suffolk” inscribed beneath. They fled abroad, and their son Peregrine, born in a church porch, was the progenitor of the present Berties. I have myself always inhabited the same room at Highcliffe—one up a separate stair of its own, adorned with great views of the old Highcliffe and Mount Stuart, and with old French furniture, including a chair worked in blue and red by Queen Marie Amélie and Madame Adelaïde. The original house of Highcliffe was built on land sold to Lord Stuart by a Mr. Penlees, who had had a legacy of bank-notes left him in the case of a cocked-hat—it was quite full of them. Mr. Penlees had built a very ugly house, the present “old rooms,” which Lord Stuart cased over. Then he said that, while Lady Stuart was away, he would add a few rooms. When she came back, to her intense consternation, she found the new palace of Highcliffe: all the ornaments, windows, &c., from Les Andelys having been landed close by upon the coast. I always liked going with Lady Waterford into the old rooms, which were those principally used by Lady Stuart, and contained a wonderful copy of Sir Joshua which Lady Waterford made when she was ten years old. There was also a beautiful copy of the famous picture of Lord Royston, done by Lady Waterford herself long ago; a fine drawing of the leave-taking of Charles I. and his children—Charles with a head like the representations of the Saviour; and a portrait of the old Lady Stuart, “Grannie Stuart,” with all the wrinkles smoothed out. “Oh, if I am like that, I am only fit to die,” she said, when she saw it.[6]

I have put down a few notes from the conversation at Highcliffe this year.

 

“Mr. M. was remonstrated with because he would not admire Louis Philippe’s régime. He said, ‘No, I cannot; I have known him before so well. I am like the peasant who, when he was remonstrated with because he would not take off his hat to a new wooden cross that was put up, said he couldn’t parceque je l’ai connu poirier.’”

“Some one spoke to old Lady Salisbury[7] of Adam’s words—‘The woman tempted me, and I did eat.’ ‘Shabby fellow,’ she said.”

“Lady Anne Barnard[8] was at a party in France, and her carriage never came to take her away. A certain Duke who was there begged to have the honour of taking her home, and she accepted, but on the way felt rather awkward and thought he was too affectionate and gallant. Suddenly she was horrified to see the Duke on his knees at the bottom of the carriage, and was putting out her hands and warding him off, when he exclaimed, ‘Taisez-vous, Madame, voilà le bon Dieu qui passe.’ It was a great blow to her vanity.”

“Old Lord Malmesbury[9] used to invent the most extraordinary stories and tell them so well; indeed, he told them till he quite believed them. One was called ‘The Bloody Butler,’ and was about a butler who drank the wine and then filled the bottles with the blood of his victims. Another was called ‘The Moth-eaten Clergyman;’ it was about a very poor clergyman, a Roman he was, who had some small parish in Southern Germany, and was a very good man, quite excellent, absolutely devoted to the good of his people. There was, however, one thing which militated against his having all the influence amongst his flock which he ought to have had, and this was that he was constantly observed to steal out of his house in the late evening with two bags in his hand, and to bury the contents in the garden; and yet when people came afterwards by stealth and dug for the treasure, they found nothing at all, and this was thought, well ... not quite canny.

“Now the diocesan of that poor clergyman, who happened to be the Archbishop of Mayence, was much distressed at this, that the influence of so good a man should thus be marred. Soon afterwards he went on his visitation tour, and he stopped at the clergyman’s house for the night. He arrived with outriders, and two postillions, and four fat horses, and four fat pug-dogs, which was not very convenient. However, the poor clergyman received them all very hospitably, and did the best he could for them. But the Archbishop thought it was a great opportunity for putting an end to all the rumours that were about, and with a view to this he gave orders that the doors should be fastened and locked, so that no one should go out.

“When morning came, the windows of the priest’s house were not opened, and no one emerged, and at last the parishioners became alarmed, for there was no sound at all. But when they broke open the doors, volleys upon volleys of moths of every kind and hue poured out; but of the poor clergyman, or of the Archbishop of Mayence, or of the outriders and postillions, or of the four fat horses, or of the four pug-dogs, came out nothing at all, for they were all eaten up. For the fact was that the poor clergyman really had the most dreadful disease which bred myriads of moths; if he could bury their eggs at night, he kept them under, but when he was locked up, and he could do nothing, they were too much for him. Now there is a moral in this story, because if the people and the Archbishop had looked to the fruits of that excellent man’s life, and not attended to foolish reports with which they had no concern whatever, these things would never have happened.

“These were the sort of things Lord Malmesbury used to invent. Canning used to tell them to us.”

“I call the three kinds of Churchism—Attitudinarian, Latitudinarian, and Platitudinarian.”

 

To Miss Wright.

Holmhurst, June 12, 1871.—In a few days’ solitude what a quantity of work I have gone through; and work which carries one back over a wide extent of the far long-ago always stretches out the hours, but how interesting it makes them! I quite feel that I should not have lived through the first year of my desolation without the companionship of this work of the ‘Memorials,’ which my darling so wisely foresaw and prepared for me. Daily I miss her more. Now that the flowers are blooming around, and the sun shining on the lawn, and the leaves out on the ash-tree in the shade of which she used to sit, it seems impossible not to think that the suffering present must be a dream and that she is only ‘not yet come out;’ and what the empty room, the unused pillow are, whence the sunshine of my life came, I cannot say. On Thursday I am going for one day to Hurstmonceaux, to our sacred spot. The cross is to be put up then. It is very beautiful, and is only inscribed:—

MARIA HARE,
Nov. 22, 1798. Nov. 13, 1870.
Until the Daybreak.

No other words are needed there; all the rest is written in the hearts of the people who loved her.

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THE CHURCHYARD AT HURSTMONCEAUX.

THE CHURCHYARD AT HURSTMONCEAUX.

“I have been thinking lately how all my life hitherto has been down a highway. There was no doubt as to where the duties were; there could be no doubt whence the pleasures, certainly whence the sorrows would come. Now there seem endless byways to diverge upon. But all the interest of life must be on its highway: the byways may be beautiful and attractive, but never interesting.”

 

Sept. 26.—I much enjoyed my Peakirk visit to charming people (Mr. and Mrs. James) and a curious place—an oasis in the Fens, the home of St. Pega (sister of St. Guthlac), whose hermitage with its battered but beautiful cross still remains. I saw Burleigh, like a Genoese palace inside; and yesterday made a fatiguing but worth while pilgrimage, for love of Mary Queen of Scots, to Fotheringhay. One stone, but only one, remains of the castle which was the scene of her sufferings; so people wondered at my going so far. ‘Why cannot you let bygones be bygones?’ said young W. to me. However, the church is very curious, and contains inscriptions to a whole party of Plantagenets—Richard, Earl of Cornwall; Cicely, Duchess of York; Edward, father of Edward IV.—for Fotheringhay, now a hamlet in the fen, was once an important place: the death of Mary wrought the curse which became its ruin.”

 

I have said little for many years of the George Sheffield who was the dearest friend of my boyhood. He had been attaché at Munich, Washington, Constantinople, and was now at Paris as secretary to Lord Lyons. In this my first desolate year he also had a sorrow, which wonderfully reunited us, and we became perhaps greater friends than we had been before. Another of whom I saw much at this time was Charlie Dalison. A younger son of a Kentish squire of good family, he went—like the young men of olden time—to London to seek his fortunes, and simply by his good looks, winning manners, and incomparable self-reliance became the most popular young man in party-giving London society; but he had many higher qualities.

I needed all the support my friends could give me, for the family feud about the “Memorials” was not the only trouble that pressed upon me at this time.

It will be recollected that, in my sister’s death-bed will, she had bequeathed to me her claims to a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It was the very fact of this bequest which in 1871 made my poor Aunt Eleanor (Miss Paul) set up a counter-claim to the picture, which was valued at £2000.

Five-and-twenty years before, the picture had been entrusted for a time to Sir John Paul, who unfortunately, from some small vanity, allowed it to be exhibited in his own name instead of that of the owner. But I never remember the time when it was not at Hurstmonceaux after 1845, when it was sent there. Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was an intimate family friend, painted it in the house of Bishop Shipley, when my father was two and a half years old. It was painted for my great-aunt Lady Jones, widow of the famous Orientalist. Lady Jones adopted her nephew Augustus Hare, and brought him up as her own son, but, as she died intestate, her personalty passed, not to him, but to her only surviving sister, Louisa Shipley. Miss Shipley lived many years, and bequeathed the portrait to her youngest nephew, Marcus Hare. But Marcus gave up his legacy to my Uncle Julius, who always possessed the picture in my boyhood, when it hung over the dining-room chimney-piece at Hurstmonceaux Rectory. Uncle Julius bequeathed the portrait, with all else he possessed, to his widow, who transferred the picture at once to my adopted mother, as being the widow of the adopted son of Lady Jones.

The claim of the opposite party to the picture was that Mrs. Hare (“Italima”) had said that Lady Jones in her lifetime had promised to give her the picture, a promise which was never fulfilled; and that my sister, after her mother’s death, had said at Holmhurst, “If every one had their rights, that picture would belong to me, as my mother’s representative, for Lady Jones promised it to my mother,” also that she proved her belief in having a claim to it by bequeathing that claim to me. But the strongest point against us was that somehow or other, how no one could explain, the picture had been allowed to remain for more than a year in the hands of Sir John Paul, and he had exhibited it. Though the impending trial about the picture question was very different from that at Guildford, the violent animosity displayed by my poor aunt made it most painful, in addition to the knowledge that she (who had inherited everything belonging to my father, mother, and sister, and had dispersed their property to the four winds of heaven, whilst I possessed nothing which had belonged to them) was now trying to seize property to which she could have no possible moral right, though English law is so uncertain that one never felt sure to the last whether the fact of the picture having been exhibited in Sir John Paul’s name might not weigh fatally with both judge and jury.

For the whole month of November I was in London, expecting the trial every day, but it was not till the evening of the 6th of December that I heard that it was to be the next morning in the law-court off Westminster Hall. The court was crowded. My counsel, Mr. Pollock, began his speech with a tremendous exordium. “Gentlemen of the jury, in a neighbouring court the world is sitting silent before the stupendous excitement of the Tichborne trial: gentlemen of the jury, that case pales into insignificance—pales into the most utter insignificance before the thrilling interest of the present occasion. On the narrow stage of this domestic drama, all the historic characters of the last century and all the literary personages of the present seem to be marching in a solemn procession.” And he proceeded to tell the really romantic history of the picture—how Benjamin Franklin saw it painted, &c. I was called into the witness-box and examined and cross-examined for an hour by Mr. H. James. As long as I was in the region of my great-uncles and aunts, I was perfectly at home, and nothing in the cross-examination could the least confuse me. Then the counsel for the opposition said, “Mr. Hare, on the 20th of April 1866 you wrote a letter, &c.: what was in that letter?” Of course I said I could not tell. “What do you think was in that letter?” So I said something, and of course it was exactly opposite to the fact.

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Francis George Hare  (Photogravure)

Francis George Hare
(Photogravure)

As witnesses to the fact of the picture having been at the Rectory at the time of the marriage of my Uncle Julius, I had subpœnaed the whole surviving family of Mrs. Julius Hare, who could witness to it better than any one else, as they had half-lived at Hurstmonceaux Rectory after their sister’s marriage. Her two sisters, Mrs. Powell and Mrs. Plumptre, took to their beds, and remained there for a week to avoid the trial, but Dr. Plumptre[10] and Mr. (F. D.) Maurice had to appear, and gave evidence as to the picture having been at Hurstmonceaux Rectory at the time of their sister’s marriage in 1845,[11] and having remained there afterwards during the whole of Julius Hare’s life. Mr. George Paul was then called, and took an oath that, till he went to America in 1852, the picture had remained at Sir John Paul’s; but such is the inattention and ignorance of their business which I have always observed in lawyers, that this discrepancy passed absolutely unnoticed.

The trial continued for several hours, yet when the court adjourned for luncheon I believed all was going well. It was a terrible moment when afterwards Judge Mellor summed up dead against us. Being ignorant, during my mother’s lifetime, of the clause in Miss Shipley’s will leaving the picture to Marcus Hare, and being anxious to ward off from her the agitation of a lawsuit in her feeble health, I had made admissions which I had really previously forgotten, but which were most dangerous, as to the difficulty which I then felt in establishing our claim to the picture. These weighed with Judge Mellor, and, if the jury had followed his lead, our cause would have been ruined. The jury demanded to retire, and were absent for some time. Miss Paul, who was in the area of the court, received the congratulations of all her friends, and I was so certain that my case was lost, that I went to the solicitor of Miss Paul and said that I had had the picture brought to Sir John Lefevre’s house in Spring Gardens, and that I wished to give it up as soon as ever the verdict was declared, as if any injury happened to it afterwards, a claim might be made against me for £2000.

Then the jury came back and gave a verdict for ... the defendant!

It took everybody by surprise, and it was the most triumphant moment I ever remember. All the Pauls sank down as if they were shot. My friends flocked round me with congratulations.

The trial took the whole day, the court sitting longer than usual on account of it. The enemy immediately applied for a new trial, which caused us much anxiety, but this time I was not required to appear in person. The second trial took place on the 16th of January 1872, before the Lord Chief Justice, Judge Blackburn, Judge Mellor, and Judge Hannen, and, after a long discussion, was given triumphantly in my favour, Judge Mellor withdrawing his speech made at the former trial, and stating that, after reconsideration of all the facts, he rejoiced at the decision of the jury.

As both trials were gained by me, the enemy had nominally to pay all the costs, but still the expenses were most heavy. It was just at the time when I was poorest, when my adopted mother’s will was still in abeyance. There were also other aspirants for the picture, in the shape of the creditors of my brother Francis, who claimed as representing my father (not my mother). It was therefore thought wiser by all that I should assent to the portrait being sold, and be content to retain only in its place a beautiful copy which had been made for me by the kindness of my cousin Madeleine Shaw-Lefevre. The portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds was sold at Christie’s in the summer of 1872 for £2200, and is now in the National Gallery of America at New York.

A week after the trial, on the 13th of December, I left England for Spain. It had at first been intended that a party of five should pass the winter there together, but one after another fell off, till none remained except Miss Wright—“Aunt Sophy”—who joined me in Paris. The story of our Spanish tour is fully told in my book “Wanderings in Spain,” which appeared first as articles in Good Words. These were easily written and pleasant and amusing to write, but have none of the real value of the articles which I afterwards contributed on “Days near Rome.” I will only give here, to carry on the story, some extracts from my letters.

 

To Miss Leycester.

Paris, Dec. 14, 1871.—How different France and England! At Holmhurst I left a green garden bright with chrysanthemums and everlastings: here, a pathless waste of snow up to the tops of the hedges became so deep near Creil that, as day broke, we remained fixed for an hour and a half in the midst of a forest, neither able to move backwards or forwards. And by the side of the rail were remains of a frightful accident of yesterday—engine smashed to bits, carriages cut in half, the linings hanging in rags, cushions lying about, &c. The guard was not encouraging—‘Oui, il y avait des victimes, pas beaucoup, mais il y a toujours des victimes.’ ... The state of Paris is unspeakably wretched, hillocks of snow, uncarted away and as high as your shoulder, filling the sides of the streets, with a pond in the intervening space. The Tuileries (after the Commune) looks far worse than I expected—restorable, but for the present it has lost all its form and character. We went inside this morning, but were soon warned out on account of the falling walls weakened by the frost.”

 

Pau, Dec. 20.—I was glad to seize the opportunity of Aunt Sophy’s wishing for a few days’ rest before encountering Spain to pay a visit to the Taylors.[12] ... This morning I have walked on the terrace of the park, and lived over again many of those suffering scenes when we were here before. Truly here I have no feeling but one of thankfulness for the Mother’s release from the suffering body which was so great a burden to her. I went to the Hotel Victoria, and looked up at the windows of the rooms where, for the first time, we passed together through the valley of the Shadow of Death.”

 

To Mary Lea Gidman,

Jan. 2.—You will imagine how the long-ago came back to me at Pau—the terrible time when we were hourly expecting the blow which has now fallen, and which we both, I know, feel daily and hourly. But I think it was in mercy that God spared us then: we were better prepared for our great desolation when it really came, and in the years for which our beloved one was given back to us, she was not only our most precious comfort and blessing, for her also they were filled with comfort, in spite of sickness, by the love with which she was ever surrounded. When I think of what the great blank is, life seems quite too desolate; but when I think of her now, and how her earthly life must have been one of increasing infirmity, instead of the perfected state from which I believe she can still look down upon us, I am satisfied.

“Do you still keep flowers or something green in her room? I hope so.”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Convent of Montserrat, in Catalonia, Jan. 4, 1872.—At the best of times you would never have been able to travel in Spain, for great as is the delight of this unspeakably glorious place, I must confess we paid dear for it in the sufferings of the way. The first day introduced us to plenty of small hardships, as, a train being taken off al improviso, we had to wade through muddy lanes—and the Navarre mud is such mud—in pitch darkness, to a wretched hovel, where we passed the night with a number of others, in fierce cold, no fires or comforts of any kind. From thence (Alasua) we got on to Pamplona, our first picturesque Spanish town, where we spent part of Christmas Day, and then went on to Tudela, where we had another wretched posada; no fires; milk, coffee, and butter quite unknown, and the meat stewed in oil and garlic; and this has been the case everywhere except here, with other and worse in-conveniences.

“At Zaragoza we were first a little repaid by the wonderful beauty of the Moorish architecture—like lace in brick and stone, and the people as well as the place made a new world for us; but oh! the cold!—blocks of ice in the streets and the fiercest of winds raging.... No words certainly can describe the awful, the hideous ugliness of the railway the whole way here: not a tree, not a blade of grass to be seen, but ceaseless wind-stricken swamps of brown mud—featureless, hopeless, utterly uncultivated. However, Manresa is glorious, a sort of mixture of Tivoli (without the waterfall) and Subiaco, and thence we first gazed upon the magnificent Monserrat.

“We have been four days in the convent. I never saw anything anywhere so beautiful or so astonishing as this place, where we are miles and miles above every living thing except the monks, amid the most stupendous precipices of 3000 feet perpendicular, and yet in such a wealth of loveliness in arbutus, box, lentisc, smilax, and jessamine, as you can scarcely imagine. Though it is so high, and we have no fires or even brasieros, we scarcely feel the cold, the air is so still and the situation so sheltered, and on the sunlit terraces, which overlook the whole of Catalonia like a map, it is really too hot. The monks give us lodging and we have excellent food at a fonda within the convent walls, and are quite comfortable, though it must be confessed that my room is so narrow a cell, that when I go in it is impossible to turn round, and I have to hoist myself on the little bed sideways.

“It has been a strange beginning of the New Year. We breakfast at eight, and all day draw or follow the inexhaustibly lovely paths along the edges of the precipices. Yesterday we ascended the highest peak of the range, and were away nine hours—Aunt Sophy, the maid, and I; and nothing can describe the sublimity of the views across so glorious a foreground, to the whole snowy Pyrenean ranges and the expanse of blue sea.

“I act regular courier, and do all the work at inns, stations, &c., and Miss Wright is very easy to do for, and though very piano in misfortunes, is most kind and unselfish. The small stock of Spanish which I acquired in lonely evenings at Holmhurst enables me to get on quite easily—in fact, we never have a difficulty; and the kindness, civility, and helpfulness of the Spanish people compensates for all other annoyances. No one cheats, nor does it seem to occur to them. All prices are fixed, and so reasonable that my week’s expenses have been less than I paid for two dismal rooms and breakfast only in Half-Moon Street.”

 

Barcelona, Jan. 9.—We arrived here on the evening of the Befana—a picturesque sight. It was coming into perfect summer, people out walking in the beautiful Rambla till past 12 P.M., ladies without bonnets and shawls. It is a very interesting place, full of lovely architecture, with palms, huge orange-trees, and terraces, and such a deep blue sea.”

 

To Mary Lea Gidman.

Barcelona, Jan. 17.—We have good rooms now, but everywhere the food is shocking. At the table-d’hôte one of the favourite dishes is snail-soup, and as the snails are cooked in their shells, it does not look very tempting. If the food were improved, this coast would be better for invalids in winter than the Riviera, as it is such a splendid climate—almost too dry, as it scarcely ever rains for more than fifty days out of the 365. The late Queen ordered every tree in the whole of Spain which did not bear fruit to be cut down, so the whole country is quite bare, and so parched and rocky that often for fifty miles you do not see a shrub, but in some places there are palms, olives, oranges, and caroubas.

“We are very thankful for the tea which Miss Wright’s maid makes for us in a saucepan.”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Tarragona, Jan. 19.—We delighted in Barcelona, and wondered it did not bring people to this coast instead of to the south of France.... We get on famously with the Spaniards. I talk as much as I can, and if I cannot, smile and look pleased, and everybody seems devoted to us, and we are made much of and helped wherever we go. It is quite different from Italy: and we are learning such good manners from the incessant bowing and complimenting which is required.”

 

Cordova, Feb. 6.—We broke the dreadful journey from Valencia to Alicante by sleeping at Xativa, a lovely city of palms and rushing fountains with a mountain background, but the inn so disgusting we could not stay. Alicante, on the other hand, had no attraction except its excellent hotel, with dry sheets, bearable smells, no garlic, and butter. The whole district is burnt, tawny, and desolate beyond words—houses, walls, and castle alike dust-colour, but the climate is delicious, and a long palm avenue fringes the sea, with scarlet geraniums in flower. With Elche we were perfectly enraptured—the forests of palms quite glorious, many sixty feet high and laden with golden dates; the whole place so Moorish, and the people with perfectly Oriental hospitality and manners. We spent four days there, and were out drawing from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon; such subjects—but I lamented not being able to draw the wonderful figures—copper-coloured with long black hair; the men in blue velvet, with mantas of crimson and gold and large black sombreros.

“It was twenty-three hours’ journey here, and no possible stopping-place or buffet. But as for Miss Wright, she never seems the worse for anything, and is always equally kind and amiable. She is, however, very piano in spirits, so that I should be thankful for a little pleasant society for her, as it must have been fearfully dull having no one but me for so long.

“We were disappointed with Murcia, though its figures reach a climax of grotesque magnificence, every plough-boy in the colours of Solomon’s temple. But though we had expected to find Cordova only very interesting, it is also most beautiful—the immense court before the mosque filled with fountains and old orange-trees laden with fruit, and the mosque itself, with its forest of pillars, as solemn as it is picturesque.

 

To Mary Lea Gidman.

Seville, Feb. 10.—The dirt and discomfort of the railway journey to Cordova was quite indescribable, but the mosque is glorious. It is so large that you would certainly lose your way in it, as it has more than a thousand pillars, and twenty-nine different aisles of immense length, all just like one another. We made a large drawing in the court with its grove of oranges, cypresses, and palms, and you would have been quite aghast at the horrible beggars who crowded round us—people with two fingers and people with none; people with no legs and people with no noses, or people with their eyes and mouths quite in the wrong place.

“The present King (Amadeo) is much disliked and not likely to reign long. Here at Seville, in the Carnival, they made a little image of him, which bowed and nodded its head, as kings do, when it was carried through the street, and all the great people went out to meet it and bring it into the town in mockery; and yesterday it was strangled like a common criminal on a scaffold in the public square; and to-day tens of thousands of people are come into the town to attend its funeral.

“The Duchesse de Montpensier, who lives here, does a great deal of good, but she is very superstitious, and, when her daughter was ill, she walked barefoot through all the streets of Seville: the child died notwithstanding. She and all the great ladies of Seville wear low dresses and flowers in their hair when they are out walking on the promenade, but at large evening parties they wear high dresses, which is rather contrary to English fashions. Miss Wright’s bonnet made her so stared at and followed about, that now she, and her maid also, have been obliged to get mantillas to wear on their heads instead, which does much better, and prevents their attracting any attention. No ladies ever think of wearing anything but black, and gentlemen are expected to wear it too if they pay a visit.

“I often feel as if I must be in another state of existence from my old life of so many years of wandering with the sweet Mother and you, but that life is always present to me as the reality—this as a dream. There is one walk here which the dear Mother would have enjoyed and which always recalls her—a broad sunny terrace by the river-side edged with marble, which ends after a time in a wild path, where pileworts are coming into bloom under the willows. I always wonder how much she knows of us now; but if she can be invisibly present, I am sure it is mostly with me, and then with you, and in her own room at Holmhurst, whence the holy prayers and thoughts of so many years of faith and love ascended.”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Seville, Feb. 13.—Ever since we entered Andalusia it has poured in torrents, but even in fine weather I think we must have been disappointed with Seville. With such a grand cathedral interior and such beautiful pictures, it seems hard to complain, but there never was anything less picturesque than the narrow streets of whitewashed houses, uglier than the exterior of the cathedral, or duller than the surrounding country. Being Carnival, the streets are full of masks, many of them not very civil to the clergy—the Pope being led along by a devil with a long tail, &c. Every one speaks of the Italian King (Amadeo) as thoroughly despised and disliked, and his reign (in spite of the tirades in his favour in English newspapers) must now be limited to weeks; then it must be either a Republic, Montpensier, or Alfonso. Here, where they live, the Montpensiers are very popular, and they do an immense deal of good amongst the poor, the institutions, and in encouraging art. Their palace of San Telmo is beautiful, with a great palm-garden. When we first came, we actually engaged lodgings in the Alcazar, the great palace of the Moorish kings, but, partly from the mosquitoes and partly from the ghosts, soon gave them up again.”

 

Algeciras, Feb. 25.—Though we constantly asked one another what people admired so much in Seville, its sights took us just a fortnight. Our pleasantest afternoon was spent in a drive to the Roman ruins in Italica, and we took Miss Butcher with us, who devotes her life to teaching the children in the Protestant school, for which she gets well denounced from the same cathedral pulpit whence the autos-da-fé were proclaimed, in which 34,611 people were burnt alive in Seville alone!

“What a dull place Cadiz is. Nothing to make a feature but the general distant effect of the dazzling white lines of houses rising above a sapphire sea. We had a twelve hours’ voyage to Gibraltar. I was very miserable at first, but revived in time to sketch Trafalgar and to make two views in Africa as we coasted along. At last Gibraltar rose out of the sea like an island, and very fine it is, far more so than I expected, though we have not seen the precipice side of the rock yet. As we turned into the bay of Algeciras, numbers of little boats put out to take us on shore, and we are so enchanted with this place that we shall remain a few days in the primitive hotel. Our sitting-room opens by large glass doors on a balcony. Close below is the pretty beach with its groups of brilliant figures—Moors in white burnooses, sailors, peasants in sombreros and fajas. Across the blue bay, calm as glass, with white sails flitting over it, rises the grand mass of the Rock, with the town of Gibraltar at its foot. All around are endless little walks along the shore and cliffs, through labyrinths of palmito and prickly pear, or into the wild green moorlands which rise immediately behind, and beyond which is a purple chain of mountains. It is the only place I have yet seen in Spain which I think the dear Mother would have cared to stay long at, and I can almost fancy I see her walking up the little paths which she would have so delighted in, or sitting on her camp-stool amongst the rocks.”

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GIBRALTAR FROM ALGECIRAS

GIBRALTAR FROM ALGECIRAS

 

Gibraltar, March 2.—It was strange, when we crossed from Algeciras, to come suddenly in among an English-talking, pipe-smoking, beer-drinking community in this swarming place, where 5000 soldiers are quartered in addition to the crowded English and Spanish population. The main street of the town might be a slice cut out of the ugliest part of Dover, if it were not for the numbers of Moors stalking about in turbans, yellow slippers, and blue or white burnooses. Between the town and Europa Point, at the African end of the promontory, is the beautiful Alameda, walks winding through a mass of geraniums, coronillas, ixias, and aloes, all in gorgeous flower: for already the heat is most intense, and the sun is so grilling that before May the flowers are all withered up.

“I am afraid we shall not be allowed to go to Ronda. Mr. Layard has sent word from Madrid to the Governor to prevent any one going, as the famous brigand chief Don Diego is there with his crew. We had hoped to get up a sufficiently large armed party, but so many stories have come, that Aunt Sophy and her maid, Mrs. Jarvis, are getting into an agony about losing their noses and ears.

“The Governor, Sir Fenwick Williams, has been excessively civil to us, but our principal acquaintance here is quite romantic. The first day when we went down to the table-d’hôte, there were only two others present, a Scotch commercial traveller, and, below him, a rather well-looking Spaniard, evidently a gentleman, but with an odd short figure and squeaky voice. He bowed very civilly as we came in, and we returned it. In the middle of dinner a band of Scotch bagpipers came playing under the window, and I was seized with a desire to jump up and look at them. Involuntarily I looked across the table to see what the others were going to do, when the unknown gave a strange bow and wave of permission! With that wave came back to my mind a picture in the Duchesse de Montpensier’s bedroom at Seville: it was her brother-in-law, Don Francisco d’Assise, ex-King of Spain! Since then we have breakfasted and dined with him every day, and seen him constantly besides. This afternoon I sat out with him in the gardens, and we have had endless talk—the result of which is that I certainly do not believe a word of the stories against him, and think that, though not clever and rather eccentric, he is by no means an idiot, but a very kind-hearted, well-intentioned person. He is kept here waiting for a steamer to take him to Marseilles, as he cannot land at any of the Spanish ports. He calls himself the Comte de Balsaño, and is quite alone here, and evidently quite separated from Queen Isabella. He never mentions her or Spain, but talks quite openly of his youth in Portugal and his visits to France, England, Ireland, &c.

“I have remained with him while Miss Wright is gone to Tangiers with her real nephew, Major Howard Irby. This beginning of March always brings with it many sad recollections, the date—always nearing March 4—of all our greatest anxieties, at Pau, Piazza di Spagna, Via Babuino, Via Gregoriana. It is almost as incredible to me now as a year and a half ago to feel that it is all over—the agony of suspense so often endured, and that life is now a dead calm without either sunshine or storm to look forward to.

“The King says that of all the things which astonish him in England, that which astonishes him most is that the Anglo-Catholics (so called), who are free to do as they please, are seeking to have confession—‘the bane of the Roman Catholic religion, which has brought misery and disunion into so many Spanish homes.’ One felt sure he was thinking of Father Claret and the Queen, but he never mentioned them.”

 

March 6.—The poor King left yesterday for Southampton—a most affectionate leave-taking. He says he will come to Holmhurst: how odd if he does!”

 

Malaga, March 17.—Our pleasantest acquaintances at Gibraltar were the Augustus Phillimores, with whom we spent our last day—in such a lovely garden on the side of the Rock, filled with gigantic daturas, daphnes, oranges, and gorgeous creeping Bougainvillias. Admiral Phillimore’s boat took us on board the Lisbon, where we got through the voyage very well, huddled up under cloaks on deck through the long night. There is nothing to see at Malaga—a dismal, dusty, ugly place.”

 

Hôtel Siete Suelos, Granada, March 19.—We had a dreadful journey here—rail to Las Salinas and then the most extraordinary diligence journey, in a carriage drawn by eight mules, at midnight, over no road, but rocks, marshes, and along the edge of precipices—quite frightful. Why we were not overturned I cannot imagine. I could get no place except at the top, and held on with the greatest difficulty in the fearful lunges. We reached Granada about 3½ A.M., seeing nothing that night, but wearily conscious of the long ascent to the Siete Suelos.

“How lovely was the morning awakening! our rooms looking down long arcades of high arching elms, with fountains foaming in the openings of the woods, birds singing, and violets scenting the whole air. It is indeed alike the paradise of nature and art. Through the first day I never entered the Alhambra, but sat restfully satisfied with the absorbing loveliness of the surrounding gorges, and sketched the venerable Gate of Justice, glowing in gorgeous golden light. This morning we went early to the Moorish palace. It is beyond all imagination of beauty. As you cross the threshold you pass out of fact into fairyland. I sat six hours drawing the Court of Blessing without moving, and then we climbed the heights of S. Nicolas and overlooked the whole palace, with the grand snow peaks of Sierra Nevada rising behind.”

 

Granada, April 1—Easter Sunday.—To-day especially I do not feel as if I was at Granada, but in the churchyard at Hurstmonceaux. I am sure Mrs. Medhurst and other loving hands will have decorated our most dear spot with flowers. Aunt Sophy is most kind, only too kind and indulgent always, but the thought of the one for and through whom alone I could really enjoy anything is never absent from me. I feel as if I lived in a life which was not mine—beautiful often, but only a beautiful moonlight: the sunlight has faded.”

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TOLEDO.

TOLEDO.

 

Toledo, April 11.—We had twelve hours’ diligence from Granada, saw Jaen Cathedral on the way, and joined the railroad at the little station of Mengibar. Next morning found us at Aranjuez, a sort of Spanish Hampton Court, rather quaint and pleasant, four-fifths of the place being taken up by the palace and its belongings, so much beloved by Isabella (II.), but since deserted. We went to bed for four hours, and spent the rest of the day in surveying half-furnished palaces, unkempt gardens, and dried-up fountains, yet pleasant from the winding Tagus, lilacs and Judas-trees in full bloom, and birds singing. It was a nice primitive little inn, and the landlord sat on the wooden gallery in the evening and played the guitar, and all his men and maids sang round him in patriarchal family fashion.

“On the whole, I feel a little disappointed at present with this curious, desolate old city: the cathedral and everything else looks so small after one’s expectations, and the guide-books exaggerate so tremendously all over Spain.

“My last day at Granada was saddened by your mention of what is really a great loss to me—dear old Mr. Liddell’s death,[13] so kind to me ever since I was a little boy, and endeared by the many associations of most happy visits at Bamborough and Easington. I had also sad news from Holmhurst in the death of dear sweet Romo, the Mother’s own little dog, which no other can ever be.”

 

Madrid, April 20.—We like Madrid better than we expected. It is a poor miniature of Paris, the Prado like the Champs Elysées, the Museo answering to the Louvre, though all on the smallest possible scale. It has been everything to us having our kind friends Don Juan and Doña Emilia de Riaño here, and we have seen a great deal of them. They have a beautiful house, full of books and pictures, and every day she has come to take us out, and has gone with us everywhere, taking us to visit all the interesting literary and artistic people, showing us all the political characters on the Prado, escorting us to galleries, &c., and in herself a mine of information of the most beautiful and delightful kind—a sort of younger Lady Waterford. She gives a dreadful picture of the immorality of society in Madrid under the Italian King, the want of law, the hopelessness of redress; that everything is gained by influence in high places, nothing by right. A revolution is expected any day, and then the King must go. The aristocratic Madrilenians all speak of him as ‘the little Italian wretch,’ though they pity his pretty amiable Queen. All seem to want to get rid of him, and, whatever is said by English newspapers, we have never seen any one in Spain who was not hankering after the Bourbons and the handsome young Prince of Asturias, who is sure to be king soon.

“The pleasantest of all the people Madame de Riaño has taken us to visit are the splendid artist Don Juan de Madraza and his most lovely wife.[14]

“The Layards have been very civil. At a party there we met no end of Spanish grandees. The Queen’s lady-in-waiting (she has only two who will consent to take office), Marqueza d’Almena, was quite lovely in white satin and pearls—like an old picture.”

 

Segovia, April 28.—I was quite ill at Madrid with severe sore throat and cough, and this in spite of the care I was always taking of myself, having been so afraid of falling ill. But it is the most treacherous climate, and, from burning heat, changes to fierce ice-laden winds from the Guadarama and torrents of cold rain. I was shut up five days, but cheered by visits from Madame de Riaño, young Arthur Seymour an attaché, and the last day, to my great delight, the well-known Holmhurst faces of Mr. and Mrs. Scrivens (Hastings banker), brimming with Sussex news. Mr. Layard was evidently very anxious to get us and all other travelling English safe out of Spain, but we preferred the alternative, suggested by the Riaños, of coming to this ‘muy pacifico’ place, and waiting till the storm was a little blown over. Madrid was certainly in a most uncomfortable state, the Italian King feeling the days of his rule quite numbered, houses being entered night and day, and arrests going on everywhere. I do not know what English papers tell, but the Spanish accounts are alarming of the whole of the north as overrun by Carlists, and that they have taken Vittoria and stopped the tunnel on the main line.

“It was a dreadful journey here. The road was cut through the snow, but there was fifteen feet of it on either side the way on the top of the Guadarama. However, our ten mules dragged us safely along. Segovia is gloriously picturesque, and the hotel a very tolerable—pothouse.”

 

Salamanca, May 5.—One day at the Segovia table-d’hôte we had the most unusual sight of a pleasing young Englishman, who rambled about and drew with us all afternoon, and then turned out to be—the Duchess of Cleveland’s younger son, Everard Primrose.[15]

“May-day we spent at La Granja, one of the many royal palaces, and one which would quite enchant you. It is a quaint old French château in lovely woods full of fountains and waterfalls, quite close under the snow mountains; and the high peaks, one glittering mass of snow, rise through the trees before the windows. The inhabitants were longing there to have the Bourbons back, and only spoke of the present King as ‘the inoffensive Italian.’ Even Cristina and Isabella will be cordially welcomed if they return with the young Alfonso.

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SEGOVIA

SEGOVIA

 

“On May 2nd we left Segovia and went for one night to the Escurial—such a gigantic place, no beauty, but very curious, and the relics of the truly religious though cruelly bigoted Philip II. very interesting. Then we were a day at Avila, at an English inn kept by Mr. John Smith and his daughter—kindly, hearty people. Avila is a paradise for artists, and has remains in plenty of Ferdinand and Isabella, in whose intimate companionship one seems to live during one’s whole tour in Spain. It was a most fatiguing night-journey of ten hours to Salamanca, a place I have especially wished to see—not beautiful, but very curious, and we have introductions to all the great people of the place.

“I shall be very glad now to get home again. It is such an immense separation from every one one has ever seen or heard of, and such a long time to be so excessively uncomfortable as one must be at even the best places in Spain. Five-o’clock tea, which we occasionally cook in a saucepan—without milk of course—is a prime luxury, and is to be indulged in to-day as it is Sunday.”

 

Biarritz, May 12.—We are thankful to be safe here, having seen Zamora, Valladolid, and Burgos since we left Salamanca. The stations were in an excited state, the platforms crowded with people waiting for news or giving it, but we met with no difficulties. I cannot say with what a thrill of pleasure I crossed the Bidassoa and left the great discomforts of Spain behind. What a luxury this morning to see once more tea! butter!! cow’s milk!!!”

 

Paris, May 20.—Most lovely does France look after Spain—the flowers, the grass, the rich luxuriant green, of which there is more to be seen from the ugliest French station than in the whole of the Spanish peninsula after you leave the Pyrenees. I have spent the greater part of three days at the Embassy, where George Sheffield is most affectionate and kind—no brother could be more so. We have been about everywhere together, and it is certainly most charming to be with a friend who is always the same, and associated with nineteen years of one’s intimate past.”

 

Dover Station, May 23.—On Monday George drove me in one of the open carriages of the Embassy through the Bois de Boulogne to S. Cloud, and I thought the woods rather improved by the war injuries than otherwise, the bits cut down sprouting up so quickly in bright green acacia, and forming a pleasant contrast with the darker groves beyond. We strolled round the ruined château, and George showed the room whither he went to meet the council, and offer British interference just before war was declared, in vain, and now it is a heap of ruins—blackened walls, broken caryatides.[16] What a lovely view it is of Paris from the terrace: I had never seen it before. Pretty young French ladies were begging at all the park gates for the dishoused poor of the place, as they do at the Exhibition for the payment of the Prussian debt. George was as delightful as only he can be when he likes, and we were perfectly happy together. At 7 P.M. I went again to the Embassy. All the lower rooms were lighted and full of flowers, the corridors all pink geraniums with a mist of white spirea over them. The Duchesse de la Tremouille was there, as hideous as people of historic name usually are. Little fat Lord Lyons was most amiable, but his figure is like a pumpkin with an apple on the top. It is difficult to believe he is as clever as he is supposed to be. He is sometimes amusing, however. Of his diplomatic relations with the Pope he says, ‘It is so difficult to deal diplomatically with the Holy Spirit.’ He boasts that he arrived at the Embassy with all he wanted contained in a single portmanteau, and that if he were called upon to leave it for ever to-day, the same would suffice. He has collected and acquired—nothing! He evidently adores George, and I don’t wonder!”

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FOUNTAIN OF S. CLOUD.

FOUNTAIN OF S. CLOUD. [17]

 

To Miss Wright.

Holmhurst, May 24, 1872.—You will like to know I am safe here. I found fat John Gidman waiting at the Hastings station, and drove up through the flowery lanes to receive dear Lea’s welcome—most tearfully joyous. The little home looks very lovely, and I cannot be thankful enough—though its sunshine is always mixed with shadow—to have a home in which everything is a precious memorial of my sacred past, where every shrub in the garden has been touched by my mother’s hand, every little walk trodden by her footsteps, and where I can bring up mental pictures of her in every room. In all that remains I can trace the sweet wisdom which for years laid up so much to comfort me, which sought to buy this place when she did, in order to give sufficient association to make it precious to me; above all, which urged her to the supreme effort of returning here in order to leave it for me with the last sacred recollections of her life. In the work of gathering up the fragments from that dear life I am again already engrossed, and Spain and its interests are passing into the far away; yet I look back upon them with much gratitude, and especially upon your long unvaried kindness and your patience with my many faults.”

 

May 26.—To-night it blows a hurricane, and the wind moans sadly. A howling wind, I think, is the most melancholy natural accompaniment which can come to a solitary life. After this, I must give you—to meditate on—a beautiful passage I have been reading in Mrs. Somerville—‘At a very small height above the surface of the earth the noise of the tempest ceases, and the thunder is heard no more in those boundless regions where the heavenly bodies accomplish their periods in eternal and sublime silence.’”

 

It is partly the relief I experienced after Spain and the animation of ever-changing society which make me look back upon the summer of 1872 as one of the happiest I have spent at Holmhurst. A constant succession of guests filled our little chambers, every one was pleased, and the weather was glorious. I was away also for several short but very pleasant glimpses of London, and began to feel how little the virulence of some of my family signified when there was still so much friendship and affection left to me.

 

To Miss Wright.

Holmhurst, June 21, 1872.—I am feeling ungrateful for never having written since my happy fortnight with you came to a close, a time which I enjoyed more than I ever expected to enjoy anything again, and which made me feel there might still be something worth living on for, so much kindness and affection did I receive from so many. It is pleasant too to think of your comfortable home, which rises before me in a gallery of happy pictures, and I know it all so well now, from the parrot in Mrs. Jarvis’s room to the red geraniums in your window. I have had Mrs. and Miss Kuper here, and now I am alone, no voice but that of the guinea-fowls shrieking ‘Come back’ in the garden. I miss all my London friends very much, but suppose one would not enjoy it if it went on always, and certainly solitude is the time for work: I did eleven hours of it yesterday. As regards my books, I feel more and more with Arnold that a man is only fit to teach as long as he is himself learning daily.”

 

Holmhurst, June 25.—‘Poor Aunt Sophy’ would not have thought she had done nothing to cheer me, could she have seen the interest with which I read her letter and returned to it over and over again. Such a letter is quite delightful, and here has the effect of one reaching Robinson Crusoe in Juan Fernandez, so complete is the silence and solitude when no one is staying here.

‘The flowers my guests, the birds my pensioners,
Books my companions, and but few beside.’[18]

“How I delight in knowing all that the delightful human beings are about, of whom I think now as living in another hemisphere. I should like to see more of people—perhaps another year I may not be so busy: that is, I long for the cream which I enjoyed with you, but I should not care for the milk and water of a country neighbourhood. If one has too much people-seeing, however, even of the London best, one feels that it is ‘a withering world,’[19] and that if—

‘The world is too much with us, late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.’[20]

“I have been made very ill-tempered all day because Murray, during my absence in Spain, has published a second edition of my Oxfordshire Handbook, greatly altered, without consulting me, and it seems to me utterly spoilt and vulgarised. He is obliged by his contract to give me £40, but I would a great deal rather have seen the book uninjured and received nothing.”

 

To Miss Leycester (after a long visit from her at Holmhurst).

Holmhurst, August 18, 1872.—There seems quite a chaos of things already to be said to the dear cousin who has so long shared our quiet life, and who has so much care for the simple interests of this little home. Much have I missed her—in her chair, with her crotchet; sitting on the terrace; and especially in the early morning walk yesterday, when the garden was in its richest beauty, all the crimson and blue flowers twinkling through a veil of dewdrops, and when ‘the gentleness of Heaven was on the sea,’ as Wordsworth would say. I am grieved to think of you in London, instead of in your country home.

“Our visit to Hurstmonceaux was thoroughly enjoyed by Mr. and Mrs. Pile.[21] For myself, I shall always feel such short visits produce such extreme tension of conflicting feelings that they are scarcely a pleasure. Most lovely was the drive for miles through Ashburnham beech and pine woods and by its old timber-yard. At Lime Cross we saw Mrs. Isted at her familiar window, and the dear woman sat there all the afternoon to have another glimpse on our return. We drove to the foot of the hill and walked up to the church. Our sacred spot looked most peaceful, its double hedge of fuchsia in full flower, and the turf as smooth as velvet. We had luncheon in the church porch, and then went to the castle, and back through the park uplands, high with fern, to Hurstmonceaux Place. How often, at Hurstmonceaux especially, I now feel the force of Wordsworth’s lines:

‘Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.’”

 

To Miss Wright.

Holmhurst, Sept. 6, 1872.—If my many guests of the last weeks have liked their visits, I have most entirely enjoyed having them and the pleasant influx of new life and new ideas. Dear old Mrs. Robert Hare is now very happy here, and most grateful for the very small kindness I am able to show. I have pressed her to make a long visit, as it is a real delight to give so much pleasure, though humbling to think that, when one can do it so easily, one does not do it oftener. She is quite stone-deaf, so we sit opposite one another and correspond on a slate.[22] On Tuesday I fetched Marcus Hare from Battle. He also is intensely happy here; but his aunts, the Miss Stanleys, have written to refuse to see him again or allow him to visit them, because he has been to see the author of the ‘Memorials.’ I took him to Hurstmonceaux yesterday, and lovely was the first flush of autumn on our dear woods, while the castle looked most grand in the solemn stillness of its misty hollow. Next week I shall have George Sheffield here.”

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FROM THE LIBRARY WINDOW, FORD.

FROM THE LIBRARY WINDOW, FORD. [24]

In September I paid a pleasant visit to my cousin Edward Liddell, whom I found married to his sweet wife (Christina Fraser Tytler) and living in the Rectory in Wimpole Park in Cambridgeshire, close to the great house of our cousin Lord Hardwicke, which is very ugly, though it contains many fine pictures.[23] In the beginning of October I was at Ford with Lady Waterford, meeting the Ellices, Lady Marion Alford, and Lady Herbert of Lea, who had much to tell of La Palma, the estatica of Brindisi, who had the stigmata, and could tell wonderful truths to people about their past and future. Lady Herbert had been to America, Trinidad, Africa—in fact, everywhere, and in each country had, or thought she had, the most astounding adventures—living with bandits in a cave, overturned on a precipice, &c. She had travelled in Spain and was brimful of its delights. She had armed herself with a Papal permit to enter all monasteries and convents. She had annexed the Bishop of Salamanca and driven in his coach to Alva, the scene of S. Teresa’s later life. The nuns refused to let her come in, and the abbess declared it was unheard of; but when Lady Herbert produced the bishop and the Papal brief, she got in, and the nuns were so captivated that they not only showed her S. Teresa’s dead body, but dressed her up in all S. Teresa’s clothes, and set her in S. Teresa’s arm-chair, and gave her her supper out of S. Teresa’s porringer and platter. “Can you see Lady Jane Ellice’s face,” I read in a letter from Ford to Miss Leycester, “as Lady Herbert ‘goes on’ about the Blessed Paul of the Cross, the holy shift of S. Teresa, and the saintly privileges of a hermit’s life?” The first evening she was at Ford Lady Herbert said:—

 

“Did you never hear the story of ‘La Jolie Jambe’? Well, then, I will tell it you. Robert, my brother-in-law, told me. He knew the old lady it was all about in Paris, and had very often gone to sit with her.

“It was an old lady who lived at ‘le pavillon dans le jardin.’ The great house in the Faubourg was given up to the son, you know, and she lived in the pavillon. It was a very small house, only five or six rooms, and was magnificently furnished, for the old lady was very rich indeed, and had a great many jewels and other valuable things. She lived quite alone in the pavillon with her maid, but it was considered quite safe in that high-terraced garden, raised above everything else, and which could only be approached through the house.

“However, one morning the old lady was found murdered, and all her jewels and valuables were gone. Of course suspicion fell upon the maid, for who else could it be? She was taken up and tried. The evidence was insufficient to convict her, and she was released, but every one believed her guilty. Of course she could get no other place, and she was so shunned and pointed at as a murderess that her life was a burden to her.

“One day, eleven years after, the maid was walking down a street when she met a man, who, as she passed, looked suddenly at her and exclaimed, ‘Oh, la jolie jambe!’ She immediately rushed up to a sergeant-de-ville and exclaimed, ‘Arrêtez-moi cet homme.’ The man was confused and hesitated, but she continued in an agony, ‘Arrêtez-le, je vous dis: je l’accuse, je l’accuse du meurtre de ma maîtresse.’ Meanwhile the man had made off, but he was pursued and taken.

“The maid said at the trial, that, on the night of the murder, the windows of the pavilion had been open down to the ground; that they were so when she was going to bed; that as she was getting into bed she sat for a minute on its edge to admire her legs, looked at them, patted one of them complacently, and exclaimed, ‘Oh, la jolie jambe!’

“The man then confessed that while he had been hidden in the bushes of the garden waiting to commit his crime, he had seen the maid and heard her, and that, when he met her in the street, the scene and the words rushed back upon his mind so suddenly, that, as if under an irresistible impulse, his lips framed the words ‘Oh, la jolie jambe.’ The man was executed.

 

Lady Herbert also told us that—

 

“Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, had a sheep-dog to which he was quite devoted, and which used to go out and collect his sheep. One day in winter a thick snow came on, and Hogg was in the greatest anxiety about his flocks. He called his dog and explained all the matter to him, telling him how he was going all round one side of the moors himself to drive in his sheep, and that he was to go the other way and collect. The dog understood perfectly. Late in the evening the Shepherd returned perfectly exhausted, bringing in his flock through the deep snow, but the dog had not come back. Hour after hour passed and the dog did not return. The Shepherd, who was devoted to his dog, was very anxious about it, when at last he heard a whining and scratching at the door, and going out, found the dog bringing all his sheep safe, and in its mouth a little puppy, which it laid at its master’s feet, and instantly darted off through the snow to seek another and bring it in. The poor thing had puppied in the snow, but would not on that account neglect one iota of its duty. It brought in its second puppy, laid it in its master’s lap, looked up wistfully in his face as if beseeching him to take care of it, and—died.”

 

Lady Marion Alford is a real grande dame. Some one, Miss Mary Boyle, I think, wrote a little book called the “Court of Queen Marion,” descriptive of her and her intimate circle. At Ford she talked much of the pleasure of Azeglio’s Ricordi, how he was the first Italian writer who had got out of the ‘conciosiachè style,’ and she was delightful with her reminiscences of Italy:—

 

“Once when I was spending the summer in Italy I wanted models, and I was told by an old general, a friend of mine, that I had better advertise, send up to the priests in the mountains, and tell them to send down all the prettiest children in their villages to be looked at: the lady wanted models; those she chose she should pay, the others should each have sixpence and a cake. I was told I had better prepare for a good many—perhaps a hundred might come. When the day came, I never shall forget our old servant’s face when he rushed in—‘Miladi, Miladi, the lane is full of them.’ There were seven hundred. It was very difficult to choose. We made them pass in at one door of the villa and out at the other. Those we selected we sent into the garden, and from these we chose again. Some were perfect monsters, for every mother thought her own child perfection. Those we selected to come first were a lovely family of three children with their mother. They were to come on a Wednesday. The day came, and they never appeared: the next, and still they did not come. Then we asked our old general about it, and he said, ‘The fact is, I have kicked my carpenter downstairs this morning because he said you were sending for the children to suck their blood, and they all think so.’ They none of them ever came.

“Our old maid Teresa was of a very romantic turn of mind. We used, when I was a child, to live in the Palazzo Sciarra, where the ‘Maddalena della Radice’ is. She used to stand opposite to the picture and exclaim in gulpy tones, ‘Sono bestia io, e non capisco niente, ma questo me pare—pittoresco.’ My little sister, when our father was away, stood one day at the top of the stairs and said, ‘Io son padrona di casa, e no son padrona di casa: voi siete la servitu, e non siete la servitu.’ Teresa exclaimed, ‘Questa diavola, com’ é carina.’ We used to hear Teresa talking to our other maid, and they boasted of the number of times they had been beaten by their husbands. One day—it was during the French occupation, when the bread was doled out—Teresa took her tambourine with her when she went to get it, for they all loved flirting with the soldiers; and when her husband asked her what it was for, she said it was to bring back the bread in. But when she got inside the circle of soldiers, they had a merry saltarello. The husband was kept back outside the circle, and stood there furious. At first she laughed at him, but then when he went away and came back again, she got really frightened. And when she came out of the circle he flogged her with a whip all the way back to the Trastevere, and she ran before him screaming.

“How curious it is that ‘Est locanda’ is still to be seen in Roman windows of houses to be let—the one little relic of Latin: and how odd the word for lodgings being the same in all languages—Quartier, Quartos, Quartiere, Quarter, &c.

Lady Marion also said:—

 

“As we were leaving Gibraltar, three of the shells from the practising fell quite close to our yacht. ‘Are you not very much frightened?’ said a French gentleman on board. ‘Not in the least,’ I said. ‘How could I be? our men are such perfect marksmen;’ but of course I was dreadfully.”

 

This story is wonderfully characteristic of the speaker: the Empress Catherine might have given such an answer. About ghosts Lady Marion was very amusing:—

 

“When I went to Belvoir with Lady Caroline Cust, they danced in the evening. I went upstairs early, for I was tired. As I was going to my room, Lady Jersey—it was wrong of her, I think—said, ‘Oh, I see you are put into the ghost-room.’ I said, ‘I am quite happy; there are no real ghosts here, I think.’—‘Well,’ said Lady Jersey, ‘I can only say Miss Drummond slept there last night, and she received letters of importance this morning and left before breakfast.’ Well, I went into my room, and lit the candles and made up the fire, but very soon I gave a great jump, for I heard the most dreadful noise close at my elbow—Oh-o-oo-oo!’ I thought of course that it was a practical joke, and began to examine every corner of the room, thinking some one must be hidden there; then I rang my bell. When my maid came in I said, ‘Now don’t be frightened, but there is some one hidden in this room somewhere, and you must help me to find him.’ Very soon the noise came again. Then Lady Caroline came, and she heard it: then her maid came. The noise occurred about every five minutes. We examined everything and stood in each corner of the room. The noise then seemed close to each of us. At last Lady Caroline said, ‘I can stand this no longer, and I must go,’ and she and her maid went away and shut themselves into the next room. Then I said to my maid, ‘If you are frightened you had better go,’ but she protested that she would rather stay where she was; after what she had heard, anything would be better than facing the long lonely passages alone. However, just at that moment ‘Oh-o-oo-oo!’ went off again close to her ear, and with one spring she darted out of the room and ran off as hard as ever she could. I went courageously to bed and determined to brave it out. But the thing went to bed too, and went off at intervals on the pillow close to my face. And at last it grated on my nerves to such a degree that I could bear it no longer, and I dragged a mattress into Lady Caroline’s room and slept there till dawn. The next morning I also received letters of importance and left before breakfast.

“Before I left, I sent for the housekeeper, and said, ‘You really should not put people into that room,’ and told her what had happened. She was much distressed, and told me that there really was no other room in the house then, but confessed it had often happened so before. Some time after I went over to Belvoir with some friends who wanted to see the castle, and the housekeeper then told me that the same thing had happened again in that room, which was now permanently shut up.”

 

Other guests at Ford were Mrs. Richard Boyle (known as E. V. B.), and her daughter—very quaint and original, and the mother a capital artist. We went to the Rowting Lynn, a beautiful spot surrounded with rocks overhung by old oak-trees. “Did you enjoy your walk?” said Lady Waterford to Mrs. Boyle as we came in. “Yes, excessively. You never told me you had a waterfall. You offered me a coal-pit, but the waterfall you forgot to mention.”

Lady Waterford was herself more delightful than ever. As Marocetti said of her, “C’est un grand homme, mais une femme charmante.” Here are some scraps from her conversation:—

 

“That is a sketch of L. H. She did not know I was drawing her. She looks sixteen, but is quite middle-aged. Mama used to say she was like preserved green peas. Preserved green peas are not quite so good as real green peas, but they do very nearly as well.’

“I always take a little book with me in the train and draw the things as I pass them. That is some railings against a sunset sky when it was almost dark: I thought it was like a bit of Tintoret.

“How trying it is to be kept waiting for people. Don’t you know the Italian proverb?—

‘Aspettare e non venire,
Star in letto e non dormire,
Vuol piacer, e non gradire.’

Miss Boyle had a much better one, though—

‘To do, to suffer, is a glorious state,
But a more noble portion is to wait.’

“How beautiful the singing was in our young days—Grisi and Mario and Lablache, who went straight to one’s heart and fluttered there.

“Some one, old Madame de Flahault I think it was, asked what she could give as a present. It must be ‘très rare et pas coûteux,’ and it was suggested that she should give a lock of her hair.

“You are like the old lady who said she had never had a ripe peach in her life, because when she was young all the old people had them, and when she grew old all the young people had them.

“I am longing to read ‘Marjory,’[25] but I cannot when I have my house full—my novel en action. When people are here and tell me their little stories, that is what I like best to read.”

 

To Miss Wright.

Crook Hall, Lancashire, Oct. 20, 1872.—My visit at Ford was perfectly enchanting, and I made several new friendships there in what you think my sudden way, especially one with Lord Ronald Gower, which I think may become a pleasure. I much enjoyed, too, making friends with Mr. Beaumont and Lady Margaret B., one of the very best types of a fine lady it is possible to meet, almost funnily aristocratic in all her ideas, and high-minded in proportion. Her little person is arrayed in gowns which were as much things of beauty in their way as a mountain landscape; there is such a difference between ‘smart dress,’ and such a lovely harmony of shade and colour, as one can scarcely think of as mere clothing. Then I saw a great deal of the dear Lady Waterford, and am more than ever instructed and touched by her beautiful, noble, holy life. It is absolutely impossible to her to ‘think any evil,’ and so, to her, the best side of every one comes out. As an easier ‘let down’ than anything else, I accepted an invitation from thence to Lord and Lady Grey for three days at Howick on the wild sea-coast, and enjoyed my visit immensely. No one has more completely ‘l’art de narrer’ than Lady Grey, and he is full of old-fashioned courtesy and kindness, such winning manners and heart-whole goodness.

“My ‘Memorials’ are out! Ere this all will have it. I know there will be much abuse and many varieties of opinion, but I am conscious of having carried out the book as I believe to be best for others, not for myself, and in this consciousness can bear what is said. ‘Je laisse couler le torrent,’ as Mme. de Sevigné used to say. One thing I dread is, that people should think I am a better person than I am, on reading the book: for I suppose it is always the fact that a man’s book is the best of him, his thought better than his life. But in any case, it is a relief to have it out (as Arthur and Mary Stanley, at the last moment, persuaded Mr. Murray to go to my publishers to try to stop the publication), yet it is also a wrench to part with the occupation and chief thought of two desolate years.”

 

Dalton Hall, Oct. 28.—A second edition of the ‘Memorials’ was called for before it had been out three days. I have had many letters about it—charming ones from Mrs. Arnold and the old Baroness de Bunsen. The olive-bearing dove has gone out with healing on his wings, and all the mists are cleared off and the long-standing feuds of the Hare family healed by the book. Still the Stanleys make no sign.

‘Alas! how easily things go wrong!
A sigh too much or a kiss too long,
And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again.’[26]

“I certainly do suffer very much when people mean me to do so, to a degree which must be quite satisfactory to them; but then in compensation I always enjoy very much when it is the reverse. It is as I read somewhere—‘He who is the first to be touched by the thorns is soonest awake to the flowers.’

“From the Oswald Penrhyns’ at Huyton I saw in the same day two great houses—the vast and hideous Knowsley, which interested me from its connection with my Mother’s youth, and the glorious old hall of Speke, which has an air of venerable beauty quite unrivalled. Then I went for some days to Lord Brougham’s, a delightful place, full of tapestry and pictures, but though it looks old, really a modern castle, with the ruins of the truly ancient castle on the river-bank hard by.”

 

In November I went north again to stay for the first time at Bretton near Wakefield, a great house in the Black Country, built by the famous “Madam Beaumont,” who followed the example of her ancestors in making an enormous fortune by her skilful management of her lead-mines. It is recorded that when Mr. Pitt was dining with her, and all her magnificent plate was set out, she exclaimed, with pardonable pride, “That is all the lead-mines,” when he replied, “Oh, really, I thought it was silver,” and would talk on, to her great annoyance, and never allow her a moment to explain. I had made friends with her grandson, Wentworth Beaumont, at Ford, when he was there with his wife Lady Margaret, whom I have always regarded as the most thoroughly pleasant specimen in existence of a really fine lady. Her powers of conversation were boundless, her gift of repartee unequalled, and her memory most extraordinary. She was the daughter of Lady Clanricarde, celebrated for her conversational talents, and whom I remember Lady Carnarvon describing as “the most agreeable woman in England, because she was not only massive, but lively.” Lady Margaret was like a little queen amongst her guests, entertaining with the simplicity of real kindness and thoughtfulness for others, whilst her manner was equally agreeable to all, and she never usurped attention, but rather exerted herself to draw others out and to show the best side of them. She could be alarming as an enemy, but she was a most faithful friend, and would exert herself to take definite trouble for her friends, never deserting them unless they were proved to be really unworthy. She was not exactly pretty, but her animation was more charming than mere beauty. Dress with her was not a mere adjunct, but was made as much a thing of poetic beauty as a landscape or a flower. She was devoted to her husband, but theoretically she disapproved of love in a general way. Still she was only worldly in principle and not in practice, and she was ever a devoted mother to her children, seeking their real happiness rather than their advancement before the world.[27] I have often been at Bretton since my first visit there, and always enjoyed it from the constant animation which the hostess shed around her; the excessive comfort of the house and of the thoroughly well-regulated household; the plenty of time for work and writing, and yet the constant variety afforded by the guests coming and going: while with the children of the house I was very intimate, and with the youngest, Hubert, long on terms of almost elder-brotherly affection. Lady Francis Gordon was generally at Bretton when I have been there, rather an amusing than an agreeable person, but an immense talker. One of her first remarks to me was characteristic—“I am quite past the age of blushing: when I want to do anything of that kind, I what they call flush now.” I have frequently seen Colonel Crealock[28] at Bretton, who drew animals so splendidly. He told me once—

 

“Old Lady Selby of the Mote at Ightham had been out to some grand party in all her diamonds and jewels. She slept in a room which still remains the same, hung all round with tapestry representing events in the life of Julius Caesar. Through this room was the dressing-room, in which she kept her jewels and valuables. On the night of her return from the party, as she was undressing and taking off her jewels, she looked up at the figure of Julius Caesar in the tapestry, and thought she saw something peculiar in one of his eyes. She looked again, and felt sure the eye moved. She quietly proceeded, however, to take off her jewels and put them away. Having done that, she locked the jewel-case, left it in the dressing-room, and went to bed.

“She had not been in bed long when a man appeared in the room with a candle and a knife. Coming up to the bed, he passed the light again and again close before her eyes. She bore it without flinching in the least, only appeared to become restless and turned over in her sleep. Then he proceeded to the dressing-room and became occupied over the jewels. As soon as she was aware that he was entirely engrossed, she darted out of bed, banged to the door of the dressing-room, locked it on the outside, and rang violently for assistance. When help came, and the door was opened, they found the man strangled from trying to get through the iron bars of the window.

“The portrait of old Lady Selby still remains at the Mote.”[29]

 

To Miss Leycester.

Bretton Park, Nov. 21, 1872.—To-day we went—Lady Francis Gordon, Mrs. Lowther, Mr. Doyle, and I—to luncheon at Walton, an extraordinary house in the middle of a lake, which belonged to the Roman Catholic Mr. Waterton, the great ornithologist. It is approached by a long drawbridge and is most curious. A Mr. Hailstone lives there now, a strange man, who spends his large fortune on antiquities, and has a wife who writes on lace, and wonderful collections.[30] Their son has never eaten anything but buttered toast, cheese, and port-wine (has never tasted meat, vegetables, or fruit), but is eight years old and very flourishing.

“Lord and Lady Salisbury are here. The latter can only be described by the word ‘jocund,’ except when she does not wish to make acquaintance or desires to snub people, when she becomes hopelessly impenetrable. There is a party of fourteen, all new to me, but I get on very well. They look upon me as an aboriginal from another hemisphere, and indeed they are that to me; but it is too new a set to feel the least shy in. There is great satisfaction in being only a background figure, and Lady Margaret is quite charming, the house handsome, and the park pretty. We all went to church this morning in a sort of family drawing-room in the grounds, the vulgar herd screened off by red curtains, only the clergyman in his pulpit visible above the screen.”

 

I made a very interesting excursion with Lady Margaret and some of her guests to Haworth, the wild weird home of the Brontës on the Yorkshire fells, where the steep street with the stones placed edgeways, up which the horses scramble like cats, leads to the wind-stricken churchyard, with its vast pavement of tombstones set close together. On one side of this is the dismal grey stone house where the three unhappy sisters lived, worked, and suffered, with the window at the side through which Patrick Brontë used to climb at night. Not a tree is to be seen in the neighbourhood except the blackened lilac before the Rectory door. Nature is her dreariest self, and offers no ameliorations. The family were buried beneath their pew in the church,[31] so that Charlotte, the last survivor, sat in church over the graves of her brothers and sisters. The people seemed half savage, most of all the Rector, who violently hurled Lady Margaret and Lady Catherine Weyland from his door when they asked to see the house, being bored, I suppose, by the pertinacity of visitors.

The Brontës were really Pronty—Irish—but when old Mr. Brontë went to college, he did the wise thing of changing his name, and the family kept to it.

I went for two days from Bretton to Lord Houghton at Fryston, which has since been burnt, but which was so filled with books of every kind that the whole house was a library, each bookcase being filled with a different subject—the French Revolution, Demonology and Witchcraft, &c., &c. Lady Houghton was living then, a most gentle, kind woman, a sister of Lord Crewe. From Lord Houghton I received constant kindness and protection from my first entering upon a literary life, and, in spite of his excessive vanity, I was always sincerely attached to him. “Butterfly to the hasty eye, he was firm in his friendships, firmest of all in his fearless championship of the weak, the strugglers, the undeservedly oppressed.” As Johnson says of Garth—“he communicated himself through a very wide extent of acquaintance.” His conversation was always interesting, but I have preserved scarcely any notes of my visit to Fryston, and chiefly remember his mentioning that Sydney Smith had said to him, what I have so often thought, “It is one of the great riddles of life to me why good people should always be so dreadfully stupid.” He also spoke of the many proverbs which discouraged exertion in “doing good,” from the Persian “Do no good, and no harm will come of it,” to the French—

“Pour faire du bien
Ne faites rien.”

Talking of the Baroness Burdett Coutts, Lord Houghton said, “Miss Coutts likes me because I never proposed to her. Almost all the young men of good family did: those who did their duty by their family always did. Mrs. Browne (Miss Coutts’ companion) used to see it coming, and took herself out of the way for ten minutes, but she only went into the next room and left the door open, and then the proposal took place, and immediately it was done Miss Coutts coughed, and Mrs. Browne came in again.”

 

Journal.

Dec. 10, 1872.—Went to visit the Ralph Duttons at Timsbury near Romsey. The house is in a flat, and sees nothing but clipped laurel hedges. Mr. Dutton is a sporting politician: Mrs. Dutton a politician too, but on the other side. Both are full of pleasant conversation, and most kind. Regarding English country-houses, however, it is as Carlyle truly says, ‘Life may be as well spent there as elsewhere by the owners of them, who have occupations to attend to. For visitors, when large numbers are brought together, some practice is required if they are to enjoy the elaborate idleness.’

“We drove to visit Mr. Cowper Temple at Broadlands—a pleasant liveable house with beautiful flowers and pictures, the most remarkable of the latter being Guercino’s ‘Hagar and the Angel’—an angel which poises and floats, and Sir J. Reynolds’ ‘Infant Academy’ and ‘Babes in the Wood.’ In Mr. Cowper Temple’s room upstairs is Edward Clifford’s family group of the ‘Maimed and Halt’ being called in to the feast, the figures being those of the Cowper-Temples, Augustus Tollemaches, Lord Roden, Lady Palmerston, and Clifford’s favourite drummer. They are wonderful likenesses, but it is a strange picture, with our Saviour looking in at the window.”

 

Dec. 13.—I arrived at Hatfield in the dark. A number of carriages from the house met the guests at the station. As I emerged from it, a little groom touched his hat and said, ‘Please, sir, are you the Lord Chancellor?’ I thought I must have grown in dignity of aspect. The Lord Chancellor was expected, and came later in the evening.

“I found Lord and Lady Salisbury in the library, lined with Burleigh books and MSS. Mr. Richmond the artist was with them. He has the most charming voice, which, quite independently of his conversation, would make him agreeable. He talked of the enormous prices obtained for statues and pictures at the present time, while Michelangelo only got £90 and a block of marble for the great David at Florence, and Titian the same for his Assumption at Venice. He spoke of the amount of chicanery which existed amongst artists even then—how the monks, and the nuns too, would supply them with good ultra-marine for their frescoes, and how they would sell the ultra-marine and use smalt. He described how Gainsborough never could sell anything but portraits: people came to him for those, but would not buy his other pictures, and his house was full of them when he died. Gainsborough gave two pictures to the carrier who brought his other pictures from Clifton to London: the carrier would take no fare, so he painted his waggon and horses and another picture and gave them to him: these two pictures have been sold lately for £18,000.

“Besides the Lord Chancellor Selborne with his two pleasant unaffected daughters, Miss Alderson was here the first day, and Sir Henry and Lady Maine. With the last I rambled in search of adventures in the evening, and we walked in the long gallery, which is splendid, with a gilt ceiling, only it is incongruous to see the old panelled wall brilliantly lighted with gas.

“Lord Salisbury is delightful, so perfectly easy and unaffected: it would be well if little great men would take pattern by him. Lady Salisbury is equally unassuming, sound sense ever dropping from her lips as unconsciously as Lady Margaret Beaumont’s bon-mots.”

 

Dec. 14.—Lady Salisbury showed us the house. In the drawing-room, over the chimney-piece, is a huge statue of James I. of bronze. It is not fixed, but supported by its own weight. A ball was once given in that room. In the midst of the dancing some one observed that the bronze statue was slowly nodding its head, and gave the alarm. The stampede was frightful. All the guests fled down the long gallery.

“In the same room is a glorious portrait of Lord Salisbury’s grandmother by Reynolds. It was this Lady Salisbury who was burnt to death in her old age. She came in from riding, and used to make her maid change her habit and dress her for dinner at once, as less fatiguing. Then she rested for two or three hours with lighted candles near her, and read or nodded in her chair. One evening, from the opposite wing of the house, the late Lord Salisbury saw the windows of the rooms near hers blazing with light, and gave the alarm, but before anybody could reach his mother’s rooms they were entirely burnt—so entirely, that it would have been impossible to identify her ashes for burial but for a ruby which the present Lady Salisbury wears in a ring. A little heap of diamonds was found in one place, but that proved nothing, as all her jewels were burned with her, but the ruby her maid identified as having put on her finger when she dressed her, and the ashes of that particular spot were all gathered up and buried in a small urn. Her two favourite dogs were burnt with her, and they are probably buried with her.[32] It was this Lady Salisbury who was inadvertently thrown down by a couple waltzing violently down the long gallery, when Lord Lytton, who was present, irreverently exclaimed:

‘At Hatfield House Conservatives
Become quite harum-scarum,
For Radical could do no more
Than overturn Old Sarum.’[33]

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HATFIELD.

HATFIELD.

“In ‘Oliver Twist,’ Bill Sykes is described as having seen the fire at Hatfield as he was escaping from London.

“In the dining-room there is a portrait by Wilkie of the Duke of Wellington, painted when he was here after the battle of Waterloo. There is also at Hatfield a beautiful picture of Mary Queen of Scots at fifteen.[34] This, however, is not the authentic portrait. There is another, a replica of that at Hardwicke, taken in a widow’s dress shortly before her execution, which is one of the three portraits certainly painted from life. It was sent by the Queen to the Duke of Norfolk and intercepted by Lord Burleigh. One of the other two portraits belonged to Louis Philippe. As Sir Henry Bulwer was waiting for an audience of the king, another gentleman was in the room with him. The portrait of Queen Mary hung on the wall. The stranger looked at it, walked backwards and forwards to it, and examined it again and again. At last he walked up to Sir Henry Bulwer and said, ‘Can you tell me, sir, whom that portrait represents?’—‘Yes, I can,’ said Sir Henry; ‘but will you tell me why you ask?’—‘Because it is the lowest type of criminal face which is known to us.’ The stranger was Fouché the famous detective.

“In Lady Salisbury’s own room is a picture of Miss Pine, Lord Salisbury’s other grandmother, by Sir Joshua; also the Earl and Countess of Westmoreland and their child, by Vandyke; also a curious picture of a lady.

“‘She looks dull but good,’ said Miss Palmer.

“‘She looks clever but bad,’ said I.

“‘She was desperately wicked,’ said Lady Salisbury, ‘and therefore it is quite unnecessary to say that she was very religious. She endowed almshouses—‘Lady Anne’s Almshouses,’—they still exist, and she sent her son to Westminster with especial orders that he should be severely flogged, when he was seventeen, and so soured his temper for life and sent him to the bad entirely; and none but ‘a thoroughly highly-principled woman’ could do such a villainous action as that. The son lived afterwards at Quixwold, and led the most abominably wicked life there, and died a death as horrible as his life. He sold everything he could lay hands on, jewels and everything, all the old family plate except one very ugly old flat candlestick and six old sconces, which were painted over mahogany colour, and so were not known to be silver. His is the phantom coach which arrives and drives up the staircase and then disappears. Lord Salisbury heard it the other night when he was in his dressing-room, and dressed again, thinking it was visitors, and went down, but it was no one.’

“There is a picture of Elizabeth by Zucchero in the famous dress, all eyes and ears, to typify her omniscience, and with the serpent of wisdom on her arm: she loved allegorical dress. Her hat is here—an open-work straw hat—and in the recess of the gallery her cradle, with A. R. for Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth hated Hatfield. She was here in her childhood and all through Mary’s reign, and she constantly wrote from hence complaints to her father, to Mary, and to the Ministers, and they told her she must bear it; but she hated it, and after she became queen she never saw Hatfield again. The relics of her remain because James I. was in such a hurry to exchange Hatfield for Theobalds, on account of the hunting there, that he did not stop to take anything away.

“In the afternoon we had games, charades—Pilgrim, Pirate, Scullion, and stories.”

 

Dec. 15.—Breakfast at a number of little round tables. I was at one with Miss Palmer, the Attorney-General, and his daughter Miss Coleridge. The Attorney-General told a story of a Mr. Kerslake, who was 6 feet 8 inches in height. A little boy in the Strand, looking up at him, said, ‘I say, Maister, if you was to fall down, you’d be halfway t’ome.’

“My cough prevented my going out, but we had Sunday-afternoon service in the chapel, with beautiful singing. In the evening Lady Salisbury asked me to tell stories to all the party, and it was sufficiently alarming when I saw the Lord Chancellor in the first row, with the Attorney-General on one side of him and Lord Cairns on the other. In repeating a story, however, I always think of a bit of advice Mr. Jowett gave me long ago—‘Try to say everything as well as you can say it.’ The Attorney-General afterwards told us—

“There is at Clifton a Mr. Harrison, who is the second medical authority there, a man of undoubted probity and reputation. He told me this.

“At Clifton lived a Mrs. Fry with her brother-in-law and his two daughters, Elizabeth and Hephzibah. These were persons who, like many Bristol people, had large property in the West Indies—the Miles’s, for instance, made their fortunes there. The elder daughter, Elizabeth, had been born in the West Indies, and when she fell into bad health, her father took the opportunity of taking her back to benefit by her native air, when he went to look after his West Indian property, leaving his younger daughter, Hephzibah, with Mrs Fry.

“They had not been gone long when Hephzibah took a chill, and in a very few days she died. Mr. Harrison attended her. Some days after he called as a friend upon Mrs. Fry, when she said, ‘I want to tell you something which has happened to me: I have seen Elizabeth.’—’ Impossible,’ said Mr. Harrison. ‘No,’ she said, ‘it was so. I was sitting reading the “Promise”’ (so I believe ‘Friends’ always call the Bible), ‘when I fell into a state which was neither sleeping nor waking, and in that state—I was not asleep—I saw Elizabeth standing by me. I spoke to her, and, forgetting what had happened in my surprise, I told her to call her sister. But she said to me that she had seen her sister already, and that she was in a box, and had a great deal of sewing about her chest. She especially used the word “sewing:” then she vanished away, and the place in the Promise where I had left off was changed: some one had turned it over.’ Mr. Harrison noted all this.

“Some time after came a letter from the father to Mrs. Fry, written before he had heard of Hephzibah’s death. After speaking of other matters he said, ‘I must now tell you of a very curious circumstance which has occurred, and which is much on my mind. The other day Elizabeth, who had been much better, and who is now nearly well, surprised us by falling into a stupor, and when she came to herself she would insist upon it that she had been to Clifton, and that she had seen you and Hephzibah, and that Hephzibah was in a long box, with a great deal of sewing upon her chest: and she says so still.’ The dates were precisely the same.

“Hephzibah’s death was so sudden that there was a post-mortem examination, though it was not considered necessary to distress Mrs. Fry by telling her of it. On this occasion Mr. Harrison was unable to be present. He went afterwards to the student of the hospital who was there, and who remembered all about it, and he said—what Mr. Harrison had not previously known—that after the examination the body was sewn up, with a great deal of sewing upon the chest.”

 

Dec. 16.—The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs. Tait arrived before afternoon-tea, at which there was much lively conversation. Apropos of Radicalism and the conversation of Bishops, Lord Salisbury mentioned Sydney Smith’s saying that he would ‘rather fall a victim to a democratic mob than be sweetly and blandly absorbed by a bishop.’

“In speaking of Jenny Lind, Mr. Richmond said that she had ‘none of the warm ruddy glow of the sunny South in her character, it was rather the soft calm beauty of Swedish moonlight.’ He spoke of the faces he had drawn—of the interest of the ugly faces, if the lines had character; of the difficulty of translating a face like a moon or a footstool; that still such faces were quite the exception, and that he believed the reason why he succeeded better than some others of his confraternity was that he was better able to realise to himself the good in the character of his subjects.”

 

Dec. 17.—Mr. Richmond was at the same little table at breakfast. He talked of great writers and talkers, how their art was not the creation of something new, but the telling of old things well in a new dress—the bringing up the thoughts long bedridden in the chambers of their own brain.

“He talked of Carlyle—of how his peculiarities began in affectation, but that now he was simply lost in the mazes of his own vocabulary. One night, he said, he met a man at Albert Gate at 12 P.M., who asked for a light for his cigar. He did not see who it was till, as he was turning away, he recognised Carlyle, who gave a laugh which could be heard all down Piccadilly as he exclaimed, ‘I thought it was just any son of Adam, and I find a friend.’ It was soon after the Pope’s return to Rome, and Mr. Richmond spoke of him. ‘The poor old Pope,’ said Carlyle, ‘the po-o-r old Pope! He has a big mouth! I do not like your button-holes of mouths, like the Greek statues you are all so fond of.’

“Our third at the breakfast-table was a Mr. Jeffreys. Mr. Richmond said afterwards that he was a conchologist, which he regarded as the very tail of science—the topmost twig of the tree looking up at the sky.”

 

Dec. 19.—Yesterday I drew the gallery and chapel. There is something mediæval in the band playing all dinner-time, yet without the sound being overwhelming, from the great size of the room; in the way the host and hostess sit in the middle like royalty, and in the little lovely baskets of hot-house flowers given to each lady as she goes down the staircase to dinner.”

 

Dec. 20.—The last collection of guests have included the Duke of Wellington, the Cowleys, Lord and Lady Stanhope, and M. and Madame de Lavalette—all full of interest. Certainly Hatfield is magnificent and grandly kept up. I had much talk with Mrs. Lowe,[35] who delights in tirades against Christianity. She said how absurd it was to expect belief in the Bible, when no one could agree upon so recent a subject as Lord Byron: that half the Bible was contrary to all reason: that it was monstrous to suppose that the Deity could enjoin a murder like that of Isaac, &c.”

 

Dec. 27, East Sheen.—Mrs. Stuart Wortley came to luncheon. She remarked how that which was most striking in Italy was not the effect of light, but of shadow. Into the shadows of England you could not penetrate, but the shadows of Italy were transparent; the more you looked into their cavernous depths, the more you saw there, discovering marvels of beauty which existed there in repose.

“She told us that the secret of ‘the Haunted House in Berkeley Square’ is that it belonged to a Mr. Du Pré of Wilton Park. He shut up his lunatic brother there in a cage in one of the attics, and the poor captive was so violent that he could only be fed through a hole. His groans and cries could be distinctly heard in the neighbouring houses. The house is now to be let for £100 the first year, £200 the second, £300 the third, but if the tenant leaves within that time, he is to forfeit £1000. The house will be furnished in any style or taste the tenant chooses.

 

To Miss Wright.

Holmhurst, Jan. 10, 1873.—I have had a pleasant visit at Battle Abbey. The Duchess (of Cleveland) received me very kindly. The house is comfortable and the library is first-rate, and there is always a pleasure in a house which has ruins, cloisters, haunted yew walks—history, in fact—in its garden. The Duke, who is one of the few living of my father’s old friends, was very cordial; and Lord and Lady Stanhope, whom I am devoted to, arrived with me. The rest of the guests were Harry Stanhope, a clergyman, Colonel and Mrs. Heygarth, Colonel and Mrs. Byng, Mr. Newton the Lycian archæologist, Mr. Planché the Somerset Herald, and Mr. Campbell of Islay—a party which had plenty of good materials. We drew, acted, and all tried to make ourselves agreeable. The Duchess was a perfect hostess, amused us all very much, and was intensely amused herself.”

 

My book “Wanderings in Spain,” came out in the autumn of 1872, and met with a more enthusiastic reception from the public than anything I have ever written. Three editions were called for in six weeks, but there the sale ended.[36] The reviews were rapturously laudatory, but I felt at the time how little reliance was to be placed upon their judgment, though for the moment it was agreeable. The Times declared that no one ought to go to Spain without the book; the Athenæum, that only in one instance had pleasanter sketches fallen under its notice; while the Spectator blew the loudest trumpet of all:—

 

“In this least commonplace, and yet most comprehensive of works of travel, we find everything we have previously learnt of that comparatively unworked mine of history, art, poetry, and nature, Spain, as well as a great deal which is entirely novel. But the old is placed in a dazzling light of fancy, association, and suggestion, and the new is captivating. The skies of Spain shine, the wide-sweeping breezes blow, the solemn church music swells, the ancient grandeur, gravity, and dignity of the history and life of the country, the old Moorish magnificence, the splendid chivalry, the religious enthusiasm, the stern loyalty and narrow pride of the races of Arragon and Castile, all live again in the vivid pages of this book.”

 

The unusual success which was attending my “Walks in Rome,” and the many notes which I already possessed for a similar work in the neighbourhood, made me now devote my time to “Days near Rome,” and in January I left England to make Rome a centre from whence to revive my recollection of the towns I had already visited in the Campagna and its surrounding mountains, and to examine and sketch those I had not yet seen. Altogether, “Days near Rome” is the one of my books in the preparation of which I had the greatest enjoyment, and from which I have had least disappointment since its publication.[37] I was, however, terribly ill soon after my arrival at Rome, and nearly died there.

 

To Miss Leycester.

Paris, Jan. 19, 1873.—I have felt most dolorous on the journey, and often repented having decided to come abroad: I so dread seeing Rome again. Still, as last year I added £252 to my income by small writings exclusive of the ‘Memorials,’ I must look upon it as a profession, and of course as such it is very pleasant. This morning I am cheered by George Sheffield’s pleasure at seeing me, and I am going to dine with the Comte and Comtesse de Clermont-Tonnerre.”

 

Florence, Jan. 23.—All descriptions of ‘sensations’ in the Mont Cenis tunnel must be pure imagination. It is exactly like any other tunnel. I came all the way from Paris with two American ladies, one of them very handsome, but the sort of person who said, ‘I guess I am genteelly well satisfied’ when she had finished her dinner, and that she had read ‘Walks in Rome,’ which ‘was a very elegant book, a very elegant book indeed.’”

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FIDENAE.

FIDENAE. [38]

 

81 Via della Croce, Rome, Jan. 27.—I left Florence on a still, mizzly morning. How familiar all the dear places seemed on the way, and yet how changed the feeling with which one saw them—Thrasymene, Perugia, Assisi, Spoleto—all so much to us, so woven into our lives, and I was thankful for the twilight obscurity before the steep of Fidenae rose beside us, and then the towers of the beloved city crested the hill, the hill down which my darling drove so often in her little carriage to the Ponte Salario and the Ponte Nomentano, drinking in the full beauty of the historic loveliness. On Saturday I removed to these rooms in the house of Voight, a German artist, much beloved by the Bunsens, and indeed married to his old still-existing Signora from their house. I think that the rooms will answer sufficiently, though, as the Voights have never let rooms before, there is a terrible amount of talking over everything I need. The whole family, of three generations, were called into council the first time I desired to have an egg for breakfast, and then it came in raw, and yesterday the scene was repeated. However, ‘pazienza.’

“On Sunday I went up first to the Pincio, and I cannot say—indeed no one could understand—all that that walk is to me, where day after day, for so many feeble winters, we helped my darling along; whence she looked down upon the windows so sacred to her in the San Sebastianello; where every shrub was familiar and commented upon, as not even those in the garden at Holmhurst have ever been. Nothing has been more our garden. It seemed almost sacrilege to see the changes, and they are not many. In the afternoon I went again with my old friend Stopford Sackville.

“It has been a great effort—a gasp—coming here, but I am thankful now that I came. There is something in the simple greetings of all our poor friends—‘Lei stá solo adesso—ahi poverino!’—far more to me than anything else could be, and the very trees and ruins talk to me, only that as she saw her Augustus’s, so I see my Mother’s name engraven on every stone. In some ways I seem every day to make fresh acquaintance with my solitary life.

“It is perfect summer here, the Villa Doria a sheet of flowers, anemones of every hue, violets almost over. ‘How full of sources of comfort has God made this lovely woe-world,’ as Mrs. Kemble says.”

 

Feb. 1.—I have been very ill for the last three days with Roman fever, which has brought on a violent return of my cough. It all came from going out for one instant upon the balcony at night without extra clothing: in that instant I felt the seizure like a stab, and the most violent shivering fits came on immediately. Perhaps the chill of these rooms has something to do with it. I feel much the absence of the sympathising help I have had here in illness before, especially of Lea’s good food and attentions; and now, if I ask even for a cup of tea, the commotion is enough to bring the house down.... I am especially sorry to be shut up at this time, as there are so many pleasant people in Rome, not least the really charming Prince Arthur, to whom I was presented the other day, and whom I think most engaging, and hope—if I can only get better—to see more of next week, when I have been asked, and have promised, to go with him to several sights. Amongst his suite is Sir Howard Elphinstone, a capital artist, who is quite a friend of mine, and went out drawing with me before I was taken ill.

“The old interest of Rome has wonderfully passed away, not only to me, but I think also to many others. The absence of pope, cardinals, and monks; the shutting up of the convents; the loss of the ceremonies; the misery caused by the terrible taxes and conscription; the voluntary exile of the Borgheses and many other noble families; the total destruction of the glorious Villa Negroni and so much else of interest and beauty; the ugly new streets in imitation of Paris and New York, all grate against one’s former Roman associations. And to set against this there is so very little—a gayer Pincio, a live wolf on the Capitol, a mere scrap of excavation in the Forum, and all is said.

“Old Beppino (the beggar of the Trinità steps) escaped from a bad accident the other day and announced it thus—‘Ho mancato póco d’andare in Paradiso, che Dio me ne guarda!’”

 

Il Tempietto, Feb. 4.—Since I last wrote I have been terribly ill. On Friday night I was seized with feverish convulsions, and with loss of speech for four hours. The first night I was too ill to call for any help, but next morning kind Dr. Grigor came, and I decided to forfeit the rent of my other rooms and move up here to our dear old apartment, having more than ever the immoral conviction I have always had, that one never does anything economical without doing something very foolish also. These dear rooms have all their old homelike charm. I sit in the Mother’s chair with her little table by my side, and Madame da Monaca, our old landlady, is perfectly charmed to have me back.”

 

Feb. 9.—I have still some sparks of life in me, which really two days ago I did not feel, it has been such a suffering illness and the cough has quite worn me out. I am sure, in thinking of dangerous illness henceforward, I shall always remember the long nights here, nights of pain and fever, tossing restlessly and longing for the morning, and first knowing it had dawned by the tinkling bells of the goats coming to be milked under the windows, followed by the familiar cry of—

‘Acqua Acetosa
Buona per la sposa.’

“Charlie Dalison, who has been in Rome, has been most kind, and the Archbishop of Dublin and Mrs. Trench, living just underneath, have been incessant in their attentions. Endless little comforts have also been supplied to me by the constant kindness of two ladies who live together, Miss Freeman Clarke, an American authoress, who has visited all the places in Italy connected with Dante, and drawn and described them; and Miss Foley, a most charming young sculptress, as clever as she is attractive.”[39]

 

Feb. 16.—Last week I felt as if life was really passing away—such was my utter exhaustion and suffering.... After a most kind touching note about the ‘Memorials,’ I have had an hour’s visit from Lord Chichester, and he is coming again often. I constantly see Lady Ashburton, who rains her benefits upon me. I am doing all I can to be able to go out with the Prince soon, having put him off again and again with a greater pang each time, but I wish I could feel a little less dreadfully weak.

“I think the ‘Memorials’ will soon reach a sale like that of the Récit d’une Sœur. Hatchard is pushing the ‘Alton Sermons’ under its shadow. ‘Wanderings in Spain’ also sells beyond all expectation.”

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VIEW FROM THE TEMPIETTO, ROME.

VIEW FROM THE TEMPIETTO, ROME.

It was on the 18th of February that I was first able to have one of my lectures for Prince Arthur. It was arranged for the Palace of the Cæsars. I had asked him if Lady Ashburton and her daughter might go with us, and to this he had consented. Lady Ashburton insisted upon coming to fetch me, but, knowing her unpunctual habits, I was most unwilling she should do so. Nothing else would serve her, however, and she promised again and again to be punctual. However, the time came and she did not arrive. Having secured no other carriage I waited minute after minute in an agony, and not till after the time at which we ought to have been at the Palatine did Lady Ashburton appear on the Pincio. When we reached the Palatine, the Prince and all his suite were still in the road, unable to enter without my order. “I have been waiting ten minutes,” he said, “and they wouldn’t let me in.” It was a terrible beginning. However, his lively pleasure and active interest in all that was to be seen soon made me at home with him. If anything especial attracted his notice, he generally asked, “Do you think my brother and sister (the Prince and Princess of Wales) saw this?”

A few days after, I had another lecture for the Prince on the Cœlian. This time I refused altogether to go with Lady Ashburton, and when I arrived ten minutes before the time at the steps of S. Gregorio, found that she had already been there half-an-hour, walking up and down in the dew! This time the Prince was even pleasanter than before. Generally he begged that his name might not be mentioned, but this was necessary to get into the garden of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, which at that time was always closed. While we were in the church, a monk came up to me and said that the General of the Passionists was coming to pay his respects to the Prince. I said, “Sir, the General of the Passionists is coming to have the honour of being presented to you.” The Prince began to say “No, no, no,” but at that moment the white robes of the abbot appeared in the doorway, followed by a whole train of monks. The Prince immediately did the right thing, receiving them and speaking to them on the steps of the tribune, and I have often thought what a picture the scene would have made. In the shadow of royalty, Lady Ashburton was the first woman allowed to visit the Passionist garden, but to the Prince’s great annoyance, three Americans (probably not knowing who it was) got in too, by pretending to belong to our party. They followed us afterwards to the Villa Mattei. The Prince then asked Lady Ashburton to sit down near the entrance, and we raced up and down the walks, with the Americans cantering after us, and eventually slipped under one of the high box hedges, returned by the concealed way, snapped up Lady Ashburton, and escaped from the Villa, the gates of which were locked behind us; and how those Americans got out I have never known.

I was truly sorry when the Prince went away to Naples. He sent me from thence some friends of his—Colonel Crichton and his most sweet wife Lady Madeleine (a daughter of Lord Headfort, who has died since), and asked me to do what I could for them. I knew that this meant lectures of the same kind which I had given for the Prince himself, and thus was originated my long course of Roman lectures.

At one of my lectures at the Palace of the Cæsars a curious thing happened. We were about forty in number, and I had taken my company all over the palace, explaining and telling the story of the different rooms as we went. Finally, as was my habit, I assembled them on the slope towards the Forum for a sort of recapitulation and final discourse on all we had seen. I had observed a stranger who had attached himself to our party looking more and more angry every minute, but the “why” I could not understand. When I had concluded, the stranger stepped forward, and in a very loud voice addressed the whole party—“Gentlemen and ladies, it is not my habit to push myself forward, and it is excessively painful to me to do it on the present occasion; but there are some things which no gentleman ought to pass unnoticed. All that this person has been telling you about the Palace of the Cæsars, he has had the effrontery to relate to you as if it were his own. You will be astounded, gentlemen and ladies, to hear that it is taken, word for word—word for word, without the slightest acknowledgment, from Mr. Hare’s ‘Walks in Rome!’”

I only said, “Oh, I am so much obliged to you. I did not know there was anybody in the world who would defend my interests so kindly. I am Augustus Hare.”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Il Tempietto, Rome, March 9, 1873.—I am much better, but still have fever every three days. The weather is glorious, and Miss Wright, who arrived ten days ago, is revelling in the hot sunshine.

“On Monday we had an enchanting expedition to Veii; there were twelve riders and five carriages. I went with Miss Baring[40] and her governess, and we had quite a banquet near the waterfall, with the old castle of Isola Farnese opposite, and the woods around us carpeted with cyclamen, violets, and blue and white anemones, while the cliffs were snow-drifted with laurustinus. After luncheon, the adventurous part of the company, the Sackvilles, Miss Wright, &c., went on with me to the Ponte Sodo and the painted tombs—such a hot walk through the woods, but we came back to Rome before sunset.

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ISOLA FARNESE.

ISOLA FARNESE. [41]

“At the end of this week I have a lecture on the Christian history of the Trastevere.

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VALLEY OF SUBIACO.

VALLEY OF SUBIACO.

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PONTE DELL’ ISOLA, VEII.

PONTE DELL’ ISOLA, VEII. [42]

“I think a Republic here will soon follow that of Spain. Victor Emmanuel is so hated, and the profligacy of the Court and the cruel taxes are hastening the end. People already shout ‘Viva la Republica’ and bawl Garibaldian hymns all night. I wonder whether you would think the freedom of religious worship a compensation for the moral changes here—the shops always open on Sundays, which were formerly so strictly closed, the churches deserted, stalls for infidel books in the streets, and an ostentatious immorality which was formerly unknown. In the Carnival, in insulting reference to the Pope, a pasteboard dome of St. Peter’s was made to travel up and down the Corso in a car, with a parrot imprisoned in a cage on the top, ‘pappagallo’ being Italian for a parrot, and ‘Papa Gallo’ a nickname given to Pio Nono during the French occupation. The parrot struggled and fluttered through the first day, but it died of sea-sickness in the evening, and afterwards it appeared stuffed. The Pope has felt bitterly the confiscation of the convents and other religious institutions which the Sardinian Government, when it first entered Rome, promised so strictly to respect; and triduos have been held at St. Peter’s and at S. Ignazio to implore that the spoliation may be averted, or that a judgment may follow the spoiler. In St. Peter’s twenty thousand persons were collected on Sunday afternoon to join with one voice in this supplication. Pius IX. took no part in the manifestation: on Sunday afternoon he is quietly occupied as a bishop in the Sala Regia, in explaining the Epistle and Gospel for the day, and praying with the people of the different Roman parishes, who come to him in turn, attended by their priests. Amongst the nuns who have suffered most are the Poor Clares of S. Lorenzo Panisperna, who, when they were driven out of the greater part of their convent in February 1872, were allowed to retain and fit up a few small rooms, from which they are now forcibly ejected altogether. The nuns of S. Antonio on the Esquiline, who plaited all the palms used in the processions at St. Peter’s, were driven out more than a year ago, though their convent has never hitherto been used for anything else. The nuns of S. Giacomo alla Lungara are reduced to absolute beggary. The Carmelites of S. Maria Vittoria have been driven out, and their Superior died of a broken heart on the day of their ejection. The nuns of S. Teresa, when driven out of their convent, were permitted to take refuge in that of Regina Cœli, where they were allowed to fit up a corridor with canvas partitions: now they are driven out again, in spite of solemn promises, and without any compensation. If the dowries of all these ladies, given to them by their parents exactly as marriage portions are given, were restored, comparatively little could be said, but their fortunes are all confiscated by the Government. A pitiful allowance is promised, just sufficient to keep body and soul together, but even this is seldom paid; for instance, in the case of the nuns of S. Teresa, the ‘assegno’ for the first half of 1871 was not paid till October 1872, and since then nothing has been paid. In the same way it is supposed that the conventual buildings and gardens are paid for at a valuation, yet the real value of those of the Cappuccini, in one of the most important situations of the town, is £40,000, and it is expropriated at 4000 francs (£160), while even this is to be paid in paper and at great intervals of time. Amongst the last institutions seized are the Orphan Asylum of the Quattro Incoronati, and the Conservatorio Pio, an especial and beloved institution of Pio Nono, intended as a school for servants and for instructing young girls in household work.[43]

“The heads of the clerical schools have inquired from Pius IX. whether their pupils were to salute Queen Margaret when she passed them. ‘Certainly,’ answered the Pope; ‘is she not a member of the royal house of Savoy?’

“There is a stall for Bibles now opposite S. Carlo. A great dog manages it, such a fine beast. He cannot be expected to do all the business, so he just receives the customers, and, when any one wants a Bible, he puts his feet up and barks.

“I am very glad to hear of Sir George Grey having given the ‘Memorials’ to the Queen, and I have a most kind letter from Lord Stanhope, delighted with ‘Wanderings in Spain.’”

 

March 17.—Yesterday I drove with Lady Ashburton to Castel Fusano; Miss Wright, Miss Howard, and Walter Jekyll going in another carriage, and we picnicked under the grand old pine-trees, and had a delicious day, wandering through the labyrinths of sweet daphne and rosemary, and over carpets of cyclamen in fullest bloom.

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CASTEL FUSANO.

CASTEL FUSANO. [44]

“I have had several more lectures. There was a party of forty, which is the largest I can manage, at the one on the Early Christian Church in the Trastevere. We met on the Island, where I gave a sort of preliminary discourse, and led my troop to everything connected with the Christian martyrs. To-morrow I have the same kind of lecture on the Esquiline. Mrs. Locke and her pretty charming little grand-daughter[45] unexpectedly joined us at S. Cecilia, and seemed much interested, never having visited the Roman sights before. I dined with them last night—an exceptionally pleasant party, as Mrs. Locke, the Duchess, and the little Countess move about constantly all evening, and do their utmost to amuse their guests, unlike most stiff Italian hostesses. They seem to me to have three grades of beauty, the grandmother’s being the highest.”

14 Trinità de’ Monti, March 29.—There are many quiet hours here, such as one gets nowhere else, and yet endless society of the most interesting kind; troops of visitors of every sort, and what contrasts those of a single day furnish—Madama de Bonis at breakfast, for help with her photographs; then Rosina the poor donna; then Lady Howard de Walden and a daughter; then Signor Monachesi, the Italian master; then the Marchese Carcolo, fresh from Perugia; then three ugly old ladies, whose names I failed to discover, who wanted to be told where to live, how to live, and what to live upon; then Mrs. Foljambe from Villa Savorelli; then Signor Altini the sculptor, to ask for recommendations: and this is only an ordinary Roman day, yet I cannot feel it is a useless life.”

Albano, April 6.—Yesterday, after dining with Mrs. Lockwood, I went to meet Princess Alice at the S. Arpinos’. They have a beautiful suite of rooms in the Bonaparte Palace, the same in which ‘Madame Mère’ died. Many ambassadors and Roman princes and princesses were there, but only five English. I was presented at once to Prince Louis, who is very German and speaks very broken English, but is much better-looking than his photographs. He talked for a long time about Rome and my book. Later in the evening I was presented to the Princess. She said at once, ‘Oh, I know your face, I have seen you before,’ and with royal memory recollected all about coming to see my Mother, &c. She said, ‘I have gone about everywhere with your book, and I am so pleased to be able to say that I have found out a mistake in it: you say that the church at the Navicella was designed by Michelangelo, and it was not; it was designed by Raffaelle: I know all about it, for my dear father had the original plan and sketch for it. My dear father always took a great interest in the Navicella. I have been to see the martyrdoms at S. Stefano: they are quite shocking.’ She talked for some time, then some one else was brought up. She is grown much fatter and prettier, and was very simply dressed in high slate-coloured silk with a pearl necklace. We all stayed till she left at 11 P.M., and then made an avenue down the reception rooms, through which she passed, saying a little separate word to each lady.

“Mrs. Locke[46] said Princess Margherita was deep in ‘Walks in Rome,’[47] and had desired her to get me to tell her (Mrs. Locke) a ghost-story, and then come and retail it immediately!

“Yesterday I went with Lady Howard and her daughter and Miss Wright to Tusculum and Frascati. I never saw the Villa Mondragone before. How very grand it is, and the view was exquisitely lovely—such blue shadows cast by the clouds upon the pink campagna. All the ascent to Tusculum was fringed with cyclamen, large purple violets, laurustinus, and blue and white anemones, also the loveliest little blue squills.

“On Wednesday I met Miss Wright and Miss Howard at Albano, and we had an interesting afternoon amongst the huge Cyclopean remains of Alatri, driving on in the beautiful gloaming to Ferentino, where we slept at a primitive but clean Italian tavern. The next day we reached Segni, a Pelasgic city on the very highest peak of the Volscian mountains. On Friday I joined Lady Howard de Walden and her two daughters, and with them revisited the glorious old Papal citadel of Anagni, where Boniface VIII. was imprisoned, and where there are many relics of him, though to me Anagni has an even deeper interest, because from its walls you can see, on the barren side of the mountain, the brown building of Acuto, where my sister’s revered friend Maria di Matthias preached the sermons which had such an extraordinary influence throughout this wild country.

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CYCLOPEAN GATE OF ALATRI.

CYCLOPEAN GATE OF ALATRI. [48]

 

Subiaco, April 16.—We spent Good Friday on the seashore at Porto d’Anzio, a delightful place, overgrown with gorgeous pink mesembryanthemum, and with huge remains of Nero’s palace projecting far into the sea. For Easter we were at Velletri, and on Monday drove through the blooming country to Cori, where, after seeing the beautiful temple, we rode along the edge of stupendous precipices to Norba, and the man-deserted flower-possessed fairy-like town of Ninfa, returning by the light of the stars—‘le Ninfe eterne’ of Dante. Tuesday we went to Palestrina, an extraordinary place with a perfectly savage population; and Wednesday we came hither through Olevano, which is a paradise of beauty. This place seems quite as grandly beautiful as we thought it fifteen years ago.”

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THE INN AT FERENTINO.

THE INN AT FERENTINO. [49]

 

Rome, April 28.—I parted with my kind Miss Wright at Tivoli, and next day returned to Rome in the public omnibus.”[50]

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PAPAL PALACE, ANAGNI.

PAPAL PALACE, ANAGNI. [51]

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TEMPLES OF CORI.

TEMPLES OF CORI. [52]

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NINFA.

NINFA. [53]

A few days later I left Rome again with Mr. and Mrs. Arbuthnot Feilden and the Misses Crawford (daughters of Mrs. Terry, and sisters of Marion Crawford) for a tour in the Ciminian Hills, which always comes back to me as a dream of transcendent loveliness.

We left the railway at Civita Castellana, an unspeakably beautiful place, which I drew in the early dewy morning, sitting on the edge of its tremendous rocky gorge, above which Soracte, steeped in violet shadows, rises out of the tender green of the plain. On May-day we ascended Soracte, queen of lovely mountains, mounting gradually from the rich lower slopes into the excelsior of olives, and thence to steeps of bare grey rock, crowned—in the most sublime position—by the ruined monastery of S. Silvestro. It is the most exquisite drive from Civita Castellana, by Nepi, with a great machicolated castle overhanging a foaming waterfall, and Sutri—“the key of Etruria”—with its solemn Roman amphitheatre surrounded by some of the grandest ilexes in the world, to Ronciglione. Hence we visited Caprarola, and I will insert a little extract from “Days near Rome” about this expedition, it reminds me of so wondrously beautiful and delightful a day.

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S. ORESTE, FROM SORACTE.

S. ORESTE, FROM SORACTE. [54]

 

“From the little deep-blue lake of Vico it is a long ascent, and oh! what Italian scenery, quite unspoilt by the English, who never come here now. The road is generally a dusty hollow in the tufa, which, as we pass, is fringed with broom in full flower, and all the little children we meet have made themselves wreaths and gathered long branches of it, and wave them like golden sceptres. Along the brown ridges of thymy tufa by the wayside, flocks of goats are scrambling, chiefly white, but a few black and dun-coloured creatures are mingled with them, mothers with their little dancing elf-like kids, and old bearded patriarchs who love to clamber to the very end of the most inaccessible places, and to stand there embossed against the clear sky, in triumphant quietude. The handsome shepherd dressed in white linen lets them have their own way, and the great rough white dogs only keep a lazy eye upon them as they themselves lie panting and luxuriating in the sunshine. Deep down below us, it seems as if all Italy were opening out, as the mists roll stealthily away, and range after range of delicate mountain distance is discovered. Volscian, Hernican, Sabine, and Alban hills, Soracte nobly beautiful—rising out of the soft quiet lines of the Campagna, and the Tiber winding out of the rich meadow-lands into the desolate wastes, till it is lost from sight before it reaches where a great mysterious dome rises solemnly through the mist, and reminds one of the times when, years ago, in the old happy vetturino days, we used to stop the carriage on this very spot, to have our first sight of St. Peter’s.

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CONVENT OF S. SILVESTRO, SUMMIT OF SORACTE.

CONVENT OF S. SILVESTRO, SUMMIT OF SORACTE. [55]

“Near a little deserted chapel, a road branches off on the right, a rough stony road enough, which soon descends abruptly through chestnut woods, and then through deep clefts cut in the tufa and overhung by shrubs and flowers, every winding a picture, till in about half-an-hour we arrive at Caprarola. Why do not more people come here? it is so very easy. As we emerge from our rocky way, the wonderful position of the place bursts upon us at once. The grand, tremendous palace stands backed by chestnut woods, which fade into rocky hills, and it looks down from a high-terraced platform upon the little golden-roofed town beneath, and then out upon the whole glorious rainbow-tinted view, in which, as everywhere we have been, lion-like Soracte, couching over the plain, is the most conspicuous feature. The buildings are so vast in themselves, and every line so noble, every architectural idea so stupendous, that one is carried back almost with awe to the recollections of the great-souled Farnese who originated the design, and the grand architect who carried it out. S. Carlo Borromeo, the great patron of idle almsgiving, came hither to see it when it was completed, and complained that so much money had not been given to the poor instead. ‘I have let them have it all little by little,’ said Alessandro Farnese, ‘but I have made them earn it by the sweat of their brows.’

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SUTRI.

SUTRI. [56]

 

“Are we really in Arcadia, when the old steward opens the door from the dark halls where the Titanic forms of the frescoed figures loom upon us through the gloom, to the garden where the brilliant sunshine is lighting up long grass walks between clipped hedges, adding to the splendour of the flame-coloured marigolds upon the old walls, and even gilding the edges of the dark spires of the cypresses which were planted three hundred years ago? From the upper terraces we enter an ancient wood, carpeted with flowers—yellow orchis, iris, lilies, saxifrage, cyclamen, and Solomon’s seal. And then we pause, for at the end of the avenue we meet with a huge figure of Silence, with his finger on his lips.

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CAPRAROLA.

CAPRAROLA. [57]

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PAPAL PALACE, VITERBO.

PAPAL PALACE, VITERBO.

 

“Here an artificial cascade tumbles sparkling down the middle of the hillside path, through a succession of stone basins, and between a number of stone animals, who are sprinkled with its spray, and so we reach an upper garden before the fairy-like casino which was also built by Vignola. Here the turfy solitudes are encircled with a concourse of stone figures in every variety of attitude, a perfect population. Some are standing quietly gazing down upon us, others are playing upon different musical instruments, others are listening. Two Dryads are whispering important secrets to one another in a corner; one impertinent Faun is blowing his horn so loudly into his companion’s ears that he stops them with both his hands. A nymph is about to step down from her pedestal, and will probably take a bath as soon as we are gone, though certainly she need not be shy about it, as drapery is not much the fashion in these sylvan gardens. Above, behind the Casino, is yet another water-sparkling staircase guarded by a vast number of huge lions and griffins, and beyond this all is tangled wood and rocky mountain-side. How we pity the poor King and Queen of Naples, the actual possessors, but who can never come here now. The whole place is like a dream which you wish may never end, and as one gazes through the stony crowd across the green glades to the rosy-hued mountains, one dreads the return to a world where Fauns and Dryads are still supposed to be mythical, and which has never known Caprarola.”

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FROM THE WALLS OF ORVIETO.

FROM THE WALLS OF ORVIETO.

 

We spent several days at Viterbo—“the city of beautiful fountains”—which has never been half appreciated by travellers, and made many curious excursions into Etruria, which are all described in my book; and then proceeded to Orvieto—all-glorious Orvieto. Once more I will quote “Days near Rome.”

 

“Long before reaching Orvieto, one comes in sight of it. It occupies an Etruscan site. On turning the crest of the hills which shelter Bolsena, one looks down into a wide valley filled with the richest vegetation,—peach-trees and almonds and figs, with vines leaping from tree to tree and chaining them together, and beneath, an unequalled luxuriance of corn and peas and melons, every tiniest space occupied. Mountains of the most graceful forms girdle in this paradise, and, from the height whence we first gaze upon it, endless distances are seen, blue and roseate and snowy, melting into infinity of space; while, from the valley itself, rises, island-like, a mass of orange-coloured rock, crowned with old walls and houses and churches, from the centre of which is uplifted a vast cathedral, with delicate spray-like pinnacles, and a golden and jewelled front,—and this is Orvieto.

“The first impression is one which is never forgotten,—a picture which remains; and the quiet grandeurs of the place, as time and acquaintance bring it home to one, only paint in the details of that first picture more carefully.

“We descend into the plain by the winding road, where wains of great oxen are always employed for the country-work of the hillside, and we ascend the hill on which the city stands and enter it by a gate in rocky walls. The town is remarkably clean, but one has always the feeling of being in a fortress. Unlike Viterbo, gaiety and brightness seem to have deserted its narrow streets of dark houses, interspersed with huge tall square towers of the Middle Ages, and themselves, in the less frequented parts, built of rich brown stone, with sculptured cornices to their massive doors and windows, and resting on huge buttresses. From one of the narrowest and darkest of these streets we come suddenly upon the cathedral, a blaze of light and colour, the most aërial gothic structure in the world, every line a line of beauty. There is something in the feeling that no artists worked at this glorious temple but the greatest architects, the greatest sculptors of their time, that no material was used but that which was most precious, most costly, and which would produce the most glorious effect, which carries one far away from all comparisons with other earthly buildings—to the description in the Revelation of the New Jerusalem. The very platform on which the cathedral stands is of purple Apennine marble; the loveliest jaspers and pietre dure are worked into its pinnacles and buttresses; the main foundation of its pictured front is gold. A hundred and fifty-two sculptors, of whom Arnolfo and Giovanni da Pisa are the greatest names handed down to us, worked upon the ornamentation near the base: sixty-eight painters and ninety workers in mosaic gave life to the glorious pictures of its upper stories. All the surroundings are harmonious—solemn old houses, with black and white marble seats running along their basement, on which one may sit and gaze: a tower surmounted by a gigantic bronze warrior, who strikes the hours with the clash of his sword upon a great bell: an ancient oblong palace with gothic arches and flat windows, where thirty-four popes have sought a refuge or held a court at different times—all serving as a dark setting to make more resplendent the glittering radiancy of the golden front of the temple in their midst.

“No passing traveller, no stayer for one night, can realise Orvieto. Hours must be passed on those old stone benches, hours in reading the wondrous lessons of art, of truth, of beauty and of holiness which this temple of temples can unfold. For Orvieto is not merely a vast sculpture-gallery and a noble building, but its every stone has a story to tell or a mystery to explain. What depths of thought are hidden in those tremendous marble pictures between the doors! First the whole story of Genesis, then the Old Testament story which followed Genesis, leading on to the birth of Christ; then the story of our Saviour’s life upon earth; and lastly, the lesson of His redemption wrought for us, in the resurrection of the dead to the second life. Even the minor figures which surround these greater subjects, how much they have to tell us! Take the wondrous angels which surround the story of Christ; the Awe-stricken Angel of the Salutation, the Welcoming Angel of the Flight into Egypt, the Praying Angel of the Temptation, the Suffering Angel of the Betrayal, the Agonised Angel (and, oh, what a sublime figure, with its face covered with its hands!) of the Crucifixion, the Angel, rapt in entire unutterable beatitude, of the Resurrection. Or let us look at the groups of prophets, who, standing beneath the life of Christ, foresee and foretell its events,—their eager invocation, their meditation, their inspiration, their proclamation of that which was to be.

 

My companions returned to Rome from Orvieto and I went on to Florence, where I found two old friends of my childhood—Ann-Emilia and Kate Malcolm, the latter of whom has always been one of the most agreeable and charming women I have ever known.[58] I remember her telling me, on this occasion, of a friend of hers who was one day sitting at the end of her terrace at a retired watering-place, and heard a bride and bridegroom talking together beneath. “My dear,” said the bridegroom, “I think it would not be unpleasant if a friend were to turn up this evening.”—“My dear,” retorted the bride, “I should be thankful to see even an enemy.” She had also a story of an old Scotch minister, who, being summoned to marry some couples, thus addressed them:—“Ma freends, to many, marriage is a great curse: ma freends, to some marriage is a great blessing: ma freends, to all marriage is a great uncertainty: wull ye risk it?” and they all said “Yes.” With the Malcolms I saw much of Sir James Lacaita. He was very full of convents and their abuses. He told me that he had personally known a nun who was forced into a convent to prevent her from marrying the man she loved; but he made a silken ladder, and, by bribing the gardener, got it fixed to her window. The nun escaped, but was in such a hurry to descend, that she slid down the cords, cut open both her hands, and bore the marks all her life. Her lover was rich, had relays of horses, and they escaped to Sicily, were married at once, and had eleven children. Lacaita also told me:—

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PORCH OF CREMONA.

PORCH OF CREMONA. [59]

 

“A beautiful girl of good family was left £6000 by her father, on condition that she did not enter a convent. To prevent her doing so, he ordained that the money should revert to her brother in case of her becoming a nun.

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PIAZZA MAGGIORE, BERGAMO.

PIAZZA MAGGIORE, BERGAMO. [60]

 

“The girl hated the very idea of a convent, but the brother made a compact with an abbess to give her a third of the girl’s fortune if they could force her to take the veil. She resisted vigorously, though the brother’s wife ill-treated her in every possible way, and she had no other home. She possessed a lover, who professed great devotion, but never would come to the point. At last the time came when the brother had arranged for her to go to the convent. Her treatment was such that she had no other course. Her lover came and pitied her. She implored him: she knelt at his feet: she stretched out her hands: she said, ‘You know you can save me;’ but he feared the priests, the Church, and her brother too much. As she knelt there, her sister-in-law opened the door. Then her horror at her position was so great, she at once declared that she would take the veil: she only wished the event hurried on.

“At last the day of the sacrifice arrived. Lacaita was present. The bride came in, in her wedding splendour, fière, darting defiance at them all; but Lacaita said he never should forget the shriek she gave when all was over and the grille closed upon her.

“The remorse of the lover began at once: he never spoke to a woman for twenty years: then he—— married!”

 

Lacaita also told me a most interesting story concerning persons whom he had known, of which I forget the details, but the substance was that—

 

A beautiful girl in Sicily, of very noble family, was engaged by her parents to make a magnificent marriage with an Italian prince of the highest rank, who had never seen her, and had only heard the report of her beauty. As she loved another, she made great friends with the gardener’s daughter, and persuaded her—for she was very lovely also—to personate her, which the peasant girl, pleased at the notion of being a princess, was very willing to do. Meantime the young Countess, supposed to have gone to her nuptials, eloped with the lover she preferred. The peasant bride was married, but her prince soon began to think she was wonderfully little educated, for he had heard of her great learning as well as her beauty, and especially of her wonderful artistic powers, and two years after he obtained a divorce on the plea that she was married under a false name.

 

From Florence I went to Cremona and Bergamo, lingering at them and seeing them thoroughly in glorious weather, which made one observe that, though the Southern Italian skies are the opal ones, the Northern are the blue.

 

I spent June (1873) in London. At luncheon at Lady Marion Alford’s I met Mr. Carlyle, who was full of the “Memorials.” He said, “I do not often cry and am not much given to weeping, but your book is most profoundly touching, and when the dear Augustus was making the hay I felt a lesson deep down in my heart.” He talked of Lady Ashburton--“Ah! yes, Lady Ashburton is just a bonnie Highland lassie, a free-spoken and open-hearted creature as ever was; and Hattie Hosmer, she is a fanciful kind of a being, who does not know yet that art is dead.” Finally he went off into one of his characteristic speeches. “That which the warld torments me in most is the awful confusion of noise. It is the devil’s own infernal din all the blessed day long, confounding God’s warks and His creatures—a truly awfu’ hell-like combination, and the warst of a’ is a railway whistle, like the screech of ten thousand cats, and ivery cat of them all as big as a cathédral.”

 

Journal.To Miss Leycester.

London, June 14, 1873.—I have seen and heard much that is interesting. Yesterday I met Lord Aberdeen at luncheon, and liked him very much. Then I went to old Lady Wensleydale’s afternoon reception, intending to stay ten minutes, and did stay two hours and a half, it was so agreeable, and I saw so many old friends. Mrs. W. Lowther is always pleasant, the rooms are delightful, and the charming garden full of flowers.”

 

June 19.—Dined with Lord Ravensworth—a very pleasant party, to meet poor Lord Durham, whom I had not seen since his great sorrow. He looks as if he had cried night and day ever since, and did cry in a corner when a touching song was sung about a young wife. I was very glad to meet him again. He is quite devoted to his thirteen children, and the eldest girl, of thirteen, manages everything.”

 

July 3.—The most extraordinary thing the Shah has done has been offering to buy Lady Margaret Beaumont (to carry off to Persia) for £500,000!”

 

July 24, 1873.—I went to luncheon with Lady Barrington, and found her still in tears for the Bishop of Winchester’s[61] death. He had dined with her a few days before, and she had spoken of the pleasure it would be to him to go to Farnham. ‘Oh, I shall never go to Farnham,’ he said; ‘the old Bishop of Winchester will long survive me;’ and so it was. ‘Oh, what a joyful surprise for him!’ said Carlyle when he heard of the Bishop’s sudden death. ‘He is our show man for the Church of England,’ Hugh Pearson used to say.

“Dined at Lord Salisbury’s, and sat between Miss Alderson and Lady Cork. I had always heard of Lady Cork as one of the best talkers in London, but was not prepared for such a display of summer lightning as it was. Here is a trifling specimen.

Lord Salisbury.—‘I am so glad he speaks English. I find it such an extra fatigue to have to struggle with a foreign tongue, and to think of the words as well as the ideas.’

Lady Cork.—‘Well, I am afraid when I talk, I think neither of the one nor the other.’

Lord S.—‘Yes, but then you come of a race’ ...

Lady C.—‘Wha-a-at, or I had better use that most expressive French expression ‘Plait-il?’ ... We have only one English sentence which would do as well—‘I beg your parding’—with a g.’”

 

July 26.—I reached Chevening about 6 P.M. It is a dull square white house with wings, but was once red, and was designed by Inigo Jones, from whom it retains the old plan, not only of the building, but of the straight avenue, the lake, and the fountain with water-lilies before the door. Between the house and the lake is the loveliest of flower-gardens, a wilderness of old-fashioned flowers, most perfectly charming. Here Lady Stanhope was sitting out with Lord and Lady Carnarvon and Lord and Lady Mahon. Lord Carnarvon is agreeable and his wife most lovely and piquant. Lady Mahon, very prettily dressed en bergère, looked like a flower herself as she moved in her bright blue dress through the living labyrinth of colour.

“Lady Carnarvon gave an amusing account of her visit to Dulwich College, of which her husband is a governor, and how she had produced a great effect by remarking that they used a new pronunciation of Latin; ‘and my little girl behaved very well too, and, though she was most awfully bored, smiled and bowed at all the right moments.... We came away before the speeches, which were all quite horrid, I believe, except Carnarvon’s, and that I am quite sure was very nice indeed.”

“Lord Stanhope talked of chess—a Persian game: in Germany they retain the old names: checkmate is Shahmate. He said when the Shah of Persia was in London it was quite impossible to make him understand how the telegraph worked, until some one had the presence of mind to say, ‘If your Majesty will imagine an immense dog, so big that his tail is in London while his head is in Teheran, your Majesty will see that if some one treads upon his tail in London, he will bark in Teheran.’

“Lord Stanhope spoke of the total absence of commissariat management in England, so that, if there was an invasion, the salvation of the country would positively have to be abandoned to Messrs. Spiers & Pond.

“Lord Carnarvon asked why Oxford was like an old Roman arsenal ‘Because the honours are classes, the men are puppes, and the women are nautes.’”

 

Sunday, July 28.—We had a dull missionary sermon at church, in which the clergyman spoke of the poor Bishop of Winchester’s death as if it was a judgment for his crimes. After service Lady Airlie talked of the ‘Memorials,’ which she discussed as we walked round the lake. She spoke much of prevailing religious opinions, and said that it would be as difficult to believe in complete inspiration now as to believe in witchcraft. I startled her by telling her I did believe in witchcraft, and told something of Madame de Trafford. In the afternoon we drove with Lord Stanhope to Knockholt Beeches and back by the steep park drive. The country was quite lovely. Lord Stanhope entertained us constantly with that essence of courtesy and good-breeding which almost makes you feel as if you were the entertainer and the obliging, instead of the entertained and the obliged—indeed such perfection of courteous kindness I have never seen elsewhere in any one. I walked with Lady Airlie up to the beeches, and she talked of Lady Waterford, whom, she said, she worshipped afar off, as I did nearer.”

 

July 29.—A long talk about art and drawing and Italy with old Mr. Cheney, who said, speaking of the best buildings, ‘They are much too good for this generation: it will destroy them because they are so beautiful.’ He is so pleasant that I could understand a bit of a dialogue I overheard between him and Lady Airlie.

Lady A.—‘I am so sorry Englishwomen are not like French: they have not always le désir de plaire.’

Mr. C.—Well I confess I always like Englishwomen best, and even their manners seem to me far more charming.’

Lady A.—‘Oh, yes; I can quite understand that all must have le désir de plaire when they are near you.’

“I walked with Mahon in the gardens and up the hill, crushing the wild thyme and sweet marjory, and then drove with Lord Stanhope, a long charming drive up the Brasted hill, by poor Vine’s Gate and Chartwell, both of many associations. He stopped the carriage to have some foxgloves gathered, and said how the name pleased him, for the plant was the fairies’ own special flower, and the name came from folks’ love. He would only have one great stem of each foxglove gathered, the rest must be left for the fairies. Lord Stanhope told me that when he took Macaulay up that hill he looked long at the view and then said, ‘How evident it is that there has never been, can never have been, an invasion here: no other country could supply this view.”

“Lord Stanhope talked much of the poet Claudian, so superior to Statius—his descriptions so picturesque, especially that of an old man who had never been outside the walls of his native city, and how they took him out in his extreme old age, and of all that he said, &c.”

 

To Miss Wright.

Holmhurst, Sept. 10, 1873.—I enjoy your detailed letters. In them a breeze from the outer world sweeps in upon my solitude. Not that it is quite solitude either, for Charlotte Leycester is still here, and Fanny Tatton is at Hastings, and often coming up to luncheon, and Miss Cole has been here for ten days, and her sister Louisa for three. Both these old friends are most pleasant and charming, and I was very glad to receive here again those whom the dear Mother was so fond of seeing in her little home. And we talked much of her, they so truly feeling all that she was, that it is as if a fragrance out of her beautiful past was hallowing their lives.

“The little Hospice has been full all summer. The present inmates are most romantic in title as well as dress—‘Sister Georgina Mary, Sister Mildred, and Sister Lilian.’ They come from St. Alban’s, Holborn, so you may imagine that Charlotte Leycester has already had some passages at arms with them. But they are truly excellent as well as pleasant guests, and I console Charlotte by telling her that if she likes to supply me with any suffering Methodists when they are gone, I shall be equally glad to see them. Certainly, the only real pleasure in having any money is the opportunities it gives.

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THE HOSPICE, HOLMHURST.

THE HOSPICE, HOLMHURST.

“Admirable, holy, saint-like, as I think dear Charlotte Leycester, her Sabbatarianism is a sore small trial to me when she lives with me for months. I love her most dearly, but I often long to say to her something like the words of Bussy-Rabutin, ‘Souvent on arrive à la même fin par différentes voies: pour moi, je ne condamne pas vos manières, chacun se sauve à sa guise; mais je n’irai point à la béatitude par le chemin que vous suivez.’”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Holmhurst, Sept. 19, 1873.—Yesterday I took Hugh Pearson[62] to Hurstmonceaux. The walk through the wild ferny park and its decaying beeches was most delightful, with the softest lights and shadows glinting over the delicate distances of the Levels. What a place of memories it is! every tree, every pathlet with the reminiscences of so many generations.”

 

Journal.

Sept. 30.—I came to Binstead Wyck[63] from Thornhill. It is a charming family home on the edge of a deep declivity, with wide views into the purple hollows between the beech-trees. From the windows we could see Blackmoor, whither we went the next day—the great modern mediæval house of the Lord Chancellor Selborne, set down, as it were, anywhere in an utterly inexpressive part of his large low-lying property, but with pleasant Scotchified views of heath and fir plantations. The Chancellor, pleasant and beaming, was kind, Lady Selborne very nice, and the four daughters charming. The next day we went to ‘White’s Selborne,’ through bowery lanes, where the hedges are all bound together by clematis. It is a beautiful village, just under a wooded hill called ‘the Hanger.’ The old house of Gilbert White is now inhabited by a striking old man, Mr. Bell, a retired dentist, the beneficence, the ‘Bon Dieu,’ of the neighbourhood. He showed us his lovely sunny lawn, with curious trees and shrubs, sloping up to the rich wooded hillside, and, in the house, the stick, barometer, and spectacles of Gilbert White.

“The adjoining property belonged to Sir Charles Taylor. His father was a fine old man, and some of his jokes are still quoted.

“‘How are you, sir? I hope you are quite well,’ said a young man who came on a visit.

“‘Well, sir! I am suffering from a mortal disease.’

“‘A mortal disease! and pray what may that be?’ said the young man, aghast.

“‘Why, I am suffering, sir, from—Anno Domini.’

“Close to Selborne we saw the source of the Wey—a pretty spring tumbling over a rock near the road.”

 

Oct. 4-10.—A charming visit at Shavington, the great desolate brick house of Lord Kilmorey.[64] It has very little furniture, but some fine pictures, the best of them, by Gainsborough, representing an Hon. Francis Needham of the Grenadier Guards, who was poisoned at a magistrates’ dinner at Salthill in 1773. Lady Fanny Higginson[65] talked much of their old neighbours the Corbets of Adderley: how, when Lady Corbet was a child, she squinted very much, and how Dr. Johnson, when she was introduced to him, said, ‘Come here, you little Squintifinko’—which gave her the greatest horror of him. When the family doctor called at Adderley, it was generally just before dinner, and Lady Corbet used to ask him to stay for it, and he found this so pleasant that he came very often in this way, merely for the sake of the dinner; but when his bill came in, she found all these visits charged like the others. She returned it to him with his visits divided into two columns, one headed ‘Official’ and the other ‘Officious,’ and she always afterwards spoke of him as ‘the officious official.”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Ford Castle, Oct. 18, 1873.—The long journey and the bitterly cold drive across the moors from Belford almost made me think before arriving that absence must have exaggerated the charms of this place; but the kind welcome of the hostess in the warm library, brilliant with flowers and colour, soon dispelled all that. There is only a small party here, what Lady Waterford calls a pension des demoiselles—the two Miss Lindsays (Lady Sarah’s daughters), Mrs. and Miss Fairholme, Lady Taunton and her daughter, and Lady Gertrude Talbot. All are fond of art and not unworthy of the place.

“I should like you to see it. No description gives any idea, not so much of the beautiful old towers, the brilliant flower-beds in the embrasures of the wall, the deep glen of old beeches, the village clustering round its tall fountain, and the soft colouring of the Cheviots and Flodden,—as of the wonderful atmosphere of goodness and love which binds all the people, the servants, the guests, so unconsciously around the beautiful central figure in this great home. Each cottage garden is a replica—the tiniest replica—of Lady Waterford’s own, equally cared for by her; each village child nestles up to her as she appears, the very tiny ones for the sugar-plums which she puts into their pockets, the elders to tell her everything as to a mother. And within the house, everything is at once so simple and so beautiful, every passage full of pictures, huge ferns, brilliant geraniums, tall vases, &c. In the evening Lady Waterford sings as delightfully as ever, and in all the intervals talks as no one else can—such exquisite stories of olden times, such poetical descriptions of scenery, and all so truth-inspiring because so wonderfully simple.”[66]

 

Oct. 19.—You will never guess what I was doing yesterday—preaching to the children!

“In the morning, to my great surprise, Mr. Neville, the clergyman, came while Lady Waterford was at the school, to say he had no help that day: would I help him? There was a service for children in the church: would I undertake the sermon part? I thought it quite impossible, and utterly refused at first, only promising to read the Morning Lessons. However, in the afternoon, when I found it was not only wished but wanted, I consented. I took one of Neale’s Sermons as a foundation, and then discoursed—half story, half sermon; the story being of the departure of the swallows from Etal and Ford and Flodden at this time of year; the training from their parents—so much depending upon whether they attended or not, whether they practised their wings in preparation for the long journey or were idle; then of the temptations they had to idleness, &c.; of the journey, the crossing the sea (of death in the moral), of the difficulty of crossing alone, of the clinging of some to the mast of a ship (the Saviour), which bore them through the difficulties. I was dreadfully alarmed at the idea, but, having once begun, had no difficulty whatever, and it all came quite fluently without any seeking, though beforehand I could think of nothing to say; so that Lady Waterford said the only fault the children would find was that it was so much longer than their usual sermons. There was a great congregation of children, and all the guests in the house, and many of the servants.”

 

Journal.

Oct. 16.—Mrs. Fairholme talked of her visit to Jedburgh—that she had said to the old man who showed it, ‘Do you know, I admire your abbey a great deal more than Melrose.’—‘Yes,’ he said, ‘there is no doubt it is a great deal the finer; but then you know, Ma’am, Sir Walter has cast such a halloo over Melrose that it has thrown everything else into the shade.’”

 

Oct. 17.—Mrs. Fairholme brought down a beautiful miniature of an unknown lady to breakfast, which was the subject of much discussion. Lady Waterford said how she had designed a series of drawings for the whole ‘Story of a Picture.’

“1. A Louis XIV. beauty sitting to a painter, with all her adorers—a whole troop of them—behind her, quite beautiful, radiant, and vain-glorious.

“2. The portrait hanging in the room in another generation.

“3. A young girl à l’Empire, with her waist in her mouth, waving her hand towards the portrait, and telling the servant to take that ugly old picture up to the garret.

“4. Boys in the garret shooting at the old picture as a target.

“‘Do you know,’ said Lady Waterford to-day, ‘that Jane Ellice has got one convert to her teetotalism; and do you know who that is? That is me. I have not touched wine for six months. I think it is good for the household. They used to say, if they saw me as strong as a horse, “Ah! there, look at my lady; it is true she is as strong as a horse, but then she always has all the wine she wants,” but now they say, “My lady has no wine at all, and yet you see she is as strong as a horse.”’

“Mrs. Fairholme spoke of Curramore, and how she disliked somebody who pretended that the beautiful terraces there were designed by herself and not by Lady Waterford. With her generous simplicity, Lady Waterford said, ‘Oh, I don’t see why you should do that at all: I think it was rather a compliment, for it showed she admired the terraces, or she would not have wished it to be supposed that they were due to her.’

“Miss Fairholme was tired. ‘Now do rest,’ Lady Waterford said—‘there is the sofa close by you—qui vous tend les bras;’ and then she talked to us of old Lady Balcarres, ‘the mother of Grandmama Hardwicke’—the severe mother, who, when one of her little boys disobeyed her, ordered the servants to fling him into the pond in front of the house. He managed to scramble out again; she bade them throw him in a second time, and a second time he got out, and, when she ordered it a third time, he exclaimed in his broad Scotch accent, ‘Woman, wad ye droun yer ain son?’

“In the afternoon we were to have gone to the Heathpool Lynn, but did go to Langley Ford by mistake—a very long walk, after leaving the carriage, up a bleak moorland valley. I walked chiefly with Miss Lindsay. She talked of the extraordinary discovery of the well at Castle Hedingham by ‘a wise woman’ by the power of the hazel wand—the hazel twig bending on the right spot, not only upon the ground itself, but upon the representation of it on the map. She talked of the blind and dumb Sabbatarianism of the Presbyterians. She asked a respectable poor woman how she liked the new preacher. ‘Wad I presume?’ she replied.”

 

Oct. 18.—This morning Lady Waterford wished that the Misses Lindsay had been dressed alike even in details. ‘It is a law of nature, I think, that sisters should dress alike. A covey of partridges are all alike; they do not want to have feathers of different colours; and why not children of the same family?’

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LANGLEY FORD, IN THE CHEVIOTS.

LANGLEY FORD, IN THE CHEVIOTS. [67]

“We had a charming walk to Etal in the afternoon—lovely soft lights on the distant hills, and brilliant reflections of the autumnal foliage in the Till. We went to the castle, and then down the glen by St. Mary’s Oratory and Well. Lady W. talked of the beauty of the sedges and of their great variety—of the difficult law, or rather no law, of reflections. Then of marriages—of the number of widows being so much greater than that of widowers, and of the change which the loss of a husband made in all the smallest details of life: of the supreme desolation of Lady Charlotte Denison, ‘after a honeymoon of forty-three years.’ Old Lady Tankerville was of another nature. She was urging a widowed friend to do something. ‘Oh, but my cap, my cap!’ groaned the friend. ‘Comment,’ exclaimed Lady Tankerville, ‘c’est le vrai bonnet de la liberté.’

“Speaking of complexions—‘My grandmother used to say,’ said Mrs. Fairholme, ‘that beauty “went out” with open carriages. “Why, you are just like men, my dear,” she said, “with your brown necks, and your rough skins, and your red noses. In our days it was different; young ladies never walked, ate nothing but white meat, and never washed their faces. They covered their faces with powder, and then put cold cream on, and wiped it off with a flannel: that was the way to have a good complexion.’”

“‘I think it was Henri III.,’ said Lady Waterford, ‘who used to go to sleep with raw veal chops on his cheeks, and to cover his hands with pomade, and have them tied up to the top of the bed by silk cords, that they might be white in the morning.’”

 

Oct. 21.—Lady Waterford talked of her maid Rebekah, who lived with her so long. ‘The mistake was that we were together as girls and used to romp together; and so, when I married, she thought she was to rule me. But she became the most dreadful tyrant: Tina used to say I wore her as a hair-shirt.’”

 

Oct. 23.—Lady Waterford talked of ‘Grandmama Hardwicke’—how terrified she was of robbers: that one day, when she was going to cross a wide heathy common, she said, ‘If any one comes up to the carriage, I shall give up all I have at once: I shall give him no chance of being violent.’ Soon after, a man rode up. ‘Oh, take my money, but spare my life,’ exclaimed Lady Hardwicke, and threw her purse at him. ‘My good woman, I don’t want your purse,’ said the man, who was a harmless traveller.”

 

Oct. 24.—Lord Houghton arrived. He is rather crusty, but most amusing. His conversation is always interesting, even when no one else can speak, and he seems to be saying, with Sydney Smith, to the art circle here—‘My dears, it’s all right; you keep with the dilettanti: I go with the talkettanti.’ He talked of Alnwick. ‘It was there I first met Père Hyacinthe. He did not strike me as anything remarkable. One evening he gave us a “Meditation.” It was just a falling into a topic and going on upon it; but nothing original or particular. I heard his sermons at Rome. He used to say a thing and then back out of it; but under the pulpit sat three Inquisitors, and they were finding him out all the time. One thing he said—speaking of religious differences—was, “N’oublions jamais que le premier crime du monde était une querelle entre deux sacerdos.”’

“Lord Houghton talked of the Bonapartes, and of the graves of Josephine and Hortense at Rueil, and of Madame Mère. ‘I had a very narrow miss of seeing Madame Mère, and I am very sorry I did not do it, for it would only have cost a scudo. She was a very long time dying, it was a kind of lying in state, and for a scudo the porter used to let people in behind a screen which there was at the foot of the bed, and they looked at her through the joinings. I was only a boy then, and I thought there was plenty of time, and put it off; but one day she died.’

“Lord Houghton also said—

“‘One of the prettiest ghost stories I ever heard is that of General Radowitz. He was made Governor of Frankfort, and not being able to go himself, and having servants who had lived with him a long time and knew all his tastes, he sent them on before him to secure a suitable house and get everything ready. They chose an excellent house, with a large garden full of lilacs and laburnums, overlooking the glacis. When General and Madame Radowitz arrived some time after, they found everything as they wished, and began to question their old servants as to how they had got on, and especially as to the neighbours. The servants said that the next villa was inhabited by a person who was quite remarkable—a lady who was always known in Frankfort as the “weisse Frau,”—a very sweet, gentle person, who was full of charity and kindness, and greatly beloved. She had, however, quite lost her memory as to the past since the death, very long ago, of her lover in battle: she had even forgotten his name, and answered to all questions about him or her own past, “Ich weiss nicht! ich weiss nicht!” but always with a sweet sad smile. And she had lived in the place so long, that, every one belonging to her having passed away, no one really knew her history. Yet, while her mind was gone as to the past, as to the practical present she was quite herself, went to market and transacted her own affairs.

“‘Gradually the confidential maid of Madame Radowitz made friends with the servants of the “weisse Frau”—for the gardens of the two houses joined—and from servants’ gossip the Radowitz family learnt a good deal about her, and from all around they heard of her as greatly respected, but always the same, sad and sweet, always dressed in white, never remembering anything.

“‘One day the “weisse Frau,” who had taken a great fancy to the maid of Madame Radowitz, invited her to come to her at twelve o’clock the next day: she said she expected some one; indeed, she pressed the maid to come without fail. The maid told her mistress, who said certainly she had better go; she should on no account wish so excellent a person as the “weisse Frau” to be disappointed.

“‘When the maid went, she found the little salon of the “weisse Frau” in gala decoration, the table laid and bright with flowers, and places set for three. The Frau was not in her usual white dress, but in a curious old costume of rich brocade, which was said to have been intended for her wedding-dress. She still said she expected some one, but when asked who it was, looked distressed and bewildered, and only said “Ich weiss nicht!”

“‘As it drew near twelve o’clock she became greatly agitated—she said he was coming. At length she threw the windows wide open, and gazing out into the street, looked back and said, “Er kommt! er kommt!” She had a radiant expression no one remembered to have seen before; her eyes sparkled, every feature became animated—and as the clock struck twelve, she went out upon the landing, appeared to enfold some one invisible in her arms, and then walking very slowly back into the room, exclaimed “Hoffmann,” and sank down dead!

“‘In the supreme moment of life she had remembered the long-forgotten name.’

 

“On Wednesday Lady Waterford took her books and drawing, and went to the forge to spend the afternoon with ‘Frizzle’—a poor bedridden woman there, to whom thus, not by a rapid visit, she brings enough sunshine and pleasure once every week to last for the other six days. Often she sings by the bedside, not only hymns, but a whole variety of things. I drove Mrs. Fairholme to the Routing Lynn, and we came in for one of the fiercest storms I ever knew; not rain or snow, but lumps of ice, an inch and a half long, blowing straight upon us from the Cheviots. Lady Waterford came in delighted. ‘I do enjoy a difficult walk. When it is winter, and the ground is deep in snow and the wind blowing hard, I steal out and take a walk and enjoy it. I try to steal out unobserved; I do not like the servants to get into a state about me, but I am generally betrayed afterwards by a wet petticoat or something.’”

 

Oct. 25.—Last night Lord Houghton talked much about Mrs. Harcourt’s diaries, which he had edited (she was lady in waiting to Queen Charlotte), but the royal family had cut out so much as to make them not worth publishing. When the poor Princesses heard of another German prince marrying, they used to say in a despairing tone, ‘Another chance lost.’

“At Weymouth, Mrs. Harcourt described going to see the royal family in the evening. ‘I ventured,’ she said, ‘to express my regret that the Queen should have had so unfavourable a morning for her water expedition,’ whereat Prince William somewhat coarsely replied, ‘I only wish the accursed bitch would have spewed her soul up, and then we should have had some peace in the house.’

“The Duke of York was the only one of his sons the King really cared for, and he said that the Duke’s faults were the cause of his madness.

“This morning, before leaving, Lord Houghton talked of Howick, that he thought it a very dull place, while Lady Waterford and I maintained that it was a most pleasant, attractive family home. He said the Greys were very self-important but not conceited: that he agreed with Charles Buller, who said, ‘No, the Greys are certainly not conceited: they only demand of you that you should concede the absolute truth of one single proposition, which is, that it has pleased Providence in its inscrutable wisdom to endow one family with every conceivable virtue and talent, and, this once conceded, the Greys are really rather humble than otherwise, because they feel they do not come up to their opportunities.’

“He said, ‘It is very interesting to remember that all the beasts are Saxon, but when they become meat they become Norman.’

 

To Miss Wright.

Raby Castle, Oct. 31, 1873.—My visit here has been very pleasant, the Duchess cordial, and a delightful party. It includes Count Beust, the Austrian Ambassador, the Duchess of Bedford and Lady Ela, Sir James and Lady Colville, Mr. and Mrs. Leo Ellis, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Burke, Lady Chesham and her daughter, Lord and Lady Boyne, Lord Napier and his son, Henry Cowper (most amusing), Mr. Duncombe Shafto, and several others; but my chief pleasure has been making friends with young Lord Grimston, whom I think out and out one of the very nicest fellows I ever met.”

 

Journal.

Raby Castle, Nov. 1.—The first morning I was here, as I was walking on the terraced platform of the castle with Lady Chesham, she talked of the silent Cavendishes, and said it was supposed to be the result of their ancestor’s marriage with Rachel, Lady Russell’s daughter; that after her father’s death she had always been silent and sad, and that her descendants had been silent and sad ever since. ‘Lord Carlisle and his brother were also silent. Once they travelled abroad together, and at an inn in Germany slept in the same room, in which there was also a third bed with the curtains drawn round it. Two days after, one brother said to the other, “Did you see what was in that bed in our room the other night?” and the other answered, “Yes.” This was all that passed, but they had both seen a dead body in the bed.’

“The Duchess expects every one to devote themselves to petits jeux in the evening, and many of the guests do not like it. There is also a book in which every one is expected to write something when they go away. There is one column for complaints: you are intended to complain that your happy visit has come to an end, or something of that kind. There is another column of ‘Why you came’—to which the natural answer seems to be ‘Because I was asked.’ Some one wrote—

‘To see their Graces
And to kill their grouses.’

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RABY CASTLE.

RABY CASTLE.

 

“I have, however, really enjoyed my visit very much indeed, and on taking leave just now I wrote—

‘In the desert of life, so dismal and wide,
A charming oasis is sometimes descried,
Where none are afraid their true feelings to own,
And wit never takes a satirical tone;
Where new roots of affection are planted each hour,
By courtesy, kindness, and magical power;
Where fresh friendships are formed, and destined to last,
In a golden chain fettered and rivetted fast.
Such a garden is Raby:—those who gather its flowers,
In grateful remembrance will think of the hours
Which, enjoyed, do not vanish, but seem to display
In riplets of silver the wake of their way.’

“One evening I told a story, unfortunately; for if I ever afterwards escaped to my room after five o’clock, there came a tap and a servant—‘Their Graces want you to come down again’—always from their insatiable love of stories.”

 

Nov. 7, 1873, Bretton.—After three days with the dear cousins at Ravensworth, I am glad to find myself again in this pleasant house, where I have been rapturously welcomed by the children, especially by little Hubert. I have found the Motleys here. He is very agreeable; and the daughters, especially Mrs. Ives, [68] to whom her husband left £6000 a year after one month of married life, are very pleasant. Motley was shut up for a long time in his room the other day, and when he came in announced that he had just finished the preface (which was the winding up) of his new book. All the other ladies began fulsome compliments, but Miss Susie Motley, jumping up and throwing her arms round his neck, exclaimed, ‘Oh, you dear foolish old thing, how could you go and spend so much time over what you may be quite sure nobody will ever read?’ Lady Margaret has just said—

“‘Now, Mr. Hare, what do you do with your eyes(i’s)?’

“‘Dot them.’

“‘Then why don’t I dot mine? Now there is an opportunity for you to make a pretty speech.’

“‘I don’t know how.’

“‘Why, how stupid you are! Because they are capital eyes (i’s). And now, having provided thus much food for your mind, I will go and look after your body by ordering the dinner.’

“I was very sorry to leave the happy cordial party at Ravensworth of eleven young cousins, most easy to get on with certainly, though I had never seen some of them before. But, directly I arrived, one of them came forward and said, ‘Please remember, Augustus, that my name is only Nellie, and my sisters are Har and Pem and Vicky, and my cousins are,’ &c. At Lamesley Church we had the oddest sermon, with such sentences as—‘Our first father would insist upon eating sour fruit, and has set all his descendants’ teeth on edge ever since.’”

 

To Miss Wright.

Highclere Castle, Nov. 12, 1873.—This is a beautiful park, with every variety of scenery, hill, valley, woods, with an undergrowth of rhododendron, a poetical lake! and is so immense—thirteen miles round—that one never goes out of it, and rather feels the isolation of the great house in the centre, which, though very handsome, is not equal to the place. Lady Carnarvon is very lovely and winning, and boundlessly interesting to listen to: one understands Mr. Delane saying that he believed that there could be no successor to Lady Palmerston till he saw Lady Carnarvon. She says that she has hitherto been too exclusive; that henceforth she shall wish to fill her house more with people of every shade—‘for Carnarvon’s sake.’ As I watch her, I am perpetually reminded of Longfellow’s lines—

“‘Homeward serenely she walked, with God’s benediction upon her;
When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.’

“The guests are Sir Stafford, Lady, and Miss Northcote, Mr. and Mrs. Chandos Leigh, Mr. Herman Merivale, the Charles Russells, and Mr. Forester and his son and daughter-in-law, all pleasant people, yet on the whole not so well-fitting a party as I have usually fallen in with. The little daughter of the house—Winifred—is the most delightful and unspoilt of children.”

 

Journal.

Highclere, Nov. 13.—Mr. Herman Merivale told us—

“A captain was crossing to America in his ship, with very few sailors on board. One day one of them came up to him on the deck and said that there was a strange man in his cabin—that he could not see the man’s face, but that he was sitting with his back to the door at the table writing. The captain said it was impossible there could be any one in his cabin, and desired the sailor to go and look again. When he came up, he said the man was gone, but on the table was the paper on which he had written, with the ink still wet, the words—‘Steer due south.’ The captain said that, as he was not pressed for time, he would act on the mysterious warning. He steered due south, and met with a ship which had been long disabled and whose crew were in the last extremity.

“The captain of the disabled ship said that one of his men was a very strange character. He had himself picked him up from a deserted ship, and since then he had fallen into a cataleptic trance, in which, when he recovered, he declared that he had been in another ship, begging its captain to come to their assistance. When the man who had been sent to the cabin saw the cataleptic sailor, he recognised him at once as the man he had seen writing.

“Mr. Merivale said that a case of the same kind had happened to himself.

“He was staying at Harrow, and very late at night was summoned to London. Exactly as the clock struck twelve he passed the headmaster’s door in a fly. Both he and the friend who was with him were at that moment attracted by seeing a hackney-coach at the door—a most unusual sight at that time of night, and a male figure, wrapped in black, descend from it and glide into the house, without, apparently, ringing, or any door being opened. He spoke of it to his friend, and they both agreed that it was equally mysterious and inexplicable. The next day, the circumstance so dwelt on Mr. Merivale’s mind, that he returned to Harrow, and going to the house, asked if the headmaster, Dr. Butler, was at home. ‘No,’ said the servant. Then he asked who had come at twelve o’clock the night before. No one had come, no one had been heard of, no carriage had been seen; but Dr. Butler’s father had died just at that moment in a distant county.

“Sir Charles Russell told us—

“When the 34th Regiment was quartered at Gibraltar, it had the stupidest and dullest set of officers that can possibly be imagined; they not only knew nothing, but they preferred to know nothing; and especially were they averse to learning anything of Spanish, which was certainly very short-sighted of them, as it cut them off from so many social pleasures. But nevertheless they all very much admired a beautiful young Spanish señorita who was living at Gibraltar, and pretended that they were not otherwise than in her good graces, which of course was simply bombast, as none of them knew a word of Spanish and scarcely a word of French, so that not one of them had ever spoken to her.

“One day, while the regiment was at Gibraltar, a young ensign came to join, who had never been abroad before, and who knew even less of any foreign language than his comrades. Nevertheless, in a short time he had taken cue by them, and pretended more than all the others to be in the good graces of the young lady, and was well laughed at accordingly.

“One evening at mess one of the officers mentioned that the señorita was going to Cadiz. ‘No, she is not,’ said the young ensign. ‘Oh, you young jackanapes,’ said his fellow-officers, ‘what can you know about it? You know nothing about her.’—‘Yes,’ he said sharply, ‘I do. She is not going to Cadiz; and what is more, I beg that her name may not be brought forward in this way at mess any more: I am engaged to be married to her.’

“There was a universal roar, and an outcry of ‘You don’t suppose we are going to believe that?’ But the ensign said, ‘I give you my word of honour as an officer and a gentleman that I am engaged to be married to her.’

“Then the Colonel, who was present, said, ‘Well, as he represents it in this way, we are bound to believe him.’ And then, turning to the young ensign, said, ‘Now my dear fellow, as we do accept what you say, I think you need not leave us up in the clouds like this. Will you not tell us how it came about? You cannot wonder that we should be a little surprised, when we know that you do not speak a word of Spanish and only two or three words of French, that you should be engaged to be married to this young lady.’

“‘Well,’ said the ensign, ‘since you accept what I say, yes, I do not wonder that you are a little surprised. I do not mind telling you all about it. It is quite true I do not understand a word of Spanish,

 

and only three or four words of French, but that does not matter. After the ball at the Convent the other day (the house of the Governor of Gibraltar is called ‘the Convent’) we went out upon the balcony, and we watched the moonlight shimmering on the waves of the sea, and I looked up into her eyes, and I said, “Voulez vous?” and she said, “Quoi?”—and I said, “Moi;” and she said, “Oui”—and it was quite enough.’

“In the churchyard here is an epitaph ‘To the memory of J. T. C., a man of great uprightness and integrity, and, as far as is consistent with human imperfection, an honest man.”[69]

 

Sonning, Nov. 17, 1873.—It is quite curious how intimately this parish and its Rector (Hugh Pearson) are bound together. The Rectory is less his house than that of all his parishioners, and it is perfectly open to them at all times. The choir is most amusing, the ‘poor dear chicks,’ as the Rector calls them, combing each other’s hair in the vestry before coming into church. A number of young men are constant intimates of the house, especially ‘Ken,’ Kenneth Mackenzie; ‘Spes,’ Hope; and ‘Francis,’ Lord Francis Harvey. There was once a bishopric here, a fact which was disputed by Professor Stubbs at Oxford, who said it was at Ramsbury, upon which the Vicar immediately left his card on him as ‘Bishop of Sonning.’

“Speaking of Arthur Stanley’s absence of mind, H. P. has been describing how one day driving from Monreale to Palermo with their carpet-bags on the seat before them, Arthur suddenly complained of the cold. ‘Well, you had better put something on,’ said H. P. ‘I will,’ said Arthur. H. P. went on with his book, till, after some time, suddenly looking up, he saw Arthur, who was also busily engaged in reading, entirely clothed in white raiment. He had put on his night-shirt over all his other clothes, without thinking what he was doing, and they were just driving into the streets of Palermo!”

 

Ascot Wood, Jan. 5, 1874.—I came to London three weeks ago in a thick fog, such as Charles Lamb would have said was meat, drink, and clothing. One day I went with Lady Ashburton to visit Mr. Carlyle. It was most interesting—the quaint simple old-fashioned brick house in Cheyne Row; the faded furniture; the table where he toiled so long and fruitlessly at the deification of Frederick the Great; the workbox and other little occupatory articles of the long dead wife, always left untouched; the living niece, jealous of all visitors, thinking that even Lady Ashburton must have either testamentary or matrimonial intentions; and the great man himself in a long grey garment, half coat, half dressing-gown, which buttoned to the throat and fell in straight folds to the feet or below them, like one of the figures in Noah’s Ark, and with the addition, when he went out with us, of an extraordinary tall broad-brimmed felt hat, which can only be procured at a single village in Bavaria, and which gave him the air of an old magician.

“He talked of Holman Hunt’s picture of the Home at Nazareth, ‘the most unnatural thing that ever was painted, and the most unnatural thing in it the idea that the Virgin should be keeping her “preciosities” in the carpenter’s shop.

“He talked of Landor, of the grandeur and unworldliness of his nature, and of how it was a lasting disgrace to England that the vile calumnies of an insolent slanderer had been suffered to blight him in the eyes of so many, and to send him out an exile from England in his old age.

“He complained much of his health, fretting and fidgeting about himself, and said he could form no worse wish for the devil than that he might be able to give him his stomach to digest with through all eternity.

“We walked out with him in the street, one on each side. I saw the cab-drivers pointing and laughing at the extraordinary figure, and indeed it was no wonder.

“At Mrs. Thornton’s I met Miss Thackeray at dinner, and have seen her since. She is charming, well worthy to be the authoress of her books. She said till the money for ‘Old Kensington’ was spent, she should rest. She spoke of the happiness of bringing up her little niece, of the surroundings of young life which it gave her. She talked much of the ‘Memorials,’ and of the problem how far it was well to be contented with a quiet life as God sent it, and how far one ought to seek for work for Him. When I said something of her books and their giving pleasure; she said, ‘Now let us skip that last sentence and go back to what we were saying before.’

“Colonel and Mrs. Henderson (of the Police Force) were at dinner. He said his father had been executor to old Lord Bridport, who had a box which no one was ever allowed to open, and of the contents of which even Lady Bridport was ignorant. After Lord Bridport’s death, the widow sent for Colonel Henderson to look into things, and then said, ‘I wish you would open that box; one ought to know about it.’ Colonel Henderson did not like doing it, but took the box into the library and sat down before it, with candles by his side. Immediately he heard a movement on the other side of the table, and, looking up, saw old Lord Bridport as clearly as he had ever seen him in his life, scowling down upon him with a furious expression. He went back at once to Lady Bridport and positively refused to open the box, which was then destroyed unopened. He said, ‘I shall never to my dying day forget the face of Lord Bridport as I saw him after he was dead.’

“In Wilton Crescent I saw Mrs. Leycester, who was just come from Cheshire. She said:—

“A brother of Sir Philip Egerton has lately been given a living in Devonshire, and went to take possession of it. He had not been long in his rectory before, coming one day into his study, he found an old lady seated there in an arm-chair by the fire. Knowing no old lady could really be there, and thinking the appearance must be the result of an indigestion, he summoned all his courage and boldly sat down upon the old lady, who disappeared. The next day he met the old lady in the passage, rushed up against her, and she vanished. But he met her a third time, and then, feeling that it could not always be indigestion, he wrote to his sister in Cheshire, begging her to call upon the Misses Athelstan, sisters of the clergyman who had held his living before, and say what he had seen. When they heard it, the Misses Athelstan looked inexpressibly distressed and said, ‘That was our mother: we hoped it was only to us she would appear. When we were there, she appeared constantly, but when we left, we hoped she would be at rest.’

“About ‘ghost-stories’ I always recollect what Dr. Johnson used to say—‘The beginning and end of ghost-stories is this, all argument is against them, all belief is for them.’

“I have had a charming visit here at Ascot to the Lefevres, the only other guest being old Mr. Cole of South Kensington, the incarnation of ‘Father Christmas’ or of ‘Old King Cole.’ He talked of the facility of getting money and the difficulty of keeping it. He said that when he wanted money for a Music School, he asked Sir Titus Salt for a subscription. Sir Titus asked him what he wanted him to give. ‘Whatever you think will look best at the day of judgment,’ said Mr. Cole. Sir Titus signed a cheque for £1000.

“Sir John Lefevre described a place in Essex belonging to a Mr. (now Sir William) and Mrs. Stephenson. When they first went there, the housekeeper said there was one room which it was never the custom to use. For a long time it continued to be unoccupied, but one day, when the house was very full and an unexpected arrival announced, Mrs. S. said she should open and air it, and sent for the key. All the people staying in the house, full of curiosity, went with her when she visited the room for the first time. It was a large panelled room containing a bed like a catafalque, with heavy stuff curtains drawn all round. They drew aside the curtains, and there was the mark of a bloody hand upon the pillow! The room was shut up again from that time forward.”

 

Holmhurst, Jan. 22.—George Sheffield is here. He says that the Russian Minister’s wife at Washington called her dog ‘Moreover,’ because of ‘Moreover the dog came and licked his sores.’”

 

Holmhurst, Jan. 24.—‘No,’ says Lea, ‘everything is not improving. I always say that everything has been going to the bad since the pudding lost its place.’

“‘Why, what can you mean?’

“‘Oh, in the old days, the good old days, the pudding always used to be before the meat, and then people were not so extravagant at the butcher’s. Why, old Mr. Taylor[70] used to say to me, “You know, marm,” says he, “we used to tak’ a bit of the dough when the bread was rising, and slip in an apple or two without peeling ’em, and bake ’em in the oven, and that was our dinner you know, marm.”’

 

Journal (The Green Book).

Jan. 25, 1874.—Somehow I have felt as if this volume was closed for ever—closed away with the sweet presence which was so long the sunshine of my life. Yet to-day, while I am alone, sitting once more in the sacred chamber where I have watched her through so many days and nights, I feel constrained to write once more.

“How all is changed to me since then: I can hardly feel as if the two lives were related—hardly as if they could belong to the same person.

“Wonderfully, mysteriously, time has healed—no, not healed, but soothed, even this wound. At first I felt this must always be impossible, life was too blank, but imperceptibly, stealthily, other interests asserted their power, and though the old life is always the life to me, yet I feel all is not over.

“I have always talked of my Mother, and it has been a great comfort. At first it almost shocked people that I should do it. Perhaps the very fact of talking and writing about her myself, and her life being now so much talked of by others, has dried up the agony of my own inner desolation by force of habitude. Yet, oh, my darling! there is never a day, seldom an hour, in which I do not think of her; and sometimes when I am alone,

‘When to the sessions of sweet silent thought,
I summon up remembrance of things past,’

I take one of her sketch-books, one of her journals or mine, and with them go back into our old life—thus she looked—thus she spoke—thus she smiled.

“At first I was kept up by the sacred work of the ‘Memorials,’ and the necessity of fighting against the violent family opposition to them. This seemed a duty which rose out of her grave, the one duty for which I was prepared to sacrifice everything else in the world. I was determined to fulfil it at whatever cost to myself. And I have fulfilled it—not so well perhaps as I might have done if Arthur and Mary Stanley had not tried to trample and stamp all the spirit out of it. They condemned the book violently and furiously before they read it, and, after reading it, they never had the courage to rescind opinions expressed so frequently and publicly. Still, the world says that it is well, and it will still keep her lamp burning brightly, so that her earthly work is not over yet, and she can still guide others heavenward through the darkness. Besides, not only in the ‘Memorials,’ but in all else, I have felt the truth of Joseph Mazzini’s advice—‘Get up and work; do not set yourself apart. When the Evil One wanted to tempt Jesus, he led Him into a solitude.’

“I was one winter in Spain with Miss Wright. Then not much more than my first desolate year had passed, and I had still that crushed lacerated feeling of utter misery; but I tried to be as bright as I could for my companion’s sake. Last year I was in Italy, and though very ill, and though I felt poignantly the first return to the old scenes, it was better, and all old friends were most kind.

“The dear cousin of my mother’s life, Charlotte Leycester, has been here each year for some months, and other guests come and go through the summer, so that little Holmhurst still gives pleasure.

“At first I was very, very poor, and it was a struggle to have a home; but latterly my books have brought in enough to keep the house, and a great deal to give away besides, which has been most opportune, as several members of the family have sorely needed helping. I have also a little Hospice, where I receive those whom I hear of as in need of thorough change, mental and physical, for a month, sets of sunshine-seekers succeeding each other. My dear Lea is still left to me, and is my greatest comfort, so associated with all that is gone.

“My books have made me almost well known after a fashion, and people are very kind, for, with what Shakspeare calls ‘the excellent foppery of the world,’ many who used to snub me now almost ‘make up to me,’ and all kinds of so-called ‘great people’ invite me to their houses. Sometimes this is very pleasant, and I always enjoy being liked. I do not think it is likely to set me up; I have too strong a feeling of my own real inferiority to the opinion formed of me. Intellectually, I am so ill grounded that I really know nothing well or accurately; and if I am what is called ‘generous,’ certainly that is no virtue, for it pleases myself as well as others. I think it is still with me as George Sand says of herself, ‘Je n’ai pas de bonheur dans la vie, mais j’ai beaucoup de bonheurs.’

“To-morrow I am going abroad again. It is almost necessary for my books; and though I feel bitterly leaving Lea and the little home, I like my mother’s adopted son to earn a reputation; that is all I care for, except that it is always a pleasure to give pleasure. There is a sentence, too, of Carlyle’s which comes back to me—‘We are sufficiently applauded and approved, and ought now, if possible, to go and do something deserving a little applause.’”

XVII

LITERARY WORK AT HOME AND ABROAD

“Ohne Hast, aber ohne Rast.”—Goethe.

“Leisure and I have taken leave of one another. I propose to be busy as long as I live, if my health is so long indulged to me.”—John Wesley.

“To seek fame is even a solemn duty for men endowed with more than ordinary powers of mind. First, as multiplying the ways and chances by which a useful work comes into the hands of such as are prepared to avail themselves of it; secondly, as securing for such a work that submissiveness of heart, that docility, without which nothing really good can be really acquired; and lastly, because the individuality of the author, with all the associations connected with his name and history, adds greatly to the effect of a work.”—Coleridge to Sir G. Beaumont.

“For ever I wrastle, for ever I am behind.”—Gower, Confessio Amantis.

“’Tis not in mortals to command success;
But we’ll do more, Sempronius—we’ll deserve it”
Addison, Cato.

THE success of “Walks in Rome,” and the great pleasure which I had derived from the preparation of my “Days near Rome,” made me undertake, in the spring of 1874, the more ambitious work of “Cities of Northern and Central Italy,” in preparation for which I left England at the end of January, accepting on the way an oft-repeated invitation from Mr. and Mrs. de Wesselow to their beautiful home at Cannes.

 

Journal.

Villa La Cava, Cannes, Jan. 30, 1874.—What a view I look upon here from my beautiful room!—a pure blue sky all around, fading into the softest most delicate golden hues where it meets the waveless expanse of sea, upon which the islands seem asleep in the sunshine; on one side the old town of Cannes, with its pier and shipping and the white sails of its boats; on the other, the endless villas, and Mougins, and the mountains—all rising from a wealth of orange and cypress groves; and, close at hand, masses of geraniums and roses and the ‘sunshine tree’ (golden mimosa) in full blossom,—and thus, they say, it has been all winter.

“Paris was at its ugliest. I had a pleasant dinner at the Embassy, and I went to see old Madame Dubois at the top of a house, in her room which is at once sitting-room, bedroom, and kitchen. She was full of the wretchedness of living in a country where your servant had no scruple in telling you she was your equal, and that she was jealous of your being richer than herself. She showed her household treasures, especially a little silver owl, ‘qui est restée longtemps sans se marier, et puis a fait un petit hibou.’

 

“I left in the evening for my four-and-twenty hours’ journey. The train was crowded, every place full, but, in spite of my seven companions and their twenty-eight handbags, which obliged me to sit bolt upright the whole way, I rather enjoyed it. There is something so interesting in the rapid transitions: the plains of Central France: the rolling hills of Burgundy in the white moonlight: the great towns, Dijon and Lyons, deep down below, and mapped out by their lamps: the dawn over the Rhone valley: the change to blue sky melting into delicate amber: the first stunted olives: the white roads leading, dust-surrounded, to the white cities, Avignon and Tarascon and Arles: the desolate stone-laden Crau: the still blue Mediterranean, and Marseilles with its shipping, and then the granite phase of southern Provence and its growth of heath and lavender and pines.

“On this, the eastern side, Cannes is a new world to me, but on Sunday, with Marcus Hare and G., I went up to the other side, to the Villa S. François and our beloved pine-wood, alive still with sacred memories, where the dear form still might seem to wander with her sunshade and camp-stool, and where we sat on the very stone she used to rest on in ‘the Shepherdesses’ Walk.’ G. is too matter of fact to enjoy this country. When I exclaimed over the glorious beauty and variety of the view of the Rocher de Bilheres, standing out as it does from the supreme point of the forest promontory, with the purple shadows behind it in the deep rift, she could only say, ‘I should be better satisfied if I could ascertain exactly what it is mineralogically.’

“I went with Frank de Wesselow to Vallauris, the walk a perfect series of pictures—the winding road with its glorious sea-views; then, at the chapel, the opening upon all the Alpine range; then the deep hollow ways overhung by old gnarled olives, and peopled by peasants with their mules and baskets.

“Yesterday I had a visit from George Sutherland, whom I looked after in his fever at Rome, full of his spiritualism, of his drawings made under the influence of spirits, who ‘squeeze out just the amount of colour to be used and no more,’ and of his conversations with his dead mother, whom he described as ‘touching him constantly.’

“In the evening we talked of the De Wesselows’ faithful servant Mrs. Manning, of her wonderful power of making people understand her, and how her appreciation of foreigners was entirely in proportion to their doing so. Frank was standing by her one day in the garden when their maid Thérèse passed by. Mrs. Manning said quickly, ‘Teresa, acqua fresca pully, and these things want lavering,’ and, without giving another moment’s attention, went on with what she had been doing. Thérèse, in her slow way, said ‘Yees,’ thinking that she talked English very well, and understood perfectly that she was to give some water to the chickens and that the things wanted washing.”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Villa Heraud, Cimies, Feb. 6, 1874.—I am writing from a beautiful country villa, where, in sweet Mary Harford,[71] I find the friend of my childhood quite unchanged, though it is fifteen years since I have seen her. In spite of being the mother of six daughters and two sons, she looks still as young as the Mary Bunsen who was carried quite helpless into Hurstmonceaux Place twenty-three years ago. It is a most united family, and you would admire the ‘way in which the six daughters take arms and sing a hymn behind their mother (who plays) after family prayers.”

 

Parma, Feb. 12, 1874.—I had so many kind invitations at Nice, I rather longed to remain there. On Sunday I went home after church with Lady Jocelyn and her little grand-daughter. I had not seen her since the loss of her children. Her sweet sad face quite haunts me. I said to her, ‘Do you often drive out.’—‘No,’ she said; ‘I must always walk, or else the days would be too long.’

“I had an interesting railway journey on Monday with Madame Franzoni, who lives in the house at Taggia described in ‘Dr. Antonio.’ She was Swiss. Her husband, of an old Swiss-Italian family, was disinherited on becoming Protestant, and was obliged to become an engineer. His father, still living, has been prevented by his priests from speaking to him for five-and-twenty years, though devotedly fond of him. She took her two little children and made them sing a hymn beneath the tree in which their grandfather was sitting. Tears streamed down the old man’s cheeks, but he would not look at them; he said it must be a lesson to his other children. The mother offered her whole fortune if her son would consent to hear one mass; she believed that one mass would reconvert him. Since then the Protestant part of the family have been dreadfully poor, whilst the rest are immensely rich. Madame Franzoni said that the priests of Taggia were very kind to them privately, but would not recognise them in public.

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LAMPEDUSA FROM TAGGIA.

LAMPEDUSA FROM TAGGIA. [72]

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STAIRCASE, PALAZZO DELL’ UNIVERSITA, GENOA

STAIRCASE, PALAZZO DELL’ UNIVERSITA, GENOA [73]

“When we parted, I gave her my card. Some Americans in the carriage saw it and almost flew into my arms. ‘Oh, the “Quiet Life”—too great happiness,’ &c. Afterwards I had a warning to be careful what subjects one touched upon with strangers, for I said something about the loss of the Ville de Havre. The lady (Mrs. Colt) burst into tears, and her daughter said, ‘Mother’s brother was the judge who was lost; he would not leave his wife, and went down with her in his arms, saying, “Let us die bravely!”’ Afterwards at Genoa I met a young lady (Miss Bulkeley) who went down with her mother. The mother was lost. As the daughter rose, something hurt her head; she put her hand to it and caught a chain, and finding her head above water, called, ‘A woman! help!’ She heard men say, ‘American sailors are saving you,’ but became unconscious and knew nothing for long afterwards. She said it was quite a mistake to say drowning was painless—the oppression on the lungs was agony.

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CLOISTER OF S. MATTEO, GENOA.

CLOISTER OF S. MATTEO, GENOA. [74]

“I enjoyed Genoa and my work there, and made several pleasant Italian acquaintances, the Genoese are so hospitable. The Marchese Spinola showed me all the treasures and pictures of his old palace himself. I suppose I must take this as a great compliment, for I was amused the other day by an anecdote of the Marchesa Spinola, who made herself most agreeable to an Englishman she met at the Baths of Monte Catini. On taking leave, he politely expressed a hope that, as they were both going to Rome in the winter, they might meet there. ‘Mais non, Monsieur,’ she replied; ‘à Monte Catini je suis charmée de vous voir, mais à Rome c’est toute autre chose.’ Yesterday I spent in correcting my account of Piacenza—bitterly cold, children sliding all over the streets, which were one mass of ice.... I had forgotten the intense interest of Parma and its glorious pictures, especially what a grand master Pordenone was.”

 

59 B. Mario de’ Fiori, Rome, Feb. 22.—Rome is fearfully modernised, such quantities of new houses built, such quantities of old buildings swept away—the old shell fountain in the Felice, the lion of the Apostoli, the Vintner’s fountain at Palazzo Simonetti, the ruins of the Ponte Salara, and ... all the shrines in the Coliseum, even the famous cross on the wall. The last nearly caused a Revolution. On the Pincio a Swiss cottage is put up, strangely out of place amongst the old statues, and a clock which goes by water. Even the most ardent Protestants too are a little shocked that the famous Quirinal Chapel, so redolent of Church history, should be turned into a cloak-room for balls, and the cloak-tickets kept in the holy water basins. The poverty and suffering amongst the Romans is dreadful, the great influx of Torinese taking the bread out of their mouths.

“You would be amused with the economy of my servants Ambrogio and Maria. They think it most extravagant if I have both vegetables and a pudding, and quite sinful to have soup the same day; and the first day, after I had seen the kitchen fire blazing away all afternoon, and ‘Il Signorino è servito’ was announced very magnificently, behold the dinner was—three larks! But what a pleasure it is to hear again from servants—‘Felicissima notte,’—that sweetest bidding of repose, as Palgrave calls it.

 

March 1.—I know, as usual, far too many people here for comfort, nearly three hundred. But I have enjoyed constant drives with Lady Castletown and her most sweet and charming daughter, Mrs. Lewis Wingfield. The Miss Seymours also are here, and very agreeable, with their very handsome sister, married to the Austrian Count von Lutzow. The Duchesse S. Arpino and her mother and engaging little daughter make their house as pleasant as ever. Mr. Adolphus Trollope has a pretty little daughter who sings most enchantingly.[75] I also like Lady Paget, the Minister’s wife, who is a clever artist in her own way.

“The spoliation of Rome continues every day. Its picturesque beauty is gone. Nothing can exceed the tastelessness of all that is being done—the Coliseum, Baths of Caracalla, and the temples are scraped quite clean, and look like sham ruins built yesterday: all the pretty trees are cut down: the outsides of the mediæval churches (Prassede, Pudentiana, &c.) are washed yellow or painted over: the old fountains are stripped of their ferns and polished: the Via Crucis and other processions are forbidden: and the Government has even sent out the ‘pompieri’ to cut down all the ivy from the aqueducts. I have, however, got back one thing—the Lion of the Apostoli! I went round to a number of people living in that neighbourhood, and engaged them to go in the morning to the Senators in the Capitol and demand its restoration: and a message was sent that the lion should be restored at once. So the little hideous beast goes back this week to his little vacant sofa, where he has sat for more than six hundred years.

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COLONNA CASTLE, PALESTRINA.

COLONNA CASTLE, PALESTRINA. [76]

“The cardinals have been dying off a good deal lately, and a curious relic of old times was the lying in state of Cardinal Bernabo in the Propaganda Fide—the chapel hung with black, the catafalque with cloth of gold, a chain of old abbots and cardinals standing and kneeling round with tapers, and all the students singing. Pius IX. is well, and Antonelli has never been the least ill, except in the Times, in which he has received the last sacraments.”

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GENAZZANO.

GENAZZANO. [77]

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SUBIACO.

SUBIACO. [78]

Tivoli, March 22.—I have been greatly enjoying a little mountain tour with Lady Castletown and Mrs. Lewis Wingfield. On Wednesday we spent the day in the villas Aldobrandini and Mondragone at Frascati, and the next morning had the most charming drive by Monte Porzio and Monte Compatri, chiefly through the desolate chestnut forests, to Palestrina. It was the fair of Genazzano, and the whole road was most animated, such crowds of peasants in their gayest costumes and prettiest ornaments. At beautiful Olevano we had just time to go to the little inn and visit my friend of last year, Peppina Baldi. It was a tiring journey thence to Subiaco after such a long day, and we only passed the worst precipices by daylight, so it was quite dark when we reached Subiaco, where we found rooms with difficulty, as, quite unwittingly, we had arrived on the eve of the great festa of S. Benedetto. Most delighted we were, however, of course, and most picturesque and beautiful was the early pilgrimage, with bands of music and singing, up the stony mountain paths. Lady Castletown travels with a second carriage for her maids, so prices naturally rise at first sight of so grand a princess.... On the way here we diverged to the farm of Horace in the Licenza valley, all marvellously unaltered—the brook, the meadows, the vines, the surrounding hills and villages, still just as he described them eighteen hundred years ago. It is a wonderful country, one lives so entirely in the past.

I have seldom enjoyed Tivoli more than in this spring of 1874. It was then that, sitting in the scene I describe, I wrote the paragraph of “Days near Rome” which I insert here.

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SACRO SPECO, SUBIACO.

SACRO SPECO, SUBIACO. [79]

 

“Nothing can exceed the loveliness of the views from the road which leads from Tivoli by the chapel of S. Antonio to the Madonna di Quintiliolo. On the opposite height rises the town with its temples, its old houses and churches clinging to the edge of the cliffs, which are overhung with such a wealth of luxuriant vegetation as is almost indescribable; and beyond, beneath the huge pile of building known as the Villa of Maecenas, the thousand noisy cataracts of the Cascatelle leap forth beneath the old masonry, and sparkle and dance and foam through the green—and all this is only the foreground to vast distances of dreamy campagna, seen through the gnarled hoary stems of grand old olive-trees—rainbow-hued with every delicate tint of emerald and amethyst, and melting into sapphire, where the solitary dome of St. Peter’s rises, invincible by distance, over the level line of the horizon.

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S. MARIA DI COLLEMAGGIO, AQUILA.

S. MARIA DI COLLEMAGGIO, AQUILA. [80]

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SOLMONA.

SOLMONA. [81]

“And the beauty is not confined to the views alone. Each turn of the winding road is a picture; deep ravines of solemn dark-green olives which waken into silver light as the wind shakes their leaves—old convents and chapels buried in shady nooks on the mountain-side—thickets of laurustinus, roses, genista, and jessamine—banks of lilies and hyacinths, anemones and violets—grand masses of grey rock, up which white-bearded goats are scrambling to nibble the myrtle and rosemary, and knocking down showers of the red tufa on their way;—and a road, with stone seats and parapets, twisting along the edge of the hill through a constant diorama of loveliness, and peopled by groups of peasants in their gay dresses returning from their work, singing in parts wild canzonetti which echo amid the silent hills, or by women washing at the wayside fountains, or returning with brazen conche poised upon their heads, like stately statues of water-goddesses wakened into life.”

 

Great was the difficulty of securing any companion for the desolate excursion to the Abruzzi, but at length I found a clever artist, Mr. Donne, who agreed to go with me.

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HERMITAGE OF PIETRO MURRONE.

HERMITAGE OF PIETRO MURRONE. [82]

 

To Miss LEYCESTER.

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CASTLE OF AVEZZANO.

CASTLE OF AVEZZANO. [83]

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GATE OF ARPINUM.

GATE OF ARPINUM. [84]

Sora in the Marsica, April 2.—Mr. Donne and I left the train at Terni, taking diligence to Rieti, the capital of the Sabina. Next day we had a long dreary drive to Aquila, a dismal place, but full of curious remains, surrounded by tremendous snow mountains. Thence we crossed a fearful pass in ghastly barren mountains to Solmona, a wonderful mediæval city seldom visited. On Sunday we clambered up the mountains above the town to the hermitage of Pietro Murrone, afterwards Cœlestine V., and then, as the snow was too deep to make it possible to cross the mountain, returned by night to Aquila. On Tuesday our journey of a whole day was through perfectly Lapland scenery, the road a mere track in the deep snow, which covered hedges and fields alike. Fortunately the weather was lovely, but it was a relief to come down again to even partial civilisation at Avezzano, on the borders of what was once the Lago Fucino, now dried up and spoilt by Prince Torlonia. Here I had an introduction to Count and Countess Restà, to whom I paid a most curious visit. On Wednesday we drew at S. Maria di Luco, a picturesque church on the site of a temple above the lake, and in the evening came on here, arriving at 2 A.M.—glorious moonlight and grand scenery, but the diligence unspeakably wretched. We have just been spending a charming day, partly at Arpino, the birthplace of Cicero, where there are wonderful Pelasgic remains, and a gateway which is the oldest architectural monument in Europe, and partly at Cicero’s island home on the Liris, a lovely place, all primroses and violets as in England, but with a background of snow mountains.”

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TRIUMPHAL ARCH, AQUINO.

TRIUMPHAL ARCH, AQUINO.

[85]

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PORTO S. LORENZO, AQUINO.

PORTO S. LORENZO, AQUINO. [86]

Easter Sunday, 1874.—The Count and Countess de Lützow, the two Miss Seymours, and Miss Ellis[87] met me at S. Germano, and we have been spending to-day in the monastery of Monte Cassino, gloriously beautiful always, with its palatial buildings on a mountain-top, and all around billows of purple hill tipped with snow. An introduction from the Duke of Sermoneta caused the gentle-looking Abbot to receive us, and then the great bent figure of the great Tosti came forward, his deep-set eyes excessively striking. After the service in the church they entertained us to an excellent dinner, finishing with delicious Aleatico wine. They were ‘spogliati,’ they said, but ‘La Providenza’ still watched over them.”

 

April 7.—In the second-class carriage of the train on our way to Velletri sat a venerable and beautiful old man, to whom we talked of Aquino, the birthplace of St. Thomas Aquinas, where we spent yesterday. Gradually we found out that he was the Abbot of Monte Vergine, and he told us much that was interesting about that wonderful place—of the intense love and veneration of the Neapolitan people for the sanctuary, which is connected with the different events of their domestic life; that no betrothal or marriage or birth was considered entirely consecrated without receiving a benediction at the sanctuary; that peasant women had it entered in their marriage contracts that they should be allowed to make the pilgrimage from time to time, and after the birth of each child; that because, on account of the suppression, two miles of the road to the sanctuary still remained unfinished, the peasants voluntarily undertook to finish it themselves, 30,000 persons subscribing one soldo apiece; that when, at the same time, he, the Abbot, was obliged to give up keeping a carriage, five Neapolitan families insisted upon undertaking to keep one for him, one paying the horses, another the coachman, &c. The Abbot gave us his benediction on taking leave, and invited us to Monte Vergine.”[88]

 

April 14.—I met Mademoiselle von Raasloff at Mrs. Terry’s. She narrated to me some facts which had been told to her by the well-known Dr. Pereira.

“An acquaintance of his, a lady, was travelling with some friends in an out-of-the-way part of Poland. Suddenly, late at night, their carriage broke down and they were obliged to get out, and as they knew of no shelter near, they were in great difficulties. At this juncture a gentleman appeared, who said to the lady that if she would take the trouble to walk a few steps farther, she would come to the gate of his house; that he was unable to accompany her, but that if she would mention his name she would be received, and would find all she required. She thanked him and followed his directions. The servant to whom she spoke at the house seemed very much surprised, but seeing her plight, brought her in, left her in a library, and went to get some refreshment. When she was alone, a door in the panelling opened and the unknown master of the house came in and sat down by her. As he said nothing, she felt rather awkward, and more so when the servant, coming in with a tray, seemed to brush up close to him in a very odd way as he set it down. When the servant left the room, the unknown said, ‘Ne vous étonnez pas, Mademoiselle, c’est que je suis mort;’ and he proceeded to say that he was most thankful she had come, and that he wished her to make him a solemn promise; that the people who were now in possession of the property were not the rightful heirs, but that he had left a will, deposited with a certain lawyer in a certain place, the name of which he made her write down. She listened as in a trance, but did as she was bid. The servant, coming in again about this time, walked straight through the unknown. Presently the carriage, being mended, was announced to be at the door, upon which the unknown walked with her to the porch, bowed, and disappeared.

“When the lady got to Warsaw, she had an attaque des nerfs, was very ill, and sent for Dr. Pereira. She told him all she had seen, and also gave him the paper with the directions she had written down. Dr. Pereira, finding that the person and place mentioned really existed, inquired into the matter, and the result was that the will was found, the wrongful possessors ejected, and the rightful owners set up in their place.”

“One evening at the Palazzo Odescalchi, when everybody had been telling stories, and nothing very interesting, Mademoiselle von Raasloff suddenly astonished us by saying, ‘Now I will tell you something.’ Then she said—

“There was a young lady in Denmark, whose family, from circumstances, had lived very much before the Danish world, and with whom, in so small a society as that of Copenhagen, almost every one was acquainted. Consequently it was a subject of interest, almost of universal interest, at Copenhagen, when it became known that this young lady, with the full approval of her parents and joyful consent of every one concerned, had become engaged to a young Danish officer of good family and position.

“‘Now in Danish society a betrothal is considered to be almost the same thing as a marriage: new relationships date from that time, and if either the affianced bride or bridegroom die, the family of the other side mourn as for a son or brother, as if the marriage had actually taken place.

“‘While this young lady of whom I have spoken was only engaged, her betrothed husband was summoned to join his regiment in a war which was going on; and very soon to the house of his betrothed came the terrible news that he was dead, that he was killed in battle. And the way in which the news came was this. A soldier of his regiment was wounded and was taken prisoner; and as he was lying in his cot in the hospital, he said to his companion who was in the next bed, “I saw the young Colonel—I saw the young Colonel on his white horse, and he rode into the ranks of the enemy and he never came back again.” And the man who said that died, but the man to whom he said it recovered, and, in process of time, he was ransomed, and came back to Copenhagen and told his story with additions. “My comrade, who is dead, said that he saw the young Colonel on his white horse, and that he saw him ride into the ranks of the enemy and the soldiers of the enemy drag him from his horse and kill him, so that he never came back again.” This was the form in which the story reached the family of the affianced wife of the young Colonel, and they mourned him most truly; for they loved him much, and they put on all the outward signs of deepest grief. There was only one person who would not put on the outward signs of mourning, and that was his affianced bride herself. She said, and persisted in saying, that she could not believe that, where two persons had been as entirely united as she and her betrothed had been, one could pass entirely out of life without the other knowing it. That her lover was sick, in prison, in trouble, she could believe, but that he was dead—never, without her having an inner conviction of it; and she would not put on the outward signs of mourning, which to her sense implied an impression of ill omen. Her parents urged her greatly, not only because their own reality of grief was very great, but because, according to the feeling of things in Copenhagen, it cast a very great slur upon their daughter that she should appear without the usual signs of grief. They urged her ceaselessly, and the tension of mind in which she lived, and the perpetual struggle with her own family, added to her own deep grief, had a very serious effect upon her.

“‘It was while things were in this state that one day she dreamt—she dreamt that she received a letter from her betrothed, and in her dream she felt that it was of the most vital importance that she should see the date of that letter; and she struggled and laboured to see it, but she could not make it out; and she laboured on with the utmost intensity of effort, but she could not decipher it; and it seemed to her the most wearisome night she had ever spent, so incessant was her effort, but she could not read it: still she would not give it up, and at last, just as the dawn was breaking, she saw the date of the letter, and it was May the 10th. The effort was so great that she woke; but the date remained with her still—it was May the 10th.

“‘Now she knew that if such a letter had been really written on the 10th of May, by the 1st of June she must receive that letter.

“‘The next morning, when her father came in to see her before she was up, as he had always done since their great sorrow, he was surprised to find her not only calm and serene, but almost radiant. She said, “You have often blamed me for not wearing the outward signs of mourning for my betrothed: grant me now only till the 1st of June, and then, if I receive no letter from him, I will promise to resign myself to believe the worst, and I will do as you desire.” Three weeks of terrible tension ensued, and the 1st of June arrived. She said then that she felt as if her whole future life hung upon the postman’s knock. It came—and there was the letter! Her lover had been taken prisoner, communication with him had been cut off—in fact, till then it was impossible she should hear. Soon afterwards he was exchanged, came home, and they were married.

“‘Now,’ said Mademoiselle von Raasloff, as she finished her narrative, ‘that is no story which I have heard. The young lady was my dear mother; she is here to testify to it: the young officer was my dear father, General von Raasloff; he is here to confirm it.’ And they were both present.”

 

April 15.—There is a pretty young American lady at the table-d’hôte—most amusing. Here are some snatches from her lips:—

“‘I wonder if the old masters who painted such absurd figures of saints and angels meant to be funny, or if they were only funny by mistake.’

“‘Pity is like eating mustard without beef, and you wouldn’t like that, would you?’

“‘I was at a pension at Castellamare—Miss Baker’s. Avoid it. There were places for fifty at dinner, and forty-nine of them were old maids. No gentleman stayed—of course he couldn’t: they would have gobbled him up alive.’

“‘I went to the Trinità to hear the nuns sing. The nun who opened the door said, “You’re too late!”—“Well,” I said, “you declared I was too early yesterday. When am I to come?”—“Well, I don’t know,” she said; “we’re always changing.”—“Well, you are a civil old party, you are,” I said—and the old tigress actually slammed the door in my face.’

“‘Somebody said to me about a nigger I was abusing that I shouldn’t, because he was a man and a brother. “Well, sir, he may be your brother,” I said, “but most certainly he is not mine.” I should think not indeed, with a leg that comes down in the middle of his foot.’

“‘I shall be burnt, I hope, when I die. I feel like the old lady I heard of the other day who knew she was getting immensely old and could not live long, so paid down three thousand dollars to have a good big stove made right off at once.’

“‘I hope when I’m dying my people won’t be able to go on pegging away at their dinner just as if nothing was happening: I should not like that at all.’”

 

To Miss Leycester.

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FARFA.

FARFA. [89]

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GATE OF CASAMARI.

GATE OF CASAMARI. [90]

Assisi, April 26.—I had a proposal from the Miss Seymours and Miss Ellis that if I would wait at Rome till Saturday the 18th, they would set off with me in search of the lost monastery of Farfa, which was, of all places, the one I wanted most to see, and from which fear of brigands had previously caused all my companions to fail at the last moment. If you have read any old histories of Italy, you will remember how all-important Farfa was in the Middle Ages, and will wonder that no one, not even the best Roman antiquarians, knew anything about its present state, or even where it is. We could only judge by old maps and chronicles. However, the excursion completely answered, and, after divers little adventures, which ‘Days near Rome’ will narrate, we not only arrived at Farfa, but found the Father-General of the Benedictines accidentally there to receive us. Greatly astonished he was at our arrival, but said that one enterprising stranger had reached the place three years before—I need hardly add, an English lady. Really Farfa is one of the most radiant spots in Italy, and the sheets of wild-flowers, and the songs of nightingales and cuckoos enhanced its charms. My companions were so delighted that they consented, if I would stay till Wednesday, to set off again on a long, wild, and very rough tourette to the monasteries of the Hernican mountains. So on the 22nd we went by rail to Frosinone, and thence drove to Casamari, going on by a grand mountain road to sleep at Alatri. The next day we rode up a jagged rock path for many hours to the Carthusian Trisulti, a huge monastery in a mountain forest, amid Alpine flowers and close under the snows. Then we saw the famous Grottoes of Collepardo—a sort of underground Staffa, very grand indeed, and returned at night to Frosinone, and next day to Rome.”

 

Journal.

May 4, Florence.—General von Raasloff is here, and says that a friend of his going to China received endless commissions for things he was to bring home, but that only one of the people who gave them sent money for the things they wanted. On his return, this commission was the only one he had fulfilled. His disappointed friends upbraided him, and he said, ‘You see it was very unfortunate, but when we were nearing China, I spread out all my different commissions on the deck that I might examine them, and I put the money for each on the paper to which it belonged: and—it was very unfortunate, but my attention was called away for an instant, and behold a great gust of wind had come, and all those commissions which were not weighted by money had been blown far out to sea, and I never saw them again.’

“Mademoiselle von Raasloff told me that—

“Count Piper, an ancestor of the present Count Piper, was a very determined gambler. Being once at one of his desolate country estates, he was in perfect despair for some one to play with him, but he was alone. At last, in a fit of desperation, he said, ‘If the devil himself were to come to play with me, I should be grateful.’ Soon a tremendous storm began to rage, during which a servant came in and said that a gentleman overtaken by night was travelling past, and implored shelter. Count Piper was quite enchanted, and a very gentlemanlike man was shown in. Supper was served, and then Count Piper proposed a game of cards, in which the stranger at once acquiesced. Count Piper won so enormously, that he felt quite ashamed, and at last he proposed their retiring. As they were leaving the room, the stranger said, ‘I am very much concerned that I have not sufficient money with me to pay all my debt now; however, I shall beg you to take my ring as a guarantee, which is really of greater value than the money, and which has very peculiar properties, one of which is that as long as you wear it, all you possess is safe from fire.’ The Count took the ring, and escorting the stranger to his room, wished him good-night. The next morning he sent to inquire after him: he was not there, his bed had not been slept in, and he never was heard of again. Count Piper wore the ring, but after some time, as it was very heavy and old-fashioned, he took it off and put it away. The next morning came the news that one of his finest farm-houses had been burnt down. And so it always is in that family. The descendants of Count Piper always have to wear the ring, and if ever they leave it off for a single day, one of their houses on one of their great estates is burnt.”

 

Florence, May 10.—Ten days here in the radiant spring-tide have been very delightful. I have seen a great deal of Mrs. Ross, Lady Duff Gordon’s beautiful daughter, who is now writing the story of her mother’s life. She has a noble head, which is almost more full of expression than that of any one I know, and I am sure that her character is noble too, with all the smallnesses of life, which make a thoroughly anglicised character ignoble, washed out, and its higher qualities remaining to be mingled with the Italian frankness and kindly simplicity which English-English do not possess, and consequently cannot understand. Her singing to a guitar is capital—chiefly of Italian stornelli, rendered with all the verve which a contadina herself could give them. It is no wonder that Italians adore her. Each summer she and her husband spend at Castagnuolo with the Marchese Lotteria della Stufa, the great friend of her father, who died in his arms. This is ‘Il Marchese’ par excellence with the Florentines, to whom he is public property. When a child accidentally shot him with a pistol through the crown of his hat, thousands of people thronged the street before his house to inquire, and in all the villages round his native valley of Signa the price of wax went up for a fortnight, so many candles were burnt to the Madonna as thank-offerings for his escape. The next day, as he was crossing one of the bridges, he met Giacomo, a flyman he knew, driving a carriage full of very respectable old Scotch ladies. Giacomo flung his reins on the box, and rushing up to the Marchese, threw himself sobbing on his breast.

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LA BADIA DI SETTIMO.

LA BADIA DI SETTIMO. [91]

“I have been out with Mrs. Ross to the Stufa villa of Castagnuolo, seven miles off, near the Badia di’ Settimo, in a tiny baroccino, drawn by Tocco, the smallest of spirited ponies, and with Picco, the weest terrier ever seen, upon our knees. As we turned up from the highroad to the villa on the hills through the rich luxuriant vineyards, the warmest welcome met us from all the peasants, and Mrs. Ross received them with ‘Ah, caro Maso, e come va la moglie,’—‘Addio, caro Guido mio.’ In a house in the grounds—a ‘podere’—the whole family of inmates thronged round her with ‘Vi pigliero un consiglio, Signora,’ about a sick child. We wandered up the woods, gathering lovely wild orchids, and then went to the farm, where the creatures, like the people, seemed to regard Mrs. Ross as one of themselves: the cows came and licked her, the sheep came and rubbed against her, the pigeons perched, and even the wild boars were gentleness itself. She was first able to make her way at Castagnuolo by nursing day and night an old contadino who died in her arms. She described comically, though pathetically, the frantic grief which ensued: how the son, Antonio, tried to drown himself, and was pulled out of the water by his breeches: how the whole family insisted upon being bled: how a married daughter, a niece, and a cousin came and had strong convulsions; and how, when she ventured to leave them for a little to go to her dinner, the fattore rushed after her with—‘Ma Signora, tutte le donne son svenute;’[92] how eventually she locked up each separately for the night with a basin of soup, having made them a little speech, &c. Whenever any of the contadini have burns, they are cured by poultices of arum-leaves.

“All is simple, graceful goodness at Castagnuolo.”

 

Venice, May.—I feel that I am now learning much about masters I never knew before. One is introduced to them at one place and continues the acquaintance at another, till one becomes really intimate. Marco Basaiti is the best of these new friends, with his sad shadowy figures always painted against an afterglow. One learns how, as Savonarola says, ‘every painter paints himself. However varied his subjects, his works bear the sign-manual of his thought.’[93]

“At Milan, on the Eve of S. Ambrogio, an American next me at the table-d’hôte said to his neighbour opposite, ‘I have been, Marm, to see St. Ambrose; and I say, Marm, do you know that to-morrow they are going to tootle the old gentleman all round the town?’”

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AT MILAN.

AT MILAN. [94]

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PARAY LE MONIAL.

PARAY LE MONIAL. [95]

 

In returning from Italy this year I made the excursion to the curious shrine of Paray le Monial which I have described in an article in Evening Hours. All the time I had been abroad, as during my tour in Spain, I had sent monthly articles to Good Words, for which I was paid at the rate of five guineas a page—a sum, I believe, given besides only to Dean Alford and Arthur Stanley. But those were the palmy days of the magazine. I was paid much less afterwards, till it came down to a fifth of that sum. I spent the rest of the summer in London. It was during this year that I became a member of the Athenæum Club—an incalculable advantage. Twelve years before, old Dr. Hawtrey, the Provost of Eton, had said to me, “You ought to be a member of the Athenæum,” and I had answered “Then I wish you would propose me.” But I had quite forgotten about this, and had never known that the kind old man, long since dead, had really done it; so the news that my name was just coming up for ballot was a joyful surprise. I have since spent every London morning in steady work at the Athenæum, less disturbed there than even at Holmhurst. The difficulties which the club rules throw in the way of receiving visitors are a great advantage to students, and my life at the Athenæum has been as regular as clockwork. At breakfast I have always occupied the same table,—behind the door leading to the kitchen, the one which, I believe, was always formerly used by Wilberforce. In the afternoons, when all the old gentlemen arrive, to poke up huge fires in winter and close all the windows in summer, I have never returned to the club.

 

Journal.

“London, June (in the Park).Fine Lady.—‘How strange it is to see all these smart carriages driving about and nobody in them.’

My simple self.—‘Nobody in them! why, they are quite full of people.’

Fine Lady.—‘Ah, ye-es—people, but nobody all the same. We never drive in the Park now. It was only to show you this mob that I came. We are obliged to retreat, though, before their advancing battalions. They pursue us everywhere. There is no humiliation and suffering they won’t undergo in the chase. They drove us out of the Row long ago, and this year we took a row of chairs on Sunday afternoons on a little rising ground between Albert Gate and Stanhope Gate;[96] but the enemy pursued us, and as they always get the better of us, we shall be obliged to yield that position too. There is never any safety from them but in flight, for they are certainly our superiors in—numbers.’”

 

June 22.—Went to see Madame du Quaire,[97] whom I found in her low French-looking room in Wilton Street, perfectly covered with pictures and oggetti. She talked of spiritualism—how she had been to a meeting at Mrs. Gregory’s—‘a truthful woman, who would not stand imposture if she knew it.’ She ‘cottoned’ up the medium, ‘parcequ’il faut mieux s’adresser à Dieu qu’à ses saints.’ They sat in the dark, which was depressing. Soon after she felt a shock ‘like a torpedo,’ and something like the leg of a chair came and scratched her head. A voice called her and said, ‘I am John King, and I want you, Madame du Quaire; I have got something for you.’ ‘Then,’ said Madame du Q., ‘he gave me a sort of chain of sharks’ teeth; the kind of thing of which, when it was given to some one at Honolulu, the recipient inquired, “C’est un collier?”—“Mais pardon,” said the donor, “c’est une robe.”’

 

June 24.—I dined with Lord Ravensworth at Percy’s Cross, and he told me—

“When I was a young man, I was staying at Balnagowan with Lady Mary Ross. She had a son and daughter. The daughter was a very handsome, charming girl. One day I was walking with her, and she told me that when her brother was ill of the measles, at their other place, Bonnington, where the Falls of the Clyde are, an old nurse who lived at the lodge some way off used to come up and sit by him in the day, returning home at night. One morning when she arrived, she was most dreadfully depressed, and being questioned as to the cause, said, ‘I am na lang for this warld; and not only me, but a greater than I is na lang for this warld—and that is the head o’ this hoose.’ And she said that as she was walking home, two lights came out of the larches and flitted before her: one was a feeble light, close to the ground; the other a large bright light higher up. They passed before her to the park gates and then disappeared. ‘And,’ she said, ‘I know that the feeble light is myself, and the greater light is the head o’ this hoose.’

“A few days afterwards the old woman took a cold and died, and within a fortnight Sir C. Ross died too,[98] while the little boy recovered and is alive still.”

 

Captain Fisher, who is engaged to be married to Victoria Liddell, told me that—

 

‘When Mr. Macpherson of Glen Truim was dying, his wife had gone to rest in a room looking out over the park, and sat near the window. Suddenly she saw lights as of a carriage coming in at the distant lodge-gate, and calling to one of the servants, said, ‘Do go down; some one is coming who does not know of all this grief.’ But the servant remained near her at the window, and as the carriage came near the house, they saw it was a hearse drawn by four horses and covered with figures. As it stopped at the porch door, the figures looked up at her, and their eyes glared with light; then they scrambled down and seemed to disappear into the house. Soon they reappeared and seemed to lift some heavy weight into the hearse, which then drove off at full speed, causing all the stones and gravel to fly up at the windows. Mrs. Macpherson and the butler had not rallied from their horror and astonishment, when the nurse watching in the next room came in to tell her that the Colonel was dead.

 

“I was surprised to hear that Mrs. Hungerford was in London, and asked why she had left Ireland so unexpectedly. I was told she had had a great fright—then I heard what it was.

“She was in her room in the evening in her beautiful house, which looks out upon a lake, beyond which rise hills wooded with fir-trees. Suddenly, on the opposite side of the lake, she saw a form which seemed—with sweeping garments—to move forward upon the water. It was gigantic. Mrs. Hungerford screamed, and her sister, Miss Cropper (who afterwards married Mr. Jerome), and the nurse came to her from the inner nursery. The three remained at the window for some time, but retreated as the figure advanced, and at length—being then so tall that it reached to the second floor—looked in at the window, and disclosed the most awful face of a hideous old woman.

“It was a Banshee, and one of the family died immediately afterwards.”

 

Captain Fisher also told us this really extraordinary story connected with his own family:—

 

“Fisher may sound a very plebeian name, but this family is of very ancient lineage, and for many hundreds of years they have possessed a very curious old place in Cumberland, which bears the weird name of Croglin Grange. The great characteristic of the house is that never at any period of its very long existence has it been more than one story high, but it has a terrace from which large grounds sweep away towards the church in the hollow, and a fine distant view.

“When, in lapse of years, the Fishers outgrew Croglin Grange in family and fortune, they were wise enough not to destroy the long-standing characteristic of the place by adding another story to the house, but they went away to the south, to reside at Thorncombe near Guildford, and they let Croglin Grange.

“They were extremely fortunate in their tenants, two brothers and a sister. They heard their praises from all quarters. To their poorer neighbours they were all that is most kind and beneficent, and their neighbours of a higher class spoke of them as a most welcome addition to the little society of the neighbourhood. On their part the tenants were greatly delighted with their new residence. The arrangement of the house, which would have been a trial to many, was not so to them. In every respect Croglin Grange was exactly suited to them.

“The winter was spent most happily by the new inmates of Croglin Grange, who shared in all the little social pleasures of the district, and made themselves very popular. In the following summer, there was one day which was dreadfully, annihilatingly hot. The brothers lay under the trees with their books, for it was too hot for any active occupation. The sister sat in the verandah and worked, or tried to work, for, in the intense sultriness of that summer day, work was next to impossible. They dined early, and after dinner they still sat out in the verandah, enjoying the cool air which came with evening, and they watched the sun set, and the moon rise over the belt of trees which separated the grounds from the churchyard, seeing it mount the heavens till the whole lawn was bathed in silver light, across which the long shadows from the shrubbery fell as if embossed, so vivid and distinct were they.

“When they separated for the night, all retiring to their rooms on the ground-floor (for, as I said, there was no upstairs in that house), the sister felt that the heat was still so great that she could not sleep, and having fastened her window, she did not close the shutters—in that very quiet place it was not necessary—and, propped against the pillows, she still watched the wonderful, the marvellous beauty of that summer night. Gradually she became aware of two lights, two lights which flickered in and out in the belt of trees which separated the lawn from the churchyard, and as her gaze became fixed upon them, she saw them emerge, fixed in a dark substance, a definite ghastly something, which seemed every moment to become nearer, increasing in size and substance as it approached. Every now and then it was lost for a moment in the long shadows which stretched across the lawn from the trees, and then it emerged larger than ever, and still coming on—on. As she watched it, the most uncontrollable horror seized her. She longed to get away, but the door was close to the window and the door was locked on the inside, and while she was unlocking it, she must be for an instant nearer to it. She longed to scream, but her voice seemed paralysed, her tongue glued to the roof of her mouth.

“Suddenly, she never could explain why afterwards, the terrible object seemed to turn to one side, seemed to be going round the house, not to be coming to her at all, and immediately she jumped out of bed and rushed to the door, but as she was unlocking it, she heard scratch, scratch, scratch upon the window, and saw a hideous brown face with flaming eyes glaring in at her. She rushed back to the bed, but the creature continued to scratch, scratch, scratch upon the window. She felt a sort of mental comfort in the knowledge that the window was securely fastened on the inside. Suddenly the scratching sound ceased, and a kind of pecking sound took its place. Then, in her agony, she became aware that the creature was unpicking the lead! The noise continued, and a diamond pane of glass fell into the room. Then a long bony finger of the creature came in and turned the handle of the window, and the window opened, and the creature came in; and it came across the room, and her terror was so great that she could not scream, and it came up to the bed, and it twisted its long, bony fingers into her hair, and it dragged her head over the side of the bed, and—it bit her violently in the throat.

“As it bit her, her voice was released, and she screamed with all her might and main. Her brothers rushed out of their rooms, but the door was locked on the inside. A moment was lost while they got a poker and broke it open. Then the creature had already escaped through the window, and the sister, bleeding violently from a wound in the throat, was lying unconscious over the side of the bed. One brother pursued the creature, which fled before him through the moonlight with gigantic strides, and eventually seemed to disappear over the wall into the churchyard. Then he rejoined his brother by the sister’s bedside. She was dreadfully hurt and her wound was a very definite one, but she was of strong disposition, not given either to romance or superstition, and when she came to herself she said, ‘What has happened is most extraordinary and I am very much hurt. It seems inexplicable, but of course there is an explanation, and we must wait for it. It will turn out that a lunatic has escaped from some asylum and found his way here.’ The wound healed and she appeared to get well, but the doctor who was sent for to her would not believe that she could bear so terrible a shock so easily, and insisted that she must have change, mental and physical; so her brothers took her to Switzerland.

“Being a sensible girl, when she went abroad, she threw herself at once into the interests of the country she was in. She dried plants, she made sketches, she went up mountains, and, as autumn came on, she was the person who urged that they should return to Croglin Grange. ‘We have taken it,’ she said, ‘for seven years, and we have only been there one; and we shall always find it difficult to let a house which is only one story high, so we had better return there; lunatics do not escape every day.’ As she urged it, her brothers wished nothing better, and the family returned to Cumberland. From there being no upstairs in the house, it was impossible to make any great change in their arrangements. The sister occupied the same room, but it is unnecessary to say she always closed her shutters, which, however, as in many old houses, always left one top pane of the window uncovered. The brothers moved, and occupied a room together exactly opposite that of their sister, and they always kept loaded pistols in their room.

“The winter passed most peacefully and happily. In the following March the sister was suddenly awakened by a sound she remembered only too well—scratch, scratch, scratch upon the window, and looking up, she saw, climbed up to the topmost pane of the window, the same hideous brown shrivelled face, with glaring eyes, looking in at her. This time she screamed as loud as she could. Her brothers rushed out of their room with pistols, and out of the front door. The creature was already scudding away across the lawn. One of the brothers fired and hit it in the leg, but still with the other leg it continued to make way, scrambled over the wall into the churchyard, and seemed to disappear into a vault which belonged to a family long extinct.

“The next day the brothers summoned all the tenants of Croglin Grange, and in their presence the vault was opened. A horrible scene revealed itself. The vault was full of coffins; they had been broken open, and their contents, horribly mangled and distorted, were scattered over the floor. One coffin alone remained intact. Of that the lid had been lifted, but still lay loose upon the coffin. They raised it, and there, brown, withered, shrivelled, mummified, but quite entire, was the same hideous figure which had looked in at the windows of Croglin Grange, with the marks of a recent pistol-shot in the leg; and they did—the only thing that can lay a vampire—they burnt it.”

 

Journal.

Highcliffe, June 30, 1874.—It is delightful to be here again. I came on Friday with Everard Primrose,[99] a friend who always especially interests me, in spite of the intense melancholy which always makes him say that he longs for an early death.

“This place, so spiritually near the gates of heaven, is a great rest—quite a halt in life—after London, which, though I thought it filled with all great and beautiful things, packs in too much, so that one loses breath mentally. Here all is still, and the touching past and earnestly hopeful future lend a wonderful charm to the quiet life of the present. ‘Les beaux jours sont là; on ne les voit pas, on les sent.’[100]

“The dear lady of the castle is not looking well. I believe it is owing to her conversion to Lady Jane Ellice’s teetotalism; but she says it is not that. Lady Jane herself is a perpetual sunshine, which radiates on all around her and is quite enchanting. Miss Lindsay is the only other guest. In the evening Lady Jane sings and Miss Lindsay recites—most wonderfully—out of Shakspeare, with great power and pathos.

“It has not been fine weather, but we have had delightful walks on the sand, by the still sad-looking sea, with the Isle of Wight and its Needles rising in the faint distance, or in the thick woods of wind-blown ilex and arbutus. One day we went to ‘the Haven House,’ which is a place that often comes back to my recollection—picturesquely, gauntly standing on a tongue of land at the meeting of river and bay, at the end of a weird pine-wood, where the gnarled roots of the trees all writhe seawards out of the sand. Here groups of children were at play on the little jetties of sea-weedy stones and timber, while a row of herons were catching fish—solitarily—at great intervals, in the bay.

“Lady Mary Lambart came last night—a simple, self-composed girl, with a pale face and golden hair. She lives exclusively with her aunt, Lady Alicia Blackwood.

“Yesterday, in the ‘Lady Chapel’ of the great church at Christ-Church, I suddenly came upon the tomb of Mary Morgan, who died in 1796. She was companion to my great-aunt, the unhappy Countess of Strathmore, and this monument was dedicated ‘to the most rare of all connections, a perfect and disinterested friend, by the Countess of Strathmore, who, conscious of the treasure, valued its possession and mourned its loss.... To her heroic qualities, her cool deliberate courage, and her matchless persevering friendship, the tears of blood shed by one who despises weakness, the records of law and justice, and perhaps even the historic page, will bear witness to an astonished and admiring posterity.’

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THE GARDEN TERRACE, HIGHCLIFFE.

THE GARDEN TERRACE, HIGHCLIFFE. [101]

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THE HAVEN HOUSE.

THE HAVEN HOUSE. [102]

“On the whole, Christ-Church is dull inside: it is so vast, and chiefly perpendicular. The old tombs are used as pedestals for modern monuments, and the old gravestones, stripped of their brasses, have modern epitaphs inserted between the ancient gothic inscriptions. Outside, the position is beautiful, on a little height above the river, near which are some old ruins, and which winds away to the sea through flat reedy meadow-lands, still marked by sails of boats where its outline is lost in distance.”

 

June 30.—Mrs. Hamilton Hamilton came last night. She was a daughter of Sir G. Robinson. Her father’s aide-de-camp, Captain Campbell, a poor man, wanted to marry her, and she was attached to him; but it was not allowed, and they were separated. She was married to Mr. Hamilton Hamilton, but Captain Campbell never ceased to think of her, and he was ambitious for her sake, and became Sir Colin Campbell and Lord Clyde. Afterwards, when she was free, it was thought he would marry her. He sent her an Indian shawl, and he wrote to her, and he came to see her, but he never proposed; and she waited and expected, and at last she heard he had said, ‘No, it could not be; people would say it was absurd.’ But it would not have been absurd at all, and she would have liked it very much.

“One always feels here as if one did not half appreciate the perfection of each day as it goes by. It needs time to recognise and realise the warmth and colour which a noble mind, a true heart, and an ever heaven-aspiring soul can throw into even the commonest things of life. I often wonder how these walks, how these rooms with their old boisserie would appear with another inhabitant; quite unimpressive perhaps—but now they are simply illuminated. Beautiful pictures remain with one from everything at Highcliffe, but most of all that of the noble figure, seated in her high tapestried chair, painting at her little table by the light of the green lamp, and behind her a great vase filled with colossal branches of green chestnut, mingled with tall white lilies, such as Gabriel bore before the Virgin. As Lady Jane sings, she is roused to call for more songs, for ‘something pathetic, full of passion—love cannot be passionate enough.’—‘What! another?’ says Lady Jane. ‘Another, two nothers, three nothers: I cannot have enough.’

“‘In the perfect Christian, the principal virtues which produce an upright life and beauty of form are fervent faith and the love of our crucified Redeemer. As faith and love deepen, so external grace and beauty increase, until they become able to convert the hearts of men.... The soul that is beloved of God becomes beautiful in proportion as it receives more of the Divine grace.’ These words are from Savonarola’s Sermons, and do they not apply to our Lady?

“Lady Caroline Charteris[103] came to luncheon—plain in features, but in mind indescribably beautiful and interesting. She brought with her a most touching letter she had received from Dr. Brown[104] after his wife’s death. He spoke of the wells of salvation which men came to when they were truly thirsty, otherwise most people either passed them altogether, or stayed an instant, gazed into them admiringly, and still passed on. With Lady Caroline came Mrs. David Ricardo in a beautiful pink hat, like a Gainsborough in flesh and blood.”

 

July 1.—A delightful morning in the library, fitful sunlight gleaming through the stained windows and upon the orange datura flowers in the conservatory, Lady Waterford painting at her table, Lady Jane and Miss Lindsay and Lady Mary Lambart[105] (a noble-looking girl like a picture by Bronzino) working around. Lady Waterford talked of the odd mistakes of words—how an old lady always said ‘facetious’ for ‘officious’—that when she came by the railway the porters had been so very ‘facetious,’ &c. Miss Mary Boyle condoled with an old woman at the Ashridge almshouses on the loss of her old husband. ‘Oh, yes, ma’am, it’s a great loss; but still, ma’am, I’m quite happy, for I know that he’s gone to Beelzebub’s bosom.’—‘I think you must mean Abraham.’—‘Well, yes, ma’am, since you mention it, I think that was the gentleman’s name.’

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THE LIBRARY, HIGHCLIFFE.

THE LIBRARY, HIGHCLIFFE. [106]

“In the afternoon we had a delightful walk to Hoborne, across a common on which a very rare kind of ophrys grows. Lady Waterford talked of a visit she had had at Ford from Mr. Wayte, the new Rector of Norham, who told her that a few nights before, his curate, Mr. Simon, had been obliged to go to fetch some papers out of the vestry at night. When he opened the church door, the moonlight was streaming in at the west window, and the middle of the nave was in bright light, but the side aisles were dark. He walked briskly down the middle of the church to the vestry, and, as he went, was aware that a figure dressed in white was sitting motionless in the corner of one of the pews in the aisle. He did not stay, but went into the vestry to get his papers, and, as he returned, he saw that the figure was still in the same place. Much agitated, he did not go up to it, but hurried home, and waited for daylight, when he returned at once to the church. The figure was still there, and did not move as he approached. When he uncovered its face, he saw that it was a dead body. The body had been found in the Tweed the day before, and the finders had not known what to do with it, so they had wrapped it in a sheet, and set it up in the church.”

 

July 3.—We drove to Ashley Clinton—a charming place. Lady Waterford talked of the origin of words—of weeds as applied to dress. Mrs. Hamilton said how the Queen of the Sandwich Islands always spoke of flowers as weeds. ‘What pretty weeds there are in the cottage gardens.’

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THE FOUNTAIN, HIGHCLIFFE.

THE FOUNTAIN, HIGHCLIFFE. [107]

“Lady Waterford spoke of the picture of Miss Jane Warburton near her bedroom door; how she was appointed maid of honour to Queen Caroline at a time when maids of honour were rather fast, and how, at dinner, when the maids proposed toasts, and one gave the Archbishop of Canterbury, another the Dean of St. Paul’s, or some other old man, she alone had the courage to give the smartest and handsomest man of the day, the Duke of Argyll.[108] She was so laughed at by her companions that it made her cry, and at the drawing-room somebody said to the Duke of Argyll, ‘That is a young lady who has been crying for you,’ and told him the story. He was much touched, but unfortunately he was married. Afterwards, however, when his Duchess died, he married Miss Warburton, and, though she was very ugly, he thought her absolute perfection. In the midst of the most interesting conversation he would break off to ‘listen to his Jane;’ and he had the most absolute faith in her, till once he discovered that she had deceived him in something about a marriage for one of her daughters with an Earl of Dalkeith, which was not quite straightforward; and it broke his heart, and he died.”

 

July 5.—I came up to London with Lady Waterford on Friday, and as usual I find what Carlyle calls ‘the immeasurable, soul-confusing uproar of a London life’ rather delightful than otherwise. To-day I have been with Mary Lefevre to Marylebone, to hear Mr. Haweis[109] preach. He is like a Dominican preacher in Italy, begins without a text, acts, crouches, springs, walks about in the pulpit—which is fortunately large enough, and every now and then spreads out vast black wings like a bat, and looks as if he was about to descend upon his appalled congregation. Part of his sermon was very solemn, but in part preacher and audience alike giggled. ‘He was converted last Sunday week: he was converted exactly at half-past four P.M., but since then they say that he has been seen at a theatre, at a ball, and at a racecourse, and that therefore his conversion is doubtful. Now you know my opinion is that none of these things are wrong in themselves. The question is not what the places are, but with what purpose and in what spirit people go to them. Our Saviour would not have thought it wrong to go to any of these places. John the Baptist certainly acted altogether on a lower level and went out as an ascetic into the wilderness. But our Saviour was both charitable and large-hearted. When He was asked to a feast, he went. He never sacrificed Himself unnecessarily, and so the ‘religious people’ of that day abused him for eating with publicans and sinners. It is just what ‘religious people,’ the Pharisees of our own day, say now.... Oh, let us leave these perpetual judgments of others.’

“I went afterwards to luncheon at Lady Castletown’s; she was not come in from church, but I went up into the drawing-room. A good-looking very smart young lady was sitting there, with her back to the window, evidently waiting also. After a pause, I made some stupid remark to her about heat or cold, &c. She looked at me, and said, ‘That is a very commonplace remark. I’ll make a remark. If a woman does not marry, she is nobody at all, nothing at all in the world; but if a man ever marries at all, he is an absolute fool.’ I said, ‘I know who you are; no one but Miss Rhoda Broughton would have said that.’ And it was she.

“Mr. Browning came and sat on the other side of her at luncheon. She said something of novels without love: I said something of black dose as a cure for love. Mr. Browning said that Aristophanes spoke of ‘the black-dose-loving Egyptians.’ Miss Broughton said, ‘How do you know the word means black dose?’—‘Because there is a similar passage in Herodotus which throws light upon the subject, with details on which it would not be delicate to dwell.’”

 

July 6.—Dined with Madame du Quaire, meeting Mr. and Mrs. Wigan and Mr. and Mrs. Preston. Mrs. Wigan talked of children’s odd sayings: of one who, being told that God could see everywhere, asked if He could see the top of His own head; of another, at a school-feast, who being asked to have another bun, said, ‘Oh no, want to go home.’—‘Nonsense! have another bun.’—‘No, want to go home;’ upon which the giver of the feast took him up, and the child exclaimed, ‘Oh don’t, don’t bend me.’”

 

July 8.—A drawing-party at Lambeth. Madeleine Lefevre and I went afterwards to show our drawings to Mrs. Tait, and had luncheon in the large cool pleasant rooms. In the afternoon I went with the Lefevres to the camp at Wimbledon. It is an immense enclosure, with streets of tents, lines of flags. In front of the officers’ tents are masses of flowers in pots sunk in a substratum of tan, as by law the turf may not be broken. Lady Ducie’s tent, whither we went, was most luxurious. We went on afterwards to Lady Leven’s garden, which was a beautiful sight, with brilliant groups of people. At the end, children were watching the manœuvres of some cats, who sat quiet with garlands of mice and birds upon their heads.

July 10.—Drew in the Tower of London, and dined at Lord Castletown’s to meet Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey Pearse (she Mario’s daughter), Madame du Quaire, and the truly extraordinary M. Vivier.

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GATEWAY, LAMBETH PALACE.

GATEWAY, LAMBETH PALACE. [110]

“He talked incessantly, but expected what Lady Castletown called ‘a gallery,’ and perfect silence and attention. ‘Je suis intéressant, moi! La petite de C. elle n’a rien: elle chante, elle fait les oiseaux, voilà tout. Pour entendre les oiseaux, vous ferez mieux d’aller dans vos squares: vous les entendrez, et vous payerez rien. Mais la petite de C. elle est moralement malsaine: moi je ne le suis pas, et je suis—intéressant.’

“He was so surprised at the number of servants: ‘And does all that sleep in the house?’ he said.

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THE BLOODY GATE, TOWER OF LONDON.

THE BLOODY GATE, TOWER OF LONDON. [111]

“In the evening he sang ‘Nellie,’ and his ‘Drame’—of a blind Spanish musician with a violin, watching windows for money, a perfect passion of avarice and expectation.”

 

July 11.—Luncheon with Lady Morley, meeting Miss Flora Macdonald, who has still a reminiscence of the great beauty which brought such a surprise to the old Duchess of Gloucester when she asked Victor Emmanuel what he admired most in England, and he answered so promptly, ‘Miss Flora Macdonald.’ Lady Katherine Parker described—‘because, alas! it was discovered that we date just a little farther back than the Leicesters,’ having to sit near ——, the most airified man in London. She was congratulated afterwards upon his having condescended to speak to her, but said he wouldn’t, only his neighbour on the other side was even more insignificant than herself, and to her he did not speak at all. He said, apropos of a dinner at Dorchester House, ‘Pray who are these Holfords?’—‘Oh,’ said Lady Katherine, ‘I believe they are people who have got a little shake-down somewhere in Park Lane.’

“I was at the ‘shake-down’ in the evening—something quite beautiful. The staircase is that of an old Genoese palace, and was one blaze of colour, and the broad landings behind the alabaster balustrades were filled with people, sitting or leaning over, as in old Venetian pictures. The dress of the time entirely lends itself to these effects. I sat in one of the arcades with Lady Sarah Lindsay and her daughters, then with Lady Carnarvon. We watched the amusing contrasts of the people coming upstairs—the shrinking of some, the dégagée manner of others, the dignity of a very few—in this, no one to be compared with Princess Mary. The Prince and Princess of Wales were close by (he very merry, talking with much action, like a foreigner), also the Prince and Princess of Prussia. Lady Somers looked glorious in a black dress thickly sprinkled with green beetles’ wings and a head-dress of the same.

“With Lady Carnarvon I had a long talk, and could not help feeling how truly one might apply to her Edgar Poe’s lines:—

“Thou would’st be loved, oh! then thy heart
From its present pathway part not:
Being everything that now thou art,
Be nothing that thou art not.
So, with the world, thy winning ways,
Thy grace, thy more than beauty,
Shall be the theme of endless praise,
And love, and simple duty.”

 

July 12.—Yesterday there was a great party at Hatfield. I drove with the Woods to King’s Cross for the special train at 4 P.M., but was separated from them at the station, and joined Lady Darnley and Raglan Somerset. A tremendous storm was brewing over London, but we left it behind at first. Quantities of carriages from the house were in waiting at the Hatfield station. The street was lined with wreaths and flowers, and a succession of triumphal arches made the steep hill look like a long flowery bower. In the park, the grand old limes were in full blossom in front of the stately brick house. On the terrace on the other side the mass of guests was assembling. I went off with Lady Braybrooke to the labyrinth, then with Lady Darnley and the E. de Bunsens over the house. The storm now broke with tremendous lightning and loud peals of thunder, and in the Golden Gallery it was almost dark. Just as it began, the royal party drove up, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince and Princess of Prussia, Prince Arthur, the Tecks, the Duchess of Manchester, and a great quantity of suite—a very pretty procession, vehemently cheered by the people. When the storm cleared, we went out upon the terraces; the royal party went to the labyrinth. As it returned, I was standing with the Leghs of Lyme at the head of the steps, when Prince Arthur came up to me, was very cordial, and talked for some time about Rome, &c. I asked him if the Queen drew still. ‘Oh, yes,’ he said, ‘she is quite devoted to it: and I am very fond of it too, but then I have so little time.’

“Owing to the rain, the dinner for eight hundred had to be moved into the Armoury. The royal guests and a few others dined in the Marble Hall; the Princess of Prussia was forgotten as they were going in, and had to be hunted for. We all dined at little tables; I was at one with Mrs. Stuart Wortley, Mrs. W. Lowther, and Lord Sydney. Afterwards the terraces and house were beautifully illuminated with coloured lights, in which, through what looked like a sea of fire and blood, the cascades of white roses frothed up. Every one walked out. The royalties seemed to spring up everywhere; one was always running against them by mistake. There was a pretty procession as they went away, and immediately afterwards I returned with Miss Thackeray, her sister, and the Master of Napier.

“An excursion of this kind from London is delightful. C’est l’entr’acte!

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COMPIÈGNE.

COMPIÈGNE. [112]

 

July 13.—Yesterday (Sunday) I had luncheon with Lady Castletown; young Mr. Astley was there, and Miss Trollope. Lady Castletown talked of Vivier, of the marvellous versatility of his genius, of his absolute refusal to go any way but his own; that except for love he never sang a single song under three thousand francs; that when he gave a concert at Nice he asked ‘cent francs chaque,’ and the rooms were crowded; that at Compiègne he did some things, but he only allowed three persons to be present—the Emperor and two others. He excluded the Empress, because, in his Spanish scene, she had dared, Spanish-wise, to throw a bracelet into his hat, which so offended him that he told the Emperor he should never let her see him again. The Emperor quite delighted in him, and could not bear him to go away. He persuaded Vivier to go with him to Vichy, and there some of the great men of the court called to him from a window, as he was walking in the garden, and begged him to come to them. He was furious, and complained to the Emperor. ‘Sire, ce n’est pas comme cela qu’il faut appeler Vivier.’ On one occasion he stopped and threw up his whole comedy in the middle before a large audience because Lord Houghton sneezed. It was therefore necessary carefully to select his audience, otherwise he might take offence and never return. He has discovered powers in a French horn which no one had any idea of before, and he can sit close by you and play it with a degree of delicacy which perfectly transports you—the most sublime philosophy of music.

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HOLLAND HOUSE.

HOLLAND HOUSE. [114]

“We went afterwards to Holland House. I sat in the carriage at first under the shadow of the grand old red pile, but Lady Holland sent Mr. Hayward out to fetch me in, which he did with a bad grace.[113] Lady Holland is a very little woman, simply dressed, with a white cap. She has sparkling eyes, which give her face a wonderful animation; which is almost beauty in itself, and which, in the setting of that house and its historic memories, makes her quite a person to remember. Mrs. Locke was there, and Lord Tankerville, whom I was very glad to see again. Outside, on a comfortable bench, we sat some time with the old Duc de Richelieu. Mrs. Wingfield and I wandered about in the gardens, which were glorious!—such blazes of flowers between the trees, such splashing fountains, such armies of scarlet lilies looking over the clipped yew hedges; and the house itself so rich in colour and in shadow. Then there is a glade—a grass walk of immense length, completely shut in by trees and forest-like tangle, so that you might think yourself in the deep recesses of Sherwood instead of close to London.

“Everard Primrose called to us out of a window, and we went up to him in the old library. He was in a melancholy mood, and would not come down with us; but Mrs. Wingfield went back to him alone, and, with that wonderful sympathy which is natural to her, she soon tamed him, and he came to us and was as pleasant as possible.

“The picture of Marie, Princess Lichtenstein, hung, pale and sad, looking down on us from a corner, and seemed to say, ‘Hence I am now banished; even my portrait is put away.’”

 

July 14.—Dined at Lady Carnarvon’s to meet Lord Stanhope. Only the two mothers of the house, Lady Chesterfield and Lady Carnarvon—a charming good-humoured old lady, and a Mr. Townshend were there. Lord Carnarvon talked much of the interests of regular work and the unutterable weariness of interruptions. Lord Stanhope was very agreeable at dinner, but fell asleep afterwards. The younger Lady Carnarvon, with her hair sprinkled with diamonds, looked unspeakably lovely.”

 

To Miss Wright.

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HOLMHURST, THE ROCK WALK.

HOLMHURST, THE ROCK WALK.

Holmhurst, July 19, 1874.—I know half my friends wonder how I can like the change from the intellectual interests and luxurious life of London to the society of the bumble-bees and butterflies in this little hermitage; but I am sure the absolute quietude is very good for one, and I rush into my work at once, and get through no end of it. I came away from London, however, rather pining to stay for the party at Holland House, because I thought it was a duty to Lea and Miss Leycester, and I experienced the bathos, which so often comes when one is rather conceited about a little piece of self-sacrifice, of finding they would both much rather I had gone to the party, that they might have heard all about it!

“Miss Leycester is very cheerful, and greatly enjoys her summer retreat here—sitting out amid the scent of the lime-flowers: being wheeled about in her chair amongst the baskets of geraniums: having tea upon the terrace, &c. Another sweet old lady cousin, Miss Tatton, who cannot walk at all, is just arriving for a fortnight, and the Hospice is quite full of dear feeble beings.

“As to the little troubles about which you ask me, I can only reply in the words of Delatouche to George Sand, ‘Patientez avec le temps et l’expérience, et soyez tranquille: ces deux tristes conseilleurs viendront assez vite.’

“I shall be very anxious to hear about your German travels.... To me, if one is not in a fever about going on, the lingering in the wonderful old towns by the way, so full of a past deeply written still on their remains, is far more interesting than that part of the tour which all the world takes, and the little glimpses of people and life which one gets in them give one far more to think about afterwards. Würtzburg and Ratisbon I forbid you to pass unseen: they used to be reached, toiled after with such labour and fatigue; and now, in these railway days, they are generally—passed.”

 

Journal.

“July 29.—I have been in London again for two days. On Tuesday Sir Howard Elphinstone, the Lefevres, and I went to Holland House, where Lady Castletown and Mrs. Wingfield joined us. We drew in the Arcade, and then Miss Coventry came out in her Spanish hat and called us in to Lady Holland. She was in the west room, sitting in the wide window, and, like a queen, she sat on, moving for nobody. She was, however, very kind, and pleased with our drawings. She talked of the royal ball, and said that the two little Princes were so delighted with Puss in Boots that they pulled his tail incessantly, till at last Puss said, ‘Remember I have got teeth and claws as well as a tail,’ and then they were frightened and left off.

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HOLLAND HOUSE (GENERAL VIEW).

HOLLAND HOUSE (GENERAL VIEW). [115]

“Wednesday was Victoria Liddell’s wedding-day.[116] All Fulham turned out, and Walham Green was a succession of triumphal arches, garlands, and mottoes. I went with Victor Williamson, and they mistook us for the bridegroom and best man. They told us to go up and wait near the altar, and the Wedding March struck up, but stopped abruptly as we went into a pew.”

 

July 30.—Yesterday I dined at Lord Castletown’s, and met, as usual, an interesting party. Lord Castletown[117] talked of his youth at Holland House, when he was brought up there as the ward of Lord Holland. ‘Lord H. was most indulgent, and was always finding amusements for me. One day, two days before the end of the Eton holidays, he asked me to go somewhere. “No, sir,” I said, “I cannot do that, because I have got my holiday task to finish.”—“And what is your task?” said Lord Holland. “Latin verses on St. Paul preaching at Athens, seventy lines.”—” Oh, what a grand subject,” said Lord Holland; “leave it for me. I will do your task for you, and do you go out and amuse yourself.” And he did it all but four lines, and then some important business called him away, and he gave them back to me, saying I must finish them as well as I could. It was a most grand set of verses, and when I gave them up to Keats, he would read them aloud before the whole school. In the middle he said, “Who wrote these, sir?”—“I, sir.”—“You lie, sir,” said Keats. At last he came to the last four lines. “You wrote these, sir,” he said. I heard no more of it, but I never got back my copy of verses.

“‘Once I escaped from Eton, and Lord Holland caught me—found me in the streets of London. He made me get into his carriage at once, and told the man to drive to the White Horse Cellar, whence the coach started for Eton. Unfortunately for me, there was one starting at once, and he made me get in. I remonstrated, saying that I had not got my things. “They shall be sent after you,” he said. “But I shall be flogged, sir.”—“Serve you right, too; I hope you will be flogged,” he said. I looked very piteous, and as I got into the coach he said, “Well, good-bye, John; I hope you’ll be flogged,” and he shook hands with me, and in my hand I found a five-pound note. He was always doing those kind things.

“‘At Holland House I saw everybody most worth seeing in Europe. All that was best flowed in to Lord Holland, and he was equally hospitable to all. The Whigs, not only of England, but of all the world, came to him.’

“Lady Castletown told a story of a Russian Princess who had a very hideous maid. One morning her maid came to her looking very much agitated—perfectly défaite. The Princess asked her what was the matter, when she said, ‘Oh, I have had the most extraordinary night. As I was going to bed, I saw a man’s foot under the bed. I was going to ring the bell when he stopped me by saying, “Oh, don’t ring; I have been brought into this predicament by my hopeless passion for you. I felt that there was no other chance of seeing you, so I ran this risk.” Seeing that he was serious, and never having had a proposal before, I could not but talk to him; and we talked all night, and now it is all settled, and we are to be married.’—‘Well,’ said the Princess, ‘that is very strange; and now I am going to court, so where are my diamonds?’—‘Oh, of course where they always are,’ said the maid; but, when she looked, they were gone: the lover had taken them. ‘Of course that is what he came for,’ said the Princess; ‘do you think he would have come for you?’ And the diamonds were never recovered.”

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HOLLAND HOUSE (THE LILY GARDEN).

HOLLAND HOUSE (THE LILY GARDEN). [118]

 

August 8.—Came to Chevening. The house strikes one by its overwhelming impression of sadness. The sunshine is all blotted out since last year by the death of its beloved mistress last winter;[119] but I am glad I came, as it gives pleasure, and I am glad I was asked so soon, as it shows their liking to have me. Walking with Lady Mahon[120] between the same beds of tall flowers amongst which I walked with Lady Stanhope last year, she spoke of her very touchingly, how, though there might be many pleasures and interests left in life, there was always the feeling that there never could be what had been—the warm interest in others, the cheerful sunny nature which radiated on all it came in contact with. The illness was very sudden, and little alarm felt till just the end. Her last words to her poor broken-hearted husband were, ‘Do not fret, love; I shall soon be quite well now.’ Lady Mahon said that Lord Stanhope’s heroic determination to bear up for all their sakes enabled them to follow his example.”

 

August 10, Sunday.—This afternoon I drove with Lord Stanhope in the long grassy glades of the park, the highest and prettiest of which gave a name to the place—Chevening, ‘the Nook in the Hill.’ We drove afterwards from one fine young Wellingtonia which he had planted to another, examining them all, and came back by the Spottiswoodes’. It is a fine old place, intended as an imitation of the Villa Doria at Rome, and though in nowise like Villa Doria, it has a look of Italy in its groves of ilexes and its cypresses. Lady Frederick Campbell[121] lived here. Her first husband was the Lord Ferrers who was hanged, and some evidence which she gave was instrumental in bringing about his condemnation. Lord Ferrers cursed her, saying that her death would be even more painful than his; and so in fact it was, for in 1807 she was burnt in one of the towers of the house, from spontaneous combustion it is said. Nothing was found of her but her thumb, she was so completely consumed, and ever since it is said that the ghost of Lady Frederick Campbell wanders in the grounds at night, brandishing her thumbless hand, and looking for her lost thumb. The place lends itself to this from its wonderful green glades lined with cedars and guarded by huge grey stone vases.

“Coomb Bank was afterwards bought by the Claytons, who spent all they had in the purchase and had nothing left for keeping it up, so eventually they sold it to Mr. Spottiswoode, the King’s Printer, to whom the monopoly of printing Bibles and Prayer-books has been the source of a large fortune. Mr. Spottiswoode himself is a most remarkable man, who, for hours before his daily walk to the City, is occupied with the highest mathematical speculations, and returns to spend his evenings in studies of the most abstract nature. It is said that the present generation is more indebted to him than to any other person for its improved powers of analysis. He has made no important discoveries yet, but he probably will make them, if he lives long enough. His character seems to be a wonderful combination of profound knowledge and power and profound humility.”

 

August 11.—A semi-wet day, spent chiefly in the library, which is attached to the house by a corridor full of portraits. In the afternoon, though it poured, we had a long drive on the Chart. The Spottiswoodes dined, and Mrs. Spottiswoode sang very old music.”

 

August 12.—Came to Cobham. It has a beautiful approach across the broken ground of a very wild park with grand old trees. In the hollow is the old house, which is immense, of red brick with projecting oriels and towers. Lady Darnley[122] received me in the library; she has an unintentionally haughty manner, but when you are accustomed to her, you find that she is charming—

‘Si sta placido e cheto,
Ma serba dell’ altiero nel mansueto;’[123]

and soon it seemed as if one had known her all one’s life. The children came dropping in—two grown-up daughters, two little girls, Lord Clifton, and two fine frank younger boys—Ivo and Arthur. There are many guests.”

 

August 13.—A most pleasant morning sitting with Lady Darnley under the fine old trees drawing the house, and seeing the rooms and the pictures, which are mostly dull—chiefly nymphs and satyrs with very few clothes on—two very fine Titians being the redeeming part of the gallery. The pictures are wisely devoted to the public; they are too uncomfortable to live with, and the Chatham people adore them.

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COBHAM HALL.

COBHAM HALL.

“I find this house, where no one is too clever, but every one is pleasant nevertheless, a great rest after Chevening, where I always felt struggling up to an intellectual level which I have no right to and which I cannot attain. Apropos, the last morning Lord Stanhope talked much of the origin of words, and said ‘Beldam’ came from ‘Belle dame’ used satirically.

August 15.—Returned to Holmhurst. Mr. Thomas, the landscape gardener, travelled with me. He spoke of an obnoxious American coming into a great hotel at Liverpool and boasting of how much finer American hotels were—‘a hundred times the size,’ &c. The man he addressed listened quietly and then said, ‘But you have not yet seen our great hotel at Southampton, sir; it is a mile long, will accommodate 5000 people, and all the waiters wait on horseback.’—‘I guess that’s a lie, sir,’ said the American. ‘Yes, it is,’ replied the Englishman, ‘but then I thought you were telling lies.’”

 

Sept. 28.—A very pleasant visit of two days to the Shaw-Lefevres. They are certainly one of the happiest and most united of families. We made a delightful excursion of sixteen miles to Sutton Court, where they lived formerly. It must be very seldom that, after a lapse of ten years, a father and mother can return to such a place in old age with their family of the original seven unbroken, only many others added. Sutton, the beautiful old house of the Westons, inlaid with terra-cotta, is just the place for a story, with the closed wing where the ivy forces its way through the walls and wreaths round the frames of the old family portraits, which, rent and forlorn, flap in the gusts of wind whenever a distant door opens. Then there is the still-used Roman Catholic chapel, with its priest and its country congregation.”

 

Powderham Castle, Oct. 4.—A week here has been most delightful. I had not felt certain how much I might like it, how much my dear friend of old days might be changed by lapse of time and new relations. I can only say that, if he is changed, it is in being more entirely and perfectly delightful than ever, more indescribably thoughtful for others, more filled with plans for the good of every one, and withal so simple, so free from cant, that all else seems unchristian and mundane by comparison. Lady Agnes is the one person I have seen who is quite entirely worthy of him, and it does seem as if a reward of such perfectly beautiful lives was given even in this life, that they should have been thrown together.

“I arrived about half-past five. Powderham has a low park, rising into high ground as it approaches the castle, which has a gateway and courtyard. Here Charlie was walking about amongst orange-trees in large boxes like those at the Tuileries. The bedrooms are dilapidated and falling into decay: Lord Devon will not restore them, nor will he set any of his estates free by selling the rest, but he goes on planting quantities of Wellingtonias in his park and making expensive fences round them. In himself he is charming, with a perfect and entirely courteous manner. Colonel and Mrs. Heygarth have been here, he still lame with shot in the leg from the battle of the Alma, where he was wounded again while lying on the ground, having been noticed because he tried to save Lord Chewton, who was lying near him, and whom a Russian soldier was about to murder.

“With Charlie and Lady Agnes I have been completely at home and perfectly happy. One day we went to the sands, and walked along them to Dawlish. But yesterday was quite charming; I had much wished to go to Lady Morley at Whiteway, and after luncheon we set off—Charlie, Lady Agnes, and I. When the narrow lanes grew too steep for the pony-carriage, we left it under a hedge, and putting a saddle on Jack the pony, rode and walked by turns up the hill and across the wild heath of the open moor: Charlie rode pick-a-back behind Lady Agnes. In the woods we met Morley, greatly surprised to see us arrive thus. The others were out, but Morley showed all the curiosities of the house, which were many in a small way. Just as we were setting off, Lady Morley and Lady Katherine returned, and, after many pro’s and con’s, we stayed to a most amusing dinner, and only set off again at 10 P.M. with lanthorns in pitch darkness. Morley and Lady Katherine walked with us the first three miles over the wild moor with their lanthorn, and then we dived down into the eerie lanes closely overhung with green and fringed with ferns, and most lovely were the effects as the lanthorn revealed one gleam of glistening foliage after another out of the darkness. When we reached home at 11 P.M., we found the servants alarmed and a horseman sent out to search for us; and no wonder.

“I was ill all night from having eaten junket at Whiteway. Charlie says this Devonshire dainty is so called from the Neapolitan joncetta—cream on rushes. In Devon they pretend it is a relic of the Roman invasion!

“We have just been to church at Kenton. An immense funeral party (from last week) walked in, two and two, with great importance and occupied three pews. They sat through the whole service, as if too overwhelmed by their late grief to rise, and the women held handkerchiefs to their faces, and rocked, and shook the crape bows upon their bonnets, while waiting for the expected ‘funeral discourse.’ The people here are delightfully primitive. The other day, at a dinner Lord Devon gave, a man of the place rose to propose his health, and comprised all that needed to be said in—‘I don’t know what Lord Devon du, but all I du know is that if more would du as Lord Devon du du, there wouldn’t be so many as would du as they du du.’

“The wife of a neighbouring clergyman was very seriously ill of a strange and mysterious complaint. It was observed that her worst attacks always came on after her husband had administered the Sacrament to her. Mr. O., who was attending her, studied her case very much, and came to the conclusion that, if the peculiar symptoms she exhibited came from unnatural causes, they could only be produced by a single and very rare drug. Forthwith he set himself to find out if there was any place in the neighbourhood where that drug was sold, and at last he did find it. He asked at the place if they had sold any of it. ‘Oh, yes; to the parson at ——; he bought some yesterday.’ As Mr. O. was going home he met the clergyman himself. He stopped him and said, ‘I have just found out that yesterday you bought some drugs at M.: now if Mrs. X. is worse to-morrow, I shall know what has caused it.’ That afternoon the clergyman went down to the shore to bathe, and he never returned. He was known to be a splendid swimmer, and he was seen to swim far, far out to sea.

“To-night Lady Agnes talked of her grandmother, who, at sixteen, was sent down to speak to the housekeeper at Audley End. The woman, who was raving mad, shut the door and said, ‘Now you must say your prayers at once, for I have a commission from heaven to kill you.’—‘Oh, you cannot dare to do that,’ said the girl without hesitation, taking up a white napkin which lay upon the table and giving it to her with an air of the utmost conviction, ‘for here is a reprieve.’ And the woman gave in at once.”

 

Anthony, Plymouth, Oct. 7.—On Monday I went to Exeter to my Aunt FitzGerald,[124] who was greatly pleased to see me. Her house is charming, full of relics, and, as she says, certainly ‘shows that she is somebody.’ Over the dining-room chimney-piece hangs a magnificent Mignet of the Duchess of Portsmouth. There are interesting pictures of Lord Edward FitzGerald, and beautiful china given by Frederick the Great to the Duchess of York, and by her to Pamela. Most of the drawing-room furniture is from Malmaison.

“Yesterday I came here to Anthony (the Pole-Carews). It is a strange drive from Plymouth, through endless courts, dockyards, &c., and then crossing an arm of the sea by a ferry, which was very rough when I came, and worse at night, when the family crossed to a ball; but, as Mr. Carew says, it is very well to have the sea between him and such a population as that of Plymouth.

“This house is perfectly charming—the old hall and its pictures, the oak staircase, the warm tapestried sitting-room—all, as it were, typical of the broad christian kindness and warm-hearted cordiality of its inmates. It is a house in which no ill is ever spoken, and where scandal sits dumb; where, with the utmost merriment, there is the most sincere religious feeling, and yet an entire freedom from cant and what is called ‘religious talking.’ There is here a mutual spirit of forbearance, and an absence of all egotism and self-seeking, which is more instructive than a thousand sermons; and it almost seems as if it were arranged that what might be the asperities of any one member of the family should be softened and smoothed out by the qualities of another. Mrs. Carew is the picture of a warm-hearted, most loving English mother, who enters into and shares all the interests, all the amusements, of her children; and between the father and his sons there is none of the shadow which so often exists, but the truest confidence and friendship.”[125]

 

Oct. 11.—It is only by a long stay that one learns all that the Carews really are—the perfect charm of this most united and beautiful family life. Just now their goodness has been especially drawn out by the parting of Captain Ernest Rice and his wife in this house, he going to India for three years. The Carews especially wished it to be here, that they might soften it to both, and wonderfully have they helped them through—cheering, enlivening, nerving, where it was possible, but never intruding comfort when the natural burst of grief must come.

“It has been very pleasant seeing the different guests come and go. The Dean of St. Paul’s and Mrs. Church have been here. He is an excellent person, but very nervous and twitchy.[126] She has a repose of goodness which sets you at rest with her, and imparts a confidence in her at once.

“Sir John and Lady Duckworth were here for two days. His father was military governor of Portsmouth. One day his mother was crossing the green at Mount Wyse when the sentry stopped her. ‘Do you know who you are speaking to?’ she said. ‘No, I don’t,’ he replied, ‘but I know you are not the governor’s cow, and that is the only thing which has any business here.’

“Lord Eliot[127] was also here. I found great grace in his sight, and was most pressingly invited to Port Eliot. I went on Saturday. He met me at the station, and I was almost walked off my feet for four hours, being shown every picture in the house, every plant in the garden, and every walk in the woods. There is a limit in what ought to be shown, and Lord Eliot has never found it out.

“Still Port Eliot is a beautiful place. The house and the grand old church of St. German’s Priory—chiefly Norman—stand close together, on shaven green lawns, radiant with masses of flowers and backed by luxuriant woods, amid which walks open here and there upon glimpses of rock and terraces near one of the salt fiords which are so common in this country.

“Lord St. Germans,[128] who is paralysed, is a beautiful and venerable old figure, with white hair and beard, wheeling himself about in a chair. Lord Eliot returned with me to Devonport, and introduced me to the frightful sights of that most hideous place.

“Some of the pictures at Port Eliot are beautiful, the most so that of Lady Cornwallis—so simple and stately in its lines. It is engraved, but without the figure of a child, probably not born at that time, but introduced afterwards in the picture.

“On Friday I had a charming drive with Mrs. Carew to ‘the Hut,’ through the narrowest lanes imaginable. An old clergyman near this, Mr. Wood, was driving there, who told things in a most slow and solemn manner. He said, ‘Mrs. Wood was dreadfully frightened as we were driving, and said we should be upset. I said, “ My dear, it is imposs”——“ible,” I could not say, for we were over.’

“Last night (Sunday) the family sang hymns beautifully in the hall. ‘No horrid Gregorians,’ said Miss Julia, ‘for the old monks only sang those by way of penance, so why should we sing them?’”

 

Stone Hall, Plymouth, Oct. 13.—Another pleasant family home! I came on Monday to the George Edgcumbes. I had known Mrs. Edgcumbe well before at Rome, but had never seen her ‘dear old man,’ her ‘bird,’ &c., as she calls her kind old husband.[129] They do not dislike having married their three daughters at all. It is less embarras in their old age, and they enjoy having a constantly open house full of kindly hospitalities to their neighbours. Young Alwyn Greville has been here twice since I came, and I like him increasingly. It is a charming old house, close to the town, but its tall trees and disordered garden give it a quaint look, which one would be sorry to see rectified. There is a view across the still reaches of the harbour, with masses of timber floating close by and great ships lying far off, nearer the beautiful woods of Mount Edgcumbe. Close by are many delightful walks amongst the rocks, and varied views. We went to ‘the Winter Villa,’ a luxurious sun-palace with a great conservatory, backed by natural rock. The late Lord Mount Edgcumbe lived here for many years, quite helpless from rheumatic gout. It was his mother[130] who was buried alive and lived for many years afterwards. It was known that she had been put into her coffin with a very valuable ring upon her finger, and the sexton went in after the funeral, when the coffin was put into the vault, to get it off. He opened the coffin, but the ring was hard to move, and he had to rub the dead finger up and down. This brought Lady Mount Edgcumbe to life, and she sat up. The sexton fled, leaving the doors of the vault and church open. Lady Mount Edgcumbe walked home in her shroud, and appeared in front of the windows. Those within thought it was a ghost. Then she walked in at the front door. When she saw her husband, she fainted away in his arms. This gave her family time to decide what should be done, and they settled to persuade her it had been a terrible delirium. When she recovered from her faint, she was in her own bed, and she ever believed it had been a dream.

“On Monday we went in the Admiral’s steam-pinnace to Cotehele; Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Freemantle, and Charlie Williamson with us. I sat outside the little cabin, and it was charming—gliding up the quiet river past the richly wooded banks. Up steep woods we walked to Cotehele, an unaltered old house, with gate-tower, courtyard, chapel, armour-hung hall, and dark tapestried bedrooms. Within the entrance are ever-fresh stains like blood, which you can mop up with blotting paper. Sir Richard Edgcumbe went out, bidding the porter, on peril of his life, to let no one in without a password. To prove his obedience, he came back himself and demanded entrance. The porter, recognising his master’s voice, let him in, upon which Sir Richard cleft open his skull with his battle-axe as he entered. The so-called blood forms a dark pool, and looks as if it had been spilt yesterday. Some say it is really a fungus which only grows where blood has been shed, and that the same existed on the site of the scaffold on Tower Hill.

“In the wood of Cotehele is a little chapel standing on a rock above the river. It was built by one of the Edgcumbes in the Wars of the Roses, who, closely pursued, vowed it if he escaped in safety. In desperation he threw his cap and coat into the river from hence, and concealed himself in a hollow tree: his enemies thought he was drowned.”

 

Rockwood, Oct. 16.—I came from Plymouth here to the John Boyles’. Mr. Boyle is failing rapidly, tenderly cared for by his son Edmund and his daughter Mrs. Quin. The house is delightful and most comfortable. We have been a charming drive by Babbicombe and Watcombe. At St. Mary Church we saw the two great churches—Roman Catholic and High Church. In the churchyard of the latter Bishop Phillpotts and his wife are buried under simple crosses of grey Cornish granite. Watcombe is a curiously tumbled valley, full of grassy knolls interrupted by red rocks.”

 

Abbots Kerswell, Oct. 26.—I have been very glad to see this place—my cousin Marcus Hare’s home. We have been several excursions—to Berry Pomeroy, an old castle too much overgrown by woods, named from the Cotentin family of Pommeraye: to Sharpham, a pretty place on the Dart with lovely grounds: and to Darlington, a fine old place of the Champerownes. Two more days at Powderham have given another most happy sight of Charlie and Lady Agnes. Quite a large party were there—the Dowager Lady Fortescue and her pleasant Irish sister Miss Gale; Lord Fortescue with his three daughters and a pleasant and very good-looking midshipman son, Seymour; Sir Edward, Lady, and Miss Hulse, and Miss A. Grosvenor, &c.

“Lord Fortescue[131] talked much of Mr. Beresford Hope, his oddities and his wisdom—how at Oxford he puzzled all the Dons and frightened them very considerably by his questions from the Fathers and obscure Churchmen: how some friend of his, seeing in one of Mr. Hope’s books the family motto, ‘At Spes non fracta,’ wrote beneath, ‘So Hope is not cracked.’

“‘In these days of Homeopathy and Romanism,’ said Lord Fortescue, ‘one never knows where one is. I never knew what peace or comfort was till I took to leaving out the prefix to the word “vert.” Neither party can be offended by your speaking of “a vert to Homeopathy” or “a vert to Romanism.”’

“He talked much of different public men—of the accuracy of Disraeli’s name for Mr. Cardwell—an inferior imitation of Peel—‘Peel and water:’ of Lord Russell, the ‘abruptness and deadness’ of most of his remarks, and yet how some of them had passed into a proverb; for instance, his definition of a proverb, ‘One man’s wit and every man’s wisdom:’ of Peel’s personal shyness and his awkward way of walking up the House, on which occasions O’Connor used to say, ‘Oh, there goes Peel with his two left legs.’”

 

Ford Castle, Oct. 29.—I came here yesterday after a weary journey from Devonshire to Northumberland. Only Lady Sarah Lindsay, her two daughters, and Alick Yorke are here. This morning we had most interesting visitors. Two women were seen coming in under the gateway, one in a red cloak, the other carrying a bundle. It was Her Majesty Queen Esther Faa and the Princess Ellin of the Gipsies!

“When she had had her breakfast, the Queen came up into the library. She has a grand and beautiful old face, and she was full of natural refinement and eloquence. She said how she would not change places with any one, ‘not even with the Queen upon the throne,’ for ‘God was so good to her;’ that she ‘loved to wander,’ and that she wanted nothing since she ‘always drove her own pair,’ meaning her legs.

“She spoke very simply of her accession—that she was the last of the Faas; that she succeeded her uncle King William; that before him came her great-uncle, of whom we ‘must have read in history, Jocky Faa;’ that as for her subjects, she ‘couldna allude to them,’ for they were such a set that she kept herself clear of them; that she had had fourteen children, but they were none of them Faas. She spoke of her daughter as ‘the Princess that I have left downstairs,’ but all she said was quite simple and without any assumption. She sang to us a sort of paraphrase of Old Testament history. Lady Waterford asked her if there was anything she would like to have. She said she cared for nothing but rings—all her family liked them; that her daughter, Princess Ellin, had wished to have the ring Lady Waterford gave her when she last came to Ford, but that she had told her she ‘never meant to take off her petticoats till she went to bed;’ that next to rings, she liked ‘a good nate pair of shoes,’ for she ‘didna like to gang confused about the feet.’

“When she went away she blessed us. She said to Alick, ‘You are a bonnie lad, and one can see that you belong to the Board of Health.’ She said to me that she loved Lady Waterford, so that, ‘if it wouldna be too bould,’ she should ‘like to take her in her arms and kiss her and cuddle her to her old bosom.’”[132]

 

Oct. 30.—It has been very pleasant having Alick Yorke here. He is most amusing. His impersonations are wonderful, and his singing very good. Owing to his being here, Lady Waterford has talked much of her childhood at Wimpole,[133] the delights of visits to the dairy, and receiving great hunches of brown bread and little cups of cream there, and how, with her ‘mind’s nose,’ she still smelt the smell of a particular little cupboard near her nursery, &c.

“Yesterday we walked to Crookham, as Lady Waterford wished to visit a man dying there of consumption. Lady Sarah Lindsay went in the donkey-chair. She talked of Stichill, the old Pringle place on the other side of the Tweed. It is now inhabited by a coal-master named Baird, who has amassed an immense fortune, but retains all the old simplicity of his character. He bought a quantity of books, from the idea of their being proper furniture for the house, but when there was a discussion as to whether they should be bound in Russia or Morocco, said, ‘Na, but I will just ha’ them bound i’ Glasgow, my ain native place.’ In the evening Lady Waterford sang to us—her voice like a silver clarion and most touching—‘Far away, far away,’ till with the melting words dying into such indescribable sweetness, one’s whole soul seemed borne upwards.”

 

Oct. 31.—Lady Waterford said, ‘Now I must tell you a story. Somers[134] came to Highcliffe this year. I like having Somers for a cousin, he is always so kind and pleasant, and tells me so many things that are interesting. I felt it particularly this year, for he was suffering so much from a piece of the railroad that had got into his eye and he was in great pain, but he was just as pleasant as ever. “Oh, love has sore eyes,” he said, but he would talk. The next day he insisted on going off to Lymington to see Lord Warwick,[135] who was there, and who had been ill; and it was an immense drive, and when he came back, he did not come down, and Pattinson said, “Lord Somers is come back, but he is suffering so much pain from his eye that he will not be able to have any dinner.” So I went up to sit with him. He was suffering great pain, and I wanted him not to talk, but he said, “Oh, no; I have got a story quite on my mind, and I really must tell it you.” And he said that when he got to Lymington, he found Lord Warwick ill in bed, and he said, “I am so glad to see you, for I want to tell you such an odd thing that has happened to me. Last night I was in bed and the room was quite dark (this old-fashioned room of the inn at Lymington which you now see). Suddenly at the foot of the bed there appeared a great light, and in the midst of the light the figure of Death just as it is seen in the Dance of Death and other old pictures—a ghastly skeleton with a scythe and a dart: and Death balanced the dart, and it flew past me, just above my shoulder, close to my head, and it seemed to go into the wall; and then the light went out and the figure vanished. I was as wide awake then as I am now, for I pinched myself hard to see, and I lay awake for a long time, but at last I fell asleep. When my servant came to call me in the morning, he had a very scared expression of face, and he said, ‘A dreadful thing has happened in the night, and the whole household of the inn is in the greatest confusion and grief, for the landlady’s daughter, who slept in the next room, and the head of whose bed is against the wall against which your head now rests, has been found dead in her bed.’”[136]

 

Nov. 1, Sunday.—Lady Waterford has talked much of how few people in the world each person has to whom their deaths would make a real void; that she had scarcely any one—General Stuart perhaps, and Lady Jane; that others would be sorry at the time, but that it would to them make no blank; that somehow it would be pleasant to leave more of a void, but that even with brothers and sisters it was seldom so. I spoke of her own sister and of the great grief her death had been. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘a great grief, but still it is wonderful how little we had been together—scarcely three years, putting all the weeks together, out of the fourteen years we had been married. Of all my relations, Mama is certainly the greatest loss to me, we had been so much together latterly, and were so much to each other.’

“Lady Waterford talked much of her mother’s life in Paris as ambassadress, and of her own birth there at the Embassy. ‘I went many years after with Mama to Spa, and there was a very agreeable old gentleman there, to whom we talked at the table-d’hôte. He found out that we knew Paris and the people there, and then he talked, not knowing who we were, of the different ambassadresses. “Celle que j’ai preféré de toutes les ambassadrices,” he said, “c’était Lady Granville.” He saw somehow that he had not said quite the right thing, and next day he wanted to make the amende, and he talked of the Embassy again before all the people, of this room and that room, and then he said, “Est ce que c’était dans cette chambre, Miladi, que vous êtes accouchée de Miladi Waterford!” He was a M. de Langy, and was a very interesting person. His family belonged to the petite noblesse, and at the time of the flight to Varennes, after the royal family was captured, theirs was one of the houses to which they were brought to rest and refresh on the way,—for it was the custom then, when there were so few inns. M. de Langy’s mother was a staunch royalist, and when she knew that the King and Queen were coming, she prepared a beautiful little supper, everything as nice as she could, and waited upon them herself. When they were going away, the Queen, who had found it all most comfortable, said, “Où est donc la maîtresse de la maison? j’ai ête si bien ici, je voudrais la remercier avant de partir.” Madame de Langy, who was waiting, said simply, “J’étais la maîtresse de la maison avant que votre majesté y est entrée.”’

“We went to church at Etal in the afternoon. Both there and at Ford, it being All Saints’ Day, the sermons were wholly in exaltation of the saints, church services, and salvation by works. Lady Waterford was pained by it: coming back she spoke of a simple rule of doctrine:—

‘Just before God by faith,
Just before men by works:
Just by the works of faith,
Just by the faith which works.’

In the evening she talked much of her first visit to Italy, her only visit to Rome. ‘Char. was just married then, and I was just come out: we went pour un passe-temps. We travelled in our own carriage, and the floods had carried away the bridges, and it was very difficult to get on. It was the year of the cholera, and we had to pass quarantine. My father knew a great many of the people in authority, and we hoped to get leave to pass it in one of the larger towns. Mantua was decided upon, but was eventually given up because of the unhealthiness, and we had to pass ten days at Rovigo. We arrived at last at Bologna. The people were greatly astonished at the inn when we asked if the Cardinal Legate was at home: it was as if we had asked for the Pope: and they were more astonished still the next day when he came to call upon us. We went to a party at his palace. He was Cardinal Macchi. I shall never forget that party or the very odd people we met—I see them now. The Cardinal was in despair because the theatres were closed—“Je vous aurais preté ma loge, et je vous aurais donné des glaces!” The next day Rossini came to see us—“Je suis un volcan éteint,” he said. Afterwards we went to Rome and stayed four months there. I liked the society part best—the balls at the Borgheses’ and those at the Austrian Embassy: they were great fun.’

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Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford

Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford

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THE SECRET STAIR, FORD.

THE SECRET STAIR, FORD. [137]

“On Saturday we went to Norham—the Lindsays and I. Even coming from Devonshire, the interest of this country strikes one excessively. It is bare, it is even ugly, but it is strangely interesting. There is such breadth and space in the long lines and sweeping distances, amidst which an occasional peel-tower stands like a milestone of history, and there is such a character in the strange, jagged, wind-tossed, storm-stricken trees. But it became really beautiful when we descended into the lovely valley of the Tweed with all its radiant autumnal tints, and sat under the grand mass of ruin, with great flights of birds ever circling round it and crying in the still air.”

 

Nov. 4.—Yesterday we went quite a round of visits, seeing different phases of Border family life. We lunched at the Hirsel (Lord Home’s)—a great Scotchy-looking house in a rather featureless park. There were two tables and an immense party at luncheon—Mr. and Lady Gertrude Rolle, Lord Romney, and others. I did not think it an interesting place, though it contains a fine portrait of Sir Walter Scott by Raeburn; but Lady Waterford delighted in the happy family life, and says whenever she sees Lord Home she is reminded of the Frenchman who said, ‘Oh, mon Dieu! pourquoi est ce qu’il n’est pas mon père?’

“We went next to Sir John Marjoribanks of Lees. He was just come in from hunting, and his wife was fishing in the Tweed. We went to her there: she was standing up at the end of a boat which a man was rowing, and the whole picture was reflected in a river so smooth that it looked as if they were floating on a mirror.

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NORHAM-ON-TWEED.

NORHAM-ON-TWEED. [138]

“Then we went to the Baillie Hamiltons at Lenels, another and prettier place on the Tweed near Coldstream Bridge. The house contained much that was interesting, especially two enormous Chelsea vases representing ‘Air’ and ‘Water.’ Mrs. Baillie Hamilton was a daughter of Lord Polwarth—very pleasing, and her sister came in with the most perfect manners of good-breeding, &c. Then we went to the Askews.

“Lady Waterford stopped to take our luncheon—prepared but not eaten—to a poor man in a consumption. She beguiled the way by describing her visit to Windsor, and the Queen showing her the Mausoleum.

“She talked also of the passion for jewels: that she could understand it in the case of such persons as Madame Mère, who, when remonstrated with on buying so many diamonds, said, ‘J’accumule, j’accumule,’ for it had been very useful to her. Apropos of not despising dress, she gave me the quotation from Pope’s Homer’s Odyssey[139]

‘A dignity of dress adorns the great,
And kings draw lustre from the robe of state.’

“Last Monday, having a great deal of natural talent for singing, reciting, &c., in the castle, Lady Waterford would not keep it to herself, and asked all the village people to the school, and took her guests there to sing, &c., to them. At the end, just before ‘God save the Queen,’ she was surprised by Miss Lindsay’s ode:—

‘All hail to thee, sweet lady, all hail to thee this night,
Of all things bright and beautiful, most beautiful, most bright;
Thou art a welcome guest alike in cottage and in hall,
With a kindly word and look and smile for each one and for all.
May every blessing life can give be thine from day to day,
May health, and peace, and happiness for ever strew thy way;
May the light thou shedd’st on others be reflected on thy brow,
May a grateful people’s love and pride like a stream around thee flow,
And all our prayers unite in one upon this festive e’en,
That long thou may’st be spared to Ford, to reign its Border queen.’”

 

Nov. 7.—Lord and Lady Warwick have been here for some days. She is so simple and genial, that the Italian word simpatica is the only one to describe her.[140]

“Yesterday, Lady Waterford, Miss Lindsay, and I had a delightful long walk across the moor and through charming relics of forest. It was a succession of pictures—long extents of moss backed by ferny hills, downy uplands breaking into red rocks, lighted here and there by the white stem of an old birch-tree, and overlooking the softest expanses of faint blue distance. We found several curious fungi. Lady Waterford said that at Balmoral the Duchess of Edinburgh shocked the royal household by eating almost all she found. They thought she would be poisoned; but in Russia they are accustomed to eat fungi, and they make little patties of them which they eat in Lent when meat is forbidden—‘and they taste so like meat that there is almost the pleasure of doing something which is not quite right.’

“The objects of the walk were two. One was the fall of the Rowling Lynn in a chaos of red and grey rocks overhung by old birch-trees, a spot which seems photographed in Coleridge’s lines—

‘Beneath yon birch with silver bark
And boughs so pendulous and fair,
The brook falls scattered down the rock,
And all is mossy there.’

The other was the sacrificial stone covered with the mysterious rings which have given rise to boundless discussion among Northumbrian archæologists. When we reached home, we found the Bloomfields arrived.[141] In the evening Lady Bloomfield told a curious story.

“‘I was very intimate at Vienna with the Princess Reuss, whose first husband was Prince of Anhalt. She was a niece of Queen Teresa of Bavaria. She told me that her aunt was at Aschaffenberg with the intention of going next day to Munich. In the evening the lady-in-waiting came in and asked the Queen if she was intending to give an audience. The Queen said, “Certainly not,” and that “she could not see any one.” The lady then said that there was a lady sitting in the ante-chamber who would not go away. Queen Teresa then desired her brother to go out and find out who it was. He came back much agitated, and said it was sehr unheimlich (very uncanny), for it was the Black Lady, and that when he came up to her she disappeared; for the Bavarian royal family have a Black Lady who appears to them before a death, just as the White Lady appears to the Prussian royal family. The next day the Queen left Aschaffenberg, but being a very kind-hearted woman, she sent back her secretary to fetch some petitions which had been presented, but which she had not attended to, and when the secretary came into her room, he found the Black Lady standing by the table where the papers were, but she vanished on his approach. That night, when the old castellan of Aschaffenberg and his wife were in bed, the great bell of the castle began to toll, and they remembered that it could toll by no human agency, as they had the key of the bell-tower.

“At that moment Queen Teresa died at Munich. She arrived at three: at five she was seized with cholera: at eleven she was dead.’”

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THE KING’S ROOM, FORD.

THE KING’S ROOM, FORD. [142]

Nov. 8.—The two Miss Lindsays and I have been for a most wild excursion into the Cheviot valleys to the Heathpool Lynn—a ravine full of ancient alders and birch, and a mountain torrent tossing through grey rocks. The carriage met us at a farmhouse—a most desolate place, cut off by snow all through the winter months, and almost always cold and bleak.

 

Nov. 9.—Lady Waterford, Miss Lindsay, and I walked to distant plantations to see some strange grass, which, from being surrounded by water at times, had been matted together so that it formed a thick trunk, and branched out at the top like a palm-tree, with the oddest effect. Lady Waterford talked of an old woman she knew, whose husband was very ill, dying in fact. One day when she went to see him, she found his wife busy baking cakes, and she—the old woman—said that as he was dying she was getting them ready for his funeral. Going again some days later, Lady Waterford found the man still alive, and she could not resist saying to the woman that she thought her cakes must be getting rather stale. ‘Yes, that they are,’ said the wife; ‘some folks are so inconsiderate.’

“When we returned to the castle, we found that old Mr. Fyler, the Vicar of Cornhill, had arrived, and he was very amusing all evening. He talked much of Sir Horace St. Paul (a neighbour here), who had become a teetotaler, and had thrown away all the wine in his cellar. His mother was a daughter of Lord Ward, who had challenged and run through with his sword a brother officer, who, when he was engaged to his wife, had snatched away a brooch he had given her and exhibited it at mess as her present. It was the Lord Ward who was brother of Lady St. Paul, who was made the prominent figure in the picture by Copley of the death of the Earl of Chatham. It is a grand portrait in a fine picture, and Copley gave the life-size sketch which he made for it to the Ward family.

“When Sir Horace St. Paul was at college, he found a man lying drunk in the quadrangle and tried to make him get up. ‘You’re drunk,’ he said; ‘you don’t even know who I am.’—‘Yes, I know very well who you are,’ said the man; ‘you’re the fellow that wrote an epistle to Timothy and never got an answer.’ I have heard this quoted as one of the naturally clever retorts of drunken men.

“Lady Waterford told Lord Grey’s story of the death—in a court in Edinburgh—of a naval captain who had been noted for his cruelties at sea, but especially in the slave trade. Mental terror made his death-bed most appalling. According to Scottish custom, the family opened the door for the spirit to pass more easily, when, to their horror, the bloody head of a black man suddenly rolled into the room.

“The dying man gave the most fearful scream, and his relations rushed to his bedside. When they looked round, the head was gone, but there was fresh blood upon the floor. To them it seemed inexplicable, but the fact was that Professor Owen had been attending an anatomical séance at which the body of a black man had been dissected, and there was something so curious in the way in which the head had been attached to the body, that he had obtained leave to carry it home in a cloth, that he might examine it more carefully. It was a very slippery, wet day, and as he was passing the open door of the dying man, the Professor had stumbled, and the head, slipping out of the cloth, had rolled into the house; then, in the moment when they were all occupied with the dying man, he had pursued it and whipped it up into the cloth again, and hoped it had not been observed.”[143]

 

Nov. 10.—Last night Mr. Fyler told his famous story of ‘the nun.’ It is briefly this:—

“A son of Sir J. Stuart of Allanbank, on the Blackadder, where Lady Boswell lives now, was in Rome, where he fell in love with a novice in one of the convents. When his father heard of it, he was furious, and summoned him home. Young Stuart told the nun he must leave Rome, and she implored him to marry her first; but he would do nothing of the kind, and, as he left, she flung herself under his carriage; the wheels went over her, and she was killed. The first thing the faithless lover saw on his return to Scotland was the nun, who met him in the bridal attire she was to have worn, and she has often appeared since, and has become known in the neighbourhood as ‘Pearlin Jean.’ On one occasion seven ministers were called in to lay her, but with no effect.

“Mr. Fyler says that when people on the Border are not quite right in their heads, they are said to ‘want twopence in the shilling.’ A poor cooper at Cornhill was one of these, and one day he disappeared. The greatest search was made for the missing man, for he was a Johnson, and almost all the village at Cornhill are Johnsons—fishermen. So every one went out to look, and though nothing was found, they came to the conclusion that he had been drowned in the Tweed.

“That evening Mr. Fyler observed that his church windows had not been opened as he desired, and going up to them and looking in, he saw a white figure wrapped in a sheet walking up and down the aisle and flapping its arms. He went back and said, ‘I’ve found the lost man. He is in the church, and two of the strongest men in the place must go with me and get him out.’ But if any one else had looked into the church, they would have thought it was a ghost. As it was, one of the men who came to get him out fainted dead away.”

 

Winton Castle, Nov. 14.—Dear Lady Ruthven is stone deaf, almost blind, and her voice like waggon-wheels, but—in her eighty-sixth year—she is as kind and good and as truly witty as ever.

“On Friday we went to Gosford—five in the carriage. It is a dull flat park, redeemed by being so near the sea, and contains two great houses close to each other, of which one—the modern one—has never been inhabited, as sea-sand was mixed with its mortar. We found old Lady Wemyss[144] sitting behind a screen, much like a lady-abbess in appearance. I was most warmly received by two child-friends—little Lady Eva Greville and her brother Sidney—a charming boy with dark eyes and light flowing hair. Then Lady Warwick came in with Lady Jane Dundas, and, with one hand-candle, showed us the pictures, just as Lady Elcho did many years ago.

“Yesterday we went to Ormistoun, an attractive place, to see the Dempsters, the uncle and aunt who brought up the authoress of ‘Vera’—charming old people. He talked much of former times in Scotland, and said that much the most agreeable women in the country were considered to be Lady Ruthven and Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie. He described the attachment of one of Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie’s sisters—a certain very untidy Frances Mackenzie—to Thorwaldsen, but they were not allowed to marry. The last word Thorwaldsen spoke was ‘Francesca.’

“In the garden of Ormistoun is a yew six hundred years old, but with every appearance of being still quite in its prime, growing hard, and likely to do so for another six hundred years. John Knox is said to have preached under it.

“I sat by Lady Ruthven at dinner. She talked of the quaintnesses of her village people. The schoolmaster was very particular about pronunciation. When his wife died, some one came in and said, ‘What a very lamēntable,’ &c.—‘Oh, do say lamentable,’ interrupted the schoolmaster. When the minister was marrying a couple he said, ‘Art thou willing to take this woman,’ &c.?—‘Yes, I am willing,’ replied the bridegroom, ‘but I had rather it had been her sister.’

“To-day Lady Ruthven walked with me to the kirk. She had neither her ‘speaking tubes’ nor her slate, so I could not answer her, but she told me the whole story of Lady Belhaven’s death, how it was ‘all arranged as was best for her, just a gentle passing away, almost unconscious, but perfectly happy;’ yet how, though one glibly said, ‘God’s will be done,’ it was so hard to feel it. In returning, she talked of the trees, how the forester wished her to cut one down where there were two close together, but how she was ‘unwilling to separate friends who had lived together so long.’

“One day Lady Ruthven had a letter asking for the character of her footman, John Smith, who was leaving her—if he was ‘clever, honest, sober, a Christian, a recipient of the Holy Communion,’ &c. She answered, ‘If John Smith could answer to half your demands, I should have married him long ago.’”

 

Raby Castle, Nov. 20.—A week here with a large party, which I began to think delightful as soon as I could cure myself of the uncomfortable sensation of being so much behind my kind, all the other people knowing each other better, and being more in possession of their tongues and faculties than myself. ‘Be insignificant, and you will make no enemies,’ is, however, a very good piece of advice I once received. Interesting members of the circle have been the Fitzwilliams from Wentworth, and the Quaker family of Pease, of whom the mother is one of the sweetest, most charming people I ever saw, like a lovely picture by Gainsborough, and with the expression of one of Perugino’s angels. But the great feature of the visit has been the Butes, and I have been absorbed by them. I never expected to make much acquaintance, but from the first Lord Bute[145] annexed himself to me, perhaps because he thought I was shy, and because of other people he felt very shy himself. He has great sweetness and gentleness of manner, and a good-looking, refined face.

“Lady Bute[146] says the happiest time in her life was the winter they spent in Majorca, because then she got away, not only from all the fine people, but from all the people who wanted to know what they thought must be the fine people; but that it was such a bore even there bearing a name for which the natives would raise their prices. Next winter they mean to spend at Nazareth, where they will hire the Bishop’s house; ‘no one can get at us there.’ They are supposed to long very anxiously for the birth of a son, for now—

‘That little something unpossess’d
Corrodes and poisons all the rest.’[147]

“I walked with Lord Bute each day. It was like reading ‘Lothair’ in the original, and most interesting at first, but became somewhat monotonous, as he talks incessantly—winding into his subject like a serpent, as Johnson said of Burke—of altars, ritual, liturgical differences; and he often almost loses himself, and certainly quite lost me, in sentences about ‘the Unity of the Kosmos,’ &c.

“He spoke much of Antichrist—the mark 666, the question if it had been Nero, or if Nero was only a type, and the real Antichrist still to come; and of the other theory, that the reason why no ten thousand were sealed of Dan was that Antichrist was to come from that tribe, the dying words of Jacob tending to this belief.

“He talked much of fasting; that he had often fasted for twenty-four hours, and that he preferred fasting as the practice existed ‘before the folly of collations.’ I asked if it did not make him ill. He said ‘no,’ for if the hunger became too great he took a cigar, which allayed it, and that he went out and ‘ate the air’ while taking plenty of exercise; that poor people seldom became thin in Lent, because what they did eat was bread and potatoes. I said I thought it must make him dreadfully ill-tempered to be so hungry, and thus conduce rather to vice than virtue. He said he did not think it made him vicious; but he agreed with me that persons naturally inclined to be ill-tempered had better fast alone.

“From what he said it was evident that he would like to give up all his goods to the poor, and that the Island of Bute stands a chance of becoming a vast monastery. He talked much of the Troitska in Russia, where he had been; that the monks there were too lax, and that the really desirable monastic life was that of those who lived in the cells established some miles off by Philaret, which were subterranean, with a stove, and no other furniture. When mass was celebrated in their chapel, these anchorite monks could faintly discern, down a channel hollowed in the rock, the glitter of the candles on the altar, and occasionally, mingled with this, appeared a ray or two of bluish light, and this was daylight. It was the only time they ever saw it.

“Amongst the young men here is a young Ashburnham, third son of Lord Ashburnham, who reads Greek in his room for his amusement, and is a lawyer, but says he has not yet been able to realise the hymn, ‘Brief life is here our portion.’ He told me that the expression of minding your p’s and q’s came from toupets and queues.”

 

Whitburn Hall, Nov. 24.—I returned here from Raby with my Williamson cousins,[148] who are always so kind that they make one feel at Whitburn ‘où peut’on être mieux qu’au sein de sa famille?’ The place has much interest of its own kind. There is something even fine in the vast black cloud of Sunderland smoke, obliterating the horizon and giving such an idea of limitless and mysterious space with the long lines of white breakers foaming up through the gloom; while at night the ghastly shriek of the fog-horn and the tolling of the bell, and the occasional boom of a cannon through the storm, give such dramatic effect that one forgets the waste inland landscape, the blackened hedges and wind-stricken coalfields.”

 

Ravensworth, Nov. 29.—I was one night with poor Cousin Susan (Davidson), much aged and altered. She lay chiefly on a sofa in her own sitting-room, with her two favourite white dogs—the ‘boy and girl’—Fritz and Lulu, by her side, and half the birds in the neighbourhood pecking bread and potatoes outside the windows. It seemed a dreary life to leave her to, but she does not feel it so; hers is one of the cases in which only the body, and not the mind, seems to require nourishment. Thursday, when I came away, was her rent-day, and she wished me to go and see her tenants and speak to them at dinner, and said to the agent, ‘I wish that all my tenants should see my cousin;’ but fortunately the train came at the right moment to save me from this alarming encounter, which would have given a (probably) wrong impression—at least to the tenants.

“Lord Ravensworth[149] welcomed me with such cordial kindness, and has been so genial and good to me ever since, that I quite feel as if in him I had found the ideal uncle I have always longed for, but never before enjoyed. He is certainly the essence of an agreeable and accomplished scholar, with a faultless memory and apt classical quotations for every possible variety of subject. He told me, and made me write down, the following curious story:—

“It is going back a long time ago—to the time of Marie Antoinette. It will be remembered that the most faithful, the most entirely devoted of all the gallant adherents of Marie Antoinette was the Comte de Fersen. The Comte de Fersen was ready to lay down his life for the Queen, to go through fire and water for her sake; and, on her side, if Marie Antoinette had a corner in her heart for any one except the King, it was for the Comte de Fersen.[150] When the royal family escaped to Varennes, it was the Comte de Fersen who dressed up as coachman and drove the carriage; and when the flight to Varennes failed, and when, one after another, he had seen all his dearest friends perish upon the scaffold, the Comte de Fersen felt as if the whole world was cut away from under his feet, as if life had nothing whatever left to offer, and he sunk into a state of apathy, mental and physical, from which nothing whatever seemed to rouse him; there was nothing whatever left which could be of any interest to him.

“The physicians who were called in said that the Comte de Fersen must have absolute change; that he must travel for an unlimited time; that he must leave France; at any rate, that he must never see again that Paris which was so terrible to him, which was stained for ever with the blood of the Queen and Madame Elizabeth. And he was quite willing; all places were the same to him now that his life was left desolate: he did not care where he went.

“He went to Italy, and one afternoon in November he drove up to what was then, as it is still, the most desolate, weird, ghastly inn in Italy—the wind-stricken, storm-beaten, lava-seated inn of Radicofani. And he came there not to stay; he only wanted post-horses to go on as fast as he could, for he was always restless to be moving—to go farther on. But the landlord said, ‘No, it was too late at night; there was going to be a storm; he could not let his horses cross the pass of Radicofani till the next morning.’—‘But you are not aware,’ said the traveller, ‘that I am the Comte de Fersen.’—‘I do not care in the least who you are,’ said the landlord; ‘I make my rules, and my rules hold good for one as well as for another.’—‘But you do not understand probably that money is no object to me, and that time is a very great object indeed. I am quite willing to pay whatever you demand, but I must have the horses at once, for I must arrive at Rome on a particular day.’—‘Well, you will not have the horses,’ said the landlord; ‘at least to-morrow you may have them, but to-night you will not; and if you are too fine a gentleman to come into my poor hotel, you may sleep in the carriage, but to-night you will certainly not have the horses.’

“Then the Comte de Fersen made the best of what he saw was the inevitable. He had the carriage put into the coach-house, and he himself came into the hotel, and he found it, as many hundreds of travellers have done since, not half so bad as he expected. It is a bare, dismal, whitewashed barracky place, but the rooms are large and tolerably clean. So he got some eggs or something that there was for supper, and he had a fire made up in the best of the rooms, and he went to bed. But he took two precautions; he drew a little round table that was there to the head of the bed and he put two loaded pistols upon it; and, according to the custom of that time, he made the courier sleep across the door on the outside.

“He went to bed, and he fell asleep, and in the middle of the night he awoke with the indescribable sensation that people have, that he was not alone in the room, and he raised himself against the pillow and looked out. From a small latticed window high in the opposite whitewashed wall the moonlight was pouring into the room, and making a white silvery pool in the middle of the rough boarded oak floor. In the middle of this pool of light, dressed in a white cap and jacket and trousers, such as masons wear, stood the figure of a man looking at him. The Comte de Fersen stretched out his hand over the side of the bed to take one of his pistols, and the man said, ‘Don’t fire: you could do no harm to me, you could do a great deal of harm to yourself: I am come to tell you something.’ And the Comte de Fersen looked at him: he did not come any nearer; he remained just where he was, standing in the pool of white moonlight, half way between the bed and the wall; and he said, ‘Say on: tell me what you have come for.’ And the figure said, ‘I am dead, and my body is underneath your bed. I was a mason of Radicofani, and, as a mason, I wore the white dress in which you now see me. My wife wished to marry somebody else; she wished to marry the landlord of this hotel, and they beguiled me into the inn, and they made me drunk, and they murdered me, and my body is buried beneath where your bed now stands. Now I died with the word vendetta upon my lips, and the longing, the thirst that I have for revenge will not let me rest, and I never shall rest, I never can have any rest, till I have had my revenge. Now I know that you are going to Rome; when you get to Rome, go to the Cardinal Commissary of Police, and tell him what you have seen, and he will send men down here to examine the place, and my body will be found, and I shall have my revenge.’ And the Comte de Fersen said, ‘I will.’ But the spirit laughed and said, ‘You don’t suppose that I’m going to believe that? You don’t imagine that you are the only person I’ve come to like this? I have come to dozens, and they have all said, “I will,” and afterwards what they have seen has seemed like a hallucination, a dream, a chimæra, and before they have reached Rome the impression has vanished altogether, and nothing has been done. Give me your hand.’ The Comte de Fersen was a little staggered at this; however, he was a brave man, and he stretched out his hand over the foot of the bed, and he felt something or other happen to one of his fingers; and he looked, and there was no figure, only the moonlight streaming in through the little latticed window, and the old cracked looking-glass on the wall and the old rickety furniture just distinguishable in the half light; there was no mason there, but the loud regular sound of the snoring of the courier was heard outside the bedroom door. And the Comte de Fersen could not sleep; he watched the white moonlight fade into dawn, and the pale dawn brighten into day, and it seemed to him as if the objects in that room would be branded into his brain, so familiar did they become—the old cracked looking-glass, and the shabby washing-stand, and the rush-bottomed chairs, and he also began to think that what had passed in the earlier part of the night was a hallucination—a mere dream. Then he got up, and he began to wash his hands; and on one of his fingers he found a very curious old iron ring, which was certainly not there before—and then he knew.

“And the Comte de Fersen went to Rome, and when he arrived at Rome he went to the Swedish Minister that then was, a certain Count Löwenjelm,[151] and the Count Löwenjelm was very much impressed with the story, but a person who was much more impressed was the Minister’s younger brother, the Count Carl Löwenjelm, for he had a very curious and valuable collection of peasants’ jewelry, and when he saw the ring he said, ‘That is a very remarkable ring, for it is a kind of ring which is only made and worn in one place, and that place is in the mountains near Radicofani.’

“And the two Counts Löwenjelm went with the Comte de Fersen to the Cardinal Commissary of Police, and the Cardinal also was very much struck, and he said, ‘It is a very extraordinary story, a very extraordinary story indeed, and I am quite inclined to believe that it means something. But, as you know, I am in a great position of trust under Government, and I could not send a body of military down to Radicofani upon the faith of what may prove to have been a dream. At any rate (he said) I could not do it unless the Comte de Fersen proved his sense of the importance of such an action by being willing to return to Radicofani himself.’ And not only was the Comte de Fersen willing to return, but the Count Carl Löwenjelm went with him. The landlord and landlady were excessively agitated when they saw them return with the soldiers who came from Rome. They moved the bed, and found that the flags beneath had been recently upturned. They took up the flags, and there—not sufficiently corrupted to be irrecognisable—was the body of the mason, dressed in the white cap and jacket and trousers, as he had appeared to the Comte de Fersen. Then the landlord and landlady, in true Italian fashion, felt that Providence was against them, and they confessed everything. They were taken to Rome, where they were tried and condemned to death, and they were beheaded at the Bocca della Verità.

“The Count Carl Löwenjelm was present at the execution of that man and woman, and he was the person who told the Marquis de Lavalette, who told Lord Ravensworth, who told me. The by-play of the story is also curious. Those two Counts Löwenjelm were the natural sons of the Duke of Sudomania, who was one of the aspirants for the crown of Sweden in the political crisis which preceded the election of Bernadotte. He was, in fact, elected, but he had many enemies, and on the night on which he arrived to take possession of the throne he was poisoned. The Comte de Fersen himself came to a tragical end in those days. He was very unpopular in Stockholm, and during the public procession in which he took part at the funeral of Charles Augustus (1810) he was murdered, being (though it is terrible to say so of the gallant adherent of Marie Antoinette) beaten to death with umbrellas. And that it was with no view to robbery and from purely political feeling is proved by the fact that though he was en grande tenue, nothing was taken away.”

 

Hutton, Yorkshire, Nov. 30.—I came here yesterday, arriving in the dark. It was a great surprise, as I expected to find the place amid the Middlesborough smoke, to see from the window on awaking a beautiful view of high moorland fells beyond the terraced gardens. I laugh when I think how the Duchess of Cleveland rejoiced in giving Mrs. Pease such a pleasant change to Raby, to see this intensely luxurious house by Waterhouse, filled with delightful collections of books, pictures, and carved furniture, and its almost Arabian-Night-like conservatories.

“We have been through bitter wind to Guisborough Abbey—only a grand church front standing lonely near a fine avenue of trees in the grounds of Colonel Challoner.

“Mr. and Mrs. Pease are excellent. He is member for Darlington, son and nephew of the famous Pease Brothers. She, formerly a Fox of Falmouth, is one of the most charming people I ever saw, full of the sweetest and simplest natural dignity. She lives in and for her children, and though the mother of six girls and two boys, looks about six-and-twenty herself.[152]

“There is a Mr. Stover here who is amusing. An uncle of his lives in the haunted house at Biddick. One day when he came in from shooting, he hung his hat on a pole-screen, and sat down by the fire to read his newspaper. Presently, looking over his paper, he saw, to his amazement, his hat on the top of the screen nodding at him. He thought he must be dreaming, but watched, and it certainly nodded again. He got up and walked round it, when it seemed still. Then he sat down again and watched it, and it nodded again, and not only that, but the screen itself seemed to be moving bodily towards him. He watched it, and it certainly crossed part of the pattern of the carpet: of this there could be no doubt. Then he could bear it no longer, and he rushed at the screen and knocked it over. Underneath was his tame tortoise.”

 

Wentworth Wodehouse, Dec. 3.—This house has a very stately effect as you approach it, with a truly majestic portico. On the first floor is an immense hall like those in the great Roman houses, and on either side diverge the reception rooms, hung with pictures. Amongst the portraits are several of the great Lord Strafford, with his parents, his son, and his two daughters—Anne and Arabella. Of these, the elder married the Marquis of Rockingham, from whom the present owners are descended. The picture by Vandyke of Lord Strafford and his secretary is glorious. The rooms themselves want colour and effect. Sixty guests can stay in the house, and a hundred and twenty can dine without any crowd, but the place needs great parties of this kind, for smaller ones are lost in these vast suites of too lofty rooms. Lord Fitzwilliam[153] is the very type of a high-bred nobleman, and Lady Fitzwilliam[154] has a sweet and gentle manner; but Lady F. is calm and placid, her two daughters calmer and placider, and Lord F. calmest and placidest.

“To-day we were taken by Lord Fitzwilliam to the two churches. One by Pearson is new and most magnificent; the other is old and very ugly, but has interesting monuments. That of Lord Strafford is mural, with his figure kneeling near the altar. The epitaph does not allude to the manner of his death, but, after setting forth his virtues, simply says ‘he died May 8th, 1641.’ The ghost of Lord Strafford is still said to walk down the oak staircase at Wentworth every Friday night, carrying his head. An old gateway with several fragments of the house of his time remain, and many of his books are preserved in the library. My bedroom is hung with white worked with red by his daughter Lady Rockingham.”

 

Dec. 4.—Lady Fitzwilliam has been showing us the house. It contains much of interest, especially in the pictures, and they are repeated so often that one learns to know the family faces—Lord Strafford and his three wives, his son and his two daughters by his second wife, and the second Lord Strafford with his wife, who was the daughter of James, Earl of Derby, and Charlotte de la Tremouille. His inscriptions in the Bibles of her father and mother, which are here, and the many memorials he raised to her, are so touching that it is quite a shock to find he married again after her death; but in his will he always speaks of the second as only his “wife,” the first as his “deare wife.” He restored the old church in her memory, and enjoined upon his descendants always to keep it up for her sake.

“Lady Albreda drove us about the park and to the ‘Mausoleum,’ a commemorative monument raised to the Minister Lord Rockingham by his son. It is copied from the Roman monument at S. Remy near Aries, and contains, in a kind of Pantheon, a statue by Nollekens of Lord Rockingham surrounded by his friends. The face is from a mask taken after death, and the figure is full of power and expression, with a deprecatory ‘Oh, pray don’t say such a thing as that.’”

Temple Newsam, Dec. 6.—This great house is four miles from Leeds, by a road passing through a squalid suburb of grimy houses and muddy lanes, with rotten palings and broken paving-stones, making blackened pools of stagnant water; then black fields succeed, with withered hedges, stag-headed trees, and here and there a mountain of coal refuse breaking the dismal distances. It was almost dark as I drove up the steep park to the house.

“In an immense gallery, hung with red and covered with pictures, like the gallery at Chesney Wold in Bleak House, I found Mrs. Meynell Ingram and Freddie Wood[155] sitting. It was like arriving at a bivouac in the desert; the light from the fire and the lamps gleamed on a little tea-table and a few chairs round it, all beyond was lost in the dark immensity.... Soon other guests arrived—Judge Denman, come for the assizes at Leeds, and his marshal, young Ottaway, the cricketer; Admiral Duncombe, the High Sheriff; Mr. Glyn, Vicar of Beverley, the chaplain; and Sir Frederick Grey and his wife ‘Barberina.’ Some of the pictures are very fine—a portrait by Titian, several Vandykes, Reynolds’ ‘Shepherd Boy,” and some fine Reynolds portraits of Lord and Lady Irvine, the former possessors of this place—the Templar’s Stow of ‘Ivanhoe.’ They left it to their five daughters in turn. The eldest was Lady Hertford, and, if she had two sons, it was to go to the second, but she had only one; the second daughter was Lady Alexander Gordon, who was childless; the third was Mrs. Meynell, mother-in-law of the present possessor.”

 

Dec, 7.—Deep snow all to-day and a furious wind. But yesterday we reached Leeds for the assize sermon from the Sheriff’s chaplain, Mr. Glyn,[156] a really magnificent sermon on ‘What is thy life?’ The music also was very fine, and the great church filled with people.

“This house, where Lord Darnley was born, and whence Lord Strafford issued his summons to the Cavaliers to meet in defence of the King, is very curious. In point of amusement, the Judge is the principal feature of the present party, and how he does trample on his High Sheriff! He coolly said to him yesterday that he considered a High Sheriff as ‘dust under his feet;’ and he narrated before him a story of one of his brother judges, who, when his High Sheriff had left his hat in court, not only would not let him go to fetch it, but would not wait while his servants fetched it, and ordered him instantly to take him back to his lodgings without his hat! In court, Judge Denman was annoyed by some stone-breakers outside the window, and was told it would cost a matter of £40 to have them stopped. ‘Stop the noise instantly,’ he said; and the Mayor had to pay for it out of his own pocket. Yesterday, when the snow was so deep, the High Sheriff timidly suggested that they might be snowed up. ‘That is impossible,’ said the Judge; ‘whatever the difficulties, Mr. High Sheriff, you are bound to see me conveyed to Leeds by the opening of the court, if the whole of Leeds is summoned out to cut a way for me.’

“Lord Strafford was here because he borrowed the house of Sir Arthur Ingram as the largest to which to summon the Cavaliers. Sir Arthur was rewarded by Charles II. for his devotion to the Stuarts by being made Viscount Irvine.”

 

Ripley Castle, Dec. 12.—In this pleasant hospitable house I greatly miss the gentle presence of the beloved Lady Ingilby, who was so long a kind and warm-hearted friend; but it is pleasant to find her cordial welcome still living in that of her son, Sir Henry, and her pretty graceful daughter-in-law, who is a daughter of Lord Marjoribanks of Ladykirk.

“I found here Count and Countess Bathyany, people I was very glad to see. They retain their old castle in Hungary, where they are magnates of the first rank, but for some years they have lived chiefly in England, at Eaglehurst on the Solent, and receive there during the yachting season. The Countess has remains of great beauty and is wonderfully agreeable. As I sat by her at dinner, she talked much of Lady William Russell,[157] and told me the story of Lord Moira’s appearance, which she had heard from her own lips. “Lady William was at Brighton, where her friend Lady Betty —— was also staying. One day when Lady Betty went to her, she found her excessively upset and discomposed, and she said it was on account of a dream that she had had of her uncle, who, as Lord Moira, had brought her up, and who was then Governor of Malta. She said that she had seen a very long hall, and at the end of the hall a couch with a number of female figures in different attitudes of grief and despair bending over it, as if they were holding up or attending to some sick person. On the couch she saw no one, but immediately afterwards she seemed to meet her Uncle Moira and embraced him, but said, with a start, ‘Uncle, how terribly cold you are!’ He replied, ‘Bessie, did you not know that I am dead?’ She recollected herself instantly and said, ‘Oh, Uncle, how does it look on the other side?’—‘Quite different from what we have imagined, and far, far more beautiful,’ he replied with a radiant smile, and she awoke. Her dream occurred just when Lord Hastings[158] (formerly Lord Moira) died on a couch in a hall at Malta; but she told the circumstances to Lady Betty long before the news came.[159]

“Another story which Countess Bathyany told from personal knowledge was that of Sir Samuel Romilly.

“Lord Grey[160] and his son-in-law, Sir Charles Wood, were walking on the ramparts of Carlisle. The rampart is there still. It is very narrow, and there is only one exit; so if you walk there, you must return as you came. While they were walking, a man passed them, returned, passed them again, and then disappeared in front of them over the parapet, where there was really no means of exit. There was a red scarf round his throat. ‘How very extraordinary! and how exactly like Sir Samuel Romilly!’ they both exclaimed. At that moment Sir Samuel Romilly had cut his throat in a distant part of England.

“We have tea in the evening in the oak room in the tower, where Miss Ingilby has often had much to say that is interesting, especially this story.[161]

“A regiment was lately passing through Derbyshire on its way to fresh quarters in the North. The Colonel, as they stayed for the night in one of the country towns, was invited to dine at a country-house in the neighbourhood, and to bring any one he liked with him. Consequently he took with him a young ensign for whom he had taken a great fancy. They arrived, and it was a large party, but the lady of the house did not appear till just as they were going in to dinner, and, when she appeared, was so strangely distraite and preoccupied that she scarcely attended to anything that was said to her. At dinner, the Colonel observed that his young companion scarcely ever took his eyes off the lady of the house, staring at her in a way which seemed at once rude and unaccountable. It made him observe the lady herself, and he saw that she scarcely seemed to attend to anything said by her neighbours on either side of her, but rather seemed, in a manner quite unaccountable, to be listening to some one or something behind her. As soon as dinner was over, the young ensign came to the Colonel and said, ‘Oh, do take me away: I entreat you to take me away from this place.’ The Colonel said, ‘Indeed your conduct is so very extraordinary and unpleasant, that I quite agree with you that the best thing we can do is to go away;’ and he made the excuse of his young friend being ill, and ordered their carriage. When they had driven some distance the Colonel asked the ensign for an explanation of his conduct. He said that he could not help it: during the whole of dinner he had seen a terrible black shadowy figure standing behind the chair of the lady of the house, and it had seemed to whisper to her, and she to listen to it. He had scarcely told this, when a man on horseback rode rapidly past the carriage, and the Colonel, recognising one of the servants of the house they had just left, called out to know if anything was the matter. ‘Oh, don’t stop me, sir,’ he shouted; ‘I am going for the doctor: my lady has just cut her throat.’

“I may mention here a very odd adventure which the other day befell my cousin Eliot Yorke. He had been dining with the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace, in company with Captain Fane, commander of H.M.S. Bellerophon on the Australian Station, who had been well known to the Duke and Eliot when the former was in the South Pacific in command of the Galatea. At a late hour Eliot and Captain Fane left the Palace to go to their club. The night was cold and wet, and, at a crossing in Pall-Mall, their attention was attracted by a miserable-looking little boy, ragged and shoeless, who, even in the middle of the night, was still plying his broom and imploring a trifle from the passers-by. Eliot, according to his usual custom, stopped to talk to the boy before relieving him. The child told him he was a stranger in London, that he had walked there to seek his fortune from some place on the south-west coast, that he was friendless, homeless, and penniless. The proprietor of the crossing had lent it to him, with his broom, for that day only: he had earned very little, but Eliot’s gift would secure him a lodging for that night, and then—he supposed there was nothing for him but starvation or the workhouse. ‘And have you really no friends or relations in the world?’ said Eliot. ‘Well, sir, it’s the same as if I had none; I’ve one brother, but I shall never see him again: I don’t even know if he is alive.’—‘What is your brother’s name?’—‘He is—— a signalman on board the Bellerophon, and he’s been away so long, he must have forgotten me.’—‘It’s perfectly true,’ said Captain Fane; ‘that is the name of my signalman, and a very smart fellow he is, and I see a strong likeness between him and the boy.’ The end of the story was, that the two gentlemen secured a lodging for the boy, bought him some clothes, and, through Captain Fane’s influence, he has been placed on board one of the training vessels, the Dreadnought, for the merchant service, to become a good sailor like his brother. But the combination of coincidences is most striking and providential. The boy only had the crossing for that one night. Captain Fane, almost the only person in the world who could testify to the truth of the story, was only in London for two nights; and he chanced to be walking with Eliot, probably the only person who would have thought of stopping to talk to a crossing-sweeper.”

 

Hickledon, Dec. 12.—I came here yesterday, cordially welcomed by Lord and Lady Halifax, and was glad to find the John Greys here. In the evening my dear Charlie and Lady Agnes came, but our meeting was sadly clouded by the terrible news of poor George Grey’s[162] death at Sandringham. Charlie had brought back many stories from Bedgebury. Mr. Beresford Hope told him that:—

“His uncle Lord Decies, who had lived very much in Paris, met, somewhere abroad, young Lionel Ashley, a brother of Lord Shaftesbury, then about twenty-two, and living abroad, as he was, very much out at elbows. Lord Decies remarked upon a very curious iron ring which he wore, with a death’s-head and cross-bones upon it. ‘Oh,” said young Ashley, ‘about that ring there is a very curious story. It was given to me by a famous conjuring woman, Madame le Norman, to whom I went with two friends of mine. She prophesied that we should all three die before we were twenty-three. My two friends are already dead, and next year I shall be twenty-three: but if you like I will give you the ring;’ and he gave it to Lord Decies. When Lord Decies returned to Paris, Lionel Ashley came there too, and he frequently dined with him. A short time before the expiration of the year, at the end of which Ashley was again engaged to dine with him, Lord Decies was sitting in his room, when the door opened, and Lionel Ashley came in. As to what was said, Mr. Hope was not quite clear, but the circumstances were so singular, that when he was gone, Lord Decies rang the bell, and asked the servant who had let Mr. Ashley into the house. ‘Mais, Milord, M. Ashley est mort hier,’ said the servant.’[163]

“Another curious story was that—

“Lord Waterford (the third Marquis) was one day standing talking to the landlord of the little inn in the village close to his place of Curraghmore, when some one rushed up looking very much agitated, and said that there had been a most dreadful murder in the neighbouring hills. ‘Then it must be the little one,’ exclaimed the landlord. ‘What can you possibly mean?’ said Lord Waterford, feeling that the landlord’s knowing anything about it was at the least very suspicious. ‘Well, my lord,’ he said, ‘I am afraid you will never believe me, but I must tell you that last night I dreamt that two men came to my inn, a tall man and a little, and in my dream I saw the tall man murder the little man with a very curious knife, the like of which I never saw before. I told my wife when I woke, but she only laughed at me. To my horror, in the course of the morning, those very two men came to my inn, and I was so possessed by my dream, that I refused them admittance; but coming back some time after, I found that my wife had let them in when my back was turned. I could not turn them out of my house when they were once in it, but going in, some time after, with some refreshments, my horror was increased by seeing on the table between them the very knife I had seen in my dream. Then they paid for their refreshments and went away.’

“The dream of the landlord and the coincidences were considered so extraordinary, that as the bridge at Carrick-on-Suir was the only bridge in that part, and so in a sort of sense divided the country, a watch was put there, and in course of time a man exactly answering to the landlord’s description crossed the bridge and was arrested. In prison, he confessed that he had been in the cod-fishery trade with his companion, who had boasted to him of his great earnings. He forthwith attached himself to him, travelled with him, and watched for the opportunity of murdering him. His weapon was a knife used in the cod-fishery, quite unknown in those parts.”[164]

 

Hickledon, Dec. 15.—I have been indescribably happy here with Charlie Wood, and every hour spent with him makes one more entirely feel that there is no one like him—no one.

‘He is indeed the glass
Wherein the noble youth may dress themselves.’

To be with him is like breathing a pure mountain air of which one cannot imbibe enough, and which strengthens one for weary months of other people. One cannot give greater praise to Lady Agnes than by saying that she is quite worthy of him. Charlie’s relation to his parents is perfect. They often cannot agree with his High Church opinions, but he never obtrudes his views or annoys them, and while his whole life is what it is, could they grudge or regret what is so much to him?”

 

Dec. 27.—I have been staying at Brighton with old Mrs. Aïdé, who looks like Cinderella’s godmother or some other good old fairy. It amused me exceedingly to see at Brighton an entirely new phase of society—two pleasant old ladies, daughters of Horace Smith, being its best and leading elements. Every one was full of the ‘Rink,’ where all the young gentlemen and all the young ladies skate all morning on dry land, come home to luncheon, and skate again all afternoon. No balls or picnics can promote the same degree of intimacy which is thus engendered, young men walking about (on wheels) all day long, holding up and assisting their partners. I heard this curious story:—

“The Princess Dolgorouki had been a great heiress and was a person of great wealth and importance. One day she was driving through a village near S. Petersburg, when she heard the clear glorious voice of a young girl ringing through the upper air from a high window of one of the poor houses by the wayside. So exquisitely beautiful was the voice, that the Princess stopped her carriage to listen to it. The voice rang on and on for some time, and, when it ceased, the Princess sent into the house to inquire who the singer had been. ‘Oh,’ they said, ‘it is one of your own serfs: it is the girl Anita;’ and they brought the singer out, a sweet, simple, modest-looking girl of sixteen, and at the bidding of the Princess she sang again, quite simply, without any shyness, in the road by the side of the carriage. The Princess was greatly captivated by her, and finding that she was educated beyond most of those in her condition of life, and being at that time in want of a reader in her palace at S. Petersburg, she took her to live with her, and Anita occupied in her house a sort of intermediate position, arranging the flowers, and reading when she was wanted. Gradually the Princess became very fond of her, and gave her masters, under whom she made such astonishing progress, that she became quite a well-educated young lady, while her glorious voice formed the great attraction to all parties at the Dolgorouki Palace.

“The Princess Dolgorouki never foresaw, what actually happened, that when her son returned from ‘the grand tour,’ which young men made then, and found a very beautiful, interesting girl domesticated with his mother, he would fall in love with her. When she saw that it was so, she said to her son that she had a great regard for the girl and could not have her affections tampered with, so that he had better go away again. The young prince answered that he had no idea whatever of tampering with the girl’s affections, that he loved her and believed that she loved him, and that he meant to marry her.

“On hearing this the fury of the Princess knew no bounds. She tried to reason with her son, and when she found him perfectly impracticable, she expelled him from her house and got him sent to France. She also sent for the parents of Anita, and told them that they must look out at once for a suitable person for her to marry, for that she must be married before Prince Dolgorouki returned. She said that she had no complaint to make of the girl, and that she would help her to make a good marriage by giving her a very handsome dowry; all that she required was that she should be married at once. Before leaving, however, Prince Dolgorouki had found means to be alone for a few minutes with Anita, and had said to her, ‘I know my mother well, and I know that as soon as I am gone she will try to insist upon your marriage. She will not consider you, and will sacrifice you to the fulfilment of her own will. Have faith, however, in me, hold out, and believe that, however impossible it may seem, I shall be able at the last moment to save you.’

“The bridegroom whom Anita’s father found was a certain Alexis Alexandrovitch, a farmer near their village and a person in a considerably higher position than their own. He was rich, he was much esteemed, he was greatly in love with Anita, but he was vulgar, he was hideous, he was almost always drunk, and Anita hated him. He came to her father’s house and proposed. She refused him, but he persisted in persecuting her with his attentions, and her own family tried to force her consent by ill-treatment, half-starved her, cut her off from all communication with others and from all her usual employments, and shut her up in a room at the top of the house.

“At last, when the girl’s position was becoming quite untenable and her courage was beginning to give way, Prince Dolgorouki contrived to get a note conveyed to her. He said, ‘I know all you are suffering; it is impossible that you can go on like this. Pretend to accede to their wishes. Accept Alexis Alexandrovitch, but believe that I will save you at the last moment.’

“So Anita said to her father and mother that she gave in to their wishes, that she would marry Alexis Alexandrovitch. And the wedding-day was fixed and the wedding-feast was prepared. And the old Princess Dolgorouki gave not only a very handsome dowry, but a very splendid set of peasant’s jewellery to the bride. She did not intend to be present at the ceremony herself, but she would send her major-domo to represent her.

“The wedding-day arrived, and the bride went with her family to the church, which was darkened, with candles burning everywhere. And Alexis Alexandrovitch also arrived, rather more drunk than usual. The church was thronged with people from end to end, for the place was within a drive of S. Petersburg, and it was fine weather, and hundreds of persons who remembered Anita and had admired her wonderful voice at the Dolgorouki palace drove out to see her married. According to the custom of the Greek Church, the register was brought to be signed before the ceremony. He signed his name ‘Alexis Alexandrovitch,’ and she signed her name ‘Anita.’ And the service began, and the crowd pressed thicker and thicker round the altar, and there was a constant struggle to see. And the service went on, and the crowd pressed more closely still, and somehow in the press the person who stood next to Anita was not Alexis Alexandrovitch, and the service went on, and Anita was married, and then the crowd opened to let the bridal pair pass through, and Anita walked rapidly down the church on the arm of her bridegroom, and it was not Alexis Alexandrovitch, and it was Prince Dolgorouki. And a carriage and four was waiting at the church door, and the bridal pair leapt into it and were whirled rapidly away.

“The old Princess Dolgorouki sent at once to stop them at the frontier, but the flight had been so well arranged, that she was too late. Then she swore (having everything in her own power) that she would cut off her son without a penny, and that she would never see him again. Happy in each other’s love, however, the young Prince and Princess Dolgorouki lived at Paris, where, though they were poor, Anita’s wonderful voice could always keep them from want. There, their two children were born. Four years elapsed, and they heard nothing from their Russian home. Then the family lawyer in S. Petersburg wrote to say that the old Princess Dolgorouki was dead. Whether she had repented of disinheriting her son and had destroyed her will before her death, or whether she had put off making her unjust will till it was too late, no one ever knew. The will of disinheritance was never found, and her son was the heir of all his mother’s vast estates.

“The young couple set out with their children for Russia to take possession, but it was in the depth of winter, the Prince was very delicate, and the change to the fierce cold of the north made him very ill, and at some place on the frontier—Wilna, I think—he died. The unhappy widow continued her journey with her children to S. Petersburg, but when she arrived, the heir-at-law had taken possession of everything. ‘But I am here; I am the Princess Dolgorouki,’ she said. ‘No,’ was the answer; ‘you have been residing for four years with Prince Dolgorouki, but the person you married was Alexis Alexandrovitch, and the register in which you both signed your names before your marriage exists to prove it.’ A great lawsuit ensued, in which the young widow lost almost all the money she had, and eventually she lost her lawsuit too, and retired in great penury to Warsaw, where she maintained herself and her children by singing and giving music lessons.

“But at Warsaw, as at Paris, her beauty and gentleness, and the patience with which she bore her misfortunes, made her a general favourite. Amongst those who became devoted to her was a young lawyer, who examined into the evidence of the trial which had taken place, and then, going to her, urged her to try again. She resisted, saying that the case was hopelessly lost, and besides, that she was too poor to reopen it. The lawyer said, ‘If you regain the vast Dolgorouki inheritance, you can pay me something: it will be a drop in the ocean to you; but if the lawsuit fails I shall expect no payment.’ So she let him try.

“Now the lawyer knew that there was no use in contending against the register, but he also felt that as—according to his view—in the eyes of God his client had been Princess Dolgorouki, there was no harm in tampering with that register if it was possible. It was no use, however, to alter it, as hundreds of witnesses existed who had seen the register as it was, and who knew that it contained the name of Alexis Alexandrovitch as the husband of Anita, for the trial had drawn attention to it from all quarters. It was also most difficult to see the register at all, because it was now most carefully guarded. But at last there came a time when the young lawyer was not only able to see the register, but when for three minutes he was left alone with it. And he took advantage of those three minutes to do what?

“He scratched out the name, or part of the name of Alexis Alexandrovitch, and he wrote the name of Alexis Alexandrovitch over again.

“Then when people came and said, ‘But here is the register—here is the name of Alexis Alexandrovitch,’ he said, ‘Yes, there is certainly the name of Alexis Alexandrovitch, but if you examine, you will find that it is written over something else which has been scratched out.’

“And the case was tried again, and the young widow was reinstated in the Dolgorouki property, and she was the grandmother of the present Prince Dolgorouki.”

 

Holmhurst, Dec. 28.—Lea says, ‘You may put ought to ought (0 to 0) and ought to ought till it reaches to London, and it will all come to nothing at last if you don’t put another figure to it’—apropos of Mr. G. P. neglecting to do his duty.”

 

Battle Abbey, Jan. 26, 1875.—The news of dear Lady Carnarvon’s death came yesterday as a shadow over everything. Surely never was there a more open, lovable, unselfish, charming, and truly noble character. She was the one person in England capable ‘tenir salon,’ to succeed—in a far more charming way—to Lady Palmerston’s celebrity in that respect.

‘Sat vixit, bene qui vixit spatium brevis aevi:
Ignavi numerant tempore, laude boni.’

Apparently radiant with happiness, and shedding happiness on all around her, she yet had often said latterly that she ‘did not feel that the compensations made up for the anxieties of life,’ and that she longed to be at rest.

“In the agreeable party at Battle it has been a great pleasure to find the French Ambassador and the Comtesse de Jarnac. Lord Stanhope is here, and has talked pleasantly as usual. Apropos of the custom of the living always closing the eyes of the dead, he reminded us of the admirable inscription over the door of the library at Murcia, ‘Here the dead open the eyes of the living.’

“He said how the Pineta at Ravenna was really a change in gender from the original name Pinetum in the singular: first it had become the plural of that; then Pineta itself had become a singular word.

“He described a dreary Sunday spent in Sabbatarian Glasgow, and how, everything else being shut up and forbidden, he had betaken himself for hours to examining the epitaphs in the churchyard, and at length found a single verse which atoned for the badness of all the rest:—

‘Shed not for me the bitter tear,
Nor pour for me the vain regret,
For though the casket is not here,
The gem within it sparkles yet.’”

 

Jan. 27.—Count Nesselrode has come. He has been describing to the Duchess how parents are always proposing to him for their beautiful young girls of fifteen or sixteen. He says that he answers, ‘Est que à mon âge je puis songer à me marier?’ and that they reply, ‘Avec le nom que vous portez, M. le Comte, on est toujours jeune.’ ... ‘et ça me donne le chair de poule.’

“On the Duchess asking Count Nesselrode after his sons, he said they were at a tutor’s, ‘pour former le cœur et l’esprit.’

“There used to be a ghost at Battle Abbey. Old Lady Webster told Mr. Hussey of Scotney Castle how she saw it soon after her marriage, an old woman of most terrible aspect, who drew the curtains of her bed and looked in. Immediately after, Sir Godfrey came into the room. ‘Who was that old woman?’ she said. ‘There could have been no old woman.’ ‘Oh, yes, there was, and you must have met her in the passage, for she has only just gone out of the room.’ In her old age Lady Webster would describe the pattern on the old woman’s dress, and say that she should recognise it anywhere.

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THE PINETA, RAVENNA.

THE PINETA, RAVENNA. [165]

 

Holmhurst, Feb. 1.—A long visit to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe in Lady Jocelyn’s singular house at St. Leonards, which you enter from the top story. Lord Stratford is a grand old man with high forehead and flowing white hair. He can no longer walk, and sits in his dressing-gown, but his artistic daughters make him very picturesque, hanging his chair with a shade of purple which matches the lining and cuffs of his dressing-gown, &c. He talked of many different people he had seen, of Goethe, ‘who had a very high forehead’ (but ‘the highest forehead known was that of the immortal Shakspeare, who had every great quality that could exist phrenologically’), and then he spoke of Mezzofanti, whom he had known personally in Italy, and who had told him the story of his life. He had been a carpenter’s apprentice, and had one day been at his work outside the open window of a school where a master was teaching. Having a smattering of Greek, which he had taught himself, he felt sure that he detected the master in giving a wrong explanation. This worried him so much that he could not get it out of his head, and, after the school and his own work were both over, he rang the bell and begged to see the master. ‘I was at work, sir, and I heard you speaking, and I think you gave such and such an explanation in Greek.’—‘Well, and what do you know about Greek?’—‘Not much, sir; but, if you will forgive my saying so, I am sure you will find, if you examine, that the explanation was not the correct one.’ The master found that the young carpenter was right, and it led to his obtaining friends and being educated. Lord Stratford said that Mezzofanti spoke English perfectly to him, and excellent modern Greek to his servant, and yet that, apart from his wonderful versatility in languages, he seemed to be rather a dull man than otherwise, utterly wanting in originality.

“Lord Stratford described going to dine one day with his agent, and meeting there a lady whose name he did not catch, but whom he was told to take down to dinner. In the course of dinner the conversation turned upon some subject of mathematics, ‘And then,’ said Lord Stratford, ‘I did what I have never done at any other time on a mathematical question. I tried to explain it and make it easy for my companion, who listened with polite attention. When I went upstairs I inquired her name, and it was ... Mrs. Somerville! I knew her intimately afterwards, and she told me something of her early life, which I regret should not have appeared in her memoirs. Her childhood was passed in Burntisland, whither her brother returned for his holidays, having some school-work to do whilst at home. One day, when he was called out, she took up the Euclid he had been studying. ‘Ah! what curious little designs! let me see if I can understand what it is about.’ And she found that she could, and devoured Euclid with avidity. Afterwards she got hold of her brother’s Æschylus and taught herself Greek in order to read it.

“Lord Stratford talked much of the extraordinary change, not only in politics, but in ‘the way of carrying on politics,’ since he was young.”

 

69 Onslow Square, Feb. 4.—Aunt Sophy[166] had a pleasant party yesterday of Theodore Martins, Lady Barker, &c. Mrs. Theodore Martin’s is a fine illuminative face, like that of Madame Goldschmidt. As Helen Faucit she was celebrated as an actress and as having done her utmost to elevate the stage; but I do not admire her reading of Shakspeare, in which I think there is too much manner. He is evidently most excellent. He talked perfectly simply, but only when asked, of his intercourse with the Queen, with whom he must be on happy terms of mutual confidence.

 

Feb. 7, 1875.—Yesterday, when I was with Louisa, Lady Ashburton, at Kent House, which is being beautifully arranged, Lady Bloomfield came in and then Mr. Carlyle—weird and grim, with his long coat and tall wizard-befitting hat. He talked in volumes, with fathomless depths of adjectives, into which it was quite impossible to follow him, and in which he himself often got out of his depth. A great deal was about Garibaldi, who was the ‘most absolute incarnation of zero, but the inexplicable perversity and wilfulness of the human race had taken him up, poor creature, and set him on a pedestal.’ Then he went on about ‘the poor old Pope, so filled with all the most horrible and detestable lies that ever were conceived or thought of.’ He was like the man who asked his friends to dinner and said, ‘I am going to give you a piece of the most delicious beef—the most exquisite beef that ever was eaten,’ and all the while it was only a piece of stale brown bread; but the host said to his guests, ‘May God damn your souls for ever and ever, if you don’t believe it’s beef,’ so they ate it and said nothing.

“Then he talked of the books of Mazzini, which were ‘well worth reading,’ and of Saffi, ‘made professor of something at Oxford, where he used to give lectures in a moth-eaten voice.’”

 

Feb. 11.—Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley, Miss Thackeray, and others dined. I was not prepared to like Sir Garnet much, a hero is usually so dull, but he is charming, so frank and candid, and most natural as well as good-looking. He has a very young face, though his hair is grey, almost white. Lady Wolseley is remarkably pretty and attractive; Sir Garnet was quite devoted to drawing, and had a great collection of sketches, the work of his life. In the Crimea he drew everything, and it was a most precious collection; but in returning it was all lost at sea. The rest of his drawings he put into the Pantechnicon, where they were every one of them burnt. Miss Thackeray has a sweet voice, which is music in every tone.

“I have frequently seen lately, at the Lefevres’, old Lord Redesdale, with whom we have some distant cousinship through my Mitford great-grandmother. He is very kind, clever, old-fashioned, and always wears a tail-coat. He took us into the far-away by telling us of having heard his father, Speaker Mitford, describe having known a man in Swaledale named Rievely, whose earliest recollection was of being carried across the Swale by Henry Jenkyns (who lived to 160), who recollected having gone as a boy, with a sheaf of arrows and his elder brother on a pony, from Ellerton in Swaledale to Northallerton, to join the army before the battle of Flodden. He would tell all about the battle in a familiar way—‘the King was not there; but the Duke of Suffolk was there,’ &c.

“Much of the conversation in certain houses is now about Moody and Sankey, the American ‘revivalists,’ who are supposed to ‘produce great effects.’ Moody preaches and Sankey sings. They are adored by some, others (including most Americans) think them ‘mere religious charlatans’—and altogether they offer a famous opportunity for all the barking and biting which ‘truly religious people’ often delight in.

 

Feb. 20.—Dined with the Rafe Leycesters in Cheyne Walk, where they have a charming old manor-house with a stone gateway, flagged walk, ancient bay-trees, a wide staircase, and panelled rooms. Mrs. Leycester was picturesquely dressed like a picture by Millais. The company were Mr. and Mrs. Haweis, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Taylor, and the Augustus Tollemaches. It was an agreeable party, and a pleasant dinner in a room redolent of violets.”

 

Feb. 21.—Dined with Lady Margaret Beaumont, who talked of dress and the distinction of a gown by Worth, which ‘not only looked well, but walked well.’”

 

Thorncombe, Feb. 27.—This place is a dell in the undulating hills about five miles from Guildford, very pretty and pleasant; and our new cousin, Edward Fisher, to whom it belongs, is one of the kindest, cheeriest, pleasantest fellows who ever entered a family.

“We have been to see Loseley, which belongs to my old college acquaintance Molyneux—a grand old house, gabled and grey, with a great hall, and richly carved chimney-pieces of white chalk, which looks like marble. It has three ghosts, a green-coated hunter, a sallow lady, and a warrior in plate-armour. The last appeared to the kitchen-maid as she was drawing some beer in the cellar, and almost frightened her out of her wits.”

 

London, March 7, Sunday.—Breakfast at Lord Houghton’s, who has adopted Rogers’ custom of social breakfasts. It was a very amusing party—Joaquin Miller[167] the American writer, Henry Cowper, Lord Arthur Russell, &c. There was a young man there whom I did not notice much at first, but I soon found that he was very remarkable, and then that he was very charming indeed. It was Lord Rosebery. He has a most sweet gravity almost always, but when his expression does light up, it is more than an illumination—it is a conflagration, at which all around him take light. Joaquin Miller would have been thought insufferably vulgar if he had not been a notoriety: as it was, every one paid court to him. However, I ought not to abuse him, as he suddenly turned round to me and said, ‘Do you know, I’m glad to meet you, for you write books that I can read.’ Quantities of good stories were told—one of a party given by George IV. as Prince Regent to the Irish peer Lord Coleraine. Smoking was allowed. After supper, when Lady Jersey drank, the Regent kissed the spot upon the cup where her lips had rested: upon which the Princess took a pipe from Lord Coleraine’s mouth, blew two or three whiffs, and handed it back to him. The Prince was quite furious, but it was a lesson.”

 

Holmhurst, March 14.—Went to see Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who talked incessantly and most agreeably for an hour. He said how surprised he had been to read in the ‘Greville Memoirs’ of himself as ill-tempered; he always thought he was ‘rather a good-tempered sort of fellow.’ It was Madame de Lieven who said that, and she had always hated him. She prevented him having an embassy once, but they made peace afterwards through a compliment he paid her at Paris. He talked of Madame de Lieven’s extraordinary influence, arising chiefly from our inherent national passion for foreigners.

“I asked Lord Stratford which he thought the most interesting of the many places in which he had lived. He said, ‘Oh, England is the most interesting by far.’ He described his first going out to Constantinople, before he had taken his degree, only going for four months, and staying for four or five years in a position equal to a Minister. He took his degree afterwards, and by literary merit, though there was a way then of giving degrees to those who were employed in the public service, and since then they had made him a doctor of both Universities. Now, in his helplessness, he amused himself by writing Greek verses. Once, walking about his room, he thought, ‘Well, I have often written Latin verses; let me see if I can write Greek.’ And his Greek has all come back to him.”

 

The enormous circulation of the “Memorials of a Quiet Life” in the two years which had elapsed since its publication astonished those who were opposed to it; and in America the sale had been even greater than in England. Numbers of Americans had come to England entirely from the desire to visit the different scenes of my mother’s quiet life, and had gone in turn to Toft, Stoke, Alton, Hurstmonceaux, Holmhurst, and some even to the distant grave of Lucy Hare at Abbots Kerswell. At Holmhurst there were frequently many sets of visitors in a day—“pilgrims” we used to call them,—and even if I was at home I could never bear to refuse them admittance, while to my dear old Lea, who was in very poor health at this time, they were a positive benefit, in rousing her from dwelling upon sad recollections. It was in answer to a constantly expressed desire that, in the autumn of 1874, I occupied myself with the third volume of the Memorials, containing more of my mother’s thoughts upon especial subjects, and photographs from family portraits and of the places described in the first two volumes. The book was, as it were, a gift to the public. It had a large circulation, but no remuneration whatever was ever looked for or obtained. Soon after the publication of the volume, a review appeared in the Spectator (July 8, 1876), speaking of “the veiled self-conceit” with which Mr. Hare had placed himself “upon the voluminous records of his family as upon a pedestal;” that Mrs. Hare was far from being honoured by “the capital” her adopted son had made of her, though, “if his public likes and is willing to pay for the contents of the family album, there is nothing more to be said.... Here, however, let us be thankful, is, so far as anything can be predicated safely on such a subject, the last of the ‘Memorials,’ and that is so grateful a thought as to justify tolerance of what already is.” It seemed a singular review to have been admitted by the Spectator, which, four years before (December 11, 1872), had written of the “Memorials” as containing “passage after passage worthy of comment or quotation,” and as “an interesting record of spiritual conflicts and spiritual joy, free from narrowness and fanaticism, and marked throughout by the most guileless sincerity.” I suppose that editors of reviews, when biassed by intense personal feeling, often trust to the public having forgotten what has appeared before in their pages.

Annually, I had tried to make my dearest mother’s home as useful as possible to all those in whom she was most nearly interested, as well as to keep up her charities, especially at Alton. It had also been a great pleasure, with what my books produced, to fit up a cottage close to Holmhurst as a Hospice for needy persons of a better class. These I have always invited to come for a month at a time, their travelling expenses being fully paid, and firing, linen, farm and garden produce, with an outfit of grocery, being supplied to them. Many are the interesting and pleasant persons whom I have thus become acquainted with, many the touching cases of sorrow and suffering with which I have come in contact. In the month of October the Deaconesses of St. Peter’s, Eaton Square, for several years occupied the Hospice, and they generally remained over All Saints’ Day, when they sang the Te Deum in the field round the twisted tree where the dear mother used to sit—“the Te Deum tree.”

In the spring of 1875 I was obliged to go to Italy again, to continue collecting materials for my “Cities of Northern and Central Italy.”

 

To Mary Lea Gidman.

Rimini, April 4, 1875.—I made my first long lonely expedition from Turin, going for an hour by rail to the town of S. Ambrogio, and then walking up through the forests to the top of the high mountain of S. Michele, where there is a famous monastery in which the sovereigns of the country—Dukes of Savoy—used to be buried many hundreds of years ago. It is a wonderful place, quite on the highest peak, looking into the great gorges of snow. As I was sketching, the old Abbot was led by on his mule, and stopped to speak to me. I found he was a famous missionary preacher—Carlo Caccia—and had been in England, where he knew Lord Bute well, and was very glad to hear of him. So we made great friends, and as he was going to Turin for Easter, we travelled back together.

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IL SAGRO DI S. MICHELE.

IL SAGRO DI S. MICHELE. [168]

“From Turin I went to Parma, where I had a great deal of work to finish. The cold there was ferocious, but I made the great excursion I went for—to Canossa, where the Emperor Henry IV. performed his famous penance, though it is a most dreadfully fatiguing walk, either in snow above the knees, or in the furrows of streams from the melted snow. At Bologna I never saw anything like the snow—as high as the top of the omnibus, and darkening the lower windows, with a way cut through it down the middle of the street. I had the same room at the Hotel S. Marco which you and the dear Mother had for those anxious days in 1870, and of course I seemed to see her there, and it was a very sad visit. The Librarian told me that hundreds of people had been to look at the portrait of Clotilda Tambroni since reading the ‘Memorials.’

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CANOSSA.

CANOSSA. [169]

“We slept here once in 1857, but did not appreciate Rimini properly then, I think, for it is a charming place, with a delightful seashore and interesting old town; but the country is strange and wild, and there is not a sign of vegetation on the hedges; so that when I remember the buds on the deutzia opposite your window at Holmhurst, it seems most dismal in Italy.”

 

To Miss Wright.

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URBINO.

URBINO. [170]

Citta di Castello, April 12, 1875.—It is very cold in Italy, but glorious weather now—ceaseless sunshine and the pellucid skies of Perugino. I have been many great excursions already; to the Sagro di S. Michele, to desolate Canossa, and to S. Marino and the extraordinary S. Leo near Rimini. Then from Forli I paid an interesting visit to Count Saffi, one of the Roman triumvirate, whom I had known well at Oxford, and who lives, with his wife (Miss Craufurd of Portincross) and many children, in a farmhouse-like villa near the town. At Ancona, Charlie Dalison came to meet me, a pleasant change after much silence and solitude. We went together to Loreto, and next day a dreary journey to Urbino, which is more curious than beautiful, though there is a noble old palace of its Dukes. It was a thirteen hours’ drive thence through hideous country to Gubbio, where the inns are wretched, but the town full of interest. Charlie left me at Perugia, and I came on here into the Piero della Francesca country, which is more instructive than captivating.”

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GUBBIO.

GUBBIO. [171]

 

Journal.

Forli, April 2.—In one of the old churches here is the tomb of Barbara Ordelaffi, wife of the Lord of Forli, who was one of the most intensely wicked women of her own or any other age. But her tomb is indescribably lovely, her figure, that of quite a young girl, lying upon its marble sarcophagus with a look of innocence and simplicity which can scarcely be equalled.

“The tomb is in a side-chapel, separated by a heavy railing from the church. Inside this railing, in an arm-chair, with his eyes constantly fixed upon the marble figure, sat this morning a very old gentleman, paralysed and unable to move, wrapped in a fur cloak. As I looked in at the rails, he said, ‘And you also are come to see Barbara; how beautiful she is, is not she?’ I acquiesced, and he said, ‘For sixty years I have come constantly to see her. It is everything to me to be here. It is the love and the story of my life. No one I have ever known is half so beautiful as Barbara Ordelaffi. You have not looked at her yet long enough, but gradually you will learn this. Every one must love Barbara. I am carried here now; I cannot walk, but I cannot live without seeing her. My servants bring me; they put me here; I can gaze at her figure, then I am happy. At eleven o’clock my servants will come, and I shall be taken home, but they will bring me again to see Barbara in the afternoon.’

“I remained in the church. At eleven o’clock the servants came. They took up the old gentleman and carried him up to the monument to bid it farewell, and then out to his carriage; but in the afternoon, said the Sacristan, they would come again, for he always spent most of the day with Barbara Ordelaffi; when he was alone with the marble figure, he was quite quiet and happy, and as they always locked him into the chapel, he could never come to any harm.”

 

To Mary Lea Gidman.

Florence, April 28.—On Monday I went to the excellent inn at Lucca, and on Tuesday to the Bagni. Never was a place less altered—only one new house, I think, and very pretty and rural it all looked. I went up to the dear old Casa Bertini, and into the little garden looking down on the valleys, quite as pretty as my recollection of it. Quintilia (our maid) was enchanted to see me, but has grown into a very old woman, though only sixty-three.

“I liked Lucca better than all the other places. It was the festival of S. Zita when I was there, who was made a saint because she had been such a good servant for forty years. I thought, if my dear Lea had lived in those days, how she would have had a chance of being canonised.”

 

To Miss Wright.

Florence, May 2, 1875.—No words can express the fatigue or discomfort of my Tuscan tour. The food, in the mountain convents especially, was disgusting—little but coarse bread with oil and garlic; the inns were filthy and the beds damp; and the travelling, in carts or on horseback, most fatiguing, often sixteen hours a day. And yet—and yet how thrilling is the interest of Monte Oliveto, S. Gemignano, Volterra, La Vernia, Camaldoli!”

 

Journal.

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LA VERNIA.

LA VERNIA. [172]

Castagnuolo, May 3.—I am writing from the old country palace of the Marchese Lotteria Lotharingo della Stufa. It is reached by driving from Florence through the low envineyarded country for five miles. Then, on the left, under the hills, one sees what looks like a great old barrack, grimy, mossy, and deserted. This is the villa. All outside is decay, but when you enter, there are charming old halls and chambers, connected by open arches, and filled with pictures, china, books, and beautiful old carved furniture. A terrace, lined with immense vases of lilies and tulips, opens on a garden with vine-shaded pergolas and huge orange-trees in tubs; and beyond are the wooded hills.

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CAMALDOLI.

CAMALDOLI. [173]

“The Marchese is charming, living in the hearts of his people, sharing all their interests, working with them—taking off his coat and tucking up his sleeves to join in the sheep-shearing, gathering the grapes in the vintage, &c. But the presiding genius of the place is Mrs. Ross (Janet Duff Gordon), who has redeemed lands, planted vineyards, introduced new plans for pressing the grapes—whose whole heart and soul are in the work here.”

 

To Miss Wright.

Vicenza, May 20, 1875.—I have been to Genoa and Pegli, and to Piacenza again for a tremendous excursion of sixty-eight miles, eighteen riding on a white mule, to the grave of S. Columbano in the high Apennines. After this, the Italian lakes were comparative rest. I thought the Lago d’Iseo far the most beautiful of them all. To-day I have been on a family pilgrimage to Valdagno, where my grandmother lived so happily, and where my uncle Julius Hare was born. There is much also here in Vicenza to remind me of a later past, for opposite the window of this room are the trees in the Marchese Salvi’s garden, where my dearest Mother took her last walks.”

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BOBBIO.

BOBBIO. [174]

 

Journal.

Herrenalb, in the Black Forest, June 14.—A week at Venice was a great refreshment. Then I crossed the S. Gothard to Lucerne and came on here. The semi-mountain air of this lovely place is as refreshing to the body as the pure high-minded Bunsen character is to the soul. A little branch railway brought me from the main line to Gernsbach, a pretty clean German village with picturesque gabled houses girding a lovely river. Hence it is a charming drive of two hours through forest into the highlands, where the wood-clad hills break occasionally into fine crags. Herrenalb itself takes its name from the abbey on the little river Alb, while a monastery for women on the same stream a few miles off gives its name to ‘Frauenalb.’ The former is Protestant now, the latter is still Catholic, but in the valley of Herrenalb are the immense buildings of the abbey, its great granaries with wooden pillars, and the ruins of its Norman church.

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LOVERE, LAGO D’ISEO.

LOVERE, LAGO D’ISEO. [175]

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Frances Baroness Bunsen 1874

Frances Baroness Bunsen 1874

“Frances de Bunsen and one of her Sternberg nieces met me in the valley, and we were soon joined by the dear old Frau von Bunsen in her donkey-chair. At eighty-six her wonderful power of mind and charm of intellect and conversation are quite unimpaired. She has still the rare art, described by Boileau, ‘passer du grave au doux, du plaisant au sévère.’ The whole family breakfast at seven, and for an hour before that the dear Grandmother is in the little terraced garden, examining and tending her flowers. The house is full of souvenirs: in the Baroness’s own room is a large frame with photographs of all her numerous descendants, sent by the Grand Duchess of Baden to greet her first arrival in this her new country home.”

 

To this happy visit at Herrenalb, and to the long conversations I used to have with my dear old friend, walking beside her donkey-chair in the forest, I owe the power of having been able to write her Memoirs two years afterwards. It was my last sight of this old friend of my childhood. I returned from Herrenalb to England.

 

Journal.

London, June 23, 1875.—Called on Mrs. Leslie in her glorious old house in Stratford Place, which is beautiful because all the colour is subdued, no new gilding or smartness. She herself sat in the window embroidering, with the bright sunlight just glinting on her rippled hair and sweet face, at once a picture and a poem.

 

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LAMBETH, INNER COURT.

LAMBETH, INNER COURT. [176]

June 26.—A great party at Lambeth Palace, the lawn and its many groups of people very charming. Going in to tea with Miss Elliot down a narrow passage, I came suddenly upon Arthur Stanley. In that moment I am sure we both tried hard to recollect what had so entirely separated us for five years, but we could not, and shook hands. The Spanish Lady Stanley seeing this, threw up her hands—‘Gratias a Deo! O gratias a Deo! una reconciliatiōn!’

“In the evening there was an immense party at Lady Salisbury’s to meet the Sultan of Zanzibar.[177] He had a cold, so sent to say he could not have the windows opened; the consequence of which was, that with thousands of wax-lights and crowds of people, the heat was awful, positively his native climate. The Sultan has a good, sensible, clever, amused face, but cannot speak a word of any language except Arabic, of which Lady Salisbury said that she had learnt some sentences by the end of the evening, from hearing them repeated so often through the interpreter, and at last ventured to air her new acquirements herself. When the Sultan went away, the suite followed two and two—a picturesque procession. Lord Salisbury walked first, leading the Sultan, or rather holding his right hand in his own left, which it seems is the right thing to do. The Sultan was immensely struck by Lady Caithness, and no wonder, for her crown of three gigantic rows of diamonds, and then huge diamonds and emeralds, had the effect of a sunlit wave in the Mediterranean.”

 

June 27, Sunday.—To Holland House. Lady Holland sat at the end window, looking on the garden, with a group round her. I went out with Lord Halifax, then with Everard Primrose, who appeared as usual from the library, and a third time with Lord Stanhope, who took me afterwards in his carriage to Airlie Lodge. There the garden was in great beauty, and we met Lady Airlie sauntering through its green walks with the Duke of Teck. We went to sit in a tent, where we found Mr. Doyle, Mr. Cheney, and a young lady who greeted me with, ‘Now, Mr. Hare, may I ask if you never can remember me, or if you always intend to cut me on purpose?’ It was Miss Rhoda Broughton.

“Lady Airlie talked of the death of Madame Rossetti. Her husband[178] felt so completely that all his living interests were buried with his wife, that he laid his unpublished poems under her dead head, and they were buried with her. But, after a year had passed, his feeling about his wife was calmed, while the longing for his poems grew daily, and people urged him that he was forcing a loss upon the world. And the coffin of the poor lady was taken up and opened to get at the poems, and behold her beautiful golden hair had grown and grown till the whole coffin was filled with it—filled with it and rippling over.[179] Lady Airlie had the account from an eye-witness. For one moment Madame Rossetti was visible in all her radiant loveliness, as if she were asleep, then she sank into dust. She was buried with her Testament under her pillow on one side and her husband’s poems on the other.

“The Duke of Teck looked very handsome and was most pleasant and amiable. He said that an old lady in Germany, an ancestress of his, had the most glorious pearl necklace in the world, and when she died, she desired that the pearl necklace might be buried with her. And the family were very sorry to part with their aged relative, but they were still more sorry to part with the family jewels; and in time their grief for the old lady was assuaged, but their grief for the pearl necklace was never assuaged at all, and at last there came a moment when they dug up the coffin, and took the pearl necklace from the aged neck. But behold the pearls were quite spoilt and had lost all their lustre and beauty. Then pearl-doctors were summoned, men who were learned in such things, and they said that the only thing which would restore the beauty of the pearls would be if three beautiful young ladies would wear them constantly, and let the pearls drink in all their youth and beauty. So the eldest daughter of the house took them and wore them constantly, and all the beauty and brilliancy of her loveliness flowed into the pearls, which grew brighter and better every day. And as her beauty faded, another daughter of the house took them, and so three beautiful young ladies took them and wore them in three generations, till, when sixty years were passed, the pearls were so beautiful and glorious, so filled with youth and radiancy, that there is no such pearl necklace in the whole world.”

 

June 28.—Luncheon with dear old Lady Grey. Then to Lady Wharncliffe, who looked very lovely seated beneath a great blue-green vase filled with lilies.

“The way young men now weary their friends to ask for invitations for them is almost as contemptible as the conduct of the ladies who ask others to invite their guests for them that they may ‘get into society.’ ‘Que ne fait-on pour trouver un faux bonheur!’ says Fénélon; ‘quels rebuts, quelles traverses n’endure t’on point pour un fantôme de gloire mondaine! quelles peines pour de misérables plaisirs dont il ne reste que des remords.’”

 

June 29.—With the Archbishop of Dublin, Miss Trench, and Lady Charles Clinton to Strawberry Hill, the ‘little plaything house’ of Horace Walpole. It had been so wet that one had almost to wade from the station to the house, and the beautiful breakfast was sopping in a tent on the mossy lawn, so little being left in the house that the Princess of Wales had to drink her tea out of a tumbler in a corner. Still the interior of the house was full of interest—the historic pictures, especially those of the three beautiful Waldegrave sisters, and of Maria, Duchess of Gloucester; and then in the gallery are, by Sant and Bucknor, all the especial friends of the house—all the beautiful persons who have stayed there.

“Lady Waldegrave[180] (assisted by art) looked twenty-five years younger than she did twenty-five years ago. The Princess of Wales, in a pink dress under black lace and a little hat to match, copied as a whole from pictures of Anne Boleyn, looked lovely.

“In the evening I went to Lady Salisbury’s reception. At the latter was the Sultan of Zanzibar. Suddenly, in the midst of the party, he said to Lady Salisbury, ‘Now, please, it is my time to say my prayers: I should like to go into your room, and to be alone for ten minutes.’ And he did, and he does it four times a day, and never allows anything whatever to interfere with it. The Archbishop of Dublin, when presented, said, ‘I am glad to have the honour of being presented to a man who has made a promise and kept it.’ The Sultan answered, ‘It can only be your goodness which makes you say that.’”

 

To Miss Leycester.

How glad I am that we do not agree about Sunday. I think your view of ‘the Sabbath’ so entirely derogatory to all the dignity and beauty of Christianity, and I cannot understand any one not becoming an infidel, if they think God so mean as to suppose that He would consider ‘His day’ (though Sunday is only the Church’s day, all days are God’s days) dishonoured by walking with one’s intimate friends in a garden, or having tea in another garden with several persons, all infinitely better and wiser than oneself. ‘I am amazed,’ says Professor Amiel, ‘at the vast amount of Judaism, of formalism, that still exists, eighteen centuries after the Redeemer’s declaration that the letter killeth.... Christian liberty has yet to be won.’”

 

Journal.

June 30.—A very pleasant party in the Duke of Argyll’s garden, in spite of a wet afternoon; all the little golden-haired daughters of the house very kind in entertaining the guests. I returned with Louisa, Lady Ashburton, to her beautiful Kent House. The rooms, hung with yellow, with black doors and picture-frames, are very effective. There are some semi-ruined cartoons of Paul Veronese upon the staircase.

“In the evening I went to Lady Margaret Beaumont’s to meet the Queen of the Netherlands, ‘La Reine Rouge,’ as she is often called from her revolutionary tendencies. She sat at the end of the room, a pleasant natural woman, with fuzzy hair done very wide in curls, and a quaint little diamond crown as an ornament at the back. She was most agreeable in conversation, and, as Prosper Merimée says in one of his letters to Panizzi, ‘would have been quite perfection, if she had not wished to appear a Frenchwoman, having had the misfortune to be born in Würtemburg.’”

 

July 1.—Luncheon at Lord Stanhope’s to meet Miss Rhoda Broughton. Lord Stanhope aired one of his pet hobbies—the virtues of the novel ‘Anastasius.’ Mrs. Hussey says that his father used to say of him, ‘My son is often very prosy, but then he has been vaccinated;’ for the fourth Earl Stanhope had a familiar of whom he always spoke as ‘Tesco,’ and Tesco had inveighed against vaccination to him, and had told him that to be vaccinated had always the effect of making the recipient prosy.

“Mrs. Hussey mentioned this at a dinner to Mr. John Abel Smith, who exclaimed, ‘Oh, that accounts for what has always hitherto been a mystery to me. I went with that Lord Stanhope to hear a man named Belloni lecture on “the Tuscan Language,” and we sat behind him on the platform. He was most terribly lengthy. Suddenly, Lord Stanhope caught him by the coat, and, arresting the whole performance, said, “Pray, sir, have you ever been vaccinated?”—“Certainly, my Lord,” said the astonished lecturer. “Oh, that is quite enough; pray continue,” said Lord Stanhope, and the lecture proceeded, and Lord Stanhope composed himself to sleep.’”

 

July 2.—A large sketching party at Holland House. We sat for three hours in the Lily Garden, with birds singing, fountains playing, and flowers blooming, as if we had been a hundred miles from London. Our sketches were all sent in afterwards to Lady Holland, who sent them out in the order of merit—Mrs. Lowther’s first, mine second.

“I dined with the Ralph Duttons and sat by Lady Barker, who was full of Moody and Sankey, to whom she has been often with the Duchess of Sutherland, who insists upon going every day. She says the mixture of religious fervour with the most intense toadyism of the Duchess was horribly disgusting; that the very gift of fluency in the preachers contaminated and spoilt their work. Sometimes they would use the most excellent and powerful simile, and then spoil it by something quite blasphemous. Speaking of the abounding grace of God, Moody compared Him to a banker who scolded the man who only drew for a penny, when he might draw for a pound and come again as often as he liked. So far the sermon was admirable, and all understood it; but then he went on to call it the ‘Great I Am Bank,’ and to cut all sorts of jokes, whilst the audience roared with laughter; that when a man presented his cheque, however large—‘Here ye are, says I Am,’ &c.

“Went on to the ball at Dorchester House, which was beautiful; the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Tecks were there. The great charm of the house is in the immensely broad galleries, which are so effective when filled with beautiful women, relieved, like Greek pictures, against a gold background. Miss Violet Lindsay, in a long white dress embroidered with gold and a wreath of gold oak-leaves, was quite exquisitely lovely.”

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DORCHESTER HOUSE.

DORCHESTER HOUSE. [181]

 

July 3.—Breakfast with Sir James Lacaita to meet Mr. Gladstone, Lord Napier and Ettrick, and the Marchese Vitelleschi. The great topic was Manning. About him and Roman Catholicism in general, Gladstone seems to have lost all temperance, but told much that was curious. He described the deathbed of Count Streletski and Manning’s attempts to get in. Lacaita said that there was a lady still living to whom Manning had been engaged—‘fatto l’impégno’—and that he had jilted her to marry one of two heiress sisters: now, whenever she hears of any especial act of his, she says, ‘As ever, fickle and false.’

“‘False,’ said Gladstone, ‘always, but never fickle.’

“Lacaita described the illness, the apparently hopeless illness, of Panizzi, when he and Mr. Winter kept guard. The Padre Mela came and tried to insist upon seeing the patient. He told the Padre it was quite impossible, but, upon his insisting, he assured him that if Panizzi rallied, he would at once mention the Padre’s wish. At that time it was ‘impossible, as Panizzi was quite unconscious.’ When the Padre heard that Panizzi was insensible, he implored and besought an entrance ‘basta anche un’istante,’ but was positively and sternly refused.

“The next day Panizzi rallied, upon which both Lacaita and Mr. Winter thought it necessary to mention the strong wish of the Padre Mela to see him. ‘Oh, il birbone!’ said Panizzi, ‘vuol dunque convertirmi,’ and he was so excited, that in order to content him they were obliged to engage a policeman to stand constantly at the door to keep the priests out.

“Gladstone said he knew that the Pope (Pius IX.) had determined against declaring the doctrine of personal infallibility, till Manning had fallen at his feet, and so urged and implored him to do so, that at length he had consented. He (Gladstone) upheld that there was no going back from this, and that even in case of the Pope’s death, the condition of the Roman Church was absolutely hopeless. Vitelleschi agreed so far, that if a foreign Pope were chosen, for which an effort would be made, there was no chance for the Church; but if an Italian were elected—for instance, Patrizi or Bilio, who had especially opposed the doctrine of personal infallibility—the sense of the doctrine would be so far modified that it would practically fade into nothingness, and that every advantage would be taken of the Council not being yet closed to make every possible modification.

“Vitelleschi lamented the utter want of religious education in modern Italy—that he had been in schools where, when asked who Jesus Christ was, all the boys differed, one saying that he was a prophet, another something else; that when the question was put to Parliament how morality was to be taught without religion, the answer was, ‘Faremmo un trattato morale.”

“Lord Napier every now and then insisted on attention, and delivered himself of some ponderous paragraph, on which occasions Gladstone persistently and defiantly ate strawberries.”

 

July 4.—Tea at the Duchess of Cleveland’s. Lord John Manners was there. They were full of the dog Minos and his extraordinary tricks. In invitation cards to parties, ‘To meet the dog Minos’ is now constantly put in the corner. When told to take something to the most beautiful woman in the room, however, he made a mistake, and took it to the Queen, who flicked him with her pocket-handkerchief; and then he took it to the Princess of Wales. Being left alone in the room with a plate on which there were three sandwiches, he could not resist eating them, but found three visiting cards and deposited them in their place!”

 

July 7.—A party at Holland House. The old cedars, the brilliant flowers, and more brilliant groups of people, made a most beautiful scene.”

 

July 8.—A party at Lady Airlie’s for the Queen of Holland—very pleasant.”

 

July 9.—Luncheon at Mrs. Harvey of Ickwellbury’s. The whole family were full of Nigger stories:—of a man who, being pursued by an Indian for the sake of his scalp, and finding escape hopeless, pulled off his wig and presented it with a bow, upon which the Indian fell down and worshipped him as a god!—Of a negro who, on being told that the strait path to heaven was full of thorns and difficulties, said, ‘Den dis ere nigger take to the woods!’”

 

July 11.—To hear Mr. Stopford Brooke preach. It was most interesting—upon the love of God. He began by saying that he would not undertake to prove the existence of God, for ‘God is, and those who love Him know it.’

“He said, ‘Think in everything which you are about to do, whether it will be for the good of the human race; if not, if it is only good for yourself, your family, your society, don’t do it: that is the love of God.

“‘Fight against all power which in the name of religion seeks to narrow it. Fight against all, whether of caste or family, which seeks to elevate one power to the exclusion of another; for the perfection of the whole human nature, that is God’s will. This is the service we must give to Him, which separates worship from selfishness, and makes it more praise than prayer: thus, with our sails filled with the winds of God, may we drive over the storms of the human race to the harbour of unity.’”

 

July 12.—To luncheon at Lord Northampton’s, but, except Lady Marion Alford, I do not much like the Comptons. Lady Alwyn, who is charming, was very amusing about them. ‘Lord Alwyn pretends not to hear; that is because he is displeased, for he thinks I am abusing the Comptons. He cannot bear me to find fault with any of his ancestors, however remote they may be, for he thinks that the Comptons are quite perfect, and always have been. When I first married, I hoped to have made a compromise, and I told Lord Alwyn that if he would give up to me his great-grandfather, I would spare all the rest; but he wouldn’t.... After all, the Comptons were quite ruined, and we owe everything to old Sir John Spencer who lived at Crosby Hall in the City, and he had so poor an opinion of the Comptons, that he wouldn’t let the Lord Northampton of that day marry his daughter on any account. But Lord Northampton dressed up as the baker’s boy and carried his bride off on his head in a basket. He met Sir J. Spencer on the stairs, who gave him a sixpence for his punctuality, and afterwards, when he found out that his daughter was in that basket, swore it was the only sixpence of his money Lord Northampton should ever see. But the next year Queen Elizabeth asked him to come and be ‘gossip’ with her to a newly-born baby, whom she hoped he would adopt instead of his disinherited daughter, and he could not refuse; and you may imagine whose that baby was.’

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CROSBY HALL.

CROSBY HALL. [182]

“Five-o’clock tea at Ashburnham House. The pictures there are beautiful, a Mantegna and several Ghirlandajos, and it is a charming old house in itself. In the evening to a party at the Duchess of Cleveland’s given to the blind Duke of Mecklenburg and his Duchess.”

 

Highcliffe, July 18.—The usual party are here.... Lady Jane Ellice is full of a theory that she is an Israelite, that we are all members of the lost tribes of Israel, that our royal family are the direct descendants of Tepha, the beautiful daughter of Zedekiah, who was brought to Ireland by Jeremiah, and married to its king.

“Mrs. Hamilton Hamilton has much that is interesting to tell of her old embassy life in France. She was at S. Leu the day before the Duc de Bourbon’s death. She would not go in, though urged to do so, because ‘that woman, Madame de Feuchères,’ was there, but heard how well the Duke was, preparing for the chase, ‘never better in his life.’ The next day, in returning to Paris, their carriage was passed and repassed by quantities of royal servants riding to and fro. At last they asked why it was. The Duc de Bourbon was dead, found hung up to the blind of the window.

“A few days before, the Duke had declared his intention of altering his will in favour of the Comte de Chambord. Previously Chantilly had been settled upon the Duc d’Aumale. Madame de Feuchères had said long before to Louis Philippe, ‘Leave it all to me.’

“Madame de Feuchères (once an orange-girl at Southampton) was left enormously rich. She promised to settle all her property on the Duc d’Aumale if the Duchess of Orleans would receive her. Mrs. Hamilton Hamilton was seated at the end of the room between the Duchesse Decazes and another great lady of the old régime. Suddenly the Duchess of Orleans got up and crossed the whole room to receive some one at the door. Generally she remained in her place, making only one step even for a duchess. It was Madame de Feuchères who entered.

“At the Court of Charles X. it was the Dauphine who received. She was very severe in her manner and had a very harsh voice: it was as if the shadow of the Temple always rested upon her. The Duchesse de Berri was of gentler manners, but less wise. When the family of Charles X. fled after the revolution of four days, the deputation going to offer the crown to Louis Philippe found he was out; they found only the Duchess of Orleans. She was horrified at the very idea and refused point-blank, saying that her husband would never do such a wrong to his cousin—‘Grace à Dieu! mon mari ne sera pas usurpateur.’ Going through the garden at Neuilly, however, the deputation met Madame Adelaïde, who asked what their business was, and being told what the Duchess had answered, said, ‘Oh, mais mon frère accepte, certainement il accepte;’ and her view was definitive. She never separated from her brother afterwards, and he always deferred to her opinion; indeed, as Napoleon used to say, she was ‘the only man of the family.’ The whole family paid her great attention. She was enormously rich, and made the Prince de Joinville her heir. Louis Philippe chose her epitaph in the vaults at Dreux. It is from Gen. xii. 13: ‘Thou art my sister, and it has been well with me for thy sake.’

“Mrs. Hamilton Hamilton was the first person Queen Marie Amelie sent for after her accession. She went in the evening, and found the Queen sitting at a table with Madame Adelaïde and one other lady, the wife of the Swedish Minister. A place was given to her between the Queen and Madame Adelaïde. The first words of the Queen seemed ominous—‘Nous avons laissé notre bonheur à Neuilly, Madame Hamilton.’ But Madame Adelaïde instantly took up the conversation, and talked of a bullet which she had found in her mirror, saying that she should never have the mirror mended, but should preserve it as ‘un souvenir historique.’

“Lady Waterford says how much brighter and happier people are for having something young about them,—a young lady, a child, a young dog even. She says, ‘I want to make a picture of Hope painting the future in the brightest colours. It will be such a beautiful subject. A rainbow will pour into the room and all its colours be reflected on her palette.’”

 

July 20.—Lady Waterford and the Ellices went to Broadlands, and returned in the evening radiant, and full of the Conference, with which they were delighted. I was very sorry indeed to be too ill to go, these Broadland ‘Conferences’ being quite a type of the times.

“They had a delightful drive through the forest and halted at Lyndhurst, visiting the ‘King’s House’ and seeing the stirrup which is said to have belonged to William Rufus. It is of gigantic size, and was probably really intended, when dogs were forbidden in the forest, as a sort of standard of measurement, only dogs which could pass through that stirrup being allowed.

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THE GARDEN PORCH, HIGHCLIFFE.

THE GARDEN PORCH, HIGHCLIFFE. [183]

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THE SUNDIAL WALK, HIGHCLIFFE.

THE SUNDIAL WALK, HIGHCLIFFE. [184]

“At Broadlands, after luncheon, they went out on the lawn, where the Conference was proceeding under some fine beech-trees. ‘It was like a Claude,’ said Lady Waterford, the view being over the water, with a temple on one side and a cypress cutting the sky.’ Mr. Cowper Temple opened the afternoon meeting with a little speech; a Nonconformist minister followed, and then the High Church Mr. Wilkinson gave an address. The most remarkable thing he told was a story of a young lady who went to a meeting and returned resolved to dedicate herself to God. She wrote down her dedication, and then said, ‘It shall be from to-day.’ Then she considered that there was so much to be done, &c.—‘It shall be in three years.’ Again she hesitated and altered what she had written—‘I may not live: it shall be to-night.” But finally she thought again how much there was she wanted to do first, and finally wrote—‘In three weeks I will dedicate myself to God.’ In the morning the paper was found with all the different erasures and alterations, but the young lady was dead.... Several other speakers followed, and then Mr. Cowper Temple knelt on the gravel and prayed: all was most simple and earnest.

“Here at Highcliffe we have sat in the library in the morning, the great Brugmantia bursting into its bloom of scarlet bells in the conservatory beyond, Lady Waterford painting at her table, the rest working beneath the stained window.”

 

Heckfield Place, August 13.—This is a beautiful open country with lovely woods and purple heaths studded with groups of fine old firs. The grounds of Heckfield itself are delightful, and the house, of red brick, stands upon a high bastioned terrace filled with brilliant flower-beds and overlooking undulating green lawns and an artificial sheet of water.

“Lord Eversley and his daughter Emma received me with most cordial kindness and a real family welcome, and it was pleasant to see so many interesting pictures of our common ancestors,—on the staircase a full-length of my great-grandmother Mrs. Hare, as a young girl tripping along with her apron full of flowers. There are fine portraits of her father and mother; and her sister, Helena Lefevre, is represented again and again, from youth to age.

“Lord and Lady Selborne have been here. He has a stiff manner, but warms into much pleasantness, and she is very genial: their daughter, Sophy, is a union of both. I went with Lord Selborne and Miss Palmer to Strathfieldsaye. The Duke (of Wellington), dressed like a poor pensioner, received us in his uncomfortable room, where Lord Selborne, who has a numismatical mania, was glad to stay for two hours examining coins. Meanwhile the Duke, finding we were really interested, took Miss Palmer and me upstairs, and showed us all his relics. It was touching to see the old man, who for the greater part of his lifetime existed in unloving awe of a father he had always feared and been little noticed by, now, in the evening of life, treasuring up every reminiscence of him and considering every memorial as sacred. In his close stuffy little room were the last pheasants the great Duke had shot, the miniatures of his mother and aunt and of himself and his brother as children, his grandfather’s portrait, a good one of Marshal Saxe, and the picture of the horse Copenhagen. Most of the bedrooms were completely covered with prints pasted on the walls. It was the great Duke’s fancy. Some of them are amusing, but the general effect is poor and bad, and the medley curious, especially in some rooms where they were framed in crowds—Lord Eldon, Melancthon, and views of the Alhambra together. In the hall hung a fine beginning of a picture of the great Duke, painted by Goya at Madrid. Before it was finished the army had moved on to Salamanca. The Duke had then been made Captain-General of the forces, and upon the Spanish commander saying in a huff, ‘I will not serve under a foreigner,’ Goya rejoined, ‘And I will not finish his portrait.’ And he never did.

“Strathfieldsaye is an unprepossessing house—as the Duke himself said, ‘like a great cottage.’

“Lord Eversley gave, as a curious instance of the awe in which the great Duke kept his Duchess, that Mrs. Lefevre, going one day to visit her, found her dissolved in tears. When she asked the reason, the Duchess said, sobbing, ‘Look there,’ and from the window Mrs. Lefevre saw workmen cutting down all the ivy which made the whole beauty of the trees before the house; and when Mrs. Lefevre asked the Duchess why she did not remonstrate, she showed her a written paper which the head man had just brought in, having received it from the Duke—‘Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington desires that the ivy may immediately be cut down from every tree on his estate.’ They had begun with those nearest home; the Duke had evidently forgotten to except those, but his order could not be trifled with.

“One day the great Duke was much surprised by receiving a letter which he read as follows:—‘Being in the neighbourhood, I venture to ask permission to see some of your Grace’s best breeches. C. London.’ He answered to the Bishop of London that he had great pleasure in assenting to his request, though he must confess it had given him very considerable surprise. London House was thrown into confusion. The note was from Loudon, the great gardener, and ‘breeches’ should have been read ‘beeches.’[185]

“We went on to Silchester, which is one of the three walled Roman towns of England, Wroxeter and Risborough being the others. The walls, three miles in circumference, are nearly perfect. In the centre is the forum, an immense square, 315 feet by 276, surrounded by shops, amongst which those of the oyster-monger, game-seller, butcher, and jeweller have been identified. One house retains its curious apparatus for warming very perfect.”

 

Heckfield, August 14.—Yesterday Colonel Townley came to dine, celebrated for his ride of eight hundred miles without stopping. It was of great importance that certain despatches from our Government should reach Constantinople before the Austrian messenger could deliver his, and Colonel Townley accomplished it. When within a few hours of Constantinople, an old wound opened from his exertion, and he felt almost dying; but just then he caught sight of the Austrian envoy coming over the brow of a distant hill, and it nerved him, and he rode on and arrived first. It gained him his colonelcy. He is a pleasant, handsome, unaffected man.”

 

Deanery, Salisbury, August 15.—I came here yesterday morning to the Venerable Dean Hamilton of eighty-two, and his wife of seventy-two. He was a Cambridge friend of my uncle Julius Hare, and lived in the same circle, of Thirlwall, Whewell, Sedgwick, and the Malcolms, &c. His mind has all its old power, and he has much that is most interesting to tell of all the people he has seen. He gave a curious account of breakfasts at the house of Ugo Foscolo, where everything was served by the most beautiful maidens in picturesque dresses. He described the eccentric Mr. Peate, who lived in Trinity, but never came out of his rooms except to dinner or supper, when he always appeared to the moment. When Dr. Parr dined, Mr. Peate drew him out in Combination Room, but retired at the usual hour; only on going away, he walked up to Dr. Parr and said, ‘I will take leave of you, sir, in words which may possibly not be unfamiliar to you,’ and made a long set complimentary speech in honour of learning; it was all taken word for word from an essay Dr. Parr had published many years before; Peate’s memory was so very extraordinary. It was not, however, always very convenient, for if a neighbour at dinner affirmed an opinion, Peate would sometimes say, ‘On such a day or such a year you expressed such and such an opinion, which was exactly the reverse of this,’ for he never forgot anything, even the very terms of an expression.

“There is here in Salisbury the usual familiar society of a cathedral close—the Canon in residence and the other inhabitants meeting and going in and out of each others’ houses at all hours. With Canon Douglas Gordon I have been to the Palace, where we found the Bishop in his garden, which is quite lovely, the rich green and brilliant flowers sweeping up into and mingling with the grey arcades and rich chapels of the cathedral; and from all points the tall heaven-soaring spire is sublime, especially in the purple shadows of evening, with birds circling ceaselessly round it.

“The Palace has a grand dull room full of portraits of deceased bishops, where we had tea. Bishop Moberly, who is still rather schoolmasterish, has no end of daughters, all so excellent that it has been observed that whenever a colonist sends home for a commendable wife, you may, with the most perfect confidence, despatch a Miss Moberly.”

 

August 16.—To Breamore, the fine old Elizabethan house of Sir Edward Hulse, almost gutted by fire some years ago. I was taken up to the housetop to survey several surrounding counties, and sat the rest of the afternoon with the family in the shade of the old red gables. Two very handsome boys, Edward and Westrow, asked for a story.”

 

Stanmer Park, August 18.—I came here yesterday to Lord Chichester’s. It is a moderate house in a dullish park, with fine trees and a bright flower-garden. We pray a great deal, and Lord Chichester—who is intensely good—makes little sermons at prayers.... Lord Pelham is very amusing under a quiet manner. ‘I thought I heard your dulcet tones, my love, so I am coming out to you,’ he is just saying, as he steps through the open window to his wife upon the verandah.”

 

Oct. 4.—A most charming visit to Lady Mary Egerton at Mountfield Court. Mr. Charles Newton[186] of the British Museum is here, who is always charming, with ripple of pleasantest anecdote and kindly, genial manners. He says:—

“General Skenk had a monkey and a parrot, which hated each other. One day he imprudently went out, leaving them alone together in a room. When he came back, the monkey was sitting in his arm-chair, bleeding profusely, and looking very sheepish and ashamed of himself, while the floor was covered with feathers. The parrot had disappeared, but while General Skenk was looking for any further remains of it, out from under a sofa walked a perfectly naked bird, and said, ‘What a hell of a time we’ve had!’

“Mr. Newton was at a spiritual séance. An old man of the party was told that the spirit manifested was his wife, upon which he said:—

“‘Is that you, ’Arriet?’

“‘Yes, it’s me.’

“‘Are you ’appy, ’Arriet?’

“‘Yes, very ‘appy.’

“‘’Appier than you were with me, ’Arriet?’

“‘Yes, much ‘appier.’

“‘Where are you, ‘’Arriet?’

“‘In ‘ell.’

“Mr. Newton says that the cry of the wood-pigeon is ‘Sow peas, do, do.’ There is a bird in Turkey of which the male seems to say a string of words meaning ‘Have you seen my sheep?’ when the female replies, ‘No, I have not seen them.’ They are said to be a shepherd and shepherdess who lost all their sheep and died of a broken heart, when they were turned into birds. But the interesting point is that the story is found in an old Greek novel—‘Longus.’

“‘The origin of the Torlonia family,’ said Mr. Newton, ‘is very curious. When Pius VII. wished to excommunicate Napoleon I., he could not find any one who was bold enough to affix the scomunica to the doors of the Lateran. At length an old man who sold matches was found who ran the risk and did it. On the return of the Pope in triumph, the old man was offered any favour he liked, and he chose the monopoly of tobacco. From that time every speculation that the Torlonias entered upon was sure to answer.’

“The late Prince Torlonia, being at Naples, went into the room where the public appointments were sold by auction. He left his umbrella there, and went back to get it while the sale was going on. The bidders, chiefly Neapolitan nobles, were aghast to see the great Torlonia reappear, and at last, after some consultation, one of them came up to him and said they would give him 60,000 francs if he would leave. Instead of showing the intense astonishment he felt at this most unexpected proposal, Torlonia only shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘È póco,’ and they gave him 100,000.

“The only other guests at Mountfield are a Mr. Baker, a Gloucestershire squire, and his wife. He is an excellent man, and was the first who instituted a Reformatory. This he did first at his own expense, but the Government bought it from him. He speaks with the most dreary voice. Mr. Newton says it is ‘just the sort of utterance he should be grateful for if he was making his last speech upon the scaffold.’”

 

Sonning, Dec. 30.—My ever-kind friend Lord Stanhope died on Christmas Eve. It was only two years from the time of dear Lady Stanhope’s death, on New Year’s Eve, 1873. She left a paper for her husband—what she called her ‘Last Words’—imploring him, for her sake, to go back to his literary interests, not to give up what had been his work, to try to fill up the blank in his life.

“When Lord Stanhope was dying, he said touchingly to Lady Mohun, ‘You know what my dearest Emily asked of me in her last words. I have tried to do as she wished, and you, my dear, have been such a good and kind daughter to me, you have almost made me wish to live.’

“I have been spending charming days with Hugh Pearson. He says, ‘What will become of a country in which the upper classes are content to be fed upon Farrar’s ‘Life of Christ’ and the middle classes upon Moody and Sankey?’ He told me of Justice Knight Bruce’s capital lines—

‘The ladies praise our curate’s eyes;
I cannot see their light divine:
He always shuts them when he prays,
And, when he preaches, closes mine.’”

XVIII

LONDON WALKS AND SOCIETY

 

“It is an inexpressible pleasure to know a little of the world, and to be of no character or significancy in it.”—Steele.

“Arranging long-locked drawers and shelves
Of cabinets, shut up for years,
What a strange task we’ve set ourselves!
How still the lonely room appears!
How strange this mass of ancient treasures,
Mementos of past pains and pleasures.”
“Be wisely worldly, be not worldly wise.”—Quarles.
“No, when the fight begins within himself,
A man’s worth something.”—Browning.

MY three thick volumes of the “Cities of Northern and Central Italy” appeared in the autumn of 1875, a very large edition (3000 copies) being printed at once. They were immediately the object of a most violent attack from Mr. Murray, who saw in them rivals to his well-known red handbooks. A most virulent and abusive article appeared upon my work in the Athenæum, accusing me, amongst other things, of having copied from Murray’s Handbooks without acknowledgment, and quoting, as proof, passages relating to Verona in both books, which have the same singular mistake. It was certainly a curious accident which made me receive the proof-sheets of Verona when away from home on a visit at Tunbridge Wells, where the only book of reference accessible was Murray’s “Handbook of Northern Italy,” which I found in the house, so that the mistakes in my account of Verona were actually copied from Murray’s Handbook, to which I was indebted for nothing else whatever, as (though much delighted with them when they first appeared) I had for years found Murray’s Handbooks so inefficient, that I had never bought or made any use of them, preferring the accurate and intelligent Handbooks of the German Gsel-fels. Mr. Murray further took legal proceedings against me, because in one of my volumes I had mentioned that the Italian Lakes were included in his Swiss rather than his Italian Handbooks: this having been altered in recent years, but having been the case in the only volumes of his Handbooks I had ever possessed. On all occasions, any little literary success I met with excited bitter animosity from Mr. Murray.

Another curious attack was made upon me by the eccentric Mr. Freeman, the historian of the Norman Conquest. He had published in the Saturday Review a series of short articles on the Italian cities, which I always felt had never received the attention they deserved, their real interest having been overlooked owing to the unpopularity of the dogmatic and verbose style in which they were written. Therefore, really with the idea of doing Mr. Freeman a good turn, I had rather gone out of my way to introduce extracts from his articles where I could, that notice might thus be attracted to them—an attention for which I had already been thanked by other little-read authors, as, whatever may be the many faults of my books, they have always had a large circulation. But in the case of Mr. Freeman, knowing the singular character of the man, I begged a common friend to write to his daughter and amanuensis to mention my intention, and ask her, if her father had no objection to my quoting from his articles, to send me a list of them (as they were unsigned), in order that I might not confuse them with those of any other person. By return of post I received, without comment, from Miss Freeman, a list of her father’s articles, and I naturally considered this as equivalent to his full permission to quote from them. I was therefore greatly surprised, when Mr. Freeman’s articles appeared soon afterwards in a small volume, to find it introduced with a preface, the whole object of which was, in the most violent manner, to accuse me of theft. I immediately published a full statement of the circumstances under which I had quoted from Mr. Freeman in sixteen different newspapers. Mr. Freeman answered in the Times by repeating his accusation, and in the Guardian he added, “Though Mr. Hare’s conduct was barefaced and wholesale robbery, I shall take no further notice of him till he has stolen something else.”[187]

Mr. Freeman made himself many enemies, but he did not make me one; he was too odd. His neighbour, the Dean of Wells, Johnson, could not bear him. When there was an Archæological Meeting at Wells, it was thought that peace might be made if the Dean could be persuaded to propose the historian’s health at the dinner. The Dean was quite willing, but he began his speech unfortunately with—“I rise with great pleasure to propose the health of our eminent neighbour, Mr. Freeman the historian, a man who—in his own personal characteristics—has so often depicted for us the savage character of our first forefathers.”

But in spite of these little catastrophes attending its publication, I am certain that “Cities of Northern and Central Italy,” which cost me far more pains and labour, and which is more entirely original, than all my earlier books put together, was by far the best of my writings, up to that time.

Before the book was out, I was already devoted to a new work, suggested by the great delight I had long found in London, and by the desire of awakening others to an enjoyment of its little-known treasures. A set of lectures delivered at Sir John Shaw-Lefevre’s house in Seymour Street, and a series of articles in Good Words, laid the foundation for my “Walks in London.” When employed in this work, as in all my others, I felt all those portions of life to be the most interesting which were spent in following out any one single purpose.

 

Journal.

Jan. 18, 1876.—I went to Cobham for three days last week. Deep snow was on the ground, but the visit was delightful. I was delighted to find Lady Pelham there, always so radiant and cordial, and so perfectly simple. Of the other guests, the most interesting were Lord and Lady Harris. There were also a great many Kentish men, hunting clergy, who dressed in top-boots, &c., during their visit, but departed in ecclesiastical attire.”

 

Jan. 19.—Yesterday I went to Lady Taunton. She has a beautiful portrait of her daughter by young Richmond—a sort of play upon every possible tone of yellow—a yellow gown, a yellow background, a great cushion worked with yellow sunflowers, yellow hair looped up with pearls, only a great white living lily to throw it all back. It is a most poetical picture.

“In the evening I went to a supper at the house of young F. P. to meet a whole society of young actors, artists, &c. Eden was there, known in the stage world as Herbert, a name he took to save the feelings of his episcopal uncle, Lord Auckland. His is a fine and a charming face, but rather sad.... There were about fourteen men present, very good singing, and then supper, much kindness and cordiality, and not a word which all their mothers and sisters might not have heard. It would not have been so at college or in a mess-room: so much for maligned actors.”

 

Jan. 21.—To see Frederick Walker’s pictures. It is an interesting collection, as being the written mind of one man. You see the same picture over and over again, from its first sketch of an idea—merely a floating idea—to its entire completion, and it is interesting to know how slow a growth of thought was required to lead up to something, which, after all, was not so very wonderful in the end. The pictures are not beautiful, but the man who did them must have been charming, such a simple lover of farmhouse life, apple-orchards, and old-fashioned gardens, with a glory of flowers—all the right kinds of flowers blooming together.

“It poured, so I sat some time with R. on one of the seats. He talked long and openly of all the temptations of his life, and endlessly about himself. I urged that the best way of ennobling his own nature must be through others, that self-introspection would never do, and could only lead to egotism and selfishness, but that in trying to help others he would unconsciously help himself. I find it most difficult to say anything of this kind without making illustrations out of my own life, which I have certainly no right to think exemplary.

“As we were going away, a lady who had stared long and hard at us, and whom I thought to be some waif turned up from my Roman lectures, came up to me. ‘I think, sir, that you were standing close to my sister just now, and she has lost her purse.’—‘I am very sorry your sister has lost her purse; it is very unfortunate.’—‘Yes, but my sister has lost her purse, and you, you were standing by her when she lost it.’—‘I think after what you have said I had better give you my card.’—‘Oh, no, no, no.’—’ Oh, yes, yes, yes: after what you have said I must insist upon giving you my card.’ What an odd experience, to be taken for a pickpocket! R. thought the lady had really picked my pocket, but she had not.”

 

Jan. 22.—An anonymous letter of apology from the lady of the picked pocket; only she said that if I had been as flurried as she was, and had been placed in the same circumstances as she was, I should have acted exactly as she did; in which I do not quite agree with her.”

 

Monk’s Orchard, Jan. 23.—This is a fine big house, be-pictured, be-statued, with a terraced garden, a lake, and a great flat park. A Mr. and Mrs. Rodd are here with their son Rennell, a pleasant-looking boy, wonderfully precocious and clever, though, as every one listens to him, he has—not unnaturally—a very good opinion of himself: still one feels at once that he is the sort of boy who will be heard of again some day.

“Our host, Mr. Lewis Loyd, is in some ways one of the most absent men in the world. One day, meeting a friend, he said, ‘Hallo! what a long time it is since I’ve seen you! How’s your father?’—‘Oh, my father’s dead.’—‘God bless me! I’m very sorry,’ &c. The next year he met the same man again, and had forgotten all about it, so began with, ‘Hallo! what a long time since I’ve seen you! How’s your father?’-‘Oh, my father’s dead still!’

“We have been to church at Shirley—one of Scott’s new country churches. In the churchyard is a cross to poor Sir John Anson, and beside it a granite altar-tomb with an inscription saying that it is to Ruskin’s father—‘a perfectly honest merchant,’ and that ‘his son, whom he loved to the uttermost, and taught to speak the truth, says this.’

 

69 Onslow Square, Jan. 28.—A long visit to F. and S. It is quite a new phase of life to me. They are perfect gentlemen, at least in heart, and one cannot be with them long without seeing a kindly, chivalrous nature, which comes to the surface in a thousand little nothings. Yet they are what the world frowns upon—beginning to seek fortune on the stage, neglected or rejected by unsympathetic relations, living from hand to mouth, furnishing their rooms by pawning their rings and watches, &c. S. in terrible illness, totally penniless, ignored by every one, is taken in, nursed, doctored, and paid for by F., upon whom he has no claim whatever. F., abused, snubbed, and without any natural charm in himself, is henceforth loved, defended, regarded with the most loyal devotion, by his more popular companion.

“I dined on the 26th with Lady E. Adeane. Mr. Percy Doyle was very amusing. Talking of the anxiety of ministers in America to change their posts, he said, ‘If my father had bequeathed to me Hell and Texas, I should have lived in Hell and let Texas.’

“Yesterday I went to luncheon with the Vaughans at the Temple, and met there Miss Rye, who has a home for homeless children at Clapham, and takes them off by batches to America, to establish them there as servants, &c. She produced from her pocket about a hundred cartes-de-visite of the children, wild, unkempt, and wicked-looking, and of the same children after they had been under cultivation. Certainly the change was marvellous, but then she had employed a good photographer for the redeemed children and a very bad one for the little ruffians.”

enlarge-image
FOUNTAIN COURT, TEMPLE.

FOUNTAIN COURT, TEMPLE. [188]

 

Feb. 5.—Dined at Lady Sarah Lindsay’s. Sir Robert Phillimore was there, whom I had not seen since I was a child. He is most agreeable and has a noble nature. There was a young man there, a Bridgeman, just entering the law, and I thought the picture quite beautiful which Sir Robert drew without effort for his encouragement, of all that the profession of the law might become and be made by any one who really took to it,—of all the great aims to be fulfilled, of all the ways of making it useful to others and ennobling to one’s own nature. I felt so much all that I should have felt that sort of encouragement, drawn from practical experience, would have been to myself.

 

Feb. 8.—The opening of Parliament. I went to Lord Overstone’s. At a quarter to two the procession passed beneath—the fine old carriages and gorgeous footmen, one stream of gold and red, pouring through the black crowd and leafless trees. We all counted the carriages differently—eight, twelve, fifteen; and there were only six! All one saw of royalty was the waving of a white cap-string, as the Queen, sitting well back in the carriage, bowed to the people.”

 

Feb. 13.—Dined at the Dowager Lady Barrington’s—the great topic being dinner past, present, and prospective. George, Lord Barrington, said that he had dined at the Brazilian Minister’s, and he was sure the cookery was good and also the wine, for he had eaten of every dish and drunk fourteen kinds of wine, and had passed a perfectly good night and been quite well the next morning. He also dined with Mr. Brand the Speaker, and complimented Mrs. Brand upon the dinner. She told her cook. He said, ‘We are three, Lord Granville’s, Mr. Russell Sturgis’s, and myself; there are only three cooks in London.’ When Lord Harrington afterwards saw Mrs. Brand, she told him the cook had asked who had praised him, and ‘when he heard,’ continued Mrs. Brand, ‘he also gave you his little meed of praise.’ ‘Ah, M. Barrington,’ he said, ‘c’est une bonne fourchette.’ He had been at Kinmel, but said he had ‘dismissed Mr. Hughes.’”

 

Feb. 14.—Dined at Lord Halifax’s to meet Lord and Lady Cardwell. They are most pleasant, interesting, interested company, and it was altogether one of the happiest dinners I remember. The conversation was chiefly about the changes in spelling and their connection with changes in English history and customs.

“Lord Cardwell was in the habit of using the Church prayers at family prayers. One day his valet came to him and said, ‘I must leave your lordship’s service at once.’—‘Why, what have you to complain of?’—‘Nothing personally, but your lordship will repeat every morning—“We have done those things which we ought not to have done, and have left undone those things which we ought to have done:”—now I freely admit that I have often done things I ought not, but that I have left undone things that I ought to have done, I utterly deny: and I will not stay here to hear it said.’”

 

Feb. 19.—A charming walk with Charlie Wood to St. Paul’s, along the Embankment and then a labyrinth of quaint City streets. He called it his half-holiday, and I am sure it was so to me to mount into his pure unworldly atmosphere even for two hours. He is really the only young man I know who at once thinks no evil, believes no evil, and does no evil.”

 

Sunday, Feb. 20.—Luncheon with Mrs. Harvey of Ickwellbury, meeting Colonel Taylor, the Whip of the House of Commons—a very amusing man. He talked a great deal about Ireland. He said that when he congratulated Whyte-Melville upon the engagement of his daughter to Lord Massereene, he said, ‘Yes, I have every reason to be satisfied: first, my future son-in-law is an Irishman, and then he speaks his native tongue in all its purity.’

enlarge-image
IN FRONT OF ST. PAUL’S.

IN FRONT OF ST. PAUL’S. [189]

“He spoke of landing in former days at Kingstown, how the car-drivers fought for you, and, having obtained you, possessed you, and made all out of you that they could. Passing a mile-post with G. P. O. upon it, the ‘fare’ asked its meaning. ‘Why, your honour,’ said the driver, ‘it’s aizy to see that your honour has never been in ould Ireland before—why, that’s just God preserve O’Connell, your honour, and it’s on ivery mile-post all through the country.’ It was of course ‘General Post Office.’

“Coming to a river, the ‘fare’ asked, ‘What do you call this river?’—‘It’s not a river at all, your honour; it’s only a strame.’—‘Well, but what do you call it?’—‘Oh, we don’t call it at all, your honour; it just comes of itself.’”

 

Feb. 24.—Dined at Lord Strathmore’s, and went on with Hedworth and Lizzie Williamson to Lady Bloomfield’s, where sixty-eight cousins assembled to take leave of Lord and Lady Lytton on their departure for India.”

 

If any one has ever the patience to read this memoir through, they will have been struck by the way in which, for many years before the time I am writing of, the persons with whom I lived were quite different from those amongst whom my childhood was spent. Arthur Stanley had never got over the publication of the “Memorials of a Quiet Life,” though he was always at a loss to say what he objected to in it, and Mary Stanley I never saw at all. From Lady Augusta alone I continued to receive frequent and affectionate messages.

In 1874 Lady Augusta represented the Queen at the marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh, and she never really recovered the effects of the cold which she then endured in Russia. In the summer of 1875 she was alarmingly ill in Paris, was brought home with difficulty, and from that time there was little hope of her recovery. She expired early in March 1876. I had not seen her for long, but had always a most affectionate recollection of her, and the last letter she was able to dictate was addressed to me.

 

Journal.

Holmhurst, March 12.—I have been again up to London for dear Augusta Stanley’s funeral on the 9th. It was a beautiful day. All the approaches to Westminster were filled with people in mourning.

“It seemed most strange thus to go to the Deanery again—that the doors closed for six years were opened wide by death, by the death of one who had always remained my friend, and whom no efforts of others could alienate. Red cloth showed that royalty was coming, and I went at once to the library, where an immense crowd of cousins were assembled. As I went down the little staircase with Kate Vaughan, four ladies in deep mourning passed to the dining-room, carrying immense wreaths of lovely white flowers: they were the Queen and three of her daughters. The Queen seemed in a perfect anguish of grief. She remained for a short time alone with the coffin, I believe knelt by it, and was then taken to the gallery overhanging the Abbey.

“Soon the immense procession set out by the cloisters, and on entering the church, turned so as to pass beneath the Queen and then up the nave from the west end. The church was full of people: I felt as if I only saw the wind lifting the long garlands of white flowers as the coffin moved slowly on, and Arthur’s pathetic face of childlike bewilderment. The music was lovely, but in that vast choir one longed for a village service. It was not so in the second part, when we moved through one long sob from the poor of Westminster who lined the way, to the little chapel behind the tomb of Henry VII., where the service was indescribably simple and touching.

“The procession of mourners went round the Abbey from the choir by a longer way to the chapel on account of the people. As it passed the corner of the transept, the strange little figure of Mr. Carlyle slipped out. He had been very fond of Augusta, was full of feeling for Arthur, and seemed quite unconscious of who and where he was. He ran along, before the chief mourners, by the side of the coffin, and in the chapel itself he stood at the head of the grave, making the strangest ejaculations at intervals through the service.”

 

Arthur stood at the head of the grave with his hands on the heads of Thomas Bruce’s two children. When the last flowers fell into the grave, a single voice sang gloriously, “Write, saith the Spirit.” Then we moved back again to the nave, and, standing at the end, in a voice of most majestic pathos, quivering, yet audible through all that vast space, Arthur himself gave the blessing. “The Queen was waiting for him upon the threshold as he went into the house, and led him herself into his desolate home.”

I insert some poor lines which I wrote “In Memoriam.”

“Lately together in a common grief
Our Royal mistress with her people wept,
And reverently were fairest garlands laid
Where our beloved one from her sufferings slept.
Seeing the sunshine through a mist of tears
Fall on the bier of her we loved so well,
Each, in the memory sweet of happy years,
Some kindly word or kindlier thought could tell.
And tenderly, with sorrow-trembling voice,
All sought their comfort in a meed of love,
Unworthy echoes from each saddened heart
Seeking their share in the great loss to prove.
For she so lately gathered into rest
Was one who smoothed this stony path of ours,
And beating down the thorns along the way,
Aye left it strewn and sweet with summer flowers.
In the true candour of a noble heart,
She never sought another’s fault to show,
But rather thought there must be in herself
Some secret failure which she did not know.
While if all praised and honoured, she herself
Meekly received it with a sweet surprise,
Seeking henceforth to be what now she deemed
Was but a phantasy in loving eyes.
When the fair sunshine of her happy home
Tuned her whole heart and all her life to praise,
She ever tried to cheer some gloomier lot,
From the abounding brightness of its ways.
And many a weary sufferer blest the hand
Which knew so well a healing balm to pour;
While hungry voices never were denied
By her, who kept, as steward, a poor man’s store.
Thus when, from all the labour of her love,
She passed so sadly to a bed of pain,
And when from tongue to tongue the story went,
That none would see the honoured face again:
It was a personal grief to thousand hearts
Outside the sphere in which her lot was cast,
And tens of thousands sought to have a share
In loving honour paid her at the last.
E’en death is powerless o’er a life like hers,
Its radiance lingers, though its sun has set;
Rich and unstinted was the seed she sowed,
The golden harvest is not gathered yet.”

 

Journal.

March 25.—A ‘Spelling Bee’ at Mrs. Dundas’s. I was plucked as I entered the room over the word Camelopard.

“Dined at the Tower of London with Everard Primrose; only young Lord Mayo there. At 11 P.M. the old ceremony of relieving guard took place. I stood with Everard and a file of soldiers on a little raised terrace. A figure with a lanthorn emerged from a dark hole.

“‘Who goes there?’ shouted the soldiers.

“‘The Queen.’

“‘What Queen?’

“‘Queen Victoria.’

“‘And whose keys are those?’

“‘Queen Victoria’s keys.’

“Upon which the figure, advancing into the broad moonlight, said ‘God bless Queen Victoria!’ and all the soldiers shouted ‘Amen’ and dispersed.”

 

March 28.—My lecture on ‘The Strand and the Inns of Court’ took place in 41 Seymour Street. I felt at Tyburn till I began, and then got on pretty well. There was a very large attendance. I was very much alarmed at the whole party, but had an individual dread of Lord Houghton, though I was soon relieved by seeing that he was fast asleep, and remained so all the time.”

 

April 4.—My lecture on Aldersgate, &c. Dinner at the Miss Duff Gordons, meeting the Tom Taylors.[190] He talks incessantly.”

 

April 6.—Dined with Lady Sarah Lindsay, where I was delighted at last to meet Mrs. Greville.[191] She recited in the evening, sitting down very quietly on the sofa with her feet on a stool. Her voice is absorbing, and in her ‘Queen of the May’ each line seems to catch up a fresh echo of pathos from the last.”

 

April 7.—Dined at Sir Stafford Northcote’s.[192] Mrs. Dudley Ryder was there, who told me she had paralysis of the throat, yet sang splendidly. Sir Stafford told a capital story in French in the evening, something like that which I tell in Italian about the Duke of Torlonia.”

 

April 14.—Dined at the Shaw-Lefevres’. Dear Sir John talked much, when we were alone, of the great mercies and blessings of his life—how entirely he could now say with Horne Tooke, ‘I am both content and thankful.’ He described his life—his frequent qualms at having sacrificed a certain position at the bar to an uncertain post under Government: then how the Governorship of Ceylon was offered to him, and how he longed to take it, but did not, though it was of all things what he would have liked, because an instant answer was demanded, and he could not at once find any means of providing for the children he could not take with him: how through all the year afterwards he was very miserable and could apply to nothing, it was such a very severe disappointment; and then how he was persuaded to stand for Cambridge, and how, though he did not get in, the effort served its purpose in diverting his thoughts. Eventually the place in the House of Lords was offered, in which he worked for so many years.

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CHAPEL AND GATEWAY, LINCOLN’S INN.

CHAPEL AND GATEWAY, LINCOLN’S INN. [193]

“Sir John spoke most touchingly of his boy’s death. ‘We had another little boy once, you did not know perhaps. It died. It was the dearest, most engaging child. When it died it took the shine out of life.’ Then he dwelt on the law of compensations, how the anxiety for his eldest girl Rachel, so very ill, ‘brought in on a cushion, and suffering so much, poor thing,’ diverted his thoughts from the great loss. In his old age he said, ‘And now at eighty all is blessing—all ... but it is difficult to remember how old one is. The chief sign of age I feel is the inability to apply regularly to work, the having no desire to begin anything new.’ One could not but feel as if it was Sir Thomas More who was speaking, so beautiful his spirit of blessed contentment, so perfect the trust and repose of his gentle waiting for what the future might bring.”

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STAPLE INN, HOLBORN.

STAPLE INN, HOLBORN. [194]

 

Holmhurst, April 30.—Lea has been in saying, ‘It’s May Day to-morrow, the day to turn the cows out to grass. The poor things must have a bit of a treat then, you know; they always have done. But there’s not the good clover now-a-days there used to be. Eh! what a fuss there used to be, to be sure, putting the cows out in the clover; and we used to watch that they did not eat too much, and to see that they did not swell; if they did, they had to be pricked, or they’d have burst. And then next day there was the making of the first May cheese.... Old John Pearce at Lime used to take wonderful care of Mr. Taylor’s oxen, and proud enough he used to be of them. “Well, you give them plenty to eat, John,” I used to say. “Yes, that’s just about it, Miss Lea,” he said; “I do put it into them right down spitefully, that I do.”’

“Here are some more of her sayings:—

“‘Here’s a pretty how-d’ye-do! It’s the master finding fault!—it’s one day one thing and one another. Old bachelors and old maids are all alike. They don’t know what they want, they don’t; but I know: the old maids want husbands, and the old bachelors want wives, that’s what they want.’

“‘It’s the mischief of the farming now-a-days that the farmers always say ‘Go.’ ... My father used to say a farmer never ought to say ‘Go;’ if he did, the work was sure to be neglected: a farmer should always say ‘Come, lads,’ and then the work would be done.’

“‘It’s hailing is it? then there’ll be frost, for

“Hail, hail,
Brings frost at its tail!”

as the saying is.’

“‘Why, girl, the moon’s waning. I would never kill a pig when the moon’s on the wane. Why, it would not break out; it would shrivel up. No, you must kill a pig with the new moon. I daresay folks laugh at me, but I know what’s what.’

“‘How you do make him (a sick young man) laugh!

“‘Well, and there’s nothing does him so much good. He’d mope, mope, mope, and that’s nothing. It makes him fat, like babies. Boys must laugh, or they won’t get fat. Girls may cry: it always does them good: it stretches their muscles and such like: but boys mustn’t cry; it’s bad for them: that’s how the old saying goes.’

“‘How do you like them?

“‘Eh! how do I know? We must summer ’em and winter ’em afore we can tell, must’na we, wench: aye, and a good many summers and winters it must be too, and then they may deceive ye. I have’na lived more than twenty years over half a century, but I’ve found that out.’

“I have’na heard the cuckoo this spring. I don’t know what’s come over the things. Heathfield fair is over ever so long, and “The old woman lets the cuckoo out of her basket at Heathfield fair,” that’s the old saying.’”

 

May 6.—In London again, which is full of interest as ever, and now especially beautiful from its trees just bursting into leaf with indescribable wealth of lovely young green. It is certainly a most delightful time. People think I ought to feel dreadfully depressed by a most spiteful paragraph upon ‘Cities of Italy’ in the Saturday, and a more spiteful review in the Athenæum, but I do not a bit: they are most disagreeable doses to take, but I believe they are most wholesome medicine for one’s morals and capital teachers of humility.

 

May 7.—An amusing tea at the Duchess of Cleveland’s—young Lord Stanhope and Mr. Bourke there. The Duchess talked of Pimlico, the bought property of Lord Grosvenor, formerly called ‘The Five Fields.’ The Court wished to buy it because it was so close to Buckingham Palace, but thought the sum asked was too much. Lord Grosvenor gave £30,000 for it. Lord Cowper had wished to buy it, and sent his agent for the purpose, but he came back without having done so, and when Lord Cowper upbraided him, said, ‘Really, my lord, I could not find it in my heart to give £200 more for it than it was worth.’ Cubitt afterwards offered a ground-rent of £60,000.”

 

May 8.—Dined with Mrs. Thellusson to meet Lady Waterford. Whistler the artist was there. He has a milk-white tuft growing out of his black hair, a peculiarity which he declares to be hereditary in his family, as in that of the Caëtani.”

 

May 10.—I was ‘at home’ in the morning to a sketching-party in Bunhill Fields Cemetery. It was very sunny there and very quiet, till the Militia and a troop of attendant boys found us out. One of the latter stole my umbrella, but I pursued him and captured it again as he passed through the gate.

“A very pleasant gathering in the afternoon in the beautiful new room of Lowther Lodge, where the great characteristics are the white Queen Anne chimney-pieces, and the vast space of floors, not parquetted, but of closely fitted oak boards. Dined at the Peases’ to meet Woolner the sculptor, &c.

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JOHN BUNYAN’S TOMB, BUNHILL FIELDS.

JOHN BUNYAN’S TOMB, BUNHILL FIELDS. [195]

 

May 11.—A lovely day. My ‘Excursion’ to the Tower. Forty-six people met me there. All the curious chambers and vaults were open to us in turn. In the White Tower we saw the prisons of Little Ease. I had given my little explanation and returned into the sunshine with the greater number of the party, when Mrs. Maxwell Lyte, who had arrived late, went in. Being told that the cell of Sir Thomas More was to be seen, and seeing a railing by the flickering torchlight, she thought that marked the place, and went underneath it, and stepped out into—nothing! With a piercing shriek she fell into a black abyss by a precipice of fourteen feet. Every one thought she was killed, but after a minute her voice came out of the depths—‘I am not seriously hurt.’ It was a tremendous relief.

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TRAITOR’S GATE, TOWER OF LONDON.

TRAITOR’S GATE, TOWER OF LONDON. [196]

“We went on to the Queen’s Head Restaurant, Emily Lefevre and I running before to order luncheon. When we arrived, we found volleys of smoke issuing from the house and the kitchen-chimney on fire. However, we waited, the party bore the smell, and eventually we had our luncheon. Tom Brassey wanted to order wine, &c., but Emily stopped him with, ‘Remember, Mr. Brassey, we are limited to fourpence a head.’

“The Prince of Wales arrived (from India) at 7 P.M. I waited two hours at the Spottiswoodes’ house in Grosvenor Place to see him, and saw nothing but the flash of light on his bald head. It was a pleasant party, but how seldom in London society does one hear anything one can carry away. Most people are like those Mme. du Deffand describes—‘des machines à ressort qui vont, viennent, parlent, vivent, sans penser, sans réfléchir, sans sentir, chacun jouant son rôle par habitude.’”

 

May 12.—Trouble with Murray the publisher, who insists on believing that because some points in my ‘Cities of Italy’ resemble his Handbooks, they must be taken from them, which they most assuredly are not. I had no Handbooks with me when I was writing, but where there is only one thing to say about places, two people sometimes say it.”

 

May 13.—A delightful morning, drawing in the Savoy Churchyard.”

 

May 15.—Drawing-party in dirty, picturesque St. Bartholomew’s. For the first time this year no one asked me to dinner, and I was most profoundly bored.”

 

May 16.—Dined at Sir Charles Trevelyan’s. Old Lord Hatherley was very interesting. He said much that was curious about the Milton houses in the City, and how as a boy he used to go to study at the Williams Library in Redcross Street: how Lady Hatherley had property in the City, in an ancient conveyance of which there was a signature of Shakspeare. I never saw people whose every word breathed more of old-fashioned goodness than Lord and Lady Hatherley.”

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THE SAVOY CHURCHYARD.

THE SAVOY CHURCHYARD. [197]

 

May 17.—A sketching-party in the City. The going thither down the river, with its varieties of huge barges with their sails, quite as striking as many things abroad. In the great Church of St. Mary Overy we drew the wonderful figures of the ‘Sisters’—sleeping deeply with their rakes and prongs over their shoulders while waiting for the great final harvest.”

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RAHERE’S TOMB, ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S, SMITHFIELD.

RAHERE’S TOMB, ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S, SMITHFIELD. [198]

 

May 26.—Dined at Lord Ducie’s. Lord Henry Scott talked of his place on the Solent, and his different rights to flotsam, jetsam, and lagam; that it never arrived at the third: that the second had only brought him two dead sailors to bury.”

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THE SLEEPING SISTERS, ST. MARY OVERY.

THE SLEEPING SISTERS, ST. MARY OVERY. [199]

 

May 27.—Dined at Lord Egerton of Tatton’s, Old General Doyle was very amusing with his stories of duels in which he had a personal share. He also told of his visit to Ireland as a young man with the present Lord Enniskillen as Lord Cole. At the first house they went to, his friend escaped after dinner, but he had not time. The host locked the door, and they began to drink at seven, and went on to eleven. At eleven his host fell under the table, and he then picked his pocket of the key and got out. The next day his host seriously consulted Lord Cole as to whether it was not his duty to call him out, because he would not stay for another drinking bout.

“He told the story of a man in France, condemned to death for the murder of his father and mother, who, when asked if he could give any reason why he should not undergo the extreme penalty of the law, clasped his hands, and said, ‘Ayez pitié d’un pauvre orphelin.’”

 

May 31.—An evening party at Lord Houghton’s, an omnium-gatherum, but very amusing. It recalled Carlyle’s speech, who, when some ecclesiastic gloomily inquired in his presence ‘What would happen if Jesus Christ returned to earth now?’ retorted—‘Happen! why Dickie Milnes would ask him to dinner, to be sure, and would ask Pontius Pilate to meet him.’

“It took half-an-hour to get up the staircase. Miss Rhoda Broughton was there, beautifully dressed, pressed upon by bishops and clergy: Salvini and Irving were affectionately greeting: Lady Stanley of Alderley, under a perfect stack of diamonds, was declaiming very loud in her unknown tongue to an astonished and bewildered audience; and through all the groups upstairs the young King of the Belgians was smiling and bowing a retreat to his escape by a back-staircase.”

 

June 6.—Left London for Devonshire, struck more than usual with the interest of the Great Western Railway, which has no exceptional beauty, but most characteristic changes of scenery, even the botany along the banks showing in its different plants the varied conformations of the soil.

“First, close to London, the endless brick-kilns, and the last streets stretching out into the blackened fields like fingers of a skeleton hand. Then across the green meadows, all intersected by elms, branchless and tufted like great brooms, the grey coronal of Windsor. Then the red houses and pretentious prison of Reading and the glassy reaches of the Thames, with its vigorous growth of sturdy water-plants at Pangbourne and Maple Durham.

“Next we enter Berkshire, bare and featureless except near the river and where the White Horse appears, a scraggy creature rudely scratched in the turf above a soft hollow in the downs. Chippenham is a little town in a wooded hollow, with a grey spire and stone bridge over the Avon. Then one reaches a stony country. The houses are no longer of brick, but all of stone. The Box tunnel is a result of the hills. The villas near Bath, of grey stone, cling to the sides of the heights from whose quarries they were taken. In the valley are Hampton church and ferry.

“Bath, an entirely stone city, has a consequent greyness of its own. The streets have a desolate stateliness, and are still the abode of old maids and card-playing dowagers as when described by Miss Austen; so Bath-chairs are still the popular mode of conveyance to the frequent tea-parties. Beechen Cliff is a fine feature. In the centre of the town the Abbey tower shows the poverty of perpendicular architecture.

“By Kelsey Oaks we rush on to smoky Bristol, all energy and ugliness: then a great strange rift in the hills shows where the Avon winds beneath the rocks and hanging bridge of Clifton.

“Now there is a change to softer scenery at Clevedon, Woodspring Priory, the odd hill of Weston. The houses grow warmer as well as the country—no longer of grey, but of red sandstone: the Somersetshire churches, proverbially fine, have pink-grey towers, their projections gilded with lichen. Now we pass through apple-orchards, and the thorns, snow-drifted with bloom, stand knee-deep in the long mowing grass. In the flats rises Bridgewater, then Taunton with its beautiful and picturesque towers standing out against the low grey hills; Exeter, capped by the stumpy towers of its cathedral; and then the salt estuary of the Teign laps the bank of the railway and we enter the woods of Powderham.”

 

Powderham, June 9.—I found the door open last night and walked straight into the hall. Charlie Wood and Lady Agnes were there at tea, and people kept dropping in—a very pleasant party.... Lord Devon[200] is the kindest of hosts, full of small courtesies; but he is a great deal away, flying up to London after dinner and returning next day: they say he performs the circumference of the globe every year, and chiefly on his own lines of railway.

“Lord Devon’s only son, Lord Courtenay, is seldom here, but when he is, amuses every one. One evening ‘Mademoiselle Bekker’ arrived late at Powderham, coming in the hope to obtain a chairman for a meeting which was going to be held at Exeter in favour of the Rights of Women. There was a very distinguished party in the house—the Bishop of Winchester, Lord Halifax, the American Minister (Motley), &c., and they each, while refusing, made a speech in answer to hers, which was most eloquent. Eventually Mademoiselle Bekker declared herself so indignant as to be led to unsex herself: she was Lord Courtenay.”

 

June 12.—On Saturday we were called at daybreak, and went to Totness by rail, and thence in waggonettes eighteen miles through deep bosky lanes, and then over breezy uplands to the Moult, Lord Devon’s enchanting little place near Salcombe. Here the blue-green transparent sea glances through the thick foliage deep below the windings of the road, and the quiet bay is encircled by rocky hills tufted with wood, which in parts feathers down into the water. We rested at North Sands Cottage, a lovely wee place of Lord Devon’s, and then walked through the grounds of his larger place of the Moult. Aloes grow and flourish here to an immense size. Beyond this a path—‘Lord Courtenay’s Walk’—runs half-way up the steep precipices above the sea.

“It was an enchanting day, white wreaths of cloud drifting above in the blue, deep below the sea gloriously transparent, with all its weed-covered rocks visible through the waters, great white gulls swooping around with their wild outcries, and the pathlet winding up and down the cliff, bordered by cistus and thrift in masses of pink luxuriance. On the steep descent to a cove, we were met by a welcome luncheon, and ate it high above some rock caverns which are very curious at that point.

“One of the principal farmers belonging to an agricultural club near this lost his wife lately, and in his kind way Lord Devon alluded to her at the annual club dinner,—speaking of her as an admirable, kind, and industrious woman, and saying how he could feel with such a loss, having had himself a bereavement which was ever present to him. But at last the farmer interrupted him—‘I doan’t know what his Lordship be a talking about; but I du know that she was an awful cranky, tiresome old woman, and God Almighty’s very welcome to she.’

“Yesterday was Sunday. I went to the service at Powderham with Lord Devon and Lady Mary Fortescue in a chapel opposite the white recumbent marble figure of Lady Devon. The afternoon was spent in the ‘plantation garden,’ where an Australian gum-tree was in full flower. In the evening there were prayers—‘Compline,’ they called it—a very living, earnest service in the chapel.... Truly I felt, as I took leave of Charlie, that above the door of every house that is his home might be inscribed the words of S. Bernard engraved over the threshold of many Cistercian houses—‘Bonum est nos hic esse, quia homo vivit purius, cadit rarius, surgit velocius, incedit cautius, quiescit securius, moritur felicius, purgatur citius, praemiatur copiosius.’”

 

Abbots Kerswell, June 15.—Yesterday Sir Samuel and Lady Baker dined here. He is most agreeable, and possesses ‘l’art de narrer’ to perfection. He told a ghost-story in the evening, without either names, dates, or any definite material, and yet it was quite admirable, and kept the company breathless for three-quarters of an hour.”

 

June 16.—Yesterday we paid a long visit to Sir Samuel Baker. He has bought and made his place with the money he received from the Khedive for his African discoveries.[201] The house is full of skeleton heads, horns, &c. Many others were destroyed in the African depot by an insect which forces out the bone as with a gimlet, but fortunately it will not live in England.”

 

Charlton Hall, June 17.—I spent several hours in Bath on my way here. It was an exquisite day, and everything was in great beauty. Bath seems a town exclusively intended for the rich. Everything being built of stone gives it a foreign character, and the height of the surrounding hills causes you to see green down every street. I felt age in the way in which everything looked so small in proportion to my recollection.

“At Chippenham a dogcart from Lord Suffolk’s was waiting for me, and we rolled away down the dull lanes to Malmesbury. It was curious in one day to revisit, as it were, six years out of my former life. At Bath I had walked up the hill to where I could look down upon Lyncombe, and what memories it awakened of miserable longings after a fuller, more interesting life, which lasted through the whole of two years and a half of wasted, monotonous, objectless time. Now in my full life, looking down upon that richly wooded glen, it seemed quite beautiful; but in the wretched bondage of those weary years, how hideous it all was!

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CHARLTON HALL.

CHARLTON HALL.

“At Chippenham, as I passed the park at Harnish, I went back farther still to three years and a half of private school imprisonment and the pettiest of petty miseries. They do not matter much now certainly, but one does grudge six years of youth denuded of all that makes life pleasant and beautiful.

“Charlton is a magnificent old house of yellow-grey stone, Jacobean, open on all sides, a perfect quadrangle. Inside, there was once a courtyard, but a former Lord Suffolk closed it in. It remained for many years a mere gravelled space: lately Lady Suffolk has had it paved, and to a certain extent furnished. The rooms are handsome in stucco ornaments, but not picturesque. The pictures are glorious. There is one of the noblest known works of Leonardo da Vinci—‘La Vierge aux Rochers,’ the figures all with the peculiar Leonardo type of face, grouped in a rocky valley—strange, wild, and fantastic.[202] The picture which to me is most charming is ‘Le Raboteur,’ attributed to Annibale Carracci. The Virgin, a sweet-looking peasant woman, yet with an expression of ‘pondering these things in her heart,’ is sitting outside her cottage door with her work-basket by her side. The boy Jesus, in a simple blue tunic, is standing at the end of the carpenter’s table—‘subject to his parents’—doing some measuring for old Joseph, who is at work there. It is a quiet village group such as one has often seen, only elevated by expression.

“There is a glorious old gallery with a noble ceiling, full of portraits and of old and interesting books. In the ‘rose parlour’ are more pictures, and a ceiling the design of which is repeated in the flower-garden. Many of the pictures belonged to James II. When he fled, he sent them to be taken care of by Colonel Graham, who had married the Earl of Berkshire’s daughter, and William III. afterwards allowed them to remain.”

 

June 18.—Yesterday it rained at intervals all day. I drew the gallery, and enjoyed talking to Lady Suffolk,[203] who sat by me, with a charm of face and manner and mind which recalls Donne’s lines—

‘No spring or summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen on one autumnal face.’

She lives so far more in the heavenly than the earthly horizons, that one feels raised above earth whilst one is with her. She spoke of the impossibility of believing in eternity of punishment, yet of the mass of difficulties besetting all explanations. She talked of a woman in the village in failing health and unhappy. Being asked if she was not troubled in her mind, she confessed that she was, but said, ‘It is not for want of light; I have had plenty of light.’ She said her father had said to her, ‘Now if you go to hell, Hannah, it will not be for want of light.’

“Some one had urged Lady Suffolk to go and hear Moody and Sankey, because their sermons on heaven were such a refreshment and rest: she had gone, and the sermon had all been about hell.

“Lady Victoria drove me to Malmesbury. The town cross is beautiful. The Abbey is a gigantic remnant of a colossal whole; the existing church being about two-thirds of the nave of the original abbey-church, entered by a magnificent Norman door. By the altar is a tomb to King Athelstan, erected some centuries after his death, and there is a gallery like Prior Bolton’s in Smithfield.”

 

June 18.—I sleep at Charlton in the ‘king’s room,’ so called from James II. It is hung with tapestry and old pictures. As we were going to bed, Andover said, ‘You sleep in the haunted room.’ Consequently every noise, which I had never observed before, troubled me through the night. One ought never to be told that a room is haunted.

“Conversation has been much about Mrs. Wagstaff, a homœopathic clairvoyant, wife of an allopathic doctor at Leighton Buzzard. She comes up to London if desired, and works wonderful cures. In her trances her conversation is most remarkable, but out of them she is a very ordinary person. She never remembers when awake having seen any one (with her eyes half-open) in a trance, but meets as a perfect stranger the person she has just been talking to for half-an-hour.

“It was odd on Sunday having no service in church till six in the evening, but certainly very pleasant. We walked in the park beforehand to Sans Souci, a pretty wood in which a clear stream has its source, throwing up the sand in the oddest way in a large round basin. Numbers of trees were lying about, cut down, as Andover said, ‘to meet the annual demand for the needy.’”

 

June 19.—The Andovers’ little girl is most amusing. At six, if she catches a new word, she uses it without the slightest idea as to its meaning. Her maid Sabina went to her to-day and said, ‘Now, Miss Howard, I must put on your things, for you must go out.’—‘No, Sabina, you must not,’ promptly said ‘Tiny-Wee.’—‘But I really must, Miss Howard,’ said Sabina.—‘No, Sabina, you must not,’ persisted Tiny-Wee.—‘And why, Miss Howard?’ said Sabina.—‘Because, Sabina, it is co-eternal,’ said Tiny-Wee very solemnly; and Sabina was utterly quelled and gave way at once. It is needless to say that Tiny had been to church and heard the Athanasian Creed.

“Andover has been describing a clergyman who preached on the fatted calf, and sought his words as well as his ideas as he proceeded extempore, and said, ‘He came home, my brethren, he came home to his father, to his dear father, and his father killed for him the fatted calf, which he had been saving up for years, my brethren—saving up for years for some festive occasion.’

“He told of an American who never was in time for anything in his life, was unpunctual for everything systematically. One day, in a very out-of-the-way place, he fell into a cataleptic state, and was supposed to be dead. According to the rapidity of American movement, instead of bringing the undertaker to him, they took him to the undertaker, who fitted him with a coffin and left him, only laying the coffin lid loosely on the outside of it. In the middle of the night he awoke from his trance, pushed off the lid, and finding himself in a place alone surrounded by a quantity of coffins, he jumped up and pushed off the lid of the coffin nearest to him. He found nothing. He tried another: nothing. ‘Good God!’ he cried, ‘I’ve been late all my life, and now I’m late for the resurrection!’”

 

June 20.—Yesterday we had a delightful drive to see Lady Cowley at Draycot, a most charming place of happy medium size, in a park full of fern and old oaks. Lord Mornington, who left it to the Cowleys, was quite a distant cousin, and they expected nothing. He came to dine with them occasionally at Paris, he mounted Lady Feodore for the Bois de Boulogne, and one day they suddenly found themselves the heirs of Draycot, perfectly fitted up with everything they could possibly wish for. It was like a fairy story, and Lady Cowley has never attempted to conceal her enchantment at it.

“To-day we went to a different place—Mr. Holford’s new house of Westonbirt. It is an immense building in a flat, ugly situation. The hall goes up the whole height of the house, with open galleries to the bedrooms, so that every one sees who goes in and out of them. The dining-room has a fine Jacobean chimney-piece and modern Corinthian pillars. There is a great chimney-piece in another room, which was an altar in a church at Rome. All is huge, and seemed very comfortless.

“It has been a most happy visit to the Suffolks, with whom one is completely at home. As Lady Suffolk says, though they have often wished to be rich, they have been much happier for being poor, for they have all been obliged to do their part in the house and place, and all that has to be carried on there, and so it is to them not only the scene of their life, but of their work.

 

June 22.—Yesterday I went to Oxford, and came in, without intending it, for Commemoration. I will never go there again if I can help it. It is like visiting a grave of happy past years.”

 

June 28.—Went to Holland House. The deep shade of its lofty avenue is enchanting as one turns in from the baking street of Kensington. Lady Holland sat in the inner room, with her sweet face encircled by the prettiest of old-fashioned caps. Beau Atkinson was with her, with a lovely little Skye dog in his arms, and Lady Lilford with her two fine boys. After talking some time, we wandered into the gardens under the old cedars. When we came in, old Mr. Cheney was leaning over Lady Holland’s chair, chuckling to himself over the dogmatic self-assertion of Mr. Hayward,[204] who was talking to her of books, the value of which he considered to be quite decided by his opinion of them. Especially he talked of Ticknor’s Memoirs, so remarkable because, though he was an American of the most lowly origin, it is evident that when he came to Europe he not only saw the best society of every country he visited, but saw it intimately—which could only have been due to his own personal charm.

“Dined at Lady Barrington’s. She said I must be presented, and George Barrington said he should present me.

“L. was full of a dinner she had been at at Count Beust’s. The Prince Imperial was there, who had always hitherto been regarded as only a pleasant boy, but who electrified them on this occasion by a remarkable flash of wit. It had been impossible to avoid asking the French Ambassador, but Count Beust had taken especial pains to make it as little offensive as possible. He took in the Princess of Wales to supper and placed her at the same table with the Prince Imperial. The Comte and Comtesse d’Harcourt were at another table with the Prince of Wales. Suddenly an offensive pushing man, first secretary to the French embassy, brought Mademoiselle d’Harcourt to the Prince Imperial’s table and sat down. The Prince was very much annoyed. Looking up at a picture of the Emperor of Austria, he asked if it resembled him—‘I do not remember him, I was so very young when I saw him,’ and then in a louder tone, ‘I wonder how the French Ambassador represents the Republic of France on the walls of his rooms.’”

 

June 29.—Yesterday I went down into Kent for Miss Virginia Smith’s wedding with young Francis Villiers,[205] toiling in a cab with Lady Craven over the hot chalky hills. The breakfast was at Selsden Park, a lovely place belonging to a child-heiress, Erroll Smith’s daughter.

“Dined with Lady Head, and we went on together to Baroness Burdett Coutts’, where Irving read Macbeth to an immense company, chiefly bishops and archbishops and their belongings. The reading was stilted and quite ineffective.”

 

June 30.—A most pleasant party at Lord Ducie’s—Mr. and Miss Froude, Sir James Lacaita, Miss Grant the sculptress, Lord Aberdeen and Lady Katherine, Lord Northbrook and Lady Emma Baring, Lord Camperdown, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Gladstone, Lord Vernon, George and Lady Constance Shaw-Lefevre, &c.

“There was very agreeable conversation, chiefly about Macaulay’s Life—of his wonderful memory and the great power it gave him. Gladstone said the most astonishing thing about him was that he could remember not only the things worth knowing, but the most extraordinary amount of trash. He described another man he knew who, after once reading over the advertisement sheet of the Times, could repeat it straight through.

“In the evening I was asked to tell a story, and did, feeling that if Irving amused people for about three hundred nights of the year, it was rather hard if I declined to amuse him on one of the remaining sixty-five. He enjoyed it more than any one else, and lingering behind, when all were gone but Mrs. Gladstone and one or two others, said, ‘Now that we are such a very small party, do tell us another.’”

 

July 6.—Went by rail with Mr. Ralph Dutton and ‘Beauty Stephens’ to Syon. It is a great house in a low-lying park, on the edge of which the Thames is marked by its great lines of tall sedges and the barges going up and down with music through the flat meadow-lands. On the parapet of the house is the poor old lion from Northumberland House. The lime-trees were in flower, scenting the whole air.

“Lady Percy received in the gallery, and about two thousand guests were collected on the lawn. I took courage and went and talked to the Japanese ambassadress, who was very smiling, but did not say much beyond ‘Me speak leetle English and no moosh French.’”

 

July 7.—Went by water with Mrs. Mostyn, Miss Monk, and Miss Milnes to Fulham. The steamer was actually two hours and a half on the way. There was an interest in recognising a whole gallery of De Wint’s sketches in the tall bosky trees, the weirs, the great water-plants, and still more on the causeway leading from Fulham Church to the palace. It was a gloriously hot day, and very pleasant sitting under the old gateway looking into the sunlit court, with full light on the rich decorations of the brickwork and the massy creepers.

“Afterwards, I was at a beautiful and charming party at Holland House. A number of grown-up royalties and a whole bevy of royal children sat under the trees watching Punch and Judy. The Prince Imperial, with charming natural manners, walked about and talked to every one he knew. I was happy in finding Lady Andover and many other friends. Towards the end, Lady Wynford said the Princess Amelie of Schleswig[206] desired that I might be presented to her, as she had read my books, &c. She is elderly, but enjoys life and dances at all the balls she is asked to, especially at Pau, of which she talked with animation.”

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COURTYARD, FULHAM PALACE.

COURTYARD, FULHAM PALACE. [207]

 

July 8.—At luncheon at Lady Alwyn Compton’s I met Lady Marion Alford. There was much talk of the wills of old London citizens—how Mr. Bancroft had desired in his that for a hundred years a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine should be placed in his vault every year on the anniversary of his death, because he was convinced that before that time he should awake from his death-sleep and require it, and the hundred years had only just expired;—of how Jeremy Bentham’s body, in accordance with his will, was produced a year after his death at the feast of a club he had founded, and how all the company fled from it.

“I was afterwards at a breakfast at Lord Bute’s. There were few people I knew there, and the grass was very wet, so I sat under the verandah with the Egertons. Presently an old lady was led out there, very old, and evidently unable to walk, but with a dear beautiful face, dressed in widow’s weeds. She seemed to know no one, so gradually—I do not know how it came about—I gave her a rose, and sat down at her feet on the mat and she talked of many beautiful things. She was evidently sitting in the most peaceful waiting upon the very threshold of the heavenly kingdom. When I was going away she said, ‘I should like to know whom I have been talking to.’ I said, ‘My name is Augustus Hare.’ She said, ‘I divined that when you gave me the flower.’ I have not a notion who she was.[208]

“I dined at Sir John Lefevre’s, and was pained to see how weak and failing he looks. The Rianos were there and Sir James Lacaita, and in the evening Lady Ducie came in, radiant with goodness and beauty.”

 

July 11.—A very pleasant dinner at Lord Ebury’s. He overflows with kindness. He said, ‘If this hot weather is trying for you and me, it is very good for the corn: that hardens, while we melt.’”

 

July 13.—Luncheon with Sir C. Trevelyan, who showed me Macaulay’s library, and then drove me to see the remnant of the house of Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, in Villiers Street. Peter the Great lived there when in London, and David Copperfield is made to lodge there by Dickens.

“Dined at Lord Cardwell’s, where I sat by George Otto Trevelyan, the author of Lord Macaulay’s Life. At Lord Sherborne’s in the evening I found Irving, with all the three hundred nights of his Hamlet written on his face. I was introduced to Dr. Ellicott, Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, a little dapper man in a violet coat.”

 

July 14.—Luncheon at Mrs. Lowe’s. She was most amusing about her pets. ‘Mr. Lowe, you know, is always going out and bringing home a new animal: he does like pets so. He went and he bought a dog, and then he went and bought a parrot, and then he bought a cockatoo and a cat, and I said, “Mr. Lowe, if you go and buy any more pets, I will go out of the house, because I will not bear it,” and then Mr. Lowe went and bought Bow-wow, the little white dog, and it had not cut its teeth, and it was so dreadfully ill, and we had to nurse it, and it gave us more trouble than all the other pets put together; and I like Bow-wow the best of them all, and Mrs. Scutt (that’s the housekeeper) is just the same.

“‘I said to Mr. Lowe, “If you will go downstairs with that cockatoo on your shoulder, it will fly away out of the window, and you’ll lose him,” but Mr. Lowe would do it, you know, he’s so obstinate; and it was just as I said, and the cockatoo flew out of the staircase window, and Mr. Lowe was in a fine way about him. There are a lot of boys watching for him now, and he’ll come back some day, for every one knows Mr. Lowe’s cockatoo: but he won’t come back yet. And finely he’s enjoying himself, that bird is; he’s never had such a fine time in his life; he’s finished all the cherries in Eldon Grove, and he’s just beginning upon the gooseberries.

“‘When we drive down to Caterham, Bow-wow and Elfin, the two dogs, sit upon the back-seat, and the cat sits in the middle. They look out of the windows and amuse themselves wonderfully, and finely the people stare.

“‘When I first married Mr. Lowe we lived at Oxford. It was quite delightful: we had all the interesting society of the University, and Mr. Lowe was a tutor and taught all the clever young men. When we went up to London, we hired a coach, and had six first-class men inside, all Mr. Lowe’s pupils. Then Mr. Lowe’s eyes failed, and we threw it all up and went to Australia, and were away six years; but it answered to us, for I had some money left to me at that time, and Mr. Lowe had some money left to him, and we invested it there in houses, and they pay us 60 per cent., and we made our fortunes.

“‘How sad the Duchess of —— going away is! She cried so dreadfully when she went, that I am sure it’s for ever. Don’t you think, if I had had a dreadful quarrel with Mr. Lowe, and we had parted for ever, that I should cry too? It is a very different thing when it is not for ever. I go off to Wiesbaden for six weeks, and I wish Mr. Lowe good-bye, and I say, “Well, good-bye, Mr. Lowe; in six weeks you’ll have me back again,” and if we have quarrelled, it does not signify; but it would be very different if it was for ever. Why, I should cry my eyes out.’

“One day, however, when Mrs. Lowe was inveighing against the absurdity of the marriage service—of the bridegroom’s statement, ‘With all my worldly goods I thee endow,’ even when he possessed nothing and it was just the other way, and when she was saying, ‘Now when I married Mr. Lowe, he had nothing whatever but his brains’—a deep voice from the end of the room growled out, ‘Well, my love, I certainly did not endow you with those.’

“‘Why contend against your natural advantages?’ said Mr. Lowe one day to a deaf friend who was holding up an ear-trumpet to listen to a bore.

“In the afternoon I drove down with Lady Sherborne, Miss Dutton, and Miss Elliot to see Lord Russell at Pembroke Lodge. It is a beautiful place; not merely a bit of Richmond Park, but a bit of old forest enclosed, with grand old oaks and fern. The Queen gives it to Lord Russell, who, at eighty-four,[209] was seated in a Bath-chair in the garden, on a sort of bowling-green, watching his grandsons play at tennis. Though he no longer comprehends present events, he is said to be perfectly clear about a far-away past, and will converse at any length about Napoleon, the escape from Elba, &c. When I was presented to him, by way of something to say, I spoke of having seen the historical mound in his garden, and asked what it was that Henry VIII. watched for from thence as a death-signal, ‘was it a rocket or a black flag?

“‘It was a rocket.’

“‘Then that would imply that the execution was at night, for he would hardly have seen a rocket by day.’

“‘No, it was not at night; it was very early in the morning. She was a very much maligned woman was that Anne Boleyn.’

“We all sat by a fountain under the oak-trees, and then went into the house to a sort of five-o’clock tea on a large scale.”

 

Holmhurst, July 15.—Returned to the dear little home, where I found Charlotte Leycester sitting on the terrace surrounded by the dogs, looking on the lovely view from our greenery. The intense freshness of the air, the glory of the flowers, the deep blue sea beyond our upland hayfields, and the tame doves cooing in the copper beech-tree, are certainly a refreshing contrast to London, though I should never have been able to leave it unless Duty had pulled at me.”

 

Highcliffe, July 24.—In this most unearthly Paradise all looks like last year going on still—the huge stems of chestnut, and the white lilies and bulrushes in the great vase relieved against the old boiserie of the saloon; the wide window-porch open to the fountain and orange-trees and sunlit terraces and sea; Lady Waterford coming in her hat and long sweeping dress through the narrow wind-blown arbutus avenue; old Mrs. Hamilton-Hamilton in her pleasant sitting-room, with Miss Lindsay hovering about and waiting on her like a maid-of-honour; the Ellices, so cordial and pleasant, so beaming with kindness and goodness, their largeness of heart quite preventing their being able to indulge in the sectarian part of their own religious ideas.... I have felt, as I always do very shy at first, and then entirely at home.”

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HOLMHURST.

HOLMHURST.

 

July 25.—We have all, I think, basked as much in the mental sunshine of this beautiful life as in the external sunshine which illumines the brilliant flowers and glancing sea.

“We walked on the shore this afternoon. ‘See what festival the sea has been making, and what beautiful coloured weeds she has been scattering,’ said Lady Waterford. We found two little boots projecting from the sand, and as we dug them out and found them filled and stiff, we really expected a drowned child to follow; but it was only sand that filled them, and the little Payne child of Chewton Bunny had lost them when bathing. As we sat on the shore while Lady Waterford looked for fossils, a staith came down from the Bunny and flooded the little stream into a river, cutting off our return. We, the male part, crossed much higher up: Lady Waterford plunged in and walked: Lady Jane took off shoes and stockings and waded.

“Lady Waterford has talked much of marriages—how even indifferent marriages tone down into a degree of comfort which is better for most women than desolation.”

 

July 26.—We walked in the evening to the Haven House. The old pine-wood, with its roots writhing out of the sand, and its lovely views, over still reaches of water to the great grey church, and the herons fishing, are more picturesque than ever. Afterwards Lady Herbert of Lea arrived with her beautiful daughter Gladys.[210] Lady Herbert is suffering still from the bite of a scorpion when she was drawing in the ruins of Karnac.”

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Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford.  From a Photograph by W. J. Reed. Bournamouth.

Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford.
From a Photograph by W. J. Reed. Bournamouth.

 

July 29.—In the afternoon I went with Lady Waterford to General Maberly, who talked, as it seemed to me, very sensibly about the exaggerations of teetotalism. He thought that every one should do as they pleased, and that it was wrong of a great landowner to prevent the existence of a public-house on his estate: that it was following the teaching of the Baptist rather than that of our Saviour, for ‘was not our Saviour a wine-bibber?’

“Lady Waterford has been speaking of sympathy for others; that there is nothing more distressing than to see another person mortified.

“‘Mama could never bear to see any one mortified. Once at Paris, at a ball they had, there was a poor lady, and not only her chignon, but the whole edifice of hair she had, fell off in the dance. And Mama was so sorry for her, and, when all the ladies tittered, as she was Madame l’Ambassadrice and a person of some influence, I don’t think it was wrong of her to apply the verse, and she said, “Let the woman among us who has no false hair be the first to throw a stone at her.”’

 

July 30.—Hamilton Aïdé says he went to visit two or three times at a lunatic asylum. The matron, a very nice person, said, ‘There is here a very extraordinary example of a person who has become quite mad, and only from vanity.’ He went to see her. It was a very old lady, with great traces of beauty and dignity of manner, but she wore the most extraordinary bonnet, very large, and from the fringe hung a pair of scissors, a thimble, and a needle-book. He made a civil speech to her about being glad to see her looking so well, or something of that kind. In reply she only just looked up and said, ‘For further information refer to the 25th chapter of the second Book of Kings,’ and took no more notice whatever.”

 

July 31.—Lady Jane Ellice says that there are three shades of people one likes—those whom one must see in heaven, for it would not be heaven without them: those whom one hopes to see in heaven and to meet there: and those whom one hopes will be in heaven but that one will not see them there. Her singing this evening of ‘Zurich’s Blue Waters,’ ‘Three Blue Bottles,’ &c., has been perfectly charming.

“Lady Waterford has been telling of Ruskin ‘like a little wizened rat.’ ‘He likes to be adored, but then Somers and I did adore him, and he likes to lash his disciples with rods of iron. I do not mind that: it is his jokes I cannot bear; they make me so sorry and miserable for him.’”

 

August 3.—Lady Waterford said that Lady Stuart, when a Frenchman tried to talk to her in very bad English, told him she preferred talking French. ‘Ah,’ he said, ‘vous aimez mieux, Madame, écorcher les oreilles des autres, qu’on vous écorche vos oreilles.’”

 

August 5.—I have left Highcliffe, and the gates of Paradise seem closed for a year. There has been the usual perfect confidence about everything through the whole party: the pleasant going backwards and forwards to ‘Hamilton Place,’ and the waiting upon old Mrs. Hamilton of her ‘equerry’ and her ‘maid-of-honour:’ the many friendly snubs and contradictions which rail at all the smallnesses and ennoble all the higher aims of life. After luncheon we all sat in the porch surrounded by the great lilies and geraniums in flower and we had coffee there, looking upon the Isle of Wight with the Needles looming through the mist: then we parted.

“It was a long drive in pouring rain from Southampton to Sydney Lodge, where I found a warm welcome from dear old Lady Hardwicke.[211] It is a moderate house, with large gardens, into which bits of old forest are interwoven. This morning we drove to Eliot Yorke’s house at Netley Fort, an old tower of the monks, in front of which the Mayflower set sail. The situation is lovely, close to the sea, with a hilly garden in miniature and a machicolated tower rising out of ivy walls like a scene in a play. But the great charm is in Eliot himself, so handsome, with such a pleasant smile and melodious voice. His Jewess wife, Agneta Montagu, and Hinchinbroke were there. From the garden we went to the Abbey, where I drew while Hinchinbroke amused himself by pretending to make love to an old lady (‘Jemima Anne’) who was peering about in spectacles amongst the arches. When we went back, boats were arriving from Cowes at the little wharf—the Prince Imperial with the Duke and Duchess of St. Albans and a crowd of others. The Prince has the most pleasant, frank, simple manners, and makes himself agreeable to every one. He was much amused with the quantities of Yorkes who seemed to crop up from every house round, and said he ‘thought he must have landed by mistake on the coast of Yorkshire.’ His arm was in a sling, and he looked pale and fagged, for somehow, in playing at leap-frog with his ‘camarades,’ he had tumbled into a camp-fire, and, to save his face, had instinctively put out his hands, and burnt the whole skin off one of them. It must have been terrible agony, but he never complained.”

 

August 6.—The Yorkes are absolutely devoted to each other. There is such family loyalty that every peccadillo is consecrated. I certainly do not wonder at their love for Eliot; he has such a sweet though frank manner, and is so genial and kind to every one.[212] L. has been talking of the advantages of even an unhappy married life over a single one, as exemplified by the poor Empress, who herself said, ‘C’est mieux d’être mal à deux que d’être seule.’

“L. was at a party at Mrs. Brand’s, sitting by Lady Cork, when Lady Francis Gordon came up to her. ‘Come, Lady Cork, can you spell in five letters the three scourges of society?’ (drink, rink, ink). ‘No,’ said Lady Cork instantly, ‘that I cannot do, but I can spell in two letters the two blessings of society—U and I.’

“Mrs. Eliot Yorke is exceedingly pleasing and much beloved in her husband’s family. Amongst the few Jews I have known, I have always found the women infinitely superior to the men, and this is especially the case with the Rothschilds. Some one once made an observation of this kind to Rogers the poet. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘the men crucified Him, but the women—wept.’”

 

August 12.—Last Monday I went to Cobham for a few days, arriving just as the setting sun was illuminating the grand old red brick house deeply set in its massy woods. A large party was assembled, its most interesting element being Fanny, Lady Winchilsea, who is always delightful. Archdeacon Cust told me a curious story of a Mr. Phipps, a clergyman at Slough. He asked him if he was related to Lord Normanby’s family, and he said they were related, but that they had never known one another, and that the reason was a strange one. His father had been residing at Caen, where they had become very intimate with a French family called Beaurepaire. After his father left Caen, the great Revolution occurred, and all the Beaurepaire family perished on the scaffold except the youngest daughter, who, for some unknown reason, was spared. Having no relation left alive, she was utterly desolate, and felt that no one in the world cared for her but young Phipps, the son of her former neighbour, who had evinced an attachment for her. So to the Phipps family she somehow made her way; but they, disapproving the attachment, were all excessively unkind to her, except one sister, who received her, and went out with her to India, where her brother was then supposed to be. But when they reached India, they found, with despair, that Phipps had left and gone to Egypt. Thither, however, they pursued him, and there Mademoiselle de Beaurepaire was married to him. Young Phipps would never forgive the unkindness which had been shown to his wife by his family, and the two branches of the Phipps family were never afterwards friends.

“A schoolmaster near Cobham, named King, for some reason best known to himself, has abolished the game of football—a most unpopular move. The boys were furious, and one day, when the master entered the schoolroom, he found ‘King is a donkey’ chalked up in large letters on a board. For an instant he was perplexed; but it would never do to take no notice. He left the inscription, but added the single word—‘driver.’ The boys quite saw the joke, and the master’s prestige was restored.”

 

Ampthill Park, August 29, 1876.—I came here on Monday, stopping some hours in London on the way, and finding out ancient treasures in the purlieus of Soho and St. Giles’s, which, black and filthy as they are, are still full of reminiscences.

“At St. Pancras Station I saw a very ancient lady in a yellow wig step into a railway carriage by herself, and her footman guard the door till the train started, and I felt sure it was the Dowager Duchess of Cleveland. At Ampthill Station the Lowther carriage was waiting for both of us, and we drove off together. She talked the whole way, but the carriage rumbled so that I could hardly hear a word she said, except that when I remarked ‘What a fine tree!’ as we entered the park, she answered rather sharply ‘That was a fine tree.’ She spoke too of the Lowther boys—‘They are having their vacancies. I like that word vacancies,’ she said.

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CHURCHYARD OF ST. ANNE, SOHO.

CHURCHYARD OF ST. ANNE, SOHO. [213]

“It is a fine wild park, with most unexpected ups and downs and a great deal of grand old timber, on a ridge rising high above the blue Bedfordshire plain, in the midst of which a spire rising out of a little drift of smoke indicates the town of Bedford. On one of the highest points of the ridge a cross raised on steps marks the site of the royal residence where Katherine of Arragon lived for most of her semi-widowhood, and where Anne Boleyn shot stags in a green velvet train. The later house, approached on the garden side by a narrow downhill avenue half a mile long, is in the old French style, with posts and chains, broad steps widening at the top, and a perron.... The Duchess, at eighty-four, talked most pleasantly and interestingly all evening. Lady Wensleydale, in her high cap and large chair, with her sweet face and expression, sat by like an old picture. There is a picture of her thus, by Pointer, surrounded by great white azaleas, but it does not do her justice.

“Yesterday I drove with James, Mildred, and Cecil Lowther to Wrest. It is a most stately place, one of the stateliest I have ever seen. The gardens were all laid out by Le Nôtre, and the house was of that period. Lord De Grey pulled down the house, and found it rested on no foundations whatever, but on the bare ground. It was so thin, that when the still-room maid complained that her room was rather dark, the footman took out his penknife and cut her a square hole for a window in the plaster wall. Capability Brown was employed to rearrange the gardens, which were thought hideous at one time; but though he spoilt so many other places, he had sense to admire the work of Le Notre so much here, that he made no alterations, except throwing a number of round and oblong tanks into one long canal, which, on the whole, is rather an improvement. The modern house is magnificent, and like what Chantilly must have been.

“On the vast flagged terrace in front of the windows we found Lady Cowper[214] sitting in an old-fashioned black silk dress and tight white bonnet. She has a most sweet face, and was very kind and charming in her manner. I walked with her for a long time on the terrace, looking down on the brilliant gardens, and beyond them upon equally brilliant groups of people, for it was the annual meeting of the great Bedfordshire tennis club, for which she always gives a breakfast. She told the whole story of the place, and took me to see all the finest points of view and the great collection of fine orange-trees brought from Versailles. She greatly lamented the prudishness of her great-aunt (Lady De Grey), through whom her grandmother had derived the place, who thought most of the old French statues—which, according to the custom of that day, were made of lead—to be insufficiently dressed, and so sold them for the value of the metal, at the same time that she sold an incomparable collection of old plate, for the same reason, for its weight in silver. She showed one of the statues, backed by a yew hedge some centuries old. ‘That poor lady, you see, was saved when all the others were sent away, because she had got a few clothes on.’ Lord De Grey had replaced some of the statues, and Lady Cowper herself had added a most beautiful fountain from Carrara, with a very flat basin.

“Lady Cowper talked much of my mother and the ‘Memorials’ and of ‘my sister Lady Jocelyn.’ She spoke of the extreme quietude of her own life. ‘A day like this (pointing out the crowd below) shows me that what this place wants is—people, and I never have any. I think I must hire some puppets to walk about and represent them.’ There are a number of inscriptions in the grounds to different past-members of the family and their friends. Lady Cowper said that Lady Palmerston, who was very matter-of-fact, thought that of course they were buried there, and said, ‘How I do pity Anne, living alone at Wrest, surrounded by all those graves of her family.’ Graves, however, there are, but of deceased dogs, a regular burial-ground, with headstones like those in a churchyard, surrounded by a wall of clipped yew.

“I was very glad to find Henry Cowper, who showed me the rooms, which were full of people for the ‘breakfast,’ but I saw the two great Sir Joshuas, which are magnificent, especially that of Lady Lucas and Lady Grantham, as very young girls, with a bird.

“In the evening at Ampthill I told the story of Mary-Eleanor, Lady Strathmore, to which Lady Wensleydale added her reminiscence of having been told, at four years old, of Stoney Bowes having ‘nailed his wife’s tongue to a table.’”

 

August 30.—Yesterday I drew with Miss Lowther at the ruins of Houghton Hall, the old home of the Russells, where Philip Sidney wrote verses under the trees. It is a very stately though not a large house, and beautiful in colour, from the mixture of red brick and yellow-lichened stone. A great avenue, now utterly ruined, leads away from it direct to Bedford, which lies six miles away in the elm-lined plain. It was deserted because Lord Tavistock, returning from hunting, was thrown from his horse and killed on the spot in the presence of his wife, who was waiting for him on the doorstep: the family could never bear to live there again.[215]

“After luncheon, I walked with the old Duchess in the avenue. She described being couched. ‘Did you take chloroform?’—‘Oh, certainly not: no such thing: I should not have thought of it. Don’t you know that couching is a very dangerous operation? the very slightest movement might be fatal to it. I did not know what might happen under chloroform, but I knew that I should never flinch if I had my senses, and I never did: and in three weeks, though I was still bandaged up, I was out walking.’

“‘What was worse than becoming blind in my case,’ said the Duchess, ‘was breaking my knee-pan, for then, you know, one bone goes up and the other goes down, and you never really have the use of your knee again.’

“‘And yet here you are walking, Duchess.’

“‘Yes, certainly I am. Prescott Hewitt said I never should walk again, and I said “Yes, I should,”—and he answered, “Ah! well, with you perhaps it is different; you belong to a family that have got a will;” and I walk, but I walk by the sheer force of will.’

“The Duchess said she remembered old Lady Penrhyn and her pugs, and their being dressed like children, and keeping a footman, and having a key of Grosvenor Square.

“In the evening I drove with Mr. Lowther to Haynes, till lately written Hawnes, the fine old place of Lord John Thynne (Sub-Dean of Westminster), which he inherited from his uncle, Lord Carteret. We met the old man riding in his park, and so much taken up with a sick cow that he almost ignored us. But when we had walked round by the charming old-fashioned gardens, we found him waiting for us on the garden doorstep, all courtesy and kindness. Several sons and daughters-in-law dropped in to tea in a kind of passage-room, but Lord John took me to see all the curiosities of the house himself, and warmed up over them greatly. There is a most noble staircase and a very fine collection of family portraits. In the drawing-room is that of Lady Ann Carteret in a white satin dress, which she always wore, and is always remembered still as ‘The White Lady.’ Her husband was Jack Spencer, of whom there is also a fine picture. His grandmother, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, one day said to him suddenly, ‘Jack, you must marry, and I will give you a list of the ladies you may propose to.’—‘Very well, grannie,’ he said, and he proposed to the first on the list. When he came back with his wife from their wedding tour they went to pay their respects to the old lady. ‘Well, now,’ she said, ‘I am the root and you are only the branches, and therefore you must always pay me a great deal of deference.’—‘That is all very well,’ said Jack impertinently, ‘but I think the branches would flourish a great deal better if the root was under ground.’

“There is a great collection of small treasures at Haynes—snuff-boxes of royal persons, of Lord Chesterfield, &c., and one with a portrait of a lady ancestress,—‘not a good woman, she had nothing but her beauty,’—which takes off and puts on a mask. But the great relic of all is, in its own old shagreen case, the famous Essex ring—a gem beautifully set. With it is a most interesting letter from Weigall, the famous jeweller, explaining a great number of reasons why it must be the ring. There is also the pedigree of the ring, which came through the hands of a great number of females—heiresses.

“To-day the Duchess (Dowager of Cleveland) has been talking much of the wicked Duchess of Gordon, her ancestress. She married all her daughters to drunken Dukes. One of them had been intended to marry Lord Brome, but his father, Lord Cornwallis, objected on account of the insanity in the Gordon family. The Duchess sent for him. ‘I understand that you object to my daughter marrying your son on account of the insanity in the Gordon family: now I can solemnly assure you that there is not a single drop of Gordon blood in her veins.’

“The Duchess of Cleveland went out walking this morning in beating rain and bitter wind—blind, broken-kneed, and eighty-four as she is. ‘Well, you are a brave woman, Duchess,’ some one said as she came in. ‘You need not take the trouble to tell me that: I know that I am a brave woman,’ she answered.

“Old Miss Thornton called—Lady Leven’s sister. She talked much of the misuse of charitable funds in dinners to directors, payment of matrons, ex-matrons, &c., and said, ‘There really ought to be a society formed for the demolition of charitable institutions.’

“At dinner the Duchess vehemently inveighed against the deterioration of the times. ‘Was there ever anything so ridiculous and uncalled-for as a school-feast?’—‘But it is such a pleasure to the children.’—‘Pleasure to them! In my days people were not always thinking how children were to be amused. Children were able to amuse themselves in my day. It is not only with the lower classes: all classes are the same—the same utterly demoralising system of indulgence everywhere. Why are not the children kept at home to learn to wash and sew and do their duty?’—‘But the school-feast is only one day in the year.’—‘One day in the year! Fiddlesticks! don’t tell me. I tell you it’s utterly demoralising. Why, if the feast is only one day, it unhinges them for ten days before and ten days after.

“‘Formerly, too, people knew how to live like gentlemen and ladies. When they built houses, they built houses fit to live in, not things in which the walls were too thin to allow of the windows having any shutters.... Why, now people do not even know how to keep a great house. Look at ——, do you think she knows it, with her alternate weeks for receiving visitors. That is not what ought to be; that is not hospitality. A great house ought to be open always. The master and mistress never ought to feel it a burthen, and if it was properly managed, they never would. There should always be a foundation of guests in the house, a few relations or intimate friends, who would be quite at home there, and who would be civil and go out to walk or drive, or do whatever might be necessary to amuse the others. There ought to be no gêne of any kind, and there ought to be plenty of equipages—that should be quite indispensable.’

“The conversation fell upon Rogers the poet. ‘Mr. Rogers came here once,’ said Lady Wensleydale, ‘and I did not like him; I thought him so ill-bred. He came with the Duchess of Bedford of that time, who was the most good-natured woman in the world, and when he went out into the park and came in quite late for luncheon, she said he must have some, and went into the dining-room herself to see that he had it properly, and while he was eating cold beef, mixed him herself a kind of salad of oil and vinegar, which she brought to him. He waited a moment, then took up a piece of the beef in his fingers, rolled it in the sauce, and, walking round the table, popped it into the Duchess’s mouth. She went into the drawing-room afterwards and complained to his friend Luttrell about it, “What can I have done that Mr. Rogers should treat me so?” Luttrell said, “I have known Rogers for sixty years, and have never yet been able to account for any one of his vagaries.”

“‘Rogers and Luttrell were great friends, though they always quarrelled. When they walked out together, they never walked side by side, but always one behind the other.

“‘Rogers met Lord Dudley at one of the foreign watering-places, and began in his vain way, “What a terrible thing it is how one’s fame pursues one, and that one can never get away from one’s own identity! Now I sat by a lady the other night, and she began, ‘I feel sure you must be Mr. Rogers.’”—“And were you?” said Lord Dudley, looking up into his face quite innocently. It was the greatest snub the poet ever had.

“‘Rogers hated Monckton Milnes. He was too much of a rival. If Milnes began to talk, Rogers would look at him sourly, and say, “Oh, you want to hold forth, do you?” and then, turning to the rest of the party, “I am looking for my hat; Mr. Milnes is going to entertain the company.”’

 

Holmhurst, Sept. 1.—I had rather dreaded the tête-à-tête journey with the Duchess to-day, and truly it was a long one, for we had an hour to wait at Ampthill Station, and then missed the express at Bletchley. When we first got into the carriage the Duchess said, ‘Well, now, I am going to be quiet and rest my eyes,’ which I thought was a hint that I was to take my book; but very soon she got bored and said, ‘I can’t see, and am obliged to go on asking the names of the stations for want of being amused;’ so then I was obliged to talk to her all the rest of the way.

“At Ampthill she told me how she was going to London to meet Admiral Inglefield, who was going to help her to ‘pick a child out of the gutter.’ ‘That child,’ she said, ‘will some day be Earl Powlett. Lord Powlett took a wager that he would run away with the lady-love of one of his brother-officers, and he did run away with her; but she made it a condition that he should marry her before a Registrar, which he believed was illegal, but it was not, and they were really married. Her only child, a boy, was brought up in the gutter. His name is Hinton, and he is presentable,[216] which his wife is not, for she is a figurante at the opera; but she gets more than the other danseuses, because she has the courage to stand unsupported upon a tight-rope, which the others have not. Powlett offered his son £400 if he would go away from England and never come back again, but he refused, so then he would only give him £100. He lives by acting at small theatres, but sometimes he does not live, but starves. He had four children, but one is dead. It is the eldest I mean to take away and place with a clergyman and his wife, that he may learn something of being a gentleman. I shall undertake him for three years, then I shall see what he is likely to be fit for. If I live so long, I can settle it; if not, I must leave the means for it. Facts are stranger than fiction.’

“At the stations, the Duchess was perfectly furious at the bonnets she saw. ‘If any respectable persons had gone to sleep twenty years ago and woke up now, they would think it was Bedlam let loose.’ She said how Count Streletski, who had travelled everywhere, said there was no country in which people were satisfied with nature: if tall, they wished to make themselves short; if short, tall: if they were light, they wished to be dark, and vice versâ. She talked of the peculiarities of vanity in different people—how the first Lady Westmoreland made the coiffeur wait and touch her up when she was in the carriage.

“The Duchess parted from me at Euston Station, with a cordial invitation to Osterley.”

 

Sept. 27.—I have had a constant succession of visitors at my little Holmhurst.

“A singular subject of interest has been Mr. Freeman’s virulent letters against and about me. He seems insane on the subject of creating imaginary injuries.[217] Certainly it is a little annoying to be called a thief in the public papers, though it may be useful for one’s morals. However, ‘Experience is the best teacher, only the school fees are heavy.’”

 

Conington Castle, Sept. 29.—I came here yesterday to old Mr. Heathcote’s. It is a low-lying place in the Fens, close to what was once Whitlesea Mere, but is now drained, only patches of reeds and marshy ground remaining here and there. The house is near the site of an old castle, but its only claim to be called a castle itself arises from its having been partly built out of the ruins of Fotheringhay, from which a row of arches remain. To ordinary eyes the country is frightful, but Mr. Heathcote, as an artist, sees much beauty—which really does exist—in the long unbroken lines where the mere once was, and the faint blue shadows in the soft distances. And he has preserved very interesting memorials of all that the district has been, within his memory, in an immense series of sketches of the mere in summer, and in winter, when covered with people skating; and of the mere life—its fisheries, wild birds, and its curious draining mills, now all of the past.

“We have been to draw at Peterborough, a wonderfully foreign-looking town, more so, I think, than any other in England. I saw Bishop Jeune’s grave: it almost looks old now, and it really is many years since we lost him; yet, on looking back, the time seems nothing, so quickly does life pass, and living become out-living.”

 

Sept. 30.—We have been to Hinchinbroke. Lord and Lady Sandwich were alone. She was the Lady Blanche Egerton[218] of my long ago Chillingham days. Lord Sandwich took me all over the pictures. The best is that of Lady Castlemaine, afterwards Duchess of Cleveland, very young and lovely, with all her hair down. There is also a fine full-length of Charles II., and a curious picture of Charles II. of Spain by Herrera. By Gainsborough there is a beautiful portrait of Miss Martha Ray. Mr. Hackman, who saw her with Lord Sandwich, fell in love with her, and took orders in order to be able to marry her. Afterwards, when he saw her in Covent Garden receiving the attentions of somebody else, he shot her in a fit of jealousy, and suffered for it at Tyburn. In the ‘Ship Room’ is an interesting picture by Vanderwelt of the naval action in which the first Lord Sandwich died. His ship was fired by a fireship and blown up, and he was drowned. Ten days afterwards his body was recovered, and the garter and medal found upon it are preserved in a glass case near the picture.

“The rooms at Hinchinbroke are very pleasant and livable, but the oldest parts of the house are burnt and the oak staircase is painted. Near the foot of it, the skeletons of two prioresses (for the house was once a monastery) were found in their stone coffins, and were buried again in the same place! Lord Sandwich showed us the MSS. of the great Lord Sandwich—journals and letters in many volumes; also many letters of George III., showing his great interest in very minute public matters. He has also a splendid collection of Elzevirs.

“When Lady Sandwich was going to visit a school the next day, Miss Mary Boyle heard the mistress say, ‘Now, girls, to-morrow my Lady is coming, and so, recollect, pocket-handkerchiefs must be the order of the day: there must be no sniffling.’”

 

Conington, Oct. 1.—This is one of the clockwork houses, with a monotonous routine of life suited to the flat featureless country. To-day, after church, the male part of the family set off to walk a certain six miles, which they always walk after church, and, when we reached a certain bridge, the female part said, ‘Here we turn back; this is the place where we turn every Sunday through the year: we always go as far as this, and we never go any farther.’”

 

Sarsden House, Chipping Norton, Oct. 4.—I came here on Monday. At Paddington Station I met Lady Darnley and Lady Kathleen Bligh, and a procession of carriages in waiting showed that a large party was expected by the same train. It came dropping in round the five-o’clock tea-table—Lord and Lady Denbigh; Lord and Lady Aberdare and a daughter; Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Symonds; two young Plunketts; George, Lady Constance, and Madeleine Shaw-Lefevre; Lord Morton.... I like Lord Denbigh very much, and feel sure that no Roman Catholic plotter would induce him to do what he did not believe to be right, or say what he did not believe to be true.

“On Tuesday afternoon I drove to Heythorp with Lady Darnley, Lady Denbigh, and Lady Aberdare. A long unfinished avenue leads up to the very stately house, which has been well restored by Albert Brassey.

“In the evening Lord Denbigh told us:—

“‘Dr. Playfair, physician at Florence, went to the garden of a villa to see some friends of his. Sitting on a seat in the garden, he saw two ladies he knew; between them was a third lady dressed in grey, of very peculiar appearance. Walking round the seat, Dr. Playfair found it very difficult to see her features. In a farther part of the garden he met another man he knew. He stayed behind the seat and asked his friend to walk round and see if he could make out who the odd-looking lady was. When he came back he said, “Of course I could not make her out, because when I came in front of her, her face was turned towards you.” Dr. Playfair then walked up to the ladies, and as he did so, the central figure disappeared. The others expressed surprise that Dr. Playfair, having seen them, had not joined them sooner. He asked who the lady was who had been sitting between them. They assured him that there had never been any such person.

“‘The next morning, Dr. Playfair went early to see the old gardener of the villa, and asked him if there was any tradition about the place. He said, “Yes, there is a story of a lady dressed in grey, who appears once in every twenty-five years, and the singular part is that she has no face.” Dr. Playfair asked when she had appeared last. “Well, I remember perfectly; it was twenty-five years ago, and the time is about coming round for her to appear again.”’

“Lord Aberdare said that when Edward Lear was drawing in Albania, he was in perfect despair over the troops of little ruffians who mobbed him and would not go away. Suddenly his india-rubber tumbled down and bobbed down some steps—bob-bob-bob. The boys all ran away as hard as they could, screaming, ‘Thaitan! Thaitan!’ and never came back again.

“A delightful old Mrs. Stewart has arrived from Scotland. I sat by her at dinner. She talked much of Mrs. Grote. She described an interview Mrs. Grote had with Madame George Sand. She said to Madame Sand that it was a pity she did not employ her great powers for the leavening and mellowing of mankind, as Miss Austen had done. ‘Madame,’ said Madame Sand, ‘je ne suis pas philosophe, je ne suis pas moraliste, et je suis romancière.’”

 

Oct. 4.—While Madeleine has been drawing my portrait, Mrs. Stewart has talked delightfully, contradicting the theory of De Tocqueville that ‘the charming art of conversation—to touch and set in motion a thousand thoughts without dwelling tiresomely on any one—is amongst the lost arts, and can only be sought for in History Hut.’[219] She described her visit to Ober Ammergau. Her anxiety to go was intense, but all the means seemed to fail. The Princess Mary of Hanover and the Grand Duchess Elizabeth (to whom she had intended to annex herself) walked. But, to be in waiting upon them, went Baron Klenck, her Hanoverian son-in-law, and he came back greatly impressed, and said to his wife when he came in, ‘If thy mother still wishes to go, in God’s name let her set forth;’ and she went. She described the life at the village—the simplicity, the cheapness; then, in the play, the awful agony of the twenty minutes of the Crucifixion, the sublimity of the Ascension. ‘I have seen hundreds of “ascensions” on the stage and elsewhere, but I have never seen anything like that simple re-presentation.’

“At luncheon Mrs. Stewart described a sitting with Mrs. Guppy the spiritualist. Count Bathyany, her daughter, and others were present. They were asked what sort of manifestation they would have. They declared they would be satisfied with nothing less than a ghost. There was a round hole in the table with a lid upon it. Presently the lid began to quiver, gradually it was thrown on one side, and a hand came up violently agitating itself. ‘Mrs. Guppy said, “Dear spirit” (we are always very affectionate you know), “would you like the glass?” and a great tall fern-glass was put over the place: otherwise, I should have touched that hand. Then, inside the glass (but we could not touch it, you know) came up something wrapped in muslin: Mrs. Guppy said it was a head. Afterwards we were asked to go down to supper: there was quite a handsome collation. A young American who was with us was so disgusted with what he had seen that he would touch nothing—would take neither bread nor salt in that house. I was weak: I did not quite like to refuse, and I ate a few strawberries. Of course, as far as the moral protest went, I might as well have eaten a whole plateful. Bathyany made a very good supper. He took a rose away with him for his Countess, for at the end of our séance quantities of flowers appeared, we knew not whence, quite fresh, dewy, beautiful flowers: they appeared on the table close to Count Bathyany.

“‘The spirits are very indulgent. They think we are in better humour if our spirits are kept up. After I have been sitting there for some time they generally say, “Harriet is exhausted; let her have a glass of wine.” Then sometimes they give us nicknames—beautiful nicknames; my daughter they called “Mutability,” and me they named “Distrust.”’

“We have been a long drive to a charming old house, Chastleton, belonging to Miss Whitmore Jones, who lives there alone, ‘le dernier rejeton de sa famille.’ It is in a hollow with fine old trees around it, manor-house, church, arched gateway, and dovecot on arches grouped close together, all of a delicate pink-yellow-grey. Inside is a banqueting hall with very fine old panelling and curious furniture, and upstairs a long gallery and nobly panelled drawing-room.

 

Sarsden, Oct. 5.—Last night Mrs. Stewart talked much of Hanover and her life there. Her daughter was lady-in-waiting to the Queen. She described how all the royal family might have their property back at once, but the King would make no concession—‘God has given me my crown; I will only give it back to Him.’

“Mrs. Stewart was with the Queen and Princess for five months at Herrenhausen after the King left for Langensalza, when ‘like a knight, he desired to be placed in the front of his army, where all his soldiers could see him, and where he was not satisfied till he felt the bullets all whizzing around him.’ The people in Hanover said he had run away. When the Queen heard that, she and Princess Marie went down to the place and walked about there, and, when the people pressed round her, said, ‘The King is gone with his army to fight for his people; but I am here to stay with you—to stay with you till he comes back.’ But alas! she did not know!

“All that time in Herrenhausen they were alone: only Mrs. Stewart and her daughter went out occasionally to bring in the news; the others never went out. At last the confinement became most irksome to the Princesses. They entreated Mrs. Stewart to persuade mama to let them go out. Mrs. Stewart urged it to the Queen, who said, ‘But the Princesses have all that they need here; they ought to be satisfied.’—‘Pardon me, your Majesty,’ said Mrs. Stewart; ‘the Princesses have not all they need; it is necessary for young people to have some change.’ ‘So,’ said Mrs. Stewart, ‘at last the Queen saw that it was well, and she consented. She said, “We will not take one of our own carriages, that would attract too much attention, but we will take Harty’s—that is, my daughter’s—carriage, and we will drive in that;” for the Queen had given Harty a little low carriage and a pony. So they set off—the Queen, Princess Marie, and only the coachman besides. And when they had gone some way up the hills, the pony fretted under the new traces and broke them, and, before they knew where they were, it was away over the hedges and fields, and they were left in the lane with the broken carriage. Two Prussian officers rode up—for the Prussians were already in Hanover—and seeing two ladies, beautiful ladies too (for the Queen is still very handsome), in that forlorn state, they dismounted, and, like gentlemen as they were, they came up hat in hand, and offered their assistance. The Queen said, “Oh, thank you; you see what has happened to us: our coachman has gone after the pony, which has run away, and no doubt he will soon come back, so we will just wait his return.” But the coachman did not come back, and the gentlemen were so polite, they would not go away, so at last the Queen and Princess had to set out to return home; and the officers walked with them, never having an idea who they were, and never left them till they reached the gates of Herrenhausen. So the Queen came in and said, “You see what has happened, my dear; you see what a dreadful thing has befallen us: we will none of us ever try going out again,” and we never did.

“‘We used to go and walk at night in those great gardens of Herrenhausen, in which the Electress Sophia died. The Queen talked then, God bless her, of all her sorrows. We often did not come in till the morning, for the Queen could not sleep. But, even in our great sorrow and misery, Nature would assert herself, and when we came in, we ate up everything there was. Generally I had something in my room, and the Queen had generally something in hers, though that was only bread and strawberries, and it was not enough for us, for we were so very hungry.

“‘One night the Queen made an aide-de-camp take the key, and we went to the mausoleum in the grounds. I shall never forget that awful walk, Harty carrying a single lanthorn before us, or the stillness when we reached the mausoleum, or the white light shining upon it and the clanging of the door as it opened. And we all went in, and we knelt and prayed by each of the coffins in turn. The Queen and Princess Marie knelt in front, and my daughter and I knelt behind; and we prayed—oh! so earnestly—out of the deep anguish of our sorrow-stricken hearts. And then we went up to the upper floor where the statues are. And there lay the beautiful Queen, the Princess of Solms, in her still loveliness, and there lay the old King, the Duke of Cumberland, with the moonlight shining on him, wrapped in his military cloak. And when the Queen saw him, she, who had been so calm before, sobbed violently and hid herself against me—for she knows that I also have suffered—and said in a voice of pathos which I can never forget, “Oh, he was so cruel to me, so very, very cruel to me.” And after that we walked or lingered on the garden-seats till daylight broke.

“‘The Queen was always longing to go away to her own house at Marienberg, and at last she went. She never came back; for, as soon as she was gone, the Prussians, who had left her alone whilst she was there, stepped in and took possession of everything.

“‘The Queen is a noble, loving woman, but she is more admirable as a woman than a queen. I have known her queenly, however. When Count von Walchenstein, the Prussian commandant, arrived, he desired an interview with her Majesty. He behaved very properly, but as he was going away—it was partly from gaucherie, I suppose—he said, “I shall take care that your Majesty is not interfered with in any way.” Then our Queen rose, and in queenly simplicity she said, “I never expected it.” He looked so abashed, but she never flinched; only, when he was gone out of the room, she fainted dead away upon the floor.

“‘The mistake of our Queen has been with regard to the Crown Prince. She has had too great motherly anxiety, and has never sent out her son, as the Empress Eugenie did, to learn his world by acting in it and by suffering in it.”

“To-day Mrs. Stewart has been talking much of the pain of age, of the distress of being now able to do so little for others, of being ‘just a creature crawling between heaven and earth.’ She also spoke much of ‘the comfort of experience,’ of scarcely anything being quite utterly irrevocable; that ‘in most things, most crimes even, one can trail, trail oneself in the dust before God and man.’

“In the morning Mrs. Stewart sat for her portrait to Madeleine, in her picturesque square head-dress. She was pleased at being asked to sit. ‘Il faut vieillir pour être heureuse,’ she said. She talked much whilst she was sitting—much of Lady H.’s insolent and often unfeeling sayings. She spoke of a doctor who had the same inclination, and said to her, ‘Ça ne me repugne pas de dire les vérités cruelles.’ Talking of self-respect, she quoted the maxim of Madame George Sand—

‘Charité envers les autres;
Sincérité envers Dieu;
Dignité envers soi-même.’

And added, ‘But who should one be well with if not with oneself, with whom one has to live so very much.’

“This morning Lady Ducie’s pet housemaid gave warning, because, she said, Lady Ducie was not so sympathetic to her as she was six weeks ago. She said that as Lady Ducie was now not nearly so nice to her as she had been, she should be obliged to marry a greengrocer who had proposed to her.

“In the afternoon we drove to Daylesford—Warren Hastings’ so beloved home. It is a very pretty place, picturesque modern cottages amid tufted trees, and a very beautiful small modern church on a green. This church was built by Mr. Grisewood, and supplants a so-called Saxon church, restored after a thousand years of use by Warren Hastings. The inscription commemorating his restoration still remains, and ends with the text—‘For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday.’ The tomb of Warren Hastings, a yellow urn on a pedestal, stands in the churchyard just under the east window. He left the place to his wife’s son by her first husband, Count Imhoff. Lady Ducie remembers Countess Imhoff coming to visit her mother, always with a great deal of state, and always dressed in white satin and swansdown, like one of Romney’s pictures. Mr. Grisewood succeeded the Imhoffs, and, when his son became a Roman Catholic, sold the place to Mr. Bias. We drove to the house, which stands well—a comfortable yellow stone house in pretty grounds, with a clear running stream. Its reminiscences and the power of calling them up made Mrs. Stewart speak with great admiration of those who ‘could find the least bit of bone and create a mastodon.’

“In returning, Mrs. Stewart told the story of Miss Geneviève Ward, the actress. In early life she was travelling with her mother, when they fell in with a handsome young Russian, Count Constant Guerra. He proposed to her, and as the mother urged it, thinking it a good match, she married him then and there in her mother’s presence, without witnesses, he solemnly promising to make her his wife publicly as soon as he could. When he could, he refused to fulfil his promise; but the mother was an energetic woman, and she appealed to the Czar, who forced Guerra to keep his word. He said he would do what the Czar bade him, but that his wife should suffer for it all her life. To his amazement, when the day for the marriage arrived, the bride appeared with her mother, led to the altar in a long crape veil as to a funeral. Her brothers stood by her with loaded pistols, and at the door of the church was a carriage into which she stepped as soon as the ceremony was over, and he never saw her again. She is Madame Constant Guerra, and has acted as ‘Guerrabella.’

“When we came home, I told a story in Lady Ducie’s sitting-room. Then Lord Denbigh told how—

“‘Sir John Acton (whose son was Lady Granville’s first husband) was a great friend of Lord Nelson, who was at that time occupied in a vain and hopeless search for the French fleet.[220] One day Sir John was in his wife’s dressing-room while she was preparing for dinner. As her French maid was dressing her, a letter was put into her hand, at which she gave such a start that she ran a pin she was holding into Lady Acton. This caused Lady Acton to inquire what ailed her. She said the letter was from her brother, a French sailor, from whom she had not heard for a long time, and about whom she had been anxious. Sir John Acton, with great presence of mind, offered to read her the letter while she went on doing her mistress’s hair. As soon as he had read it he went off to Lord Nelson. The letter gave all the information so long sought in vain, and the battle of the Nile was the result of the prick of a pin.’”

 

Prestbury, Oct. 6.—It poured so hard this morning that I put off leaving Sarsden till late. Mrs. Stewart again talked much of the Hanoverian Court, of the Guelph love of doubtful stories; how she saved up any story she heard for the blind King. One day she was telling him a story ‘about Margaret Bremer’s father’ as they were driving. Suddenly the horses started, and the carriage was evidently going to be upset. ‘Why don’t you go on?’ said the King. ‘Because, sir, we are just going to upset.’—‘That is the coachman’s affair,’ said the King; ‘do you go on with your story.’

“With the Greatheeds, in whose cottage I am staying, I went a long excursion yesterday up the Cotswold Hills, which have a noble view of the great rich plain of Gloucestershire. Winchcombe, on the other side, is a charming old town of quaint irregular houses. We passed through it to Hailes Abbey, a small low ruin now, of cloisters in a rich meadow, but once most important as containing the great relic of the Precious Blood, which was brought thither by Edmund, son of the founder, Richard, King of the Romans. Thirteen bishops said mass at different altars at the consecration, and three of the Plantagenets—the founder, his wife, and his son Edmund—are buried in the church. It is now a peaceful solitude, with a few ancient thatched cottages standing round the wooded pastures.

“In returning, we turned aside to Sudeley Castle, the old Seymour house, where Katherine Parr is buried. It is a picturesque and grand old house, partially restored, partly now a green courtyard surrounded by ruined walls and arches. The Queen’s (modern) tomb has a touching sleeping figure[221] guarded by two angels. As we were coming out of the chapel, Mrs. Dent[222] pursued us—a picturesque figure in a Marie Antoinette hat—and brought us in to tea. The Dents made their fortunes as glovers, and, in their present magnificence, a parcel of their gloves, as from the shop, is always left in a conspicuous place in the hall, to ‘keep them humble.’”

 

Tettenhall Wood, Oct. 12.—Whilst with the Corbets at Cheltenham, I visited Thirlstone, a curious house which belonged to Lord Northbrook. It was afterwards bought by Sir J. Philipps, the bibliomaniac, and contains the most enormous and extraordinary collection of books and pictures imaginable; a few gems, but imbedded in masses of rubbish, which the present possessor, Mrs. Fenwick, daughter of the collector, is forbidden to sell or destroy.

“I have been working hard for Mrs. Moore at the Memoir of her husband the Archdeacon (the object of my visit), and have read through all his speeches, &c. I see, however, how impracticable it is to help in work of this kind. Mrs. Moore implores me to cut out what should be omitted. I select what seems to me utterly trivial and commonplace, and she is annoyed, saying it comprises the only matters of real importance. She implores me to correct her diction and grammar: I do so, and she weeps because her pleasure is destroyed in a work which is no longer her own.”

 

Donington Rectory, Oct. 13.—This is a pleasant place in itself, and any place would be pleasant within view of the beloved Wrekin.[223] On arriving, I went on at once to Boscobel, and saw the oak which grew from an acorn of the tree that sheltered Charles II., and in the ancient half-timbered house, the hiding-place under the floor at the top of the turret-stairs, where the Prince is said to have crouched for forty-eight hours, with his trap-door concealed by cheeses. Well smothered he must have been, if Staffordshire cheeses smelt then as they do now. There is a good portrait of Charles, which he presented to the house after the Restoration. I went on with Henry de Bunsen to White Ladies, now a low ruin of red walls in a meadow, but entered still by a fine Norman archway. Inside is a quiet burial-ground for Roman Catholics, amongst whose lichen-tinted headstones is that of ‘Mistress Joan, who was called friend by Charles II.’—being one of those who assisted in his escape. Beyond, in Hubble Lane, is the ruin of the Pendrill house. The Pendrills[224] were seven brothers, common labourers, but went up to London and had a pension after the Restoration.

“We went on to Tong—a glorious church, quite a church of the dead, so full of noble tombs of Stanleys and Vernons. Near it, in low-lying lands with water, is Tong Castle, the old house of the Durants. The last Mr. Durant brought in another lady to live with his wife, which she resented, and she left him. There was a long divorce suit, which they both attended every day in coaches and six. Owing to some legal quibble, he gained his suit, though the facts against him were well known, and he was so delighted at the triumph over his wife that he erected a monument in honour of his victory on the hill above the castle. The sons all took part with their mother, and when Mr. Durant was lying in his last illness, they set barrels of gunpowder surreptitiously under the monument, and had a match and train ready. They bribed a groom at the house to ride post-haste with the news as soon as the breath was out of their father’s body; and the news of his death first became known to the county by the monument being blown into shivers. The Durants sold Tong to Lord Bradford.”

 

Bretton, Yorkshire, Oct. 30.—I have been here for a very pleasant week with a large party of what Lady Margaret (Beaumont) calls her ‘young men and maidens.’ ... There has been nothing especial to narrate, though our hostess has entertained the whole party with her never-failing charm of conversation and wit.

“One day I went with Henry Strutt,[225] whom I like much, to Wakefield, to draw the old chapel on the bridge. What an awful place Wakefield is—always an inky sky and an inky landscape, and the river literally so inky that the Mayor went out in a boat, dipped his pen, and wrote a letter with it to the Commissioners of Nuisances.”

 

Raby Castle, Nov. 1.—I came here on Monday, meeting the delicately humorous Mr. Dicky Doyle at Darlington, yet with much fear that there were few other guests; but I was relieved to find ‘Eleanor the Good,’ Duchess of Northumberland, seated at the five-o’clock tea-table, and have had much pleasant talk with her. She spoke of her absorbing attachment to Alnwick and the pain it was to leave it; that the things which make the greatest blanks in life are not the greatest griefs, but the losses which most affect daily life and habits.... Frederick Stanley and Lady Constance[226] came in the evening, he very pleasant, and she almost more full of laughs than any one I ever saw. Other guests are Colonel and Mrs. Duncombe, young Gage, who will be Lord Gage,[227] and just before dinner a good-looking youth came in, who turned out to be Peddie Bennet.[228]

“Yesterday Lord and Lady Pollington came, and old Lord Strathnairn, looking thinner and more of an old dandy than ever.”

 

Nov. 3.—Yesterday, while I was walking with the Pollingtons through the beech-woods deep in rustling leaves, the castle bell announced the advent of guests, and returning, we found the Warwicks and Brooke arrived.”

 

Whitburn Hall, Nov. 7.—There is a great pleasure not only in the affection, but in the demonstration of affection which one receives here. Dear old Lady Williamson, in her beautiful tender old age, wins all hearts by the patience with which she bears her blindness, and the sweetness with which she sometimes imagines she sees; and Lady Barrington’s lovely and lovable old face brings sunshine to all around it.... In the younger generation, all is hospitality and kindness.

 

Brancepeth Castle, Nov. 8.—Yesterday I went with Augusta Harrington to visit Edward[229] and Tunie Liddell in their new home at Jarrow. It is startling to see how the spirit that animated the early martyrs has induced them to exchange competence for penury, and to give up the elms and flowers and pleasant sunny rooms of the Rectory at Wimpole. Now they are amidst a teeming population of blackened, foul-mouthed, drunken roughs, living in miserable rows of dismal houses, in a country where every vestige of vegetation is killed by noxious chemical vapours, on the edge of a slimy marsh, with a distance of inky sky, and furnaces vomiting forth volumes of blackest smoke. All nature seems parched and writhing under the pollution. Their days are perfectly full of work, and they have scarcely ever an evening to themselves.... They said our visit did them good, and I shall go again.

“Edward had been perplexed by an old woman, one of his parishioners, always declaring herself to be at least ten years younger than he felt certain she must be, yet he did not think she was of the kind who would tell a lie. At last he found that she dated her age from her baptism. ‘The clergy were not so quick upon us then,’ she said, ‘as they are now; so my father he just waited till we were all born to have us baptized, and then had us all done together: there were eleven of us.’

“I reached this great castle in pitch darkness. It is a magnificent place—a huge courtyard and enormous fabric girdled in by tremendous towers of Henry III. The staircase is modern, but most of the rooms have still the vaulted ceilings of Henry III.’s time, though the arms of the Nevilles, with which they were once painted, are gone now. The beer and wine cellars, with some cells called dungeons, are very curious. The butler pointed out with pride the black cobwebs which hung in festoons and cover much of the wine, a great deal of which was in the huge bottles called ‘cocks’ and ‘hens.’ The white cobwebs he had less opinion of: they are less healthy.

“Pleasant Lady Haddington[230] and her daughter are here. Lady Boyne[231] is a most pretty and winning hostess, and her children are thoroughly well brought up, and take a pleasant easy part in everything. In the evenings the whole party dance ‘Durham reels’ in the great hall.

“It was disappointing to have snow to-day, but there is much to interest in the house and in the old church of St. Brandon close by, where some grand figures of the Nevilles sleep before the altar. The very curious pews and reading-desk of the time of Bishop Cosin were destroyed in a mutilation of the church under the garb of ‘restoration’ sixteen years ago.

“There are several curious pictures by Hogarth here, in which the Lord Boyne of that day is introduced; but the most remarkable is one of Sir Francis Dashwood as a monk of Medmenham worshipping a naked woman and all the good things of life.”

 

Kirklands, Nov. 14.—On Friday I was again at Jarrow, and was warmly welcomed by the Edward Liddells. Next morning I went with Edward to the wonderful old church of the seventh century, where Bede’s chair still stands under the Saxon arches. All around vegetation is blasted; dead trees rear their naked boughs into the black sky, and grimy rushes vainly endeavour to grow in the poisonous marshes. The very horror of ugliness gives a weird and ghastly interest to the place. Edward finds endless work, and enjoys the struggle he lives in. As Montalembert says, ‘Ce n’est pas la victoire qui fait le bonheur des nobles cœurs—c’est le combat.’ His is literally a Christian warfare. If he has spare time, he employs it in looking about the streets for drunken men. As he sees them come reeling along, he offers to help them, and walks home with them clinging to his arm. On the way he draws them out, and having thus found out where they live, returns next day, armed with the silly things they have let fall, to make them ashamed with. While I was making a little sketch of the church, a wedding party came in, the bridegroom being tipsy. Edward accused him of it, and he confessed at once, saying that he had been in such a fright at the ceremony, he had been obliged to take some spirits to keep his courage up. Edward said he wondered he could care for that sort of courage, that was only Dutch courage, real English courage was the only right sort; and as he supposed he wished to make his wife happy, that was the sort of courage he must look for; but being drunk on the day he married was a bad omen for her happiness. And yet, in the midst of his little scolding, Edward was so charming to them all that the whole wedding party were captivated, and an acquaintance, if not a friendship, was founded. It all showed a power of work in the real way to win souls. And—

‘He prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.’[232]

“I came here by a bitterly cold journey of ten hours through the snow. The train went off the line, and we were delayed so late that I had to drive all the way from Kelso—a dark bitter drive. Har Elliot[233] received me most warmly, with her little Admiral, and dear old George Liddell. The place was built by old Mr. Richardson, the Writer to the Signet, and now belongs to his daughter Joanna. On Sunday afternoon we went to Ancrum, the burnt house of Sir William Scott, now being rebuilt in the old Scotch style; its situation is lovely.”

 

Edinburgh, Nov. 19.—I have been four days at Winton with dear old Lady Ruthven. She is now blind as well as deaf, and very helpless, but she is still a loving centre of beautiful and unstinted beneficence. She says, ‘It is a great trial, a very great trial, neither to see nor hear, but it is astonishing the amount of time it gives one for good thoughts. I just know fifty chapters of the Bible by heart, and when I say them to myself in the night, it soothes and quiets me, however great the pain and restlessness. It is often a little trial to me—the unsatisfied longing I have to know just a little more, just something of the beyond. If I could only find out if my husband and my sister knew about me. There is a little poem I often think of—

‘The soul’s dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made.’[234]

Perhaps it will be so with me; but soon I shall know all, and meantime God is very good. Since my last great illness I have not been able for it, but till then I just always went on reading prayers to my servants, that is, I could not really read, you know, but I just said a chapter out of my own remembrance, and then I prayed as I felt we needed.’

“Lady Ruthven can repeat whole cantos of Milton and other poets, and her peculiar voice does not spoil them; rather, when one remembers her great age and goodness, it adds an indescribable pathos. She likes to be read to down her trumpet, which is not easy; and the person she hears best thus is George the under-footman; but, as she says, she ‘has formidable rivals in lamps.’

“One of her occupations is feeding her pheasants with bread and milk at the castle door. ‘Ah! I see you are early accustoming them to bread sauce,’ said Mr. Reeve of the Edinburgh Review, when he saw her thus employed.

“One day we drove to Yester (Lord Tweeddale’s), only remarkable for its pretty wooded approach. In leaving Lady Ruthven, one could not but feel one left her for the last time, and what for her the change—which at ninety must be so near—will be, from blindness, deafness, helplessness, after her entirely noble and holy life—to light, and hearing, and power.”

 

Edinburgh, Nov. 20.—A visit to the Robert Shaw Stewarts has given me a pleasant glimpse of Edinburgh society.

“Certainly Edinburgh is gloriously beautiful, but never was there a city so richly endowed by Nature contaminated by such abject and ludicrous public monuments!—the enormous monument of Walter Scott, a ludicrous copy in stone of the Bishop’s throne at Exeter: the sort of lighthouse which closes Princes Street (a monument to Lord Nelson, I was told): the statue of the Duke of Wellington, who has lost his hat in a perfectly futile struggle with his restive horse, which is standing on its tail:—worst of all, the figure of the Prince Consort (in Charlotte Square), being adorned by specimens of each class of society, the most ridiculous of all being a peer and peeress in their robes.

“This morning I drew in the Grassmarket. The crowd was most tiresome till it took the idea that I was Sir Noel Paton, the popular Edinburgh artist. I tacitly encouraged the idea, when I found the result was--‘Dinna ye see it’s Sir Noel Paton hissel drawing the cassel? then let Sir Noel see, mon.’

“In the afternoon I went with Mrs. Stewart to the exhibition of Raeburn’s pictures—nothing but Raeburns, though many vast rooms are filled with them; and deeply interesting it is thus not only to follow one great, too little appreciated, painter through life, but to be introduced to the whole world of his illustrious contemporaries. Raeburn’s pictures may be slight, and may have faults of colouring, and even of drawing, but his men never fail to be gentlemen and his women are always ladies—very pleasant people too generally, and people it is delightful to live with. ‘A great portrait should be liker than the original,’ wrote Coleridge. The noblest portrait here seemed to me to be that of Alexander Adam, Rector of the High School, a serious and holy, but engaging old man. Lady Mackenzie of Coul is a sweet, refined, and beautiful woman. As a rule, the old men’s portraits are the best—their shaggy eyebrows, their vigorous old age, the sharp shadows of their chins, so vividly and carefully drawn, and all the delicacies of expression centred in the eyes. There were numbers of such old men’s portraits, in which the dead grandfather must still often seem to share the inner family life of many a quiet country-house. It shows the extraordinary change in the value popular feeling places upon art when one recollects that the works of Watts and Millais cost from £2000 to £3000, while these pictures—far more pleasing, far more like those they represent, and, though more sketchy, cleverer and more original—used to cost only £10.

 

Nov. 21.—We have been out to New Hailes, the old Dalrymple house, now inhabited by Lord Shand. The characteristic of the house is its library, which, however, is rather useless, as the bookcases are seventeen feet high, and there is no ladder to reach the upper shelves by.”

 

Nov. 22.—Excursion to Pinkie, the fine old house of the Hopes, near Musselburgh—crenellated, machicolated, picturesque as possible. Charles Edward slept there when triumphant from Prestonpans. There is a noble gallery upstairs with a painted ceiling, and a secret passage and staircase. Lady Hope was very kind.[235]

“In Edinburgh I have been, for the first time, received as a sort of mild literary lion, and have found it very amusing. A quantity of people came to call—professors, the bishop, and others.”

 

Ravensworth Castle, Nov. 26.—I have been much enjoying a visit here, and the cordial affection which abounds in my dear Liddell cousins. Old General Stanhope[236] is here, and told us—

“‘A gentleman was riding over the Yorkshire Wolds late in the gloaming, when his horse started at something. With the perseverance of a good rider, he forced the horse to return to the spot where he had started, when he saw with horror that he had been frightened by a dead body, evidently of a murdered man, lying by the side of the road. A dog was sitting by the body, and as he rode up it ran away.

“‘Without losing his presence of mind for an instant, without thought of lingering to hunt up police, &c., the rider set spurs to his horse and pursued the dog. He pursued it a great distance, and eventually saw it enter a low solitary public-house.

“‘He then put his horse into the wretched stable of the place and entered the house. In the brick kitchen three men were drinking, one man by himself, two men together; curled up by the fire was the dog.

“‘The rider called for beer or whisky and sat down. Meanwhile he observed his companions. The two men talked together of quite indifferent subjects; the solitary man said nothing. At last the gentleman got up and gave the dog a great kick. It ran to the lonely man, who said in a fury, “What do you mean, sir, by kicking my dog?”—“I mean that I chose to do it,” he replied; “and furthermore, I mean that I arrest you for murder, and I call upon you (turning to the other two men) to assist me in arresting this murderer.”

“‘And the man confessed.’

“General Stanhope also gave an interesting account of how old Lord Braybrooke, going to a farm to see some cows, was struck by something in one of the farming men. At last, suddenly slapping him on the shoulder, he exclaimed, ‘Good God! you are De Bruhl!’ and it was a man who had been well known in the world, son of the Bruhl of the famous Terrace at Dresden, the friend of Augustus of Saxony, who had been ruined by the Prince Regent, and had sunk lower and lower, till he came to be a farm labourer, unrecognised and unnoticed for years.

“Talking of dreams, General Stanhope said—

“‘Lady Andover, who was the daughter of Lord Leicester, was with her husband[237] at Holkham, and when one day all the other men were going out shooting, she piteously implored him not to go, saying that she had dreamt vividly that he would be shot if he went out. She was so terribly eager about it, that he acceded to her wishes, and remained with her in her painting-room, for she painted beautifully in oils, and was copying a picture of the “Misers” which was at Holkham. But the afternoon was excessively beautiful, and Lady Andover’s strong impression, which had been so vivid in the morning, then seemed to wear off, till at last she said, “Well, really, perhaps I have been selfish in keeping you from what you like so much because of my own impressions; so now, if you care about going out, don’t let me keep you in any longer.” And he said, “Well, if you don’t mind, I should certainly like to go,” and he went.

“‘He had not been gone long before Lady Andover’s impression returned just as vividly as ever, and she rushed upstairs and put on her bonnet and pursued him. But, as she crossed the park, she met her husband’s own servant riding furiously without his coat. “Don’t tell me,” she said at once; “I know what has happened,” and she went back, and locked herself into her room. His servant was handing him a gun through a hedge, it went off, and he was killed upon the spot.’

“‘The same Lady Andover had a dream of a minor kind which came curiously true. She said to her sister that she had dreamt most vividly that she was standing with her under the portico at Holkham; that they were both dressed in deep mourning—thick black bombazine; and that they were watching a great funeral leave the house, but that it was not going in the natural direction of the churchyard, but the other way, up the avenue.

“‘A month after, the two sisters were standing under the portico, dressed in deep mourning for old Queen Charlotte, and the funeral of Lady Albemarle, who had died in the house, was going away up the avenue. Lady Andover said to her sister, “Don’t you remember?”’

“Apropos of second sight, General Stanhope said—

“‘Did you ever hear of a man they used to call Houghy White? When I was young, I went with him down to Richmond on a water-party, which was given by Sir George Warrender. Houghy was then engaged to be married to a niece of Beau Brummel, as he was called, and when we returned from Richmond, we went to spend the evening at her mother’s house, and there Houghy told this story.

“‘He was aide-de-camp to the old Duke of Cambridge when he was in Hanover, and was required by the Duke to go with him on a shooting-party into the Hartz Mountains. He, and indeed two of the Duke’s other aides-de-camp, were then, I am sorry to say, very much in love with the wife of a fourth—a very beautiful young lady—and they were all much occupied by thoughts of her. At the place in the Hartz to which they went, there was not much accommodation, but there was one good room with an alcove in it and four beds. The two German equerries slept in the alcove, and the two English aides-de-camp in two beds outside it. In the night White distinctly saw the lady they all so much admired come into the room. She came up to both of the beds outside the alcove and looked into them; then she passed into the alcove. He immediately heard the equerry on the right cry out “Was haben sie gesehn?” and the other—the husband—say, “Ach Gott! Ich habe meine Frau gesehn?”

“‘White was terribly impressed, and the next day entreated to excuse himself from going out shooting with the Duke. The Duke insisted on knowing his reason, upon which he told what he had seen, and expressed his conviction that his friend was dead. The Duke was very much annoyed, and said, “You are really, as a matter of fact, so much occupied with this lady that you neglect your duties to me: I brought you here to shoot with me, and now, on account of whimsical fancies, you refuse to go: but I insist upon your going.” However, White continued to say, “I must most humbly beg your Royal Highness to excuse me, but I cannot and will not go out shooting to-day,” and at last he was left at home. That evening, the mail came in while they were at dinner, and the letters were handed to the Duke. He opened them, and beckoned White to him. “You were quite right,” he said; “the lady died last night.”’

“Lizzie Williamson said:—

“‘I remember quite well how a very charming young surgeon came into this neighbourhood, a Mr. Stirling; he was beloved by everybody, and though he was as poor as a church-mouse, he had not an enemy in the world. After his medical rounds, he was in the habit of riding home through a lovely wooded lane which there is near Gibside, with trees on each side and the river below. One day—one Friday—as he was riding home this way, he was shot by some men concealed amongst the bushes. His body was dragged into the wood and was searched and rifled; but he was very poor, dear man; he had nothing but his watch, and the brutes took that: and that is all I have to say about him.

“‘On the night before, the wife of Mr. Bowes’s agent, who was in the habit of going every week to receive money at the lead-mines, some miles distant from Gibside, awoke dreadfully agitated. She told her husband that she had had a most terrible dream, and conjured him, as he loved her, to stay at home that day, and not to go to the mines. She said she did not know the place herself, but she saw a wooded lane above a river and some men hiding in bushes, and she saw him come riding along, and the men shoot at him from behind, and drag him into the bushes. He laughed at her, and said of course he could not neglect his duty to his master for such an idle fancy as that, and that he must go to the mines.

“‘She fell asleep again, and she dreamt the same thing, and she urgently entreated and implored him not to go. He said, “I must; the men will be expecting me; they are to meet me there, and I have really no excuse to give.”

“‘She fell asleep the third time, and she dreamt the same thing, and awoke with agonised entreaties that her husband would accede to her wishes. Then he really began to be frightened himself, and at last he said he would make a concession; he would go to the mines, but he would not go by the wooded lane at all (for he was obliged to allow there was such a place), but would both go and return by the high moorland way on the other side the river.

“‘So the agent was saved and the poor young surgeon was murdered in his place.

“‘The watch which had been taken was found afterwards in a pawnbroker’s at Durham, and the men who pawned it were traced and taken: Cain and Rain were their odd names. In the hand of the murdered man was found a button of pink glass, imitation amethyst, which exactly matched those on Cain’s waistcoat, with a bit of the stuff hanging to it, as if the dead man’s hand had clenched it in a struggle. But Cain’s friends got hold of the discovery, and sowed the wood with similar pink buttons, which were found; so that evidence went for nothing and Cain got off, but every one believed that he and Rain did it.

“‘Years afterwards, Cain was ill and sent for Harry,[238] and confided a secret to him under strict vows of secrecy, and no one knows what that secret was.’”

 

Kinmel, Nov. 30.—I left Ravensworth early on Monday to go to Ridley Hall. In a few minutes after arriving, White the butler came to say that Cousin Susan would see me. She was in her little sitting-room, half sitting up on her sofa before an immense fire. At above eighty, her face and figure have still the look of youth which they had at thirty-five, and that quite unaided by art, though not by dress. She has now quite lost the use of her feet, and is cut off from all her usual employments, her garden, her walks, her china, and, if it were not that she is so long inured to solitary habits, her life would be indeed most desolate. She talked all afternoon and evening, chiefly about Tyneside politics or family reminiscences. She asked me whom I thought she had better leave her fortune to. I said, ‘After Mr. Bowes, to one of the Strathmore boys.’ She would not take leave of me at night, pretending she should see me next day, but I knew then that she did not mean to do it. She said, as I went out, ‘You may think that you have given me one happy day.’

“I slept at Chester on Tuesday, and walked round the walls by moonlight, most picturesque and desolate, with only the tramp of an occasional wanderer making the night more silent by its echoes.

“Yesterday I came here. A beautiful ascent through woods leads from the seaboard to this house, magnificent in the style of a Louis XIV. château externally, with Morris paper and colour inside. There is a man party here—Lord Colville, Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, Lord de Lisle, Hedworth Williamson, Lord Delamere. Hedworth is most amusing, and Lord de Lisle not without a quaint humour.”

 

Dec. 1.—To-day being a hunting day, most of the men breakfasted in pink in the hall. We drove with the Harringtons to the old Shipley house of Bodryddan,[239] where young Mrs. Conwy received us. The fine old house has been altered by Nesfield—‘restored’ they call it—but, though well done in its way, the quaint old peculiar character is gone. This generation, too, has sent its predecessors into absolute oblivion. Only the pictures keep the past alive at all, and they very little. There was a lovely portrait of a little girl with a dog in Mrs. Conwy’s sitting-room. ‘Who was it?’ I asked. ‘Oh, somebody, some sort of great-aunt,’ she supposed, ‘the dog was rather nice.’ It was Amelia Sloper,[240] Dean Shipley’s most cherished niece, the idol of that house and of all that lived in it in a past generation. One could not help remembering how that child’s little footsteps were once the sweetest music that house ever knew, and now her very existence is forgotten there, but her picture is preserved because ‘she had rather a nice little dog.’”

 

Tatton Park, Dec. 2.—This is a very pleasant, roomy country-house in an ugly park. The great feature is the conservatories, in one of which a gravel walk winds between banks of rock and moss and groves of tree-fern like a scene in Tasmania.

“Lady Egerton[241] shows to great advantage in her own house. On small subjects her conversation is frivolous, but on deeper subjects she has acute observation and a capital manner of hitting the right nail on the head, and she certainly gives her opinion without respect of persons. Yesterday, Wilbraham Egerton and Lady Mary[242] dined, the latter most attractive. Lady Egerton was very amusing, especially about old Lady Shaftesbury and her having ‘established a lying-in hospital for cats.’”

 

Dec. 4.—Yesterday we went to church at Rostherne. Going through the park gates, Mrs. Mitford (Emily Egerton) told the story of Dick Turpin—whose propensities were not known to his neighbours, and who constantly dined with her grandfather—having been terrified at that gate one night as he rode away, by thinking that he saw the ghost of one of his victims, and that it was believed to be haunted ever since.

“Rostherne Church stands on a terrace above the mere, into which one of its bells is said to have slipped down, and a mermaid is supposed to come up and ring it whenever one of the family at Tatton is going to die. It is the most poetical legend in Cheshire. Old Mrs. Egerton[243] told it one day at dinner. A short time after, the butler rushed into the drawing-room, and begged the gentlemen of the house to come and interfere, for two of the under-servants were murdering one another. Mrs. Egerton’s special footman had told the story of the mermaid in the servants’ hall, and another servant denied it. The footman declared that it was impossible it should not be true, for his mistress had said it, and a desperate fight ensued.

“Miss Wilbraham[244] is here from Blyth—a most pleasant, easy, natural person, who draws beautifully, and makes herself most agreeable.

“To-day we have been to luncheon at Arley. It is a noble house, raised by the present Mr. Warburton[245] on the site of an old moated building, which was, however, spoilt before his time. In front is a leaden statue of a Moor, like those at Knowsley and Clement’s Inn. The blind Mr. Warburton wrote the well-known hunting songs. He lived through his eyes, but bears the loss of them with a noble cheerfulness. All around are devoted to him, not only his own family, but tenants and workmen, and it is a touching proof of this, that, when anything new is to be constructed, the workmen always make a ‘blind plan’ of it, that he may feel and know it—a bit of wood representing one kind of wall, a ridge of sealing wax another: and so he is still the adviser and soul of it all.

“Mr. Gladstone is an old friend of his, and, with silence as to politics, was come to cheer and amuse him.

“Lady Egerton was most comical with Mr. Gladstone. ‘I told you you would never rest,’ she said; ‘how could you be so stupid as to think it? A man with brains cannot rest. Now how can you have come to do such a number of foolish things? However, if I was you, I would quiet down: indeed I do not despair of you yet.’ At luncheon Mr. Gladstone said she did a good deal of work in a very short time, for she totally demolished the Board of Education and the Church of England, and eventually established the Pope as the head of Christianity throughout the world.

“Before luncheon, Mr. Warburton took me away to see some prints in the library. We found there a Mr. Yates, a clergyman, and there was a most animated and interesting conversation between him and Mr. Gladstone on the logical difference between ‘Obedience’ and ‘Submission,’ which Mr. Yates considered to be the same and I thought so too, but quite see from Mr. Gladstone’s explanation that it is not so. He illustrated it by Strossmeyer, who was quite willing to submit to the doctrine of Papal infallibility, but turned restive at obedience, which involved subscription, and prevented any power of antagonistic action on his own faith any more. They spoke much of obedience to the decrees of a judge in Church matters. Mr. Gladstone said that while clergy were bound to submit to a judge’s decree, and while they had no right to inquire his reasons (two judges often arriving at the same decision from perfectly different reasons), he did not see why they might not state that the views they maintained, according to their own conscience, were at variance with the decision, though, as members of the Church of England, they were bound to submit to it.

“Altogether, it was a very interesting visit, and I was glad Mr. Gladstone said he wished it had not been such a short one. He and Mrs. Gladstone were both most cordial.

“Here, at Tatton, is a number of pictures set into panels round the staircase, full-lengths of Cheshire gentlemen, moved hither from Astbury Hall, where the originals met to decide whether they should rise for Prince Charlie, and finally elected not to risk their estates. In the dining-room is a picture of a hand shaking out an empty purse by Rubens, signed; it was sent to Charles V. when he had forgotten to pay the painter for his work, to remind him. Lord Egerton has many charming miniatures in his room, and—a gift to one of his ancestors—Queen Elizabeth’s ‘horn-book,’ being the alphabet and the Lord’s Prayer set in a frame of silver filagree and covered with talc (horn). He told us of some one who, wishing effectually to protect his land from poachers, put up—‘Aspleniums and Polypodiums always on these premises.’”

 

Dec. 6.—Yesterday we drove to Wythenshawe.[246] It is a most engaging old house, very well restored, all the historical points retained—the low narrow door inside the other, through which the defenders forced the conquerors to pass as their condition of surrender after their siege by the Commonwealth, when the family was heavily fined: the ghost-room, where a soldier shot in the siege still appears: the difference in the panelling of the oak drawing-room, where the panels were smashed in by a cannon-ball. There is another ghost—a ghastly face of a lady, who draws the curtains and looks in upon a bride on the first night she sleeps in the house after her marriage: the late Mrs. Tatton saw it.”[247]

 

Betton House, Dec. 9.—Wednesday morning was lovely. We drove to Rostherne Manor, Lady Mary Egerton’s charming modern house, with a lovely view over the wide shining mere to the Derbyshire hills; on the right, the church tower on a wooded hill, and in the foreground the terraced garden with an old leaden figure of Mercury.

“I came away to Hodnet, where the great new house perfectly swarmed with Heber Percy cousins, and next morning I went with Ethel Hood to Stoke. There is nothing but the ghost of our memories there now—even the church pulled down, all that made the place touching or beautiful to us swept away.”

 

Betton, Dec. 10.—It has been a great pleasure to go to church with the Tayleurs at dear old Market Drayton, and to sit in the great green baize room in the family gallery, with a large fire burning in an open hearth—a pleasant contrast to the wretched open seats which are the fashion now, though it might recall the exclamation of a Frenchman on seeing a similar pew—‘Pardi! on sert Dieu bien à son aise ici.’ Yet even at Drayton the respectable red-cloaked singers have given place to bawling choristers.

“I always feel, in the neighbourhood of the winding Terne, as if I were carried back into my child-life with my dear adopted grandparents, the one happy part of my boyhood, so different from the many bitter days at Hurstmonceaux.”

 

Sherborne Park, Dec. 12.—At Bourton-on-the-Water were many people waiting. In the dark I recognised Lord and Lady Denbigh, and then a young lady came up with her husband and spoke to me. ‘I cannot see in the least who you are.’—‘Oh, then I shall leave you to guess, and you will find out by-and-by.’ It was Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley. With him and Lord Powerscourt, and a fat old gentleman much muffled up, whom I took for Sir Hastings Doyle, and who turned out to be Mr. Alfred Denison, I travelled in a carriage to Sherborne. It is a very fine house of Inigo Jones, of rich yellow stone, with short fluted columns between the windows; but in effect it is overwhelmed by the church, which is close upon it, and crushes it with its spire. The living rooms are delightfully large, airy, and filled with books, flowers, and pictures.

“I had a pleasant dinner, seated by Mr. Denison, who told me much about his curious collection of books on angling, of which he has some of the early part of the fifteenth century, and about 500 editions of Izaak Walton. He has even a Latin treatise on the Devil’s fishery for souls. He was just come from Chatsworth, and had seen there a volume for which £12,000 had been refused, the original of Claude’s ‘Liber Veritatis.’

“Lord Sherborne is both very fond and very proud of his wife, but her music he pretends to detest, though her singing is quite lovely—not much voice, but intense pathos and expression.

“This afternoon I have been with Miss Dutton and charming Miss Ruth Bouverie to the old chase and the deer-park, in which there is a beautiful deserted hunting-lodge by Inigo Jones. Lady Sherborne wanted to make a garden in front of it, but was only allowed by her lord to have grass instead of potatoes. We also went into the church adjoining the house, which contains many family monuments. The most remarkable is that of John Dutton, who was ‘possessed of large estate and of mind æquall to his fortune;’ yet he lost a great part of his estates by gambling, and staked Sherborne too, and would have lost it if he had not been carried off to bed by his butler.

“Speaking of concealment of the whole truth, Miss Dutton related a story her uncle, John Dutton, used to tell of the French governess sliding on the ice, when one of the children said to her, ‘Mr. Lentil said, Mademoiselle, that he hoped the boys would trip you up upon the ice, and I really could not tell you what Mr. Davis said.’ Mr. Davis had said nothing, but the intended impression was conveyed.

“I forget how, apropos of Bible ignorance, Miss Dutton told of an American, who, entering a coffee-house at New York, saw a Jew there, and seized him violently by the throat. ‘What, wh—at do you do that for!’ exclaimed the nigh strangled Jew.—‘Because you crucified my Lord.’—‘But all that happened more than 1800 years ago.’—‘That does not matter; I have only just heard of it.’”

 

Dec. 14.—Yesterday we went to Biberry, a beautiful old house of Lord Sherborne’s. Mr. and Lady Augusta Noel joined the party in the evening, she a Keppel,[248] the authoress of ‘Wandering Willie,’ and very pleasant. Several neighbours came to dinner. The astronomical conversation of Mr. Noel was very engaging. I deduced from it that the flames in the sun were 96,000 miles long, and that we were all liable to meet our end in three ways—i.e., by going fizz if a particle of the sun (‘as big as this room’) broke off and struck the earth in any direction: by being slowly consumed, the pools drying and the trees shrivelling up: or by being gradually frozen under an ice-wave. The earth has already perished once by the last-named contingency, and there are geological features, especially at Lord Lansdowne’s place in Ireland, which prove it.”

 

Osterley, Dec. 16.—I came here about tea-time to what Horace Walpole calls ‘the Palace of Palaces.’ It is a magnificent house. Sir Thomas Gresham was the original builder, and entertained Queen Elizabeth here. Then it passed through various hands till it fell to the Childs, for whom it was partially rebuilt and splendidly fitted up by the brothers Adam. An immense flight of steps leads through an open portico to a three-sided court, beneath which is the basement storey, and from which open the hall and the principal rooms. There is a gallery like that at Temple Newsam, but much longer and finer, and in this case it is broken and partitioned by bookcases into pleasant corners—almost separate rooms. The walls and ceilings are ornamented with paintings (let in) by Zucchi and Angelica Kauffmann, but the great charm lies in the marvellous variety, delicacy, and simplicity of the wood carvings, each shutter and cornice a different design, but a single piece. In one room are exquisite pink Gobelins, the chairs quite lovely; one of them represents a little girl crying over the empty cage of her lost bird; on its companion a little boy has caught the bird and is rushing to restore it to her. There is a fine picture of Lady Westmoreland, Robert Child’s daughter. When Lord Westmoreland, whom he considered a hopeless ne’er-do-weel, asked for her hand, he had firmly refused it; but when Lord Westmoreland some time after took him unawares with the question, ‘Now, if you were in love with a beautiful girl, and her father would not consent to your marrying her, what would you do?’ answered, ‘Run away with her, to be sure.’ Lord Westmoreland took him at his word, and eloped with Miss Child in a coach-and-four from Berkeley Square; and when, near Gretna Green, he saw that the horses of his father-in-law, in hot pursuit, were gaining upon him, he stood up in the carriage and shot the leader dead, and so gained his bride.

“The Duchess Caroline (of Cleveland) was often here with Lady Jersey, and, when she sold her own place of Downham, determined to rent Osterley. Since then, though only a tenant, she has cared for it far more than its owner, Lord Jersey, and has done much to beautify and keep it up. Only Miss Newton and Mr. Spencer Lyttelton[249] are here, the latter with tremendous spirits, which carry him he knows not where. The Duchess is very amusing. Ordering a very good fire to be made up in church, she added drily to the servant, ‘Just such a fire as you make up on a very hot day, you know.’ She mentioned a clever mot of Count Nesselrode. Speaking of Sir William Wallace’s marriage he said, ‘Il avait une mauvaise habitude, et depuis il a épousé cette habitude.’”

 

Dec. 17.—The Duchess is a most interesting remnant of bygone times. She is so easily put out by any one doing too much, that every one at luncheon was afraid to get up and ring the bell for her, till she was close to the bell herself, when a nervous young man jumped up and rang it before she could reach it. ‘Sir, officiousness is not politeness,’ she said very slowly and forcibly.

“To young ladies she frequently says, ‘My dear, never marry for love: you will repent it if you do; I did:’ and yet she was fond of her Lord William.

“Mr. Spencer Lyttelton rails at everything supernatural, so we spoke of the story in his own family, and he told us the facts of the Lyttelton ghost, declaring that everything added to them about altering the clock, &c., was absolutely fictitious.

“‘Thomas, Lord Lyttelton, my father’s first cousin, was at Peel House, near Epsom, when a woman with whom he had lived seemed to appear to him. He spoke of it to some friends—the Misses Amphlett—and said that the spirit had said he should die in three days, and that he believed that he should certainly do so. Nevertheless, on the following day—he went up to London, and made one of his most brilliant speeches, for he was a really great speaker—in the House of Lords. He was not well at the time. On the third evening, his servant, after the custom of that time, was in his room assisting him to undress. When the clock struck twelve, Lord Lyttelton counted the strokes, and when it came to the last, exclaimed, “I have cheated the ghost,” and fell down dead: he must have had something the matter with his heart.’”

 

Hinchinbroke, Dec. 26.—Lord Sandwich is a charmingly courteous host, and Lady Sandwich a warm, pleasant friend. The three sons, Hinchinbroke, Victor, and Oliver, are all cheery, kindly, and amusing. ‘You see what a set you’ve landed amongst,’ said Lord Sandwich; ‘it will take you some time to know them.’ Agneta Montagu is here with her charming children; Lady Honoria Cadogan; Miss Corry, a handsome, natural, lively lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Edinburgh; and the kind old Duchess Caroline, with relays of walking-sticks, which she changes with her caps for the different hours of the day.

“Yesterday I went with Miss Corry and Hinchinbroke to Huntingdon, a picturesque old town on the sleepy Ouse. In the market-place, opposite the principal church, is the old grammar-school where Oliver Cromwell was educated. Mr. Dion Boucicault, of theatrical fame, is going to restore it in memory of his son, killed hard by in the Abbots Repton railway accident, and is going to destroy the one characteristic feature of the place—the high gable front of twisted and moulded brick, which recalls Holland and records the Flemish settlers in the Fen country.”

 

Christmas Day.—The damp, sleepy weather is far from an ideal Christmas, but I have liked being here in spite of a miserable cold, and being accepted as a sort of relation by this warm-hearted family.”[250]

 

Ascot Wood, Jan. 22, 1877.—I have been working quietly at home for nearly three weeks—a halt in life as far as the outer world is concerned; and how good these silences are, when, from the turmoil of the living present, one can retire into the companionship of a dead past—past associations, past interests, passed-away friends, who, though dead, are living for ever in the innermost shrines of one’s heart, of which the general world knows nothing, at which very few care to knock; which, even to those who knock, are so seldom opened.

“I have almost a pang when one of these breaks comes to an end, and the outside world rushes in. ‘On ne se détache jamais sans douleur.’[251] But it was a great pleasure to come here again to the companionship of this perfectly congenial cousinhood. Sir John Lefevre, as usual, is full of interesting conversation—not general, but with the one person next him, and that one is generally myself! He described a visit in Sussex at Sir Peckam Micklethwait’s (‘a man with other and more wonderful names’).[252] When the Princess Victoria was at Hastings with the Duchess of Kent, their horses ran away. They were in the greatest peril, when Mr. Micklethwait, who was a huge and powerful man, stood in the way, and seized and grappled with the horses with his tremendous strength, and they were saved. One of the first things the Queen did when she came to the throne was to make him a baronet.

“Sir John said how few people there were now who remembered the origin of the word ‘fly’ as applied to a carriage. In the last century people almost always went out to parties in sedan-chairs—a great fatigue and trouble to their bearers. Gradually the sedans had wheels, and were drawn. Then it began to dawn upon people to substitute a horse for a man. At that time the ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was being acted and very popular, and, in allusion to a line in it, the new carriages were called ‘Fly-by-Night.’ Then the sobriquet was abridged—‘by night’ was omitted, but ‘fly’ remained. Sir John remembered, when flys were first invented, meeting a man who said he had just ‘encountered’ a fly with a wasp inside and a bee (B) outside. It was Lord Brougham’s carriage.

“We went this afternoon to Lady Julia Lockwood’s.[253] Her odd little house is quite full of relics of her sister, the Duchess of Inverness—the Queen’s ‘Aunt Buggin,’ wife of the Duke of Sussex.

“To-night, talking of my little diaries, Sir John said that he had a name for them—‘Seniority’—adapted from Nassau Senior’s journals. When Senior went about, however, people knew that what they said would be taken down, so acted accordingly, and produced their sentiments and opinions as they wished them to be permanently represented. The Khedive was told what Mr. Senior would do before he was admitted to his interview. ‘Oh, yes, I quite understand,’ said the Khedive; ‘Mr. Senior is the trumpet, and I am to blow down it.’

“Sir John described how in the Upper House of Convocation the members amused their leisure moments by suiting each of the bishops with texts. That for the Archbishop of York[254] was, ‘And she was a Greek;’ for Bishop Wilberforce, ‘She brought him butter in a lordly dish.’”

 

Jan. 24.—When I arrived at the Ascot station, a little lady was there, with glistening silver hair, waiting to go up to the house. It was Mrs. William Grey. She was here two days and very pleasant—a bright, active, simple mind, which finds its vent in excitement for the superior education of women.

“Yesterday we went to Windsor for the day. We went to the castle library, where Natalli, the sub-librarian, showed us everything. It is very interesting regarded merely as a building—not one room, but a succession of rooms, irregularly added as space allowed and comfort dictated, by a succession of sovereigns. Queen Elizabeth’s library (the only part of the castle unaltered outside) has an old chimney-piece of her time, into which the Prince Consort cleverly inserted a bust from her figure by Cornelius Cure, and it once had a ceiling painted by Verrio, which was destroyed by William IV., who put up a stucco ceiling instead. Of Anne there is the charming little boudoir, where she was sitting with the Duchess of Marlborough when a letter (a facsimile of which is preserved there) was brought in from the Duke telling of the victory of Blenheim. The later rooms are of George III. and William IV. We saw Miles Coverdale’s Bible, all the early editions of Shakspeare, Charles I.’s Prayer-book, Elizabeth’s Prayer-book, Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel’ with his corrections and alterations; but better far was the view from the end window, with the terrace and its final tower standing out in burly shadow against the misty and flooded country.”

 

Thorpe, Jan. 26.—We went to-day to St. Anne’s Hill. Lady Holland was sitting in the innermost of the richly furnished bright warm little rooms, but was bandaged up still from a frightful fall she had received by mistaking a staircase for a passage in the dark. One always feels one’s own talk on waggon-wheels with a person who has the conversational reputation she has, and I was glad when Madame de Jarnac came in and undertook to show us the house. Lady Holland followed, and took us to her bedroom, which is charming, with a view towards Chobham. Then we went to the gardens, with a temple to Friendship (i.e., to Lord Holland’s friendship), and the summer-house in which the preliminaries of the Peace of Amiens were signed. Other summer-houses are paved with encaustic tiles from Chertsey Abbey.

 

69 Onslow Square, Jan. 27.—Mr. Byng preached a capital sermon to-day upon ‘religious hypochondriacs’—people who say, ‘You know I was always so spoilt when I was a child, you must make allowance for my being a little selfish now,’ &c.”

 

6 Bury Street, Feb. 13.—Last night I dined with the Haygarths, to meet the Woods and Leslies. The Dowager Lady Spencer[255] was there, who gave an amusing account of her Irish experiences, when her stepson was Lord Lieutenant. One day he was hunting, and had just leapt a hedge into a lane, when he was aware that a funeral was coming up. He thought it might hurt the feelings of the mourners if he passed them hunting, so he hid himself. But as the funeral came by the hounds appeared, and instantly, setting the coffin down in the road, mourners, pall-bearers, and all started in hot pursuit, and Lord Spencer found himself left alone with the body.

“Lady Spencer talked of one Irish gentleman, a Master of Hounds, who, being very much puzzled by the two Lady Spencers, and how to distinguish them, settled the matter by calling them, like dogs, one ‘Countess,’ and the other ‘Dowager.’ ‘The absurdity never struck me much,’ she said, ‘till the last day of all, when Charlotte’s eyes were so red with crying, and he, coming in, exclaimed, “Dowager, Dowager, what can we do to comfort Countess?”’

“I have just been with Lady Halifax and the Corrys to see the Duke of Suffolk’s head at the church in the Minories—a most awful object.

“Mr. Bodley[256] told us last night that when he was staying at St. John’s College, Oxford, he saw a ghost. He could swear to it. He was in a room which was in the broad moonlight of a summer’s night, for it had no shutters. Suddenly he heard a movement like that of a man under the bed, and then something thrown on the floor like a stick. He jumped up, but there was nothing. He then went to bed again, when out of the floor in the moonlight rose the head and shoulders of a man. He saw it against the chest of drawers. It hid two of the handles of the drawers, but not more. Farther than that out of the ground it did not rise. He is quite certain that he saw it, and quite certain that he was awake.”

 

Feb. 14.—Luncheon at Miss Davenport Bromley’s to meet Mr. Portal. Lord Houghton and his son and daughter were there. Mr. Portal has a scheme for educating the unfortunate Americans of gentle birth who have fallen from wealth to poverty owing to the changes on the cessation of the slave trade in South Carolina, and he has been eminently successful. He described the South Carolina reverses of fortune as most extraordinary. One of his friends died in his house who had once possessed an estate worth £300,000; yet, when his will was opened, it only contained these words—‘I leave to the old and tried friend of my youth, the Rev. —— Portal, my only son!’ He had nothing else whatever to leave except £9 towards his funeral expenses. Mr. Portal described how the ‘darkies’ had been ‘done’ since the change by those who had too much of the theory of religion to have any power left for the practice of it. Being at a place on the border, where some of the greatest battles were, he asked some of the ‘darkies’ why, when they saw the Northerners gaining the upper hand, they did not join them. A ‘darkie’ said, ‘Mossieu, did you ever see two dogs fighting for a bone?’—‘Yes, very often.’—‘But, Mossieu, did you ever see the bone fight?’

“The conversation fell on Philadelphia, ‘the most conservative place in America, with its narrow streets and narrow notions.’ Lord Houghton said that his son Robin had been shocked by the non-observance of Sunday in the native city of Moody and Sankey. Mr. Portal said that Moody and Sankey were utterly unknown, entirely without influence in their own country; that it could only be the most enormous amount of American cheek which had enabled them to come over to England, ‘exactly as if it was a heathen country, to bring the light of the Gospel to the English;’ that America had heard with amazement and shock how they were run after; that they owed their success partly to their cheek, and partly to their music.

“Mr. Portal described his feeling of desolation when he first arrived in England—‘not one soul he knew amongst all these millions;’ that the next day a lady asked him to conduct her and her child to a pantomime. He consented, without understanding that a pantomime meant Drury Lane Theatre, and his horror was intense when he ‘found himself, a clergyman of forty years’ standing,’ in such a place. This, however, was nothing to what he felt ‘when a troop of half-naked women rushed in and began to throw up their legs into the air;’ he ‘could have sunk into the ground for shame.’ ‘Was not the mother of our Lord a woman? was not my mother a woman? is not my wife a woman? are not my daughters women? and what are these?’

“Mr. Knowles, the ex-editor of the Contemporary Review, who was at luncheon, said that he had taken Alfred Tennyson to see a ballet with just the same effect. When the ballet-girls trooped in wearing ‘une robe qui ne commence qu’à peine, et qui finit tout de suite,’ Tennyson had rushed at once out of the box, walked up and down in an agony over the degradation of the nineteenth century, and nothing would induce him to go in again. Mr. Knowles said, however, that a general improvement in the stage had dated from a climax of impropriety in ‘Babil and Bijou:’ it had since been much leavened by Irving. Lord Houghton described how much of Irving’s success had been due to the entirely original view he had taken of his characters; that in Hamlet he had taken ‘the domestic view, not declaiming, but pondering, saying things meditatively with his legs over a chair-back.’”

 

Feb. 24.—I have been seeing a great deal of Willie Milligan lately, and cannot help thinking of the characteristics so distinctive of him whom for twenty-six years I have never ceased to feel honoured in being allowed to call my intimate friend.

“He is a thorough-bred gentleman in all the highest senses of the term. Always without riches, he has never complained of having less than was sufficient for his wants, which are most modest. Without being cultivated, he is very clever. He never talks religion, but his life is thoroughly christian. He is the soul of honour, pure, truthful, blameless, and without reproach; yet in conversation no one is more witty, original, and amusing. He is celebrated as a peace-maker, and never fails to show that chivalry is the truest wisdom. He has never done a selfish act, and never omitted to do a kind one.”

 

Feb. 25.—A visit to Mrs. Lowe. She talked of the contemptible state of politics now; that it was all only playing at the old game of brag; that the object with every one seems to be who can tell most lies, and who can get any one to believe his lies most easily. If she ‘was minister it would be different; she would nail men down to a point—what will you do and what will you not do? and have a direct answer; then one would know how to act.’

“Mr. Lowe described his life in Australia. Money then scarcely existed there: payments were made either in kind or in bills of exchange. He said, ‘When we played whist, we played sheep, with bullocks on the rubber; and when a man won much, he had to hire a field next morning to put his winnings in.’”

 

Feb. 28.—A charming visit to old Lord John Thynne, who told me many of his delightful reminiscences of Sydney Smith, Milman, and others.

“Then to Mrs. Duncan Stewart, who was sitting almost on the ground, covered with an eider-down. She talked of our ‘Memorials’ and of Mrs. Grote, who said, when she read of the dear mother’s marvellous trances, ‘My dear, she was thinking more than was good for her; so God in His great mercy gave her chloroform.’ She spoke of the difficulties of a like faith, of the effort of keeping it up when prayer was not answered, believing in the power of prayer just the same. She told how, when her child was dying—she knew it must die—the clergyman came (it was at Wimbledon) and used to kneel by the table and pray that resignation might be given to the mother to bear the parting, and resignation to the child to die; and how she listened and prayed too; and yet, at the end, she could not feel it. She did not, and—though she knew it was impossible—she could not but break in with, ‘Yet, O Lord, yet restore her.’

“‘Do you know,’ said Mrs. Stewart, ‘that till I was thirty, I had never seen death—never seen it even in a poor person; then I saw it in my own child, and I may truly say that then Death entered into the world for me as truly as it did for Eve, and it never left me afterwards—never. If one of my children had an ache afterwards, I thought it was going to die; if I awoke in the night and looked at my husband in his sleep, I thought—“He will look like that when he is dead.”

“‘Do not think I murmur, but life is very trying when one knows so little of the beyond. The clergyman’s wife has just been, and she said, “But you must believe; you must believe Scripture literally; you must believe all it says to the letter.” But I cannot believe literally: one can only use the faith one has, I have not the faith which moves mountains. I have prayed that the mountains might move, with all the faith that was in me—all; but the mountains did not move. No, I cannot pray with the faith which is not granted me.

“‘I think that I believe all the promises of Scripture; yet when I think of Death, I hesitate to wish to leave the certainty here for what is—yes, must be—the uncertainty beyond. Yet lately, when I was so ill, when I continued to go down and down into the very depths, I felt I had got so far—so very far, it would be difficult to travel all that way again—“Oh, let me go through the gates now.” And then the comforting thought came that perhaps after all it might not be the will of God that I should travel the same way again, and that when He leads me up to the gates for the last time, it might be His will to lead me by some other, by some quite different way.’”

 

March 4.—Breakfast with Lord Houghton—a pleasant male party—Dr. Ralston, Henry James the American novelist, Sir Samuel Baker, and three others. Harriet Martineau’s Memoirs had just arrived, and were a great topic. Lord Houghton, who had known her well, said how often he had been sent for to take leave of Miss Martineau when she had been supposed to be dying, and had gone at great personal inconvenience; but she had lived for thirty years after the first time. Her fatal illness (dropsy) had set in before she went to America. Her friends tried strongly to dissuade her from going, suggesting that she would be very ill received in consequence of her opinions. ‘Why, Harriet,’ said Sydney Smith, ‘you know, if you go, they will tar and feather you, and then they will turn you loose in the woods, and the wild turkeys will come and say, “Why, what strange bird are you?”’

“Of course, much of politics was talked, especially about the Turkish atrocities. Sir S. Baker said that at the old Duchess of Cleveland’s he had met Lord Winchester, now quite an old man. He said that he had ridden from Constantinople to the Danube in 1832, and had passed thirty impaled persons on the way. He himself (Sir Samuel) had seen the impaling machine on the Nile—a stake tapered like a pencil, over which a wheel was let down to a certain height, and when the man was impaled, he was let down on the wheel and rested there; he often lived for three or four days; if the machine was in the market-places of the country towns, the relations of the victims gave them coffee. ‘It is not worse,’ said Lord Houghton, ‘than the stories we are told every Sunday: “he destroyed them all, he left not one of them alive;” especially of the cruelties of David, who made his enemies pass under the harrow, a punishment much worse than impalement. How grateful David would have been for a steam-roller! what a number of people he would have been able to despatch at once!’

“At Mrs. Tennant’s I saw the three girls who have been so much admired, and painted by Millais and so many others; their chief beauty consisting in their picturesqueness as a group.”

 

March 5.—To Mr. Brandram’s recitation of the ‘Merchant of Venice’ at Lord Overstone’s. He said the whole play by heart, giving different character and expression to each person—an astonishing effort of memory. Hearing a play in this way certainly fixes it in the mind much more than reading it, though not so much as seeing it.”

 

March 8.—Luncheon at charming old Mrs. Thellusson’s, where I met Madame Taglioni, the famous danseuse. She is now an old lady, with pretty refined features, perfect grace of movement, and a most attractive manner. She has begun in her old age to give lessons again for the benefit of her family, though she is, at the same time, presenting her princess grand-daughter—the Princess Marguerite Trubetskoi, a simple natural girl. Madame Taglioni spoke of her dancing as ‘un don de Dieu,’ just as she would of music or any other art. We asked her if she would like to be young again. ‘Oh, yes, indeed,’ she said; ‘how I should dance!’ She said her father, a ballet-master, made her practise nine hours a day; ‘however great a talent you may have, you never can bring it to perfection without that amount of practice.’

“Lady Charlemont was there, and after luncheon we asked her to recite. She made no difficulties, but said nothing; only, while we had almost forgotten her, she had glided round the room to where there was a red curtain for a background, and suddenly, but slowly, she began. It was only a simple ballad of Tennyson—‘Oh, the Earl was fair to see’—but she threw a power into it which was almost agony, and the pauses were absolute depths of pathos. You felt the power of her unfaltering vengeance, you heard the raging of the storm ‘in turret and tree;’ and, when the moment of the murder came, you quivered in every nerve as she stabbed the Earl ‘through and through.’ It was absolutely awful.

“Afterwards Mrs. Greville recited ‘Jeanne d’Arc.’ It is her best part. She cannot look refined, but an inspired French paysanne she can look and be thoroughly.

“Sir Baldwin Leighton made himself so pleasant, that when he asked me to go to their box at the Lyceum in the evening, I promised to go, though I never like seeing any, even the very best plays, twice. However, the nearness of the box to the stage enabled me to see many details unobserved before. Richard III. will always, I should think, be Irving’s best part, for he looks the incarnation of the person. In Shakspeare, Richard III. is most anxious to become king, and perfectly determined to remain king when he has become so; but Irving carries out far more than this. Irving’s Richard is perfectly determined that vice shall triumph over virtue, and utterly enraptured when it does triumph, in a way which is quite diabolical. The night before Bosworth Field is most striking and beautiful. You are with the king in his tent. He draws the curtain and looks out. On the distant wind-stricken heath the camp-fires are alight, and the lights in the tents blaze out one by one, eclipsing the stars overhead. Richard says little for a time; your whole mind is allowed the repose of the beauty. The king, who has been through the last acts trying (you feel him striving against his personal disadvantages) to be kingly, is all-kingly on that night, in the immediate face of the great future on which everything hangs. He gives his orders—simply, briefly, royally. He lies down on the couch, folding himself in the royal velvet robe, which, like Creusa’s cloak, is associated with all his crimes. He falls asleep. Then, out of the almost darkness, just visible as outlines but no more, rise the phantoms; and, like a whiffling wind, the voice of Clarence floats across the stage. As each spirit delivers its message in the same faint spiritual harmonious monotone, the sleeping figure shudders and groans, moans more sadly.

enlarge-image
LONDON BRIDGE FROM BILLINGSGATE.

LONDON BRIDGE FROM BILLINGSGATE. [257]

“Then there is a powerfully human touch in the way in which he, so coldly royal as he lay down, turns human-like for sympathy in his great horror and anguish to the first person he sees, the soldier who wakens him.”

 

March 10.—Went with Victor Parnell down the river in search of the old houses at Limehouse and Stepney. We found them, but the accounts in the Daily News, which had led us to the excursion, were so exaggerated that the houses were scarcely to be recognised. We came back by Ratcliffe Highway. It all looked very clean, and thriving, and decent, very different indeed from the descriptions in religious magazines.”

 

March 11.—Luncheon with Sir Robert and Lady Cunliffe, who showed me a volume of portrait sketches by Downman, a little-known master of George III.’s time, but a wonderfully charming artist.”

 

END OF VOL. IV.

Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co
Edinburgh and London

ERRATA

Page60,for “Marocetti” read “Marochetti.”
136,“Curramore” read “Curraghmore.”
232,“Keats” read “Keate.”
435,“vieillir être heureuse” read “vieillir pour être heureuse.” (corrected by the etext transcriber.)
478,“Bedel and Bijou” read “Babil and Bijou.” (corrected by the etext transcriber.)

“Story of my Life.”—End of Vol. IV.


THE STORY OF MY LIFE

VOL. V

enlarge-image
Mary Lea Gidman.  from a miniature by Barber.

Mary Lea Gidman.
from a miniature by Barber.

THE STORY OF
MY LIFE

 

BY

AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE
AUTHOR OF “MEMORIALS OF A QUIET LIFE.”
“THE STORY OF TWO NOBLE LIVES.”
ETC. ETC.



VOLUME V


LONDON
GEORGE ALLEN, 156, CHARING CROSS ROAD
1900
[All rights reserved]

Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press

CONTENTS

PAGE
WHILST WRITING THE BUNSEN MEMOIRS1
ROYAL DUTIES AND INTERESTS75
A HALT IN LIFE241
HOME SORROWS326
IN THE FURROWS OF LIFE382

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

VOL. V

The illustrations may be viewed enlarged by clicking on them. In order to ease the flow of reading, some of the illustrations have been moved to before or after the paragraph in which they appeared in the book.
(note of etext transcriber)


MARY LEA GIDMAN. From a miniature by Barber. Photogravure Frontispiece
PAGE
CHANTRY OF HENRY V., WESTMINSTER12
LOWTHER LODGE23
HOLMHURST, THE POULTRY-YARD31
TITTENHANGER51
SOPHIE, QUEEN OF SWEDEN AND NORWAY. Photogravure To face 80
THE ROSENBORG PALACE, COPENHAGEN100
ROESKILDE101
CASTLE OF ELSINORE102
THE JUNCTION OF LAKE MALAR AND THE BALTIC, STOCKHOLM103
RIDDARHOLMEN104
THE CHURCH OF OLD UPSALA105
GRIPSHOLM107
BOLKESJÖ111
THE CHURCH OF HITTERDAL112
THRONDTJEM FIORD114
THRONDTJEM CATHEDRAL115
S. OLAF’S WELL, THRONDTJEM116
IN THE ROMSDAL117
GUSTAF, CROWN PRINCE OF SWEDEN AND NORWAY. PhotogravureTo face 138
CORNETO142
CATHEDRAL OF CORNETO143
PERUGIA154
ASSISI155
IN THE ENTRANCE-HALL, HOLMHURST165
AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE. (Full-page woodcut) To face 176
IN THE FIR-WOOD, HOLMHURST189
LA SAINTE BAUME192
THE JERUSALEM CHAMBER197
THE LOLLARDS’ PRISON, LAMBETH206
THE WAKEFIELD TOWER, TOWER OF LONDON207
IN THE VERANDAH, HOLMHURST235
VERANDAH STEPS, HOLMHURST236
FROM S. GREGORIO, MESSINA245
TAORMINA246
ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE, SYRACUSE248
FROM THE WALLS OF EPIPOLAE249
ON THE RIVER CYANE250
ACI CASTELLO251
TEMPLE OF CONCORD, GIRGENTI252
IN THE TEMPLE OF JUNO LUCINIA, GIRGENTI254
IN THE TEMPLE OF HERCULES, GIRGENTI255
TEMPLE OF CASTOR AND POLLUX, GIRGENTI256
PALERMO, FROM S. MARIA DI GESU259
SOLUNTO261
CLOISTERS, MONREALE263
GATE OF MOLA267
TARANTO268
CASTEL DEL MONTE269
TOMB OF BOHEMUND, CANOSA270
MRS. DUNCAN STEWART. (Full-page woodcut) To face 288
NORWICH FROM MOUSEHOLD331
LAKE OF AVERNUS, NEAR NAPLES345
CAPRI347
SCILLA349
FROM THE CAMPO DELLA CARITÀ, VENICE351
REV. CANON HUGH PEARSON. Photogravure To face 354
GATEWAY, KENSINGTON PALACE361
SASSENPOORT, ZWOLLE364
MILL NEAR AMSTERDAM365
HURSTMONCEAUX CASTLE GATEWAY379
ON THE TERRACE, HOLMHURST388
IN THE KITCHEN, HOLMHURST389
CATHEDRAL OF ST. ISAAC, ST. PETERSBURG391
ST. SOPHIA OF NOVGOROD393
KREMLIN, MOSCOW394
THE NEW JERUSALEM395
THE DNIEPER, KIEFF396
THE HOLY CHAPEL OF KIEFF397
CITADEL OF CRACOW398
NOYON409
SOISSONS410
CHÂTEAU DE COUCY411
SHRINE OF ST. ERASMUS, WESTMINSTER ABBEY429
LE CROZANT434
SOLIGNAC435
ROCAMADOUR436
CLOISTER OF CADOUIN438
ARCADES OF MONTPAZIER439
AT FONTEFROIDE441
CONQUES443
CROMER450
GATEWAY OF BUCKHURST456

XIX

WHILST WRITING THE BUNSEN MEMOIRS

 

“Here we have no communion; company enough, but no fellowship. Meanwhile, the grand perennial Communion of Saints is ever open to us. Let us enter in and worthily comport ourselves there.”—Carlyle.

“Ce n’est ni le génie, ni la gloire, ni l’amour, qui mesurent l’élévation de l’âme; c’est la bonté.”—Père Lacordaire.

IT was soon after the death of my dear and honoured old friend, the Baroness Bunsen, that her daughters, Frances and Emilia, wrote to consult me about a Memoir of her beautiful and helpful life. I promised all the help I could give, but did not understand, till several months later, that they wished me to undertake the whole biography myself. This, however, I rejoiced to do, being assured that beyond her own children, no one had a warmer love and appreciation for the friend of my whole life, and delighting to be raised, whilst dwelling amongst her written words and thoughts, into the serene and lofty atmosphere of her inner life.

The work which I had undertaken began at this time to bring me into constant and intimate connection with all the branches of the Bunsen family, especially with Lady Llanover, the sister of my dear old friend.

 

Llanover, March 18, 1877.—I left London on my birthday and went to the Harfords at Blaise Castle. It was bright but bitter March weather, and though the woods were full of flowers, there was no enjoyment of them. I had much talk with sweet Mrs. Harford about old days and the many passed-away things and people dear to us both. Sir George and Lady Grey were staying at Blaise, to my great pleasure.

“Yesterday I came here by the ferry over the Severn. Lady Llanover’s old ramshackle carriage met me at the Nantyderry Station, and brought me to Llanover. I had received endless solemn warnings about what I was to say and not to say here, what to do and not to do; but with a person of whom one is not likely to see much in after life, one never feels any alarm. Lady Llanover is very small and has been very pretty. We have a mutual bond in our love for her sister, whose memory is enshrined in her inmost heart with that of her mother, Mrs. Waddington, to whom she was quite passionately devoted. Of the Bunsen family she talked from 4 till 10.30 P.M. ‘You see I have still the full use of my lungs,’ she said.

“At eight we had tea. There is no dinner, which I like, but every one would not. After tea she gathered up all the lumps of sugar which remained and emptied them with a great clatter into a box, which she locked up. With £20,000 a year, the same economy pervades everything. Her great idea is Wales—that she lives in Wales (which many doubt), and that the people must be kept Welsh, and she has Welsh schools, Welsh services, a Welsh harper, always talks Welsh to her servants, and wears a Welsh costume at church.”

 

To Miss Wright.

March 24, 1877.—I may tell you now, as it is no longer a secret, that I have acceded to the wish of all her family in undertaking to write the Life and edit the beautiful letters of my dear old friend the Baroness de Bunsen. How perfectly great and noble her character was, and the intense interest of all she wrote, few know better than myself, and, beyond her own family, no one loved her more; so, when my ‘London’ is done, I shall give myself gladly to this sacred task, and trust that it may be, as her writings cannot fail to be, a blessing to many.”

 

Journal.

Holmhurst, April 6, 1877.—I look back on my visit to Llanover as quite a bit apart in my life. It was important that I should please, as much of the success of the memorials of her sister, which I have undertaken to edit, must depend upon Lady Llanover’s favourable co-operation. It was equally important that I should assert my own absolute independence of will and action, and knock under in nothing. So it was a difficult course to steer. The very warnings I had received were enough to annihilate self-confidence. I was not to believe anything Lady Llanover said about different members of her family, for she was always guided by her own prejudices and sympathies. I was not to be guided by her opinion on any subject, yet was never to contradict her. I was not to make to her any one of the promises she was sure to attempt to exact from me: above all, I was never to leave any letter or paper about in my room, as there were always ‘tame panthers stealing about the house,’ who would master the contents and make it known to their mistress.

“I began by disregarding all this advice, and taking Lady Llanover as if I had never heard a word about her, and I am sure that it was the best way. I listened to all she had to say, and received part of it to profit by. I left all my papers about, and if the mistress of the house learnt what was in them, I hope it was beneficial to her. I found her difficult to deal with certainly, but chiefly because, with endless power of talking and a vocabulary absolutely inexhaustible, it is next to impossible to keep her in the straight conversational path along which she ought to be travelling: she will linger to pick all the flowers that grow in the lanes diverging along the wayside. Thus, though on an average we talked for six hours a day, not more than one of those hours could be utilised.

“There is a great deal to admire in Lady Llanover: her pertinacity in what she thinks right, whether she is right or not: her insistence on carrying out her sovereign will in all things; but chiefly her touching devotion to the memory of the mother from whom she, the youngest and favourite daughter, was scarcely ever separated. The whitewashed ‘Upper House’ in the park is kept fresh and bright and aired, as if the long-lost mother were constantly expected. In her sitting-room a bright fire burns in winter, and fresh flowers are daily placed on the little table by her old-fashioned sofa. The plants she loved are tended and blooming in the little garden; the pictures and books are unremoved from the walls; the peacocks she used to feed, or their descendants, still spread their bright tails in the sun under her windows.

“It is in the kitchen of the ‘Upper House’ that Lady Llanover’s Welsh chaplain performs service on Sundays, for to the church she and her people will not go, as the clergyman is—undesirable. Lady Llanover on Sundays is even more Welsh than on week-days. She wears a regular man’s tall hat and short petticoats like her people, and very becoming the dress is to her, and very touching the earnestness of the whole congregation in their national costume, joining so fervently—like one person—in the services, especially in the singing, which is exquisitely beautiful. I suppose it may be only from the novelty, but this earnest service, these humble prayers on the worn benches in the brick-floored kitchen, with the incidents of manual labour in the background, and farmhouse scenes outside the windows, seemed more of a direct appeal to God than any formal prayers I ever heard in a church—the building called a church. I feel more and more that I shall probably end my days—a Dissenter!

“We had more of the Welsh music in the evening. We went and sat in the armchairs in the hall, and the household filed in above, and filled the music-gallery, and sang most gloriously, especially the burial-hymn ‘It is finished,’ which was sung in parts all the way from the house to the churchyard at the funerals of Mrs. Waddington and Lord Llanover and his son. At other times, the blind harper attached to the house came in and harped to us, and four little boys sat in a circle on the floor and sang.

“One afternoon we went to the churchyard overlooking the Usk. A great pine-tree, the seed of which was brought from Rome by Mrs. Waddington, overshadows the burial-place of the family, and, in accordance with a line in some poet she liked, her grave is covered with the simple camomile. By its side is the colossal altar-tomb of Lord Llanover. It is generally supposed to be merely commemorative, but Lady Llanover herself unlocked a door concealed beneath the carving, and we went in. There are three coffins—of Lord Llanover, his eldest son, and his grandson Stephàn, son of Mrs. Herbert of Llanarth, whom she, the Roman Catholic mother, insisted should be brought here, the priests accompanying the corpse to the churchyard gate, and there delivering it to the Welsh people, who sang their beautiful hymns over it. There was a fourth place in the tomb, which Lady Llanover, tearless in her desolation, showed me as hers, which she must soon occupy. The poor Welsh women were busy ‘dressing the graves’ in the churchyard—the graves are always dressed for Palm Sunday.

“At Llanover, in the weird house of dead associations, it was a relief when pleasant, handsome young Arthur Herbert came the last day. Almost the only other guest was Miss Geraldine Jewsbury, the intimate and faithful friend of Mrs. Carlyle. I found it difficult to trace in the ancient spinster the gifted brilliancy I had heard described, though of her strong will there was abundant evidence.[258] During an illness of Mrs. Carlyle there was a comic instance of this. Miss Jewsbury had unlimited faith in black currant jelly for a cold. Now Mrs. Carlyle’s throat was very bad, and Miss Jewsbury took some of her jelly to her. ‘But I will not take it; I will not take it, Geraldine,’ said Mrs. Carlyle, with her strong inflexion on the ‘ine.’ So Miss Jewsbury sat by the head of the bed and kept her black currant jelly well out of sight. But a moment came when Mrs. Carlyle fell fast asleep, and—if the truth must be told—opened her mouth very wide. It was Miss Jewsbury’s opportunity, and she filled a spoon full of jelly, and popped it into the open mouth. ‘Good God! Geraldine, what was that?’ exclaimed Mrs. Carlyle, waking up. ‘That was the black currant jelly.’—‘Good God, Geraldine! I thought it was a leech gone the wrong way.’

“Since I returned, I have greatly enjoyed a fortnight’s halt in life at home. When here, with charming rooms full of books and pictures, inexhaustible employment within and without, and the dear Lea, the one living relic of our past, I wonder how I can ever go away.”

 

April 14.—The other day I dined at Lord Charlemont’s. Lady Charlemont[259] is astonishing. I sat near her at dinner. First she startled me by saying what a bore her neighbour on the other side was: it was Lord Campbell. Then she said, ‘I am so happy. I have found some one who breaks the first commandment.’—‘What! “Thou shalt have none other gods but me?”’—‘Yes, and the man who breaks it is Dr. Schliemann; he adds Jupiter and Venus and a lot of others, all on the same level.’

“Sir Julius Benedict was at dinner, a most amusing person. He described how he was at Mentmore, and sat up very late in the hall reading, the rest of the gentlemen having gone to the smoking-room, and Baron Rothschild having gone to bed. He was surprised after some time to see Baron Rothschild come down again and cross the entrance hall in conversation with a strange gentleman. Soon after, when Sir Julius had gone to his own room, a guest in the house knocked at the door and apologised for disturbing him, but begged to know if he knew Sir James Fergusson by sight. He said, ‘Yes, perfectly,’ and then he remembered who the stranger was whom he had seen crossing the hall with the Baron: it was Sir James Fergusson; he had not recognised him at the moment.

“The guest said, ‘You do not know what an awkward difficulty you have relieved us from; a gentleman has arrived who seems to think he is expected, and whom nobody knows, and he says he is Sir James Fergusson.’ And it was.

“Sir James had been called out from dinner by a servant from Mentmore, who said that there had been no time to write, but that he had been sent off to fetch him, for the Baroness was so alarmingly ill that there was not a moment to be lost. Sir James rushed off in a cab to Euston Square, and asked for a special train. It was Sunday, and there was none to be had without great delay; but the station-master, hearing the urgency of the case, and whom it was for, said that the express, just starting, should be allowed to stop at the station for Mentmore. On arriving there, Sir James was surprised to find no carriage, but procured a trap from the inn, and drove as hard as he could. As they reached the house, the servant got down and went round it, saying he was going in the other way.

“The servant was quite mad, and the insanity first showed itself in this odd form.

“Sir Julius also told us that—

“‘One day an American bishop called in his carriage at Hunt & Roskell’s. He asked to see some bracelets, mentioning that he was returning to America and wished to take a present to his wife. ‘Nothing very expensive,’ he said; ‘he could not afford that, but something about £70 or £80.’ Eventually he agreed to take a bracelet that cost £100. He said that he would pay for it with a £100 note which he had with him: it happened to be the only money he had at the moment, but he would wait while they sent it to the bank to ascertain that it was all right; he should really prefer doing this. They sent it to the bank and received answer that it was perfectly correct.

“‘Having paid for his bracelet, the bishop took it, and was just about to step into his carriage, when a policeman tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘Hallo, Jim! you’re up to your old tricks again, are you? You’ll just come along with me,’ and he brought him back into the shop. Hunt & Roskell said there was some mistake, that the gentleman was an American bishop, that he had just bought a £100 bracelet and paid for it with an excellent £100 note. ‘Just let me look at the note, will you?’ said the policeman. He looked at it and said, ‘Yes, it’s just as I thought; this note is one of a particularly clever batch of forgeries, which are very difficult to detect, and the man is no more a bishop than you are. We will go off to the police-station at once. I will take the note and go on with the prisoner in the carriage, and you must send your men in a cab to meet us and bear witness.’ So the policeman took the bishop and the bracelet and the note, but when Hunt & Roskell’s men reached the police-station, they had not yet arrived; and they have never been heard of since!’”

 

April 15.—Dined with Mrs. Rogerson, daughter of my dear Mrs. Duncan Stewart. Irving was there. I ventured to tell him how I thought his play was spoilt by the changes he had recently made, and why, and he was quite simple, as he always is, not the least offended, and in the end agreed with me, and said he should alter the changes as I suggested, and send me a box that I might come and see the improvement. He said how, ever since he heard me tell a story at Lord Ducie’s, he had wished I should do something in public. He ‘did not know if I wanted money, but thought I could make any sum I liked.’ He ‘believed he could guarantee’ my making £8000 a year! He advised my doing what he had intended doing himself when he had been ‘making a mere nothing of ten guineas a week, and felt that could not go on.’ He intended to have got Wilkie Collins to write him a story, and to take a room at the Egyptian Hall, fit it up in an old-fashioned way, sit down by the fire, and then take the audience, as it were, at once into his room and confidence. ‘But in your case,’ he said, ‘you need not apply to Wilkie Collins.’”

 

April 16.—Miss Northcote’s wedding in Westminster Abbey. I had a capital place in a stall just behind Princess Louise and Princess Mary of Teck. The church was crowded, and though it was a bitter wind outside, it was quite glorious within, all the forest of arches tinted with golden sunlight. Arthur gave the blessing magnificently, as he always does. There were 350 people at the breakfast afterwards, which was at Lord Beaconsfield’s house in Downing Street. There were endless little tables. I sat at one with Lady Aberdare, Lady Middleton, and young Lord Colchester. I was glad to see the dear little Lady Winifred Herbert again, growing up fast, but with the same sweet innocent expression, walking about with Jim Cranbourne, who is a charming boy.”

 

April 23.—Dined with Lady Charlemont. Old Mr. Planché was there, and talked much about the favourable characteristics of the present Duke of Wellington; how before his father died he said how grief for his death would be aggravated by perpetual consciousness of his own name and position. ‘Think what it will be when the Duke of Wellington is announced and only I come in!’ Poor Mr. Planché, celebrated as a wit and story-teller in former times, is becoming painfully aware of having outlived the patience of his auditors!

enlarge-image
CHANTRY OF HENRY V.

CHANTRY OF HENRY V. [260]

“Lady Charlemont said, ‘Whenever I make a very naughty quotation from ‘Don Juan,’ I always preface it by saying, ‘As Dr. Watts touchingly observes.’”

 

April 26.—Dined at Mrs. Stratford Dugdale’s. Lord Crewe was there, with the most extraordinary and diabolic-looking red flower in his button-hole. He always has one of these weird orchids, and delights to surprise people with them.”

 

April 28.—A pleasant morning with Mrs. Hollond, Sir Hampton Lorraine, and others at Grosvenor House. The rooms were quite lovely, and the flowers more so—great blue-green bowls filled with cowslips; great glasses of blue bells, with a few yellow jonquils intermixed.

“Luncheon afterwards at Mrs. Duncan Stewart’s. Mrs. Rogerson told the story of a cat she had known who would lie on the rug with its head on the side of a little dog called Flossy. People said, ‘How selfish the cat is; she only lies there because it is warm.’ But Flossy died and the cat was missing. It was found on Flossy’s grave, and lay there all night. It was brought in and milk was given to it, but it refused to eat, and as soon as it was left alone in the room where it was shut up, it dashed straight through the window and went back to the grave again. If they took hot milk out to it at the grave, it ate it, but away from the grave it would eat nothing. It lay there day and night. At last they built it a little pent-house over the grave, and it lay there, partially sheltered, till, six weeks afterwards, it died.

“Mrs. Rogerson knew another story of a terrier and a cat, who were deadly foes and always quarrelling. The cat had kittens, and the kittens were all put out of the way and were buried. The cat was inconsolable and went mewing about the house. The terrier could not make it out, and followed her everywhere; he did not snap at her any more; on the contrary, he seemed to do all he could to console her. At last he had an inspiration. He found out where the kittens were buried, and scratched and scratched till he got them up, and one by one he brought the dead kittens and laid them down before the cat. It was a very small consolation to poor pussy, but she and the terrier never quarrelled again, and were the greatest friends as long as they lived.”

 

May 2.—A pleasant party at Lady Leslie’s beautiful house to meet the Tecks. She looked more amenable than ever, yet the Princess all over.”

 

May 4.—Dined with Sir Dighton and Lady Probyn in the strange houses built like the Tower of Babel by Mr. Hankey. Went to a quaint collection of anybodies and nobodies at Lord Houghton’s afterwards. He spoke of the ‘unexpected places in which gold is found’ in literature.”

 

May 6.—To Lady Salisbury, whom I found in her bright sunny boudoir looking on the Park. Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice and Mr. Ralli came in and talked politics furiously. Lady Maude told me of Lord Sligo’s visit to Paris immediately after the siege, and how he had driven about in the same cab for some days, and then found he had been sitting all the time on an explosive bomb which was under the seat. The cabman, when remonstrated with, as the slightest jolt might have made it explode, said he ‘had not left it at home, because he thought the children might get playing with it.’”

 

May 11.—At dinner at Lady Jane Ellice’s I met Lady Waterford and Lady Folkestone.[261] The latter sang most beautifully and pathetically. She felt. ‘One cannot feel always,’ she said; ‘one cannot feel with an audience who say, “How sweet.” Lady Waterford told of Sir Philip and Lady Durham. Lady Durham died quite suddenly. She had been out in the garden the day before, seeing the gardener and ordering some bouquets she wanted. After her sudden death, Sir Philip found a paper in her dressing-box. It said—‘Something so very odd has happened to me, that I think I had better write it down. In the garden I saw a figure which beckoned to me and beckoned to me, and I followed it. I followed it a long way, and at last it reached the churchyard, and then it disappeared.’”

 

May 12.—Dined at Mrs. Rogerson’s, where I took down the Countess Bremer, who has always lived at the Hanoverian Court. She is that ‘Margaret Bremer’ who is celebrated for her answer to the blind King, who loved to shock her by his improper stories. ‘What do you think of that, Margaret?’ he asked, after telling her one of his worst. ‘I think that your Majesty has a very clean way of telling a very dirty story,’ she replied.

 

May 15.—Dined at Sir John Shaw-Lefevre’s. Having two round tables made the party most pleasant. It included the beautiful and charming Lady Granville, Lady Russell, Lady Aberdeen, and Wallace of the Russian book.”

 

May 17.—A party at Lord Houghton’s; every one there, from Princess Louise to Mrs. Anthony Trollope, a beautiful old lady with snow-white hair turned back. These crowded parties remind me of Madame de Staëls description—‘Une société aux coups de poing.’”

 

May 26.—I have been for three days at Cobham, where the woods covered with bluebells were like expanses of Italian sky brought down and laid on the earth. There was a large party in the house—Lady Haddington and her bright Lady Ruth; Murray Finch Hatton and his wife, as delicate as a drooping lily; Meysey Clive, a charming natural fellow, and his Lady Catherine; Lord and Lady Pelham, &c. The life was most easy; we drew, read, talked, and showed the house to Lord and Lady Onslow, who arrived while touring in a four-in-hand.”

 

May 30.—On Saturday I was at a pleasant party at Lord Houghton’s, meeting scarcely any one but authors, and a very odd collection—Black, Yates, and James the novelists; Sir Francis Doyle and Swinburne the poets; Mrs. Singleton the erotic poetess (Violet Fane), brilliant with diamonds; Mallock, who has suddenly become a lion from having written a clever squib called ‘The New Republic,’ and Mrs. Julia Ward Howe with her daughter. I was introduced to Mrs. Howe, having asked Lord Houghton who was the charming, simply-dressed woman with the sensible face, and then found she was sister of my Roman friend Mrs. Terry. She wrote the hymn, singing which the troops took Pittsburg. We asked her about it. She said she could not help feeling the little annoyance so many felt on similar occasions—that she should be only known as the authoress of one thing, one little waif out of all her work, and that people should treat her as if she had only written that.”

 

June 3.—I have dined several times with Miss Wright to meet the Charles Wilbrahams. She sings beautifully. He had much that was curious to tell about the project of a French engineer for deepening the course of the brook Kishon, so as to let in the Mediterranean. Kishon rises near Tabor, and if the Mediterranean could once pass the watershed, it would run down on the other side into the great hollow of the Dead Sea, which is now so far below its own level. The engineer, of course, had never thought of Ezekiel xlvii., in which the fishermen of Engedi, now some 3000 feet above the level of the sea, are described as casting in their nets.

“Mr. Wilbraham was amusing with some of his American experiences. He told of two young girls who were stopped going through a turnpike gate. ‘What are your charges?’—‘Half a dollar for man and horse.’—‘Well, then, just stand on one side, will you, for we are two girls and a mare, so we’ve nothing to pay.’ He said he had asked an American at Florence what he thought of the Venus de Medicis. ‘Wal, I guess I’m not so partiklar overpowered by stone gals,’ was the reply.

“I constantly meet Froude the historian at Miss Wright’s, a somewhat shy, sardonic, and silent man. His sphinx-like character, the very doubt about him, makes him interesting: one never really knows what he would be at.”[262]

 

June 4.—Dined at Lord Egerton of Tatton’s. Old Mrs. Mildmay told a rather improper story there, which was received with shouts of merriment. She was at a country-house where there was a very pleasant man named Jones, and there was also a lady who had a maid called Jones: the people in the house knew this, because there was a confusion about letters. The lady’s husband went away for the day, and, as she was going to walk to the station in the evening to meet him, the mistress of the house asked Mr. Jones to walk with her. When the train came in, the husband was not there, but just then a telegram was brought in. ‘Oh,’ said the lady, ‘Oh-o-o, I’m sure my husband is dead: I can’t open it.’—‘Nonsense!’ said Mr. Jones; ‘if he is dead, he cannot have sent you a telegram.’—‘Well, I can’t open it; I know it’s something dreadful—I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.’ So at last, Mr. Jones opened it for her and read it aloud, not seeing at once what it contained. It was—‘I am all right, unavoidably detained. If you are at all nervous, get Jones to sleep with you!’”

 

June 6.—Lady Manners and her daughters drove me down to Osterley. The great wide park looked dark and dull under a leaden sky, the house gloomy and ghostly as Bleak House. The old Duchess, stumping about with her inlaid ebony stick, seemed part of the place. I dined at Sir Edward Blackett’s, a beautiful house with Raffaellesque and pink tapestry decorations, prepared for the Duke of Gloucester on his marriage with the Waldegrave, but never lived in by him.”

 

June 7.—Dined with George Lefevre. Mr. Bright was there, said to be the man who reviewed me so unmercifully in the Athenæum, and I was very glad to see the kind of man he is. He talked incessantly, never allowing a word to any one else; still after a time one found out he was interesting. He talked most of Miss Martineau, then of Hawthorne with great praise—‘the kindest, most generous of men and friends.’ Of his son, Julian Hawthorne, he said that he had ‘written a book which it took very long to read.’”

 

June 13.—An excursion with the Lefevres to the Rye House, which I knew so well in my boyhood. It was like spending an afternoon in Holland, so very Dutch are those long expanses of rich meadow-lands, those streams with their boats and tall water-plants. We sat in burning sunshine to draw the old terra-cotta tower, and then had tea and eggs and bacon in the garden of the little inn, which was covered with scarlet geranium in full flower up to the attic windows.

 

June 19.—The news of poor old Cousin Susan’s[263] death. It is the glueing down of another much-read page of life, which can never be seen again. I feel ashamed of not grieving more for one whom I have known so well, but have always more feared than loved. The agent wrote desiring me to come down at once, but, backed by Lady Barrington’s decision that I had better keep out of the way till the will was decided, I excused myself. Yet I am sorry not to be at the funeral, and the old house of many associations, and the little Beltingham chapel with its view over the gleaming Tyne, are very constantly in my mind. All the cousins are quite sure that I am the heir, but I do not think that it is so. Cousin Susan knew that I did not wish it, and I have always urged the claims of the Strathmore boys.”

 

June 20.—I have received from Milligan the news of Cousin Susan’s will. It is exactly the will I begged her to make—all to Mr. Bowes for life, then to the Strathmores. These pleasant boys deserve their good fortunes. I would only rather she had selected one of them to have more definitely preserved her memory.”

 

June 28.—After a party at Lowther Lodge, I went to Lady Marian Alford, whom I found with a very ancient aunt, Lady Elizabeth Dickens. Lady Marian showed me her drawings. There was one glorious sketch of a Roman model, yet most unlike a model. ‘She is,’ said Lady Marian, ‘the model who is so hated by the other models because of her stateliness. “She walks down the Corso as if it belonged to her,” they say. She had two beautiful children—a boy and a girl. Last time I went to Rome, I saw her alone. “Where is your boy?” I asked.—“Oh, dead,” she answered.—“And the girl?”—“Oh, dead, dead too,” she replied, pressing her hands to her forehead. And I pitied her, and I asked her about it, and she said, “I will tell you how it was.” And she told me how she was coming downstairs with her boy in her arms and the girl behind her, and that just as she reached the house-door, a church-bell began to toll. “E un giustiziáto!” said one of the neighbours. And then, she could not tell how, it was somehow borne in upon her that her boy—her son—might, if he grew up, also some day fall into sin, also some day, perhaps, even be giustiziáto; and she turned round to the Madonna on the wall, and prayed that, if it were to be so, if such agony were possible for her, that she would take her son then, that she would take him away then, from the evil to come. And her husband, who heard her, said angrily, “Che sono queste stragonfiáte;” and he beat her; but the Madonna had heard her, and that night her boy was taken ill, and in twenty-four hours he was dead.

“‘And then she said, “That night I went again to the Madonna, and I said, ‘You have taken my boy, and, oh! if I may ever have arrossire for my girl, take the girl also, take her away in her innocence;’ e la Madonna mi ha fatto anche questa caritá, and I, I am alone, but my children are safe.”’

 

July 1.—To Holland House, most lovely in all the freshness of new-mown hay, and the old elm avenue dewy from a shower. It was a delight to see Mrs. Augustus Craven, altered from the lovely ‘Pauline de la Ferronays,’ but still beautiful, and I had the happiness of finding that she liked to talk to me about her loved and lost ones.

“A very interesting dinner at Miss Davenport Bromley’s. Signor Francheschi described his life in Corsica, especially the weird women, who come like the Fates, as hired mourners, to bewail the dead, yet throw themselves so completely into their profession that they become quite absorbed in grief, and torrents of tears flow down their cheeks.

“One night he had to travel. In a desolate road he saw two strange ghastly horsemen approaching, with men walking on either side of their horses and holding them. The moonlight glared upon their fixed and horrid countenances. As they came near he heard the footmen talking to them. ‘We must hasten; they are waiting for you; they are even now lamenting you.’ Then he saw that the riders were dead. They were murdered men found by the highway, and had been set on horseback to be brought home. In Corsica it is the custom never to cease speaking to the dead.”

 

July 7.—A capital party at Lowther Lodge to meet Princess Louise and Lord Lorne. The garden was illuminated with magnesium light, and looked both beautiful and—boundless!”

enlarge-image
LOWTHER LODGE.

LOWTHER LODGE. [264]

 

July 15.—Luncheon at Lady Combermere’s, where Lord Houghton described his experience of executions. He had been to numbers of those in Newgate. Up to the time of George III. the sign-manual was necessary for every execution, and it was an odd thing that George III., usually a humane man, used to hang every one. He would sit at the council-board and ask each of the ministers in turn whether a man was to suffer death. They would bow their heads in assent. Lord Melbourne was especially ready to do this when he was sitting at the council-board. One day, however, there was a case of a man who had murdered his wife under most brutal circumstances. The evidence was quite incontrovertible, and all were surprised that Lord Melbourne, usually so ready, shrugged his shoulders and seemed to have the greatest difficulty in making up his mind to give an assent to the death-warrant. One of the ministers, in going out, asked why it was. ‘Why, poor man, those women are so damned provoking,’ said Lord Melbourne.

“Mr. Browning said he recollected seeing as many as twenty-one persons sitting together on the condemned bench in Newgate Chapel, many only for stealing a handkerchief. One day in chapel he was jostled by some one pushing in past him, and turned round annoyed. ‘I beg your pardon, sir, but I am going to suffer,’ said the man.”

 

July 12.—Monday was a most beautiful day for the party at Chiswick, for its beautiful Italian gardens with glorious cedars. All London was there, including the Prince of Wales, with his little boy George, and the Tecks.”

 

July 29.—Since I wrote last the curious episode of Mrs. L. has occurred.

“On the 14th I left my lodgings in the afternoon to go to the Athenæum, when a tremendous cataract of rain came on, in which I took refuge in the covered entry of Pall Mall Place. A number of other people took refuge there also. Amongst them, I was attracted by the agonised face of a woman crouching in a corner—a lady, for so she seemed by her face, and in a certain degree by her dress; for though her gown looked as if it had been dragged through every Slough of Despond in Europe, the rest of her dress seemed to belong to the better class. As for her expression, I cannot forget it, it was of such agonised, hopeless, bewildered despair. I suppose I looked pityingly at her, for she turned to me, and in sharp wolfish accents said, ‘I am not a beggar, I am not, I am only starving to death, I am starving to death!’ I think I begged her to tell me what had brought her to such a pass; at any rate she told me—‘I am Mrs. L.’ To many this would not convey anything, but, from having always been occupied with architecture, it conveyed something to me, and I said, ‘What! the widow of L., the architect?’—‘Yes,’ she said, and she described in the same sharp, broken, gasping accents how she had been with her husband in Paris at the time of the siege, and how he had wished to get her away and had arranged for her escape to England, and how at the moment that he was parting with her and putting a purse into her hand to pay the expenses of her journey, a shell burst near them, and her jaw was blown off. ‘When I came to myself in the hospital,’ she said, ‘I found that the shell which had blown off my jaw, had blown my husband to pieces.’ She then described how she came to England, and how the Soane Museum, which takes care of the widows of architects, had given her a pension of £75 a year. ‘You wonder,’ she continued, ‘that, having this pension, I should have reached the condition I am in, but the fact is I have been a very wicked woman. When our pension is granted, we take a vow never to lend money, which is absolutely forbidden by the rules of the Museum; but a friend of mine was in great want, and I trusted her and became security for her, and she has absconded, and they have come upon me for the debt, and yesterday morning early all my things were seized, and I could not apply to the Museum, because then they would take away my pension, and I was turned adrift in the streets with nothing at all in the world.’ And then the poor woman corrected herself and said, ‘I have told a lie. I have not quite nothing in the world. I have a silk gown. I had that on when I was turned out, but I knew it would be worse for me to spend a night homeless in the streets in a silk gown, and I went to a servant I knew, and got her to take care of it for me, and to lend me the worst gown she had.’

“‘Since yesterday morning,’ she said, ‘I have tasted nothing whatever. You wonder I have not fainted. I have not done that because I am so dreadfully ill; I am in a burning fever. Yesterday I walked up to Hampstead, because there was a governess I knew there, and I thought she would help me; but when I arrived, I found her gone to Scotland with her family, and I walked all about Hampstead and Highgate, and the police insulted me, they did not protect me, they insulted me worst of all; and all through the day I have walked in the streets.’ I asked her, ‘Have you no friend in the world?’—‘Yes,’ she said, ‘I have one person who is a friend; at least there is one person who I think would help me if I could get to her, because my mother was once very kind to her, and that is Mrs. H. of the Mansfield Park School at Uxbridge, and to her, if I could have even a cup of coffee to strengthen me, I should set out and walk.’

“I got her to go and have some tea, which, as I foresaw, made her violently sick; and then, when she was a little better, I sent her by the train to Uxbridge. Immediately returning to the Athenæum, I wrote a lady who lives close to Uxbridge, briefly telling her the story, that Mrs. L. would probably arrive very ill, perhaps almost dying, and begging her to go at once to Mansfield Park and look after her.

“This was on Saturday. On Sunday there is no postal delivery. On Monday morning I received two letters. One was from Mrs. H., overwhelmingly grateful for what I had been able to do for Mrs. L., saying that she had received benefits from her mother which nothing could ever repay, and that she had been only too thankful to receive and care for the daughter. The other letter was from the lady to whom I had written, saying that there was no such place as Mansfield Park, that there was no such person as Mrs. L., and enclosing letters from the police and post-office at Uxbridge certifying this. I explained this in my own mind by remembering that, while telling me her story under the entry, Mrs. L. had said, ‘There is a little affectation about the name of Mansfield Park; it misleads people, for after all it is only a farmhouse.’

“On Monday evening the servant at my lodgings said that Mrs. L. herself had called: I was gone out to dinner. The next morning before I was up she came again, and waited till I was dressed.

“She was then quite calm and happy. She told how, when she got to Uxbridge, after being dreadfully ill in the train, her heart failed her—‘perhaps after all Mrs. H. would not receive her.’ However, she described with tears the touching kindness of Mrs. H.—that she had washed her, dressed her, put her in her own bed, tended her, and finally given her a cheque for £20, which she showed me. Her brother also, a travelling wine merchant in France, whom she had not seen for years, and to whom she had written without a hope of finding him, had also telegraphed that he was on his way to her assistance.

“She was overwhelmingly grateful to me.

“Then I asked her of her past. She said she had been the daughter of a planter in Havannah, but her fine voice induced her, against the will of her family, early to take to a public life. At the Exhibition of 1851 she (as Mademoiselle Mori) sang the anthem of which Jenny Lind sang one verse. She afterwards became a sculptress, and studied under Gibson at Rome (and she described his peculiar studio accurately). She was his only female pupil, and had the charge of his studio. He taught her his mode of colouring marble, and in her statue of ‘Waiting for the Spring,’ she used it in colouring the primroses and violets in a girl’s lap. The Queen bought this statue in the Exhibition building of 1862 before the Exhibition opened. Then she married Mr. L. and went to Paris.

“‘While I was in Paris,’ she said, ‘a very curious thing happened to me. I gave birth to three boys at once. When such an event occurs in France, the sovereigns are always god-parents, and the Emperor and Empress were pleased to have the christening of my three boys in Notre Dame, where they stood sponsors at the font.’—‘And are the boys all dead?’ I said. ‘Oh, dear no, they are all alive.’—‘Then where in the world are they?’ I said. ‘Oh, they live with the Empress: she would not part with them, and my three boys are her little pages. Now they are gone with her into Spain to see her mother.’

“She then described how the Empress often sent her money to go down to Chislehurst to see her boys, and how the Prince Imperial often called to see her, and called her ‘Grannie’ because of the boys, or left her a £10 note. ‘I should have gone at once to the Empress had she been in England,’ said Mrs. L., ‘but I would have died rather than have begged from any one: I would have died on a doorstep.’—‘Then what made you confide in me?’ I asked. ‘Oh, surely you must see that,’ she replied. ‘Of course you must see that. It was the likeness. Of course people must have told you of the great, the wonderful likeness before. I was quite prepared for death, I had made up my mind to die, and then God in His great mercy sent the likeness of my Emperor to me; and I knew then that God did not mean me to die yet.’

“She wants to paint a picture in memory of what she calls my ‘saving her.’[265]

“On the 18th, I had an interesting visit to Apsley House, for which the Duke had sent me the following order:—‘Admit Mr. Hare to see Apsley House on any day on which the street outside is dry.’ The street was quite dry, and, moreover, I went in a cab and arrived perfectly spick and span; but the servant laughed as he produced a pair of huge list slippers to go on over my boots, before I was allowed to go into any of the rooms. ‘His Grace left these himself, and desired you should wear them when you came.’ Yet the floors of Apsley House are not even polished.

“On the 19th I went to Lady Ducie’s, to see the Macdonald family act the Pilgrim’s Progress. They go through the whole of the second part, George Macdonald,[266] his wife, his twelve children, and two adopted children. Christiana (the eldest daughter) was the only one who acted well. Nevertheless, the whole effect was touching, and the audience cried most sympathetically as Christiana embraced her children to go over the great river.

“On the 21st there was a delightful party at Holland House to meet the Prince of Wales, and on Wednesday I was thankful to come home.

“Never has little Holmhurst been pleasanter than this year, and I have so enjoyed being alone, the repose of the intense quietude, the radiance of the flowers, the delicious sea-breezes through windows open to the ground, the tame doves flitting and cooing in the branches of the tall lime-tree.”

 

To Miss Wright.

August 6, 1877.—I came home on Wednesday week, and have been alone ever since, and over head and ears in work. I have seen nobody except last Tuesday, when, though I thought no one knew I was at home, fourteen afternooners appeared. Miss Hamilton, who has taken a fancy to do my portrait, has done it very cleverly against a window, with ivy hanging down outside, only it is a sentimental suggestion of

‘He sat at the window all day long
And watched the falling leaves.’”

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HOLMHURST, THE POULTRY-YARD.

HOLMHURST, THE POULTRY-YARD.

 

August 19.—I have had a pleasant visit of three days to Cobham, and felt much inclined to accede to Lord and Lady Darnley’s wish at the end, that I would consider my visit just begun, and stay another three days. It is indeed a glorious old place externally, and the gardens and immense variety of walks under grand old trees, are enchanting in hot weather. I had many happy ‘sittings out’ and talks with Lady Darnley, and could not sufficiently admire, though I always observe it, how her perfectly serene nature enables her to carry out endless people-seeing, boundless literary pursuit, and inexhaustible good works, without ever fussing herself or any one else, leaving also time to enter into all the minute difficulties of her friends in the varied gyrations of their lives.... I was taken to see Cowling Castle, a romantic old place; just on the edge of those marshes of the Thames which Dickens describes so vividly. We also saw his house, close to Dover road.”

 

Journal.

Walton Heath, Oct. 6.—After a delightful visit from Harry Lee at Holmhurst, I have come here to Miss Davenport Bromley at a quaint cottage, partly built out of a church, in a corner of the vast Walton Heath, but full of artistic comfort and brightness within. We drove on Thursday to Box Hill, which is most beautiful, the high steep chalky ground covered with such a luxuriance of natural wood, box grown into trees and the billows of pink and blue distance so wonderfully luxuriant and wooded. The time of year is quite beautiful, and all the last festival of nature in the clematis wreaths and the bryony with its red berries dancing from tree to tree.

“We have been to see a quaint old house of the Heathcotes. There is a great stone hall with a high gallery, from which a young lady threw herself in her rage at her lover marrying some one else, and was killed on the spot. Her picture hangs on the staircase wall, and her ghost walks on the stairs, pretty, in white, something like a shepherdess. A housemaid cut a great cross in the picture, ‘to let the ghost out,’ as the old woman who showed the house said, and the hole has never been mended. This country is full of little traditions. There is a green lane close by, down which a headless lady walks, and a phantom coach drives along the road: a countryman who met old M. de Berg on the common declared that he had seen it—that it had driven over him.

“Yesterday we went to Gatton (Lord Monson’s), which formerly belonged to Sir Mark Wood. It is a curious place: the ugly church fitted inside with beautiful Flemish carving and glass, and the house having a hall of coloured marbles, copied from the Corsini Chapel at Rome—minus the upper story.

“I have much enjoyed learning to know Miss Bromley better. She is the kindest of women, wonderfully clever and full of insight into every minutest beauty of nature. Her devotion to animals, especially pugs, is a passion. Another pleasure has been finding Mrs. Henry de Bunsen here. She told me—

“‘There was, and there is still, living in Cadogan Place, a lady of middle age, who is clever, charming, amiable, even handsome, but who has the misfortune of having—a wooden leg. Daily, for many years, she was accustomed to amble every morning on her wooden leg down Cadogan Place, and to take the air in the Park. It was her principal enjoyment.

“‘One day she discovered that in these walks she was constantly followed by a gentleman. When she turned, he turned: where she went, he went: it was most disagreeable. She determined to put an end to it by staying at home, and for some days she did not go out at all. But she missed her walks in the Park very much, and after a time she thought her follower must have forgotten all about her, and she went out as before. The same gentleman was waiting, he followed her, and at length suddenly came up to her in the Park and presented her with a letter. He said that, as a stranger, he must apologise for speaking to her, but that he must implore her to take the letter, and read it when she got home: it was of great importance. She took the letter, and when she got home she read it, and found that it contained a violent declaration of love and a proposal of marriage. She was perfectly furious. She desired her lawyer to enclose the letter to the writer, and say that she could not find words to describe her sense of his ungentlemanly conduct, especially cruel to one afflicted as she was with a wooden leg.

“‘Several years elapsed, and the lady was paying a visit to some friends in the country, when the conversation frequently turned upon a friend of the house who was described as one of the most charming, generous, and beneficent of mankind. So delightful was the description, that the lady was quite anxious to see the original, and was enchanted when she heard that he was likely to come to the house. But when he arrived, she recognised with consternation her admirer of the Park. He did not, however, recur to their former meeting, and after a time, when she knew him well, she grew to esteem him exceedingly, and at last, when he renewed his proposal after an intimate acquaintance, she accepted him and married him.

“‘He took her to his country-house, and for six weeks they were entirely, uncloudedly happy. Then there came a day upon which he announced that he was obliged to go up to London on business. His wife could not go with him because the house in Cadogan Place was dismantled for the summer. “I should regret this more,” he said, “but that where two lives are so completely, so entirely united as ours are, there ought to be the most absolute confidence on either side. Therefore, while I am away, I shall leave you my keys. Open my desk, read all my letters and journals, make yourself mistress of my whole life. Above all,” he said, “there is one cupboard in my dressing-room which contains certain memorials of my past peculiarly sacred to me, which I should like you to make yourself acquainted with.” The wife heard with concern of her husband’s intended absence, but she was considerably buoyed up under the idea of the three days in which they were to be separated by the thought of the very interesting time she would have. She saw her husband off from the door, and as soon as she heard the wheels of his carriage die away in the distance, she clattered away as fast as she could upon her wooden leg to the dressing-room, and in a minute she was down on all fours before the cupboard he had described.

“‘She unlocked the cupboard. It contained two shelves. On each shelf was a long narrow parcel sewn up in canvas. She felt a tremor of horror as she looked at them, she did not know why. She lifted down the first parcel, and it had a label on the outside. She trembled so she could scarcely read it. It was inscribed—“In memory of my dear wife Elizabeth Anne, who died on the 24th of August 1864.” With quivering fingers she sought for a pair of scissors and ripped open the canvas, and it contained—a wooden leg!

“‘With indescribable horror she lifted down the other parcel, of the same form and size. It also bore a label—“In memory of my dearest wife Wilhelmine, who died on the 6th of March 1869,” and she opened it, and it contained—another wooden leg!

“‘Instantly she rose from her knees. “It is evident,” she said, “that I am married to a Blue Beard—a monster who collects wooden legs. This is not the time for sentiment, this is the time for action,” and she swept her jewels and some miniatures that she had into a handbag and she clattered away on her own wooden leg by the back shrubberies to the highroad—and there she saw the butcher’s cart passing, and she hailed it, and was driven by the butcher to the nearest station, where she just caught the next train to London, intending to make good her escape that night to France and to leave no trace behind her.

“‘But she had not consulted Bradshaw, and she found she had some hours to wait in London before the tidal train started. Then she could not resist employing them in going to reproach the people at whose house she had met her husband, and she told them what she had found. To her amazement they were not the least surprised. “Yes,” they said, “yes, we thought he ought to have told you: we do not wonder you were astonished. Yes, indeed, we knew dear Elizabeth Anne very well; she was indeed a most delightful person, the most perfect of women and of wives, and when she was taken away, the whole light seemed blotted out of Arthur’s life, the change was so very terrible. We thought he would never rally his spirits again; but then, after two years, he met dearest Wilhelmine, to whom he was first attracted by her having the same affliction which was characteristic of her predecessor. And Wilhelmine was perhaps even a more charming person than Elizabeth Anne, and made her husband’s life uncloudedly happy. But she too was, alas! early snatched away, and then it was as if the whole world was cut from under Arthur’s feet, until at last he met you, with the same peculiarity which was endeared to him by two lost and loved ones, and we believe that with you he has been even more entirely, more uncloudedly happy than he was either with Wilhelmine or Elizabeth Anne.

“‘And the wife was so charmed by what she heard, that it gave quite a new aspect to affairs. She went home by the next train. She was there when her husband returned; and ever since they have lived perfectly happily between his house in the country and hers in Cadogan Place.’

“Mrs. De Bunsen said that a cousin of hers was repeating this story when dining at the Balfours’. Suddenly he saw that his host and hostess were both telegraphing frantic signals to him, and by a great effort he turned it off. The lady of the wooden leg and her husband were both amongst the guests.”

 

Milford Cottage, Oct. 8.—I came here with Miss Bromley on Saturday to visit Mrs. Greville and her most engaging mother, Mrs. Thellusson. It is a red house, standing almost in the village street, but with a French-looking garden behind, with clipped hedges and orange trees in tubs. It was left to Mrs. Greville by her husband, an old gentleman whom she married when the Thellussons were ruined, and he said, ‘You had better marry me; there is nothing else that I can do for you.’ He always treated her with the greatest generosity and kindness, but died very suddenly, intending to leave his wife very rich. There was, however, some mistake about the will, and she only inherited this cottage and just enough to live upon. I found at Milford, Lady Elizabeth Bryan, a Paget, who goes out visiting with four dogs, one of whom, Constance Kent, is most beautiful, and she has adopted a little cousin and presented her with six-and-thirty dolls. I went to see the adopted daughter in bed; two little dogs were cuddled in her bosom, and seven dolls lay at her feet with their heads out. Lately, the little girl has displayed signs of vanity, paraded her small person before a mirror, and exulted in fine clothes, and on these occasions she is always dressed in ‘Sukey,’ a little workhouse girl’s gown, to remind her that ‘in the sight of God she is no better.’

“This afternoon I have been with Mrs. Greville to Mr. Tennyson at Haselmere. It is a wild, high, brown heath, with ragged edges of birch, and an almost limitless view of blue Sussex distances. Jammed into a hollow is the house, a gothic house, built by Mr. Knowles, the editor of the Nineteenth Century—‘that young bricklayer fellow that Alfred is so fond of,’ as Mr. Carlyle calls him. Though the place is a bleak, wind-stricken height, where the flowers in the garden can never sit still, the house is pleasant inside and well and simply furnished, but is without any library whatever. Tennyson is older looking than I expected, so that his unkempt appearance signifies less. He has an abrupt, bearish manner, and seems thoroughly hard and unpoetical: one would think of him as a man in whom the direst prose of life was absolutely ingrained. Mrs. Greville kissed his hand as he came in, which he received without any protest. He asked if I would like to go out, and we walked round the gardens. By way of breaking the silence I said, ‘How fine your arbūtus is.’—‘Well, I would say arbūtus,’ he answered, ‘otherwise you are as bad as the gardeners, who say Clemātis.’ When we returned to the house, Hallam Tennyson brought in his mother very tenderly and put her on a sofa. She is a very sweet-looking woman, with ‘the glittering blue eyes’ which fascinated Carlyle, and a lady-abbess look from her head-dress—a kind of veil. Mrs. Greville revealed that she had broken her promise of not repeating an unpublished poem of Tennyson’s by reciting it to Mr. Carlyle, who said, ‘But did Alfred give you leave to say it?’ and Tennyson said, ‘You are the wickedest old woman I ever met with: it is most profligate conduct’—and he half meant it too. Tennyson then insisted that I should tell him some stories. I did not like it, but found it was no use to resist; I should have to do it in the end. He asked for ‘a village tragedy,’ so I told him the story of Caroline Crowhurst: he said he should write it in a play or a poem. Then I told him the stories of Mademoiselle von Raasloff and of Croglin Grange. He was atrociously bad audience, and constantly interrupted with questions. He himself repeated a little story, which Mr. Greene of the ‘English History’ had told him—of a man who felt that his fiddle, to which he was devoted, was the source of temptation to him by leading him to taverns where he got drunk. On the Mississippi river, he said, he heard a voice saying to him that he must destroy the fiddle; so he went down, kissed the fiddle, and then broke it to pieces. ‘I put in that kiss,’ said Tennyson, ‘because I thought it sounded better.’

“On the whole, the wayward poet leaves a favourable impression. He could scarcely be less egotistic with all the flattery he has, and I am glad to have seen him so quietly. The maid who opened the door was Mrs. Cameron’s beautiful model, and there were pictures of her by Mrs. Cameron all about the house.

“For the poet’s bearish manners the Tennyson family are to blame, in making him think himself a demigod. One day, on arriving at Mrs. Greville’s, he said at once, ‘Give me a pipe; I want to smoke.’ She at once went off by herself down the village to the shop, and returning with two pipes, offered them to him with all becoming subservience. He never looked at her or thanked her, but, as he took them, growled out, ‘Where are the matches? I suppose now you’ve forgotten the matches!’—‘Oh dear! I never thought of those.’

“Mrs. Greville has a note of Tennyson’s framed. It is a very pretty note; but it begins ‘Dear Madwoman.’”

 

Babworth, Oct. 14.—This house overflows with loveliness in the way of amateur art, and the drawings of its mistress, Mrs. Bridgeman Simpson, are most beautiful. She is the kindest and most good-natured of hostesses.... Yesterday we went to Sandbeck, an ugly dull house in a flat, and looking bare within from paucity of furniture. Lord Scarborough, once a bold huntsman, is now patiently awaiting a second stroke of paralysis in a wheel-chair. Lumley, a pleasant boy, just going to join his regiment at Dublin, drove me after luncheon to Roche Abbey, a very pretty ruin in a glen.”

 

Oct. 15.—Mrs. Simpson’s very charming Polish sister-in-law, Mrs. Drummond Baring, recounted yesterday evening a curious story out of the reminiscences of her childhood, of which her husband from knowledge confirmed every fact. Her father, Count Potocka, lived in Martinique. His wife had been married before, and her beautiful daughter, Minetta, idolised by her second husband, had made a happy marriage with the Marquis de San Luz, and resided at Port Royal about five miles from her parents. The father was a great naturalist, and had the greatest interest in introducing and naturalising all kinds of plants in the West Indies. Amongst other plants, he was most anxious to introduce strawberries. Every one said he would fail, and the neighbouring gardeners especially said so much about it that it was a positive annoyance to them when his plants all seemed to succeed, and he had a large bed of strawberries in flower. His step-daughter, Minetta, came to see them, and he always said to her that, when the strawberries were ripe, she should have the first fruit.

“A ball was given at Port Royal by the Governor, and there her parents saw Minetta, beautiful and radiant as ever; but she left the ball early, for her child was not well. As she went away, she said to her stepfather, ‘Remember my strawberries.’

“Her parents returned home in the early morning, and a day and a night succeeded. Towards dawn on the second morning, when night was just breaking into the first grey daylight, the mother felt an irresistible restlessness, and getting up and going to the window, she looked out. A figure in white was moving to and fro amongst the strawberries, carefully examining each plant and looking under the leaves. She awoke her husband, who said at once, ‘It is one of the gardeners, who are so jealous that they have come to destroy my plants;’ and jumping up, he put on his gola—a sort of dressing-gown wrapper worn in Martinique—and, taking his gun, rushed out. On first going out, he saw the figure in white moving before him, but as he came up to the strawberry beds it seemed to have disappeared. He was surprised, and turning round towards the house, saw his wife making agonised signs to him to come back. Such was her livid aspect, that he threw down his gun upon the ground and ran in to her. He found her in a dead faint upon the floor. When she recovered, she said that she had watched him from the window as he went out, and that, as he reached the strawberry beds, the figure seemed to turn round, and she saw—like a person seen through a veil and through the glass of a window, and, though perfectly distinct, transparent—her daughter Minetta. Soon after describing this, she was seized with violent convulsions. Her husband was greatly alarmed about her, and was just sending off for the doctor, who lived at some distance, when a rider on a little Porto Rico pony came clattering into the court. They thought it was the doctor, but it was not; it was a messenger from Port Royal to say that Minetta was dead. She had been seized with a chill on returning from the ball, and it had turned to fatal diphtheria. In her last hours, when her throat was so swelled and hot, she had constantly said, ‘Oh, my throat is so hot! Oh, if I had only some of those strawberries!’”

 

Thoresby, Oct. 17.—Lord Manvers sent for me after luncheon three days ago, and we came with a horse fleet as the wind through the green lanes of Clumber, and across part of the (Sherwood) forest, to this immense modern palace by Salvin. All around is forest. No one was at home when I arrived, so I went out for a walk, and was joined by Lord Manvers on returning.... Lady Manvers is quite delightful, and so are her son and daughter, so I have been very glad of two days alone with the family; and the forest is enchanting from its varieties of gnarled oak, silver birch, endlessly contorted fir, and gigantic beeches, with ever-varying lights on the golden and crimson fern in its first beautiful decay. Now guests have arrived, including Mr. Frederick Tayler, the artist,[267] whose blottesque treatment of the green in the forest with only gamboge, indigo, and sepia is very interesting to see. He was very funny about the late Lord Manvers, who was a wit, and who, when Lord Ossington was rather boastful about his lake, said—‘Come, come now, Ossington, don’t speak of a lake; just wipe it up and say no more about it.’

“In the afternoon we drove through ‘the Catwhins’ to Clumber—a dull ugly low-lying house. There is much fine china, but it is a dreary place.”

 

Glamis Castle, Oct. 26.—I had a delightful visit to the salt of the earth at Hutton,[268] where Mr. and Mrs. Pease were entertaining a large party, chiefly of semi-Quaker relations, including Miss Fox of Falmouth, who is most interesting and agreeable. Mrs. Pease is as delightful as she is beautiful, and the place is an oasis of good works of every kind. Thence I came here, meeting Mr. Waldegrave Leslie and Lady Rothes at the station. As we drove up to the haunted castle at night, its many turrets looked most eerie and weird against the moonlit sky, and its windows blazed with red light. The abundance of young life inside takes off the solemn effect—the number of charming children, the handsome cordial boys, the winning gracious mistress; only Lord Strathmore himself has an ever sad look. The Bishop of Brechin, who was a great friend of the house, felt this strange sadness so deeply that he went to Lord Strathmore, and, after imploring him in the most touching manner to forgive the intrusion into his private affairs, said how, having heard of the strange secret which oppressed him, he could not help entreating him to make use of his services as an ecclesiastic, if he could in any way, by any means, be of use to him. Lord Strathmore was deeply moved, though he said that he thanked him, but that in his most unfortunate position no one could ever help him. He has built a wing to the castle, in which all the children and all the servants sleep. The servants will not sleep in the house, and the children are not allowed to do so.

“I found a large party here, and was agreeably surprised to see Lady Wynford come down to dinner. Then Lady Holmesdale appeared, with her piteous little white-mouse aspect; Mr. and the charming Mrs. Streatfeild, Lady Strathmore’s sister; Miss Erica Robertson, and Lord and Lady Rosehill.

“There is much of interest in the life here—the huge clock telling the hours; the gathering in early morning for prayers by the chaplain in the chapel, through a painted panel of which some think that the secret chamber is concealed, though others maintain that it is entered through Lord Strathmore’s study, and occupies the space above ‘the crypt’—an armour-hung hall where we all meet for dinner, at which the old Lion of Lyon—gold, for holding a whole bottle of claret, which the old lords used to toss off at a draught—is produced. There are lions everywhere. Huge gilt lions stand on either side in front of the drawing-room fireplace, lions are nut-crackers, a lion sits on the letter-box, the very door-scraper is guarded by two lions.

“The boys are charming, so very nice that one cannot believe any curse can affect them. Claudie (Glamis) is very handsome, and looks strikingly so in his Scotch dress. Frank is ill now, but most engaging.

“To-day, as I was drawing, Mr. Waldegrave Leslie gave a curious account of his life at Lady Rothes’ castle—that they themselves inhabit the ghost-room, and that the ghost comes frequently, and not only groans, but howls; they often hear it. When Lady Rothes’ brother died, the episcopal service was read over him in the house by a clergyman, and the ghost then howled so horribly that the service was quite inaudible, and eventually had to be stopped. He said they did not mind the ghost, but that Lady Rothes’ Dandie Dinmont dog was distracted with terror when it came, and crept upon the bed quivering convulsively all over.

“Lady Rosehill has been meeting Mr. (Dicky) Doyle, the genial fairy lover, who told her that one day when a man was walking down Pall Mall with a most tremendous swagger, somebody walked up to him and said, ‘Sir, will you have the kindness to tell me, are you anybody in particular?’”

 

Oct. 29.—Yesterday was Sunday, and we had three services in the chapel, which is painted all over with figures of saints by the same man who executed the bad paintings of the Scottish kings at Holyrood. The sermons from Mr. Beck, the chaplain, head of ‘the Holy Cross’ in Scotland, were most curious: the first—apropos of All Saints—being a mere catalogue of saints, S. Etheldreda, S. Kenneth, S. Ninian, &c., and their virtues; and describing All Saints’ festival as ‘the Mart of Holiness’: the second—apropos of All Souls—speaking of prayers for the dead as a duty inculcated by the Church in all ages, and taking the words of Judas Maccabeus as a text.”

 

Gorhambury, Nov. 20.—It was dark when I reached the St. Albans Station yesterday. Lord Verulam’s carriage was in waiting for guests: I got into it with three others. ‘Lord Beaconsfield was with us in the train,’ said the young lady of the party, ‘and I am sure he is going to Gorhambury, and oh! I am so glad he has taken a fly.’ We drove up to the great porticoed house in the dark, and a small winding staircase took us to a great lofty hall, furnished as a sitting-room. Here we found Lady Verulam, two of her daughters, Lady Catherine Weyland, &c. Other guests appeared at dinner—the sallow basilisk face of Lord Beaconsfield: his most amusing secretary, Montagu Corry: Lord Exeter, with long black hair: Lady Exeter, tall, very graceful and refined-looking, but with the coldest manner in the world: a young Lord Mount-Charles: Scudamore Stanhope, remarkably pleasant: Charlie Duncombe, very pleasant too: Lady Mary Cecil: Dowager Lady Craven, always most agreeable.

“Lord Verulam is permanently lame and on two crutches, but most agreeable and kindly. This morning I sat to draw the ruin of Lord Bacon’s house (Lady Craven saved it when it was going to be pulled down). The place is full of relics of him, his observatory in the park: the ‘Kissing Oak,’ beneath which Queen Elizabeth embraced him: the ‘Queen’s Ride,’ used when she came to visit him: curious painted terra-cotta busts of his father and mother and of himself as a child, in the library: and in the dining-room a large portrait of his brother, which he (the brother) painted himself, the most prominent feature being his legs, of which he was evidently exceedingly proud.

“In the afternoon I drove with Lady Exeter, Lady Catherine Weyland, and Lady Jane Grimston to St. Albans, and went over the abbey with Mr. Chapel, the delightfully enthusiastic clerk of the works, who repeatedly exclaimed, ‘It is the pride of my life, sir; it is the pride of my life.’ He has most beautifully put together, from the fragments found, the two great shrines of the place, of St. Alban and St. Amphipolis (Arthur Stanley doubts the existence of the latter saint, and thinks the name was only that of a cloak), not adding or inventing a single bit; and the whole interior of the abbey has been hitherto done in the same way, being perhaps the one church in England really restored, not remodelled. In returning we stopped at St. Michael’s to see the tomb of Lord Bacon, represented as he sat in his chair—‘sic sedebat.’”

 

Nov. 21.—At dinner last night and all day Lord Beaconsfield seemed absorbed, scarcely noticed any one, barely answered his hostess when spoken to. Montagu Corry[269] said that his chief declared that the greatest pleasure in life was writing a book, because ‘in that way alone man could become a creator:’ that his habit was to make marionettes, and then to live with them for some months before he put them into action. Lately he had made some marionettes; now he was living with them, and their society occupied him entirely.

“To-day Lord Verulam showed me many of the relics of the house—the decision of his ancestor, Judge Crook, releasing Hampden: a deed of free-warren from Henry II. confirming to one of his ancestors another deed of his grandfather Henry I.: the portrait of Edward Grimston (1460), the oldest known authentic portrait in England, representing a man who fought at Towton, but afterwards made peace with Edward IV., lived in retirement, and is mentioned in the Paston Letters.

“Lord Verulam told me of his discovery that Lord Lovat was seventy-three at the time of his execution, not eighty, as is generally affirmed. The supposed date of his birth and the date of his learning to fence tend to confirm this, and his smiling when he looked upon his coffin-plate on the scaffold and the line he quoted from Horace.”

 

Nov. 25.—On Friday I drove with Lord Verulam in his victoria to Wrothampstead. The old house there is one of the long many-gabled houses, vine-covered, with windows and chimneys of moulded brick, standing, backed by fine trees, in a brilliant garden. Inside it is gloriously panelled, and has a staircase approached by balustraded gates with a tapestried room at the top of it. It belongs to a Mr. Lawes, who for a long time was supposed to be wasting all his time and most of his money in chemistry, but at length by his chemistry he discovered a cheap way of making a valuable manure, and ‘Lawes’s manure’ has made him a millionaire.

“Yesterday we went to Tittenhanger, already familiar to me from Lady Waterford’s descriptions. It is a charming old house, utterly Cromwellian, most attractive and engaging, depending for its effect upon its high overhanging roofs, and the simple, admirable brick ornaments of its windows. The rooms are full of beautiful pictures and china, but Lady Caledon was not there, and it is always a loss not to see the owner with a place.

“It was on hearing some one mention this house that Sydney Smith made the impromptu—

‘Oh, pray, where is Tittenhanger?
Is it anywhere by Bangor?
Or, if it is not in Wales,
Can it, perhaps, be near Versailles?
Tell me, in the name of grace,
Is there really such a place?’

“Lady Lilian Paulet was very absurd at dinner with her story of an American who said that, going down Piccadilly, he met a mad dog, so, as he could not avoid him, he thrust his hand down its throat and pulled out its inside; after which the dog ran on still, but it could no longer say ‘bow-wow,’ it could only say ‘wow-bow.’

“It was amusing seeing Lord Beaconsfield at Gorhambury: hear him I never did, except when he feebly bleated out some brief and ghastly utterance. His is an extraordinary life. He told Lord Houghton that the whole secret of his success was his power of never dwelling upon a failure; he ‘had failed often, constantly at first, yet had never dwelt on it, but always gone on to something else.’”

enlarge-image
TITTENHANGER.

TITTENHANGER. [270]

 

Burghley, Nov. 29.—I have been glad to come to the place which is often called ‘the finest house in England’—a dictum in which I by no means agree. The guests are a row of elderly baronets of only hunting and Midland-county fame. An exception is Sir John Hay, a thorough old gentleman (an Admiral) and very agreeable. I took a Miss Fowke in to dinner, and complained to her of the number of old baronets. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘they are old and they are numerous, and the central one is my father.’

“The house is immense, but has little internal beauty. There is a series of stately rooms, dull and oppressive, with fine tapestry and china, and a multitude of pictures with very fine names, almost all misnamed—a copy of the well-known Bronzino of the Medici boy being called Edward VI.; a copy of the well-known Correggio in the National Gallery being marked as an original by Angelica Kauffman, &c.[271] In a small closet is a number of jewelled trinkets, including Queen Elizabeth’s watch and thimble, and there hangs the gem of the picture collection—‘The Saviour Blessing the Elements,’ a very expressive but most unpleasing work of Carlo Dolci. It is the halo of the great Lord Burghley which gives the place all its interest. He lies on his back in a scarlet robe under a canopy in St. Martin’s Church at the entrance of the town, and close by is a cenotaph to his father and mother, who are buried at St. Margaret’s, Westminster. All the five churches of Stamford have merit, and the town is interesting and picturesque.

“Lord Exeter, with his lank black hair and his wrinkled yellow jack-boots high above the knee, looks like a soldier of Cromwell. In the evening he and the whole family dance incessantly to the music of a barrel-organ, which they take it in turn to wind.[272]

“The great idol of family adoration is ‘Telemachus’—the memory of Telemachus, or rather a whole dynasty of Telemachi, for they are now arrived at Telemachus X. The bull Telemachus I. gained more than £1000 at small county cattle-shows. His head is stuffed in the hall; his statue in silver stands in the dining-room (where there are also silver statues of Telemachus II. and III.), and his portrait hangs on the wall.”

 

Dec. 6.—On Tuesday, at King’s Cross, I met Elizabeth Biddulph, Marie Adeane, Alethea Grenfell, and the Dalyells, and we came down together, a merry party, to Hertford, whither the Robert Smiths sent to fetch us to their picturesque new house of Goldings. Alethea is full of the story of Jagherds (near Corsham)—that ‘in the difficulty of finding a house there suitable for the clergyman, an old manor-house was suggested, which seemed to meet all requisites. The Bishop (Ellicott) himself went to see it, and was quite delighted with it, and the clergyman went to reside there. But his servants would not stay, his governesses would not stay; all said they were worried out of their lives by the figure of a lady in blue, which appeared all over the house and on all possible occasions; and at last the clergyman himself gave in and went away. With the next clergyman the same thing happened, and he appealed to the Bishop. The Bishop said he never could tell why he suggested it, but in his answer he said, “If the apparition comes again, I should advise you to throw as much sympathy as you can into your manner, and ask what you can do for it.” Soon after he heard from the clergyman that this had quite succeeded. The blue lady had appeared again, and the clergyman immediately, with an appearance of the utmost sympathy in his countenance, said, “Madam, is there nothing in the world I can do for you?”—upon which a seraphic smile came over the face of the spirit, and it vanished away and never appeared again.’

“Lately the Bishop had a letter from an old clergyman at Wisconsin in America, who wrote to him that an aged parishioner of his had sent for him on his deathbed, saying that he could not die happy without recounting the facts of a crime which he had witnessed in his boyhood. He had been taken by a gang of highwaymen who held their headquarters at Jagherds Court in Wiltshire, and while there was witness to many deeds of violence committed by them. Amongst others, they carried off a young lady, and in the row and quarrels which ensued, the young lady was murdered at Jagherds Court.

“The old clergyman, not knowing what to do with this confession, thought the best way was to write it to the Bishop of the diocese in which Jagherds was situated, and he wrote it to the Bishop of Gloucester, who verified the whole, finding his correspondent a veritable clergyman, &c. The Bishop of Gloucester told the story last week at Lord Ducie’s.”

 

Holmhurst, Dec. 16.—I have been intensely busy. The life of Madame de Bunsen unfolds itself in her letters more than any life I have ever heard of. I long for the time to come when I may begin to unite, my links, but at present I have only been making extracts—such extracts! Her power of expression is astonishing. I discover so much that I fancy I have felt myself, and never been able to put into words. I see in the vast piles of MS. the means of building a very perfect memorial to her.”

 

Ampthill, Christmas Day, 1877.—I came here yesterday from Holmhurst.... It was a great pleasure to find charming old Sir Francis Doyle here with his son and daughter. Sir Francis talks incessantly and most agreeably, and makes the mornings as interesting as the evenings. ‘C’étaient des matinées excellentes, pour lesquelles je me sentirais encore du gout,’ as Talleyrand used to say. Sir Francis has just been saying, apropos of how little one knows the true characters of those one meets:—

“‘H. told me a curious thing one day. He went to dine with a cabinet minister (I suppress the name), and there came down a lady, the governess, cherished by the family—“a perfect treasure.” He recognised her at once as a lady he had known very well, very intimately indeed. She sank after that, sank into the lowest depth of that class of life. “I used to help her with money,” he said, “as long as I could, but at last she sank too low even for that, quite out of my sphere of possibilities altogether, and here I found her reinstated. As I was questioning what I ought to do, she passed near me and said only, ‘I have sown my wild oats.’ I never told of her: I had nothing to do with placing her where she was.”’

“With the same intention Sir Francis told a curious story of ‘Two Shoes,’ a boy at Eton:—

“‘Two Shoes took a box to a boy-friend of his who was in another house and said, “A number of curious things are happening in my house, and this box contains things of value to me; I wish you would let it stay here for a little.” The boy said, “Yes, you may leave your box, provided only that it contains no money: I will not be responsible for anything with money in it.” Two Shoes said there was no money in the box, and it was left. Afterwards, when the box was moved, a great rattle as of sovereigns was heard inside, and as the tutor of the house whence it had been taken declared himself robbed at the same time, the boy in whose charge the box was left thought it necessary to declare what had happened. The sixty sovereigns lost by the tutor were found in the box. Two Shoes was expelled.... H. went down into —— shire lately, and there he found Two Shoes confidential solicitor to half the county.’

“Apropos of the secret crimes of so-called ‘religious people,’ Sir Francis said—

“‘I am quite sure that Abigail murdered her husband; that one is quite left to understand. He could not have died of the shock of having escaped David. Oh, no; she was a religious woman, so she waited till six o’clock on the Sabbath evening, and then she poisoned him.’

“His stories of old times and people are endless. He said—

“‘I always keep a reminiscence of poor Lady Davy to laugh at. It was one of those great days at Stafford House, one of their very great gala days, and Lady Davy was in the hall in the greatest anxiety about her carriage; and she, little woman, walked up to one of those very magnificent flunkeys, six feet high at least and in resplendent livery, and besought him to look after her carriage. I never saw any one so civil as that man was. “I have called your Ladyship’s carriage three times,” he said, “and it has not answered, but if your Ladyship wishes, I will try again.”

“‘I saw the second act of that little drama. I went through the door, beyond the awning, just when the footman was stalking haughtily and carelessly among the link-boys and saying disdainfully, “Just give old Davy another call.”’

“At dinner the conversation turned on Lord and Lady Lytton. She was a Miss Doyle, a distant cousin of Sir Francis, and shortened his father’s life by her vagaries and furies. After his father’s death Sir Francis left her alone for many years; then it was represented to him that she had no other relations, and that it was his duty to look after her interests, and he consented to see her, and, at her request, to ask Sir E. Bulwer to give her another hundred a year. This Sir Edward said he was most willing to do, but that she must first give a written retractation of some of the horrible accusations she had brought against him. When Lady Bulwer heard that this retractation was demanded of her, she turned upon Sir Francis with the utmost fury, and abused him with every vile epithet she could think of. She afterwards wrote to him, and directed to ‘Sir Francis Hastings Doyle, Receiver of her Majesty’s Customs (however infamous), Thames Street, London.’ ‘But,’ said Sir Francis, ‘I also had my day. I was asked as to her character. I answered, “From your point of view I believe her character to be quite immaculate, for I consider her to be so perfectly filled with envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, as to have no possible room left for the exercise of any tenderer passion.”’ Lady Bulwer appeared on the hustings against her husband. His son told Sir Edward, ‘Do you know my Lady is here?’—‘What, Henry’s wife!’—‘No, yours.’ She said, ‘He ought to have gone to the colonies long ago, and at the Queen’s expense.’”

 

Ampthill, Dec. 26.—This morning Sir Francis was attracted by the portrait of old Lady Carlisle hanging by the drawing-room door, and he said, ‘That portrait always reminds me of something Lady Carlisle said once. I was speaking to her of the death of one of her sisters, and she said, “We were all very sorry, very sorry indeed; but she (pointing to another sister), she cared.”’

“For my benefit Sir Francis narrated the story of the thirty-nine Yaconines.

“In Japan, there was one Daimio who was in rivalry with another, and who was superseded by him, and of course his honour could not stand that, so he committed ‘the happy despatch.’ His followers ought to have avenged him, it was Japanese etiquette that they should, but they did not; they, lamented and howled, but they did nothing, and the chief of them in his agony lay down in the gutter and remained there fasting for several days. Then one day the head-follower of the successful Daimio, passing by, saw him in the gutter, and spurned him with his foot and said, ‘You beast, you coward, you brute! do you intend to lie there and let your master go unavenged?’ but the man still lay crouched and grovelling and took no notice.

“But a time came when the followers of the successful Daimio were dispersed, and then the thirty-eight servants of the dead man arose and went to him, and kneeling around him said with courtesy, ‘We do not wish to cut your throat, do not compel us; take the happy despatch;’ but the Daimio would not take their advice, he could not bring his mind to it; so then the Yakonines performed their duty, and they cut his throat. When they had done that, the thirty-eight Yakonines summoned all the people together to attend them, for they were about to perform their final duty, their ‘happy despatch’ to the manes of their master, and the thirty-eight performed it, amid the acclamations of the people over their fidelity even to death. But when, afterwards, men came to count the corpses, behold there were thirty-nine: the enemy who had spurned the Yakonine as he lay in the gutter repented when he saw that he had accused him falsely, and had silently joined the procession of death: there were thirty-nine Yakonines who died.”

 

Dec. 27.—Last night a French play was acted, ‘Madame Choufleuri reçoit chez elle.’ Mr. Lowther, who was merely an old French gentleman spectator, created for himself a part which was a whole dumb dramatic performance in itself.

“I had a charming drive to-day with Lady Ashburton to Woburn, the rest having preceded us. There is a long winding double avenue in the park. The stables are so enormous that we mistook them for the house, and were surprised when we turned the other way. However, the door of the real house was most dilapidated and unducal. Long passages, surrounding an open court, and filled with portraits, led to a large sitting-room, where we found most of our own party and the guests of the house. The Duchess was kind and cordial. We all went to luncheon in the Canaletti room, enlivened by endless views of Venice, which, regardless of their artistic merits, are most pleasing to the eye through their delicate green-grey tints. Afterwards we went through the rooms, full of portraits, one of Lucy Harington in a ruff, very fine. In one corner is a set of interesting Tudor portraits, including a large one of Jane Seymour; hideous I thought, though Froude, when he saw it, said he did not wonder Henry VIII. cut Anne Boleyn’s head off to marry so bewitching a creature. A great portrait of the famous Lord Essex in a white dress has a mean feeble face and stubby red beard. The Duke[273] offered to take us to the church. Lady Ashburton, Lady Howard of Glossop, and I drove there with him. We passed ‘the Abbot’s Oak,’ where the last abbot was hung. Froude says he went up to London and was swallowed up by his fate. The Duke asked what this meant. It did mean that he was hung, drawn, and quartered, ‘but Froude was very angry at the question; historians never like being asked for details.’ The banks of a stone quarry are planted with cedars and evergreens, and the drive to the church is very pretty. The church was built by Clutton, who was turned loose into a field and told to produce what he could. He did produce a very poor mongrel building, neither gothic nor romanesque. The Duke said, ‘Would you like to see what is going to be done with me when I am dead?’ and he showed us the hole in the floor where he was to be let through ‘to the sound of solemn music,’ and then took us down into the vaults beneath to see the trestles on which his coffin was to repose! I long tried in vain to get Lady Ashburton to leave the endless letters, some of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who stayed with her grand-daughter and complained that the house was so dreadfully out of repair that the rain came into her bedroom, but another year that was to be remedied. We were deep in a ‘Boethius de Consolatione,’ printed in Tavistock Abbey, when the Duchess came in. ‘Would you like to see my golden image?’ So we went by a long open cloister, with wooden pillars rose-entwined, to see where the statue of the Duchess stands on a hill, all gilt like the figure of the Prince Consort, so that one really could see nothing except that it was a standing figure, and I could say nothing except that it was very well placed. Then we were taken through the sculpture-gallery, in which the great feature is a glorious sarcophagus, with a relief of the body of Hector being weighed against gold, Priam and Hecuba standing by with tears upon their cheeks.

 

Dec. 28.—The hours at Ampthill were especially pleasant from five to seven, when one was allowed to sit with Lady Wensleydale, who, in the beautiful halo of her evergreen old age, is all that is most winning and delightful—with full memory of her ‘wealthy past’ and gratitude for present peace, hemmed in by loving care of children and grandchildren.”

 

Ascot Wood, Dec. 29.—Sir John Lefevre has been talking of an old acquaintance of his named Balm, who was very extravagant. Some one said to him once, ‘Balm, Balm, if you are not sage, you’ll spend a mint in time (thyme), and then you’ll rue.’

“He described a dinner-party at which he was present with ten others, including Sydney Smith, who made them all laugh so much that they were obliged to stand up. It was the only time he ever saw it—‘Laughter holding both its sides.’”

 

Jan. 6, 1878.—At Ascot Station I met Mark Napier, who resigned his first-class ticket and the companionship of Plato’s ‘Republic,’ his usual reading in the train, to travel with me. His conversation is always full of thought and interest. I went to Cobham in the evening, and liked my visit, as I always do, meeting many people, including Mrs. Russell Barrington, who dresses like a figure by Burne Jones, and is even ambitious of becoming a Botticelli.”

 

Crewe Hall, Jan. 6.—The number of hats in the hall told me on arriving here that there was a large party in the house, but I find no remarkable elements except Lord Houghton and Mr. Nugee, a clergyman still in appearance, but one who has gone out of the Church at the High end, and has a sort of monastery for training ecclesiastics somewhere in London. He preached to-day in the chapel, standing on the steps of the altar, a discourse like that of a French preacher, most dramatic, most powerful, most convincing—yet, oh! how difficult it is to carry away anything even from the sermons one likes best.

“Lord Crewe welcomed me very cordially, and made himself so pleasant that I thought his eccentricities had been exaggerated, till suddenly, at dinner, he began a long half-whispered conversation with himself, talking, answering, acting, and nothing afterwards seemed able to rouse him back to ordinary life. During the fire which destroyed the interior of Crewe some years ago, Lord Crewe bore all with perfect equanimity, and said not a word till the fire-engines came and were at work. Then he turned to his sister, Lady Houghton, who was present, and said, ‘I think I had better send for my goloshes.’[274]

“It is a very fine house, with noble alabaster chimney-pieces inlaid with precious marbles, but since the fire all has been too much overlaid with decoration, and in many respects indifferent decoration. The Sir Joshuas are glorious and numerous.

“This afternoon Lord Houghton told an interesting story which he heard from Mrs. Robert Gladstone:—

“‘She went to stay in Scotland with the Maxwells of Glenlee. Arriving early in the afternoon, she went to her room to rest. It was a lovely day. Mrs. Maxwell lay upon the sofa at the foot of her bed. Soon it seemed to her as if the part of the room opposite to her was filled with mist. She thought it came from the fireplace, but there was no fire and no smoke. She looked to see if it came from the window; all without was bright clear sunshine. She felt herself frisonner. Gradually the mist seemed to assume form, till it became a grey figure watching the clock. She could not take her eyes from it, and she was so terrified that she could not scream. At length, with terror and cold, her senses seemed going. She became unconscious. When she came to herself the figure was gone. Her husband came in soon after, and she told him. He took her down to five-o’clock tea. Then some one said, “You are in the haunted room,” and she told what had happened. They changed her room, but the next morning she went away.

“Soon afterwards Mrs. Stamford Raffles went to stay at Glenlee. It was then winter. She awoke in the night, and by the bright firelight burning in her room saw the same effect of mist, collecting gradually and forming a leaning figure looking at the clock. The same intense cold was experienced, followed by the same unconsciousness, after a vain endeavour to awaken her husband, for her limbs seemed paralysed.

“‘The Maxwells soon afterwards became so annoyed that they gave up Glenlee.’

“Lord Houghton also told the story of General Upton:—

“‘Whilst at Lisbon he saw a military friend of his in England pass across the end of the room. On reaching England he went to see his friend’s family, found them in deep mourning, and learnt that his friend was dead. “Oh, yes,” he said, “I know that; he died on such a day, for I saw him.” Upon this the family became greatly agitated, and vehemently denied that he had died till several days later. “Nothing will convince me,” said General Upton, “but that he died on that particular day.” Upon this the widow flung herself on her knees before him and implored him for God’s sake not to bring utter ruin upon her by saying this to any one else. “Very well,” he said; “I do not want to injure you, but the best way will be to tell me the whole truth.” Then she confessed. It was one of those cases in which the time for a pension was not quite due for a few days, and she concealed the death till those days were past.’

“Lady Egerton, who is here, told of young De Ritchie, whose wife died in Fiji. He obtained leave of absence immediately, and wishing to break the shock of his wife’s sudden death to her friends, merely telegraphed that they were coming home at once, for Ranee was very ill. On the day they were expected to arrive, the grandparents said to the little boy left in their charge that they were going to meet his papa and mama, who were coming home. The child looked very grave and said, ‘Papa, yes; Mama, no: poor Mama sleep in Fiji;’ and nothing would make it say any more. Dr. De Ritchie (the grandfather) was so impressed with this, that he was hardly surprised when, on going to Southampton, he met his son alone.

“Sir Watkin Wynne described a curious event on his property. A poor woman earnestly implored that a certain tree near her cottage might be cut down, for she had dreamt that her husband would be killed by it. She besought it so earnestly that the tree was ordered to be cut down. In falling, the rope attached to the tree caught the poor man, and crushed him against the wall, and he was killed.”

 

London, Jan. 22.—A very pleasant dinner at Lady Ashburton’s. Miss Hosmer[275] was there, very full of her strange discovery of being able to turn limestone into marble, and then to colour it to any tint she wishes—a discovery perhaps not unknown to the ancient Romans.”

 

Jan. 26.—Dined with old Lady Lyndhurst,[276] who has all the clever vivacity acquired by her early life in France. Speaking of bullying at public schools, she said, ‘I discovered that my Lord had been a bully when he was a boy, and I can assure you I thumped him well at eighty for what he had done at fourteen.’”

 

Battle Abbey, March 10, 1878.—I came here yesterday, finding Lady Marian Alford, and to-day Lord Houghton came. Speaking of Mrs. L. E—— ‘s poverty, the Duchess said, ‘It is so sad; really often she has actually not bread to eat.’—‘Yes,’ said Lord Houghton, ‘but then she has so many kind friends who give her cake.’

“Lady Marian described the railway adventure of a friend of hers. Two ladies got into a carriage at King’s Cross, one old and the other young. Into the same carriage got a gentleman and sat down between them. As soon as the train started, he looked round at one and then at the other. Then he took from his pocket six razors and laid them upon the seat opposite to him. Then he looked round at each of them again. Then he took from his pocket an orange and laid it down in front of the razors. Then he began to cut up the orange, using one razor for each pig. He looked round at each of his victims again. Then he walked across the carriage and sat down opposite the old lady, who instantly wound her boa three times round her throat. He said, ‘Do you like orange?’ She said, ‘Very much indeed,’ and he took up a pig on the point of one of the razors and popped it into her mouth. He then said, ‘Will you have another?’ She said, ‘Yes, presently, but wait a few minutes: I like to have time to savourer my orange.’—‘How many minutes?’ he demanded. She answered, ‘Five.’—‘Very well,’ he said, and he took out his watch and counted the minutes, and then he took up another pig on the end of another razor and popped it into her mouth. Each time she prolonged the minutes, and the gallant old lady actually kept the madman at bay till an hour had elapsed and the train stopped at Peterborough, and she and the other lady were able to escape.

“Lord Houghton’s vanity is amusingly natural. Something was said of one of Theodore Hook’s criticisms. ‘You know even I never said anything as good as that,’ said Lord Houghton, and quite seriously. Yet how truly kind Lord Houghton is, and how amusing, and he does most truly, as Johnson said of Garth, ‘communicate himself through a very wide set of acquaintance.’ In his histoires de société he is unrivalled.”

 

March 12.—Yesterday Lord Houghton and I sat very long after breakfast with the Duke, who talked of his diplomatic life. He was appointed from St. Petersburg to Paris, and the revolution which enthroned Louis Philippe occurring just then, he hurried his journey. When he reached Frankfort, Chad, who was minister there, assured him that he would not be allowed to enter France, but, provided with a courier passport, he pushed on, and crossed the frontier without difficulty. At Paris the barricades were still up. The town was in the hands of the Orleanists (they bore the name then). On the evening of his arrival the Duke was introduced to Lafayette, ‘quite a grand seigneur in manner.’ Lafayette asked him if he did not know Lord and Lady Holland, and on his answering in the affirmative, begged that he would write to assure Lord Holland that he meant to save the lives of the late ministers, because he was accused of intending to have them executed.

“The Duke talked much of the wonderful gallantry of the Emperor Nicholas—how when the rebel troops were drawn out opposite his own in the square at St. Petersburg, he stalked out fearless between them, though the Governor of St. Petersburg was shot dead at his feet. The rebel troops were only waiting to fire till they saw a rocket, the signal from Prince Troubetskoi, whose courage failed him at the last. Troubetskoi was sent to Siberia, whither his wife insisted upon following. He was sentenced for life, so was legally dead, and she might, had she preferred it, have married any one else.

“We drove to Normanhurst in the afternoon. Mrs. Brassey showed her Japanese and Pacific curiosities; the house is full of them, like a bazaar. We returned through a very lovely bit of Ashburnham.”

 

April 3.—I came to London on the 19th, and dined that day with Lady Margaret Beaumont, hearing there of the dear kind old Lord Ravensworth being found dead that day on the floor of the Windsor rooms at Ravensworth, when his daughter Nellie sent for him because he did not come in to luncheon.”

 

“On Monday, March 25, as I was breakfasting at the Athenæum, I glanced into the paper, and the first thing which met my eyes was the news of the total loss of the Eurydice, with dear good Marcus Hare and more than three hundred men. It was a terrible shock, and seemed to carry away a whole mass of one’s life in recollections from childhood.... It is many days ago now, and the dreadful fact has seemed ever since to be hammering itself into one’s brain with ceaselessly increasing horror. How small now seem the failings in Marcus’s unselfish and loving character, how great the many virtues. It is difficult also to realise that there is now scarcely any one left who really cares for the old traditions of the Hare family, the old portraits, the old memorials, which were always so much to him, and which I hoped, through him, would be handed down to another generation.”

 

April 14.—On the day on which the Eurydice was lost, Sir J. Cowell and Sir John McNeill were standing together in a window of Windsor Castle which overlooks a wide extent of country. Suddenly Sir J. McNeill seemed to be dreaming and speaking aloud. ‘What a terrible storm,’ he said. ‘Oh, do you see that ship? It will be lost: oh, how horrible! Good God, it’s gone!’ It was at that moment that the Eurydice went down.[277]

“I have little to tell of London beyond the ordinary experiences, except perhaps having been more than ever shocked by the slanderous malignity of so-called ‘religious people,’ as I have been charmed by the chivalrous disinterestedness of many who do not aspire to that denomination. One often finds Archbishop Whately’s saying too true—‘The God of Calvinists is the devil, with God written on their foreheads.’ Of the many dinner-parties I have attended, I cannot recollect anything except that some one—I cannot remember who—spoke of D’Israeli as ‘that old Jew gentleman who is sitting on the top of chaos.’

“Last Sunday I went to luncheon at Mrs. Cavendish Bentinck’s. I arrived at two, having been requested to be punctual. No hostess was there, and the many guests sat round the room like patients in a dentist’s anteroom, or, as a young Italian present said, when I made his acquaintance—‘like lumps of ice.’ Lady Waterford came in and Mr. Bentinck, and we went in to luncheon. There was a table for about forty, who sat where they liked. Mrs. Bentinck came in when all were seated, greeting nobody in particular. The lady next me, a perfect stranger, suddenly said, ‘I want you to tell me what I must do to get good. I do not feel good at all, and I want to be better: what must I do?’

“‘That depends on your peculiar form of badness,’ I replied.

“‘Well, I live where I have a church on each side of me, and a church on the top of the hill under which my house is situated. But they do me no good. Now I wonder if that is owing to the inefficiency of the churches, or to the depravity of my own heart?’

“‘Probably half to one and half to the other,’ I said.

“I asked afterwards who the lady was, but neither her hostess nor any one else had an idea.

 

“Yesterday I dined with the Pole-Carews. Mrs. Carew told me that Dr. Benson, Bishop of Truro,[278] told her:—

“‘At my table were two young men, one of them a Mr. Akroyd. He began to talk of a place he knew in one of the Midland counties, and how a particular adventure always befell him at a certain gate there.

“‘Yes,’ said the other young man, ‘your horse always shies and turns down a particular lane.’

“‘Yes,’ exclaimed Mr. Akroyd, ‘but how do you know anything about it?’

“‘Oh, because I know the place very well, and the same thing always happens to me.’

“‘And then I come to a gateway,’ said Mr. Akroyd.

“‘Yes, exactly so,” said the other young man.

“‘And then on one occasion I drove through it and came to a house.’

“‘Ah! well, there I do not follow you,’ said the other young man.

“‘It was very long ago,’ continued Mr. Akroyd, ‘and I was a boy with my father. When we drove down that lane it was very late, quite dark, and we lost our way. When we reached the gateway, we saw within a great house standing on one side of a courtyard, brilliantly lighted up. There was evidently a banquet inside, and through the large windows we saw figures moving to and fro, but all were in mediaeval dress: we thought it was a masquerade.

“‘We drove up to the house to inquire our way, and the owner came out to speak to us. He was in a mediaeval dress. He said he was entertaining his friends, and he entreated us, as chance had brought us there that night, to come in and partake of his hospitality. We pleaded that we were obliged to go on, and that to stay was impossible. He was excessively civil, and said that if we must really go on, we must allow him to send a footman to guide us back into the right road. My father gave the footman half-a-crown. When we had gone some distance I said, “Father, did you see what happened to that half-crown?”—“Yes, my boy, I did,” said my father. It had fallen through the footman’s hand on to the snow.’

“‘The gateway really exists in the lane. There is no house, but there was one once, inhabited by very wicked people who were guilty of horrible blasphemies—a brother and sister, who danced upon the altar in the chapel, &c.’”

 

Seaton, Devon, May 7.—I came here on Friday to visit Lady Ashburton, but found that erratic hostess gone off to Torquay, so had two days here alone with Mrs. Drummond’s two pleasant, lively boys. This is an enchanting little paradise, looking down over the sea from a cliff. Delightful walks ramble along the edge through miniature groves of tamarisk and ilex. On one side rises the bluff chalk promontory and high down of Bere Head; on the other, one looks across a bay to the cliffs near Lyme Regis, and Portland is seen in the blue haze.”

 

May 7.—Drove with Lady Ashburton and her daughter to Shute, a beautiful old house of the Poles, now a farmhouse, with a gateway like a college gate at the entrance of the park. We sat to draw in the courtyard, full of colour and beauty, and afterwards had a delicious tea in the farmhouse kitchen. In returning, we went to an old ruined house which was the original homestead of the great Courtenay family.”

 

May 8.—We were off at 7 A.M. into Somersetshire by train. We got out at Yeovil, in a lovely country of orchards in full bloom, and drove first to Brympton, the lovely old house of the Ponsonby Fanes. They inherited it from Lady Georgiana Fane, who is represented in the church, having had her own head added to the body of an ancestress who was headless. The place is perfectly delightful—such a broad staircase winding endlessly away, and quaint but fresh and airy rooms opening upon a terrace with balustrades and a staircase, and close by the most picturesque of churches.

“We went on to Montacute, Mrs. Phelips’s—a most grand old house of yellow-grey stone, partly of Edward VI.’s time.

XX

ROYAL DUTIES AND INTERESTS

“Montre ce qui est en toi! C’est le moment, c’est l’heure, on retombe dans le néant! Tu as la parole! à ton tour! fournis la mesure, dis ton mot! revèle ta nullité, ou ta capacité. Sors de l’ombre! Il ne s’agit plus de promettre, il faut tenir. Le temps d’apprentissage est terminé!”—Henri Frederic Amiel.

“Stop thine ears to whatsoever men think of thee; accept it for nothing, but regard only the judgment of God.”—Pico Della Mirandola.

“Let me never hear the word ‘trouble.’ Only tell me how the thing is to be done, to be done rightly, and I will do it if I can.”—Queen Victoria of England.[279]

“Look at the duty nearest hand, and what’s more, do it.”—Jane Welsh Carlyle.

BEING at Lowther Lodge on the 21st of May, I was sent for by the Crown Princess of Germany, who was most kind and gracious. “I have read all your books. I always buy them as soon as ever they come out, and I have so much wished to see you.” She told me that she had been to Hurstmonceaux to visit my mother’s grave, and that she had one of her strong presentiments as to the place coming back into our family, adding, “And I do so hope it will.” She talked of the dear Madame de Bunsen with the greatest affection, and then of the many branches of the Bunsen family. When my little audience of about ten minutes was over, she said with great sweetness, “I am afraid I am keeping you much too long from all your other friends.” She pressed me to come to stay with her at Potsdam. I said that I was going to Berlin to visit the Bunsens. She said, “Oh, but you must come to me; I can show quite as many things, and I can certainly show you a great many more people than the Bunsens can.” I said that I feared my visit to Berlin would be during her approaching absence in Switzerland. She said, “Well, you can go to the Bunsens in the summer when I am away, and then in the winter you can come again to see me: Berlin is not so very far off.”

As spring advanced my Life of the Baroness Bunsen was so far completed as to be ready for the inspection of her children. I therefore decided to take it to them in Germany. Feeling how impossible it would be to meet all the various wishes and tastes of such a hydra-headed family, I determined only to feel bound by the wishes of the two unmarried daughters, Frances and Emilia, and any one of their brothers whom they might choose. They selected George.

I turned first towards the Rhineland to visit the Dowager Princess of Wied, and profit by her recollections of one who had ever been one of the most valued of her friends.

On the last day of May I reached Cologne, and found there a succession of telegrams from the Princess of Wied desiring me to come to her. She did not exactly say that she expected me to stay beyond the day, so I did not like to take my luggage, and was sorry, when I found my room ready and that I was expected for a long visit, that I had sent it on.

Early on June 1, I went to Bonn. The place struck me much from its being so embowered in green and flowers. In a villa thus surrounded I found the well-known authoress Fräulein von Weling,[280] whom I surprised in bargaining for ready-plucked chickens at her door. She is a very interesting person, received me with that cordial simplicity which is so charming in Germans, and in a minute had put on her bonnet to go with me to the cemetery by a quiet walk through nursery-gardens. The churchyard itself is half hidden in pinks and roses. In the centre stands an old chapel of extreme beauty, transferred stone for stone by the King of Prussia from a solitary position in the fields. Buried in flowers is the grave where the dear friends of my childhood rest side by side. Close by is that of their brother-like friend, the noble old Brandis, his invalid wife, and his son Johannes. Farther off, but still near, are the graves of the old Arndt, Niebuhr and his Gretchen, Schumann, and the widow and son of Schiller. Then we went to Bunsen’s house, with the three-windowed room where he died, the garden with its view over the Rhine to the Sieben Gebirge, and the pavilion where he gave his last birthday feast.

It is a long ascent of an hour and a half from Neuwied through orchards and meadows radiant with wild-flowers to Segenhaus, standing on the crest of the mountain, which is literally “the House of Blessing” to all around it. The beautiful spacious rooms, full of books and pictures, look down over a steep declivity upon an immense view of the Rhineland. The Princess came in immediately with a most warm welcome—a noble, beautiful woman in a black dress, something like that one sees in pictures of Spanish Queens-Dowager, with snow-white hair drawn back under a long black veil. After a life of love, having lost all those who gave its greatest charm, she still finds much happiness in making herself the mother of her people, and the centre of good to the Rhineland from her high forest-home. After a few minutes spent in explaining the towns in the vast map-like view below us, she said, “There is a lady here who is anxious to make your acquaintance, and who was delighted to hear that you were coming: it is the Queen of Sweden.” At that moment the doors were thrown open, and the Queen entered—of middle age, with a beautiful expression, and possessing, with the utmost regal dignity, the most perfect simplicity and even cordiality of manner. She desired me to sit by the Princess upon a divan facing her. She said that I must consider her at once as a friend; that, in a life of great troubles, the “Memorials” had been her greatest comfort; that she never went anywhere without them; that my mother had been for several years the intimate friend to whom she always had recourse, and in whose written thoughts she could always find something which answered to her own feeling and the difficulty of the moment. She asked after “Mary Lea,” and how old she was now. She also talked much and naturally of my Bunsen work, and entirely entered into all the difficulties of meeting the views of so large a family of varying dispositions.

The Princess took me away to see her own room with her family portraits and photographs. She spoke of her daughter, the Princess of Roumania,[281] “in her terrible position between Russia and Turkey.” Then she said, “I want to prepare you for something. At my daughter’s court there is a blind Roumanian noble who has an only daughter. She is deaf and dumb. I could not bear that they should never communicate, so I have taken her home with me, and I am teaching her to speak by making her hold her hand on my throat as I speak very slowly; and she is already learning, and, though it takes almost all my time, I am already rewarded by her making sounds which are intelligible to me.” When we went back into the other room, the young lady was there, a most strange being, making sounds inarticulate, but intelligible to the Princess. When she saw that the Princess was going to speak, she rushed across the room and held her hand on her throat, which had an almost terrible effect, like garrotting.

enlarge-image
Sophie.  Queen of Sweden and Norway.

Sophie.
Queen of Sweden and Norway.

After tea the Queen ordered her donkey, which was brought round by a handsome Swedish chasseur. We went out into the forest. The Queen rode: the Princess led the donkey: I walked by the side, and only the chasseur followed. We actually went on thus for three hours, through beautiful forest glades with exquisite sylvan views, the whole reminding me of descriptions in Auerbach’s “Auf der Höhe.” The Queen never ceased talking or asking. She wished to know the whole story of my mother’s trances at Pau, of Madame de Trafford, of Prince Joseph Bonaparte—“a sort of cousin of my husband’s.” She talked much and most touchingly of her own life and its anxieties. “What I feel most,” she said, “is the impossibility of ever being alone. I have much happiness, much to be thankful for, but I feel that what one has really to look forward to must come after death, and I do not wish to live.” With her truly “la grandeur est un poids qui lasse,” as Massillon said. When alone with her sister at the Segenhaus in the quiet forest-life, she finds most happiness, and they live in a higher world, mentally as well as physically. As we went down a steep bank the donkey stumbled, and the Queen cried out. “Pardon me that I have seemed to be afraid,” she said; “I have been so very ill, that my nerves are quite shattered;” and in fact a severe illness, long supposed to be mortal, had at this time obliged her for several years to leave Sweden in the winter, to be under a great doctor at Heidelberg. She asked me to come to Norway to visit her. “You must also know my husband,” she said, “and my four sons, my four blessings of God.” She repeatedly expressed her wish that I should be at Rome in the winter with the Prince Royal. “I am sending him out to learn his world.” She asked most warmly after Lea, and sent a message to her—“I know her so well.” She also desired I would give her tender sympathy to Hilda Hare,[282] “For can I not feel for her? my second boy is at sea.” She gave a charming description of her first tour through Norway to her coronation. “I sat in my carriole by myself, and a peasant sat upon the little portmanteau behind which held my things, and told me all about the places and people.” We walked on and on through the vast woods, with lovely glimpses of country through the open glades, and masses of huge foxgloves where the wood was cut down, and one really forgot the queen, the almost tête-à-tête of three hours with a queen, in the noble great-souled woman, whose high ideal of life and all that it should be seemed for the time to ennoble all the world to one.

At the top of a high declivity the Princess unlocked a small gate. Within, in a little circular grove of lime-trees, were two marble crosses over the grave of the Prince of Wied and his martyr-like son Otto.[283] “And here,” said the Princess very simply, “is my grave also.” The plan of these green mausoleums has been adopted by the present family, and two more are planted to be ready for two generations.

Behind the palace of the Princess is the great white château of Monrepos, where her son lives with his wife, who is Princess Royal of the Netherlands. Above the lower range of windows is a line of huge stags’ heads, trophies of the chase of some former prince in the forest. The House of Wied are “ehenwürdig,” and so may always marry royalty.

I said something about never having seen the kitchen-garden of a German house, so when we came home the Princess took me to hers. The Queen then walked with us. The Princess prunes and grafts her own roses, &c., but she seems to have no perception whatever of any beauty in wild-flowers. We went in, and I was shown to a room, whence I came down to that in which the court ladies were assembled. It was rather formidable, but the Countess Ebba von Rosen, dame du palais of the Queen, talked pleasantly in English. Doors were thrown open, and the Queen and Princess entered and we went in to supper. The Queen made me sit by her: the four court ladies sat opposite: the Princess, on the other side of the Queen, made tea. Thick slices of bread and butter, like those of English school-feasts, and mutton-chops were handed round. When we went into the other room, I wrote down some names of books as desired, and then at 9.30 took leave. The Princess most cordially invited me to return, and the Queen again pressed me to visit her in her own country. The vision of the Queen’s serene noble face as she took leave has ever since remained with me, and I parted from both the royal sisters with a stronger feeling of affectionate regard than I have ever felt towards any one else upon so short an acquaintance.”

 

Journal and Letters to Miss Leycester and Miss Wright.

June 2.—I slept at Neuwied, and then crossing the Rhine in the morning mist, passed a few hours at Boppart, where the colouring of the river and old houses and the peculiar grey hills was most lovely. Charles de Bunsen met me at the station of Mosbach, and took me to his villa, much like one in Italy, with the same rich intermingled vegetation of fruit and flowers growing around it.”

 

June 4.—Yesterday, a very sultry day, we went to Wiesbaden. The heavy trees in the gardens looked dripping even more with heat than with rain, and there is a splendid dulness in the great rooms, formerly the gambling-house, and in the park beyond, with the many chairs under the trees on which people sit to listen to the band; but the fountain is pretty.

“Mrs. de Bunsen[284] was very amusing in her account of the crowded musical festival at Baireuth. When they complained that there were not enough carriages there, a native replied, ‘Pardon me! of carriages there are quite enough, but of people there are too many.’

“In and out, whilst I have been here, has come the next neighbour—‘the Herr Major.’ He is quite a character, and devotes his whole life to his garden. From Holland he—a poor man—ordered some fruit-trees for a very large sum, but they have been a total failure and have borne nothing. The other day Charles, driving with him, passed these trees, and knowing they were a sore subject, turned his head the other way and pretended not to see them. ‘Oh, thank you, dear friend; I appreciate what you are doing,’ said the Herr Major, enthusiastically clasping his hand. When the boys of Mosbach stole his fruit, he put up an electric wire on the wall which caused a bell to ring in his bedroom whenever any one got over it. A few nights ago the bell rang violently; the Herr Major took his stick and rushed down the garden in his night-shirt: it was only his own bulldog, which had jumped over the wall to pay a visit to a friend in Mosbach. Another time, when his fruit was stolen, the Herr Major issued a placard offering a reward of a hundred marks to any one who would deliver up the thief. The placard was read by two men sitting outside a beer-house, who were the men who had stolen the fruit. They immediately agreed upon their course of action; one man delivered the other up to justice, and he was sentenced to pay ten marks or to three days’ imprisonment; the other claimed the hundred marks, of which they had ninety to divide and to spend in drinking for whole days together to the health of the Herr Major.”

 

June 15.—I have had a charming week at Herrenalb, whither Charles and Theodore de Bunsen accompanied me. It was a real pleasure to be again with the dear Frances and Emilia de Bunsen, who are so like sisters to me, and the kind pleasant Sternbergs. We were occupied almost entirely with my book, the sisters taking it in turn to talk over all the different parts, but there were also delightful intervals of forest rambles, and sittings out under the old apple-trees with Emilia. Reinhold von Ungern Sternberg came for the Sunday with Herr von Klüden, the ‘Bräutigam’ of his sister Dora. The place is just what my sweetest mother would most have enjoyed for a summer residence—no grand scenery, but very high forest-clad hills all round the rich green meadows, with the crystal Alb tossing through them. The village of quaint black and white houses clusters round the old-fashioned inn and the water-cure establishment in the buildings of the suppressed monastery, of which a beautiful ruin of red sandstone—‘The Paradise’—still stands in the churchyard. In all directions are well-kept walks and drives, and comfortable seats at every picturesque point. The people are most friendly and primitive, all the men taking off their hats, and all greeting strangers with a friendly ‘Morgen’ or ‘Tag.’

“A terrible sensation has been created by the attack on the Emperor, and still more by the first false report of his death. Men and women were alike in tears, and the national disgrace is intensely felt. I hope, if the Emperor is better, that I may see the Crown Princess again at Berlin.

“I spent four hours at Heidelberg, and revisited all our old haunts, the gardens most lovely in their luxuriance of green. Thence I had intended to go to Weimar to visit the Grand Duchess, but at Eisenach received a telegram from her lady-in-waiting, the Countess Kalkreuth, to put off my visit, as they were gone off to Berlin, the Empress Augusta being sister of the Duke of Weimar. A wet morning at the Wartburg and an afternoon at Erfurth brought me to Jena. There my cousin Alexander Paul met me at the station, a pleasant, fat, frank Prussian officer, with a face very like that of the first Napoleon.[285]

“There is much charm in this old town of Jena and its simple population, increased by the five hundred students of the university. The houses of Schiller, Alex. v. Humboldt, &c., have inscriptions in honour of those who lived there: the streets wind picturesquely around the old Schloss and its gardens, and the trumpet still sounds every quarter of an hour from the tall grey tower of the noble old church. From my own window in Alexander’s house in the Cahl’sche Allée, I see on one side a robber castle, on the other a wonderful old church of the time of the ‘Heilige Bonifacius.’

“On Thursday afternoon we went to Dornberg, where three castles crown the cliff above the village with a narrow terrace running in front of them along the edge of the precipice. One castle is occasionally inhabited by the Grand Duke; another, very old and picturesque, was given by Carl August to Goethe, and having been inhabited by him in the last years of his life, still contains much furniture of his time: the third was the palace of—the Sleeping Beauty in the Wood.

“Yesterday we went a fatiguing excursion to Schwartzberg, the palace of the Prince of Rudolstadt, by which we saw the finest parts of Thuringia. A railway took us to Schwarza, where, in a ball on the top of the church steeple, is a dart thrown by a Cossack as the Russian army passed through Germany. Thence we took an omnibus to the little Chrysopraz Hotel at Blankenberg, where, after beer and brown bread and butter under the trees, we walked up the Schwarzthal to Oppelei, where a Swiss cottage has been built by the Prince to indemnify a forester, whose daughter he had made his mistress! Hence, by a steep path, we ascended the Treppstein, whence there is a lovely view over the hollow in the forest-clad mountains, in the midst of which the great castle of the Prince of Rudolstadt rises above the little town. The Prince is not unpopular, though his life has an Eastern license. On the day when he succeeded to his tiny sovereignty he happened to be at Berlin. ‘Bonjour, souverain,’ said the Emperor when he met him, and, when he took off his hat—‘Pray put on your crown.’

“We dined at the charming little inn, where thousands of wild stags often assemble under the windows in the evenings, when the place is comparatively empty, but take flight into the woods before the summer guests. In returning, we were much amused with the old ‘Herr Apotheke’ of Rudolstadt, who had come out with a tin case to gather simples, and who insisted upon stopping to drink a tankard of beer wherever one was to be had.

“To-day we have been in a different direction, by rail to Roda, a charming little Thuringian town, and thence by carriage to the Fröhliche Wiederkunft, the old moated castle built by Friedrich Johann, father of Friedrich der Weise, on the spot where he met his family on his return from a long captivity abroad. The old Princess Therèse of Saxe-Altenbourg now lives there, she and her sisters—the Queen of Hanover, the Grand Duchess of Oldenbourg, and the Grand Duchess Constantine of Russia—having been daughters of the old Duke Josef, by whom the castle was restored. The news of the King of Hanover’s death had just arrived. ‘How many tears,’ said the old man who showed the castle, ‘did the old Duke my master shed in that chair over the King’s misfortunes.’ The story of the founder is most quaintly told in paintings on panels round one of the rooms, and there are pictures and memorials of Luther and of Friedrich Johann and his wife Sibylla over and over again.”

 

June 23.—A vision of many great towns is all that I carry away from the varied journey which has brought me to Hildesheim—the old cities of Wittenberg and Eisleben, with their glorious works of Lucas Cranach and varied memorials of Luther and Melancthon: Magdeburg, great and noisy, with its dull, restored cathedral: Halberstadt, also restored, but glorious in spite of its injuries, and with intensely picturesque streets of old houses: the romantic beauty of imperial Goslar: stately Quedlinburg, where German princesses constantly reigned as abbesses: beautiful Thale, at the entrance of the Harz, with its exquisite combination of wood and rock and water: Brunswick and its many market-places, full of old houses: dull Hanover, with the great deserted gardens of Herrenhausen.

“Aunt Marcia (Frau Paul von Benningsen[286]) and my cousins Jane and Clementine met me here at the station.”

 

Berlin, June 27.—My visit at Hildesheim had much of quiet interest. The town is wonderfully picturesque, and I was glad to make acquaintance with my cousins, who are perfectly grandes dames and highly educated young ladies, though they cook and do almost all the housework themselves. I drew in the early mornings, and went to dinner each day with them at 12.30.

“The Hildesheim churches are magnificent, but spoilt, ruined, by so-called restoration—the old pavements torn up, the old ornaments removed and replaced by tawdry and vulgar imitation of Munich wall-painting.

“On Monday George de Bunsen met me with his carriage at the Berlin station, and brought me through the Thier-Garten, like a bit of wild forest, to the charming airy Villa Bunsen, standing in its own garden on the extreme outskirts of the town. Here I have a most luxurious room, filled with royal portraits, and every possible luxury. We dined al fresco on the broad terrace amid the flowers. On the next evening there was a party of about fifty people—tea, and the garden and terrace lighted up, a very pretty effect; the ladies in bright dresses, the men with uniforms and orders, moving and sitting amongst the shrubs and flowers, amid which endless little supper-tables were laid at a late hour. Many were the historic names of those to whom I was introduced—Falk of the Falk laws, Mommsen the historian, Austin the poet, Mohl, and many ministers and generals. I found also Arthur Balfour, and many waifs and strays of old acquaintance. The ‘Congress’ is going on, but excites little or no general interest, and is scarcely mentioned here, German affairs being far too important.

“Berlin interests me extremely, though without preparation it can be of small interest. It is almost entirely modern. In the sixteenth century it must have been a tiny electoral town, the houses encircling the old Schloss by the Spree in the time of the Great Elector, whose statue, a grand though rococo work, stands close by on the bridge. Friedrich I., who got a kingdom by bribery, added the enormous castle, which, ludicrous as it then was in a kingdom of five millions, is now satisfactory in a kingdom of twenty millions. Close by, Frederick the Great built two domes, merely as features in the distant view of an otherwise featureless city, and to these his son added buildings which turned them into churches. Under Friedrich Wilhelm III. and IV. the great classical revival took place and endless fine buildings arose. The library is one of the few buildings which date from Frederick the Great. The architects were an endless time disputing over the designs, and at last he said, ‘Damn you all, don’t waste any more time; this commode opposite me is of a very good design, copy that,’ and accordingly the design of the commode was copied.

“The Museum was begun when the country was poor and had no money to spend. After the French war, when the country became rich, the design expanded and became magnificent. Of the sculptures, four works deserve especial attention—the ‘Adorante,’ the exquisite bronze boy who, in the early morning, stretches out his arms in adoration: the noble vivid bust of Julius Caesar in basalt, with agate eyes, so speaking though voiceless, so never to be forgotten, of which Rauch had three copies in different parts of his house that it might never be long absent from his mind: the bust of Sappho, with banded hair, recognised as the poetess from a Hermes; and the Augustus statue, more noble than that of Livia’s villa, because taken in earlier youth, when his one feeling was that he was born to command, and when no furrow of disappointment or care was yet traced on his brow.

“The collection of casts is most interesting, as showing the important statues of each subject, Venus, Minerva, Mercury, &c., side by side for instruction or contrast.

“The pictures are a grand collection, spoilt by over-cleaning. Especially worthy of remembrance are an Adoring Madonna by Filippino Lippi, with God the Father above in glory; two noble portraits by Giorgione; one by Lorenzo Lotto (possibly of Sansovino); some marvellously graphic pictures, eloquently expressed in well-considered touches, by Franz Hals; and a noble Holbein of ‘Kaufmann Georg Gigge aus Basel.’

“Last night we went late to the Zoological Garden. The most interesting thing was a solemn congregation of ibises listening in a row, each bird with one foot in the air, and its head attentively on one side, to an ibis preacher, who never ceased a continuous discourse to them, standing on a stone. The elephant is said to be five hundred years old; what a solemn silent witness! Apropos of the future of beasts, George de Bunsen talked much of the absence of all allusion to any future in the Old Testament—that it grew up, partly in the Talmud, partly in the Apocryphal writers, in what Luther beautifully calls ‘the great empty leaf between the Old and New Testaments.’

“Montbijou, the curious little one-storied palace of Sophia Charlotte, wife of Friedrich I., is now a museum for relics of the House of Brandenbourg. The chairs, sledges, and table of Friedrich I. are very curious; the wheel-chairs of his unhappy second wife: the wax figures of his grand-daughters as babies; and their portraits as grown women—queens and duchesses. Here also are three masks from the dead face of the lovely Queen Louisa, that taken immediately after death most exquisitely beautiful.”

 

June 30.—The day after I last wrote, I went with the Bunsens and Mr. Waddington, the French Minister[287] (come for the Congress of Berlin) to Charlottenbourg. The palace there is charming—the large gardens, the groves of orange-trees in tubs, the great lawns sweeping away into woods, and above all the mausoleum in one of the thick groves, with the tombs of Queen Louisa and her husband. Hither the old Emperor and all the royal family come still once a year, on the anniversary of her death, to look upon the beautiful form of his young mother, snatched away in the very zenith of beauty and popularity, not living to see the re-establishment of the kingdom in whose cause she sacrificed her life. Exquisitely, perfectly beautiful is the intense repose of her lovely countenance, in what I must ever feel to be the most beautiful and impressive statue in the world. The statue of the King is very fine too, but in her angelic presence he is forgotten. And such was the feeling for her, that though he did not marry again for many years after he had lost her in his youth, his people at first would not believe it, and then never forgave it. Mr. Waddington felt nothing in the presence of this sublime statue. ‘Yes, it is very clever, it is a very clever figure indeed,’ he said. Never was any remark more completely out of tune, making it difficult for one to believe in the great power of the man.

“The next day I went to Potsdam—quite a place by itself in the world, with its endless great ultra-German palaces and stiff gardens, arid and dusty, though surrounded by many waters. Without Carlyle’s ‘Frederick the Great,’ they would be mere dead walls enclosing a number of costly objects; illuminated by the book, each room, each garden walk, thrills with human interest. In the Residenz Schloss are the rooms in which Frederick the Great passed his winters, with massive silver furniture and priceless ornaments, amid which the portrait of Wilhelmina in her childhood is a touching feature. In the Garrison Kirche is the tomb of the great king. The terrace at Sans Souci, in this dried-up land, is quite lovely with its fountains and orange-trees. Close behind is the famous windmill.

“When I returned to the station, I was surprised to find the Bunsens’ servant, sent on with my evening clothes, that I might accept an invitation (by telegram) to dine with the Crown Princess. I had only eight minutes before the royal train came up, and it was an awful scramble to wash and dress in a room the servant had taken at the station. However, when the royal train set off, I was in it. The palace-station of Wildpark was a pretty sight, red cloth laid down everywhere, and sixteen royal carriages waiting for the immense multitude of guests—quantities of ladies in evening dress (all black for the King of Hanover) and veils, splendid-looking officers, an Armenian archbishop and bishop in quaint black hoods and splendid diamond crosses. I went in a carriage with the Greek minister, and we whirled away through the green avenues to the great Neue Palais, with the sun striking warm on the old red and grey front. Count Eulenborg, Master of the Household, stood on the steps to receive us, and we passed into an immense hall, like a huge grotto, decorated with shells and fountains, where several of the court ladies were.

“At the end of the hall were some folding-doors closely watched by two aides-de-camp, till the rapping of a silver stick was heard from a distant pavement, when the doors were flung open, and Count Eulenborg came out, preceding the Prince and Princess. She immediately went up to Mrs. Grant (General Grant’s wife) and several other ladies, and then began to go the round of the guests. I had more than my fair share of her kindly presence. ‘Oh, Mr. Hare, I am so glad to see you again so soon. How little I expected it, and how sad the causes which have brought it about!’ And she went on to speak of how, at our last meeting, the Duchess of Argyll had been sitting with her at tea, and how three days after she died. ‘And for me it was only the opening act of a tragedy,’ she said. She talked of the shock which the news of the attack upon the Emperor was to her, coming to her in the picture-gallery at Panshanger, and of her hurried journey to him. The Crown Prince came up then, and led her away to dinner. Mrs. Grant was on his other side (General Grant, a very vulgar officious man, was also there). I had been directed to a place near the Archbishop and Bishop of Armenia, but as they only spoke Armenian, I was glad that a very handsome, agreeable aide-de-camp eventually took his place between me and them. The dinner was excellent, in a huge long marble hall, with windows opening to the ground on the terrace above the flower-garden. Occasionally I met a bright kindly smile as the Princess looked to see how I was getting on. There were about fifty guests, servants waiting noiselessly, not a footfall heard.

“After dinner we all went out on the terraces, and there the Crown Princess had the goodness to come again to me. She talked of all I had seen at Berlin, and of Sweden and Queen Sophie. She talked also of Queen Louisa, her husband’s grandmother, preferring her statue at Potsdam even to that at Charlottenburg, and wished to have sent an aide-de-camp with me to see it. She was so good as to desire that I should return to Potsdam, and when I showed her that I could not, said, ‘Oh, but you will now find your way again to Berlin to see me.’ The scene on the terraces was very pretty, looking upon the bright flowers beneath in the subdued light of a fine evening in this transparent atmosphere, the whole air scented with lime-flowers.

“At a quarter to nine all the carriages came again to take us away: Count Eulenborg announced them. In the ante-chamber I found the Crown Princess again. I kissed her hand, and she shook mine with many kind words, and sent affectionate messages to the Queen of Sweden.

“How we whirled away through the green avenues to Potsdam, where all the people turned out to see the cavalcade! I travelled back to Berlin with the young and very handsome Prince Friedrich of Hohenzollern (brother of the Prince of Roumania and the Comtesse de Flandres), who was saved in the annihilation of his regiment of guards in the second battle of Metz by being sent back with the standard.”

 

July 5.—I spent Sunday at beautiful old Lübeck, full of colour and rich architecture, rising spire upon spire above the limpid river. In the streets and market-place are the quaintest towers, turrets, tourelles, but all end in spires. A great fat constable went about on Sunday morning, keeping everybody from following any avocation whatever during church-time: when the services were over, they might do what they liked.

“Then came the long weary journey across West Holstein—peat flats varied by marshy swamps—and a night at Schleswig, a white, colourless old town moored as if upon a raft in the marshes, where the Princess of Wales’ grandmother and other royal potentates lie in exposed coffins upon the floor of the ugly rugged old cathedral, which has a belfry like a dovecot. Everywhere roses grew in the streets on the house-walls. The children were hurrying along, carrying the shoes they were to wear in school.

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THE ROSENBORG PALACE, COPENHAGEN.

THE ROSENBORG PALACE, COPENHAGEN. [288]

“Peat and marsh again for many hours, the interminable straight lines of landscape only broken by the mounds, probably sepulchral, which are so common here. A straight line with humps at intervals would do for a view almost anywhere in Jutland, Fuhnen, or Seeland. After hours upon hours of this engaging scenery, we crossed the Middelfardt at Fredericia into Fuhnen, which we traversed by rail, and embarked again on the Great Belt at Nyborg. Then came four hours’ more rail in Seeland, and, at 10.30 P.M., long lines of light glistening on streets of water showed that we had reached Copenhagen. Here I met the two daughters of Sir Henry Holland (Caroline and Gertrude), with whom I had arranged to go on to Norway, and their niece, Miss Chenda Buxton. As they had already been waiting for me several days, I felt obliged to give up a visit to Baron Troll (the stepson of Madame de Bülow) and the château of Gaüno, but I had three full days for Copenhagen, and greatly enjoyed them, the air being that of the high mountains in Switzerland with a mixture of sea—the most bracing place I ever was in. There is a ‘Dragon Tower,’ which is quite ideally Danish; and the old palace of the Danish kings, Rosenborg, surrounded by a moat, is fairy-like in the beauty of its old age, in the midst of a stately and brilliant old garden, and filled with historical memorials, which carry you back into marvellous depths of Danish history, in which the Christians and Friedrichs, always alternating with each other, are most bewildering. The museums also are full of interest, especially the Thorwaldsen collection, with casts of all the works of the great sculptor, and many most grand originals, especially interesting to me, as being described in Madame de Bunsen’s letters from Rome in their first conception and progress.

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ROESKILDE.

ROESKILDE.

“One day we went out to Roeskilde, to the great church near a fiord where the kings are buried. Some of the older sovereigns have grand tombs, but those of later date than the grandfather of our Charles I. lie in their black and silver coffins unburied upon the floor of the church, with very odd effect.”

 

Stockholm, Grand Hotel Rydberg, July 13.—On the evening of the 5th we crossed to Helsingfors in Sweden by a very rough passage of ten minutes, and had a wild evening walk in the storm, looking upon the opposite Danish coast, and Helsingborg with the great traditional castle of Hamlet, whose father was really a pirate-chief in Jutland.

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CASTLE OF ELSINORE.

CASTLE OF ELSINORE.

“A journey of twenty-four hours brought us to Stockholm. We only lingered on the way to see the very fine Cathedral of Lund, the Oxford of Sweden. The scenery is not beautiful, but pretty—an exaggerated Surrey, low hills and endless fir-woods, with tiny glistening lakes.

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THE JUNCTION OF LAKE MALAR AND THE BALTIC, STOCKHOLM.

THE JUNCTION OF LAKE MALAR AND THE BALTIC, STOCKHOLM.

“Stockholm has deeply interested us, and there is an odd feeling in being at a place and knowing that it is for once and once only in a lifetime. It is a modern city of ugly streets, but in a situation quite exquisite, on a number of little rocky islets between Lake Malar and the Baltic, surrounding, on the central islet, the huge palace, which is very stately and imposing from its size, and the old church of Riddarholmen, where Gustavus Adolphus and many other kings and queens are buried under the banner-hung arches. Next to the palace, the stateliest building is certainly this hotel, where our windows overlook all that is most characteristic in the place, the bridge which crosses the junction of the Baltic and Lake Malar, the mighty palace dominating the central island, the great white seagulls poised upon the blue waters, and the steam-gondolas, filled with people, darting to and from one island to another. These are the chief means of communication, and we make great use of them, the passages costing twelve öere, or one penny.

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RIDDARHOLMEN.

RIDDARHOLMEN.

“We shall not go to see the midnight sun at Hammerfest; it would be very fatiguing, and indeed there can be little to see which we have not here; for we have only about two hours’ night in Stockholm, and by 2 A.M. it is light enough to read the smallest print. This has a very odd effect at first, but one soon gets used to it.

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THE CHURCH OF OLD UPSALA.

THE CHURCH OF OLD UPSALA.

“Alas! we have been here a week, and, except one day, it has rained almost incessantly. One pities the poor Swedes in losing their short summer, for there are only about three months without snow, and every day is precious. The streets are sopping, but we have managed several excursions in the covered gondolas to quiet damp old palaces on the banks of lonely fiords. On our one fine day we went to Upsala by rail, and saw the cathedral where Gustavus Wasa lies aloft on a great tomb between his two pretty little wives, and we drove on to Old Upsala, where Odin, Thor, and Freya reigned as human beings and were buried as gods. In the tomb of Thor—a grassy mound—the Government still gives the mead of ancient times to foreign visitors. It is a very delightful place, like a dip in the Sussex downs, the quaint church, of immemorial antiquity, probably once a pagan temple, nestling behind the mounds of the heroes.

“Yesterday we heard a hundred Upsala students, the best singers in the world, sing the best national music in the Caterina Church. The King was there, a noble royal figure. He is the sovereign of the age, artist, poet, equally at home in all modern languages and several ancient ones, profoundly versed in all his duties and nobly performing them. The Crown Prince was with him, a fine young fellow, spoilt in appearance by his mother’s Nassau mouth, and the Prince Imperial, who is here with his cousins on a visit. The Queen is still away. I had many introductions here, but as the Court is at the country palace of Drottningholm, have not thought it worth while to present them; generally, however, Swedes are quite charming, especially in their manner to strangers.

“Cheating or imposition in hotels or elsewhere is utterly unknown; the only fear is lest you should not be charged enough. We asked what we should do with our luggage if we went to Dalecarlia—‘Oh, you can leave it anywhere under a bush, no one would touch a thing,’ and I am sure that it is so.

“The Hollands are delightful companions, full of interest in everything, glad to draw, reading up all the history, learning Swedish, holding historical and retrospective examinations once a week. We do a great deal of ‘lessons’ together. Certainly that one’s travels should ‘leave a good taste’ behind entirely depends upon one’s companions. And we are never even reduced to the state which I find alluded to in a French guide-book—‘Dans une voiture découverte, quand il y a une personne de mauvaise humeur, les autres admirent le paysage.’ Mr. and Mrs. Eric Magnusson are in this hotel, and we see a good deal of them. He is an Icelander, but now a Professor at Cambridge, and sent here by the University to investigate and inspect the Runic inscriptions.”

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GRIPSHOLM.

GRIPSHOLM.

 

July 15.—Yesterday we steamed down Lake Malar to Gripsholm, a very quaint castle with domed red towers, full of ancient pictures, and with the wonderful old room and bed where Queen Catherine Jagellonica (delightful name!), whose tomb we saw at Upsala, gave birth to her son Sigismund, afterwards King of Poland.”

 

Throndtjem, July 28.—Surely this old cradle of Northern Christianity is one of the most beautiful places in the world. No one had ever told us about it, and we came here only because it was the Throndtjem of sagas and ballads, and expecting a wonderful and beautiful cathedral; but it is really a dream of loveliness, so exquisite in the soft silvery morning lights on the fiords and purple mountain ranges, and the nearer hills covered with bilberries and breaking into steep cliffs, that one remains in a state of transport, which is at a climax when all is engraven upon an opal sunset sky, and when ships and buildings meet their double in the still transparent water. Each old wide street of curious wooden houses displays a new vista of sea, of rocky promontories, of woods dipping into the water, and at the end of the chief street is the grey massive cathedral of St. Olaf, where Northern art and poetry have exhausted their loveliest and most poetic fancies around the grave of the national hero. Here alone in Scandinavia I have gone back perpetually to the old days of my life, and felt how happy the mother would have been here, so much—almost everything—being within her own walk; and I seem to see our trio spending a quiet month at this homelike hotel (where the landlord and landlady—highly educated people of good family—receive their guests like friends in a country-house), and sallying forth to draw in all the sheltered coves and wooded rocks by the side of fiord or river. The air too is most bracing, an arctic feeling combined with the brightest sunshine.

“My companions and I get on perfectly, and I am filled with admiration of Miss Holland’s strong, decided nature, and her perfect knowledge of all she wishes and intends, combined with great good-nature. Both sisters take boundless interest in all they see, and the journeys seem shortened by alternate lessons in history, Norsk, &c., and games of different kinds, even charades, one side of the carriage acting against the other!

“But I must go back to Kristiania, which was steaming in intensity of heat when we reached it, the wet of Stockholm having cleared in Norway into cloudless sunshine which had hatched all the mosquitoes. There is no beauty in the mean little town, which was built by Christian IV. (brother of our Anne of Denmark), and has a good central church of his time. We went by rail to Kongsberg, a primitive place with a nice little hotel kept by a Dane, where, however (and at many other places), we were annoyed by the ludicrously consequential advent of General Grant and Co. Here we hired a carriage and carriole for a five days’ excursion in Tellemarken. What a drive!—by silent lakes or through deep, beautiful, ever-varying woods of noble pine-trees, rising from thickets of juniper, bilberries, and cranberries. The loveliest mountain flowers grow in these woods—huge larkspurs of rank luxuriant foliage and flowers of faint dead blue, pinks, stagmoss—wreathing around the grey rocks, and delicate lovely soldanellas drooping in the still recesses. But what a road, or rather what a want of one!—hills of glassy rock, up which our horses scrambled like cats, abysses where they gathered up their legs and flung themselves down headlong with the carriages on the top of them, till at the bottom we were all buried in dust, and picked ourselves up, gasping and gulping, and wondering we were alive, to begin the same pantomime over again.

“Our midday halt was at Bolkesjö, where the forest opens to green lawns, hill-set, with a charming view down their smooth declivities upon a many-bayed lake with mountain distances. Here, in a group of old brown farm-buildings, covered with rude picturesque painting and sculpture, is a farmhouse inhabited by its primitive owners through many generations. The little rooms and their furniture are painted and carved with mottoes and texts, and portraits with autographs of royal visitors hang on the walls. The entrance to the cellar was under the bed. ‘Ajö, ajö,’ exclaimed Miss Buxton, in our newly acquired Norsk, as the old landlady descended into it to get us some ale.

“We arrived at the little châlet of Tinoset on the wrong day for the steamer down its lake, and had to engage a private boat. The little lake was lashed by the wind into furious purple billows, and the voyage was most wretched. A horrid male creature from Middlesborough, whom we surnamed the ‘Bumble Bee,’ accompanied us. I was brutal enough to make him over to Miss Holland, by saying, ‘This lady will be deeply interested to hear all you have to say,’ and to her he buzzed on perpetually. He told us that the people of Middlesborough were astonished—and no wonder—at his building in the midst of that hideous red manufacturing place a black and white timber house in imitation of one at Coventry, and designing to be carved on its barge-board the charming inscription—

‘Ye beastes who passe admire ye goode
Which thys manne didde whereer he coulde.’

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BOLKESJÖ.

BOLKESJÖ.

“From our landing-place at Strand we had several hours’ drive along an unprotected precipice to the Rjukan-foss, the 560 feet high fall of a mountain torrent into a black rift in the hills. It is a boiling, roaring abyss of waters, with drifts of spray which are visible for miles before the fall can be seen itself, but the whole is scarcely worth the trouble of getting there, though a little mountain inn, with a well-earned dinner of trout and ale, and a quiet hour amongst the great grey larkspurs, furnish pleasant recollections.

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THE CHURCH OF HITTERDAL.

THE CHURCH OF HITTERDAL.

“As we returned to Kongsberg, we stopped to see Hitterdal, the date-forgotten old wooden church so familiar from picture-books. Here we were told by our landlady that she would not give us any dinner—‘Nei, nei, nothing would induce her; perhaps the woman at the house with the flag would give us some.’ So, hungry and faint, Miss Holland and I sallied out as avant-couriers to the house with the flag. All was silent and deserted except for a dog, who received us furiously. Having pacified him, and finding the front door locked, we made good our entrance at the back, examined the kitchen, pried into all the cupboards, lifted the lids of all the saucepans, and not till we had searched everything for food ineffectually, were met by the lady of the house, a pleasant young lady, speaking English perfectly, who informed us, with no small surprise at our conduct, that we had been committing a raid upon her private residence. Afterwards we found a lonely farmhouse, where also there had once been a flag, where they gave us a very good dinner. Two young girls, whom we had first met at the Rjukan-foss, dined with us, and made us acquainted with their parents. The father, an old man who smoked an enormously long pipe, turned out to be the Bishop of Christiansand.

“On the 25th we started from Kristiania for Throndtjem, the whole journey of three hundred and sixty miles very comfortable and only costing thirty francs. There is no great beauty in the scenery, but pleasant variety—rail to Eidswold, with bilberries and strawberries in birch baskets for sale at the railway-stations: a vibrating steamer on the long dull Miosen lake: railway again, with some of the carriages open at the sides: a night at Koppang, a large station, where several people, strangers to each other, are expected to share the same room. On the second day the scenery improves; the railway sometimes runs along, sometimes over the river, till the gorge of mountains opens beyond Storen into a rich open country, with turfy mounds which reminded us of the graves of the hero-gods of Upsala, till, beyond the deep cleft in which the river Nid runs between lines of old painted wooden warehouses, rises the burial-place of St. Olaf, the centre of Northern Christianity, the shrine of Northern faith, the stumpy-towered cathedral of Throndtjem.

“The most northern railway station and the most northern cathedral in Europe.”

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THRONDTJEM FIORD.

THRONDTJEM FIORD.

 

August 8.—To the last the unspeakable beauty of Throndtjem grew upon us. It is not at first sight of its wide streets of low timber houses, or even of its fiord with purple mountain background, or of its glorious cathedral in the wide-spreading churchyard, which is the town-garden as well as the centre of all its sympathies, that you learn to admire it, but after many sunsets have turned the fiord into rippling gold, and sent an amethystine glow over the mountains, and after many rambles along the shores to rocky points and bosky hillocks.

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THRONDTJEM CATHEDRAL.

THRONDTJEM CATHEDRAL.

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S. OLAF’S WELL.

S. OLAF’S WELL.

“After much indecision, we determined to return from Throndtjem by road, and engaged two carriages at Storen, with a pleasant boy named Johann as a driver. At every ‘station’ we changed horses, which were sent back by a boy who perched on the luggage behind, and we marked our distances by calling our single carriole horses after the kings of England. Thus, setting off from Storen with William the Conqueror, we drove into the Romsdal with Edward VI., but (after a drive with Lady Jane Grey) setting off again with Bloody Mary, our kings of England failed us long before our driving was over, and we used up the kings of Rome also. It was a very wild interesting life, and there was a great charm in going on and on into the unknown, meeting no one, dining on trout and pancakes at a station at midday, sleeping in odd, primitive, but always clean rooms, and setting off again at 5.30 or 6 A.M. There are bears and wolves in the forest, but we never saw any. Their skins, shot during the winter, are hanging up in almost all our sleeping-places. The prices are extraordinarily low, and the homely, cordial people kissed our hands all round on receiving the smallest gratuity, twopence halfpenny being a source of ecstatic bliss. But the journeys were tremendous, as we were sometimes called at four, and did not get in till twelve at night.

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IN THE ROMSDAL.

IN THE ROMSDAL.

There was for a long time nothing especially fine in the scenery, except one gorge of old weird pine-trees in a rift of purple mountain, and the high moorland above Jerkinn, where the great ranges of white Sneehatten rise above the yellow grey of the Dovre Fyeld, hoary with reindeer moss. From Dombaas, we turned aside down the Romsdal, which soon became beautiful, as the road wound above a chrysopraz river, broken by many rocky islets, and swirling into many waterfalls, but always equally radiant, equally transparent, till its colour is washed out by the melting snows in a ghastly narrow valley which we called the ‘Valley of Death.’

“The little inn at Aak is very delightful, with a large garden on the hillside, and the views indescribably glorious—of the tremendous peaks of pink granite, or fields of pathless snow embossed against a sky delicately blue above, but melting into clearest opal.... There was much in the place, as at Throndtjem, which recalled my former life, and I seemed to go back into a lost past, to read a page long pasted down and put away. In both places we should have stayed for weeks; in both, I could see our trio sallying out every morning with campstools and books, making friends with the natives, or in the quiet of home life, with its home occupations in the little inn.

“And now, after many more stations, we have passed through Lilliehammer, and are again on the Miosen lake, speeding through the closing days of our tour.”

 

Orkeröd near Moss, on the Kristiania Fiord, August 9.—On reaching Kristiania last night, I found a most gracious telegram from the Queen, through Countess Rosen, desiring that I would spend my last days in Norway with her. So I came this morning by the early steamer. Most beautiful were the long changing reaches of the fiord, with the rocks covered with foliage, already waving towards autumn, the rich russet and golden tints of the trees repeating themselves in the water. At Moss (to the intense astonishment of a very vulgar American family on board, who had given themselves indescribable airs to me) a royal carriage with two chasseurs in cocked hats and plumes was in waiting, and the King’s chamberlain was standing on the pier to receive me. We drove swiftly up a rocky forest road to the large villa which a merchant of Kristiania has lent to the Queen for the benefit to her health from the pine air. Another merchant close by has lent his to the King, as the immense personnel of the court could not possibly live in one house. As we drove up through the garden, a tall figure in a wide-awake hat emerged from one of the windows upon the terrace. ‘Sa Majesté le Roi!’ said the chamberlain; so I jumped out of the carriage, and he came forward at once with ‘Is it Mr. Hare? The Queen has spoken of you so much, that you are not like a stranger. The Queen will be delighted to see you, and so am I. We were so glad to hear that you would come to see us in our quiet country life. You will find nearly the whole family, only my second son, Oscar, has left us to-day. I am especially glad that you will see the Prince Royal, my eldest son, Gustaf. You will have a very little room with us, for we are so full, but you will have a good bed, and that is the essential. Come now and take a walk with me in the garden.’ So we walked and he talked, chiefly about Rome. Then he took me to the Prince Royal, who was sitting under the trees with the Countess Rosen, two maids of honour, and Baron Holtermann, the marshal of the palace. There we sat some time and talked till the Queen emerged from the house. I went towards her, and met her amongst the flower-beds. She looks wonderfully well, far better than at Segenhaus. Nothing could be more cordial or kind than her reception of me. We walked on the terrace for some time, and she talked of the great event since we parted, the attack on the Emperor, and of the Crown Princess.

“Then we went to sit under the trees and we talked of Throndtjem. The Queen described her first journey thither to her coronation. The King had been making a tour round by the North Cape, and she went to meet him. She went in a succession of carrioles by Lilliehammer and then by the Romsdal. At all the little stations people met her with flowers. ‘Art thou the mother of the land?’ they said, ‘art thou the mother of the land? Thou lookest nice, but thou must do more than look nice; that is not the essential.’ She said that even at Throndtjem the peasants touchingly and familiarly always called her ‘Du.’ ‘Art thou the mother of these tall boys?’ they said, and they would pray aloud that she might be blessed—in her husband, in her children, and in her home. One old woman asked the Countess Rosen to beg the Queen to go upon the roof of the house—‘then we shall all see her.’ The Queen also described her last journey back from Segenhaus. Her two horses, her dog, and her donkey travelled with her.

“Soon the beautiful donkey of our Segenhaus walk was brought round, with its crimson trappings, and the Queen mounted, and went off through the forest to the King’s house. I went in a kind of large open car with the Countess Rosen, the maids of honour, and the chamberlain. We reached the King’s villa before the Queen, and all drew up in two lines in the porch to receive her. There were also a great number of the people of Moss to see her arrive, as it is known she always does so at this hour. The King gave his arm to the Queen, and we all went to luncheon in a garden pavilion. Here the two youngest Princes came in,—Carl, a very handsome boy of seventeen, and Eugène, of twelve. The King called me to come up to a tiny round table at the end of the room on a daïs, where he and the Queen were alone, and made me sit with them on their divan. He said, ‘I shall now leave out your Mr. and only call you Hare, and upon that we will all drink healths;’ and he made me clink my glass with his and the Queen’s. The King talked much of the Prince Royal and his education, of all the languages he thought he ought to learn, and (perfectly without ostentation) of his own very great facility for learning—‘catching’—languages, and of the great advantage it had been to him through life. I had had no food since six o’clock in the morning and was almost fainting with hunger, so, in spite of the honour of sitting with the King and Queen, I greatly envied the court at their good luncheon below, as their Majesties (and consequently I) had only coffee cups for their soup, and a tiny slice of bread and cheese apiece.

“Then the Queen mounted her donkey again, the King lifting her up, while the young Princes, climbing the pillars of the verandah behind their mother, made a pleasant family group. The cap of the Queen’s chasseur fell off, and the King picked it up for him and playfully pushed it tight down upon his head. Then the King and Princes started to walk, and I for a long drive with the Countess Rosen and some of the court. And now I am resting and the Queen has sent me a number of English newspapers to read. A propos of the picture of Lord Beaconsfield receiving the Garter in the Illustrated, the King said, ‘Now, let us talk a little politics. I like and admire most things English, but I will not conceal from you that I do not admire Lord Beaconsfield. I did not think his conduct about Cyprus was quite straightforward.’”

 

August 10.—At four o’clock yesterday the whole court met in the drawing-room, so many gentlemen turning up from hidden corners, that it made twenty-four persons in all. The Prince Imperial recognised me immediately when he came in, and was exceedingly cordial and friendly. I was really glad to see him again. He is as nice as he can be, but as to appearance, his photographs flatter him, as he has such a bad complexion and his legs are too short. He is, however, quite delightfully frank and winning. He kissed the Queen’s hand very prettily and gracefully as she came in, looking very well with large bunches of natural double geranium upon the white lace of her dress and in her hair. He took the Queen, the King took Countess Rosen, and we all followed to dinner. I was desired to sit by the Prince Royal. His peculiar features are redeemed by a good expression when animated. He talks no English and atrocious French, and was difficult to get on with at first. Prince Carl, the third son, is very handsome, and seems to have a charming disposition. After dinner the princes were to go out fishing, and the head fisherman sent to say that there would be no room for little Prince Eugène, as there were so many of the Prince Imperial’s suite to be taken. Prince Carl came to the Queen and begged that Eugène might not be told, he would be so disappointed, and that he might stay at home in his place; and the Queen said, ‘Charles is always like that; he never can be persuaded to think of himself.’ I tried to talk of Rome to the Prince Royal, but whenever a maid of honour on the other side claimed his attention, was glad to subside into conversation with an old chamberlain. The King drank healths at dinner, the Prince Imperial’s, mine, Count Murat’s. The Prince Royal asked me to clink glasses with him. ‘Do you like that custom?’ he said. A Swedish noble, appointed to wait on the Prince Imperial, stood up when the King drank his health. Then I saw the other side of the King—in very cold stern rebuke. ‘In good society gentlemen do not stand up when their healths are drunk,’ and that in the severest tones. The Queen looked surprised, and a momentary chill fell upon the whole party. I am sure that the Swede, who was a very bumptious young man, had done or said something before which had displeased the King.

“When the princes were gone to their fishing, the Queen made me come and sit by her. She returned at once to the subject of the Prince Royal and her great anxiety that I should be much with him abroad. ‘He must learn his world,’ she said, ‘he knows so little of it. He is thoroughly good, but what he wants is enthusiasm, he wants to be incited to knowledge, to learning his future out of the past, and oh! you can help him so much, and if you will, I shall always be so grateful to you: but remember, and I know it will always help you to be kind to my boy if you do remember, what my boy’s future must in all probability be. Oh, Mr. Hare, do when there is a chance, sow some little seeds of good in my son’s young heart, and remember that what you do is not only done for the Prince Royal, not even for his mother, who entirely trusts you, but for the thousands upon thousands of people whom he may one day be called upon to influence. Whatever happens, if you will only interest yourself for my boy, you will believe in his mother’s gratitude.’

“The Queen continued to talk long in this manner with the utmost animation, till the Countess Rosen, suddenly seeing some sign of illness unobserved by us, ran round and said, ‘Dear Majesty, you must not now speak any more,’ and led her away with a charming mixture of motherly affection and playful deference.

“When Countess Rosen returned, she said, ‘The King desired that as soon as the Queen had ceased speaking to you, you should go to him: he especially wishes to talk to you alone.’ I found the King under a tree in the garden, reading a book (the ‘Odes of Horace,’ I think), and, fearing to disturb him, I pretended to occupy myself with the flowers, but he perceived me at once, closed the book, and coming to me, took my arm, and walked up and down on the terrace. ‘The Queen has been speaking to you of our son,’ he said; ‘I know what the Queen has been saying, and I wish to continue her conversation. He is a good boy, but he has not been tried; he has no idea what the world is like, nor of the many temptations which lie in wait for a young man, above all for a prince. Now the Queen and I are quite agreed that it is our wish that you should be as much to our son as possible, and I wished to see you alone that you might believe that all that his mother wishes, his father wishes also.’ The King then talked in detail of the Prince’s probable life in Rome, of the places and people he must see. ‘Please understand at once that my son must go to the Quirinal,’ he said. He went on to talk more earnestly of England, of the difficulties of all the lines to be drawn, and of all the individual persons whom it might be well for the Prince to see, and also some to be avoided. He wished the Prince to have a quiet month in England, to accustom himself to language and people, before going to London: he thought of Torquay; I suggested St. Leonards. He talked of Lady Waterford, whom he remembered many years ago, and admired almost more than any woman living, and wished that she might be persuaded to give an invitation to his son.

“Speaking of the course of study which would be best for the Prince led the King to talk of the great pleasure a thorough knowledge of Latin had been to himself, both for its own sake and as making all other languages easy to him.

“The King talked much of the anxieties at Berlin, and of the cloud over the royal life there. ‘Oh, how thankful I ought to be, how thankful I continually am, for our quiet corner, for a reign which is one of love. I never felt this more than in the Queen’s lonely carriole journey to her coronation at Throndtjem, and it was renewed lately in our son’s journey to Tellemarken. And though our people care for us, they do not flatter us. When the Queen was in the little village churches, near the different small stations where she passed her Sundays, the simple village curates of those mountain districts did not hesitate to preach to their Queen of all that she ought to do, of all that her life ought to be for herself and others, and oh! we are so grateful to them.’

“While we were talking, the court ladies were playing at croquet on the lawn. The King afterwards joined them, and I took a short walk with Baron Holtermann, marshal of the palace, and then went in and sat down to read in the drawing-room. Presently the King put in his head from the Queen’s room—‘Yes, he is here,’ he said, and then he called me to come in to the Queen. They then both of them took my hands and spoke to me in a most touching manner about the Prince Royal. The Queen also spoke of the uncertainty of her life, and of renewed meetings in distant Norway, and of her hope of seeing me in another world. She gave me her portrait. I could not but feel it a very solemn moment and very affecting. They took me out on the balcony of the room for one quiet moment. ‘Remember how we trust you,’ they said. And we looked down upon the fountain playing and the burnt grass and brilliant flowers in the moonlight and then we went back to the public rooms.

“The Prince Imperial and the Swedish princes now returned from fishing, singing at the pitch of their voices through the woods, and we all went upstairs to supper. Their Majesties and the whole court had—Swedish fashion—each a great bowl of sour milk, with a great hunch of bread and two preserved peaches in a glass. The Prince Royal, by whom I again sat, fortunately asked for sweet milk, so I was able to do so also. Then the King and princes went to the other house, and I took a sad farewell of the beloved Queen. If ever there was a woman who united the truest, widest spirit of Christianity with every earthly grace, it is Queen Sophie of Nassau.

“The Queen’s dresser was turned out of a room for me—a good room, but with neither soap nor bath, no chance or understanding of hot water, and the looking-glass quite unavailable! Swedes are accustomed to none of these things as necessaries in houses where they visit.

“At 8 A.M. Baron Holtermann fetched me to walk through the woods to the King’s house to breakfast, after which I walked with the King to the pier at the end of the garden. There the younger princes kissed their father, and the Prince Imperial (who was going away at the same time and whom the King would accompany to Kristiania) took leave of the court. It was an intensely hot day, the town of Moss and the shore of the fiord seeming to steam with hot mist and the flowers all drooping. A little steam-pinnace took us all to the luxurious steamer, where there was boundless space for sitting or walking or whatever we liked. The voyage was very long—five hours. I sat reading ‘Ticknor’s Memoirs,’ and the King and Prince Imperial came occasionally to talk to me. I found in the book an account of the Prince’s grandmother, Comtesse de Téba, in her prime, which interested the King very much. He said, ‘The Prince Imperial keeps me in a perpetual state of mental tension: he does ask me such questions. I am always wondering what he will say next. He is almost too intelligent a young man. He has just asked me to tell him how long a steamer takes to get up steam. I have seen hundreds of steamers getting up steam, but I never thought before how long it took. However, I have had to think now, and it takes five quarters of an hour. Oh, the Prince Imperial is very good mental exercise.’

“Half-way down the fiord, the Prince Imperial insisted upon it that he must bathe. At first the King said it was impossible, that the moment of his arrival at Kristiania was fixed, that the people were waiting to see him, that the steamer could not be delayed—in fact, that it was out of the question. But while the King was discoursing, the Prince Imperial stripped off every article of clothing he had on, and after rushing up and down the deck perfectly naked, jumped into the sea over the poop and swam like a fish. The King then was obliged to stop the steamer, as he could not leave the Prince Imperial in the middle of the fiord, and he told an aide-de-camp to undress and go to pick out the Prince. The Prince lay on the breast of the waves laughing at the King till the aide-de-camp reached him, and then he dived, disappeared for some time, and came up on the other side of the vessel. The Prince Royal then undressed and went in too, and two aides-de-camp, and they all swam and pursued each other like mermen. When at last the Prince was persuaded to re-embark, he sang and shouted in most uproarious spirits. Then came luncheon. The King proposed the Prince’s health—‘Mon cher hôte et mon cher neveu’—and then he proposed mine, saying, ‘I drink to your meeting with the Prince Royal at Rome, and you will be kind to my boy?’

“We entered Kristiania in triumph—all the towers, houses, and masts of the vessels in the harbour decorated with flags, cannon firing, and crowds of people on the quays. At the station were crowds too, waiting for the royal carriages as they drove up. There was quite a procession of them. I went in the second carriage with Count Murat. At the station I had just time to present the Miss Hollands, then I took leave of the king.”

 

August 17.—The Prince Imperial travelled with us from Kristiania. It was an ovation to him the whole way—crowds at all the stations, and shouts of ‘Hoch, Hoch!’ instead of ‘Hurrah.’

“We parted company with the Prince at Helsingor, whence we went to Fredensborg, a dull château and pretty garden, and then to Frederiksborg, really magnificent, one of Christian IV.’s grandest buildings, on three islands in a lake.

“We have since seen Bremen with the grand calm face of the gigantic Roland-Säule raised above the busy market, and Münster with its old cathedral and Congress-hall, and now we are at Tournai, where there is a noble cathedral, contrasting in its serious thoughtfulness of design with the frippery and sameness of Cologne. And to-day, being in the octave of St. Roch, Tournai is hung with flags for a really beautiful procession—crosses, banners, images, reliquaries carried aloft by troops of young girls in white and blue and little boys in mediaeval dresses. Some of the tiny children in golden oak-chaplets, and with great golden oak-bouquets or golden lilies, are quite beautiful.

“And to-day, too, we pass out of the peculiar existence of the last two months into ordinary working life again. Great is the thankfulness I feel for all, especially for my kind and pleasant companions.”

 

I spent the late summer of 1878 very quietly at home, busied in completing the Life of the Baroness Bunsen. Many guests came and went, amongst them Miss Wright, whose constant kindness and affection had been so much to me for many years. Whilst with me she was very ailing, but it was only supposed to be rheumatism, and doctors, who examined her carelessly, sent her from Holmhurst to Buxton, which was fatal to her, for her real disorder was heart-complaint. I never shall forget the bitter anguish of the shock, gently and tenderly broken as it was by Mary Lefevre, when I read that I should never see again the loving devoted friend of so many years, who alone was always ready to help me in any difficulty, always glad to fight a battle for me, and whose humble nature so terribly overrated me, making me, however, long to struggle up in reality to that higher shelf on which I saw she had mentally placed me. Hers was one of—

“The many lives, made beautiful and sweet
By self-devotion and by self-restraint,
Whose pleasure is to run without complaint
On unknown errands of the Paraclete.”[289]

Wonderfully, though simply and unconsciously, did she fulfil the ideal of a holy life which is given us in the 15th Psalm. But it was not till she was gone, till her outpouring of gentle tenderness was silenced for ever, that one realised all she had been, and that her loss left a void for life which could never be filled up. Constantly have I gone back with useless self-reproach—would that I had done more to make her happy! would that I had always been more grateful in reciprocating so much kindness!—and most constantly have I been reminded—

“How each small fretting fretfulness
Was but love’s over-anxiousness,
Which had not been had love been less.”

Years have passed away as I write, but I can scarcely bear to speak of her, even to write of her, even now. “How holy are the holy dead! How willingly we take all the blame to ourselves which in life we were so willing to divide.”[290] “Nevermore” is one’s echo of regret, but “too late” is that of repentance.

Dear Lady Williamson passed away from us in the same autumn, deeply loved too, but in her blindness and deafness one felt that her life—her entirely noble and beautiful life—was lived out, which one could not feel dear “Aunt Sophy’s” to be. She seemed to die, her life unfulfilled.

Throughout the autumn I had heard frequently from the Queen of Sweden and Norway, through the medium of her principal lady in waiting, the Countess Ebba von Rosen. The entire confidence and noble friendship expressed in these letters made it impossible for me to hesitate, when, after the Prince Royal had spent some time in Paris, it became the strong wish of her Majesty that I should join him at Rome. It was in entire concert with the King and Queen that I drew up the scheme of a series of peripatetic lectures for the Prince, in which, by describing historic events on the places with which they were connected, I hoped to fix those events and their lessons in his recollection. Their Majesties also agreed to the plan of my inviting others to join the excursions of the Prince. It was, however, with great misgiving that I left England, feeling that I gave up my pleasant home and congenial occupations in England for the constant companionship of a young man who had not, in our short previous acquaintance, made a very favourable impression upon me, and who might—should he take that line—resent my exertions in his behalf, and look upon me rather as a spy for his parents than as a friend to himself. When I once reached Rome, however, these fears were soon set at rest, and during the whole nine months which I passed in constant intimacy with the Prince, I never once had to reproach him with want of consideration for myself personally, but, on the contrary, always received from him marks of the utmost esteem and affection.

On the evening of November 16 I left Holmhurst, having worked at the index of my Bunsen Memoirs till within ten minutes of my departure. Upon the passage of the Mont Cenis I came in for terrible snowdrifts. Suddenly, after passing the tunnel, the walls of snow increased on each side of the train so as almost to block out the light, and, with a dull thud, the train came to a standstill near the wretched village of Oulx. An avalanche had fallen upon the luggage train which was pioneering our way, and three poor men were engulfed in it. The cold was terrific, and the suffering was increased in my case, because, having usually been much tried by the overheating of foreign trains, I had brought no carriage-rug or other wraps with me. After some time a way was cut through the snow walls to a miserable tavern, where sixteen ladies decided to sleep or cower in one wretched room and twelve gentlemen in another, but I gladly made my way back to the carriage before the passage was blocked again. It was then two in the afternoon, and wearily the day wore on into night, and still more wearily passed the night hours, with snow always falling thickly. I had a little brandy in the carriage, but no food. The suffering from cold was anguish. There were several invalid ladies in the train, for whom I felt greatly, knowing what this catastrophe would have been in times past before I was alone. Before morning two more avalanches had fallen behind us and the return to France was cut off. The telegraph wires were all broken, and the guard assured us that it was possible we might be detained days, or even weeks. At midday, cold and hunger made me try the hovel once more, but the filth and smells again drove me back to the carriage. At 4 P.M., however, on the second day, a welcome shouting announced that our deliverance was at hand. No trains arriving at Turin, our position was suspected, and the town-firemen were sent out en masse to cut a way for us. At 6 P.M. we were released from our twenty-eight hours’ imprisonment, but the way was so dangerous, that we did not reach Turin till long after midnight.

 

To Miss Leycester.

26 Piazza di Spagna; Rome, Nov. 25, 1878.—You will imagine how touching—I shall never grow used to it—was the slow approach by rail round the walls of Rome, crossing all the little lanes we knew so well in our drives, and seeing, one after another, S. Paolo, the Caius Cestius, the Porta S. Sebastiano, S. Giovanni in Olio, Porta Maggiore, the Minerva Medica, and then the vast space once occupied by the beautiful Villa Negroni, but now parcelled out for straight streets and stuccoed houses.

“Yet, considering it is four years since I was here last, the changes are not great yet: the same old man with peaked hat and long beard and the same pretty girls stand waiting as models: the same old stonecutter is grinding away under the Tempietto, and Francesco threw open Miss Garden’s door and announced (simply) ‘Il Signorino,’ as if I had been there the day before.

“On Sunday, Umberto and Margherita of Savoy made a triumphal entry into Rome, and I went to the Palazzo della Consulta to see them arrive at the Quirinal. It was an exquisitely beautiful evening—not a breath of air stirring the many flags: the obelisk and statues and the grand fountain of Pius VII. were in deep shadow, but the sun was glinting through the old ilexes in the Colonna Gardens and illuminated S. Peter’s and the town in the hollow. There was an immense crowd of every class, from ex-guardia nobile to peasants in the costumes of Sora and Aquino, and through them all the vast procession of sixty carriages moved to the palace, with flags flying, and flowers falling, and cannon thundering, and the one little bell of the royal chapel tinkling away as hard as it could, because the other churches would make no sign. ‘I Sovrani,’ as all the people called them, looked very proud and happy, and Queen Margherita marvellously graceful, and pleased to see the millions of marguerites, which people were wearing in honour of her. The little Principe de Napoli is quite hideous, but they say well brought up under an English governess, and King Umberto in every way seems to wish to reform his dissolute father’s court, as well as to screen his memory, having taken the whole of his enormous debts upon himself, besides paying off Victor Emmanuel’s eight ‘domestic establishments’ out of his private purse. The King and Queen came out upon the balcony of the Quirinal, and were triumphantly received. (Next after the royal carriages had come a fourgon with the bouquets presented at the station.) Last night there was a torchlight procession, tens of thousands bearing torches, with music, banners, and gigantic marguerites, who passed through the Piazza di Spagna on their way to the Quirinal. Still, taxes are rather increasing them otherwise; the misery of the formerly prosperous Romans is extreme, and many think a revolution imminent.

“Monsignor Prosperi is dead. I wonder if you remember about that most extraordinary person, who was supposed to have the evil eye. The Romans believe that all the many misfortunes of this year, and the attacks on royalty, &c., are because it fell to his turn to cantare la missa at S. Maria Maggiore on the first day of the year. No end of shipwrecks and railway accidents are attributed to him, and so the poor man’s death is a subject of general rejoicing. It is recollected that after the last visit he ever paid, the servant of the house fell down on the stairs, and cut his eye open with the Monsignore’s visiting-card which he held in his hand.”

 

On arriving in Rome, I had found a tolerable little apartment for myself in 29 Piazza di Spagna, and the Prince Royal established in the charming sunny first floor of the Palazzo Rocca-Giovine in the Forum of Trajan. Thither I used daily, often twice a day, to go to the Prince. From the first he welcomed me very cordially, and I could see that he was really glad of my coming, still I was uncertain whether there would ever be more than an interchange of courtesy and duty between us. I never hoped to be able to give him the real affection I afterwards so sincerely felt. Somewhat to my consternation, I was desired by the King to fix my first lecture for the Prince for one of the very first days after my arrival, in order that Baron Holtermann, marshal of the palace, who was returning to Stockholm, might take back a full account of “how it went” to their Majesties. The Queen added her special request that I would say nothing except in English, in order to force the Prince-Royal to learn that language.

As being the central feature and axis of ancient Rome, I chose the Capitoline for my first lecture. General and Mrs. Stuart and Lady Agnes Douglas met me there at the top of the steps, and waited for the Prince, who arrived on foot with Baron Holtermann and two other Swedish gentlemen. I doubt at first whether they understood a word I said in English, and the being obliged constantly to translate into French or bad German did not add to the liveliness of the lecture. Our procession passed from point to point in the most funereal manner. The Prince made no observation whatever, Romulus, the Tarpeian Rock, Marcus Aurelius passing equally unnoticed; only when we came to Palazzo Caffarelli he said, “Oh, that was where Mim Bunsen was born:” it had touched a chord of human interest.

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Gustaf, Crown Prince of  Sweden-Norway.

Gustaf, Crown Prince of
Sweden-Norway.

I wonder what sort of account of this lecture Baron Holtermann can have taken to the Swedish court; but we did better next time, when, on the Palatine, the Prince’s spirits quite rose over all the murders of the emperors and empresses. In the latter part of the winter, the lectures, which took place three times a week, were quite an enjoyment, he was so merry, so kind and pleasant to every one, so glad to know everything.

Very soon, after consultation with M. de Printzsköld, the Queen’s chamberlain, who had accompanied the Prince to Rome, I proposed going twice a week to read English with the Prince in the late afternoon, which was gladly accepted, and on those occasions we read “Mademoiselle Mori” alternately, and translated “Tolla” into English. It was in the little conversations which inevitably interspersed themselves with these readings that I first learnt to know my Prince really well. The readings themselves he found it very difficult to attend to, and the exercises he prepared for me were much against the grain, so we did not make much progress till I obtained an order from the Queen that the equerries should do the same exercises as the Prince, which roused his ambition, and he went ahead at once, and always did much better than his companions. I think it is Adam Smith who says that “the great secret of education is to direct vanity to proper objects.” After our lessons, I always dined with the Prince, sitting on his right hand. Afterwards the Prince and his Swedish gentlemen smoked, and as soon as it was possible to do it, I took my leave, except on evenings when I went out into the world with the Prince. But for the most part the Prince’s evenings were spent at home, the Italian court showing him no attention, and scarcely any of the Roman princes inviting him, except during the Carnival. Old Lady Morton was throughout exceedingly kind and helpful where the Prince was concerned, and gave several parties for him. At these, the Prince’s distant cousins, Princess Gabrielli, Countess Primoli, and Countess Campello, the round fat elderly daughters of Lucien Bonaparte, were always present.[291] They were pleasant sensible women, especially Countess Primoli (Princess Charlotte Bonaparte). Having all married beneath their rank, they always made a point of going in and out of a room in the order of their age, which had often a funny effect.

Of all the people who welcomed me back to Rome, the most cordial were the blind Duke and the Duchess of Sermoneta, whom I was delighted to find established for the winter in the upper floor of the old Caëtani Palace. Since her marriage, the Duchess had contrived to conciliate the whole Caëtani family, not only to herself, but to each other. She had also ransacked the unknown corners of the palace, and had found endless old hangings, old portraits, &c., things almost valueless in themselves, but which gave the bare walls a look of historic antiquity. I often took the Prince to the evening receptions of the Duchess, at which, as at all the princely Roman houses, some tea and very sour lemonade were considered quite sufficient as refreshments. Without the Prince, I often dined with the Sermonetas at their homely early excellent Italian dinner, and an oasis in commonplace life was meeting there the Abbot Marcaldi of La Cava, the Abbot Pescitelli of Farfa, and a most beautiful old Don Pietro Tailetti, canon of St. Peter’s—like a mediaeval picture. They had all wished to see me, from their pleasure in the chapter on the Benedictine rule in “Days near Rome.

 

To Mary Lea Gidman.

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CORNETO.

CORNETO. [292]

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CATHEDRAL OF CORNETO.

CATHEDRAL OF CORNETO. [293]

Dec. 11, 1878.—I always see the Prince now with increased satisfaction and an increasing certainty that he likes having me with him. I also feel that I am able to be to him all that the Queen of Sweden wished, of which at first I was uncertain. In our walks he asks so many questions about what he sees, that I have to work hard in the evenings before to prepare myself to answer properly, for I find that I have forgotten much of the detail of my Roman history, &c.... Last week we went for the whole day to Corneto, eating an excellent breakfast provided by the Prince’s cook in the train. Professor Helbig, who had preceded us, met us at the station with a little omnibus. With this we went up into the high hills above old Tarquinii, and then descended with torches into the great sepulchres, where the dead of two thousand years ago are seen (in terra-cotta figures as large as life) sitting round at imaginary banquets, while the walls are covered with paintings of their deeds in life—hunting, fishing, dancing, &c., as fresh in colour as when they were painted. Then we went to visit a Countess Bruschi, who had a great collection of jewels and other beautiful things found in the tombs. This lady was the only person to whom we revealed who the Prince Royal was; but whilst we were at dinner the secret transpired, for there came from the Bruschi palace a bouquet of the most magnificent roses, like a sheaf, carried by two footmen, and another bouquet of camellias, arranged in a huge citron; and then the governor of the town arrived to make a little speech, to which the Prince gave a suitable answer, which I had to translate into Italian; and then all the people found out, and came to look at the Prince.”

 

On Christmas Day I received a telegram from the Queen of Sweden expressing her good wishes, and thanks for the kindness shown to her son. From a letter received about the same time from Countess Rosen I extract:—

 

Stockholm, Dec. 18, 1878.—H.M. the Queen charges me to convey to you her thanks for your letters, which are very welcome. The Queen says you manage to tell just what interests her most about the doings of the Crown Prince. Both the Queen and the King thank you heartily for all your kind interest in the Crown Prince, and they perceive already that you have succeeded in gaining a good and useful influence over him, and that you have kindled up his interest for all that now surrounds him. The Queen is charmed if you write often, but she is afraid that it takes up too much of your time, which is much taxed already through all that you do for the Prince....

“The Queen begs you to write with perfect frankness, even when everything is not quite as one would wish it to be. Be sure that what you say will never be misunderstood.

 

To Miss Leycester.

Dec. 5, 1878.—I think my last letter may have expressed some of the depression I certainly felt as to the uncertainty of my position with the Prince Royal, and I know with how much pleasure you will hear that these clouds have completely cleared away. I have increasing, indeed I have now perfect satisfaction in my position with the Prince, and in the internal conviction that I can and may be to him all that the Queen has wished. The great secret is, I suppose, that I am becoming really very fond of him. He not only daily unfolds new gifts and graces for every one, but he is hourly pleasanter and more charming in all his relations to me, and I have now the certainty that I am most welcome to him; but indeed he has always treated me with entire confidence, though you will easily understand that had he possessed the slightest shadow of small-mindedness, he must have looked upon me with a sort of suspicion, from the intimacy with which his parents have honoured me, and my constant letters—which he knows must be about himself—to the Queen.

“To-day my lecture for him was on the Aventine. At S. Sabina I sent in notice of their visitor to the Abbot and the Father-General of the Dominicans, and in his honour the two ladies of our party, Countess Barnekow and Lady Agnes Douglas, were allowed to penetrate the inmost recesses of the convent, and to visit the cell of S. Dominic, with his exquisitely beautiful picture, and the cell of S. Pius V. As we came out of the church, the Abbot presented the Prince with a large basket of oranges and apples, and some leaves from the sacred tree of S. Dominic, and the Father-General with photographs of the convent pictures and view. Afterwards we visited the lovely Priorato garden, still full of flowers, and S. Prisca, and the wild, beautiful Vigna dei Gesuiti.”

 

It was one of the wise and kind thoughts of the Queen at this time to make it appear to the Prince that an eagerly coveted permission to go to Bucharest and Athens upon leaving Rome was granted in consequence of my petition in his favour. And indeed it was granted—as a Christmas gift—in consequence of my letters to the Queen as to the progress he was making, &c. I often wonder whether my letters to the court of Sweden of this winter have been preserved: I wrote such volumes, often illustrating them with sketches, &c.—“Memoires pour servir pour la vie du Prince Royal.”

 

To Miss Leycester.

Dec. 19, 1878.—Ere this you will probably have received Madame de Bunsen’s Life ‘from the author.’ There is much in it which will interest you, some things you will not like. So it is with everything and everybody. But I am quite satisfied that it is the most truthful portrait I could have painted, and I trust it may worthily commemorate my dear old friend.

“The news of Princess Alice’s death, announced in a sermon on Sunday, was quite a shock, as I had not heard of her being ill; and she was so kind to me when here, and so interested and amused in correcting ‘Walks in Rome.’

“My dear Prince is very well and happy and enjoying everything. I see him daily, generally for half each day, but have very little new to say about it. I have found a passage about Charles I., by Cowley I think, which expresses just what I hope may be said of him some day: ‘Never was there a more gracious Prince or a more proper gentleman. In every pleasure he was temperate, in conversation mild and grave, in friendship constant, to his servants liberal, to his Queen faithful and loving, in battle brave, in sorrow and captivity resolved, in death most Christian and forgiving.’

“The Queen writes through the Countess Rosen that she is delighted that I am going with the Prince to Florence, and that it was quite the Prince’s own idea; but she fears I shall find him rather a dull companion there, as he has very little taste for picture-galleries.”

 

Jan. 6, 1879.—I was very glad to part with 1878—a year of many sorrows—dear Miss Wright’s death the greatest. On the last evening I went to Mrs. Terry’s, where Miss Trollope sang exquisitely ‘Should auld acquaintance be forgot’ in the last minutes of the year.

“My last lecture for the Prince was upon the last days of S. Paul, going to the pyramid of Caius Cestius, the last surviving witness of his life, to the desolate Tre Fontane, and then to the huge basilica which sprung from his martyrdom. At the Tre Fontane the Prince found a beautiful piece of old marble railing and a fine fragment of pietra-dura pavement, used to wall in a flower-bed; bought them, and he and I lugged them back to the carriage between us. He is now very happy, and (though there are black days) enjoys everything very much. We have increased our little party by the handsome widowed ‘Anne, Countess of Dunraven,’ and the charming Countess Schulenberg, a North Prussian.

“The Prince and I dined with Lady Morton the other day, meeting Prince and Princess Altieri, Prince and Princess Sulmona, Countess Apponyi, &c. I was very glad that he should meet this completely ‘black’ party, as he has had few opportunities of meeting that phase of politics. On Thursday the Duchess Sermoneta gives another party for him, to which she has taken the fancy to ask all the ‘learned’ people in Rome. My poor Prince will not make much of them, but will be amused with many, especially with Donna Ursilia Lovatelli, who likes to converse in Sanscrit, and who had to be told that she must not bring with her more aides-de-camp than the Prince (four); as her ‘court,’ as she calls it, which likes to follow her, sometimes numbers sixty persons. Madame Minghetti will also bring her court, which is far more Bohemian, amusing, and agreeable.

“But daily I feel more the force of something which I think was said by Charles V. of France: ‘On doit nourrir les princes des vertus, afin qu’ils surmontent en mœurs ceux qu’ils doivent surmonter en honneurs.’”

 

Dec. 29.—I am glad to hear of my book, which I have not seen, though it reached Stockholm long ago. It is a pleasure to have an outburst of approval from the Bunsens. Of reviews I think little, knowing how they scarcely ever have anything to do with the merits or demerits of a work, but only with the wish of an editor to advantage or injure an author: besides, the newspapers all copy one another, only changing the words.

“We have had burning sun and intense scirocco here, which of course means a great deal of rain, and there have been torrents each day, but lovely effects between, such masses of cloud rolling over St. Peter’s, with brilliant light falling through upon the many-domed town, and tremendous conflagrations at sunset. I spent Christmas Eve at the Palazzo Colonna, where the Duchess Marino had an immense Christmas-tree for her servants and friends, and a merry party of children. A prettier sight than the tree was the little Duchess herself, in a white silk dress, with a long lace veil looped upon her head and enveloping her figure, ceaselessly carrying presents to servants, poor women, &c. She is really charming, with simple, sincere, cordial manners, and her husband is most pleasant, the very best type of an Italian gentleman. Donna Olympia Colonna was at the tree—very bridal-looking, bright, and pretty.

“With the Prince I have ever more entire satisfaction. I constantly see more of him, and have daily increasing affection for him. Of course the position is not perfect, but I expect this in everything, and am quite sure of his absolute confidence to a degree which I never expected. I am happy in feeling that Rome is doing for him all that the Queen hoped, but which I did not, and that he will return to her indescribably improved in every way. I suppose people who have children of their own are familiar with it, but I could not have conceived before the interest of watching the gradual unfolding and expansion of a character to which one utterly devotes oneself; and with him all was new, it was entirely fallow ground to work upon.

“One day we went to Frascati by rail, taking with us Count and Countess Barnekow and Count and Countess Lievenhaupt, Swedes, and Lady Agnes Douglas. While Lady Agnes did the honours of some of the villas, M. de Printzsköld and I got an excellent though thoroughly Roman dinner ready at the little inn, and afterwards the ladies had donkeys, the Prince a horse, and we others walked up to Tuseulum. Here the Prince was very happy picking up mosaics in the long grass, and eventually insisted on excavating, and lugging back to Rome in his arms, a great mass, as big as that in the verandah at Holmhurst. We came down by the great desolate villa of Mondragone, and returned to Rome in the evening laden with fern and butcher’s-broom, which, with its bright scarlet berries, is the Roman apology for holly.

“The Prince hates the churches, and generally has to be bribed to bear them with equanimity by the promise of a little marble-hunt in some vineyard afterwards, when it is amusing to see the whole party fall to grubbing simultaneously among the artichokes. It has been hard work refusing the endless people who want to go with us, but besides Lady Dunraven we have only admitted pretty little Miss Trollope, the historian’s daughter. I like Princess Teano very much, and am charmed with her anxiety to make the very most of all she sees, and Lord Hylton’s boy, George Jolliffe, is delightful, brimming with enthusiasm and intelligence.”

 

Journal.

Feb. 20, 1879.—Each day, as I have known the Prince Royal better, I have liked him more. He has no sense of beauty and no care for it, and he has naturally very few of my tastes, but he has the most transparent, truthful, simple, loyal character I have ever known, and he has ever been unspeakably kind and affectionate to me. We have been wonderfully thrown together, even all the little circumstances intended by others to divide us having acted the other way, and made us cling to each other with truest friendship.

“All the earlier part of the winter I continued my lectures for him, in which we visited almost every remarkable object in Rome. Our party was much increased latterly, one of its most interesting elements being the Prussian Countess Schulenberg, with whom I formed a great friendship. I wish now that I had written down the many conversations of interest I had with her; she left suddenly in January to take care of a sick cousin in Germany.

“One of the last evenings of the year was spent in the Palazzo Colonna with the sweet little Duchess of Marino. She is a great addition and enlivenment to the dull egotistical Roman society, and is brimming with good intentions and high aspirations, many of which she is really able to carry out. Greatly, for instance, did she astonish modern Rome, with its vulgar attempts at exclusiveness, by opening her rooms for a grand party in the noble old Roman style, in which princes and sculptors met on equal terms, and artists were as cordially received as if they were ambassadors.

“Amongst the acquaintance who came to me with the New Year were the Dutch Minister and Madame de Westenberg, his American wife, from whom I have received much cordiality. Other people with whom I have been intimate are the admirable Swedish Count and Countess Barnekow, the latter especially charming, and full of life and intelligence. The Count has been taking the post of consul here this year, but they have been welcomed in all societies. There is something quite charming in their relation to their children—little girls—and their influence over them. Of these, the second, Elisabet, was compelled at six years old to have her finger amputated. The mother prepared her for it, and told her how terribly it would add to her distress if she did not bear the operation bravely. The child said she could bear it if only they did not tell her it was nothing: she knew it was dreadful, but if no one attempted to deceive her she could bear a dreadful thing. She sat on the surgeon’s knee while the finger was being taken off; she never uttered a sound, and when the operation was over, she kissed him to show she bore no malice!

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PERUGIA.

PERUGIA. [294]

“On the 16th of January I went, away with my Prince for a tour in Tuscany. I very soon found that for me the trial of the tour would be his hatred of fresh air. He never would have the carriage window opened, even on the hottest day and with steaming hot-water pans. Otherwise all was luxury, kindness, and comfort. We arrived at Perugia on the most glorious evening I ever remember: violet