Project Gutenberg's Story of My Life, volumes 1-3, by Augustus J. C. Hare

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Title: Story of My Life, volumes 1-3

Author: Augustus J. C. Hare

Release Date: March 16, 2011 [EBook #35589]

Language: English

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Georgiana Hare Naylor

From a miniature Georgiana Hare Naylor
From a miniature





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Contents of Volume 1
List of Illustrations Volume 1

Contents of Volume 2
List of Illustrations Volume 2

Contents of Volume 3
List of Illustrations Volume 3

Index to Volumes 1-3



IN the autumn of 1878, the desire to comfort and amuse one of my kindest friends during hours of wearing pain and sickness induced me to begin writing down some of the reminiscences of my life. As almost all those who shared my earlier interests and affections had passed away, I fancied at first that it would be impossible to rescue anything like a connected story from "the great shipwreck of Time." But solitude helps remembrance; and as I went on opening old letters and journals with the view of retracing my past life, it seemed to unfold itself to memory, and I found a wonderful interest in following once more the old track, with its almost forgotten pleasures and sorrows, though often reminded of the story of the old man who, when he heard for the first time the well-known adage, "Hell is paved with good intentions," added promptly, "Yes, and roofed with lost opportunities."

Many will think mine has been a sad life. But, as A. H. Mackonochie said, "No doubt our walk through this little world is through much fog and darkness and many alarms, but it is wonderful, when one looks back, to see how little the evils of life have been allowed to leave real marks upon our course, or upon our present state."

And besides this, Time is always apt to paint the long-ago in fresh colours, making what was nothing less than anguish at the time quite light and trivial in the retrospect; sweeping over and effacing the greater number of griefs, joys, and friendships; though ever and anon picking out some unexpected point as a fixed and lasting landmark. "Le Temps, vieillard divin, honore et blanchit tout."

Many, doubtless, who read these pages, may themselves recollect, or may remember having heard others give, a very different impression of the persons described. But, as the old Italian proverb says, "Every bird sings its own note," and I only give my own opinion. Pope reminds us that—

"'Tis with our judgments as our watches—none
Go just alike—yet each believes his own."

And after all, "De mortuis omnia" is perhaps a wholesomer motto than "Nil nisi bonum," and if people believed it would be acted upon, their lives would often be different. While one is just, however, one ought to remember that nothing can be more touching or pathetic than the helplessness of the dead. "Speak of me as I am," says Othello, "nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice."

Since I have latterly seen more of what is usually called "the world"—the little world which considers the great world its satellite—and of the different people who compose it, the later years I have described will probably be the most interesting to such as care to read what I have written. I have myself, I think, gradually learnt what an "immense folio life is, requiring the utmost attention to be read and understood as it ought to be."[1] But to me, my earlier years will always seem far the most important, the years throughout which my dearest mother had a share in every thought and was the object of every act. To many, my up-bringing will probably appear very odd, and I often feel myself how unsuited it was to my character, and how little that character or my own tastes and possible powers were consulted in considerations of my future. Still, when from middle life one overlooks one's youth as one would a plain divided into different fields from a hill-top, when "la vérité s'est fait jour," one can discern the faulty lines and trace the mistakes which led to them, but one cannot even then see the difficulties and perplexities which caused inevitable errors of judgment in those who could not see the end when they were thinking about the beginning. Therefore, though there is much in the earlier part of my life which I should wish to rearrange if I could plan it over again, I am sure that the little which may be good in me is due to the loving influence which watched over my childhood, whilst my faults are only my own. In the latter years of her life, my dear adopted mother and I became constantly more closely united. The long period of sickness and suffering, which others may have fancied to be trying, only endeared her to me a thousandfold, and since the sweet eyes closed and the gentle voice was hushed for ever in November 1870, each solitary year has only seemed like another page in an unfinished appendix.

I once heard a lady say that "biographies are either lives or stuffed animals," and there is always a danger of their being only the latter. But, as Carlyle tells us, "a true delineation of the smallest man and the scene of his pilgrimage through life is capable of interesting the greatest man, and human portraits, faithfully drawn, are of all pictures the welcomest on human walls." It is certainly in proportion as a biography is human or individual that it can have any lasting interest. Also, "Those relations are commonly of the most value in which the writer tells his own story."[2]

I have allowed this story to tell itself when it was possible by means of contemporary letters and journals, convinced that they at least express the feeling of the moment to which they narrate, and that they cannot possibly be biassed by the after-thoughts under the influence of which most autobiographies are written, and in which "la mémoire se plie aux fantasies de l'amour propre."

My story is a very long one, and though only, as Sir C. Bowen would have called it, "a ponderous biography of nobody," is told in great—most people will say in far too much—detail. But to me it seems as if it were in the petty details, not in the great results, that the real interest of every existence lies. I think, also, though it may be considered a strange thing to say, that the true picture of a whole life—at least an English life—has never yet been painted, and certainly all the truth of such a picture must come from its delicate touches. Then, though most readers of this story will only read parts of it, they are sure to be different parts.

The book doubtless contains a great deal of esprit des autres, for I have a helpless memory for sentences read or heard long ago, and put away somewhere in my senses, but not of when or where they were read or heard.

Many of the persons described were very important to those of their own time who might have had a serrement de cœur in reading about them. Therefore, if their contemporaries had been living, much must have remained unwritten; but, as Sydney Smith said, "We are all dead now."

Still, in looking over my MS., I have always carefully cut out everything which could hurt the feelings of living persons: and I believe very little remains which can even ruffle their sensibilities.


OXFORD LIFE        402



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)

HURSTMONCEAUX CASTLE. (Full-page woodcut)To face 4
To face 50
To face 84
To face 128
AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE. From S. Lawrence.
To face 202
To face 232
JULIUS C. HARE. From Richmond.
To face 468



"Time doth consecrate;
And what is grey with age becomes religion."—SCHILLER.

"I hope I may be able to tell the truth always, and to see it aright, according to the eyes which God Almighty gives me."—THACKERAY.

IN 1727, the year of George the First's death, Miss Grace Naylor of Hurstmonceaux, though she was beloved, charming, and beautiful, died very mysteriously in her twenty-first year, in the immense and weird old castle of which she had been the heiress. She was affirmed to have been starved by her former governess, who lived alone with her, but the fact was never proved. Her property passed to her first cousin Francis Hare (son of her aunt Bethaia), who forthwith assumed the name of Naylor.

The new owner of Hurstmonceaux was the only child of the first marriage of that Francis Hare, who, through the influence first of the Duke of Marlborough (by whose side, then a chaplain, he had ridden on the battle-fields of Blenheim and Ramilies), and afterwards of his family connections the Pelhams and Walpoles, rose to become one of the richest and most popular pluralists of his age. Yet he had to be contented at last with the bishoprics of St. Asaph and Chichester, with each of which he held the Deanery of St. Paul's, the Archbishopric of Canterbury having twice just escaped him.

The Bishop's eldest son Francis was "un facheux détail de notre famille," as the grandfather of Madame de Maintenon said of his son. He died after a life of the wildest dissipation, without leaving any children by his wife Carlotta Alston, who was his stepmother's sister. So the property of Hurstmonceaux went to his half-brother Robert, son of the Bishop's second marriage with Mary-Margaret Alston, heiress of the Vatche in Buckinghamshire, and of several other places besides. Sir Robert Walpole had been the godfather of Robert Hare-Naylor, and presented him with a valuable sinecure office as a christening present, and he further made the Bishop urge the Church as the profession in which father and godfather could best aid the boy's advancement. Accordingly Robert took orders, obtained a living, and was made a Canon of Winchester. While he was still very young, his father had further secured his fortunes by marrying him to the heiress who lived nearest to his mother's property of the Vatche, and, by the beautiful Sarah Selman (daughter of the owner of Chalfont St. Peter's, and sister of Mrs. Lefevre), he had two sons—Francis and Robert, and an only daughter Anna Maria, afterwards Mrs. Bulkeley. In the zenith of her youth and loveliness, however, Sarah Hare died very suddenly from eating ices when overheated at a ball, and soon afterwards Robert married a second wife—the rich Henrietta Henckel, who pulled down Hurstmonceaux Castle. She did this because she was jealous of the sons of her predecessor, and wished to build a large new house, which she persuaded her husband to settle upon her own children, who were numerous, though only two daughters lived to any great age. But she was justly punished, for when Robert Hare died, it was discovered that the great house which Wyatt had built for Mrs. Hare, and which is now known as Hurstmonceaux Place, was erected upon entailed land, so that the house stripped of furniture, and the property shorn of its most valuable farms, passed to Francis Hare-Naylor, son of Miss Selman. Mrs. Henckel Hare lived on to a great age, and when "the burden of her years came on her" she repented of her avarice and injustice, and coming back to Hurstmonceaux in childish senility, would wander round and round the castle ruins in the early morning and late evening, wringing her hands and saying—"Who could have done such a wicked thing: oh! who could have done such a wicked thing, as to pull down this beautiful old place?" Then her daughters, Caroline and Marianne, walking beside her, would say—"Oh dear mamma, it was you who did it, it was you yourself who did it, you know"—and she would despairingly resume—"Oh no, that is impossible: it could not have been me. I could not have done such a wicked thing: it could not have been me that did it." My cousin Marcus Hare had at Abbots Kerswell a picture of Mrs. Henckel Hare, which was always surrounded with crape bows.


The second Francis Hare-Naylor and his brother Robert had a most unhappy home in their boyhood. Their stepmother ruled their weak-minded father with a rod of iron. She ostentatiously burnt the portrait of their beautiful mother. Every year she sold a farm from his paternal inheritance and spent the money in extravagance. In 1784 she parted with the ancient property of Hos Tendis, at Sculthorpe in Norfolk, though its sale was a deathblow to the Bishop's aged widow, Mary-Margaret Alston. Yet, while accumulating riches for herself, she prevented her husband from allowing his unfortunate elder sons more than £100 a year apiece. With this income, Robert, the younger of the two, was sent to Oriel College at Oxford, and when he unavoidably incurred debts there, the money for their repayment was stopped even from his humble pittance.

Goaded to fury by his stepmother, the eldest son, Francis, became reckless and recklessly extravagant. He raised money at an enormous rate of interest upon his prospects from the Hurstmonceaux estates, and he would have been utterly ruined, morally as well as outwardly, if he had not fallen in with Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was captivated by his good looks, charmed by his boldness and wit, and who made him the hero of a living romance. By the Duchess he was introduced to her cousin, another even more beautiful Georgiana, daughter of Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph, and his wife Anna Maria Mordaunt, niece of the famous Earl of Peterborough; and though Bishop Shipley did everything he could to separate them, meetings were perpetually connived at by the Duchess, till eventually the pair eloped in 1785. The families on both sides renounced them with fury. The Canon of Winchester never saw his son again, and I believe that Bishop Shipley never saw his daughter. Our grandparents went to Carlsruhe, and then to Italy, where in those days it was quite possible to live upon the £200 a year which was allowed them by the Duchess of Devonshire, and where their four sons—Francis, Augustus, Julius, and Marcus—were born.

The story of Mrs. Hare-Naylor's struggling life in Italy is told in "Memorials of a Quiet Life," and how, when the Canon of Winchester died, and she hurried home with her husband to take possession of Hurstmonceaux Place, she brought only her little Augustus with her, placing him under the care of her eldest sister Anna Maria, widow of the celebrated Sir William Jones, whom he ever afterwards regarded as a second mother.

The choice of guardians which Mrs. Hare-Naylor made for the children whom she left at Bologna would be deemed a very strange one by many: but gifted, beautiful, and accomplished, our grandmother was never accustomed either to seek or to take advice: she always acted upon her own impulses, guided by her own observation. An aged Spanish Jesuit was living in Bologna, who, when his order was suppressed in Spain, had come to reside in Italy upon his little pension, and, being skilled in languages, particularly in Greek, had taken great pains to revive the love of it in Bologna. Amongst his pupils were two brothers named Tambroni, one of whom, discouraged by the difficulties he met with, complained to his sister Clotilda, who, by way of assisting him, volunteered to learn the same lessons. The old Jesuit was delighted with the girl, and spared no pains to make her a proficient. Female professors were not unknown in Bologna, and in process of time Clotilda Tambroni succeeded to the chair of the Professor of Greek, once occupied by the famous Laura Bassi, whom she was rendered worthy to succeed by her beauty as well as by her acquirements. The compositions of Clotilda Tambroni both in Greek and Italian were published, and universally admired; her poems surprised every one by their fire and genius, and her public orations were considered unrivalled in her age. Adored by all, her reputation was always unblemished. When the French became masters of Bologna, the University was suppressed, and to avoid insult and danger, Clotilda Tambroni retired into private life and lived in great seclusion. Some time after, she received an appointment in Spain, but, just as she arrived there, accompanied by her monk-preceptor Dom Emmanuele Aponte, the French had overturned everything. The pair returned to Bologna, where Aponte would have been in the greatest distress, if his grateful pupil had not insisted upon receiving him into her own house, and not only maintained him, but devoted herself as a daughter to his wants. After the Austrians had re-established the University on the old system, Clotilda Tambroni was invited to resume her chair, but as her health and spirits were then quite broken, she declined accepting it, upon which the Government very handsomely settled a small pension upon her, sufficient to ensure her the comforts of life.

With Clotilda Tambroni and her aged friend, our grandmother Mrs. Hare-Naylor, who wrote and spoke Greek as perfectly as her native language, and who taught her children to converse in it at the family repasts, naturally found more congenial companionship than with any other members of the Bolognese society; and, when she was recalled with her husband to England, she had no hesitation in intrusting three of her sons to their care. Julius and Marcus were then only very beautiful and engaging little children, but Francis, my father, was already eleven years old, and a boy of extraordinary acquirements, in whom an almost unnatural amount of learning had been implanted and fostered by his gifted mother. The strange life which he then led at Bologna with the old monk and the beautiful sibyl (for such she is represented in her portrait) who attended him, only served to ripen the seed which had been sown already, and the great Mezzofanti, who was charmed at seeing a repetition of his own marvellous powers in one so young, voluntarily took him as a pupil and devoted much of his time to him. To the year which Francis Hare passed with Clotilda Tambroni at Bologna, in her humble rooms with their tiled floors and scanty furniture, he always felt that he owed that intense love of learning for learning's sake which was the leading characteristic of his after life, and he always looked back upon the Tambroni as the person to whom, next to his mother, he was most deeply indebted. When he rejoined his parents at Hurstmonceaux, he continued, under his new tutor, Dr. Lehmann, to make such amazing progress as astonished all who knew him and was an intense delight to his mother.

Hurstmonceaux Place was then, and is still, a large but ugly house. It forms a massy square, with projecting circular bows at the corners, the appearance of which (due to Wyatt) produces a frightful effect outside, but is exceedingly comfortable within. The staircase, the floors, and the handsome doors, were brought from the castle. The west side of the house, decorated with some Ionic columns, is part of an older manor-house, which existed before the castle was dismantled. In this part of the building is a small old panelled hall, hung round with stags' horns from the ancient deer-park. The house is surrounded by spacious pleasure-grounds. Facing the east front were, till a few years ago, three very fine trees, a cedar, a tulip-tree, and a huge silver fir. In my childhood it often used to be a question which of these trees should be removed, as they were crowding and spoiling each other, and it ended in their all being left, as no one could decide which was the least valuable of the three. The wind has since that time carried away the cedar. The tulip-tree was planted by our great-aunt Marianne, daughter of Mrs. Henckel Hare, and I remember that my uncle Julius used to say that its gay flowers were typical of her and her dress.

For several years our grandparents carried on a most laborious contest of dignity with poverty on their ruined estate of Hurstmonceaux, where their only daughter Anna Maria Clementina was born in 1799. Finding no congenial associates in the neighbourhood, Mrs. Hare-Naylor consoled herself by keeping up an animated correspondence with all the learned men of Europe, while her husband wrote dull plays and duller histories, which have all been published, but which few people read then and nobody reads now. The long-confirmed habits of Italian life, with its peculiar hours and utter disregard of appearances, were continued in Sussex; and it is still remembered at Hurstmonceaux how our grandmother rode on an ass to drink at the mineral springs which abound in the park, how she always wore white, and how a beautiful white doe always accompanied her in her walks, and even to church, standing, during the service, at her pew door.

Upon the return of Lehmann to Germany in 1802, Francis Hare was sent to the tutorship of Dr. Brown, an eminent professor in Marischal College at Aberdeen, where he remained for two years, working with the utmost enthusiasm. He seems to have shrunk at this time from any friendships with boys of his own age, except with Harry Temple (afterwards celebrated as Lord Palmerston), who had been his earliest acquaintance in England, and with whom he long continued to be intimate. Meanwhile his mother formed the design of leaving to her children a perfect series of large finished water-colour drawings, representing all the different parts of Hurstmonceaux Castle, interior as well as exterior, before its destruction. She never relaxed her labour and care till the whole were finished, but the minute application, for so long a period, seriously affected her health and produced disease of the optic nerve, which ended in total blindness. She removed to Weimar, where the friendship of the Grand Duchess and the society of Goethe, Schiller, and the other learned men who formed the brilliantly intellectual circle of the little court did all that was possible to mitigate her affliction. But her health continued to fail, and her favourite son Francis was summoned to her side, arriving in time to accompany her to Lausanne, where she expired, full of faith, hope, and resignation, on Easter Sunday, 1806.

After his wife's death, Mr. Hare-Naylor could never bear to return to Hurstmonceaux, and sold the remnant of his ancestral estate for £60,000, to the great sorrow of his children. They were almost more distressed, however, by his second marriage to a Mrs. Mealey, a left-handed connection of the Shipley family—the Mrs. Hare-Naylor of my own childhood, who was less and less liked by her stepsons as years went on. She became the mother of three children, Georgiana, Gustavus, and Reginald—my half aunt and uncles. In 1815, Mr. Hare-Naylor died at Tours, and was buried at Hurstmonceaux.

The breaking up of their home, the loss of their beloved mother, and still more their father's second marriage, made the four Hare brothers turn henceforward for all that they sought of sympathy or affection to their Shipley relations. The house of their mother's eldest sister, Lady Jones, was henceforward the only home they knew. Little Anna Hare was adopted by Lady Jones, and lived entirely with her till her early death in 1813: Augustus was educated at her expense and passed his holidays at her house of Worting, her care and anxiety for his welfare proving that she considered him scarcely less her child than Anna; and Francis and Julius looked up to her in everything, and consulted her on all points, finding in her "a second mother, a monitress wise and loving, both in encouragement and reproof."[3] While Augustus was pursuing his education at Winchester and New College, and Marcus was acting as midshipman and lieutenant in various ships on foreign service; and while Julius (who already, during his residence with his mother at Weimar, had imbibed that passion for Germany and German literature which characterised his after life) was carrying off prizes at Tunbridge, the Charter House, and Trinity College, Cambridge; Francis, after his mother's death, was singularly left to his own devices. Mr. Hare-Naylor was too apathetic, and his stepmother did not dare to interfere with him: Lady Jones was bewildered by him. After leaving Aberdeen he studied vigorously, even furiously, with a Mr. Michell at Buckland. From time to time he went abroad, travelling where he pleased and seeing whom he pleased. At the Universities of Leipsic and Göttingen the report which Lehmann gave of his extraordinary abilities procured him an enthusiastic reception, and he soon formed intimacies with the most distinguished professors of both seats of learning. At the little court of Weimar he was adored. Yet the vagaries of his character led him with equal ardour to seek the friendship and share the follies of Count Calotkin, of whom he wrote as "the Lord Chesterfield of the time, who had had more princesses in love with him and perhaps more children on the throne than there are weeks in the year." At twenty, he had not only all the knowledge, but more than all the experiences, of most men of forty. Such training was not a good preparation for his late entrance at an English University. The pupil of Mezzofanti and Lehmann also went to Christ Church at Oxford knowing far too much. He was so far ahead of his companions, and felt such a profound contempt for the learning of Oxford compared with that to which he had been accustomed at the Italian and German universities, that he neglected the Oxford course of study altogether, and did little except hunt whilst he was at college. In spite of this, he was so naturally talented, that he could not help adding, in spite of himself, to his vast store of information. Jackson, Dean of Christ Church in his time, used to say that "Francis Hare was the only rolling stone he knew that ever gathered any moss." That which he did gather was always made the most of for his favourite brother Julius, for whose instruction he was never weary of writing essays, and in whose progress he took the greatest interest and delight. But through all the changes of life the tie between each of the four brothers continued undiminished—"the most brotherly of brothers," their common friend Landor always used to call them.

After leaving Oxford, my father lived principally at his rooms in the Albany. Old Dr. Wellesley[4] used often to tell me stories of these pleasant chambers (the end house in the court), and of the parties which used to meet in them, including all that was most refined and intellectual in the young life of London. For, in his conversational powers, Francis Hare had the reputation of being perfectly unrivalled, and it was thus, not in writing, that his vast amount of information on all possible subjects became known to his contemporaries. In 1811, Lady Jones writes of him "at Stowe" as "keeping all the talk to himself, which does not please the old Marquis much."

Francis Hare sold his father's fine library at Christie's soon after his death, yet almost immediately began to form a new collection of books, which soon surrounded all the walls of his Albany chambers. But his half-sister Mrs. Maurice remembered going to visit him at the Albany, and her surprise at not seeing his books. "Oh, Francis, what have you done with your library?" she exclaimed. "Look under the sofa and you will see it," he replied. She looked, and saw a pile of Sir William Jones's works: he had again sold all the rest. And through life it was always the same. He never could resist collecting valuable books, and then either sold them, or had them packed up, left them behind, and forgot all about them. Three of his collections of books have been sold within my remembrance, one at Newbury in July 1858; one at Florence in the spring of 1859; and one at Sotheby & Wilkinson's rooms in the following November.

Careful as to his personal appearance, Francis Hare was always dressed in the height of the fashion. It is remembered how he would retire and change his dress three times in the course of a single ball! In everything he followed the foibles of the day. "Francis leads a rambling life of pleasure and idleness," wrote his cousin Anna Maria Dashwood; "he must have read, but who can tell at what time?—for wherever there is dissipation, there is Francis in its wake and its most ardent pursuer. Yet, in spite of this, let any subject be named in society, and Francis will know more of it than nineteen out of twenty."

In 1816-17, Francis Hare kept horses and resided much at Melton Mowbray, losing an immense amount of money there. After this time he lived almost entirely upon the Continent. Lord Desart, Lord Bristol and Count d'Orsay were his constant companions and friends, so that it is not to be wondered at that attractions of a less reputable kind enchained him to Florence and Rome. He had, however, a really good friend in John Nicholas Fazakerley, with whom his intimacy was never broken, and in 1814, whilst watching his dying father at Tours, he began a friendship with Walter Savage Landor, with whom he ever afterwards kept up an affectionate correspondence. Other friends of whom he saw much in the next few years were Lady Oxford (then separated from her husband, and living entirely abroad) and her four daughters. In the romantic interference of Lady Oxford in behalf of Caroline Murat, queen of Naples, and in the extraordinary adventures of her daughters, my father took the deepest interest, and he was always ready to help or advise them. On one occasion, when they arrived suddenly in Florence, he gave a ball in their honour, the brilliancy of which I have heard described by the older Florentine residents of my own time. Twice every week, even in his bachelor days, he was accustomed to give large dinner-parties, and he then first acquired that character for hospitality for which he was afterwards famous at Rome and Pisa. Spa was one of the places which attracted him most at this period of his life, and he frequently passed part of the summer there. It was on one of these occasions (1816) that he proceeded to Holland and visited Amsterdam. "I am delighted and disgusted with this mercantile capital," he wrote to his brother Augustus. "Magnificent establishments and penurious economy—ostentatious generosity and niggardly suspicion—constitute the centrifugal and centripetal focus of Holland's mechanism. The rage for roots still continues. The gardener at the Hortus Medicus showed me an Amaryllis (alas! it does not flower till October), for which King Lewis paid one thousand guelders (a guelder is about 2 francs and 2 sous). Here, in the sanctuary of Calvinism, organs are everywhere introduced—though the more orthodox, or puerile, discipline of Scotland has rejected their intrusion. But, in return, the sternness of republican demeanour refuses the outward token of submission—even to Almighty power: a Dutchman always remains in church with his hat unmoved from his head."

The year 1818 was chiefly passed by Francis Hare in Bavaria, where he became very intimate with the King and Prince Eugene. The latter gave him the miniature of himself which I still have at Holmhurst. For the next seven years he was almost entirely in Italy—chiefly at Florence or Pisa. Sometimes Lord Dudley was with him, often he lived for months in the constant society of Count d'Orsay and Lady Blessington. He was fêted and invited everywhere. "On disait de M. Hare," said one who knew him intimately, "non seulement qu'il était original, mais qu'il était original sans copie." "In these years at Florence," said the same person, "there were many ladies who were aspirants for his hand, he was si aimable, pas dans le sens vulgaire, mais il avait tant d'empressement pour tout le sexe feminin." His aunts Lady Jones and her sister Louisa Shipley constantly implored him to return to England and settle there, but in vain: he was too much accustomed to a roving life. Occasionally he wrote for Reviews, but I have never been able to trace the articles. He had an immense correspondence, and his letters were very amusing, when their recipients could read his almost impossible hand. We find Count d'Orsay writing, apropos of a debt which he was paying—"Employez cette somme à prendre un maître d'écriture: si vous saviez quel service vous renderiez à vos amis!"

The English family of which Francis Hare saw most at Florence was that of Lady Paul, who had brought her four daughters to spend several years in Italy, partly for the sake of completing their education, partly to escape with dignity from the discords of a most uncongenial home. To the close of her life Frances Eleanor, first wife of Sir John Dean Paul of Rodborough, was one of those rare individuals who are never seen without being loved, and who never fail to have a good influence over those with whom they are thrown in contact. That she was as attractive as she was good is still shown in a lovely portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Landor adored her, and rejoiced to bring his friend Francis Hare into her society. The daughters were clever, lively and animated; but the mother was the great attraction to the house.

Defoe says that "people who boast of their ancestors are like potatoes, in that their best part is in underground." Still I will explain that Lady Paul was the daughter of John Simpson of Bradley in the county of Durham, and his wife Lady Anne Lyon, second daughter of the 8th Earl of Strathmore, who quartered the royal arms and claimed royal descent from Robert II. king of Scotland, grandson of the famous Robert Bruce: the king's youngest daughter Lady Jane Stuart having married Sir John Lyon, first Baron Kinghorn, and the king's grand-daughter Elizabeth Graham (through Euphemia Stuart, Countess of Strathern) having married his son Sir John Lyon of Glamis. Eight barons and eight earls of Kinghorn and Strathmore (which title was added 1677) lived in Glamis Castle before Lady Anne was born. The family history had been of the most eventful kind. The widow of John, 6th Lord Glamis, was burnt as a witch on the Castle Hill at Edinburgh, for attempting to poison King James V., and her second husband, Archibald Campbell, was dashed to pieces while trying to escape down the rocks which form the foundation of the castle. Her son, the 7th Lord Glamis, was spared, and restored to his honours upon the confession of the accusers of the family that the whole story was a forgery, after it had already cost the lives of two innocent persons. John, 8th Lord Glamis, was killed in a Border fray with the followers of the Earl of Crawford: John, 5th Earl, fell in rebellion at the battle of Sheriffmuir: Charles, 6th Earl, was killed in a quarrel. The haunted castle of Glamis itself, the most picturesque building in Scotland, girdled with quaint pepper-box turrets, is full of the most romantic interest. A winding stair in the thickness of the wall leads to the principal apartments. The weird chamber is still shown in which, as Shakspeare narrates, Duncan, king of Scotland, was murdered by Macbeth, the "thane of Glamis." In the depth of the walls is another chamber more ghastly still, with a secret, transmitted from the fourteenth century, which is always known to three persons. When one of the triumvirate dies, the survivors are compelled by a terrible oath to elect a successor. Every succeeding Lady Strathmore, Fatima-like, has spent her time in tapping at the walls, taking up the boards, and otherwise attempting to discover the secret chamber, but all have failed. One tradition of the place says that "Old Beardie"[5] sits for ever in that chamber playing with dice and drinking punch at a stone table, and that at midnight a second and terrible person joins him.


More fearful than these traditions were the scenes through which Lady Anne had lived and in which she herself bore a share. Nothing is more extraordinary than the history of her eldest brother's widow, Mary-Eleanor Bowes, 9th Countess of Strathmore, who, in her second marriage with Mr. Stoney, underwent sufferings which have scarcely ever been surpassed, and whose marvellous escapes and adventures are still the subject of a hundred story-books.

The vicissitudes of her eventful life, and her own charm and cleverness, combined to make Lady Anne Simpson one of the most interesting women of her age, and her society was eagerly sought and appreciated. Both her daughters had married young, and in her solitude, she took the eldest daughter of Lady Paul to live with her and brought her up as her own child. In her house, Anne Paul saw all the most remarkable Englishmen of the time. She was provided with the best masters, and in her home life she had generally the companionship of the daughters of her mother's sister Lady Liddell, afterwards Lady Ravensworth, infinitely preferring their companionship to that of her own brothers and sisters. Lady Anne Simpson resided chiefly at a house belonging to Colonel Jolliffe at Merstham in Surrey, where the persons she wished to see could frequently come down to her from London. The royal dukes, sons of George III., constantly visited her in this way, and delighted in the society of the pretty old lady, who had so much to tell, and who always told it in the most interesting way.

It was a severe trial for Anne Paul, when, in her twentieth year (1821), she lost her grandmother, and had to return to her father's house. Not only did the blank left by the affection she had received cause her constant suffering, but the change from being mistress of a considerable house and establishment to becoming an insignificant unit in a large party of brothers and sisters was most disagreeable, and she felt it bitterly.

Very welcome therefore was the change when Lady Paul determined to go abroad with her daughters, and the society of Florence, in which Anne Paul's great musical talents made her a general favourite, was the more delightful from being contrasted with the confinement of Sir John Paul's house over his bank in the Strand. During her Italian travels also, Anne Paul made three friends whose intimacy influenced all her after life. These were our cousin, the clever widowed Anna Maria Dashwood, daughter of Dean Shipley; Walter Savage Landor; and Francis Hare; and the two first united in desiring the same thing—her marriage with the last.

Meantime, two other marriages occupied the attention of the Paul family. One of Lady Paul's objects in coming abroad had been the hope of breaking through an attachment which her third daughter Maria had formed for Charles Bankhead, an exceedingly handsome and fascinating, but penniless young attaché, with whom she had fallen in love at first sight, declaring that nothing should ever induce her to marry any one else. Unfortunately, the first place to which Lady Paul took her daughters was Geneva, and Mr. Bankhead, finding out where they were, came thither (from Frankfort, where he was attaché) dressed in a long cloak and with false hair and beard. In this disguise, he climbed up and looked into a room where Maria Paul was writing, with her face towards the window. She recognised him at once, but thought it was his double, and fainted away. On her recovery, finding her family still inexorable, she one day, when her mother and sisters were out, tried to make away with herself. Her room faced the stairs, and as Prince Lardoria, an old friend of the family, was coming up, she threw open the door and exclaimed—"Je meurs, Prince, je meurs, je me suis empoisonné."—"Oh Miladi, Miladi," screamed the Prince, but Miladi was not there, so he rushed into the kitchen, and seizing a large bottle of oil, dashed upstairs with it, and, throwing Maria Paul upon the ground, poured the contents of it down her throat. After this, Lady Paul looked upon the marriage as inevitable, and sent Maria to England to her aunt Lady Ravensworth, from whose house she was married to Charles Bankhead, neither her mother or sisters being present. Shortly afterwards Mr. Bankhead was appointed minister in Mexico, and his wife, accompanying him thither, remained there for many years, and had many extraordinary adventures, especially during a great earthquake, in which she was saved by her presence of mind in swinging upon a door, while "the cathedral rocked like a wave on the sea" and the town was laid in ruins.

While Maria Paul's marriage was pending, her youngest sister Jane had also become engaged, without the will of her parents, to Edward, only son of the attainted Lord Edward Fitz Gerald, son of the 1st Duke of Leinster. His mother was the famous Pamela,[6] once the beautiful and fascinating little fairy produced at eight years old by the Chevalier de Grave as the companion of Mademoiselle d'Orleans; over whose birth a mystery has always prevailed; whose name Madame de Genlis declared to be Sims, but whom her royal companions called Seymour. To her daughter Jane's engagement Lady Paul rather withheld than refused her consent, and it was hoped that during their travels abroad the intimacy might be broken off. It had begun by Jane Paul, in a ball-room, hearing a peculiarly hearty and ringing laugh from a man she could not see, and in her high spirits imprudently saying—"I will marry the man who can laugh in that way and no one else,"—a remark which was repeated to Edward Fitz Gerald, who insisted upon being immediately introduced. Jane Paul was covered with confusion, but as she was exceedingly pretty, this only added to her attractions, and the adventure led to a proposal, and eventually, through the friendship and intercession of Francis Hare, to a marriage.[7]

Already, in 1826, we find Count d'Orsay writing to Francis Hare in August—"Quel diable vous possede de rester à Florence, sans Pauls, sans rien enfin, excepté un rhume imaginaire pour excuse?" But it was not till the following year that Miss Paul began to believe he was seriously paying court to her. They had long corresponded, and his clever letters are most indescribably eccentric. They became more eccentric still in 1828, when, before making a formal proposal, he expended two sheets in proving to her how hateful the word must always had been and always would be to his nature. She evidently accepted this exordium very amiably, for on receiving her answer, he sent his banker's book to Sir John Paul, begging him to examine and see if, after all his extravagancies, he still possessed at least "fifteen hundred a year, clear of every possible deduction and charge, to spend withal, that is, four pounds a day," and to consider, if the examination proved satisfactory, that he begged to propose for the hand of his eldest daughter! Equally strange was his announcement of his engagement to his brother Augustus at Rome, casually observing, in the midst of antiquarian queries about the temples—"Apropos of columns, I am going to rest my old age on a column. Anne Paul and I are to be married on the 28th of April,"—and proceeding at once, as if he had said nothing unusual—"Have you made acquaintance yet with my excellent friend Luigi Vescovali," &c. At the same time Mrs. Dashwood wrote to Miss Paul that Francis had "too much feeling and principle to marry without feeling that he could make the woman who was sincerely attached to him happy," and that "though he has a great many faults, still, when one considers the sort of wild education he had, that he has been a sort of pet pupil of the famous or infamous Lord Bristol, one feels very certain that he must have a more than commonly large amount of original goodness (not sin, though it is the fashion to say so much on that head) to save him from having many more."

It was just before the marriage that "Victoire" (often afterwards mentioned in these volumes) came to live with Miss Paul. She had lost her parents in childhood, and had been brought up by her grandmother, who, while she was still very young, "pour assurer son avenir," sent her to England to be with Madame Girardôt, who kept a famous shop for ladies' dress in Albemarle Street. Three days after her arrival, Lady Paul came there to ask Madame Girardôt to recommend a maid for her daughter, who was going to be married, and Victoire was suggested, but she begged to remain where she was for some weeks, as she felt so lonely in a strange country, and did not like to leave the young Frenchwomen with whom she was at work. During this time Miss Paul often came to see her, and they became great friends. At last a day was fixed on which Victoire was summoned to the house "seulement pour voir," and then she first saw Lady Paul. Miss Paul insisted that when her mother asked Victoire her age, she should say twenty-two at least, as Lady Paul objected to her having any maid under twenty-eight. "Therefore," said Victoire, "when Miladi asked 'Quelle age avez vous?' j'ai répondu 'Vingt-deux ans, mais je suis devenu toute rouge, oh comme je suis devenu rouge'—et Miladi a répondu avec son doux sourire—'Ah vous n'avez pas l'habitude des mensonges?'—Oh comme cà m'a tellement frappé."[8]

My father was married to Anne Frances Paul at the church in the Strand on the 28th of April 1828. "Oh comme il y avait du monde!" said Victoire, when she described the ceremony to me. A few days afterwards a breakfast was given at the Star and Garter at Richmond, at which all the relations on both sides were present, Maria Leycester, the future bride of Augustus Hare, being also amongst the guests.

Soon after, the newly-married pair left for Holland, where they began the fine collection of old glass for which Mrs. Hare was afterwards almost famous, and then to Dresden and Carlsbad. In the autumn they returned to England, and took a London house—5 Gloucester Place, where my sister Caroline was born in 1829. The house was chiefly furnished by the contents of my father's old rooms at the Albany.

"Victoire" has given many notes of my father's character at this time. "M. Hare était sevère, mais il était juste. Il ne pouvait souffrir la moindre injustice. Il pardonnait une fois—deux fois, et puis il ne pardonnait plus, il faudrait s'en aller; il ne voudrait plus de celui qui l'avait offensé. C'était ainsi avec François, son valet à Gloucester Place, qui l'accompagnait partout et qui avait tout sous la main. Un jour M. Hare me priait, avec cette intonation de courtoisie qu'il avail, que je mettrais son linge dans les tiroirs. 'Mais, très volontiers, monsieur,' j'ai dit. Il avait beaucoup des choses—des chemises, des foulards, de tout. Eh bien! quelques jours après il me dit—'Il me manque quelques foulards—deux foulards de cette espèce'—en tirant une de sa poche, parcequ'il faisait attention à tout. 'Ah, monsieur,' j'ai dit, 'c'est très probable, en sortant peut-être dans la ville.' 'Non,' il me dit, 'ce n'est pas ça—je suis volé, et c'est François qui les a pris, et ça n'est pas la première fois,' ainsi enfin il faut que je le renvoie." It was not till long after that Victoire found out that my father had known for years that François had been robbing him, and yet had retained him in his service. He said that it was always his plan to weigh the good qualities of any of his dependants against their defects. If the defects outweighed the virtues, "il faudrait les renvoyer de suite—si non, il faudrait les laisser aller." When he was in his "colère" he never allowed his wife to come near him—"il avait peur de lui faire aucun mal."

The christening of Caroline was celebrated with great festivities, but it was like a fairy story, in that the old aunt Louisa Shipley, who was expected to make her nephew Francis her heir, then took an offence—something about being godmother, which was never quite got over. The poor little babe itself was very pretty and terribly precocious, and before she was a year old she died of water on the brain. Victoire, who doated upon her, held her in her arms for the last four-and-twenty hours, and there she died. Mrs. Hare was very much blamed for having neglected her child for society, yet, when she was dead, says Victoire, "Madame Hare avait tellement chagrin, que Lady Paul qui venait tous les jours, priait M. Hare de l'ammener tout de suite. Nous sommes allés à Bruxelles, parceque là M. FitzGerald avait une maison,—mais de là, nous sommes retournés bien vite en Angleterre à cause de la grossesse de Madame Hare, parceque M. Hare ne voulut pas que son fils soil né à l'étranger, parcequ'il disait, que, étant le troisième, il perdrait ses droits de l'héritage.[9] C'est selon la loi anglaise—et c'était vraiment temps, car, de suite en arrivant à Londres, François naquit."

The family finally left Gloucester Place and went abroad in consequence of Lady Jones's death. After that they never had a settled home again. When the household in London was broken up, Victoire was to have left. She had long been engaged to be married to Félix Ackermann, who had been a soldier, and was in receipt of a pension for his services in the Moscow campaign. But, when it came to the parting, "Monsieur et Madame" would not let her go, saying that they could not let her travel, until they could find a family to send her with. "It was an excuse," said Victoire, "for I waited two years, and the family was never found. Then I had to consigner all the things, then I could not leave Madame—and so it went on for two years more, till, when the family were at Pisa, Félix insisted that I should come to a decision. Then M. Hare sent for Félix, who had been acting as a courier for some time, and begged him to come to Florence to go with us as a courier to Baden. Félix arrived on the Jeudi Saint. M. Hare came in soon after (it was in my little room) and talked to him as if they were old friends. He brought a bottle of champagne, and poured out glasses for us all, and faisait clinquer les verres. On the Monday we all left for Milan, and there I was married to Félix, and, after the season at Baden, Félix and I were to return to Paris, but when the time came M. Hare would not let us."

"Wherever," said Victoire, "M. Hare était en passage—soit à Florence, soit à Rome, n'importe où, il faudrait toujours des diners, et des fêtes, pour recevoir M. Hare, surtout dans les ambassades, pas seulement dans l'ambassade d'Angleterre, mais dans celles de France, d'Allemagne, etc. Et quand M. Hare ne voyageait plus, et qu'il était établi dans quelque ville, il donnait à son tour des diners à lui."

"Il s'occupait toujours à lire,—pas des romans, mais des anciens livres, dans lesquelles il fouillait toujours. Quand nous voyageons, c'était toujours pour visiter les bibliothèques, ça c'était la première chose, et il emporta énormément des livres dans la voiture avec lui.... Quand il y'avait une personne qui lui avait été recommandée, il fallait toujours lui faire voir tout ce qu'il avait, soit à Rome, soit à Bologne,—et comme il savait un peu de tout, son avis était demandé pour la valeur des tableaux, et n'importe de quoi."

On first going abroad, my father had taken his wife to make acquaintance with his old friends Lady Blessington and Count d'Orsay, with whom they afterwards had frequent meetings. Lady Blessington thus describes to Landor her first impressions of Mrs. Hare:—

"Paris, Feb. 1829.—Among the partial gleams of sunshine which have illumined our winter, a fortnight's sojourn which Francis Hare and his excellent wife made here, is remembered with most pleasure. She is indeed a treasure—well-informed, clever, sensible, well-mannered, kind, lady-like, and, above all, truly feminine; the having chosen such a woman reflects credit and distinction on our friend, and the community with her has had a visible effect on him, as, without losing any of his gaiety, it has become softened down to a more mellow tone, and he appears not only a more happy man, but more deserving of happiness than before."

My second brother, William Robert, was born September 20, 1831, at the Bagni di Lucca, where the family was spending the summer. Mrs. Louisa Shipley meanwhile never ceased to urge their return to England.

"Jan. 25, 1831.—I am glad to hear so good an account of my two little great-nephews, but I should be still more glad to see them. I do hope the next may be a girl. If Francis liked England for the sake of being with old friends, he might live here very comfortably, but if he will live as those who can afford to make a show, for one year of parade in England he must be a banished man for many years. I wish he would be as 'domestic' at home as he is abroad!"

In the summer of 1832 all the family went to Baden-Baden, to meet Lady Paul and her daughter Eleanor, Sir John, the FitzGeralds, and the Bankheads. All the branches of Mrs. Hare's family lived in different houses, but they met daily for dinner, and were very merry. Before the autumn, my father returned to Italy, to the Villa Cittadella near Lucca, which was taken for two months for Mrs. Hare's confinement, and there, on the 9th of October, my sister was born. She received the names of "Anne Frances Maria Louisa." "Do you mean your πολνὡνμος daughter to rival Venus in all her other qualities as well as in the multitude of her names? or has your motive been rather to recommend her to a greater number of patron saints?" wrote my uncle Julius on hearing of her birth. Just before this, Mrs. Shelley (widow of the poet and one of her most intimate friends) had written to Mrs. Hare:—

"Your accounts of your child (Francis) give me very great pleasure. Dear little fellow, what an amusement and delight he must be to you. You do indeed understand a Paradisaical life. Well do I remember the dear Lucca baths, where we spent morning and evening in riding about the country—the most prolific place in the world for all manner of reptiles. Take care of yourself, dearest friend.... Choose Naples for your winter residence. Naples, with its climate, its scenery, its opera, its galleries, its natural and ancient wonders, surpasses every other place in the world. Go thither, and live on the Chiaja. Happy one, how I envy you. Percy is in brilliant health and promises better and better.

"Have you plenty of storms at dear beautiful Lucca? Almost every day when I was there, vast white clouds peeped out from above the hills—rising higher and higher till they overshadowed us, and spent themselves in rain and tempest: the thunder, re-echoed again and again by the hills, is indescribably terrific.... Love me, and return to us—Ah! return to us! for it is all very stupid and unamiable without you. For are not you—

'That cordial drop Heaven in our cup had thrown,
To make the nauseous draught of life go down.'"

After a pleasant winter at Naples, my father and his family went to pass the summer of 1833 at Castellamare. "C'était à Castellamare" (says a note by Madame Victoire) "que Madame Hare apprit la mort de Lady Paul. Elle était sur le balcon, quand elle la lut dans le journal. J'étais dans une partie de la maison très éloignée, mais j'ai entendu un cri si fort, si aigu, que je suis arrivée de suite, et je trouvais Madame Hare toute étendue sur le parquet. J'appellais—'Au secours, au secours,' et Félix, qui était très fort, prenait Madame Hare dans ses bras, et l'apportait à mettre sur son lit, et nous l'avons donné tant des choses, mais elle n'est pas revenue, et elle restait pendant deux heures en cet état. Quand M. Hare est entré, il pensait que c'était à cause de sa grossesse. Il s'est agenouillé tout en pleurs à coté de son lit. Il demandait si je lui avais donné des lettres. 'Mais, non, monsieur; je ne l'ai pas donné qu'un journal.' On cherchait longtemps ce journal, parcequ'elle l'avait laissé tomber du balcon, mais quand il était trouvé, monsieur s'est aperçu tout de suite de ce qu'elle avait." The death of Lady Paul was very sudden; her sister Lady Ravensworth first heard of it when calling to inquire at the door in the Strand in her carriage. After expressing her sympathy in the loss of such a mother, Mrs. Louisa Shipley at this time wrote to Mrs. Hare:—

"I will now venture to call your attention to the blessings you possess in your husband and children, and more particularly to the occupation of your thoughts in the education of the latter. They are now at an age when it depends on a mother to lay the foundation of principles which they will carry with them through life. The responsibility is great, and if you feel it such, there cannot be a better means of withdrawing your mind from unavailing sorrow, than the hope of seeing them beloved and respected, and feeling that your own watchfulness of their early years, has, by the blessing of God, caused them to be so. Truth is the cornerstone of all virtues: never let a child think it can deceive you; they are cunning little creatures, and reason before they can speak; secure this, and the chief part of your work is done, and so ends my sermon."

It was in the summer of 1833, following upon her mother's death, that a plan was first arranged by which my aunt Eleanor Paul became an inmate of my father's household—the kind and excellent aunt whose devotion in all times of trouble was afterwards such a blessing to her sister and her children. Neither at first or ever afterwards was the residence of Eleanor Paul any expense in her sister's household: quite the contrary, as she had a handsome allowance from her father, and afterwards inherited a considerable fortune from an aunt.

In the autumn of 1833 my father rented the beautiful Villa Strozzi at Rome, then standing in large gardens of its own facing the grounds of the noble old Villa Negroni, which occupied the slope of the Viminal Hill looking towards the Esquiline. Here on the 13th of March 1834 I was born—the youngest child of the family, and a most unwelcome addition to the population of this troublesome world, as both my father and Mrs. Hare were greatly annoyed at the birth of another child, and beyond measure disgusted that it was another son.




"Sweete home, where meane estate
In safe assurance, without strife or hate,
Findes all things needfull for contentment meeke."—SPENSER.

"Is there not in the bosoms of the wisest and best some of the child's heart left to respond to its earliest enchantments?"—C. LAMB.

"I cannot paint to Memory's eye
The scene, the glance, I dearest love;
Unchanged themselves, in me they die,
Or faint, or false, their shadows prove."—KEBLE.

"Ce sont là les séjours, les sites, les rivages,
Dont mon âme attendrie évoque les images,
Et dont, pendant les nuits, mes songes les plus beaux
Pour enchanter mes yeux composent leurs tableaux."—LAMARTINE.

MARIA LEYCESTER had been married to my uncle Augustus Hare in June 1829. In their every thought and feeling they were united, and all early associations had combined to fit them more entirely for each other's companionship. A descendant of one of the oldest families in Cheshire, Miss Leycester's childhood and youth had been spent almost entirely in country rectories, but in such rectories as are rarely to be found, and which prove that the utmost intellectual refinement and an interest in all that is remarkable and beautiful in this world are not incompatible with the highest aspirations after a Christian and a heavenly life. Her father, Oswald Leycester, Rector of Stoke-upon-Terne in Shropshire, was a finished scholar, had travelled much, and was the most agreeable of companions. Her only sister, seven years older than herself, was married when very young to Edward Stanley, Rector of Alderley, and afterwards Bishop of Norwich, well known for the picturesqueness of his imaginative powers, for his researches in Natural History, and for that sympathy with all things bright and pleasant which preserved in him the spirit of youth quite to the close of life. Her most intimate friend, and the voluntary preceptor of her girlhood, had been the gifted Reginald Heber, who, before his acceptance of the Bishopric of Calcutta, had lived as Rector of Hodnet—the poet-rector—within two miles of her home.

One of the happy circle which constantly met at Hodnet Rectory, she had known Augustus Hare (first-cousin of Mrs. Heber, who was a daughter of Dean Shipley) since she was eighteen. Later interests and their common sorrow in Heber's death had thrown them closely together, and it would scarcely have been possible for two persons to have proved each other's characters more thoroughly than they had done, before the time of their marriage, which was not till Maria Leycester was in her thirty-first year.

Four years of perfect happiness were permitted them—years spent almost entirely in the quiet of their little rectory in the singularly small parish of Alton Barnes amid the Wiltshire downs, where the inhabitants, less than two hundred in number, living close at each other's doors, around two or three small pastures, grew to regard Augustus Hare and his wife with the affection of children for their parents. So close was the tie which united them, that, when the rich family living of Hurstmonceaux fell vacant on the death of our great-uncle Robert, Augustus Hare could not bear to leave his little Alton, and implored my father to persuade his brother Julius to give up his fellowship at Trinity and to take it instead.

"Having lived but little in the country, and his attention having been engrossed by other subjects, Augustus Hare was, from education and habits of life, unacquainted with the character and wants of the poor. The poverty of their minds, their inability to follow a train of reasoning, their prejudices and superstitions, were quite unknown to him. All the usual hindrances to dealing with them, that are commonly ascribed to a college life, were his in full force. But his want of experience and knowledge touching the minds and habits of the poor were overcome by the love he felt towards all his fellow-creatures, and his sympathy in all their concerns. In earlier days this Christ-like mind had manifested itself towards his friends, towards servants, towards all with whom he was brought in contact. It now taught him to talk to his poor parishioners and enter into their interests with the feeling of a father and a friend.... He had the power of throwing himself out of himself into the interests and feelings of others; nor did he less draw out their sympathies into his own, and make them sharers in his pleasures and his concerns. It was not only the condescension of a superior to those over whom he was placed, it was far more the mutual interchange of feeling of one who loved to forget the difference of station to which each was called, and to bring forward the brotherly union as members of one family in Christ, children of the same Heavenly Father, in which blessed equality all distinctions are done away. Often would he ask their counsel in matters of which he was ignorant, and call upon their sympathy in his thankful rejoicing. His garden, his hayfield, his house, were as it were thrown open to them, as he made them partakers of his enjoyment, or sought for their assistance in his need.... The one pattern ever before his eyes was his Lord and Master Jesus Christ; the first question he asked himself, 'What would Jesus Christ have me to do? What would He have done in my place?'

"Perfect contentedness with what was appointed for him, and deep thankfulness for all the good things given him, marked his whole being. In deciding what should be done, or where he should go, or how he should act, the question of how far it might suit his own convenience, or be agreeable to his own feelings, was kept entirely in the background till all other claims were satisfied. It was not apparently at the dictate of duty and reason that these thoughts were suppressed and made secondary: it seemed to be the first, the natural feeling in him, to seek first the things of others and to do the will of God, and to look at his own interest in the matter as having comparatively nothing to do with it. And so great a dread had he of being led to any selfish or interested views, that he would find consolation in having no family to include in the consideration—'Had I had children I might have fancied it an excuse for worldly-mindedness and covetousness.' His children truly were his fellow-men, those who were partakers of the same flesh and blood, redeemed by the same Saviour, heirs of the same heavenly inheritance. For them he was willing to spend and be spent, for them he was covetous of all the good that might be obtained.... He was never weary in well-doing, never thought he had done enough, never feared doing too much. Those small things, which by so many are esteemed as unnecessary, as not worth while, these were the very things he took care not to leave undone. It was not rendering a service when it came in his way, when it occurred in the natural course of things that he should do it; it was going out of the way to help others, taking every degree of trouble and incurring personal inconvenience for the sake of doing good, of giving pleasure even in slight things, that distinguished his benevolent activity from the common form of it. The love that dwelt in him was ready to be poured forth on whomsoever needed it, and being a free-will offering, it looked for no return, and felt no obligation conferred."

I have copied these fragments from the portrait which Augustus Hare's widow drew of his ministerial life,[10] because they afford the best clue to the way in which that life influenced hers, drawing her away from earth and setting her affections in heavenly places. And yet, though in one sense the life of Augustus Hare and his wife at Alton was one of complete seclusion, in another sense there were few who lived more for, or who had more real communion with, the scattered members of their family. Mrs. Stanley and her children, with her brother Mr. Penrhyn[11] and his wife, were sharers by letter in every trifling incident which affected their sister's life; and with his favourite brother Julius, Augustus Hare never slackened his intellectual intercourse and companionship. But even more than these was Lucy Anne Stanley,[12] the life-long friend of Maria Hare, till, in the summer of 1833, the tie of sisterhood, which had always existed in feeling, became a reality, through her marriage with Marcus Hare, the youngest of the four brothers.

A chill which Augustus Hare caught when he was in Cheshire for his brother's marriage, was the first cause of his fatal illness. It was soon after considered necessary that he should spend the winter abroad with his wife, and it was decided that they should accompany Marcus and Lucy Hare to Rome. At Genoa the illness of Augustus became alarming, but he reached Rome, and there he expired on the 14th of February 1834, full of faith and hope, and comforting those who surrounded him to the last.

My father felt his brother's loss deeply. They had little in common on many points, yet the close tie of brotherhood, which had existed between them from early days at Bologna, was such as no difference of opinion could alter, no time or absence weaken. When Augustus was laid to rest at the foot of the pyramid of Caius Cestius, my father's most earnest wish was to comfort his widowed sister-in-law, and in the hope of arousing an interest which might still give some semblance of an earthly tie to one who seemed then upon the very borderland of heaven, he entreated, when I was born in the following month, that she would become my godmother, promising that she should be permitted to influence my future in any way she pleased, and wishing that I should be called Augustus after him she had lost.

I was baptized on the 1st of April in the Villa Strozzi, by Mr. Burgess. The widow of Augustus held me in her arms, and I received the names of "Augustus John Cuthbert," the two last from my godfathers (the old Sir John Paul and Mr. Cuthbert Ellison), who never did anything for me, the first from my godmother, to whom I owe everything in the world.

Augustus J. C. Hare.

And his nurse Lucia Cecinelli. Augustus J. C. Hare.
And his nurse Lucia Cecinelli.

Soon afterwards, my godmother returned to England, with her faithful maid Mary Lea, accompanied by the Marcus Hares. She had already decided to fix her future home in the parish of Julius, who, more than any other, was a fellow-mourner with her. As regarded me, nothing more than the tie of a godmother had to that time been thought of; but in the quiet hours of her long return journey to England, while sadly looking forward to the solitary future before her, it occurred to Augustus Hare's widow as just possible that my parents might be induced to give me up to her altogether, to live with her as her own child. In July she wrote her petition, and was almost surprised at the glad acceptance it met with. Mrs. Hare's answer was very brief—"My dear Maria, how very kind of you! Yes, certainly, the baby shall be sent as soon as it is weaned; and, if any one else would like one, would you kindly recollect that we have others."

Yet my adopting mother had stipulated that I was to be altogether hers; that my own relations were henceforward to have no claim over me whatever; that her parents were to be regarded as my grandparents, her brother and sister as my uncle and aunt.

Meantime my father took his family for the hot summer months to one of the lovely villas on the high spurs of volcanic hill, which surround picturesque romantic Siena. They had none of the English society to which they had been accustomed at Lucca Baths and at Castellamare, but the Siennese are celebrated for their hospitality, and my father's talents, famous then throughout Italy, ensured him a cordial welcome amongst the really cultivated circle which met every evening in the old mediæval palaces of the native nobility. Of English, they had the society of Mr. and Mrs. Bulwer, who were introduced by Landor, while constant intercourse with Landor himself was one of the chief pleasures which the family enjoyed during this and many succeeding years. With Francis Hare he laid the plan of many of his writings, and in his judgment and criticism he had the greatest confidence. To this he alludes in his little poem of "Sermonis Propriora:"—

"Little do they who glibly talk of vrese
Know what they talk about, and what is worse,
Think they are judges if they dare to pass
Sentence on higher heads.

The mule and ass
Know who have made them what they are, and heed
Far from the neighing of the generous steed.
Gell, Drummond, Hare, and wise and witty Ward
Knew at first sight and sound the genuine bard,
But the street hackneys, fed on nosebag bran,
Assail the poet, and defame the man."

After another winter at Rome, the family went to Lausanne, and thence my father, with my beautiful Albanese nurse, Lucia Cecinelli, took me to meet Mrs. Gayford, the English nurse sent out to fetch me by my adopted mother from Mannheim on the Rhine. There the formal exchange took place which gave me a happy and loving home. I saw my father afterwards, but he seldom noticed me. Many years afterwards I knew Mrs. Hare well and had much to do with her; but I have never at any time spoken to her or of her as a "mother," and I have never in any way regarded her as such. She gave me up wholly and entirely. She renounced every claim upon me, either of affection or interest. I was sent over to England with a little green carpet-bag containing two little white night-shirts and a red coral necklace—my whole trousseau and patrimony. At the same time it was indicated that if the Marcus Hares should also wish to adopt a child, my parents had another to dispose of: my second brother William had never at any time any share in their affections.

On reaching England I was sent first to my cousin the Dowager Countess of Strathmore, and from her house was taken (in the coach) by Mrs. Gayford to my mother—my real only mother from henceforth—at Hurstmonceaux Rectory, which at that time was as much a palace of art, from its fine collection of pictures and books, as a country rectory could be.

My adopted mother always used to say that the story of Hannah reminded her of the way in which I was given to her. She believed it was in answer to a prayer of my uncle Augustus in the cathedral at Chalons, when he dropped some money into a box "pour les femmes enceintes," because he knew how much she wished to have a child. His eldest brother's wife was then enceinte, and I was born soon afterwards.



"On Tuesday, August 26, 1835, my little Augustus came to me. It was about four o'clock when I heard a cry from upstairs and ran up. There was the dear child seated on Mary's (Mary Lea's) knee, without a frock. He smiled most sweetly and with a peculiar archness of expression as I went up to him, and there was no shyness. When dressed, I brought him down into the drawing-room: he looked with great delight at the pictures, the busts, and especially the bronze wolf—pointed at them, then looked round at Jule and me. When set down, he strutted along the passage, went into every room, surveyed all things in it with an air of admiration and importance, and nothing seemed to escape observation. The novelty of all around and the amusement he found at first seemed to make him forget our being strangers. The next day he was a little less at home. His features are much formed and an uncommon intelligence of countenance gives him an older look than his age: his dark eyes and eyelashes, well-formed nose and expressive mouth make his face a very pretty one; but he has at present but little hair and that very straight and light. His limbs are small and he is very thin and light, but holds himself very erect. He can run about very readily, and within a week after coming could get upstairs by himself. In talking, he seems to be backward, and except a few words and noises of animals, nothing is intelligible. Number seems to be a great charm to him—a great many apples, and acorns to be put in and out of a basket. He has great delight in flowers, but is good in only smelling at those in the garden, gathers all he can pick up in the fields, and generally has his hands full of sticks or weeds when he is out. He wants to be taught obedience, and if his way is thwarted or he cannot immediately have what he wants, he goes into a violent fit of passion. Sometimes it is soon over and he laughs again directly, but if it goes on he will roll and scream on the floor for half-an-hour together. In these cases we leave him without speaking, as everything adds to the irritation, and he must find out it is useless. But if by prevention such a fit may be avoided it is better, and Mary Lea is very ingenious in her preventing."

"Oct. 3.—Augustus improves in obedience already. His great delight is in throwing his playthings into a jug or tub of water. Having been told not to do so in my room, he will walk round the tub when full, look at Mary, then at me, and then at the tub with a most comical expression, but if called away before too long will resist the temptation. He is very impatient, but sooner quiet than at first: and a tear in one eye and a smile in the other is usually to be seen. His great delight lately has been picking up mushrooms in the fields and filling his basket."

It was in October that my mother moved from the Rectory to Lime—our own dear home for the next five-and-twenty years. Those who visit Hurstmonceaux now can hardly imagine Lime as it then was, all is so changed. The old white gabled house, with clustered chimneys and roofs rich in colour, rose in a brilliant flower-garden sheltered on every side by trees, and separated in each direction by several fields from the highroad or the lanes. On the side towards the Rectory, a drive between close walls of laurel led to the old-fashioned porch which opened into a small low double hall. The double drawing-room and the dining-room, admirably proportioned, though small, looked across the lawn, and one of the great glistening pools which belonged to an old monastery (once on the site of the house), and which lay at the foot of a very steep bank carpeted with primroses in spring. Beyond the pool was our high field, over which the stumpy spire of the church could be seen, at about a mile and a half distant, cutting the silver line of the sea. The castle was in a hollow farther still and not visible. On the right of the lawn a grass walk behind a shrubbery looked out upon the wide expanse of Pevensey Level with its ever-varying lights and shadows, and was sheltered by the immensely tall abele trees, known as "the Five Sisters of Lime," which tossed their weird arms, gleaming silver-white, far into the sky, and were a feature in all distant views of Hurstmonceaux. On the left were the offices, and a sort of enclosed court, where the dogs and cats used to play and some silver pheasants were kept, and where my dear nurse Mary Lea used to receive the endless poor applicants for charity and help, bringing in their many complaints to my mother with inimitable patience, though they were too exclusively self-contained to be ever the least grateful to her, always regarding and speaking of her and John Gidman, the butler, as "furriners, folk from the shires."


No description can give an idea of the complete seclusion of the life at Lime, of the silence which was only broken by the cackling of the poultry or the distant threshing in the barn, for the flail, as well as the sickle and scythe, were then in constant use at Hurstmonceaux, where oxen—for all agricultural purposes—occupied the position which horses hold now. No sound from the "world," in its usually accepted sense, would ever have penetrated, if it had not been for the variety of literary guests who frequented the Rectory, and one or other of whom constantly accompanied my uncle Julius when he came down, as he did every day of his life, to his sister-in-law's quiet six-o'clock dinner, returning at about eight. Of guests in our house itself there were very few, and always the same—the Norwich Stanleys; Miss Clinton, a dear friend of my mother; after a time the Maurices, and Mr. and Mrs. Pile—an Alton farmer of the better class, and his excellent wife: but there was never any variety. Yet in my boyhood I never thought it dull, and loved Lime with passionate devotion. Even in earliest childhood my dearest mother treated me completely as her companion, creating interests and amusements for me in all the natural things around, and making me so far a sharer in her own spiritual thoughts, that I have always felt a peculiar truthfulness in Wordsworth's line—

"Heaven lies about us in our infancy."

If my mother was occupied, there was always my dear "Lea" at hand, with plenty of farmhouse interests to supply, and endless homely stories of country life.


"Lime, Oct. 23, 1835.—My little Augustus was much astonished by the change of house, and clung to me at first as if afraid of moving away. The first evening he kissed me over and over again, as if to comfort and assure me of his affection."

"Nov. 21.—Augustus has grown much more obedient, and is ready to give his food or playthings to others. Some time ago he was much delighted with the sight of the moon, and called out 'moon, moon,' quite as if he could not help it. Next day he ran to the window to look for it, and has ever since talked of it repeatedly. At Brighton he called the lamps in the streets 'moon,' and the reflection of the candles or fire on the window he does the same. He is always merriest and most amiable when without playthings: his mind is then free to act for itself and finds its own amusement; and in proportion as his playthings are artificial and leave him nothing to do, he quarrels or gets tired of them. He takes great notice of anything of art—the flowers on the china and plates, and all kinds of pictures."

"Stoke Rectory, Jan. 7, 1836.—During our stay with the Penrhyns at Sheen, Baby was so much amused by the variety of persons and things to attract attention, that he grew very impatient and fretful if contradicted. Since we have been at Stoke he has been much more gentle and obedient, scarcely ever cries and amuses himself on the floor. He is greatly amused by his Grandpapa's playful motions and comical faces, and tries to imitate them. When the school children are singing below, he puts up his forefinger when listening and begins singing with his little voice, which is very sweet. He will sit on the bed and talk in his own way for a long time, telling about what he has seen if he has been out: his little mind seems to be working without any visible thing before it, on what is absent."

"Alderley, March 13.—My dear boy's birthday, two years old. He has soon become acquainted with his Alderley relations,[13] and learnt to call them by name. He has grown very fond of 'Aunt Titty,' and the instant she goes to her room follows her and asks for the brush to brush the rocking-horse and corn to feed it. His fits of passion are as violent, but not so long in duration, as ever. When he was roaring and kicking with all his might and I could scarcely hold him, I said—'It makes Mama very sorry to see Baby so naughty.' He instantly stopped, threw his arms round my neck, and sobbed out—'Baby lub Mama—good.' When I have once had a struggle with him to do a thing, he always recollects, and does it next time."

"Lime, June 13.—On the journey from Stoke to London, Baby was very much delighted with the primroses in the hedgerows, and his delight in the fields when we got home was excessive. He knows the name of every flower both in garden and field, and never forgets any he has once seen.... When he sees me hold my hand to my head, he says, 'Mama tired—head bad—Baby play self.'"

"July 9.—Baby can now find his way all over the house, goes up and down stairs alone and about the lawn and garden quite independently, and enjoys the liberty of going in and out of the windows: runs after butterflies or to catch his own shadow: picks up flowers or leaves, and is the picture of enjoyment and happiness. Tumbling out of the window yesterday, when the fright was over, he looked up—'Down comes Baby and cradle and all.' He tells the kitten 'not touch this or that,' and me 'not make noise, Pussy's head bad.'"

"Sept. 28.—The sea-bathing at Eastbourne always frightened Baby before he went in. He would cling to Mary and be very nervous till the women had dipped him, and then, in the midst of his sobs from the shock, would sing 'Little Bo Peep,' to their great amusement. He was very happy throwing stones in the water and picking up shells; but above all he enjoyed himself on Beachy Head, the fresh air and turf seemed to exhilarate him as much as any one, and the picking purple thistles and other down flowers was a great delight.... His pleasure in returning home and seeing the flowers he had left was very great. He talks of them as if they were his playmates, realising Keble's—'In childhood's sports, companions gay.'"

"Oct. 17.—After dinner to-day, on being told to thank God for his good dinner, he would not do it, though usually he does it the first thing on having finished. I would not let him get out of his chair, which enraged him, and he burst into a violent passion. Twice, when this abated, I went to him and tried, partly by encouragement, partly by positively insisting on it, to bring him to obedience. Each time I took him up from the floor, he writhed on the floor again with passion, screaming as loud as he could. After a while, when I had left him and gone into the drawing-room, he came along the walk and went back again two or three times as if not having courage to come in, then at last came and hid his face in my lap. I carried him back to the dining-room and put him in his chair and talked to him about his dinner, did not he love God for giving him so many good things, and I knelt by him and prayed God to forgive him for being so naughty and to take away the naughty spirit. All the time he was struggling within himself, half-sobbing, half-smiling with effort—'I can't say it'—and then, after a time, 'Mama thanks God for Baby's good dinner.' 'No,' I said, 'Baby must do it for himself.' Still he resisted. At length on getting down from the chair he said, 'Kneel down under table'—and there at last he said, 'Thank God for Baby's good dinner,' and in a minute all the clouds were gone and sunshine returned to his face. The whole struggle lasted I suppose half-an-hour. In a few minutes after he was calling me 'Mama dear' and as merry as ever."

"Stoke Rectory, Nov. 26.—Baby asks 'Who made the dirt? Jesus Christ?' It is evident that he has not the slightest notion of any difference between the nature of God and any man, or between Heaven and London or any name of a place. Perhaps in this simplicity and literality of belief he comes nearer the truth than we in the sophistications and subtilties of our reasonings on such things: but the great difficulty is to impress awe and reverence for a holy and powerful Being, and to give the dread and serious sense of being under His eye, without a slavish fear and distance.

"He always asks when he sees my Bible—'Mama reading about Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ?'—a union of the two grand subjects, very unconsciously coming to the truth."

"Jan. 16, 1837.—Time is as yet a very indistinct impression on Baby's mind. Going round the field, he gathered some buttercups. I said, 'Leave the rest till to-morrow.' When we returned the same way, he asked, 'Is it to-morrow now?' ... After a violent passion the other day he looked up—'Will Jesus Christ be shocked?' He comes often and says—'Will 'ou pray God to make little Augustus good?' and asks to 'pray with Mama.'

"The other day he said—'My eyes are pretty.' 'Oh yes,' I said, 'they are, and so are Mama's and Na's.'—'And Grandpapa's and Grannie's too?'—'Yes, they are all pretty, nothing so pretty as eyes.' And I have heard no more of it.

"'Look, Mama,' he says, 'there is a bird flying up to God.'—'Where have you been to, Baby?'—'To a great many wheres.' He visits all the flowers in Grannie's garden, quite as anxiously as if they were living beings, and that quite without any hope of possessing them, as he is never allowed to gather any. He puts the different flowers together—and invents names for them—Hep—poly—primrose, &c. He also talks to animals and flowers as if they were conscious, and in this way creates constant amusement for himself: but the illusion is so strong he hardly seems to separate it from fact, and it becomes increasingly necessary to guard against the confusion of truth and error."

Children are said seldom to remember things which happen when they are three years old; but I have a distinct recollection of being at my mother's early home of Toft in Cheshire during this spring of 1837, and of the charm, of which children are so conscious, of the Mrs. Leycester ("Toft Grannie"—my mother's first cousin) who lived there. I also recollect the great dog at Alderley, and being whipped by "Uncle Ned" (Edward Stanley) at the gate of the Dutch garden for breaking off a branch of mezereon when I was told not to touch it. Indeed I am not sure whether these recollections are not of a year before, in which I distinctly remember a terrible storm at Lime, when Kate Stanley was with us, seeing a great acacia-tree torn up by the roots and hurled against the drawing-room window, smashing all before it, and the general panic and flight that ensued. Otherwise my earliest impressions of Hurstmonceaux are all of the primroses on the Lime bank—the sheets of golden stars everywhere, and the tufts of pure white primroses which grew in one particular spot, where the bank was broken away under an old apple-tree. Then of my intense delight in being taken in a punt to the three islets on the pond—Mimulus Island, Tiny and Wee; and of the excessive severity of Uncle Julius, who had the very sharpest possible way of speaking to children, even when he meant to be kind to them. Every evening, like clockwork, he appeared at six to dine with my mother, and walked home after coffee at eight. How many of their conversations, which I was supposed neither to hear or understand, have come back to me since like echoes: strange things for a child to remember—about the Fathers, and Tract XC., and a great deal about hymns and hymn-tunes—"Martyrdom," "Irish," "Abridge," &c.; for an organ was now put into the church, in place of the band, in which the violin never could keep time with the other instruments. Sir George Dasent has told me how he was at Hurstmonceaux then, staying with the Simpkinsons. Arthur Stanley was at the Rectory as a pupil, and he asked Arthur how he liked this new organ. "Well," he said, "it is not so bad as most organs, for it does not make so much sound." Uncle Julius preached about it, altering a text into "What went ye out for to hear."

A child who lives much with its elders is almost certain to find out what it is most intended to conceal from it. If possible it had better be confided in. I knew exactly what whispers referred to a certain dark passage in the history of the Rectory before Uncle Julius's time—"il y avait un crime"—and I never rested till I found it out. It was about this time that I remember Uncle Julius going into one of his violently demonstrative furies over what he considered the folly of "Montgomery's Poems," and his flinging the book to the other end of the room in his rage with it, and my wondering what would be done to me if I ever dared to be "as naughty as Uncle Jule."


"Lime, June 20, 1837.—Augustus was very ill in coming through London.... Seeing Punch one day from the window, he was greatly amused by it, and laughed heartily. Next day I told him I had seen Punch and Judy again. 'No, Mama, you can't have seen Judy, for she was killed yesterday.' On getting home he was much pleased, and remembered every place perfectly. Great is his delight over every new flower as it comes out, and his face was crimsoned over as he called to me to see 'little Cistus come out.' At night, in his prayers he said—'Bless daisies, bluebells,' &c.... I have found speaking of the power exercised by Jesus Christ in calming the wind a means of leading him to view Christ as God, which I felt the want of in telling him of Christ's childhood and human kindness,—showing how miraculous demonstration is adapted to childhood."

I have a vivid recollection of my long illness in Park Street, and of the miserable confinement in London. It was just at that time that my Uncle Edward Stanley was offered the Bishopric of Norwich. His family were all "in a terrible taking," as they used to call that sort of emotion, as to whether it should be accepted or not, and when the matter was settled they were almost worse—not my aunt, nothing ever agitated her, but the rest of them. Mary and Kate came, with floods of tears, to tell my mother they were to leave Alderley. My Uncle Penrhyn met Mary Stanley coming down our staircase, quite convulsed with weeping, and thought that I was dead.

When I was better, in the spring, we went to my Uncle Penrhyn's at East Sheen. One day I went into Mortlake with my nurse Mary Lea. In returning, a somewhat shabby carriage passed us, with one or two outriders, and an old gentleman inside. When we reached the house, Lea asked old Mills, the butler, who it was. "Only 'Silly Billy,'" he said. It was King William IV., who died in the following June. He had succeeded to the sobriquet which had been applied to his cousin and brother-in-law, William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, who died in 1834.

John Sterling had been living at Hurstmonceaux for several years as my uncle's curate, and was constantly at Lime or the Rectory. I vividly recollect how pleasant (and handsome) he was. My mother used to talk to him for hours together and he was very fond of her. With Mrs. Sterling lived her sister Annie Barton, whom I remember as a very sweet and winning person. During this summer, Frederick Maurice, a Cambridge pupil of my uncle's, came to visit him, and confessed his attachment to her. There were many obstacles to their marriage, of which I am ignorant; but my mother was always in favour of it, and did much to bring it about. I recollect Annie Barton as often sitting on a stool at my mother's feet.

On our way to Stoke in the preceding autumn, we had diverged to visit Frederick Maurice at his tiny curacy of Bubnell near Leamington. With him lived his sister Priscilla, for whom my mother formed a great friendship, which, beginning chiefly on religious grounds, was often a great trial to her, as Priscilla Maurice, with many fine qualities and great cleverness, was one of the most exacting persons I have ever known. I am conscious of course now of what fretted me unconsciously then, the entire difference of class, and consequent difference in the measurement of people and things, between the Maurices and those my mother had been accustomed to associate with, and of their injurious effect upon my mother herself, in inducing her to adopt their peculiar phraseology, especially with regard to religious things. They persuaded her to join in their tireless search after the motes in their brother's eyes, and urged a more intensified life of contemplative rather than active piety, which abstracted her more than ever from earthly interests, and really marred for a time her influence and usefulness. The Maurice sisters were the first of the many so-called "religious" people I have known, who did not seem to realise that Christianity is rather action than thought; not a system, but a life.

It must have been soon after this that Frederick Maurice moved to London, and our visits to London were henceforth for several years generally paid to his stuffy chaplain's house at Guy's, where, as I could not then appreciate my host, I was always intensely miserable, and, though a truly good man, Frederick Maurice was not, as I thought, an attractive one. What books have since called "the noble and pathetic monotone"[14] of his life, which was "like the burden of a Gregorian chaunt," describes him exactly, but was extremely depressing. He maundered over his own humility in a way which—even to a child—did not seem humble, and he was constantly lost mentally in the labyrinth of religious mysticisms which he was ever creating for himself. In all he said, as in all he wrote, there was a nebulous vagueness. "I sometimes fancy," "I almost incline to believe," "I seem to think," were the phrases most frequently on his lips. When he preached before the University of Cambridge to a church crowded with dons and undergraduates, they asked one another as they came out, "What was it all about?" He may have sown ideas, but, if they bore any fruits, other people reaped them.[15] Still his innate goodness brought him great devotion from his friends. Amongst those whom I recollect constantly seeing at Guy's, a man in whose society my mother found much pleasure, was John Alexander Scott, whom Mrs. Kemble describes as being mentally one of the most influential persons she had ever known.

Priscilla Maurice henceforward generally came to Lime soon after our annual return from Shropshire, and usually spent several months there, arriving armed with plans for the "reformation of the parish," and a number of blank books, some ruled in columns for parochial visitation, and others in which the names of all communicants were entered and preserved, so as to make the reprobation of absentees more easy at Hurstmonceaux.

As she established her footing, she frequently brought one of her many sisters with her: amongst them Esther Maurice, who at that time kept a ladies' school at Reading. Priscilla, I believe, afterwards regretted the introduction of Esther, who was much more attractive than herself, and in course of time entirely displaced her in my mother's affections. "Priscilla is like silver, but Esther is like gold," I remember my mother saying to Uncle Julius. Of the two, I personally preferred Priscilla, but both were a fearful scourge to my childhood, and so completely poisoned my life at Hurstmonceaux, that I looked to the winters spent at Stoke for everything that was not aggressively unpleasant.

Little child as I was, my feeling about the Maurices was a great bond between me and my aunt Lucy Hare, who, I am now certain, most cordially shared my opinion at this time, though it was unexpressed by either. Otherwise my Aunt Lucy was also already a frequent trial to my child-life, as she was jealous for her little Marcus (born in 1836) of any attention shown to me or any kindness I received. I felt in those early days, and on looking back from middle life I know that I felt justly, that my mother would often pretend to care for me less than she did, and punish me far more frequently for very slight offences, in order not to offend Aunt Lucy, and this caused me many bitter moments, and outbursts of passionate weeping, little understood at the time. In very early childhood, however, one pleasurable idea was connected with my Aunt Lucy. In her letters she would desire that "Baby" might be allowed to gather three flowers in the garden, any three he liked: the extreme felicity of which permission that Baby recollects still—and the anxious questionings with himself as to which the flowers should be.


"Lime, July 24, 1837.—Augustus continually asks 'Why,' 'What is the reason.' If it be in reference to something he has been told to do, I never at the time give him any other reason than simply that it is my will that he should do it. If it refers to something unconnected with practical obedience, it is right to satisfy his desire of knowledge as far as he can understand. Implicit faith and consequent obedience is the first duty to instil, and it behoves a parent to take care that a child may find full satisfaction for its instinctive moral sense of justice, in the consistency of conduct observed towards him; in the sure performance of every promise; in the firm but mild adherence to every command.

"He asks, 'Is God blue?'—having heard that He lived above the sky."

"Stoke Rectory, Jan. 1, 1838.—On Christmas Day Augustus went to church for the first time with me. He was perfectly good and kept a chrysanthemum in his hand the whole time, keeping his eyes fixed on it when sitting down. Afterwards he said, 'Grandpapa looked just like Uncle Jule: he had his shirt (surplice) on.'

"He has got on wonderfully in reading since I began to teach him words instead of syllables, and also learns German very quickly.

"Having been much indulged by Mrs. Feilden (Mrs. Leycester's sister), he has become lately what Mary (Lea) calls rather 'independent.' He is, however, easily knocked out of this self-importance by a little forbearance on my part not to indulge or amuse him, or allow him to have anything till he asks rightly.... There is a strong spirit of expecting to know the reason of a thing before he will obey or believe. This I am anxious to guard against, and often am reminded in dealing with him how analogous it is to God's dealing with us—'What thou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter.' Now he is to walk by faith, not by sight, not by reason."

"Lime, May 14, 1838.—Yesterday being Good Friday, I read to Augustus all he could understand about the Crucifixion. He was a little naughty, and I told him of it afterwards. 'But I was good all yesterday, won't that goodness do?' His delight over the flowers is as excessive as ever, but it is very necessary to guard against greediness in this."

"August 10.—Being told that he was never alone, God and Jesus Christ saw him, he said, 'God sees me, but Jesus Christ does not.'—'But they are both one.'—'Then how did John the Baptist pour water on His head, and how could He be crucified?' How difficult to a child's simple faith is the union of the two natures![16]

"Two days ago at prayers he asked what I read to the servants, and being told the meaning of the Lord's Prayer, he said, 'I know what "Amen" means. It means, "It is done."'

"June 11.—Having knocked off a flower on a plant in the nursery, Lea asked how he could have done such a thing—'What tempted you to do such a thing?' He whispered—'I suppose it was Satan.'

"Yesterday he told us his dream, that a beast had come out of a wood and eat him and Lea up; and Susan came to look for them and could not find them; then Mama prayed to God to open the beast's mouth, and He opened it, and they both came out safe.

"One night, after being over-tired and excited by the Sterlings, he went to bed very naughty and screamed himself asleep. Next morning he woke crying, and being asked why he did so, sobbed out, 'Lea put me in bed and I could not finish last night: so I was obliged to finish this morning.'

"Going up to London he saw the Thames. 'It can't be a river, it must be a pond, it is so large.' He called the sun in the midst of the London fog 'a swimming sun:' asked if the soldiers in the Park were 'looking out for the enemy.' 'Does God look through the keyhole?'

"Two days ago, having been told to ask God to take away the naughtiness out of him, he said, "May I ask Jesus Christ to take away the naughtiness out of Satan? then (colouring he said it, and whispering) perhaps He will take him out of hell.'

"On my birthday he told Lea at night, 'They all drank her health but Uncle Jule, and he loved her so much he could not say it.'"

I was now four years old, and I have a vivid recollection of all that happened from this time—often a clearer remembrance than of things which occurred last year. From this time I never had any playthings, they were all banished to the loft, and, as I had no companions, I never recollect a game of any kind or ever having played at anything. There was a little boy of my own age called Philip Hunnisett, son of a respectable poor woman who lived close to our gate, and whom my mother often visited. I remember always longing to play with him, and once trying to do so in a hayfield, to Lea's supreme indignation, and my being punished for it, and never trying again. My mother now took me with her every day when she went to visit the cottages, in which she was ever a welcome guest, for it was not the lady, it was the woman who was dear to their inmates, and, when listening to their interminable histories and complaints, no one entered more into George Herbert's feeling that "it is some relief to a poor body to be heard with patience." Forty years afterwards a poor woman in Hurstmonceaux was recalling to me the sweetness of my mother's sympathy, and told the whole story when she said, "Yes, many other people have tried to be kind to us; but then, you know, Mrs. Hare loved us." Truly it was as if—

"Christ had took in this piece of ground,
And made a garden there for those
Who want herbs for their wound."[17]

Whilst my mother was in the cottages, I remained outside and played with the flowers in the ditches. There were three places whither I was always most anxious that she should go—to Mrs. Siggery, the potter's widow, where I had the delight of seeing all the different kinds of pots, and the wet clay of which they were made: to "old Dame Cornford of the river," by which name a tiny stream called "the Five Bells" was dignified: and to a poor woman at "Foul Mile," where there was a ruined arch (the top of a drain, I believe!) which I thought most romantic. We had scarcely any visitors ("callers"), for there were scarcely any neighbours, but our old family home of Hurstmonceaux Place was let to Mr. Wagner (brother of the well-known "Vicar of Brighton"), and his wife was always very kind to me, and gave me two little china mice, to which I was quite devoted. His daughters, Annie and Emily, were very clever, and played beautifully on the pianoforte and harp. The eldest son, George, whose Memoirs have since been written, was a pale ascetic youth, with the character of a mediæval saint, who used to have long religious conversations with my mother, and—being very really in earnest—was much and justly beloved by her. He was afterwards a most devoted clergyman, being one of those who really have a "vocation," and probably accomplished more practical good in his brief life than any other five hundred parish priests taken at random. Of him truly Chaucer might have said—

"This noble sample to his sheep he gave,
That first he wrought, and afterwards he taught."

From the earliest age I heartily detested Hurstmonceaux Rectory, because it took me away from Lime, to which I was devoted, and brought me into the presence of Uncle Julius, who frightened me out of my wits; but to all rational and unprejudiced people the Rectory was at this time a very delightful place. It is situated on a hill in a lonely situation two miles from the church and castle, and more than a mile from any of the five villages which were then included in the parish of Hurstmonceaux; but it was surrounded by large gardens with fine trees, had a wide distant view over levels and sea, and was in all respects externally more like the house of a squire than a clergyman. Inside it was lined with books from top to bottom: not only the living rooms, but the passages and every available space in the bedrooms were walled with bookcases from floor to ceiling, containing more than 14,000 works. Most of these were German, but there were many very beautiful books upon art in all languages, and many which, even as a child, I thought it very delightful to look at. The only spaces not filled by books were occupied by the beautiful pictures which my uncle had collected in Italy, including a most exquisite Perugino, and fine works of Giorgione, Luini, Giovanni da Udine, &c. I was especially attached to a large and glorious picture by Paris Bordone of the Madonna and Child throned in a sort of court of saints. I think my first intense love of colour came from the study of that picture, which is now in the Museum at Cambridge; but my uncle and mother did not care for this, preferring severer art. Uncle Julius used to say that he constantly entertained in his drawing-room seven Virgins, almost all of them more than three hundred years old. All the pictures were to me as intimate friends, and I studied every detail of their backgrounds, even of the dresses of the figures they portrayed: they were also my constant comforters in the many miserable hours I even then spent at the Rectory, where I was always utterly ignored, whilst taken away from all my home employments and interests.

Most unpleasant figures who held a prominent place in these childish years were my step-grandmother, Mrs. Hare Naylor, and her daughter Georgiana. Mrs. H. Naylor had been beautiful in her youth, and still, with snowwhite hair, was an extremely pretty petite old lady. She was suspicious, exacting, and jealous to a degree. If she once took an impression of any one, it was impossible to eradicate, however utterly false it might be. She was very deaf, and only heard through a long trumpet. She would make the most frightful tirades against people, especially my mother and other members of the family, bring the most unpleasant accusations against them, and the instant they attempted to defend themselves, she took down her trumpet. Thus she retired into a social fortress, and heard no opinion but her own. I never recollect her taking the wisest turn—that of making the best of us all. I have been told that her daughter Georgiana was once a very pretty lively girl. I only remember her a sickly discontented petulant woman. When she was young, she was very fond of dancing, and once, at Bonn, she undertook to dance the clock round. She performed her feat, but it ruined her health, and she had to lie on her back for a year. From this time she defied the Italian proverb, "Let well alone," and dosed herself incessantly. She had acquired "l'habitude d'être malade;" she liked the sympathy she excited, and henceforth preferred being ill. Once or twice every year she was dying, the family were summoned, every one was in tears, they knelt around her bed; it was the most delicious excitement.

Mrs. Hare Naylor had a house at St. Leonards, on Maize Hill, where there were only three houses then. We went annually to visit her for a day, and she and "Aunt Georgiana" generally spent several months every year at Hurstmonceaux Rectory—employing themselves in general abuse of all the family. I offended Aunt Georgiana (who wore her hair down her back in two long plaits) mortally, at a very early age, by saying "Chelu (the Rectory dog) has only one tail, but Aunt Georgie has two."[18]

On the 28th of June 1838, the Coronation of Queen Victoria took place, when a great fête was given in the ruins of Hurstmonceaux Castle, at which every person in the parish was provided with a dinner. It was in this summer that my father brought his family to England to visit Sir John Paul, who had then married his second wife, Mrs. Napier, and was living with her at her own place, Pennard House, in Somersetshire. In the autumn my father came alone to Hurstmonceaux Rectory. I remember him then—tall and thin, and lying upon a sofa. Illness had made him very restless, and he would wander perpetually about the rooms, opening and shutting windows, and taking down one volume after another from the bookcase, but never reading anything consecutively. It was long debated whether his winter should be passed at Hastings or Torquay, but it was eventually decided to spend it economically at West Woodhay House, near Newbury, which Mr. John Sloper (nephew of our great-uncle—the husband of Emilia Shipley) offered to lend for the purpose. At this time my father's health was already exciting serious apprehensions. Mrs. Louisa Shipley was especially alarmed about him, and wrote:—

"Dr. Chambers says your lungs are not now in diseased state, but it will require great care and caution for a long time to keep them free, though with that he hopes that they may recover their usual tone and become as stout as you represent them; so remember that it depends on yourself and Ann's watchfulness and care of you, whether you are to get quite well, or be sickly for the remainder of your life, and also that the former becomes a duty, when you think of your children."

Francis G. Hare. Francis G. Hare.

My father never once noticed my existence during his long stay at the Rectory. On the last day before he left, my mother said laughingly, "Really, Francis, I don't think you have ever found out that such a little being as Augustus is in existence here." He was amused, and said, "Oh no, really!" and he called me to him and patted my head, saying, "Good little Wolf: good little Wolf!" It was the only notice he ever took of me.

Instead of going as usual direct to Stoke, we spent part of the winter of 1838-39 with the Marcus Hares at Torquay. Their home was a most beautiful one—Rockend, at the point of the bay, with very large grounds and endless delightful walks winding amongst rocks and flowers, or terraces overhanging the natural cliffs which there stride out seawards over the magnificent natural arch known as London Bridge. Nevertheless I recollect this time as one of the utmost misery. My Aunt Lucy, having heard some one say that I was more intelligent than little Marcus, had conceived the most violent jealousy of me, and I was cowed and snubbed by her in every possible way. Little Marcus himself was encouraged not only to carry off my little properties—shells, fossils, &c.—but to slap, bite, and otherwise ill-treat me as much as he liked, and when, the first day, I ventured, boylike, to retaliate, and cuff him again, I was shut up for two days on bread and water—"to break my spirit"—and most utterly miserable I became, especially as my dear mother treated it as wholesome discipline, and wondered that I was not devoted to little Marcus, whereas, on looking back, I wonder how—even in a modified way—I ever endured him.


"Torquay, January 7, 1839.—Augustus was very good on the journey, full of spirits and merriment. He was much delighted in passing through the New Forest to see the place where Rufus was shot, of which he has a picture he is fond of. At Mr. Trench's[19] he enjoyed, more than I ever saw him, playing with the children, and the two elder ones were good friends with him directly. They joined together and had all kinds of games. At Exmouth the shells were a great delight while they were embarking the carriage that we might cross the ferry.

"It has been a trial to him on coming here to find himself quite a secondary object of attention. At first he was so cowed by it that he seemed to have lost all his gaiety, instead of being pleased to play with little Marcus. In taking his playthings, little Marcus excited a great desire to defend his own property, and though he gives up to him in most things, he shows a feeling of trying to keep his own things to himself, rather than any willingness to share them. By degrees they have learnt to play together more freely, and on the whole agree well. But I see strongly brought out the self-seeking of my dear child, the desire of being first, together with a want of true hearty love for his little companion, and endeavour to please him."

"Stoke, February 26.—All the time of our stay at Rockend, Augustus was under an unnatural constraint, and though he played for the most part good-humouredly with little Marcus, it was evident he had no great pleasure in him, and instead of being willing to give him anything, he seemed to shut up all his generous feelings, and to begin to think only of how he might secure his own property from invasion: in short, all the selfishness of his nature seemed thus to be drawn out. For the most part he was good and obedient, but the influence of reward and dread of punishment seemed to cause it. He has gained much greater self-command, and will stop his screams on being threatened with the loss of any pleasure immediately, and I fear the greater part of his kindness to little Marcus arose from fear of his Aunt Lucy if he failed to show it. Only once did he return a blow, and knock little Marcus down. He was two days kept upstairs for it, and afterwards bore patiently all the scratches he received; but it worked inwardly and gave a dislike to his feeling towards his cousin.... He seemed relieved when we left Torquay."

"March 13, 1839.—My little Augustus is now five years old. Strong personal identity, reference of everything to himself, greediness of pleasures and possessions, are I fear prominent features in his disposition. May I be taught how best to correct these his sinful propensities with judgment, and to draw him out of self to live for others."

On leaving Torquay we went to Exeter to visit Lady Campbell, the eldest daughter of Sir John Malcolm, who had been a great friend of my Uncle Julius. She had became a Plymouth sister, the chief result of which was that all her servants sate with her at meals. She had given up all the luxuries, almost all the comforts, of life, and lived just as her servants did, except that one silver fork and spoon were kept for Lady Campbell. Thence we proceeded to Bath, to the house of "the Bath Aunts," Caroline and Marianne Hare, daughters of that Henrietta Henckel who pulled down Hurstmonceaux Castle. The aunts were very rich. Mrs. Henckel Hare had a sister, Mrs. Pollen, who left £60,000 to Marianne, who was her god-daughter, so that Caroline was the principal heiress of her mother. After they left Hurstmonceaux, they rented a place in the west of Sussex, but in 1820 took a place called Millard's Hill near Frome, belonging to Lord Cork, and very near Marston, where he lived. I was there many years after, on a visit to our distant cousin Lady Boyle, who lived there after the Bath Aunts left it, and then found the recollection still fresh in the neighbourhood of the Miss Hares, their fine horses, their smart dress, their splendid jewels, and their quarrelsome tempers. Their disputes had reference chiefly to my Uncle Marcus, to whom they were both perfectly devoted, and furious if he paid more attention to one than the other. Neither of them could ever praise him enough. Caroline, who always wrote of him as her "treasure," was positively in love with him. Whenever he returned from sea, to which he had been sent as soon as he was old enough, the aunts grudged every day which he did not spend with them. But their affection for him was finally rivetted in 1826, when he was accidentally on a visit to them at the time of their mother's sudden death, and was a great help and comfort. Mrs. Henckel Hare had been failing for many years, and even in 1820 letters describe her as asking for salt when she meant bread, and water when she meant wine; but her daughters, who had never left her, mourned her loss bitterly. Augustus wrote to Lady Jones in 1827, that the most difficult task his aunts had ever imposed upon him was that of writing an epitaph for their mother, there was "so remarkably little to say." However, with Julius's assistance, he did accomplish an inscription, which, though perfectly truthful, is strikingly beautiful. Besides her country house, Mrs. Henckel Hare had a large house in the Crescent at Bath, where her old mother, Mrs. Henckel, lived with her to an immense age. Old Mrs. Hare was of a very sharp disposition. Her niece, Lady Taylor, has told me how she went to visit her at Eastbourne as a child, and one day left her work upon the table when she went out. When she came in, she missed it, and Mrs. Hare quietly observed, "You left your work about, my dear, so I've thrown it all out of the window;" and sure enough, on the beach her thimble, scissors, &c., were all still lying, no one having picked them up!

In their youth "the Bath Aunts" had been a great deal abroad with their mother, and had been very intimate with the First Consul. It is always said that he proposed to Marianne before his marriage with Josephine, and that she refused him, and bitterly regretted it afterwards. Certainly he showed her and her sister the most extraordinary attentions when they afterwards visited Milan while he was there in his power.

The Bath Aunts had two brothers (our great-uncles) who lived to grow up. The eldest of these was Henry (born 1778). He was sent abroad, and was said to be drowned, but the fact was never well established. Lady Taylor remembered that, in their later life, a beggar once came to the door of the aunts at Bath, and declared he was their brother Henry. The aunts came down and looked at him, but not recognising any likeness to their brother, they sent him away with a few shillings. The next brother, George (born 1781), grew up, and went to India, whence he wrote constantly, and most prosperously, to his family. After some years, they heard that he was dead. He had always been supposed to be very rich, but when he died nothing was forthcoming, and it was asserted by those on the spot, that he had left no money behind him; yet this is very doubtful, and it is possible that a fortune left by George Hare may still transpire. Some people have thought that the account of George Hare's death itself was fictitious; but at that time India was considered perfectly inaccessible; there was no member of the family who was able to go and look after him or his fortunes, and the subject gradually dropped.


Before leaving George Hare, perhaps it is worth while to introduce here a story of later days, one of the many strange things that have happened to us. It was some time after our great family misfortunes in 1859, which will be described by-and-by, that I chanced to pass through London, where I saw my eldest brother, Francis, who asked me if we had any ancestor or relation who had gone to India and had died there. I said "No," for at that time I had never heard of George Hare or of the Bishop's youngest son, Francis, who likewise died in India. But my brother insisted that we must have had an Indian relation who died there; and on my inquiring "why," he told me the following story. He assured me, that being resolved once more to visit the old family home, he had gone down to Hurstmonceaux, and had determined to pass the night in the castle. That in the high tower by the gateway he had fallen asleep, and that in a vision he had seen an extraordinary figure approaching him, a figure attired in the dress of the end of the last century and with a pig-tail, who assured him that he was a near relation of his, and was come to tell him that though he was supposed to have died in India and insolvent, he had really died very rich, and that if his relations chose to make inquiries, they might inherit his fortune! At the time I declared that the story could not be true, as we never had any relation who had anything to do with India, but Francis persisted steadfastly in affirming what he had seen and heard, and some time afterwards I was told of the existence of George Hare.

At the time we were at Bath, Aunt Caroline was no longer living there; she had become so furiously jealous of Mrs. Marcus Hare, that she had to be kept under restraint, and though not actually mad, she lived alone with an attendant in a cottage at Burnet near Corsham. There she died some years after, very unhappy, poor thing, to the last. Her companion was a Mrs. Barbara, with whom Aunt Caroline was most furious at times. She had a large pension after her death. It used to be said that the reason why Mrs. Barbara had only one arm and part of another was that Aunt Caroline had eaten the rest.[20]

It was when we were staying with Aunt Marianne in 1839 that I first saw my real mother. "On est mère, ou on ne l'est pas," says the Madame Cardinal of Ludovic Halévy. In my case "on ne l'était pas." I watched Mrs. Hare's arrival, and, through the banisters of the staircase, saw her cross the hall, and was on the tiptoe of expectation; but she displayed no interest about seeing me, and did not ask for me at all till late in the evening, when all enthusiasm had died away. "I hope the Wolf answered your expectations, or still better surpassed them," wrote my father to his wife from West Woodhay. He was in the habit of calling all his children by the names of beasts. "Bring some cold-cream for the Tigress" (my sister), he wrote at the same time, and "the Owl (Eleanor Paul) and the Beast (William) are going to dine out." Francis he generally called "Ping," and his wife "Mrs. Pook."

Aunt Marianne, wishing to flatter Uncle Julius's love of learning, proudly announced to him that she had given me a book—a present I was perfectly enchanted with—when, to my intense dismay, he insisted upon exchanging it for a skipping-rope! which I could never be persuaded to use.

In the autumn of 1839 my father again returned with his family to Pisa, to the bitter grief of old Mrs. Louisa Shipley, who refused altogether to take leave of Mrs. Hare, though she afterwards wrote (Oct. 16), "I hope Anne has forgiven my rudeness her last day. I was too sorry to part with you to admit any third person." She was already rapidly failing, but she still wrote, "Your letters always give me pleasure, when I can read them, but to be sure they take a long time in deciphering." In the course of the following winter Mrs. Louisa Shipley died, without seeing her favourite nephew again. It was found then that she had never forgiven the last emigration to Italy against her wishes. Except a legacy to my Uncle Marcus, she left all she possessed to her next neighbour and cousin, Mrs. Townshend (daughter of Lady Milner—half-sister of Mrs. Shipley)—a will which caused terrible heartburnings amongst her more immediate relations, especially as many precious relics of Lady Jones and of Mrs. Hare Naylor were included in the property thus bequeathed. At the same time the estate of Gresford in Flintshire, which Bishop Shipley had left to each of his daughters in turn, now, on the death of the last of them, descended to my father, as the eldest son of the eldest daughter who had left children.

Victoire remembered the arrival of the letter, sealed with black, which announced the death of Mrs. Shipley, whilst the Hare family were at Florence. Félix was with his master when he opened the letter, and came in afterwards to his wife, exclaiming, "Oh mon pauvre M. Hare a eu bien de malheur." Francis Hare had thrown up his hands and said, "Félix, nous sommes perdus." All that day he would not dress, and he walked up and down the room in his dressing-gown, quite pale. He never was the same person again. Up to that time he had always been "si gai"—he was always smiling. He was "si recherché." "Avec les grands il était si franc, si charmant, mais avec les personnes de basse condition il était encore plus aimable que avec les grands personnages. Oh! comme il était aimé.... Jusque là il était invité partout, et il donnait toujours à diner et ses fêtes, et son introduction était comme un passeport partout. Mais depuis là il ne faisait pas le même—et c'était juste: il faudrait penser à ses enfants."[21]

But I am digressing from my own story, and must return to the intensely happy time of escaping from Rockend and going to Stoke. It was during this journey that I first saw any ruin of importance beyond Hurstmonceaux and Pevensey. This was Glastonbury Abbey, and it made a great impression upon me. I also saw the famous Christmas-blooming thorn, which is said to have grown from St. Joseph of Arimathea's staff, in the abbot's garden, bright with hepaticas. I remember at Stoke this year having for the first time a sense of how much the pleasantness of religious things depends upon the person who expresses them. During the winter my mother saw much of the voluminous author Mr. Charles Tayler, who was then acting as curate at Hodnet. He was very frank and sincere, and his "religious talking" I did not mind at all; whereas when the Maurices "talked," I thought it quite loathsome. In the following summer I used often to listen to conversations between Mr. Manning (afterwards Archdeacon, then Cardinal) and my mother, as he then first fell into the habit of coming constantly to Hurstmonceaux and being very intimate with my mother and uncle. He was very lovable and one of the most perfectly gentle gentle-men I have ever known; my real mother used to call him "l'harmonie de la poésie religieuse." My mother was very unhappy when he became a Roman Catholic in 1851.

How many happy recollections I have of hot summer days in the unbroken tranquillity of these summers at Lime. My mother was then the object of my uncle's exclusive devotion. He consulted her on every subject, and he thought every day a blank in which they had no meeting. We constantly drove up to the Rectory in the afternoon, when he had always some new plant to show her and to talk about. I well remember his enchantment over some of the new flowers which were being "invented" then—especially Salpiglossis (so exceedingly admired at first, but now forgotten), Salvia patens and Fuchsia fulgens, of which we brought back from Wood's Nursery a little plant, which was looked upon as a perfect marvel of nature.

Often when awake in the night now, I recall, out of the multiplicity of pretty, even valuable things, with which my house of Holmhurst is filled, how few of them belonged to our dear simple home in these early days. The small double hall had nothing in it, I think, except a few chairs, and some cloaks hanging on pegs against the wall, and the simple furniture of the double drawing-room consisted chiefly of the gifts made to my mother by her family when she went to Alton. One wall—the longest—was, however, occupied by a great bookcase, filled with handsomely bound books, chiefly divinity, many of them German. On the other walls hung a very few valuable engravings, mostly from Raffaelle, and all framed according to Uncle Julius's fancy, which would have driven print-collectors frantic, for he cut off all margins, even of proofs before letters. The only point of colour in the room, not given by flowers, came from a large panel picture presented by Landor—a Madonna and Child by Raffaellino da Colle, in a fine old Italian frame. The few china ornaments on the chimney-piece beneath were many of them broken, but they were infinitely precious to us. In the dining-room were only a few prints of Reginald Heber, my Uncle Norwich, my grandfather Leycester, and others. Simpler still were the bedrooms, where the curtains of the windows and beds were of white dimity. In my mother's room, however, were some beautiful sketches of the older family by Flaxman. The "pantry," which was Lea's especial sitting-room, where the walls were covered with pictures and the mantel-piece laden with china, had more the look of rooms of the present time. I believe, however, that the almost spiritualised aspect of my mother's rooms at Lime were as characteristic of her at this time, as the more mundane rooms of my after home of Holmhurst are characteristic of myself!


My mother and I breakfasted every morning at eight (as far as I can remember, I never had any meal in the so-called nursery) in the dining-room, which, as well as the drawing-room, had wide glass doors always open to the little terrace of the garden, from which the smell of new-mown grass or dewy pinks and syringa was wafted into the room. If it was very hot too, our breakfast took place on the terrace, in the deep shadow of the house, outside the little drawing-room window. After breakfast I began my lessons, which, though my mother and uncle always considered me a dunce, I now think to have been rather advanced for a child of five years old, as besides English reading, writing and spelling, history, arithmetic and geography, I had to do German reading and writing, and a little Latin. Botany and drawing I was also taught, but they were an intense delight. Through plans, maps, and raised models, I was made perfectly familiar with the topography of Jerusalem and the architecture of the Temple, though utterly ignorant of the topography of Rome or London and of the architecture of St. Peter's or St. Paul's. But indeed I never recollect the moment of (indoor) childhood in which I was not undergoing education of some kind, and generally of an unwelcome kind. There was often a good deal of screaming and crying over the writing and arithmetic, and I never got on satisfactorily with the former till my Aunt Kitty (Mrs. Stanley) or my grandmother (Mrs. Leycester) took it in hand, sitting over me with a ruler, and by a succession of hearty bangs on the knuckles, forced my fingers to go the right way. At twelve o'clock I went out with my mother, sometimes to Lime Cross (village) and to the fields behind it, where I used to make nosegays of "robin's-eye and ground-ivy,"—my love of flowers being always encouraged by mother, whose interest in Nature had a freshness like the poetry of Burns, observing everything as it came out—

"The rustling corn, the freited thorn,
And every happy creature."

Generally, however, we went to the girls' school at "Flowers Green," about half a mile off on the way to the church, where Mrs. Piper was the mistress, a dear old woman who recollected the destruction of the castle, and had known all my uncles in their childhood at Hurstmonceaux Place. At the school was a courtyard, overhung with laburnums, where I remember my mother in her lilac muslin dress sitting and teaching the children under a bower of golden rain.

I wonder what would be thought of dear old Mrs. Piper, in these days of board-schools and examinations for certificates. "Now, Mr. Simpikins," she said one day to Mr. Simpkinson the curate, whose name she never could master—"Now Mr. Simpikins, do tell me, was that Joseph who they sold into Egypt the same as that Joseph who was married to the Virgin Mary?"—"Oh no, they were hundreds of years apart."—"Well, they both went down into Egypt anyway." Yet Mrs. Piper was admirably suited to her position, and the girls of her tuition were taught to sew and keep house and "mind their manners and morals," and there were many good women at Hurstmonceaux till her pupils became extinct. The universal respect with which the devil is still spoken of at Hurstmonceaux is probably due to Mrs. Piper's peculiar teaching.

But, to return to our own life, at one we had dinner—almost always roast-mutton and rice-pudding—and then I read aloud—Josephus at a very early age, and then Froissart's Chronicles. At three we went out in the carriage to distant cottages, often ending at the Rectory. At five I was allowed to "amuse myself," which generally meant nursing the cat for half-an-hour and "hearing it its lessons." All the day I had been with my mother, and now generally went to my dear nurse Lea for half-an-hour, when I had tea in the cool "servants' hall" (where, however, the servants never sat—preferring the kitchen), after which I returned to find Uncle Julius arrived, who stayed till my bedtime.

As Uncle Julius was never captivating to children, it is a great pity that he was turned into an additional bugbear, by being always sent for to whip me when I was naughty! These executions generally took place with a riding-whip, and looking back dispassionately through the distance of years, I am conscious that, for a delicate child, they were a great deal too severe. I always screamed dreadfully in the anticipation of them, but bore them without a sound or a tear. I remember one very hot summer's day, when I had been very naughty over my lessons, Froissart's Chronicles having been particularly uninteresting, and having produced the very effect which Ahasuerus desired to obtain from the reading of the book of the records of the chronicles, that Uncle Julius was summoned. He arrived, and I was sent upstairs to "prepare." Then, as I knew I was going to be whipped anyway, I thought I might as well do something horrible to be whipped for, and, as soon as I reached the head of the stairs, gave three of the most awful, appalling and eldrich shrieks that ever were heard in Hurstmonceaux. Then I fled for my life. Through the nursery was a small bedroom, in which Lea slept, and here I knew that a large black travelling "imperial" was kept under the bed. Under the bed I crawled, and wedged myself into the narrow space behind the imperial, between it and the wall. I was only just in time. In an instant all the household—mother, uncle, servants—were in motion, and a search was on foot all over the house. I turn cold still when I remember the agony of fright with which I heard Uncle Julius enter the nursery, and then, with which, through a chink, I could see his large feet moving about the very room in which I was. He looked under the bed, but he saw only a large black box. I held my breath, motionless, and he turned away. Others looked under the bed too; but my concealment was effectual.

I lay under the bed for an hour—stifling—agonised. Then all sounds died away, and I knew that the search in the house was over, and that they were searching the garden. At last my curiosity would no longer allow me to be still, and I crept from under the bed and crawled to the window of my mother's bedroom, whence I could overlook the garden without being seen. Every dark shrub, every odd corner was being ransacked. The whole household and the gardeners were engaged in the pursuit. At last I could see by their actions—for I could not hear words—that a dreadful idea had presented itself. In my paroxysms I had rushed down the steep bank, and tumbled or thrown myself into the pond! I saw my mother look very wretched and Uncle Julius try to calm her. At last they sent for people to drag the pond. Then I could bear my dear mother's expression no longer, and, from my high window, I gave a little hoot. Instantly all was changed; Lea rushed upstairs to embrace me; there was great talking and excitement, and while it was going on, Uncle Julius was called away, and every one ... forgot that I had not been whipped! That, however, was the only time I ever escaped.

In the most literal sense, and in every other, I was "brought up at the point of the rod." My dearest mother was so afraid of over-indulgence that she always went into the opposite extreme: and her constant habits of self-examination made her detect the slightest act of especial kindness into which she had been betrayed, and instantly determine not to repeat it. Nevertheless, I loved her most passionately, and many tearful fits, for which I was severely punished as fits of naughtiness, were really caused by anguish at the thought that I had displeased her or been a trouble to her. From never daring to express my wishes in words, which she would have thought it a duty to meet by an immediate refusal, I early became a coward as to concealing what I really desired. I remember once, in my longing for childish companionship, so intensely desiring that the little Coshams—a family of children who lived in the parish—might come to play with me, that I entreated that they might come to have tea in the summer-house on my Hurstmonceaux birthday (the day of my adoption), and that the mere request was not only refused, but so punished that I never dared to express a wish to play with any child again. At the same time I was expected to play with little Marcus, then an indulged disagreeable child whom I could not endure, and because I was not fond of him, was thought intensely selfish and self-seeking.

As an example of the severe discipline which was maintained with regard to me, I remember that one day when we went to visit the curate, a lady (Miss Garden) very innocently gave me a lollypop, which I ate. This crime was discovered when we came home by the smell of peppermint, and a large dose of rhubarb and soda was at once administered with a forcing-spoon, though I was in robust health at the time, to teach me to avoid such carnal indulgences as lollypops for the future. For two years, also, I was obliged to swallow a dose of rhubarb every morning and every evening because—according to old-fashioned ideas—it was supposed to "strengthen the stomach!" I am sure it did me a great deal of harm, and had much to do with accounting for my after sickliness. Sometimes I believe the medicine itself induced fits of fretfulness; but if I cried more than usual, it was supposed to be from want of additional medicine, and the next morning senna-tea was added to the rhubarb. I remember the misery of sitting on the back-stairs in the morning and having it in a tea-cup, with milk and sugar.

At a very early age I was made to go to church—once, which very soon grew into twice, on a Sunday. Uncle Julius's endless sermons were my detestation. I remember some one speaking of him to an old man in the parish, and being surprised by the statement that he was "not a good winter parson," which was explained to mean that he kept the people so long with his sermons, that they could not get home before dark.

With the utmost real kindness of heart, Uncle Julius had often the sharpest and most insulting manner I have ever known in speaking to those who disagreed with him. I remember an instance of this when Mr. Simpkinson had lately come to Hurstmonceaux as my uncle's curate. His sister, then a very handsome young lady, had come down from London to visit him, and my mother took her to church in the carriage. That Sunday happened to be Michaelmas Day. As we were driving slowly away from church through the crowd of those who had formed the congregation, Uncle Julius holding the reins, something was said about the day. Without a suspicion of giving offence, Miss Simpkinson, who was sitting behind with me, said, in a careless way, "As for me, my chief association with Michaelmas Day is a roast goose." Then Uncle Julius turned round, and, in a voice of thunder, audible to every one on the road, exclaimed, "Ignorant and presumptuous young woman!" He had never seen her till that day. As she said to me years after, when she was a wife and mother, "That the Archdeacon should call me ignorant and presumptuous was trying, still I could bear that very well; but that he should dare to call me a young woman was not to be endured." However, her only alternative was to bear the affront and be driven two miles home, or to insist upon getting out of the carriage and walking home through the mud, and she chose the former course, and afterwards my uncle, when he knew her good qualities, both admired and liked her.

It must have been about this time that Uncle Julius delivered his sermons on "the Mission of the Comforter" at Cambridge, and many of his friends used to amuse my mother by describing them. The church was crowded, but the congregation was prepared for sermons of ordinary length. The Halls then "went in" at three, and when that hour came, and there was no sign of a conclusion, great was the shuffling of feet. This was especially the case during the sermon on "The Church the Light of the World," but Uncle Julius did not care a bit, and went on till 3.20 quite composedly.

At this time it used to be said that Uncle Julius had five popes—Wordsworth, Niebuhr, Bunsen, Frederick Maurice, and Manning.[22] They were very different certainly, but he was equally up in arms if any of these were attacked.

I was not six years old before my mother—under the influence of the Maurices—began to follow out a code of penance with regard to me which was worthy of the ascetics of the desert. Hitherto I had never been allowed anything but roast-mutton and rice-pudding for dinner. Now all was changed. The most delicious puddings were talked of—dilated on—until I became, not greedy, but exceedingly curious about them. At length "le grand moment" arrived. They were put on the table before me, and then, just as I was going to eat some of them, they were snatched away, and I was told to get up and carry them off to some poor person in the village. I remember that, though I did not really in the least care about the dainties, I cared excessively about Lea's wrath at the fate of her nice puddings, of which, after all, I was most innocent. We used at this time to read a great deal about the saints, and the names of Polycarp, Athanasius, &c., became as familiar to me as those of our own household. Perhaps my mother, through Esther Maurice's influence, was just a little High Church at this time, and always fasted to a certain extent on Wednesdays and Fridays, on which days I was never allowed to eat butter or to have any pudding. Priscilla Maurice also even persuaded Uncle Julius to have a service in the schoolroom at (the principal village) Gardner Street on saints' days, which was attended by one old woman and ourselves. My mother, who always appropriated to charities all money she received for the sale of my Uncle Augustus's sermons, also now spent part of it in the so-called "restoration" of Hurstmonceaux Church, when all the old pews were swept away and very hideous varnished benches put in their place. Uncle Julius, as soon as he became Archdeacon, used to preach a perfect crusade against pews, and often went, saw and hammer in hand, to begin the work in the village churches with his own hands.

Our own life through these years continued to be of the most primitive and simple kind. A new book or a new flower was its greatest event—an event to be chronicled and which only came once or twice a year. Many little luxuries, most common now, were not invented then, steel-pens and wax-matches for instance, and, amongst a thousand other unobserved deficiencies, there were no night-lights, except of a most rudimentary kind. No one ever thought of having baths in their rooms then, even in the most comfortable houses: a footpan or a "bidet" was the utmost luxury attempted.

It was in the spring of 1839 that I had my first associations with death. Often, in my earliest childish days, had I seen the sweet and charming Lady Parry, who, as Bella Stanley, had been one of the dearest friends of my mother's youth. While our dear cousins Charlotte and Emma Leycester were at Lime, the news came of her death, and I remember how they and my mother sate over the fire crying, and of gradually understanding the cause, and of tears being renewed for several mornings afterwards, when details were received from Sir Edward Parry and old Lady Stanley.


"Lime, June 18, 1839.—During a week spent in London, Augustus was part of every day with his brothers and sister. Their first meeting was at Sheen. Augustus was much excited before they came, and when he saw his brothers, threw himself on my neck and kissed me passionately. They were soon intimate, and he was very much delighted at playing with them, and was not made fretful by it. There seemed to be a strong feeling of affection awakened towards them, unlike anything he has shown to other children. I have begun to teach Augustus to draw, but it is wearisome work from his inattention.... His delight in flowers and knowledge of their names is greater than ever, and it is equally necessary to control his gratification in this as in other pleasures. The usual punishment for his impatience over dressing is to have no garden flowers.

"In all the books of education I do not find what I believe is the useful view taken of the actual labour of learning to read—that of forcing the child's attention to a thing irksome to it and without interest. The task is commonly spoken of as a means to an end, necessary because the information in books cannot otherwise be obtained, and it is to be put off till the child's interest in the information is excited and so made a pleasure to him. Now it seems to me to be an excellent discipline whereby daily some self-denial and command may be acquired in overcoming the repugnance to doing from duty that which has in itself no attraction. In the first struggle to fix the attention and learn that which is without interest, but which must be done, a habit is gained of great importance. And in this way nothing is better suited to the purpose than the lesson of reading, even though little progress may be made for a long time.

"I find in giving any order to a child, it is always better not to look to see if he obeys, but to take it for granted it will be done. If one appears to doubt the obedience, there is occasion given for the child to hesitate, 'Shall I do it or no?' If you seem not to question the possibility of non-compliance, he feels a trust committed to him to keep and fulfils it. It is best never to repeat a command, never to answer the oft-asked question 'why?'

"Augustus would, I believe, always do a thing if reasoned with about it, but the necessity of obedience without reasoning is specially necessary in such a disposition as his. The will is the thing that needs being brought into subjection.

"The withholding a pleasure is a safe punishment for naughtiness, more safe, I think, than giving a reward for goodness. 'If you are naughty I must punish you,' is often a necessary threat: but it is not good to hold out a bribe for goodness—'If you are good I will give you such a thing.'"

In the autumn of 1839 we went for the first time to Norwich and spent Christmas there, which was most enchanting to me. The old buildings of Norwich gave me, even at five years old, the intense and passionate pleasure with which I have ever since regarded them. No others are the same. No others come back to me constantly in dreams in the same way.


How I revelled in the old Palace of that time, with its immensely long rambling passages and carved furniture; in the great dining-room with the pictures of the Christian Virtues, and the broad damp matted staircase with heavy banisters which led through it towards the cathedral, which it entered after passing the mysterious chapel-door with its wrought-iron grille, and a quaint little court, in which a raven and a seagull, two of the many pets of my uncle the Bishop, usually disported themselves! Then, in the garden were the old gateway and the beautiful ruin of the first bishop's palace, and, beyond the ruin, broad walks in the kitchen-garden, ending in a summer-house, and a grand old mulberry-tree in a corner. Outside the grounds of the Palace, it was a joy to go with Lea by the old gate-house over the Ferry to Mousehold Heath, where delightful pebbles were to be picked up, and to the Cow Tower by the river Wensum: and sometimes Aunt Kitty took me in the carriage to Bramerton, where my kind old uncle taught me the names of all the different fossils, which I have never forgotten to this day.

My Aunt Kitty was deeply interesting, but also very awful to me. I could always tell when she thought I was silly by her looks, just as if she said it in words. I was dreadfully afraid of her, but irresistibly attracted to her. Like my mother, I never differed from her opinion or rebelled against her word. She was pleased with my attempts to draw, and tried to teach me, drawing before me from very simple objects, and then leaving me her outlines to copy, before attempting to imitate the reality.


My cousins, Mary and Kate, had two rooms filled with pictures and other treasures, which were approached by a very steep staircase of their own. I soon began to be especially devoted to Kate, but I thought it perfect rapture to pay both of them visits in their rooms and "make waxworks" with the little bits of coloured wax off the taper-candles which they collected for me. Besides, in her room Kate kept a wonderful little live owl. My cousin Arthur Stanley was also very attractive to me. He was quite young at this time—had not taken his Oxford degree, I think—and had a very charming and expressive countenance. If it had not been for this, and his winning smile, I suppose that in manners (certainly in dress) he would have been thought very wanting. He scarcely ever spoke to strangers, and coloured violently when spoken to. His father he was most piteously afraid of. I do not think he was quite comfortable and at home with any one except his two sisters. But he noticed me a good deal as a child, and told me stories out of the History of England, which I liked immensely. Hugh Pearson, afterwards my dear friend, recollected how, on overhearing him and Arthur in the chapel talking about the inscription on the tomb of Bishop Sparrow, who wrote the "Rationale," I exclaimed, "Oh cousin Arthur, do tell me about Bishop Sparrow and the Russian lady." I used to play with the children of Canon Wodehouse, who, with his charming wife, Lady Jane, lived close to the Palace. With their two youngest daughters, Emily and Alice, I was great friends, and long kept up a childish correspondence with them, on the tiniest possible sheets of paper. Emily had bright red hair, but it toned down, and after she grew up she was very much admired as Mrs. Legh of Lyme. On the way to the Ferry lived Professor Sedgwick, who was always very kind to me. He once took me with him to a shop and presented me with a great illustrated "Robinson Crusoe."


"Stoke, Feb. 12, 1840.—Augustus's chief delight of late has been stories out of the History of England, and the 'Chapter of Kings' is a continual source of interest and pleasure. His memory in these things is very strong and his quick apprehension of times and circumstances. I should say the historical organ was very decided in him, and he seems to have it to the exclusion of the simple childlike view of everything common to his age. In reading the account of the flood yesterday he asked, 'What books did Noah take into the Ark? he must have taken a Bible.'—'No—the people lived after his time.'—'Then he must have had one of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel.'—'How dreadful it must have been for Noah to see all the dead bodies when he came out of the Ark.'

"'How much ground there will be when we all die!'—'Why so?'—'Because we shall all turn to dust.'

"There is a strong predominance of the intellectual over the moral feeling in him, I fear, and it must be my endeavour always to draw out and encourage the love of what is good and noble in character and action. His eyes, however, always fill with tears on hearing any trait of this kind, and he readily melts at any act of self-denial or affection, so that his talking little of these things must not perhaps be dwelt upon as a sure sign of not estimating them."

"August 5.—There is just the same greediness in Augustus now about books that there used to be about flowers, and I have to restrain the taste for novelty and excitement. Reading of a little girl who was fond of her Bible, he said, 'I should not have been so. I like my fat Yellow Book much better, but I like the Bible far better than the Prayer-Book: I do not like that at all.'"

In this year of 1840, Uncle Julius accepted the Archdeaconry of Lewes, which wrought a change in our quiet life from the great number of clergy who were now constant guests at the Rectory and the greater frequency of clerical subjects of discussion at Lime. Once a year also, we went regularly to Hastings for a night before my uncle gave his charge to the clergy, driving back late afterwards through the hot lanes. I always liked this expedition and scrambling about with Lea on the mile of open common which then intervened between St. Leonards and Hastings: but it was dreadfully tantalising, when I was longing to go to the sea on the second day, that I was expected to remain for hours in the hot St. Clement's Church, while the sermon and charge were going on, and that the charge, of which I understood nothing except that I hated it, sometimes lasted three hours!

Mr. John Nassau Simpkinson[23] was now curate to my uncle, and lived in "the Curatage" at Gardner Street with his sister Louisa and her friend Miss Dixon, whom we saw constantly. They persuaded my mother to have weekly "parish tea-parties," at which all the so-called "ladies of the parish" came to spend the evening, drink tea, and work for the poor, while one of them read aloud from a Missionary Report. I think it was also at the suggestion of Miss Simpkinson that my mother adopted a little Hindoo girl (whom of course she never saw), putting her to school, paying for her, and otherwise providing for her.

A little excitement of our quiet summer was the marriage, in our old church, of my half-uncle Gustavus Hare, then a handsome young officer, to a pretty penniless Miss Annie Wright. It was a most imprudent marriage, and would probably have been broken off at the last moment, if my mother had not been melted by their distress into settling something (£1200 I think) upon them. I remember that it was thought a good omen that a firefly (one had never been seen at Hurstmonceaux before) perched, with its little lamp, upon the bride on the evening before the marriage. Mrs. Gustavus Hare proved an admirable wife and a good mother to her army of children. They lived for some time in Devonshire, and then in Ireland: whence, in 1868, they went to Australia, and afterwards passed entirely out of the family horizon, though I believe many of the children are still living.

In the autumn, a great enjoyment was driving in our own little carriage, with "Dull," the old horse (mother, Uncle Julius, Lea, and I), to spend a few days with the Penrhyns at Sheen, sleeping at Godstone and passing through Ashdown Forest. In those days, however, by starting early and posting, the journey from Lime to London could be accomplished in one day, but our annual journey from London to Stoke (in Shropshire) occupied three days. My mother and I used to play at "gates and stiles," counting them, through the whole journey. Unluckily the swinging motion of our great travelling chariot always made me so sick that I had a horror of these journeys; but we had pleasant hours in the evenings at the old posting-inns, with their civil old-fashioned servants and comfortable sitting-rooms with the heavy mahogany furniture which one so seldom sees now, and sometimes we arrived early enough for a walk, which had all the interest of an expedition into an unknown territory. Well do I remember certain fields near the comfortable old inn of Chapel House, and the daisies which Lea and I used to pick there. After my Aunt Kitty gave me my first taste for antiquities when showing me, at Stoke, the picture of Old Time in the frontispiece of Grose's "Antiquities," these journeys had a fresh interest, and greatly did I delight in the glimpse of Brambletye House, as we passed through Ashdown Forest, and the little tower of Stafford Castle at the top of its wooded hill. Once also we slept at Peterborough and saw its cathedral, and on the way to Norwich it was always an ecstasy to see and draw Thetford Abbey.

On the third day from London, when evening was drawing to a close, we began to reach familiar scenes—the inn of "the Loggerheads," with the sign of the two heads and the motto—

"We three
Loggerheads be."

Market-Drayton, paved with round pebbles, over which the carriage jolted violently, the few lamps being lighted against the black and white houses at the dark street corners: Little Drayton shabbier still, with the gaudy sign of the Lord Hill public-house, then of "The Conquering Hero," with the same intention: Stoke Heath, at that time a wild pine-wood carpeted with heather: some narrow lanes between high hedgerows: a white gate in a hollow with river-watered meadows: a drive between steep mossy banks with beech-trees, and a glimpse of an old church and tufted islands rising from the river in the flat meadows beyond: then the long windows and projecting porch of a white house with two gables. As we drove up, we could see through the windows two figures rising hastily from their red armchairs on either side the fire—an ancient lady in a rather smart cap, and an old gentleman with snow-white hair and the dearest face in the world—Grannie and Grandpapa.


The happiest days of my childish years were all condensed in the five months which we annually spent at Stoke (away from Uncle Julius, Aunt Georgiana, and the Maurices). Grandpapa did not take much notice of my existence, but when he did it was always in kindness, though I believe he had rather resented my adoption. Grannie (who was only my mother's stepmother but married to Grandpapa when she was quite a child) was tremendously severe, but also very good to me: she never "kept me at a distance," so, though she often punished me, I was never afraid of her—"Better a little chiding than a great deal of heart-break."[24]

The quaint old house was also suited to my imaginative disposition, and I thought the winding passage in the older part quite charming, and never observed that my bedroom had no carpet, and that the fender, which was the whole height of the mantel-piece, shut in all the warmth of the fire. A dark back-staircase with a swing door and a heavy bolt, which I thought most romantic, led hence to the offices.

In memory I can still see dear Grannie coming downstairs in the morning, with her little fat red and white spaniel Rose (it had belonged to her sister Rosamund) barking before her. She used to make Grandpapa read prayers in the study, a little long room close to the offices, which had a white bookcase along one side full of old books in white paper covers, and on the other a number of quaint old pictures of Switzerland. Square green baize cushions were put down in front of each of the "quality" for them to kneel upon, and were taken away as soon as the performance was over. I had my breakfast in the little room of Mrs. Cowbourne, my Grannie's dear old maid, which was through the kitchen, and deliciously warm and comfortable. I always remember the three glazed green flower-pots which stood in the window of that room, and which held respectively a double geranium, a trailing hop, and a very peculiar kind of small fuchsia, which one never sees now, with very small flowers. Sometimes I went in to see the men and maids have their breakfast at the long table in the servants' hall: the maids had only great bowls of bread and milk; tea and bread and butter were never thought of below the housekeeper's room.

Rev. Oswald Leycester

From a portrait in his 86th year Rev. Oswald Leycester
From a portrait in his 86th year

I did my lessons in my mother's room upstairs, which, as she always brought with her a picture of the four Hare brothers, and certain books from home in familiar covers, suggested a salutary reminiscence of Uncle Julius. Spelling and geography were always trials, the latter because the geography book was so dreadfully uninteresting: it told us how many inhabitants there were in the States of Lucca and Modena. I never had any playthings at Stoke: my amusement was to draw on all the bits of paper I could get hold of; but I only drew two subjects, over and over again—the Day of Judgment, and Adam and Eve being turned out of Paradise: these were of inexhaustible interest. Sometimes I was allowed to have the little volumes of "Voyages and Travels" to look at (I have them now), with the enchanting woodcuts of the adventures of Columbus, Cortes, and Pizarro: and there were certain little books of Natural History, almost equally delightful, which lived on the same shelf of the great bookcase in the drawing-room, and were got down by a little flight of red steps.

I scarcely ever remember Grannie as going out, except sometimes to church. She was generally in one extreme or other of inflammation or cold; but it never went beyond a certain point, and when she was thought to be most ill, she suddenly got well. Grandpapa used to walk with my mother in the high "rope-walk" at the top of the field, and I used to frisk away from them and find amusement in the names which my mother and her companions had cut on the beech-trees in their youth: in the queer dark corners of rock-work and shrubbery: in the deliciously high sweet box hedge at the bottom of the kitchen-garden; and most of all in the pretty little river Clarence, which flowed to join the Terne under a wooden bridge in a further garden which also belonged to the Rectory. But, if Grandpapa was not with us, we used to go to the islands in the Terne, reached by straight paths along the edge of wide ditches in the meadows. Two wooden bridges in succession led to the principal island, which was covered with fine old willow-trees, beneath which perfect masses of snowdrops came up in spring. At the end was a little bathing-house, painted white inside, and surrounded with cupboards, where I used to conceal various treasures, and find them again the following year. I also buried a bird near the bathing-house, and used to dig it up every year to see how the skeleton was getting on. My mother had always delightful stories to tell of this island in her own childhood, and of her having twice tumbled into the river: I was never tired of hearing them.

Another great enjoyment was to find skeleton-leaves, chiefly lime-leaves. There was a damp meadow which we called "the skeleton-ground" from the number we found there. I have never seen any since my childhood, but I learnt a way then of filling up the fibres with gum, after which one could paint upon them. Our man-servant, John Gidman, used to make beautiful arrows for me with the reeds which grew in the marshy meadows or by "Jackson's Pool" (a delightful place near which snowdrops grew wild), and I used to "go out shooting" with a bow. Also, in one of the lumber-rooms I found an old spinning-wheel, upon which I used to spin all the wool I could pick off the hedges: and there was a little churn in which it was enchanting to make butter, but this was only allowed as a great treat.


I always found the Shropshire lanes infinitely more amusing than those at Hurstmonceaux. Beyond the dirty village where we used to go to visit "Molly Latham and Hannah Berry" was a picturesque old water-mill, of which Grandpapa had many sketches. Then out of the hedge came two streamlets through pipes, which to me had all the beauty of waterfalls. Close to the Terne stood a beautiful old black and white farmhouse called Petsey. The Hodnet Lane (delightfully productive of wool), which ran in front of it, led also to Cotton, a farmhouse on a hill, whither my mother often went to visit "Anne Beacoll," and which was infinitely amusing to me. At the corner of the farmyard was a gigantic stone, of which I wonder to this day how it got there, which Grandpapa always told me to put in my pocket. But I liked best of all to beguile my mother in another direction through a muddy lane, in which we were half swamped, to Helshore, for there, on a promontory above the little river, where she remembered an old house in her childhood, the crocuses and polyanthuses of the deserted garden were still to be found in spring under the moss-grown apple-trees.

My grandparents and my mother dined at six. The dining-room had two pillars, and I was allowed to remain in the room and play behind them noiselessly: generally acting knights and heroes out of my ballad-books. At Hurstmonceaux I should have been punished at once if I ever made a noise, but at Stoke, if I was betrayed into doing so, which was not very often, Grannie would say, "Never mind the child, Maria, it is only innocent play." I can hear her tone now. Sometimes when "Uncle Ned" (the Bishop of Norwich) came, he used to tell me the story of Mrs. Yellowly, cutting an orange like an old lady's face, and "how Mrs. Yellowly went to sea," with results quite shocking—which may be better imagined than described. In the dining-room were two framed prints of the death of Lord Chatham (from Copley's picture) and of Lord Nelson, in which the multitude of figures always left something to be discovered. At the end of the room was a "horse"—a sort of stilted chair on high springs, for exercise on wet days.

In the evenings my mother used to read aloud to her old parents. Miss Strickland's "Queens of England" came out then, and were all read aloud in turn. If I found the book beyond my comprehension, I was allowed, till about six years old, to amuse myself with some ivory fish, which I believe were intended for card-markers. Occasionally Margaret, the housemaid, read aloud, and very well too. She also sang beautifully, having been thoroughly well trained by Mrs. Leycester, and I never hear the Collect "Lord of all power and might" without thinking of her. Grannie was herself celebrated for reading aloud, having been taught by Mrs. Siddons, with whom her family were very intimate, and she gave me the lessons she had received, making me repeat the single line, "The quality of Mercy is not strained," fifty or sixty times over, till I had exactly the right amount of intonation on each syllable, her delicate ear detecting the slightest fault. Afterwards I was allowed to read—to devour—an old brown copy of "Percy's Reliques," and much have I learnt from those noble old ballads. How cordially I agree with Professor Shairp, who said that if any one made serious study of only two books—Percy's "Reliques" and Scott's "Minstrelsy"—he would "give himself the finest, freshest, most inspiring poetic education that is possible in our age."

My mother's "religion" made her think reading any novel, or any kind of work of fiction, absolutely wicked at this time, but Grannie took in "Pickwick," which was coming out in numbers. She read it by her dressing-room fire with closed doors, and her old maid, Cowbourne, well on the watch against intruders—"elle prenait la peine de s'en divertir avec tout le respect du monde;" and I used to pick the fragments out of the waste-paper basket, piece them together, and read them too.

Sundays were far less horrid at Stoke than at home, for Grannie generally found something for me to do. Most primitive were the church services, very different indeed from the ritualism which has reigned at Stoke since, and which is sufficient to bring the old grandparents out of their graves. In our day the Rectory-pew bore a carved inscription—

God prosper ye Kynge long in thys lande
And grant that Papystrie never have ye vper hande,

but the present Rector has removed it.


I can see the congregation still in imagination, the old women in their red cloaks and large black bonnets; the old men with their glistening brass buttons, and each with his bunch of southern-wood—"old man"—to snuff at. In my childhood the tunes of the hymns were always given with a pitch-pipe. "Dame Dutton's School" used to be ranged round the altar, and the grand old alabaster tomb of Sir Reginald Corbet, and if any of the children behaved ill during the service, they were turned up and soundly whipped then and there, their outcries mingling oddly with the responses of the congregation. But in those days, now considered so benighted, there was sometimes real devotion. People sometimes said real prayers even in church, before the times since which the poor in village churches are so frequently compelled to say their prayers to music. The curates always came to luncheon at the Rectory on Sundays. They were always compelled to come in ignominiously at the back door, lest they should dirty the entrance: only Mr. Egerton was allowed to come in at the front door, because he was "a gentleman born." How Grannie used to bully the curates! They were expected not to talk at luncheon, if they did they were soon put down. "Tea-table theology" was unknown in those days. As soon as the curates had swallowed a proper amount of cold veal, they were called upon to "give an account to Mrs. Leycester" of all that they had done in the week in the four quarters of the parish—Eton, Ollerton, Wistanswick, and Stoke—and soundly were they rated if their actions did not correspond with her intentions. After the curates, came the school-girls to practise their singing, and my mother was set down to strum the piano by the hour together as an accompaniment, while Grannie occupied herself in seeing that they opened their mouths wide enough, dragging the mouths open by force, and, if they would not sing properly, putting her fingers so far down their throats that she made them sick. One day, when she was doing this, Margaret Beeston bit her violently. Mr. Egerton was desired to talk to her afterwards about the wickedness of her conduct. "How could you be such a naughty girl, Margaret, as to bite Mrs. Leycester?"—"What'n her put her fingers down my throat for? oi'll boite she harder next time," replied the impenitent Margaret.

Grannie used to talk of chaney (china), laylocks (lilacs), and gould (gold): of the Prooshians and the Rooshians: of things being "plaguey dear" or "plaguey bad." In my childhood, however, half my elders used such expressions, which now seem to be almost extinct. "Obleege me by passing the cowcumber," Uncle Julius always used to say.

There were always three especial sources of turmoil at Stoke—the curates, the butlers, and the gardeners. Grannie was very severe to all her dependants, but to no one more than to three young lady protégées who lived with her in turn—Eliza Lathom, Emma Hunt, and Charlotte Atkinson—whom she fed on skim-milk and dry bread, and treated so harshly that the most adventurous and youngest of them, Charlotte Atkinson,[25] ran away altogether, joined a party of strolling players, and eventually married an actor (Mr. Tweedie). I remember Grannie going down into the kitchen one day and scolding the cook till she could bear it no longer, when she seized the dinner-bell from the shelf and rang it in her ears till she ran out of the kitchen. When there was "a wash" at Stoke, which was about every third week, it was a rule with Grannie that, summer or winter, it must always begin at one A.M. At that hour old Hannah Berry used to arrive from the village, the coppers were heated and the maids at work. The ladies-maids, who were expected to do all the fine muslins, &c., themselves, had also always to be at the washtubs at three A.M.—by candlelight. If any one was late, the housekeeper reported to Mrs. Leycester, who was soon down upon them pretty sharply. Generally, however, her real practical kindness and generosity prevented any one minding Mrs. Leycester's severity: it was looked upon as only "her way;" for people were not so tender in those days as they are now, and certainly no servant would have thought of giving up a place which was essentially a good one because they were a little roughly handled by their mistress. In those days servants were as liable to personal chastisement as the children of the house, and would as little have thought of resenting it. "You don't suppose I'm going to hurt my fingers in boxing your ears," said Grannie, when about to chastise the school children she was teaching, and she would take up a book from the table and use it soundly, and then say, "Now, we mustn't let the other ear be jealous," and turn the child round and lay on again on the other side. Grannie constantly boxed her housemaids' ears, and alas! when he grew very old, she used to box dear Grandpapa's, though she loved him dearly, the great source of offence being that he would sometimes slyly give the servant's elbow a tip when his daily table-spoonful of brandy was being poured out.


As I have said, Grannie was quite devoted to Grandpapa, yet as she was twenty years younger, his great age could not but accustom her to the thought of his death, and she constantly talked before him, to his great amusement, of what she should do as a widow. Judge Leycester ("Uncle Hugh"), my grandfather's brother, had left her a house in New Street, Spring Gardens, and whenever Mary Stanley went to Stoke, she used to make her write down the different stages and distances to London to be ready for her removal. Frequently the family used to be startled by a tremendous "rat-a-tat-tat-tat," on the dining-room door. Grannie had ordered Richard, the young footman, up, and was teaching him how to give "a London knock"—it was well he should be prepared. One day the party sitting in the drawing-room were astonished to see the family carriage drive up to the door, with Spragg the butler on the box. "I was only seeing how Spragg will look as coachman when your Grandpapa is dead," said Grannie, and Grandpapa looked on at the arrangements and enjoyed them heartily.

As for dear Grandpapa himself, he was always happy. He would amuse himself for hours in touching up in grey or brown his own (very feeble) sketches in Switzerland or France. Being a great classical scholar, he also read a great deal of Italian and Latin poetry, and addressed a Latin ode to his daughter-in-law Lady Charlotte Penrhyn when he was in his ninety-second year! This kind aunt of my childhood—"Aunt Nin," as I always called her—was a very simple person, utterly without pretension, but because she was Lord Derby's daughter, Grannie always treated her as the great person of the family. When we went to Stoke, no difference whatever was made in the house, the stair-carpets were not laid down, and though the drawing-room was constantly lived in, its furniture was all swathed in brown holland after the fashion of an uninhabited London house. When the Stanleys or Leycesters of Toft came to Stoke, the stair-carpet was put down and the covers-covers were taken off; but on the rare occasions when Aunt Penrhyn came to Stoke—oh sublime moment!—the covers themselves were taken off.

From our constant winter walk—"the Rope Walk"—my mother and I could see Hodnet Tower, of which Grandpapa had at one time been Rector as well as of Stoke. Bishop Heber had been Rector before him, and in his time my mother had found much of her chief happiness at Hodnet, from sources which I did not understand, when I used so often to walk up and down with her on Sundays, listening to the beautiful Hodnet bells. In my childhood, Mrs. Cholmondeley was living at Hodnet Hall, having been Mary Heber, the Bishop's sister. She was very kind to me, writing for my instruction in English history a "Chapter of Kings," of which I can only remember the two last lines, which were rather irreverent:

"William the Fourth was a long time sick,
And then was succeeded by little Queen Vick."

It was a great event at Stoke when my mother was allowed to have the carriage, though what John Minshull the coachman generally did no one could ever find out. If we drove, it was generally to Buntingsdale, a fine old brick house of the last century standing at the end of a terraced garden, with lime avenues above the Terne, near Market Drayton. Here Mr. and Mrs. Tayleur lived with their four daughters—Mary, Harriet, Lucy, and Emma, who were very severely brought up, though their father was immensely rich. The old fashion was kept up at Buntingsdale of all the daughters being expected to spend the whole morning with their mother in the morning-room at work round a round table, and formality in everything was the rule. Yet many of my childish pleasures came from Buntingsdale, and I was always glad when we turned out of the road and across some turnip-fields, which were then the odd approach to the lime avenue on the steep bank above the shining Terne, and to see the brilliant border of crocuses under the old garden wall as we drove up to the house. The eldest daughter, Mary, who looked then like a delicate china figure and always smelt of lavender and rose-leaves, used to show me her shell cabinet and her butterflies, and teach me to collect snail-shells! The bright energetic second daughter, Harriet, drew capitally and encouraged my early interest in art. The other two daughters, Lucy and Emma, died young, almost at the same time: my chief recollection is of their bending over their eternal worsted-work, very pale and fragile, and their passing away is one of my earliest impressions of death.

The other neighbours whom we saw most of were the Hills of Hawkestone, then a very numerous family. Five of the brothers—Sir Rowland (afterwards Lord Hill), Sir Robert, Sir Francis, Sir Noel, and Colonel Clement Hill, were in the battle of Waterloo, and my mother has often described to me the sickening suspense in watching for the postman after the first news of the engagement had come, with the almost certainty that at least some of the brothers must be killed. Miss Emma was deputed to receive the news, as the sister of strongest nerve, but when she heard that all her brothers were safe (only Sir Robert being slightly wounded), she fainted away. Lord Hill used to ride to see my Grandfather upon the charger he rode at Waterloo, which horse had such a reputation, that people would come from great distances more even to see the horse than Lord Hill himself. In earlier days, the family at Hawkestone used to be likened to that of the Osbaldistons in "Rob Roy"—and had all the same elements—the chaplain, the soldiers, the sportsmen, the fox-hunter, the fisherman, and in Rachel (daughter of the Colonel Hill who was killed by a fall from his horse) a very handsome Diana Vernon, with frank natural manners: people called her "the Rose of Hawkestone." My mother often used to recall how remarkable it was that though, when gathered at home, the family seemed to have no other purpose than to pursue the amusements of a country life, when called on by their country to go forth in her service, none of her sons were so brave, none more self-devoted, than the Hill brothers.

When all the family were at Hawkestone, they dined early and had a hot supper at nine o'clock. As the family interests were confined to sporting, the conversation was not very lively, and was relieved by the uncles endeavouring to provoke each other and the young ones—to yawn! no very difficult task, seeing they had nothing to do. The eldest Miss Hill (Maria) was a very primitive-looking person, with hair cut short, and always insisted upon sitting alone at a side-table that no one might see her eat; but I cannot remember whether she was alive in my time, or whether I have only heard of her. Even in the days of a comparative inattention to those niceties of feminine attire now universally attended to, the extraordinary head-gear worn by the Misses Hill, their tight gowns, and homely appearance, were matter for general remark. But if they lacked in these points, they vied with their brothers in the possession of brave hearts and loving sympathies—"Every eye blessed them: every tongue gave witness" to their active benevolence.

In true patriarchal style, the six children of the eldest of the Hill brothers were brought up with the uncles and aunts at Hawkestone Hall, nor was any change made when the father's sudden death left a young widow to be tended with all the kindness of real brethren in the old family home. At length the grandfather died, and Sir Rowland, then about eighteen, succeeded. But when his affairs were inquired into, it was found, that in consequence of very serious losses in a county bankruptcy and from mismanagement of the estate, there was a heavy debt upon the property, which, at best, it would take years to liquidate. A plan of rescue presented itself to Mrs. Hill, the young baronet's mother, who was a clever and kind-hearted woman, but lacked the simplicity of her sisters-in-law. A rich merchant, a Mr. Clegg from Manchester, had bought the estate adjoining Hawkestone. His only grand-daughter was then scarcely more than a child; but it was as great an object of desire to old Mr. Clegg to ally his child with an ancient and respected family and to procure for her the rank and station which his gold could not obtain, as it was to Mrs. Hill to replenish her son's empty treasury, and enable him to keep up the family place. A compact for the future was soon settled. In a few years, however, the fatal illness of Mr. Clegg obliged Mrs. Hill to hurry matters, and over her grandfather's deathbed Sir Rowland was married to the girl of fifteen. Immediately after the ceremony Mr. Clegg died. Mrs. Hill then took the girl-bride home, and educated her with her own niece, no one suspecting her secret. Sir Rowland went abroad. When two years had elapsed, Mrs. Hill also went abroad with "Miss Clegg"—who returned as the wife of Sir Rowland, received with great festivities. The marriage was a most happy one. The unassuming gentleness of the lady was as great as if she had been born in the station to which she was called: and in the charities of social and domestic life and the exercise of the widest-hearted benevolence to all around her, she long reigned at Hawkestone.[26] Her son Rowland was only a year older than myself, and was the nearest approach to a boy-acquaintance that I had quite as a child.

Hawkestone was and is one of the most enchanting places in England. There, the commonplace hedges and fields of Shropshire are broken by a ridge of high red sandstone cliffs most picturesque in form and colour, and overgrown by old trees with a deep valley between them, where great herds of deer feed in the shadow. On one side is a grotto, and a marvellous cavern—"the Druid's Cave"—in which I used to think a live Druid, a guide dressed up in white with a wreath, appearing through the yellow light, most bewildering and mysterious. On the other side of the valley rise some castellated ruins called "the Red Castle." There was a book at Stoke Rectory about the history of this castle in the reign of King Arthur, which made it the most interesting place in the world to me, and I should no more have thought of questioning the fight of Sir Ewaine and Sir Hue in the valley, and the reception of the former by "the Lady of the Rock," and the rescue of Sir Gawaine from the gigantic Carados by Sir Lancelot, than I should have thought of attacking—well, the divine legation of Moses. But even if the earlier stories of the Red Castle are contradicted, the associations with Lord Audley and the battle of Blore Heath would always give it a historic interest.

Over one of the deep ravines which ran through the cliff near the Red Castle was "the Swiss Bridge"—Aunt Kitty painted it in oils. Beneath it, in a conical summer-house—"the Temple of Health"—an old woman used to sit and sell packets of ginger-bread—"Drayton ginger-bread"—of which I have often bought a packet since for association's sake.

But the most charming expedition of all from Stoke was when, once every year, I was sent to pay a visit to the Goldstone Farm, where the mother of my dear nurse Mary Lea lived. It was an old-fashioned farmhouse of the better class, black and white, with a large house-place and a cool parlour beyond it, with old pictures and furniture. In front, on the green, under an old cherry-tree, stood a grotto of shells, and beyond the green an open common on the hillside covered with heath and gorse, and where cranberries were abundant in their season. Behind, was a large garden, with grass walks and abundance of common flowers and fruit. Dear old Mrs. Lea was charming, and full of quaint proverbs and sayings, all, as far as I remember them, of a very ennobling nature. With her lived her married daughter, Hannah Challinor, a very fat good-natured farmeress. Words cannot describe the fuss these good people made over me, or my own dear Lea's pride in helping to do the honours of her home, or the excellent tea, with cream and cakes and jam, which was provided. After Mrs. Lea's death, poor Mrs. Challinor fell into impoverished circumstances, and was obliged to leave Goldstone, though the pain of doing so almost cost her her life. I was then able for many years to return in a measure the kindness shown me so long before.

Long after the railway was made which passed by Whitmore (within a long drive of Stoke), we continued to go in our own carriage, posting, to Shropshire. Gradually my mother consented to go in her own carriage, on a truck, by rail as far as Birmingham; farther she could not endure it. Later still, nearly the whole journey was effected by rail, but in our own chariot. At last we came to use the ordinary railway carriages, but then, for a long time, we used to have post-horses to meet us at some station near London: my mother would not be known to enter London in a railway carriage—"it was so excessively improper" (the sitting opposite strangers in the same carriage); so we entered the metropolis "by land," as it was called in those early days of railway travelling.

On returning to Lime in the spring of 1841, I was sent to Mr. Green's school, a commercial school at Windmill Hill, about a mile off. I used to ride to the school on my little pony "Gentle," much to the envy of the schoolboys; and in every way a most invidious distinction was made between me and them, which I daresay would have been thoroughly avenged upon me had I remained with them during play-hours; but I was only there from nine to twelve, doing my lessons at one of the great oak desks in the old-fashioned schoolroom. I chiefly remember of the school the abominable cases of favouritism that there were, and that if one of the ushers took a dislike to a boy, he was liable to be most unmercifully caned for faults for which another boy was scarcely reproved. In the autumn, when we went to Rockend, I was sent to another school at Torquay, a Mr. Walker's, where I was much more roughly handled, the master being a regular tartar. I remember a pleasant, handsome boy called Ray, who sat by me in school and helped me out of many a scrape, but Mr. Walker was very violent, and as he was not allowed to beat me as much as he did the other boys, he soon declined teaching me at all.

The railway from London to Brighton was now just opened, and we took advantage of it. As we reached Merstham (by the first morning train) the train stopped, and we were all made to get out, for the embankment had fallen in in front of us. It was pouring in torrents of rain, and the line muddy and slippery to a degree. We all had to climb the slippery bank through the yellow mud. I was separated from my mother and Lea and Uncle Julius, who was with us, but found them again in a desolate house, totally unfurnished, where all the passengers by the train were permitted to take refuge. It was the place whither I have gone in later days to visit Lord Hylton. Here we sat on the boarded floor, with very little food, in a great room looking upon some dripping portugal-laurels, all through the long weary day till four in the afternoon, when omnibuses arrived to take us to another station beyond the broken line. We did not reach Brighton till nine P.M., and when we arrived at the station and inquired after our carriages, which were to have met us at mid-day and taken us home, we heard that a bad accident had taken place; one of the horses had run away, one of the carriages been overturned down a steep bank, and one of the servants had his arm broken. We remained at Brighton in some anxiety till Monday, when we found that it was my uncle's horse "Steady" which had run away, and his faithful old servant Collins who was injured.

When my uncle was driving himself, these accidents were so frequent that we scarcely thought anything of them, as he drove so carelessly and talked vehemently or composed his sermons or charges all the way. But if the family had an accident on their way to church, they always returned thanks for their preservation, which made quite a little excitement in the service. I remember one occasion on which my mother and aunt did not appear as usual, when a note was handed to Uncle Julius as he came out of the vestry, upon which thanks were returned for the "merciful preservation of Lucy and Maria Hare and Staunton Collins" (the coachman)—and all the Rectory servants and all the Lime servants immediately walked out of church to look after the wounded or—because they were too excited to stay! The horse had taken fright at a gipsy encampment in the marsh lane and the family had been precipitated into the ditch.

At this time Uncle Julius had been made one of the Poor Law Guardians and had to visit at the workhouse, and there was the most ceaseless ferment and outcry against him. All sorts of stories were got up. One was that he was going to put all the children into a boat and take them out to sink them in Pevensey Bay! One day old Betty Lusted went up to the Rectory and asked to see the Archdeacon. He went out to her: "Well, Betty, and what do you want?"—"I want to know, zur, if you do know the Scripture."—"Well, Betty, I hope I do, but why do you ask?"—"Because if you do know the Scripture, how coomes it that you doona zee—'them whom God hath joined together let na man put asunder'?" (apropos of the separation of husbands and wives in the workhouse); and though she was a poor half-witted body, she brought the tears into his eyes. I remember his asking her daughter Polly once what she prayed for every night and morning. "Well, zur, I do pray for a new pair of shoes," replied Polly, without the slightest hesitation.

Uncle Julius would have given the world to have been able to talk easily and sympathetically to his people, but he could not get the words out. Sick people in the parish used to say, "The Archdeacon he do come to us, and he do sit by the bed and hold our hands, and he do growl a little, but he do zay nowt."

One day he heard that a family named Woodhams were in great affliction. It was just after poor Haydon had committed suicide, and he took down Wordsworth's sonnet on Haydon, and read it to them by way of comfort. Of course they had never heard of Haydon, and had not an idea what it was all about.[27]

It was on our way from Norwich to Stoke in the autumn of 1841 that I made my first sketch from nature. We slept at Bedford, to meet Charles Stanley there, and I drew Bedford Bridge out of the window—a view made by candlelight of a bridge seen by moonlight—but it was thought promising and I was encouraged to proceed. My mother, who drew admirably herself, gave me capital simple lessons, and in every way fostered my love of the picturesque. Indeed Hurstmonceaux itself did this, with its weird views across the levels to the faint blue downs, and its noble ruined castle. Of the stories connected with this castle I could never hear enough, and Uncle Julius told them delightfully. But the one I cared for most was of our remote ancestress Sybil Filiol, who lived at Old Court Manor in the reign of Edward II., I think. Uncle Julius used to describe how, after her marriage in Wartling Church, she went to take leave of her dead father's garden (before riding away upon a pillion behind her husband), and, whilst there, was carried off by gipsies. Her husband and other members of her family pursued them, but in those days locomotion was difficult, escape in the Cheviot Hills easy, and she was never heard of again.[28] How well I remember the pictorial description of a strange funeral seen approaching over the hills—"the gipsies of the north" bringing back the body of Sybil Filiol to be buried with her ancestors at Wartling, and the story of how her husband devoted her dowry to making "Sybil Filiol's Way," a sort of stone causeway to Hurstmonceaux Church, of which I delighted to trace the old grey stones near Boreham Street and in the Church Lane.

Our cousin Anna Maria Shipley, who had been cruelly married by her father against her will to the savage paralytic Mr. Dashwood, and who had been very many years a widow, had, in 1838, made a second marriage with an old neighbour, Mr. Jones, who, however, lived only a year. In 1840, she married as her third husband the Rev. George Chetwode, and died herself in the year following. Up to the time of her death, it was believed and generally understood that the heirs of her large fortune were the children of her cousin Francis,[29] but it was then discovered that two days before she expired, she had made a will in pencil in favour of Mr. Chetwode, leaving all she possessed in his power. This news was an additional shock to my father, who had never recovered the will of Mrs. Louisa Shipley, and he passed the winter of 1841 at Palermo in the utmost melancholy. When he first arrived, he gave a few dinners, but after that, says Victoire, he seemed to have a presentiment of his end, though the doctors declared that he was not dangerously ill. For several nights in February Félix sate up with him. Mr. Hare wished to send him to bed, "mais Félix repondit, 'Rappelez-vous, monsieur, que je suis ancien militaire, et que quand j'ai une consigne, je ne la quitte jamais;'" and then he opposed Félix no longer. "One morning at five o'clock A.M.," said Madame Victoire, "he asked Félix what o'clock it was. Félix told him. Then he said, 'Dans une demi-heure j'aurais mon lait d'ânesse,' parceque l'ânesse venait à six heures.... Puis il commence à faire jour, et Félix se met à arranger un peu la chambre. Se trouvant à la fenêtre, il entend M. Hare faire un mouvement dans le lit: Félix regarde de près, il écoute, il touche: M. Hare venait de finir."

My father was buried in the English Cemetery at Palermo, where there is a plain sarcophagus over his grave. The English Consul sent the following certificate to Mrs. Hare:—

"On Saturday, the 15th January, 1842, the remains of the late Francis George Hare, Esquire, were interred in the Protestant Burial Ground at the Lazzaret of Palermo, in the presence of a large concourse of Sicilian noblemen, and of the British, French, and American residents. The service of the church was read by the Rev. W. F. Holt, and the pall was supported by the Principino of Lardoria, the Prince of Radali, the American Consul, and Mr. J. F. Turner. As a token of respect to the memory of the deceased, the flags of the British, French, and American vessels were hoisted half-mast high during the forenoon."

The summer was spent by the Marcus Hares at the Rectory—one of those intensely hot summers which I never remember since my childhood, when we gasped through the day, and lay at night under bowers of ash-boughs to keep off the torment of gnats, which used then to be as bad at Hurstmonceaux as I have since known mosquitoes in Italy. Of my cousins I preferred Theodore, who was a very engaging little child. I remember Uncle Julius coming out with tears streaming down his cheeks, and an open letter in his hand, one day when all the family were sitting under the trees. It was the news of the death of Dr. Arnold of Rugby.

In the autumn Mrs. Hare came with her children to spend some time at Hurstmonceaux Rectory. It was then arranged that I should call her "Italima" (being a corruption of "Italian Mama"), and by that name I will henceforth speak of her in these memoirs, but this must not be taken to imply any greater intimacy, as she never treated me familiarly or with affection. I remember the party arriving in their black dress—Italima, Francis, William, Esmeralda, Mr. Gaebler—the admirable tutor, Félix, Victoire, and Clémence—my sister's maid. My sister, as a little child, was always called "the Tigress," but as she grew older, her cousin Lord Normanby remonstrated at this. "Then give her another name," said Italima. "Esmeralda,"—and Esmeralda she was now always called.

Italima must have found it intensely dull at the Rectory. She used to walk daily to Gardner Street, where the sight of "somebody" and the village shops was a consolation to her. She used to make my sister practise on the pianoforte for hours, and if she did not play well she shut her up for the rest of the day in a dressing-room, and I used to go and push fairy-stories to her under the door. Though she was so severe to my sister, she resented exceedingly any scoldings which Uncle Julius gave to Francis, who richly deserved them, and was terribly spoilt. He was, however, as beautiful as a boy as my sister was as a girl, and a wonderfully graceful pair they made when they danced the tarantella together in the evenings. Altogether my own brothers and sister being as children infinitely more attractive than the Marcus Hares', I was much happier with them, which was terribly resented in the family, and any sign I gave of real enjoyment was always followed by some privation, for fear I should be over-excited by it. Mr. Gaebler was a most pleasant and skilful tutor, and I found it delightful to do lessons with him, and made immense progress in a few weeks: but because his teaching was pleasant, it was supposed that the "discipline" of lessons was wanting, and I was not long allowed to go on learning from him. In the afternoons we were all made to go to the school and practise ridiculous Hullah singing, which we loathed.

The Bunsens were now living at Hurstmonceaux Place. Bunsen had been Minister for Prussia at Rome at the time of my birth and the death of my uncle Augustus Hare, and had then become very intimate with my mother, as he had previously been with my uncle. Therefore, when he became Minister in London and wanted a country-house, Hurstmonceaux Place, which was then to let, seemed wonderfully suited to his requirements. The great distance from London, however (the railway then coming no nearer than Brighton, twenty-four miles off) prevented the Bunsens from remaining more than two years at Hurstmonceaux; but during this time they added much to our happiness, and, child as I was, I was conscious of the vivifying influence which their refinement, their liberal views, and hightoned conversation brought into the narrow circle at Hurstmonceaux, which being so much and so often cut off from outer influences, was becoming more and more of a Mutual Admiration Society. In the many loving daughters of the house, my mother found willing helpers in all her work amongst the poor, while the cheerful wisdom and unfailing spirit of Madame Bunsen made her the most delightful of companions. For several months I went every morning to Hurstmonceaux Place, and did all my lessons with Theodore Bunsen, who was almost my own age, under the care of his German tutor, Herr Deimling.

It must have been in 1841, I think, that Bunsen inoculated my uncle and mother with the most enthusiastic interest in the foundation of the Bishopric of Jerusalem, being himself perfectly convinced that it would be the Church thus founded which would meet the Saviour at his second coming. Esther Maurice, by a subscription amongst the ladies of Reading, provided the robes of the new Bishop.

In the spring of 1843 I was dreadfully ill with the whooping-cough, which I caught (as I had done the chicken-pox before) from my mother's numerous parochial godchildren, when they came to Lime for their lessons. When I was better we went for three days in our own carriage to the Mount Ephraim Hotel at Tunbridge Wells. It was my first "tour," and it was with rapture that I saw Mayfield Palace, Bayham Abbey, and the High Rocks, on our way to which Lea and I were run away with by our donkeys.

When the Marcus Hares were not at the Rectory, Uncle Julius in these years had a wonderfully varied society there, of whom we always saw more or less—German philosophers, American philologists, English astronomers, politicians, poets. Amongst those I particularly disliked were Whewell and Thirlwall—so icily cold were their manners. Bunsen, Star, Archdeacon Moore, Prentiss the American, Darley, Hull, I liked; but Professor Sedgwick I was quite devoted to.[30] He "threw a mantle of love over every one;"[31] and nothing could be more charming than his stories, more attractive and interesting than his conversation, especially with children, with whom he took pains to "be agreeable." I saw so many people of this kind, that I used to think that what I heard called "society" was all like these specimens: I was very much mistaken. A visit from the gentle and amiable Copley Fielding early encouraged my love of art. He greatly admired the peculiar scenery of Hurstmonceaux—the views from the churchyard, so like the descent upon the marshes of Ostia; the burnt uplands of the old deer-park; the long flat reaches of blue-green level; and the hazy distant downs, which were especially after his own heart. There was one view of the castle towers seen from behind, and embossed against the delicate hues of the level, which he used to make a frequent study of, and which my mother and uncle ever after called "Copley Fielding's view."


Amongst other visitors of this year, I must mention our cousin Penelope, Mrs. Warren (eldest daughter of Dean Shipley and sister of Mrs. Dashwood and Mrs. Heber), who spent some days at the Rectory with her daughters, because under her protection I had my only sight of the upper part of Hurstmonceaux Castle. One of the staircases remained then, and the timbers of many of the upper rooms were left, though the floors were gone. One day we were with my mother and uncle in the ruins, and they were saying how no one would ever see the upper floor again, when, to their horror, Mrs. Warren seized me in her arms and darted up the staircase. "Look, child, look!" she said, "for no one will ever see this again," and she leapt with me from beam to beam. I recollect the old chimney-pieces, the falling look of everything. It was wonderful that we came down safe; the staircase was removed immediately after, that no one might follow in our footsteps.

I remember Carlyle coming to stay at the Rectory, where they did not like him much. He came in a high hat—every one wore high hats then. The day he arrived, the wind blew his hat off into a ditch as he was getting over a stile: and he went off at once into one of his unbounded furies against "the most absurd outrageous head-covering in the world, which the vanity of the Prince Regent had caused people to adopt."

Aunt Lucy and the Maurices had long urged my mother to send me to school, and perhaps in many ways my terrible fits of naughtiness made it desirable, though they chiefly arose from nervousness, caused by the incessant "nagging" I received at home from every one except my mother and Lea. But the choice of the school to which I was sent at nine years old was very unfortunate. When illness had obliged my Uncle Augustus Hare to leave his beloved little parish of Alton Barnes for Italy, a Rev. Robert Kilvert came thither as his temporary curate—a very religious man, deeply learned in ultra "evangelical" divinity, but strangely unpractical and with no knowledge whatever of the world—still less of the boyish part of it. As Dr. John Brown once said—"The grace of God can do muckle, but it canna gie a man common-sense." Mr. Kilvert was a good scholar, but in the dryest, hardest sense; of literature he knew nothing, and he was entirely without originality or cleverness, so that his knowledge was of the most untempting description. Still his letters to my mother in her early widowhood had been a great comfort to her, and there was no doubt of his having been a thoroughly good parish-priest. He had lately married a Miss Coleman, who derived the strange name of Thermuthis from the daughter of Pharaoh who saved Moses out of the bulrushes, and he had opened a small school at his tiny Rectory of Hardenhuish, or, as it was generally called, Harnish, the estate of the Clutterbucks, near Chippenham in Wiltshire; so my mother, thinking it of far more importance to select "a good man" than "a good master," determined to send me there. How often since have I seen the terrible mistake of parents in "packing off" children to a distant school, to be entirely in the hands of masters of whose practical influence and social competence for their duties they know nothing whatever!

My own experience of Harnish is one of the many instances I have known of how little the character of the head of an establishment affects the members of it, unless his spirituality is backed up by a thorough knowledge of the world. The greater portion of Mr. Kilvert's scholars—his "little flock of lambs in Christ's fold"—were a set of little monsters. All infantine immoralities were highly popular, and—in such close quarters—it would have been difficult for the most pure and high-minded boy to escape from them. The first evening I was there, at nine years old, I was compelled to eat Eve's apple quite up—indeed, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was stripped absolutely bare: there was no fruit left to gather.

I wonder if children often go through the intense agony of anguish which I went through when I was separated from my mother. Perhaps not, as few children are brought up so entirely by and with their parents in such close companionship. It was leaving my mother that I minded, not the going to school, to which my misery was put down: though, as I had never had any companions, the idea of being left suddenly amongst a horde of young savages was anything but comforting. But my nervous temperament was tortured with the idea that my mother would die before I saw her again (I had read a story of this kind), that our life was over, that my aunts would persuade her to cease to care for me,—indeed, the anguish was so great and so little understood, that though it is more than fifty years ago, as I write this, I can scarcely bear to think of it.




"The more we live, more brief appear
       Our life's returning stages:
 A day to childhood seems an year,
       And years like passing ages."
—Thomas Campbell.

"Oh if, in time of sacred youth,
       We learned at home to love and pray,
 Pray Heaven that early Love and Truth
       May never wholly pass away."

MY mother took me to Harnish Rectory on July 28, 1843. The aspect of Mr. Kilvert, his tall figure, and red hair encircling a high bald forehead, was not reassuring, nor were any temptations offered by my companions (who were almost entirely of a rich middle class), or by the playground, which was a little gravelled courtyard—the stable-yard, in fact—at the back of the house. The Rectory itself was a small house, pleasantly situated on a hill, near an odd little Wrenian church which stood in a well-kept churchyard. We were met at Harnish by Mrs. Pile, who, as daughter of an Alton farmer, was connected with the happiest period of my mother's life, and while I was a prey to the utmost anguish, talking to her prevented my mother from thinking much about parting with me.

One miserable morning Mr. Kilvert, Mrs. Pile, and I went with my mother and Lea to the station at Chippenham. Terrible indeed was the moment when the train came up and I flung myself first into Lea's arms and then into my mother's. Mrs. Pile did her best to comfort me—but ... there was no comfort.

Several boys slept in a room together at Harnish. In mine there was at first only one other, who was one of the greatest boy-blackguards I ever came across—wicked, malicious, and hypocritical. He made my life indescribably miserable. One day, however, whilst we were wearily plodding through our morning lessons, I saw a pleasant gentleman-like boy come through the gate, who was introduced to us as Alick MacSween. He was thirteen, so much older than any of the others, and he was very good-looking, at least we thought so then, and we used to apply to him the line in our Syntax—

"Ingenui vultus puer ingenuique pudoris."

It was a great joy to find myself transferred to his room, and he soon became a hero in my eyes. Imagination endowed him with every grace, and I am sure, on looking back, that he really was a very nice boy. Gradually I had the delight of feeling assured that Alick liked me as much as I liked him. We became everything to each other, and shared our "lockers" in school, and our little gardens in play-hours. Our affection made sunshine in the dreariness. My one dread was that Alick would some day like another boy better than he liked me. It happened. Then, at ten years old, life was a blank. Soon afterwards Alick left the school, and a little later, before he was fifteen, I heard that he was dead. It was a dumb sorrow, which I could speak to no one, for no one would have understood it, not even my mother. It is all in the dim distance of the long ago. I could not realise what Alick would be if he was alive, but my mind's eye sees him now as he was then, as if it were yesterday: I mourn him still.

Mr. Kilvert, as I have said, was deeply "religious," but he was very hot-tempered, and slashed our hands with a ruler and our bodies with a cane most unmercifully for exceedingly slight offences. So intense, so abject was our terror of him, that we used to look forward as to an oasis to the one afternoon when he went to his parish duties, and Mrs. Kilvert or her sister Miss Sarah Coleman attended to the school, for, as the eldest boy was not thirteen, we were well within their capacities. The greater part of each day was spent in lessons, and oh! what trash we were wearisomely taught; but from twelve to one we were taken out for a walk, when we employed the time in collecting all kinds of rubbish—bits of old tobacco-pipe, &c.—to make "museums."


"DARLING MAMA,—I like it rather better than I expected. They have killed a large snake by stoning it, and Gumbleton has skinned it, such nasty work, and peged it on a board covered with butter and pepper, and layed it out in the sun to dry. It is going to be stuffed. Do you know I have been in the vault under the church. It is so dark. There are great big coffins there. The boy's chief game is robbers. Give love and 8 thousand kisses to Lea and love to the Grannies. Good-bye darling Mama."

"Frederick Leuis has been very ill of crop. Do you know what that is? I have been to the school-feast at Mr. Clutterbuck's. It was so beautifull. All the girls were seated round little round tables amongst beds of geraniums, heltrope, verbenas, and balm of Gilead. We carried the tea and were called in to grapes and gooseberries, and we played at thread-the-needle and went in a swing and in a flying boat. Good-bye Mamma."

"MY DEAR MAMMA,—The boys have got two dear little rabbits. They had two wood-pigeons, but they died a shocking death, being eaten of worms, and there was a large vault made in which was interred their bodies, and that of a dear little mouse who died too. All went into mourning for it."

"MY DEAR MAMMA,—We have been a picknick at a beautiful place called Castlecomb. When we got there we went to see the dungeon. Then we saw a high tower half covered with ivy. You must know that Castlecomb is on the top of an emense hill, so that you have to climb hands and knees. When we sate down to tea, our things rolled down the hill. We rambled about and gathered nuts, for the trees were loaded. In the town there is a most beautiful old carved cross and a church. Good-bye darling Mamma."

"Nov. 11.—I will tell you a day at Mr. Kilvert's. I get up at half-past six and do lessons for the morning. Then at eight breakfast. Then go out till half-past nine. Then lessons till eleven. Then go out till a quarter-past eleven. Then lessons till 12, go a walk till 2 dinner. Lessons from half-past three, writing, sums, or dictation. From 5 till 6 play. Tea. Lessons from 7 to 8. Bed. I have collected two thousand stamps since I was here. Do you ever take your pudding to the poor women on Fridays now? Goodbye darling Mamma."

As the holidays approached, I became ill with excitement and joy, but all through the half years at Harnish I always kept a sort of map on which every day was represented as a square to be filled up when lived through. Oh, the dreary sight of these spaces on the first days: the ecstasy when only one or two squares remained white!


"When I arrived at Harnish, Augustus was looking sadly ill. As the Rectory door was opened, the dear boy stood there, and when he saw us, he could not speak, but the tears flowed down his cheeks. After a while he began to show his joy at seeing us."

The Marcus Hares were at Hurstmonceaux all the winter, and a terrible trial it was to me, as my Aunt Lucy was more jealous than ever of any kind word being spoken to me. But I had some little pleasures when I was at Hurstmonceaux Place with the large merry family of the Bunsens, who had a beautiful Christmas-tree.

There is nothing to tell of my school-life during the next year, though my mind dwells drearily on the long days of uninstructive lessons in the close hot schoolroom when so hopelessly "nous suyons à grosses gouttes," as Mme. de Sévigné says; or on the monotonous confinement in the narrow court which was our usual playground; and my recollection shrinks from the reign of terror under which we lived. In the summer I was delivered from Hurstmonceaux, going first with my mother to our dear Stoke home, which I had never seen before in all its wealth of summer flowers, and proceeding thence to the English lakes, where the delight of the flowers and the sketching was intense. But our pleasure was not unalloyed, for, though Uncle Julius accompanied us, my mother took Esther Maurice with her, wishing to give her a holiday after her hard work in school-teaching at Reading, and never foreseeing, what every one else foresaw, that Uncle Julius, who had always a passion for governesses, would certainly propose to her. Bitter were the tears which my mother shed when this result—to her alone unexpected—actually took place. It was the most dismal of betrothals: Esther sobbed and cried, my mother sobbed and cried, Uncle Julius sobbed and cried daily. I used to see them sitting holding each other's hands and crying on the banks of the Rotha.

These scenes for the most part took place at Foxhow, where we paid a long visit to Mrs. Arnold, whose children were delightful companions to me. Afterwards we rented a small damp house near Ambleside—Rotha Cottage—for some weeks, but I was very ill from its unhealthiness, and terribly ill afterwards at Patterdale from the damp of the place. Matthew Arnold, then a very handsome young man, was always excessively kind to me, and I often had great fun with him and his brothers, but he was not considered then to give any promise of the intellectual powers he showed afterwards. From Foxhow and Rotha Cottage we constantly visited Wordsworth and his dear old wife at Rydal Mount, and we walked with him to the Rydal Falls. He always talked a good deal about himself and his own poems, and I have a sense of his being not vain, but conceited. I have been told since, in confirmation of this, that when Milton's watch—preserved somewhere—was shown to him, he instantly and involuntarily drew out his own watch, and compared, not the watches, but the poets. The "severe creator of immortal things," as Landor called him, read us some of his verses admirably,[32] but I was too young at this time to be interested in much of his conversation, unless it was about the wild-flowers, to which he was devoted, as I was. I think that at Keswick we also saw Southey, but I do not remember him, though I remember his (very ugly) house very well. In returning south we saw Chester, and paid a visit to an old cousin of my mother's—"Dosey (Theodosia) Leigh," who had many quaint sayings. In allusion to her own maiden state, she would often complacently quote the old Cheshire proverb—"Bout's bare but it's yezzy."[33] While at Chester, though I forget how, I first became conscious how difficult the having Esther Maurice for an aunt would make everything in life to me. I was, however, at her wedding in November at Reading.

The winter of 1844-45 was the first of many which were made unutterably wretched by "Aunt Esther." Aunt Lucy had chastised me with rods, Aunt Esther did indeed chastise me with scorpions. Aunt Lucy was a very refined person, and a very charming and delightful companion to those she loved, and, had she loved me, I should have been devoted to her. Aunt Esther was, from her own personal characteristics, a person I never could have loved. Yet my uncle was now entirely ruled by her, and my gentle mother considered her interference in everything as a cross which was "sent to her" to be meekly endured. The society at the Rectory was now entirely changed: all the relations of the Hare family, except the Marcus Hares, were given to understand that their visits were unwelcome, and the house was entirely filled with the relations of Aunt Esther—old Mr. and Mrs. Maurice; their married daughter Lucilla Powell, with her husband and children; their unmarried daughters—Mary, Priscilla, and Harriet[34]—Priscilla, who now never left her bed, and who was violently sick after everything she ate (yet with the most enormous appetite), often for many months together.

With the inmates of the house, the whole "tone" of the Rectory society was changed. It was impossible entirely to silence Uncle Julius, yet at times even he was subdued by his new surroundings, the circle around him being incessantly occupied with the trivialities of domestic or parochial detail, varied by the gossip of such a tenth-rate provincial town as Reading, or reminiscences of the boarding-school which had been their occupation and pride for so many years. Frequently also the spare rooms were filled by former pupils—"young ladies" of a kind who would announce their engagement by "The infinite grace of God has put it into the heart of his servant Edmund to propose to me," or "I have been led by the mysterious workings of God's providence to accept the hand of Edgar,"[35]—expressions which Aunt Esther, who wrote good and simple English herself, would describe as touching evidences of a Christian spirit in her younger friends.

But what was far more trying to me was, that in order to prove that her marriage had made no difference in the sisterly and brotherly relations which existed between my mother and Uncle Julius, Aunt Esther insisted that my mother should dine at the Rectory every night, and as, in winter, the late return in an open carriage was impossible, this involved our sleeping at the Rectory and returning home every morning in the bitter cold before breakfast. The hours after five o'clock in every day of the much-longed-for, eagerly counted holidays, were now absolute purgatory. Once landed at the Rectory, I was generally left in a dark room till dinner at seven o'clock, for candles were never allowed in winter in the room where I was left alone. After dinner I was never permitted to amuse myself, or to do anything, except occasionally to net. If I spoke, Aunt Esther would say with a satirical smile, "As if you ever could say anything worth hearing, as if it was ever possible that any one could want to hear what you have to say." If I took up a book, I was told instantly to put it down again, it was "disrespect to my Uncle." If I murmured, Aunt Esther, whose temper was absolutely unexcitable, quelled it by her icy rigidity. Thus gradually I got into the habit of absolute silence at the Rectory—a habit which it took me years to break through: and I often still suffer from the want of self-confidence engendered by reproaches and taunts which never ceased: for a day—for a week—for a year they would have been nothing: but for always, with no escape but my own death or that of my tormentor! Water dripping for ever on a stone wears through the stone at last.

The cruelty which I received from my new aunt was repeated in various forms by her sisters, one or other of whom was always at the Rectory. Only Priscilla, touched by the recollection of many long visits during my childhood at Lime, occasionally sent a kindly message or spoke a kindly word to me from her sick-bed, which I repaid by constant offerings of flowers. Most of all, however, did I feel the conduct of Mary Maurice, who, by pretended sympathy and affection, wormed from me all my little secrets—how miserable my uncle's marriage had made my home-life, how I never was alone with my mother now, &c.—and repeated the whole to Aunt Esther.

From this time Aunt Esther resolutely set herself to subdue me thoroughly—to make me feel that any remission of misery at home, any comparative comfort, was as a gift from her. But to make me feel this thoroughly, it was necessary that all pleasure and comfort in my home should first be annihilated. I was a very delicate child, and suffered absolute agonies from chilblains, which were often large open wounds on my feet. Therefore I was put to sleep in "the Barracks"—two dismal unfurnished, uncarpeted north rooms, without fireplaces, looking into a damp courtyard, with a well and a howling dog. My only bed was a rough deal trestle, my only bedding a straw palliasse, with a single coarse blanket. The only other furniture in the room was a deal chair, and a washing-basin on a tripod. No one was allowed to bring me any hot water; and as the water in my room always froze with the intense cold, I had to break the ice with a brass candlestick, or, if that were taken away, with my wounded hands. If, when I came down in the morning, as was often the case, I was almost speechless from sickness and misery, it was always declared to be "temper." I was given "saur-kraut" to eat because the very smell of it made me sick.

When Aunt Esther discovered the comfort that I found in getting away to my dear old Lea, she persuaded my mother that Lea's influence over me was a very bad one, and obliged her to keep me away from her.

A favourite torment was reviling all my own relations before me—my sister, &c.—and there was no end to the insulting things Aunt Esther said of them.

People may wonder, and oh! how often have I wondered that my mother did not put an end to it all. But, inexplicable as it may seem, it was her extraordinary religious opinions which prevented her doing so. She literally believed and taught that when a person struck you on the right cheek you were to invite them to strike you on the left also, and therefore if Aunt Esther injured or insulted me in one way, it was right that I should give her the opportunity of injuring or insulting me in another! I do not think that my misery cost her nothing, she felt it acutely; but because she felt it thus, she welcomed it, as a fiery trial to be endured. Lea, however, was less patient, and openly expressed her abhorrence of her own trial in having to come up to the Rectory daily to dress my mother for dinner, and walk back to Lime through the dark night, coming again, shine or shower, in the early morning, before my mother was up.

I would not have any one suppose that, on looking back through the elucidation of years, I can see no merits in my Aunt Esther Hare. The austerities which she enforced upon my mother with regard to me she fully carried out as regarded herself. "Elle vivait avec elle-même comme sa victime," as Mme. de Staël would describe it. She was the Inquisition in person. She probed and analysed herself and the motive of her every action quite as bitterly and mercilessly as she probed and analysed others. If any pleasure, any even which resulted from affection for others, had drawn her for an instant from what she believed to be the path—and it was always the thorniest path—of self-sacrifice, she would remorselessly denounce that pleasure, and even tear out that affection from her heart. She fasted and denied herself in everything; indeed, I remember that when she was once very ill, and it was necessary for her to see a doctor, she never could be persuaded to consent to it, till the happy idea occurred of inducing her to do so on a Friday, by way of a penance! To such of the poor as accepted her absolute authority, Aunt Esther was unboundedly kind, generous, and considerate. To the wife of the curate, who leant confidingly upon her, she was an unselfish and heroic nurse, equally judicious and tender, in every crisis of a perplexing and dangerous illness. To her own sisters and other members of her family her heart and home were ever open, with unvarying affection. To her husband, to whom her severe creed taught her to show the same inflexible obedience she exacted from others, she was utterly devoted. His requirement that she should receive his old friend, Mrs. Alexander, as a permanent inmate, almost on an equality with herself in the family home, and surround her with loving attentions, she bowed to without a murmur. But to a little boy who was, to a certain degree, independent of her, and who had from the first somewhat resented her interference, she knew how to be—oh! she was—most cruel.

Open war was declared at length between Aunt Esther and myself. I had a favourite cat called Selma, which I adored, and which followed me about at Lime wherever I went. Aunt Esther saw this, and at once insisted that the cat must be given up to her. I wept over it in agonies of grief: but Aunt Esther insisted. My mother was relentless in saying that I must be taught to give up my own way and pleasure to others; and forced to give it up if I would not do so willingly, and with many tears, I took Selma in a basket to the Rectory. For some days it almost comforted me for going to the Rectory, because then I possibly saw my idolised Selma. But soon there came a day when Selma was missing: Aunt Esther had ordered her to be ... hung!

From this time I never attempted to conceal that I loathed Aunt Esther. I constantly gave her the presents which my mother made me save up all my money to buy for her—for her birthday, Christmas, New Year, &c.—but I never spoke to her unnecessarily. On these occasions I always received a present from her in return—"The Rudiments of Architecture," price ninepence, in a red cover. It was always the same, which not only saved expense, but also the trouble of thinking. I have a number of copies of "The Rudiments of Architecture" now, of which I thus became the possessor.

Only from Saturday till Monday we had a reprieve. The nearness of Lime to the school which my mother undertook to teach on Sundays was the excuse, but, as I see from her journal, only the excuse, which she made to give me one happy day in the week. How well I remember still the ecstasy of these Saturday evenings, when I was once more alone with the mother of my childhood, who was all the world to me, and she was almost as happy as I was in playing with my kittens or my little black spaniel "Lewes," and when she would sing to me all her old songs—"Hohenlinden," "Lord Ullin's Daughter," &c. &c.—and dear Lea was able to come in and out undisturbed, in the old familiar way.


Even the pleasures of this home-Sunday, however, were marred in the summer, when my mother gave in to a suggestion of Aunt Esther that I should be locked into the vestry of the church between the services. Miserable indeed were the three hours which—provided with a sandwich for dinner—I had weekly to spend there; and though I did not expect to see ghosts, the utter isolation of Hurstmonceaux Church, far away from all haunts of men, gave my imprisonment an unusual eeriness. Sometimes I used to clamber over the tomb of the Lords Dacre, which rises like a screen against one side of the vestry, and be stricken with vague terrors by the two grim white figures lying upon it in the silent desolation, in which the scamper of a rat across the floor seemed to make a noise like a whirlwind. At that time two grinning skulls (of the founder and foundress of the church, it was believed) lay on the ledge of the tomb; but soon after this Uncle Julius and Aunt Esther made a weird excursion to the churchyard with a spade, and buried them in the dusk with their own hands. In the winter holidays, the intense cold of the unwarmed church made me so ill, that it led to my miserable penance being remitted. James II. used to say that "Our Saviour flogged people to make them go out of the temple, but that he never punished them to make them go in."[36] But in my childhood no similar abstinence was observed.

It was a sort of comfort to me, in the real church-time, to repeat vigorously all the worst curses in the Psalms, those in which David showed his most appalling degree of malice (Psalm xxxv. 7-16, Psalm lix., Psalm lxix. 22-29, Psalm cxl. 9, 10, for instance), and apply them to Aunt Esther & Co. As all the Psalms were extolled as beatific, and the Church of England used them constantly for edification, their sentiments were all right, I supposed.

A great delight to me at this time was a cabinet with many drawers which my mother gave me to keep my minerals and shells in, and above which was a little bookcase filled with all my own books. The aunts in vain tried to persuade her to take away "some of the drawers," so that I might "never have the feeling that the cabinet was wholly mine." When I returned to school, it was some amusement in my walks to collect for this cabinet the small fossils which abound in the Wiltshire limestone about Harnish, especially at Kellaway's quarry, a point which it was always our especial ambition to reach on holidays. At eleven years old I was quite learned about Pentacrinites, Bellemnites, Ammonites, &c.

It was often a sort of vague comfort to me at home that there was always one person at Hurstmonceaux Rectory whom Aunt Esther was thoroughly afraid of. It was the faithful old servant Collins, who had kept his master in order for many years. I remember that my Uncle Marcus, when he came to the Rectory, complained dreadfully of the tea, that the water with which it was made was never "on the boil," &c.—"they really must speak to Collins about it." But neither Uncle Julius nor Aunt Esther would venture to do it; they really couldn't: he must do it himself. And he did it, and very ill it was received.

The summer holidays were less miserable than those in the winter, because then, at least for a time, we got away from Hurstmonceaux. In the summer of 1845, I went with my mother to her old home of Alton for the first time. How well I remember her burst of tears as we came in sight of the White Horse, and the church-bells ringing, and the many simple cordial poor people coming out to meet her, and blessing her. She visited every cottage and every person in them, and gave feasts in a barn to all the people. One day the school-children all sang a sort of ode which a farmer's daughter had composed to her. Never was my sweet mother more charming than in her intercourse with her humble friends at Alton, and I delighted in threading with her the narrow muddy foot-lanes of the village to the different cottages, of old and young Mary Doust, of Lizzie Hams, Avis Wootton, Betty Perry, &c.

Alton was, and is, quite the most primitive place I have ever seen, isolated—an oasis of verdure—in the midst of the great Wiltshire corn-plain, which is bare ploughed land for so many months of the year; its two tiny churches within a stone-throw of each other, and its thatched mud cottages peeping out of the elms which surround its few grass pastures. A muddy chalky lane leads from the village up to "Old Adam," the nearest point on the chain of downs, and close by is a White Horse, not the famous beast of Danish celebrity, but something much more like the real animal. I was never tired during this visit of hearing from his loving people what "Uncle Augustus" had said to them, and truly his words and his image seemed indelibly impressed upon their hearts. Mrs. Pile, with whose father or sister we stayed when at Alton, and who always came to meet us there, was one of those rare characters in middle life who are really ennobled by the ceaseless action of a true, practical, humble Christianity. I have known many of those persons whom the world calls "great ladies" in later times, but I have never known any one who was more truly "a lady" in every best and highest sense, than Mrs. Pile.

On leaving Alton, we went to join the Marcus Hares in the express train at Swindon. Uncle Marcus, Aunt Lucy, her maid Griffiths, and my mother were in one compartment of the carriage; my little cousin Lucebella, Lea, an elderly peer (Lord Saye and Sele, I think), and I were in the other, for carriages on the Great Western were then divided by a door. As we neared Windsor, my little cousin begged to be held up that she might see if the flag were flying on the castle. At that moment there was a frightful crash, and the carriage dashed violently from side to side. In an instant the dust was so intense that all became pitch darkness. "For God's sake put up your feet and press backwards; I've been in this before," cried Lord S., and we did so. In the other compartment all the inmates were thrown violently on the floor, and jerked upwards with every lurch of the train. If the darkness cleared for an instant, I saw Lea's set teeth and livid face opposite. I learned then for the first time that to put hand-bags in the net along the top of the carriage is most alarming in case of accident. They are dashed hither and thither like so many cannon-balls. A dressing-case must be fatal.

After what seemed an endless time, the train suddenly stopped with a crash. We had really, I believe, been three minutes off the line. Instantly a number of men surrounded the carriage. "There is not an instant to lose, another train is upon you, they may not be able to stop it,"—and we were all dragged out and up the steep bank of the railway cutting. Most strange, I remember, was the appearance of our ruined train beneath, lying quite across the line. The wheels of the luggage van at the end had come off, and the rest of the train had been dragged off the line gradually, the last carriages first. Soon two trains were waiting (stopped) on the blocked line behind. We had to wait on the top of the bank till a new train came to fetch us from Slough, and when we arrived there, we found the platform full of anxious inquirers, and much sympathy we excited, quite black and blue with bruises, though none of us seriously hurt.


Soon after we reached Hurstmonceaux, my Uncle Marcus became seriously ill at the Rectory. I went with my mother, Aunt Esther, and Uncle Julius to his "charge" at Lewes, and, as we came back in the hot evening, we were met by a messenger desiring us not to drive up to the house, as Uncle Marcus must not be disturbed by the sound of wheels. Then his children were sent to Lime, and my mother was almost constantly at the Rectory. I used to go secretly to see her there, creeping in through the garden so as not to be observed by the aunts, for Aunt Lucy could scarcely bear her to be out of sight. At last one morning I was summoned to go up to the Rectory with all the three children. Marcus went in first alone to his father's room and was spoken to: then I went in with the younger ones. Lucebella was lifted on to the pillow, I stood at the side of the bed with Theodore; my mother, Uncle Julius, and Aunt Esther were at the foot. I remember the scene as a picture, and Aunt Lucy sitting stonily at the bed's-head in a violet silk dress. My dying uncle had a most terrible look and manner, which haunted me long afterwards, but he spoke to us, and I think gave us his blessing. I was told that after we left the room he became more tranquil. In the night my mother and Uncle Julius said the "Te Deum" aloud, and, as they reached the last verse, he died.

Aunt Lucy never saw him again. She insisted upon being brought away immediately to Lime, and shut herself up there. She was very peculiar at this time and for a year afterwards, one of her odd fancies being that her maid Griffiths was always to breakfast and have luncheon with the family and be waited on as a lady. We children all went to the funeral, driving in the family chariot. I had no real affection for Uncle Marcus, but felt unusually solemnised by the tears around me. When, however, a peacock butterfly, for which I had always longed, actually perched upon my prayer-book as I was standing by the open grave in the most solemn moment, I could not resist closing the book upon it, and my prayer-book still has the marks of the butterfly's death. I returned to school in August under the care of Mr. Hull, a very old friend of the family, who had come to the funeral.


"Harnish, August 8.—When we got to London we got a cab and went, passing the Guildhall where Gog and Magog live, the great Post-Office, the New Royal Exchange and the Lord Mayor's, to Tavistock Square, where three young men rushed down-stairs, who Mr. Hull told me were his three sons—John, Henry, and Frank. I had my tea when they had their dinner. After tea I looked at Miss Hull's drawings. Mr. Hull gave me a book called 'The Shadowless Man.' I stayed up to see a balloon, for which we had to go upon the top of the house. The balloon looked like a ball of fire. It scattered all kinds of lights, but it did not stay up very long. We also saw a house on fire, the flames burst out and the sky was all red. Do give the kitten and the kitten's kitten some nice bits from your tea for my sake."

"August 30.—We have been a picknick to Slaughterford. We all went in a van till the woods of Slaughterford came in sight. Then we walked up a hill, carrying baskets and cloaks between us till we came to the place where we encamped. The dinner was unpacked, and the cloth laid, and all sate round. When the dishes were uncovered, there appeared cold beef, bread, cheese, and jam, which were quickly conveyed to the mouths of the longing multitude. We then plunged into the woods and caught the nuts by handfuls. Then I got flowers and did a sketch, and when the van was ready we all went home. Goodbye darling Mamma. I have written a poem, which I send you—

"O Chippenham station thy music is sweet
When the up and down trains thy neighbourhood greet.
The up train to London directeth our path
And the down train will land us quite safely at Bath."

"October the I don't know what.—O dearest Mamma, what do you think! Mr. Dalby asked me to go to Compton Bassett with Mr. and Mrs. Kilvert and Freddie Sheppard.... When we got to the gate of a lovely rectory near Calne, Mrs. Sheppard flew to the door to receive her son, as you would me, with two beautiful little girls his sisters. After dinner I went with Freddie into the garden, and to the church, and saw the peacocks and silver pheasants, and made a sketch of the rectory. On Sunday we had prayers with singing and went to church twice, and saw a beautiful avenue where the ground was covered with beech-nuts. On Monday the Dalbys' carriage brought us to Chippenham to the Angel, where we got out and walked to Harnish. Mr. Dalby told me to tell you that having known Uncle Augustus so well, he had taken the liberty to invite me to Compton."

"Oct. 6.—It is now only ten weeks and six days to the holidays. Last night I had a pan of hot water for my feet and a warm bed, and, what was worse, two horrible pills! and this morning when I came down I was presented with a large breakfast-cup of senna-tea, and was very sick indeed and had a very bad stomach-ache. But to comfort me I got your dear letter with a sermon, but who is to preach it?"

"Nov. 6.—Dearest Mamma, as soon as we came down yesterday all our dresses for the fifth of November were laid out. After breakfast the procession was dressed, and as soon as the sentinel proclaimed that the clock struck ten, the grand procession set out: first Gumbleton and Sheppard dressed up with straps, cocked hats, and rosettes, carrying between them, on a chair, Samuel dressed as Guy Fawkes in a large cocked hat and short cloak and with a lanthorn in his hand. Then came Proby carrying a Union Jack, and Walter (Arnold) with him, with rosettes and bands. Then King Alick with a crown turned up with ermine, and round his leg a blue garter. Behind him walked the Queen (Deacon Coles) with a purple crown and long yellow robe and train, and Princess Elizabeth (me) in a robe and train of pink and green. After the procession had moved round the garden, singing—

'Remember, remember,
The fifth of November, &c.,'

the sentinel of the guard announced that the cart of faggots was coming up the hill ... and in the evening was a beautiful bonfire and fireworks.

"What a pity it is that the new railway does not turn aside to save Lewes Priory. I shall like very much to see the skeletons, but I had much rather that Gundrada and her husband lay still in their coffins, and that the Priory had not been disturbed.... It is only five weeks now to the holidays."

"Nov. 28.—Counting to the 19th, and not counting the day of breaking up, it is now only three weeks to the holidays. I will give you a history of getting home. From Lewes I shall look out for the castle and the Visitation church. Then I shall pass Ringmer, the Green Man Inn, Laughton, the Bat and Ball; then the Dicker, Horsebridge, the Workhouse, the turnpike, the turn to Carter's Corner, the turn to Magham Down, Woodham's Farm, the Deaf and Dumb House, the Rectory on the hill, the Mile Post—'15 miles to Lewes,' Lime Wood, the gate (oh! when shall I be there!)—then turn in, the Flower Field, the Beaney Field, the gate—oh! the garden—two figures—John and Lea, perhaps you—perhaps even the kittens will come to welcome their master. Oh my Lime! in little more than three weeks I shall be there!"

"Hurrah for Dec. 1.—On Wednesday it will be, not counting breaking-up day, two weeks, and oh! the Wednesday after we shall say 'one week.' This month we break up! I dream of nothing, think of nothing, but coming home. To-day we went with Mr. Walker (the usher) to Chippenham, and saw where Lea and I used to go to sit on the wooden bridge.... Not many more letters! not many more sums!"

How vividly, how acutely, I recollect that—in my passionate devotion to my mother—I used, as the holidays approached, to conjure up the most vivid mental pictures of my return to her, and appease my longing with the thought of how she would rush out to meet me, of her ecstatic delight, &c.; and then how terrible was the bathos of the reality, when I drove up to the silent door of Lime, and nobody but Lea took any notice of my coming; and of the awful chill of going into the drawing-room and seeing my longed-for and pined-for mother sit still in her chair by the fire till I went up and kissed her. To her, who had been taught always to curtsey not only to her father, but even to her father's chair, it was only natural; but I often sobbed myself to sleep in a little-understood agony of anguish—an anguish that she could not really care for me.

"Oh, the little more, and how much it is!
And the little less, and what worlds away!"[37]

In the winter of 1845-46, "Aunt Lucy" let Rockend to Lord Beverley, and came to live at Lime for six months with her three children, a governess, and two, sometimes three, servants. As she fancied herself poor, and this plan was economical, it was frequently repeated afterwards. On the whole, the arrangement was satisfactory to me, as though Aunt Lucy was excessively unkind to me, and often did not speak a single word to me for many weeks together, and though the children were most tormenting, Aunt Esther—a far greater enemy—was at least kept at bay, for Aunt Lucy detested her influence and going to the Rectory quite as cordially as I did.

How often I remember my ever-impatient rebellion against the doctrine I was always taught as fundamental—that my uncles and aunts must be always right, and that to question the absolute wisdom and justice of their every act—to me so utterly selfish—was typical of the meanest and vilest nature. How odd it is that parents, and still more uncles and aunts, never will understand, that whilst they are criticising and scrutinising their children or nephews, the latter are also scrutinising and criticising them. Yet so it is: investigation and judgment of character is usually mutual. During this winter, however, I imagine that the aunts were especially amiable, as in the child's play which I wrote, and which we all acted—"The Hope of the Katzekoffs"—they, with my mother, represented the three fairies—"Brigida, Rigida, and Frigida"—Aunt Lucy, I need hardly say, being Frigida, and Aunt Esther Rigida.

Augustus J. C. Hare

From a portrait by S. Lawrence. Augustus J. C. Hare
From a portrait by S. Lawrence.

Being very ill with the measles kept me at home till the middle of February. Aunt Lucy's three children also had the measles, and were very ill; and it is well remembered as characteristic of Aunt Esther, that she said when they were at the worst—"I am very glad they are so ill: it is a well-deserved punishment because their mother would not let them go to church for fear they should catch it there." Church and a love of church was the standard by which Aunt Esther measured everything. In all things she had the inflexible cruelty of a Dominican. She would willingly and proudly undergo martyrdom herself for her own principles, but she would torture without remorse those who differed from her.

When we were recovering, Aunt Lucy read "Guy Mannering" aloud to us. It was enchanting. I had always longed beyond words to read Scott's novels, but had never been allowed to do so—"they were too exciting for a boy!" But usually, as Aunt Lucy and my mother sat together, their conversation was almost entirely about the spiritual things in which their hearts, their mental powers, their whole being were absorbed. The doctrine of Pascal was always before their minds—"La vie humaine n'est qu'une illusion perpetuelle," and their treasure was truly set in heavenly places. They would talk of heaven in detail just as worldly people would talk of the place where they were going for change of air. At this time, I remember, they both wished—no, I suppose they only thought they wished—to die: they talked of longing, pining for "the coming of the kingdom," but when they grew really old, when the time which they had wished for before was in all probability really near, and when they were, I believe, far more really prepared for it, they ceased to wish for it. "By-and-by" would do. I imagine it is always thus.

Aunt Lucy loved her second boy Theodore much the best of her three children, and made the greatest possible difference between him and the others. I remember this being very harshly criticised at the time; but now it seems to me only natural that in any family there must be favourites. It is with earthly parents as Dr. Foxe said in a sermon about God, that "though he may love all his children, he must have an especial feeling for his saints."


"March 13.—My dearest, dearest Mamma, to-day is my 12th birthday. How well I remember many happy birthdays at Stoke, when before breakfast I had a wreath of snowdrops, and at dinner a little pudding with my name in plums.... I will try this new year to throw away self and think less how to please it. Good-bye dear Mamma."

In March the news that my dear (Mary) Lea was going to marry our man-servant John Gidman was an awful shock to me. My mother might easily have prevented this (most unequal) marriage, which, as far as Mrs. Leycester was concerned, was an elopement. It was productive of great trouble to us afterwards, and obliged me to endure John Gidman, to wear him like a hair-shirt, for forty years. Certainly no ascetic torments can be so severe as those which Providence occasionally ordains for us. As for our dear Lea herself, her marriage brought her misery enough, but her troubles always stayed in her heart and never filtered through. As I once read in an American novel, "There ain't so much difference in the troubles on this earth, as there is in the folks that have to bear them."


"March 20.—O my very dearest Mamma. What news! what news! I cannot believe it! and yet sometimes I have thought it might happen, for one night a long time ago when I was sitting on Lea's lap—O what shall I call her now? may I still call her Lea? Well, one night a long time ago, I said that Lea would never marry, and she asked why she shouldn't, and said something about—'Suppose I marry John.' ... I was sure she could never leave us. I put your letter away for some time till Mrs. Kilvert sent me upstairs for my gloves. Then I opened it, and the first words I saw were 'Lea—married.' I was so surprised I could not speak or move.... How very odd it will be for Lea to be a bride. Why, John is not half so old as Lea, is he?... Tell me all about the wedding—every smallest weeest thing—What news! what news!"


"Stoke, March 29, 1846.—My darling child, a thousand thanks for your dear little letter. I hope the step I have taken will not displease you. If there is anything in it you don't like, I must humbly beg your pardon. I will give you what account I can of the wedding. Your dear Mamma has told you that she took me to Goldstone. Then on Saturday morning a little after nine my mother's carriage and a saddle-horse were brought to the gate to take us to Cheswardine. My sister Hannah and her husband and George Bentley went with me to church. I wished you had been with me so very much, but I think it was better that your dear Mamma was not there, for very likely it would have given her a bad headache and have made me more nervous than I was, but I got through all of it better than I expected I should. As soon as it was over the bells began to ring. We came back to Goldstone, stayed about ten minutes, then went to Drayton, took the coach for Whitmore, went by rail to Chelford, and then we got a one-horse fly which took us to Thornycroft to John's grandfather's, where we were received with much joy. We stayed there till Wednesday, then went for one night to Macclesfield, and came back to Goldstone on Thursday and stayed there till Friday evening. Then we came back to Stoke. The servants received us very joyfully, and your dear Mamma showed me such tender feelings and kindness, it is more than I can tell you now. My dear child, I hope you will always call me Lea. I cannot bear the thought of your changing my name, for the love I have for you nothing can ever change. My mother and Hannah wish you had been in the garden with me gathering their flowers, there is such a quantity of them.... We leave Stoke to-morrow, and on Friday reach your and our dear Lime. I shall write to you as soon as we get back, and now goodbye, my darling child, from your old affectionate nurse Lea."


The great age of my dear Grandfather Leycester, ninety-five, had always made his life seem to us to hang upon a thread, and very soon after I returned home for my summer holidays, we were summoned to Stoke by the news of his death. This was a great grief to me, not only because I was truly attached to the kind old man, but because it involved the parting with the happiest scenes of my childhood, the only home in which I had ever been really happy. The dear Grandfather's funeral was very different from that which I had attended last year, and I shed many tears by his grave in the churchyard looking out upon the willows and the shining Terne. Afterwards came many sad partings, last visits to Hawkestone, Buntingsdale, Goldstone; last rambles to Helshore, Jackson's Pool, and the Islands; and then we all came away—my Uncle Penrhyn first, then Aunt Kitty, then my mother and Lea and I, and lastly Grannie, who drove in her own carriage all the way to her house in New Street, Spring Gardens, the posting journey, so often talked of, actually taking place at last. Henceforward Stoke seemed to be transferred to New Street, which was filled with relics of the old Shropshire Rectory, and where Mrs. Cowbourne, Margaret Beeston, Anne Tudor, and Richard the footman, with Rose the little red and white spaniel, were household inmates as before.

I thought the house in New Street charming—the cool, old-fashioned, bow-windowed rooms, which we should now think very scantily furnished, and like those of many a country inn; the dining-room opening upon wide leads, which Grannie soon turned into a garden; the drawing-room, which had a view through the trees of the Admiralty Garden to the Tilting Yard, with the Horse Guards and the towers of Westminster Abbey.

The grief of leaving Stoke made me miserably unwell, and a doctor was sent for as soon as I arrived at the Stanleys' house, 38 Lower Brook Street, who came to me straight from a patient ill with the scarlatina, and gave me the disorder. For three weeks I was very seriously ill in hot summer weather, in stifling rooms, looking on the little black garden and chimney-pots at the back of the house. Mary and Kate Stanley were sent away from the infection, and no one came near me except my faithful friend Miss Clinton, who brought me eau-de-Cologne and flowers. It was long foolishly concealed from me that I had the scarlatina, and therefore, as I felt day after day of the precious holidays ebbing away, while I was pining for coolness and fresh country air, my mental fever added much to my bodily ailments, whereas, when once told that I was seriously ill, I was quite contented to lie still. Before I quite recovered, my dear nurse Lea became worn-out with attending to me, and we had scarcely reached Lime before she became most dangerously ill with a brain-fever. For many days and nights she lay on the brink of the grave, and great was my agony while this precious life was in danger. Aunt Esther, who on great occasions generally behaved kindly, was very good at this time, ceased to persecute me, and took a very active part in the nursing.

At length our dear Lea was better, and as I was still very fragile, I went with my mother and Anne Brooke, our cook, to Eastbourne—then a single row of little old-fashioned houses by the sea—where we inhabited, I should think, the very smallest and humblest lodging that ever was seen. I have often been reminded of it since in reading the account of Peggotty's cottage in "David Copperfield." It was a tiny house built of flints, amongst the boats, at the then primitive end of Eastbourne, towards the marshes, and its miniature rooms were filled with Indian curiosities, brought to the poor widow to whom it belonged by a sailor son. The Misses Thomas of Wratton came to see us here, and could hardly suppress their astonishment at finding us in such a place—and when the three tall smart ladies had once got into our room, no one was able to move, and all had to go out in the order in which they were nearest the door. But my mother always enjoyed exceedingly these primitive places, and would sit for hours on the beach with her Taylor's "Holy Living" or her "Christian Year," and had soon made many friends amongst the neighbouring cottagers, whose houses were quite as fine as her own, and who were certainly more cordial to the lady who had not minded settling down as one of themselves, than they would have been to a smart visitor in a carriage. The most remarkable of these people was an excellent old woman called Deborah Pattenden, who lived in the half of a boat turned upside down, and had had the most extraordinary adventures. My first literary work was her biography, which told how she had suffered the pains of drowning, burning (having been enveloped in flames while struck by lightning), and how she had lain for twenty-one days in a rigid trance (from "the plague," she described it) without food or sign of life, and was near being buried alive. We found a transition from our cottage life in frequent visits to Compton Place, where Mrs. Cavendish, mother of the 7th Duke of Devonshire, lived then, with her son Mr. Cavendish, afterwards Lord Richard. She was a charming old lady, who always wore white, and had very simple and very timid manners. But she was fond of my mother, who was quite adored by Lord Richard, by whom we were kept supplied with the most beautiful fruits and flowers of the Compton Gardens. He was very kind to me also, and would sometimes take me to his bookcases and tell me to choose any book I liked for my own. We seldom afterwards passed a summer without going for a few days to Compton Place as long as Mrs. Cavendish lived there. It was there that I made my first acquaintance with the existence of many simple luxuries to which, in our primitive life, we were quite unaccustomed, but which in great houses are considered almost as necessaries. The Cavendishes treated us as distant relations, in consequence of the marriage of my Grandmother's cousin, Georgiana Spencer, with the 5th Duke of Devonshire.

When I returned to Harnish I was still wretchedly ill, and the constant sickness under which I suffered, with the extreme and often unjust severity of Mr. Kilvert, made the next half year a very miserable one. In the three years and a half which I had spent at Harnish, I had been taught next to nothing—all our time having been frittered in learning Psalms by heart, and the Articles of the Church of England (I could say the whole thirty-nine straight off when eleven years old), &c. Our history was what Arrowsmith's Atlas used to describe Central Africa to be—"a barren country only productive of dates." I could scarcely construe even the easiest passages of Cæsar. Still less had I learned to play at any ordinary boys' games; for, as we had no playground, we had naturally never had a chance of any. I was glad of any change. It was delightful to leave Harnish for good at Christmas, 1846, and the prospect of Harrow was that of a voyage of adventure.

In January 1847 my mother took me to Harrow. Dr. Vaughan was then headmaster, and Mr. Simpkinson, who had been long a curate of Hurstmonceaux, and who had been consequently one of the most familiar figures of my childhood, was a master under him, and, with his handsome, good-humoured sister Louisa, kept the large house for boys beyond the church, which is still called "The Grove." It was a wonderfully new life upon which I entered; but though a public school was a very much rougher thing then than it is now, and though the fagging for little boys was almost ceaseless, it would not have been an unpleasant life if I had not been so dreadfully weak and sickly, which sometimes unfitted me for enduring the roughness to which I was subjected. As a general rule, however, I looked upon what was intended for bullying as an additional "adventure," which several of the big boys thought so comic, that they were usually friendly to me and ready to help me: one who especially stood my friend was a young giant—Twisleton, son of Lord Saye and Sele. One who went to Harrow at the same time with me was my connection Harry Adeane,[38] whose mother was Aunt Lucy's sister, Maude Stanley of Alderley. I liked Harry very much, but though he was in the same house, his room was so distant that we saw little of each other; besides, my intense ignorance gave me a very low place in the school, in the Lower Fourth Form. It was a great amusement to write to my mother all that occurred. In reading it, people might imagine my narration was intended for complaint, but it was nothing of the kind: indeed, had I wished to complain, I should have known my mother far too well to complain to her.


"Harrow, Jan. 29, 1847.—When I left you, I went to school and came back to pupil room, and in the afternoon had a solitary walk to the skating pond covered with boys.... In the evening two big boys rushed up, and seizing Buller (another new boy) and me, dragged us into a room where a number of boys were assembled. I was led into the midst. Bob Smith[39] whispered to me to do as I was bid and I should not be hurt. On the other side of the room were cold chickens, cake, fruit, &c., and in a corner were a number of boys holding open little Dirom's mouth, and pouring something horrible stirred up with a tallow-candle down his throat. A great boy came up to me and told me to sing or to drink some of this dreadful mixture. I did sing—at least I made a noise—and the boys were pleased because I made no fuss, and loaded me with oranges and cakes.

"This morning being what is called a whole holiday, I have had to stay in three hours more than many of the others because of my slowness in making Latin verses. This evening Abel Smith sent for me to his room, and asked me if I was comfortable, and all sorts of things."

"Jan. 21.—What do you think happened last night? Before prayers I was desired to go into the fifth form room, as they were having some game there. A boy met me at the door, ushered me in, and told me to make my salaam to the Emperor of Morocco, who was seated cross-legged in the middle of a large counterpane, surrounded by twenty or more boys as his serving-men. I was directed to sit down by the Emperor, and in the same way. He made me sing, and then jumped off the counterpane, as he said, to get me some cake. Instantly all the boys seized the counterpane and tossed away. Up to the ceiling I went and down again, but they had no mercy, and it was up and down, head over heels, topsy-turvy, till some one called out 'Satus'—and I was let out, very sick and giddy at first, but soon all right again.... I am not much bullied except by Davenport, who sleeps in my room."

"Jan. 22.—To-day it has snowed so hard that there has been nothing but snow-balling, and as I was coming out of school, hit by a shower of snowballs, I tumbled the whole way down the two flights of stairs headlong from the top to the bottom."

"Jan. 23.—Yesterday I was in my room, delighted to be alone for once, and very much interested in the book I was reading, when D. came in and found the fire out, so I got a good licking. He makes me his fag to go errands, and do all he bids me, and if I don't do it, he beats me, but I don't mind much. However, I have got some friends, for when I refused to do my week-day lessons on a Sunday, and was being very much laughed at for it, some one came in and said, 'No, Hare, you're quite right; never mind being laughed at.' However I am rather lonely still with no one to speak to or care about me. Sometimes I take refuge in Burroughs' study, but I cannot do that often, or he would soon get tired of me. I think I shall like Waldegrave,[40] a new boy who has come, but all the others hate him. Blomfield[41] is a nice boy, but his room is very far away. Indeed, our room is so secluded, that it would be a very delightful place if D. did not live in it. In playtime I go here, there, and everywhere, but with no one and doing nothing. Yet I like Harrow very much, though I am much teased even in my form by one big boy, who takes me for a drum, and hammers on my two sides all lesson-time with doubled fists. However, Miss Simmy says, if you could see my roses you would be satisfied."

"Jan. 30.—There are certain fellows here who read my last letter to you, and gave me a great lecture for mentioning boys' names; but you must never repeat what I say: it could only get me into trouble. The other night I did a desperate thing. I appealed to the other boys in the house against D. Stapleton was moved by my story, and Hankey and other boys listened. Then a boy called Sturt was very much enraged at D., and threatened him greatly, and finally D., after heaping all the abuse he could think of upon me, got so frightened that he begged me to be friends with him. I cannot tell you how I have suffered and do suffer from my chilblains, which have become so dreadfully bad from going out so early and in all weathers."

"Feb. 2.—To-day, after half-past one Bill, I went down the town with Buller and met two boys called Bocket and Lory. Lory and I, having made acquaintance, went for a walk. This is only the second walk I have had since I came to Harrow. I am perpetually 'Boy in the House.'"

"Feb. 10.—To-day at 5 minutes to 11, we were all told to go into the Speech-room (do you remember it?), a large room with raised benches all round and a platform in the middle and places for the monitors. I sat nearly at the top of one of these long ranges. Then Dr. Vaughan made a speech about snow-balling at the Railway Station (a forbidden place), where the engine-drivers and conductors had been snow-balled, and he said that the next time, if he could not find out the names of the guilty individuals, the whole school should be punished. To-day the snow-balling, or rather ice-balling (for the balls are so hard you can hardly cut them with a knife), has been terrific: some fellows almost have their arms broken with them."

"Feb. 12.—I am in the hospital with dreadful pains in my stomach. The hospital is a large room, very quiet, with a window looking out into the garden, and two beds in it. Burroughs is in the other bed, laid up with a bad leg.... Yesterday, contrary to rule, Dr. Vaughan called Bill, and then told all the school to stay in their places, and said that he had found the keyhole of the cupboard in which the rods were kept stopped up, and that if he did not find out before one o'clock who did it, he would daily give the whole school, from the sixth form downwards, a new pun, of the severest kind.... There never was anything like the waste of bread here, whole bushels are thrown about every day, but the bits are given to the poor people.... I like Valletort[42] very much, and I like Twisleton,[43] who is one of the biggest boys in this house."

"Feb. 20.—To-day I went to the Harrisites' steeplechase. Nearly all the school were there, pouring over hedges and ditches in a general rush. The Harrisites were distinguished by their white or striped pink and white jackets and Scotch caps, and all bore flags."

"Feb. 21.—I have been out jumping and hare-and-hounds, have hard work now to escape from the slave-drivers for racket-fagging. Sometimes we do, by one fellow sacrificing himself and shutting up the others head downwards in the turn-up bedsteads, where they are quite hidden; and sometimes I get the old woman at the church to hide me in the little room over the porch till the slave-drivers have passed."

"March 1.—I have just come back from Sheen, where I have had a very happy Exeat. Uncle Norwich gave me five shillings, and Uncle Penrhyn ten."

Mrs. Stanley to

her Sister Mrs. A. Hare.

"Sheen, March 1.—I never saw Augustus look anything like so well—and it is the look of health, ruddy and firm, and his face rounder. The only thing is that he stoops, as if there were weakness in the back, but perhaps it is partly shyness, for I observed he did it more at first. He did look very shy the first day—hung his head like a snowdrop, crouched out of sight, and was with difficulty drawn out; but I do not think it is at all because he is cowed, and he talked more yesterday. The Bishop was very much pleased with him, and thought him much improved.... He came without either greatcoat or handkerchief, but did not appear to want the one, and had lost the other. He said most decidedly that he was happy, far happier than at Mr. Kilvert's, happier than he expected to be; and, though I felt all the time what an uncongenial element it must be, he could not be in it under better circumstances."


"March 4.—As you are ill, I will tell you my adventure of yesterday to amuse you. I went out with a party of friends to play at hare-and-hounds. I was hare, and ran away over hedges and ditches. At last, just as I jumped over a hedge, Macphail caught me, and we sat down to take breath. Just then Hoare ran up breathless and panting, and threw himself into the hedge crying out, 'We are pursued by navvies.' The next minute, before I could climb back over the hedge, I found myself clutched by the arm, and turning round, saw that a great fellow had seized me, and that another had got Macphail and another Hodgson Junior. They dragged us a good way, and then stopped and demanded our money, or they would have us down and one should suffer for all. Macphail and Hoare were so frightened that they gave up all their money at once, but I would not give up mine. At last they grew perfectly furious and declared they would have our money to buy beer. I then gave them a shilling, but hid the half-sovereign I had in my pocket, and after we had declared we would not give them any more, they went away.

"To cut the story short, I got Hodgson Junior (for the others were afraid) to go with me to the farmer on whose land the men were working, and told what had happened. He went straight to the field where the navvies were and made them give up all our money, turned one out of his service, and threatened the other two, and we came back to Harrow quite safe, very glad to have got off so well.

"What do you think! the fever has broken out in Vaughan's, and if any other house catches it, we are to go—home!"

"March 9.—All the school is in an uproar, for all Vaughan's house went down yesterday. Two boys have the fever, and if any one else catches it, we shall all go home. What fun it will be. The fever came straight from Eton with some velocipedes. Everybody now thinks everybody else has the fever. I am shunned by all because I have a sore throat, and half-a-yard is left on each side of me in form. Boys suck camphor in school. Endless are the reports. 'Pember's got the fever.'—'No, he hasn't.'—'Yes, he has, for it's broke out in Harris's.'—'Then we shall all go home. Hurrah!'—'No, it's all a gull!'"

"My adventure with the navvies has been a very good thing for me, as some fellows say 'that little Hare has really got some pluck.'"

"March 10.—Hurrah! Vaughan has caught the fever. The Vaughanites are all gone. Valletort is gone. Waldegrave is gone. But the great news is we all go home the day after to-morrow. Now if you don't write the instant you get this you will delay my return home. So pray, Mamma, do—do—do—do. I cannot write much, for the school is so hurry-scurry. There will be no Trial—oh hip! hip! Oh pray do write directly! I shall see you soon. Hurrah!"

(After Easter holidays), "April 14.—When I got here, I found Davenport was gone and Dirom come into our room. The bells rang all night for the return of the school. We are busy at our Trial, which we do with our masters in form. We did Ovid this morning, and I knew much more about it than many other fellows."

"Saturday.—To-day has been a whole holiday, as it always is at the end of Trial. I have got off very well, and learnt eighty lines more than I need have done, for we need only have learnt fifty lines, and I knew more of other things than many others.

"To-day was 'Election Day'—commonly called Squash Day (oh, how glad I am it is over), the day most dreaded of all others by the little boys, when they get squashed black and blue, and almost turned inside out. But you won't understand this, so I will tell you. Platt, horrid Platt, stands at one side of Vaughan's desk in school, and Hewlett at the other, and read the names. As they are read, you go up and say who you vote for as cricket-keeper, and as you come out, the party you vote against squash you, while your party try to rescue you. Sometimes this lasts a whole hour (without exaggeration it's no fun), but to-day at breakfast the joyful news came that the fourth form was let off squash. It was such a delight. The fifth form were determined that we should have something though, for as we came out of Bill, they tried to knock our hats to pieces, and ourselves to pieces too."

"April 24.—The boys have all begun to wear strawhats and to buy insect-nets, for many are very fond of collecting insects, and to my delight I found, when I came up, that they did not at all despise picking primroses and violets."

"April 28.—The other day, as Sturt was staying out, I had to fag in his place. I had to go to that horrid Platt at Ben's. At the door of Ben's was P——. I asked him which was Platt's room, and he took me upstairs and pushed me into a little dark closet, and when I got out of that, into a room where a number of fellows were at tea, and then to another. At last I came to some stairs where two boys were sitting cross-legged before a door. They were the tea-fags. I went in, and there were Platt and his brother, very angry at my being late, but at last they let me go, or rather I was kicked out of the house.

"To-day we went to hear a man read the 'Merchant of Venice' in Speech-room. Such fun: I liked it so much."

"May 1.—Yesterday I was in a predicament. Hewlett, the head of our house, sent me with a note to Sporling, the head of the school, in Vaughan's new house. I asked a boy which was Sporling's. He told me that I should find him upstairs, so I went up stairs after stairs, and at the top were two monitors, and as I looked bewildered by the long passages, they told me which was Sporling's room. When I came out with an answer to the note, they called after me, and ordered me to give Hewlett their compliments, and tell him not to be in too great a hurry to get into Sporling's shoes. You must obey a monitor's orders, and if you don't you get a wapping; but I was pretty sure to get a wapping anyway—from the monitors if I did not deliver the message, and from Hewlett for its impertinence. I asked a great many boys, and they all said I must tell Hewlett directly. At last I did: he was in a great rage, but said I might go.

"I have 7s. 6d. owed me, for as soon as the boys have any money they are almost obliged to lend it; at least you never have any peace till it is all gone. Some of the boys keep rabbits in the wells of their studies, but to-night Simmy has forbidden this."

"June.—On Sunday in the middle of the Commandments it was so hot in chapel that Kindersley fell down in a fit. He was seized head and foot and carried out, struggling terribly, by Smith and Vernon and others: and the boys say that in his fit he seized hold of Mr. Middlemist's (the Mathematical Master's) nose and gave it a very hard tweak; but how far this is true I cannot tell. However, the whole chapel rose up in great consternation, some thinking one thing and some another, and some not knowing what to think, while others perhaps thought as I did, that the roof was coming down. Dr. Vaughan went on reading the prayers, and Kindersley shrieking, but at last all was quiet. Soon, however, there was another row, for Miles fainted, and he was carried out, and then several others followed his example. That night was so hot that many of the boys slept on the bare floor, and had no bedclothes on, but the next day it rained and got quite cold, and last night we were glad of counterpanes and blankets again."

"The Bishop's Holiday.—The cricket-fagging, the dreadful, horrible cricket-fagging comes upon me to-day. I am Boy in the House on the extra whole holiday, and shall have cricket-fagging in the evening at the end of a hard day's other fagging."

"Saturday.—I must write about the awful storm of last night. I had been very ill all day, and was made to take a powder in marmalade—Ah-h—bah!—and went to sleep about twelve with the window wide open because of the heat. At half-past two I awoke sick, when to my astonishment, it being quite dark, flash after flash of lightning illuminated the room and showed how the rain was pouring in floods through the open window. The wind raged so that we thought it would blow the house down. We heard the boys downstairs screaming out and running about, and Simmy and Hewlett trying to keep order. I never saw such a storm. All of a sudden, a long loud clap of thunder shook the house, and hail like great stones mingled with the rain came crashing in at the skylights. Another flash of lightning illuminated the room, and continued there (I suppose it must have struck something) in one broad flame of light, bursting out like flames behind the window: I called out 'Fire, fire, the window's on fire.' This woke Buller, who had been sleeping soundly all this time, and he rushed to the window and forced it down with the lightning full in his eyes. Again all was darkness, and then another flash showed what a state the room was in—the books literally washed off the table, and Forster and Dirom armed with foot-pans of water. Then I threw myself on my bed in agonies of sickness: not a drop of water was to be had to drink: at last Buller found a little dirty rain-water, and in an instant I was dreadfully sick.... You cannot think what the heat was, or what agonies of sickness I was in."[44]

"June 13.—I have cricket-fagged. Maude, my secret helper in everything, came and told me what to do. But one ball came and I missed it, then another, and I heard every one say, 'Now did you see that fool; he let a ball pass. Look. Won't he get wapped!' I had more than thirty balls and missed all but one—yet the catapulta was not used. I had not to throw up to any monitors; Platt did not come down for some time, and I had the easiest place on the cricket-field, so it will be much worse next time. Oh, how glad I was when half-past eight came! and when I went to take my jacket up, though I found it wringing wet with dew.

"The next day was Speech-day, but, with my usual misfortune, I was Boy in the House. However I got off after one o'clock. All the boys were obliged to wear straw-coloured or lavender kid-gloves and to be dressed very smart.... When the people came out of Speeches, I looked in vain for Aunt Kitty, but Aunt Kitty never came; so, when we had cheered everybody of consequence, I went back with the others to eat up the remains of Simmy's fine luncheon, and you may guess how we revelled in jellies and fruit.

"The boys in our house now play at cricket in the corridor."

"June.—I have been cricket-fagging all evening, and it was dreadful; Platt was down, the catapulta was used, and there were very few fags, so I had very hard fagging.... Platt bellowed at me for my stupidity, and Platt's word is an oracle, and Platt's nod strikes terror into all around."

"June 16.—I have been for my Exeat to Brook Street.... At breakfast the Archbishop of Dublin came in. He is a very funny old man[45] and says such funny things. He gave us proverbs, and everybody a piece of good advice."

"July.—I have found a beautiful old house called Essingham standing in a moat full of clear water. It is said to have been inhabited once by Cardinal Wolsey.

"Last night I cricket-fagged, very hard work, and I made Platt very angry; but when I told him my name, he quite changed, and said I must practise and learn to throw up better, and when the other monitors said I ought to be wapped, Platt (!!) said, 'I will take compassion upon him, because when I first came to Harrow I could do no better.'"

If it had not been for constant sickness, the summer holidays of 1847 would have been very happy ones. I found my dear old Grandmother Mrs. Oswald Leycester at Lime, which prevented our going to the Rectory, and it was the greatest happiness to read to her, to lead her about, and in every way to show my gratitude for past kindnesses at Stoke. When she left us, we went for the rest of the holidays to the Palace at Norwich, which was always enchanting to me—from the grand old library with its secret room behind the bookcase, to the little room down a staircase of its own, where the old nurse Mrs. Burgess lived—one of the thinnest and dearest old women ever seen—surrounded by relics of her former charges. Aunt Kitty was pleased with my improvement in drawing, and she and Kate Stanley encouraged me very much in the endless sketches I made of the old buildings in Norwich. "Honour the beginner, even if the follower does better," is a good old Arabic proverb which they thoroughly understood and practised. We spent the day with the Gurneys at Earlham, where I saw the heavenly-minded Mrs. Catherine Gurney ("Aunt Catherine") and also Mrs. Fry, in her long dark dress and close white cap, and we went to visit the Palgraves at Yarmouth in a wonderful old house which once belonged to Ireton the regicide. But a greater delight was a visit of several days which we paid to the Barings at Cromer Hall, driving the whole way with the Stanleys through Blickling and Aylsham, a journey which Arthur Stanley made most charming by the books which he read to us about the places we passed through. We lingered on the way with Miss Anna Gurney, a little old lady, who was paralysed at a very early age, yet had devoted her whole life to the good of those around her, and who, while never free from suffering herself, seemed utterly unconscious of her own trials in thinking of those of others. She lived in a beautiful little cottage at Northrepps, full of fossils and other treasures, close to the sea-coast.

Lord and Lady Shrewsbury[46] (the father and mother of the Princesses Doria and Borghese) came to meet my mother at Cromer Hall, perfectly full of the miraculous powers of "L'Estatica" and "L'Addolorata," which they had witnessed in Italy, and of which they gave most extraordinary accounts.

The kindness of "Uncle Norwich" caused me to love him as much as I dreaded Uncle Julius. In his dealings with his diocese I have heard that he was apt as a bishop to be tremendously impetuous; but my aunt knew how to calm him, and managed him admirably. He wonderfully wakened up clerical life in Norfolk. Well remembered is the sharpness with which he said to Dean Pellew, who objected to a cross being erected on the outside of the cathedral, "Never be ashamed of the cross, Mr. Dean, never be ashamed of the cross." It was his custom to pay surprise visits to all Norwich churches on Sunday afternoons. On one of these occasions, an old clergyman—fellow of his college for forty years—who had lately taken a small living in the town, was the preacher. High and dry was the discourse. Going into the vestry afterwards, "A very old-fashioned sermon, Mr. H.," said the Bishop. "A very good-fashioned sermon I think, my lord," answered the vicar.

Edward Stanley

Bishop of Norwich. Edward Stanley
Bishop of Norwich.

In those days a very primitive state of things prevailed in the Norwich churches. A clergyman, newly ordained, provided for by a title at St. George's, Colegate, was exercised by finding the large well-thumbed folio Prayer-book in the church marked with certain hieroglyphics. Amongst these O and OP frequently recurred. On the curate making inquiry of the clerk if there were any instructions he ought to follow during the service, he was informed that his active predecessor had established a choir and had reopened an organ closed from time immemorial. He had done this without any reference to the incumbent, who was so deaf that he could hear neither organ nor choir. Thus it happened that when they came to the "Venite," the incumbent read, as usual, the first verse. From long usage and habit he knew, to a second, the moment when the clerk would cease reading verse two, and then commenced reading the third verse, the clerk below him making frantic signs with his hand, which were quite incomprehensible: and it was not until the reading of the fifth verse that he understood he had better be silent altogether, and leave the field to the organ and choir, of whose performances he had not heard one single sound. He was determined not to be taken aback again, so, consulting with the clerk, he elicited when the performances of the organ would take place, and marked these for his guidance with a large O or OP—organ plays.

When the curate of whom I have spoken was first ordained, the incumbent gave him instructions as to what he was to do. Afterwards he found him visiting and over-zealous for the age, and said, "Now don't do too much in the parish, and never give anything away." The curate expressed surprise, when he added, "If you want to give, always come to me"—a suggestion the curate never failed to carry out. The rector had a very poor opinion of clergymen who wrote fresh sermons every week. "I've only got two sermons for every Sunday in the year, and I preach them all every year. I don't see why I should trouble myself to write any more, for when I preach them, I find I don't recollect them myself, so it's quite impossible the congregation should." As reminiscences of a type of clergyman very common at this time, but nearly extinct now, these notes seem worth recording.

Most of the Norfolk clergy were then old-fashionedtives of the first water. One day at a clerical dinner-party at the Palace, the Bishop, probably with the view of improving the taste of his guests, said, "When I first came into this diocese, I found the clergy would drink nothing but port. I used every means I could think of to alter a taste I could not myself enter into. All failed. At last I hit upon something which I thought was sure to be successful. I told my wine-merchant to send me the best of all other wines and the nastiest of port. But the clergy still insisted upon drinking the nasty port. So, when I felt my plan had failed, I wrote to my wine-merchant again, and told him to let them have it good."

The Bishop used to be greatly amused by an epitaph in Bergh Apton Church, which said that the man commemorated was "very free of his port," meaning that he was very hospitable (from portcullis), but the common people always thought it meant that he drank a great deal of port.

My dear old uncle was a capital bishop, and his clergy gradually learnt to think him so. But it was a sailor he had wished to be. He had been better fitted for that profession originally. Indeed, when he was a very little child he had such a passion for the sea, that once when he was missed from his cot, he was found asleep on the high shelf of a wardrobe, having climbed up there because he thought it was like a berth. Through life he was one of those men who never want presence of mind, and this often stood him in good stead. One Advent Sunday it was the Bishop's turn to preach in the cathedral, where the soldiers in the barracks usually attend the service: but it was terrible weather, and, with due regard to their pipe-clay, they were all absent that morning. The Bishop had prepared his sermon especially for the soldiers he expected to hear it, and he had no other. But he was quite equal to the occasion, for, after he had given out the text, he began—"Now this is the sermon I should have preached if the soldiers had been here," and went on, without concerning himself further about their absence.

On another occasion he fell fast asleep in the cathedral during the sermon. At the end, when the choir broke out into the "Amen," he suddenly awoke. In that moment he could not collect himself to remember the words of the blessing, but, "Peace be with you" he exclaimed very solemnly, and it did quite well.

"Uncle Norwich," with his snow-white hair and black eyebrows, and his eager impetuous manner, was a somewhat startling figure to come upon suddenly. There was a private door in the wall in a remote corner of the palace-garden. A rather nervous clergyman who lived close by had passed it for years, and had never seen it open. His curiosity was greatly excited about it. One day when he was passing, he could not resist the impulse, and looking up and down the road, and seeing neither the Bishop nor any of the Stanley family about, though very shy, he stooped down to peep in at the keyhole. At that moment the Bishop's key entered the lock on the other side, the door flew open, and he found himself confronted by the Bishop in person!

It was soon after we left Norwich that Jenny Lind, then at the height of her fame, went to stay at the Palace, and great was the family enthusiasm about her. My aunt conceived an affection for her which was almost maternal. Arthur Stanley admired her exceedingly, in spite of his hatred of music, but amused her when he said, "I think you would be most delightful if you had no voice."

At the end of August I returned to Harrow.


"Harrow, Sept. 10.—Alas! our form is under Mr. Oxenham. He has the power of flogging, and does flog very often for the least fault, for he really enjoys it. He is such an old man, very old, very sharp, very indolent, very preachy. Sometimes he falls asleep when we are in form, and the boys stick curl-papers through his hair, and he never finds it out. He always calls his boys 'stupid little fools,' without meaning anything particular by it. This morning he said to me, 'Stuff and nonsense, stupid little fool; don't make yourself a stupider little fool than you are.' He is always called 'Billy.'"

"Sept.—I have been racket-fagging all afternoon. It is such dismal work. You have to stand in one corner of the square court and throw all the balls that come that way to the 'feeders,' who throw them to the players when they are wanted. The great amusement of P., one of those I fag for, is to hit the racket-balls with all his might at the fags, and he tried to cut me off a great many times, but missed. At last P. said, 'I'll go and get another fag instead of that young beast Hare,' and he went, but he never came back, or the fag either.

"One day our room bought a pipkin, saucepan, and frying-pan to cook things in, but Mrs. Collins (the matron) took away the frying-pan, and the others were bagged. But we got another pipkin, and one night as we were cooking some potatoes, in little slices as we have them at home, they made such a smell that Mrs. Collins came up, and told Simmy, and he was very angry, and would not let us have fires for a week, and said we should all have extra pupil-room; but fortunately he forgot about that."

A. P. Stanley to A. J. C. H.

"University College, Oxford, Oct. 16.—The Goblin presents his compliments to the Ghost, and will give him a leaf of a bay-tree from Delphi, a piece of marble from Athens, and a bit of tin from the Cassiterides, on condition that the Ghost can tell him where those places are, and where the Goblin shall send these treasures."

A. J. C. H. to A. P. Stanley.

"Delphi is the capital of Phocis and the seat of the oracle in Greece. Athens is capital of Attica in Greece, and the Cassiterides are islands in the Western Ocean. The Ghost presents his compliments to the Goblin, thanks him very much, tells him where the places are, and begs him to send the things from those places to the usual haunt of the Ghost. The Ghost has communicated the Goblin's stories of the beautiful Hesketh and Mrs. Fox to the boys at night. The Ghost flitted up Harrow church-steeple yesterday, and was locked up inside. Farewell, Goblin, from your most grateful cousin—the Ghost."

This letter reminds me how I used to tell stories to the boys in our room after we had gone to bed: it was by them that I was first asked to "tell stories."

The winter of 1847-48 was one of those which were rendered quite miserable to me by the way in which I was driven to the Rectory, where Aunt Esther made me more wretched than ever, and by being scarcely ever permitted to remain in my own dear home. I fear that in later days I should have acted a part, and pretended to like going to the Rectory, when it would instantly have been considered unnecessary, the one thought in the mind of all the family being that it was a duty to force me to do what I disliked; but at that time I was too ingenuous to indulge in even the most innocent kinds of deception. My own brothers, Francis and William, who were now at Eton, came to the Rectory for part of their holidays, but their upbringing and their characters had so little in common with my own, that we were never very intimate, though I rather liked them than otherwise. They hated the Rectory, and got away from it whenever they could.

Of all the miserable days in the year, Christmas was the worst. I regarded it with loathing unutterable. The presents of the quintessence of rubbish which I had to receive from my aunts with outward grace and gratitude. The finding all my usual avocations and interests cleared away. The having to sit for hours and hours pretending to be deeply interested in the six huge volumes of Foxe's "Book of Martyrs," one of which was always doled out for my mental sustenance. The being compelled—usually with agonising chilblains—to walk twice to church, eight miles through the snow or piercing marsh winds, and sit for hours in mute anguish of congelation, with one of Uncle Julius's interminable sermons in the afternoon, about which at that time I heartily agreed with a poor woman, Philadelphia Isted, who declared that they were "the biggest of nonsense." Then, far the worst of all, the Rectory and its sneerings and snubbings in the evening.

My mother took little or no notice of all this—her thoughts, her heart, were far away. To her Christmas was simply "the festival of the birth of Christ." Her whole spiritual being was absorbed in it: earth did not signify: she did not and could not understand why it was not always the same with her little boy.

I was not allowed to have any holidays this year, and was obliged to do lessons all morning with Mr. Venables, the curate.[47] At this I wonder now, as every day my health was growing worse. I was constantly sick, and grew so thin that I was almost a skeleton, which I really believe now to have been entirely caused by the way in which the miseries of my home life preyed upon my excessively sensitive nervous disposition. And, instead of my mind being braced, I was continually talked to about death and hell, and urged to meditate upon them. Towards the close of the holidays I was so ill that at last my mother was alarmed, and took me to a Mr. Bigg, who declared that I had distinct curvature of the spine, and put my poor little back into a terrible iron frame, into which my shoulders were fastened as into a vice. Of course, with this, I ought never to have been sent back to Harrow, but this was not understood. Then, as hundreds of times afterwards, when I saw that my mother was really unhappy about me, I bore any amount of suffering without a word rather than add to her distress, and I see now that my letters are full of allusions to the ease with which I was bearing "my armour" at school, while my own recollection is one of intolerable anguish, stooping being almost impossible.

That I got on tolerably well at Harrow, even with my "armour" on, is a proof that I never was ill-treated there. I have often, however, with Lord Eustace Cecil (who was at Harrow with me), recalled since how terrible the bullying was in our time—of the constant cruelty at "Harris's," where the little boys were always made to come down and box in the evening for the delectation of the fifth form:—of how little boys were constantly sent in the evening to Famish's—half-way to the cricket-ground, to bring back porter under their greatcoats, certain to be flogged by the head-master if they were caught, and to be "wapped" by the sixth form boys if they did not go, and infinitely preferring the former:—of how, if the boys did not "keep up" at football, they were made to cut large thorn sticks out of the hedges, and flogged with them till the blood poured down outside their jerseys. Indeed, what with fagging and bullying, servility was as much inculcated at Harrow in those days as if it was likely to be a desirable acquirement in after life.

I may truly say that I never learnt anything useful at Harrow, and had little chance of learning anything. Hours and hours were wasted daily on useless Latin verses with sickening monotony. A boy's school education at this time, except in the highest forms, was hopelessly inane.

In some ways, however, this "quarter" at Harrow was much pleasanter than the preceding ones. I had a more established place in the school, and was on more friendly terms with all the boys in my own house; also, with my "armour," the hated racket-fagging was an impossibility. I had many scrambles about the country with Buller[48] in search of eggs and flowers, which we painted afterwards most carefully and perseveringly; and, assisted by Buller, I got up a sort of private theatricals on a very primitive scale, turning Grimm's fairy stories into little plays, which were exceedingly popular with the house, but strictly forbidden by the tutor, Mr. Simpkinson or "Simmy." Thus I was constantly in hot water about them. One day when we had got up a magnificent scene, in which I, as "Snowdrop," lay locked in a magic sleep in an imaginary cave, watched by dwarfs and fairies, Simmy came in and stood quietly amongst the spectators, and I was suddenly awakened from my trance by the sauve qui peut which followed the discovery. Great punishments were the result. Yet, not long after, we could not resist a play on a grander scale—something about the "Fairy Tilburina" out of the "Man in the Moon," for which we learnt our parts and had regular dresses made. It was to take place in the fifth form room on the ground-floor between the two divisions of the house, and just as Tilburina (Buller) was descending one staircase in full bridal attire, followed by her bridesmaids, of whom I was one, Simmy himself suddenly appeared on the opposite staircase and caught us.

These enormities now made my monthly "reports," when they were sent home, anything but favourable; but I believe my mother was intensely diverted by them: I am sure that the Stanleys were. A worse crime, however, was our passion for cooking, in which we became exceedingly expert. Very soon after a tremendous punishment for having been caught for the second time frying potato chips, we formed the audacious project of cooking a hare! The hare was bought, and the dreadful inside was disposed of with much the same difficulty and secrecy, and in much the same manner, in which the Richmond murderess disposed of her victims; but we had never calculated how long the creature would take to roast even with a good fire, much more by our wretched embers: and long before it was accomplished, Mrs. Collins, the matron, was down upon us, and we and the hare were taken into ignominious custody.

Another great amusement was making sulphur casts and electrotypes, and we really made some very good ones.

My great love for anything of historic romance, however, rendered the Louis Philippe revolution the overwhelming interest of this quarter, and put everything else into the shade. In the preceding autumn the murder of the Duchesse de Praslin had occupied every one, and we boys used to lie on the floor for hours poring over the horrible map of the murder-room which appeared in the "Illustrated," in which all the pools of blood were indicated. But that was nothing to the enthusiastic interest over the sack of the Tuileries and the escape of the Royal Family: I have never known anything like it in after life.

I have often heard since much of the immoralities of a public-school life, but I can truly say that when I was there, I saw nothing of them. A very few boys, however, can change the whole character of a school, especially in a wrong direction. "A little worm-wood can pollute a hive of honey," was one of the wise sayings of Pius II. I do not think that my morals were a bit the worse for Harrow, but from what I have heard since of all that went on there even in my time, I can only conclude it was because—at that time certainly—"je n'avais pas le goût du peché," as I once read in a French novel.

At Easter, 1848, I left Harrow for the holidays, little imagining that I should never return there. I should have been very sorry had I known it. On the whole, the pleasurable "adventures" of a public-school life had always outweighed its disagreeables; though I was never in strong enough health for any real benefit or enjoyment.



"Les longues maladies usent la douleur, et les longues espérances usent la joie."—Mme. de Sévigné.

"One adequate support
For the calamities of mortal life
Exists, one only—an assured belief
That the procession of our fate, however
Sad or disturbed, is ordered by a Being
Of infinite benevolence and power,
Whose everlasting purposes embrace
All accidents, converting them to good."


"Condemned to Hope's delusive mire,
As we toil on from day to day
By sudden stroke or slow decline
Our means of comfort drop away."


"It is well we cannot see into the future. There are few boys
of fourteen who would not be ashamed of themselves at forty."

Jerome K. Jerome.

OF all the unhappy summers of my boyhood, that of 1848 was the most miserable. When I left Harrow at Easter, I was very really ill. The iron frame which had been made for my back had seriously injured the spine which it was intended to cure, and a bad fall down the school steps at Harrow had increased the malady. When Sir Benjamin Brodie saw me, he said that I must lie down for at least the greater part of many months, and that a return to Harrow was quite out of the question. This, however, was concealed from me at first, and when I knew it, I was too ill to have any regrets. We went first to Torquay, stopping on the way to visit Mrs. Alexander, a person who afterwards, for some years, bore a large share in our life. In her youth, as Miss Mary Manning, she had been a governess in the family of Sir John Malcolm, and, while living with the Malcolms at Hyde Hall near Cambridge, had been the most intimate early friend of my Uncle Julius. People generally thought that he had been engaged to her, but this, I believe, was never the case. She had married a Mr. Alexander, a physician at Edinburgh, who soon left her a widow, and since that time she had possessed no settled home. She was very tall, serene, and had a beautiful countenance, and her old-fashioned dress was always wonderfully refined and in keeping with her appearance. She seemed to have the power of imposing her own personality upon her surroundings, and subduing the life and movement around her into an intellectual as well as a physical calm. She had a melodious low voice, a delicate Scotch accent, a perfectly self-possessed manner, and a sweet and gentle dignity. In conversation she was witty and genial, but never rude. With wonderful power of narration, she had the art of throwing unspeakable interest and charm over the most commonplace things: yet she never exaggerated. All the clever men who came in contact with her were bound under her spell. Whewell, Worsley, Landor, Bunsen, Sedgwick adored her, and did not wonder at my uncle's adoration. Saint-Amand's description of Mme. de Maintenon might have been written for her—"Elle garda, dans sa vieillesse, cette supériorité de style et de langage, cette distinction de manières, ce tact exquis, cette finesse, cette douceur et cette fermeté de caractère, ce charme et cette élévation d'esprit qui, à toutes les époques de son existence, lui valurent tant d'éloges et lui attirèrent tant d'amitié."

This is one view of Mrs. Alexander, and, as far as it goes, it is perfectly true. But scarcely any characters are all of one piece. She was also boundlessly subtle, and when she had an object in view she spared no means to attain it. For her own ends, with her sweetness unruffled, she would remorselessly sacrifice her best friends. The most egotistical woman in the world, she expected every one to fall under her spell, and calmly and gently but consistently hated any one who escaped. Whilst she almost imperceptibly flattered her superiors in rank and position, she ruthlessly and often heartlessly trampled upon those whom she (sometimes wrongly) considered her inferiors. She demanded sovereignty in every house she entered, and she could always find a way to punish rebellion. She made herself friends that "men might receive her into their houses," and when she had once entered them she never relaxed her foothold.

There is a description in the Life of George Sand which might be well applied to this view of Mrs. Alexander—"Elle était une personne glacée autant que glaciale.... Ce n'était pas qu'elle ne fut aimable, elle était gracieuse à la surface, un grand savoir-vivre lui tenant lieu de grace véritable. Mais elle n'aimait réellement personne et ne s'intéressait à rien qu'à elle-même."

When we first saw Mrs. Alexander, she was living in a small lodging at Heavitree near Exeter. In the following year she came to Hurstmonceaux Rectory for three days and stayed three weeks. The year after she came for three weeks and stayed five years. From the first she was supreme at the Rectory, ruling even Aunt Esther with unswerving and ever-increasing power; but on the whole her presence was an advantage. Her education and strong understanding enabled her to enter into all my uncle's pursuits and interests as his wife could never have done, and to outsiders she was usually suave, courteous, and full of agreeable conversation.


Uncle Julius and Aunt Esther visited Rockend when we were there, and as my aunts when together generally acted as foils to each other, I should have been at liberty to enjoy the really beautiful place—its delightful gardens, storm-beaten rocks, and the tower where Aunt Lucy "made her meditations"—if I had been well enough; but I had generally to spend the greater part of the day lying upon the floor on a hard backboard and in a state of great suffering. It was often an interest at this time to listen to Uncle Julius as he read aloud in the family circle passages connected with the French Revolution, Kingsley's "Saint's Tragedy," which had then recently appeared, or the papers which my uncle and his friends were then contributing to the Magazine for the People which Kingsley was getting up. No one read so well as Uncle Julius—a whole whirlwind of tragedy, an unutterable depth of anguish and pathos could be expressed in the mere tone of his voice; and it was not merely tone; he really thus felt what he read, and so carried away his listeners, that all their actual surroundings were invisible or forgotten. Those who never heard Julius Hare read the Communion Service can have no idea of the depths of humility and passion in those sublime prayers.

In everything Uncle Julius was as unsuited to the nineteenth century as he well could be. He used to declare that he never would read a book which he knew would interest him, till the exact mood of his mind was fitted for it, till the sun happened to be shining where it ought, and till weather and time and situation all combined to suit the subject and give its full effect, and he usually had numbers of books by him waiting for this happy conjunction, but, when it arrived, he did the books full justice.

I never saw any one so violent, so unmitigated in his likes and dislikes as Uncle Julius, so furious in his approval or condemnation. "Il avait une grande hardiesse, pour ne pas dire effronterie," as Bassompierre wrote of the Duke of Buckingham. In his despotic imperiousness he had no sympathy with the feelings and weaknesses of others, though inexpressible pity for all their greater misfortunes or sorrows.

Another person of whom we saw much at this time was the really saint-like Harry Grey, my mother's first cousin, who was living at Babbicombe. He was heir to the Earldom of Stamford (to which his son afterwards succeeded), but a clergyman, and very poor.

I was so ill when we returned home, almost everything I ate producing violent sickness, that it is astonishing my health should not have been considered a primary object. A few weeks of healthy life on moors or by the sea-side, with freedom from the gnawing mental misery and depression under which I suffered, would probably have restored me; a visit to German baths might have cured me, and saved years of ill-health. Had the family only had any practical common-sense! But, on religious grounds, it was thought wrong to contend against "the wonderful leadings of God's Providence"—pain was "sent" to be endured, sickness as a tractor to draw its victims to heaven; and all simple and rational means of restoration to a healthy and healthful life were disregarded. Sago with brandy in it was provided instead of meat for my physical, and an inexhaustible supply of tracts, hymns, and little sermons for my mental digestion. Patient endurance of suffering, the following of the most unpleasant path which duty could be thought to point out, and that without hope of either reward or release, were the virtues which even my mother most inculcated at this time.

Then a private tutor was sought for—not by knowledge, not by inquiry at the Universities, not by careful investigation of attainments for teaching, but by an advertisement. The inquiry as to all the letters which answered it was whether they appeared to be "those of truly pious men"—i.e., whether they were written in the peculiar phraseology then supposed to denote such a character. At last one was accepted, and a tutor arrived, who was—well, I will not describe him further than as certainly the most unprepossessing of human beings: Nature had been so terribly hard upon him.

With this truly unfortunate man I was shut up every morning in the hope that he would teach me something, a task he was wholly unequal to; and then I had to walk out with him. Naturally there were scenes and recriminations on both sides, in which I was by no means blameless. But daily my health grew worse, and scarcely a morning passed without my having an agonising fit of suffocation, from contraction of the muscles of the throat, gasping for breath in misery unutterable. The aunts said it was all nervous. I have no doubt it was: I have had plenty of experience of hysteria since, and it is the most dreadful disorder that exists.

At last my sufferings were such, from the relaxing air of Hurstmonceaux, that I was taken to Eastbourne, but an attempt was still made to chain me down for six or eight hours a day in a stuffy lodging at lessons with my tutor, who had not an idea of teaching and knew nothing to teach. Poor man! he was at least quite as wretched as I was, and I know that he thirsted quite as much for the fresh air of the downs. Aunt Esther came over, and used cruelly to talk, in my presence, of the fatigue and trouble which my ill-health caused my mother, and of the burden which she had thus brought upon herself by adopting me. It is only by God's mercy that I did not commit suicide. I was often on the point of throwing myself over the cliffs, when all would have been over in an instant, and was only restrained by my intense love for my mother, and the feeling that her apparently dormant affection would be awakened by such a catastrophe, and that she would always be miserable in such an event. Twenty-two years afterwards, when we were as closely united as it was possible for any mother and son to be, my darling mother reverted of her own accord to this terrible time: she could never die happy, she said, unless she knew that her after love had quite effaced the recollection of it.


Yet, even in these wretched months at Eastbourne there were oases of comfort—days when my "Aunt Kitty and Lou Clinton" came down, and, with "le cœur haut placé" and sound common-sense, seemed to set everything right; and other days when I made excursions alone with my mother to Jevington in the Downs, or to Wilmington with its old ruin and yew-tree, where we used to be kindly entertained by the primitive old Rector, Mr. Cooper, and his wife.

When I went, in 1877, to visit Alfred Tennyson the poet, he asked me to give him a subject for "A Domestic Village Tragedy." The story which I told him occurred at Hurstmonceaux this summer. Mrs. Coleman, who kept the "dame's school" at Flowers Green, had a niece, Caroline Crowhurst, a very pretty girl, the belle of the parish, and as amiable and good as she was pretty, so that every one was friends with her. She became engaged, rather against the will of her family, to a commercial traveller from a distance. He wrote to her, and she wrote to him, maidenly letters, but full of deep affection. One day they had a little quarrel, and the man, the fiend, took the most intimate, the most caressing of these letters and nailed it up against the Brewery in the centre of Gardner Street, where all the village might read it and scoff at it. As the people knew Caroline, no one scoffed, and all pitied her. But Caroline herself came to the village shop that afternoon; she saw her letter hanging there, and it broke her heart. She said nothing about it to any one, and she did not shed a tear, but she went home and kissed her aunt and her mother more tenderly than usual; she gathered the prettiest flowers in her little garden and put them in her bosom, and then she opened the lid of the draw-well close to her home and let herself in. The lid closed upon her.


I remember the news coming to Lime one evening that Caroline Crowhurst was missing, and the dreadful shock the next morning when we heard that the poor girl had been found in the well. My mother, who had known her from her birth, felt it very deeply, for at Hurstmonceaux we were on the most intimate terms with the poor people, and Philadelphia Isted, Mercy Butler, dear old Mrs. Piper the schoolmistress, Ansley Vine of the shop, grumbling old Mrs. Holloway (who always said she should be so glad when she was dead because then people would believe she had been ill), the crippled Louisa Wood, the saint-like bedridden Mrs. Wisham, and gentle Mrs. Medhurst, who lived amongst the primroses of "the lower road"—all these, and many more, were as familiar to me as my own nearest relations. To many of them, when well enough, I went regularly, and to Mrs. Piper, who had lived in the time of the castle, and known my father and his brothers from babyhood, almost every day. Her death was a real affliction. My mother walked behind her coffin at her funeral. In her will she left me a box which had belonged to my unhappy little ancestress, Grace Naylor.

At the end of July my real mother, "Italima," with my sister, came to stay at the Rectory. The visit was arranged to last a month, but unhappily on the second day of her stay, Italima went out with Aunt Esther. They came home walking on different sides of the road, and as soon as she entered the house Italima sent for post-horses to her carriage and drove away. I have never heard what happened, but Italima never came to the Rectory again. Soon afterwards she fixed her residence at Rome, in the Palazzo Parisani, which then occupied two sides of the Piazza S. Claudio.

In August it was decided to send me away to a private tutor's, and my mother and Uncle Julius went with me to Lyncombe, near Bath. My tutor was the Rev. H. S. R., son of a well-known evangelical writer, but by no means of the same spiritual grace: indeed I never could discover that he had any grace whatever; neither had he any mental acquirements, or the slightest power of teaching. He was "un homme absolument nul," and though paid a very large salary, he grossly and systematically neglected all his duties as a tutor. Uncle Julius must have been perfectly aware how inefficient the education at Lyncombe would be, but he was probably not to blame for sending me there. Because I did not "get on" (really because I was never taught), he regarded me as the slave of indolence—"putrescent indolence" he would have called it, like Mr. Carlyle. He considered me, however, to be harmless, though fit for nothing, and therefore one to be sent where I should probably get no harm, though certainly no good either. It was the system he went upon with my brothers also, and in their case he had all the responsibility, being their guardian. But, indeed, Uncle Julius's view was always much that of Rogers—"God sends sons, but the devil sends nephews," and he shunted them accordingly.

"Les grands esprits, d'ailleurs très estimables,
Ont très peu de talent pour former leurs semblables."

I went to Lyncombe with the utmost curiosity. The house was a large villa, oddly built upon arches in the hollow of a wooded valley about a mile from Bath, behind the well-known Beechen Cliff. At the back of it was a lawn with very steep wooded banks at the sides, and a fountain and pool, showing that the place had once been of some importance, and behind the lawn, meadows with steep banks led towards the heights of Combe Down. We all had rooms to ourselves at Lyncombe, scantily furnished, and with barely a strip of carpet, but we could decorate them with pictures, &c., if we liked. We did our lessons, when we were supposed to do them, at regular hours, in the dining-room, where we had our meals, and after work was finished in the evening, and eight o'clock tea, we were expected to sit with Mrs. R. in the drawing-room.

But we had an immense deal of time to ourselves—the whole afternoon we were free to go where we liked; we were not expected to give any account of what we did, and might get into as much mischief as we chose. Also, we too frequently had whole holidays, which Mr. R.'s idle habits made him only too glad to bestow, but which I often did not in the least know what to do with.

Eagerly did I survey my new companions, who were much older than myself, and with whom I was likely to live exclusively, with none of the chances of making other friendships which a public school affords. Three of them were quiet youths of no especial character: the fourth was Temple Harris,[49] at once the friend, enlivener, and torment of the following year.

On the whole, at first I was not unhappy at Lyncombe. I liked the almost unlimited time for roaming over the country, and the fresh air did much to strengthen me. But gradually, when I had seen all the places within reach, this freedom palled, and I felt with disgust that, terribly ignorant as I was, I was learning nothing, and that I had no chance of learning anything except what I could teach myself. Whilst Temple Harris stayed at Lyncombe, we spent a great deal of time in writing stories, ballads, &c., for a MS. magazine which we used to produce once a week; and this was not wholly useless, from the facility of composition which it gave me. But after Temple Harris left, the utter waste of life at Lyncombe palled upon me terribly, and I made, in desperation, great efforts to instruct myself, which, with no books and with every possible hindrance from without, was difficult enough. After a fashion, however, I succeeded in teaching myself French, stumbling through an interesting story-book with Grammar and Dictionary, till I had learnt to read with ease; of the pronunciation I naturally knew nothing. Two miserable years and a half of life were utterly wasted at Lyncombe, before Arthur Stanley came to visit me there, and rescued me by his representation of the utter neglect and stagnation in which I was living. It had been so hammered into my mind by my aunts that I was a burden to my mother, and that she was worn out with the trouble I had given her in finding my first private tutor, that I should never of myself have ventured to try to persuade her to look out for a second.

My earlier letters to my mother from Lyncombe are filled with nothing but descriptions of the scenery round Bath, of which I formed a most exaggerated estimate, as I had seen so little with which I could compare it. Once a week at least I used to go into Bath itself, to dine with my father's old friend Walter Savage Landor, who had been driven away from his Florentine home by his wife's violent temper. Mr. Landor's rooms (in Catherine Place, and afterwards at 2 Rivers Street) were entirely covered with pictures, the frames fitting close to one another, leaving not the smallest space of wall visible. One or two of these pictures were real works of art, but as a rule he had bought them at Bath, quite willing to imagine that the little shops of the Bath dealers could be storehouses of Titians, Giorgiones, and Vandycks. The Bath picture-dealers never had such a time; for some years almost all their wares made their way to Mr. Landor's walls. Mr. Landor lived alone with his beautiful white Spitz dog Pomero, which he allowed to do whatever it liked, and frequently to sit in the oddest way on the bald top of his head. He would talk to Pomero by the hour together, poetry, philosophy, whatever he was thinking of, all of it imbued with his own powerful personality, and would often roar with laughter till the whole house seemed to shake. I have never heard a laugh like that of Mr. Landor—"deep-mouthed Beotian Savage Landor," as Byron called him—such a regular cannonade.[50] He was "the sanest madman and the maddest reasonable man in the world," as Cervantes says of Don Quixote. In the evenings he would sit for hours in impassioned contemplation: in the mornings he wrote incessantly, to fling off sheet after sheet for the Examiner, seldom looking them over afterwards. He scarcely ever read, for he only possessed one shelf of books. If any one gave him a volume, he mastered it and gave it away, and this he did because he believed that if he knew he was to keep the book and be able to refer to it, he should not be able to absorb its contents so as to retain them. When he left Florence, he had made over all he possessed to his wife, retaining only £200 a year—afterwards increased to £400—for himself, and this sufficed for his simple needs. He never bought any new clothes, and a chimney-sweep would have been ashamed to wear his coat, which was always the same as long as I knew him, though it in no way detracted from his majestic and lion-like appearance. But he was very particular about his little dinners, and it was about these that his violent explosions of passion usually took place. I have seen him take a pheasant up by the legs when it was brought to table and throw it into the back of the fire over the head of the servant in attendance. This was always a failing, and, in later days, I have heard Mr. Browning describe how in his fury at being kept waiting for dinner at Siena, he shouted: "I will not eat it now, I will not eat it if it comes," and, when it came, threw it all out of the window.

At the same time nothing could be more nobly courteous than his manner to his guests, and this was as marked towards an ignorant schoolboy as towards his most distinguished visitor; and his conversation, whilst calculated to put all his visitors at their ease and draw out their best points, was always wise, chivalrous, pure, and witty.

At one time Mr. Landor's son Walter came to stay with him, but he was an ignorant rough youth, and never got on well with his father. I believe Mr. Landor preferred me at this time to any of his own children, and liked better to have me with him; yet he must often have been grievously disappointed that I could so little reciprocate about the Latin verses of which he so constantly talked to me, and that indeed I could seldom understand them, though he was so generous and high-bred that he never would allow me to feel mortified. Mrs. Lynn Linton, then Miss Lynn, was by her almost filial attentions a great comfort to Landor during the earlier years of his exile at Bath. Another person, whom he liked, was a pretty young Bath lady, Miss Fray, who often came to dine with him when I was there. After dinner Mr. Landor generally had a nap, and would say, "Now, Augustus, I'm going to sleep, so make love to Miss Fray"—which was rather awkward.[51]

These were the best friends of Lander's solitude; most of his other visitors were sycophants and flatterers, and though he despised the persons, he did not always dislike the flattery. Swift says truly—

"'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
That flattery's the food of fools;
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit."

Another resident of whom I saw much at Bath was my mother's cousin, Miss Harriet Dumbleton (her mother was a Leycester)—an old maiden lady, who lived in the most primitive manner, really scarcely allowing herself enough to eat, because, like St. Elizabeth, though she had a very good fortune, she had given everything she had to the poor. She would even sell her furniture, books, and pictures, to give away the money they realised. But she was a most agreeable, witty, lively person, and it was always a great pleasure to go to her.


"Lyncombe, Sept. 12.—I have been here four days, but only to-day did Mr. R. begin to attempt any lessons with me. He was very impatient, and I got so puzzled and confused, I could scarcely do anything at all; all my sums and everything else were wrong. Warriner and Hebden were very kind, and did all they could to help me. I like Warriner very much. To-day I have done much better, and I really do try to do well, dearest Mamma."

"Sept. 14.—Yesterday morning, as there was again no work whatever to be done, I went off by myself to Charterhouse Hinton to see the Abbey. I was told it was not shown, but insisted upon going up to the house, where I rang the bell, and was allowed to look at the ruin in the garden. There I found an old gentleman, to whom I told who I was, where I was, and all about myself, and he told me in return that he had been at school with Uncle Jule and knew the Bath aunts, and not only showed me the best place to sketch the Abbey from, but gave me a lesson in perspective. Then he took me into the house and told me all the stories of the pictures there.

"Mr. Landor has been here, and, thinking to do me honour, called upon the R.'s. Whilst Pomero danced about, he told numbers of stories, beginning at once about the Dukes of Brandenburg and Orleans, and in defence of the Danes. 'Hare may say what he likes, but that King of Prussia is a regular old scoundrel.'

"Whenever we are supposed to do any work, Mr. R. sits at the small table in the dining-room while we are at the large one; but no one takes any notice of him, and all talk slang and laugh as if he was out of the room; and if Harris gets bored with his supposed work, he rings for a plate and glass of water and paints."

"Sept. 22.—You need not grudge my long walks and being away from the others, for I should not be with them if at home, as Hebden goes to play on the Abbey organ, and the rest have their own occupations. To-day I went over hill and dale to Wellow, where there is a noble old church, and a Holy Well of St. Julian, at which a white lady used to appear on St. Julian's Eve, whenever any misfortune was about to happen to the family of Hungerford, the former possessors of the soil. As I was drawing the village, a farmer came riding by, and, after looking at my sketch, went back with me to show me his house, once a manor of the Hungerfords, with a splendid old carved chimney-piece.

"These are very long dreary half-years. At Harrow I used to rejoice that I should never more have to endure those horrible long private-school half-years, yet here they are again. Oh! what would I not give to be back with you, and able to take care of you when you are poorly!"

"Oct. 9.—Yesterday, as there were no lessons whatever again, I made a great expedition to Farley Castle, but was very miserable all the way in thinking that I had not been better to you all the summer, dearest, dearest Mamma. I used to think, when I knew that I should be at home such a long time, what a comfort I should be to you, and that you would see how good I was grown; but instead of that, how bad I was all the time! Oh! if I had only a little of it over again! Well, it is a long walk, but at last I arrived at Farley, a pretty ruin on a height, with four towers at the angles and a chapel in the centre. I persuaded the woman to lock me in here, and was in ecstasies. The walls are covered with armour of the Hungerfords for centuries, and in a corner are Cromwell's boots and saddle. At the other end is the ancient high altar with a Bible of ages mouldering away beneath a carved crucifix and stained window, and the surrounding walls are emblazoned with Hungerford arms. Old banners wave from the ceiling, old furniture lines the aisle, and in St. Anne's Chantry are two splendid altar-tombs, of Lady Joanna Hungerford and her husband, and Sir Edward and his wife.

"How am I to get any money to pay for having my hair cut, and for some gloves, for mine are quite worn out?"

"Oct. 20.—No work at all, so I have had a grand expedition to the beautiful old deserted house of the Longs at South Wraxhall, and have been writing ballads and stories about it ever since."

"Oct. 26.—No lessons. Mr. R. will not have them. So we have all been together to Farley, and went into the vault where the Hungerfords lie in leaden coffins, melted to fit their bodies and faces, their real features in deep relief. They look most extraordinary, especially two babies, whom, at first sight, you would take for a pair of shoes.... When I am alone with Harris, I like him very much. He writes poetry and draws beautifully, and can read French and Italian for his own amusement. I wish I could. Oh, I am so tired of having nothing to do!"

My dear Grandmother, Mrs. Leycester, had been failing all the autumn, and my mother was much with her at her house in New Street. Towards the end of October she seemed better, and my mother returned to Lime, but on the 3rd of November she was suddenly recalled. As so often happens in serious cases, for the only time in her life she missed the train, and when she arrived, after many hours' delay, she found that dear Grannie had died an hour before, wishing and longing for her to the last. To my intense thankfulness, I was allowed to go to my mother in New Street, once more to behold the beloved aged features in the deep repose of death, and to see the familiar inanimate objects connected with my childhood, and the dear old servants. Grannie was buried in the vaults of St. Martin's Church, Trafalgar Square, her coffin being laid upon that of Uncle Hugh (Judge Leycester). The vaults were a very awful place—coffins piled upon one another up to the ceiling, and often in a very bad state of preservation,[52]—and the funeral was a very ghastly one, all the ladies being enveloped in huge black hooded mantles, which covered them from head to foot like pillars of crape. Grannie is one of the few persons whose memory is always evergreen to me, and for whom I have a most lasting affection. Everything connected with her has an interest. Many pieces of furniture and other memorials of my grandmother's house in New Street and, before that, of Stoke Rectory, have been cherished by us at Hurstmonceaux and Holmhurst, and others it has always been a pleasure to see again when I have visited my Penrhyn cousins at Sheen—objects of still life which long survive those to whom they were once important.

In the winter of 1848-49 I saw at St. Leonards the venerable Queen Marie Amélie, and am always glad to have seen that noble and long-suffering lady, the niece of Marie Antoinette.

During the autumn at Lyncombe I was almost constantly ill, and very often ill in the winter at home, which the Marcus Hares all spent at Lime. It was a miserable trial to me that, in her anxiety lest I should miss an hour of a school where I was taught nothing, my mother sent me back a week too early—and I was for that time alone in the prison of my abomination, in unutterable dreariness, with nothing in the world to do. This term, a most disagreeable vulgar boy called W—— was added to the establishment at Lyncombe, who was my detested companion for the next two years; and from this time in every way life at Lyncombe became indescribably wretched—chiefly from the utter waste of time—and, as I constantly wrote to my mother, I was always wishing that I were dead. My only consolation, and that a most dismal and solitary one, was in the long excursions which I made; but I look back upon these as times of acute suffering from poverty and hunger, as I never had any allowance, and was always sent back to my tutor's with only five shillings in my pocket. Thus, though I walked sometimes twenty-four miles in a day, and was out for eight or ten hours, I never had a penny with which to buy even a bit of bread, and many a time sank down by the wayside from the faintness of sheer starvation, often most gratefully accepting some of their food from the common working people I met. If I went out with my companions, the utmost mortification was added to the actual suffering of hunger, because, when they went into the village inns to have a good well-earned luncheon, I was always left starving outside, as I never had the means of paying for any food. I believe my companions were very sorry for me, but they never allowed their pity to be any expense to them, and then "E meglio essere odiato che compatito" is an Italian proverb which means a great deal, especially to a boy. After a time, too, the food at Lyncombe itself became extremely stinted and of the very worst quality—a suet dumpling filled with coarse odds and ends of meat being our dinner on at least five days out of the seven, which of course was very bad for an extremely delicate rapidly-growing youth—and, if I was ill from want of food, which was frequently the case, I was given nothing but rice.

What indescribably miserable years those were! I still feel, in passing Bath by railway, sick at heart from the recollection, and I long in this volume to hurry over a portion of life so filled with wretched recollections, and which had scarcely a redeeming feature, except Mr. Landor's constant kindness and friendship. It was also a terrible disappointment that my mother never would consent to my going for a few days to see "Italima" and my brothers, who were then living at Torquay, and who vainly begged for it. My endless letters to my mother (for I wrote several sheets daily) are so crushed and disconsolate that I find little to select.


"Easter Sunday, 1849.—Yesterday Mr. Landor asked me to dine with him. First we went out to order the dinner, accompanied by Pomero in high spirits. As we went through the streets, he held forth upon their beauties, especially those of the Circus, to which he declares that nothing in Rome or in the world was ever equal. We stopped first at the fishmonger's, where, after much bargaining, some turbot was procured; then, at the vegetable shop, we bought broccoli, potatoes, and oranges; then some veal to roast; and finally a currant-tart and biscuits. Mr. Landor generally orders his own little dinners, but almost all this was for me, as he will dine himself on a little fish. He has actually got a new hat, he says because all the ladies declared they would never walk with him again unless he had one, and he has a hideous pair of new brown trousers. Pomero was put out of the room for jumping on them, but when he was heard crying outside the door, Mr. Landor declared he could not let his dear child be unhappy, and was obliged to let it in; upon which the creature was so delighted, that it instantly jumped on the top of its master's head, where it sate demurely, looking out of the window.

"Harris has just written an account of my home life which he says he believes to be exact, i.e., that I live with two maiden aunts, 'Gidman and Lear'—that they have a dog called 'Paul against the Gentiles,' who runs after them, carrying muffins and apples to the poor and destitute inhabitants of the parish of Chalk-cum-Chilblains—that his kennel is inscribed with texts of Scripture, and when a heretic is near he can smell him five miles off—that his food consists of tracts, and that he drinks a dilution of hymn-books and camphor-ice."

In my summer holidays of 1849 my mother took me for the second time to Alton. It was very hot weather, and we lived entirely amongst the affectionate primitive cottagers, going afterwards to stay with Lady Gore at Wilcot House—an old haunted house, with a tower where a tailor (I forget how he got there) committed suicide. With Mrs. Pile we drove through the open Wiltshire country to her farmhouse home of Tufton, where we spent several days very pleasantly, in a quiet place on the glistening little river Teste, close to Hurstborne Park. On the day of our leaving Tufton we visited Winchester, and as we were going thence to Portsmouth by rail, we had an adventure which might have ended seriously.

The train was already in motion, and my mother and I were alone in the carriage, when three men came running along the platform and attempted to enter it. Only one succeeded, for before the others could follow him, the train had left the platform. In a minute we saw that the man who was alone in the carriage with us was a maniac, and that those left behind were his keepers. He uttered a shrill hoot and glared at us. Fortunately, as the door banged to, the tassel of the window was thrown up, and this attracted him, and he yelled with laughter. We sat motionless at the other side of the carriage opposite each other. He seized the tassel and kept throwing it up and down, hooting and roaring with laughter. Once or twice we fancied he was about to pounce upon us, but then the tassel attracted him again. After about eight minutes the train stopped. His keepers had succeeded in getting upon the guard's box as the train left the station, and hearing his shouts, stopped the train, and he was removed by force.

We went to stay at Haslar with Sir Edward Parry, the Arctic voyager, whose first wife had been my mother's early friend Bella Stanley. He was now married again, and had three more children, and his wife had two daughters by her first husband, Mr. Hoare. The three families lived together, and in the most wonderful harmony. The eldest son, Edward, afterwards Bishop of Dover, was several years older than I, yet not too old for companionship. But I never could feel the slightest interest in the dockyards or the ships at Spithead. My only pleasure was a happy tourette round the Isle of Wight—the mother, Lea, and I, in a little carriage. During the latter part of our stay at Haslar, cholera broke out in the hospital, and our departure was like a flight.

While I was at Lyncombe in the autumn, my step-grandmother Mrs. Hare Naylor died, very soon after the marriage of her daughter Georgiana to Mr. Frederick D. Maurice, whose first wife had been her intimate friend. She was married during what was supposed to be her last illness, but was so pleased with her nuptials that she recovered after the ceremony and lived for nearly half a century afterwards.

My dear old uncle Edward Stanley had always said, while making his summer tour in Scotland, that he should return to Norwich when the first case of cholera appeared. He died at Brahan Castle, and his body was brought back to Norwich just as the cholera appeared there. Tens of thousands of people went to his funeral—for, in the wild Chartist times of his episcopate, he had been a true "chevalier sans peur et sans reproche," and had become beloved by people of every phase of creed and character. My mother met Aunt Kitty in London as she came from Scotland, and went with her to Norwich. It was perfect anguish to me not to see once more the place which I had most delighted in, but that was not permitted. Only two days after leaving her home in the old palace, my aunt heard of the death of her youngest son, Captain Charles Edward Stanley, at Hobart Town in Van Diemen's Land. He left a young widow, who, in her desolation, derived her chief comfort from the thought of joining her husband's eldest brother, Captain Owen Stanley, at Sydney, and returning to England in his ship, the Rattlesnake. When she reached the ship, she learned that he had been found dead in his cabin only a few days after receiving the tidings of his father's death. The news of this third loss reached Lime just after Aunt Kitty and Kate Stanley had left it to take possession of their new London home—6 Grosvenor Crescent. I remember my mother's piercing shriek when she opened the letter: it was the only time I ever heard her scream. It was only a few months after this that Kate was married to Dr. Vaughan, her brother's friend and my late head-master.

In 1850 I detested my life at Lyncombe more than ever. Mr. R. was increasingly neglectful in teaching, and the food and everything else was increasingly bad. Temple Harris and my other elder companions went away, and their places were taken by a boy "with flaxen hair and spectacles, like a young curate," but inoffensive, and "an atrociously vulgar little snob;" while the ill-tempered rathunter, who had been at Lyncombe with the old set, was the only one of them that remained. I was now, however, more anxious than ever to learn something, and I made much progress by myself. Most of the external consolations of this year came from the residence in Bath of my maternal cousin Mrs. Russell Barrington, a rather gay young widow, and an eccentric person, but very kind to me at this time, incessant in her invitations, and really very useful in her constant lectures upon "good manners." She might truly have written to my mother in the words of Mme. de Sévigné—"Je me mêle d'apprendre à votre fils les manèges des conversations ordinaires, qu'il est important de savoir; il y a des choses qu'il ne faut pas ignorer. Il seroit ridicule de paraître étonné de certaines nouvelles de quoi on raisonne; je suis assez instruite de ces bagatelles."

Up to this time, as ever afterwards, no preparation for social life had ever been thought of as far as I was concerned. I was never encouraged to talk at home; indeed, if I ever spoke, I was instantly suppressed. I knew nothing of any game; I was never taught to ride or swim, and dancing was absolutely prohibited as an invention of the evil one. Other boys must have thought me a terrible ass, but it was really not quite my own fault. Oh! how heartily I agree with Archbishop Whately, who said that "the God of the Calvinists is the devil with 'God' written on his forehead."

There was another of my real relations with whom I made acquaintance this year, and with whom I was afterwards very intimate—namely, Henry Liddell, Rector of Easington, and one of the trustees of Bamborough Castle, who was the brother of my great-uncle Lord Ravensworth, and had married Charlotte Lyon of Hetton, daughter of the youngest brother of my great-grandmother Lady Anne Simpson. Mr. Liddell was one of the kindest of men, with all the genial courtesy of a race of country gentlemen now almost extinct, and his wife was a beautiful old lady, with much that was interesting to tell of past times and people. Their eldest son, who was afterwards Dean of Christ Church at Oxford, was at this time head-master of Westminster, and was a clever and cultivated person, though inferior to his parents in natural charm of character. In the summer my maternal grandfather, Sir John Paul, came to stay at a hotel at Bath and I saw him frequently, but never found anything in common with him, though he was an exceedingly clever artist. In my daily letters to my mother, I see that I described his first reception of me with "How do you do, sir"—just like any distant acquaintance. He was at this time married to his third wife, who was a daughter of Bishop Halifax, and presented a very youthful appearance. Her step-children, who never liked her, declared that on the day after her marriage one of her eyebrows fell off into her soup. But to me she was always very kind, and I was fond of her, in spite of her many ancient frivolities. With Lady Paul lived her sister Caroline Halifax, a very pretty pleasant old lady, who adored her, and thought "my sister Bessy" the most beautiful, illustrious, and cultivated woman in the world.

It was in April 1850 that a happy missing of his train at Bath produced a visit at Lyncombe from Arthur Stanley, who was horrified at my ignorance, and at the absence, which he discovered, of all pains in teaching me. His representations to my mother at last induced her to promise to remove me, for which I shall be eternally grateful to him in recollection. Nevertheless I was unaccountably left at Lyncombe till Christmas, nine wretched and utterly useless months; for when he knew I was going to leave, after my return in the summer, Mr. R. dropped even the pretence of attempting to teach me, so that I often remained in total neglect, without any work whatever, for several weeks. In their anger at the distant prospect of my escaping them, the R.'s now never spoke to me, and my life was passed in total and miserable silence, even at meal-times. If it had not been for the neighbourhood of Bath, I should often have been many weeks together without speaking a single word. My mother in vain remonstrated over my sickeningly doleful letters, and told me to "catch all the sunbeams within reach;" I could only reply there were no sunbeams to catch—that "you would think at meals that you were in the Inquisition from the cold, morose, joyless, motionless faces around the table." Then Aunt Esther would make my mother urge me to accept all these small trials, these "guidings," in a more Christian spirit, which made me furious: I could not express religious sentiments when such sentiments were quite unborn. Besides, I might have answered that "when St. Paul said we were to put off the old man, he did not mean we were to put on the old woman."[53] I also wrote to my mother—

"We are in the last extremities as regards food. I will give you a perfectly correct account of the last few days. Saturday, dinner, boiled beef. Sunday, breakfast, ditto cold with bread and butter. Luncheon, a very small portion of ditto with dry bread and part of the rind of a decayed cheese. Dinner, a little of ditto with a doughy plum-tart. Monday, breakfast, ditto with two very small square pieces of bread. Luncheon, ditto with bread and ... butter! Dinner, ditto and a rice-pudding. Tuesday, breakfast, ditto; luncheon, a very small fragment of ditto and one potato apiece doled round. Dinner, ditto. Wednesday, breakfast, scraps of ditto; luncheon, fat and parings of ditto. We all have to sit and do our work now by the light of a single bed-candle. Oh! I am more thankful every day that you will at last let me leave this place. Any change must be for the better, and I should not mind if it was to the centre of the desert, if I could only feel I should learn something, for I am learning nothing here, and never have learnt anything.... Would you very much mind giving me an umbrella, for I have got wet through almost every day: on Sundays it is especially inconvenient. Mr. R. asked me the other day how I liked the thoughts of going away!—but I was very good, and only said 'I should not mind it very much!'"

My only reprieve from the misery of Lyncombe in 1850 was in a three days' visit to my half-uncle Gustavus Hare at Exmouth. I describe to my mother the extraordinary sermon which I heard there from the Dean of Exeter, on the theory that the object of St. Paul's visit to Jerusalem, as described in the Acts of the Apostles, was to attend the deathbed of the "most blessed Virgin." I was greatly delighted with sketching the then ruined sanctuary of St. John in the Wilderness—an old grey tower covered with moss and lichen and a huge yew-tree, in a solitary opening amid woods. Another day we saw Bradley Manor, near Newton, "with its chapel used as a hen-roost and a peacock perched upon the altar," and the second Mrs. Hare Naylor's grave at Highweek, "overlooking the beautiful wooded hills and the still blue waters of Teignmouth harbour."

Whilst at my tutor's, I had saved up every penny I could—actually by pennies—to go to Berkeley Castle, and at last, by going without food the whole day (as I had no money for that), I accomplished the excursion. To me, it was well worth all the suffering it cost, and I wrote seven sheets to my mother about the great hall with its stained windows, the terraces with peacocks sunning themselves on the carved balustrades, the dark picture-hung staircase, the tapestried bedrooms, and above all, the unspeakably ghastly chamber of Edward the Second's murder, approached through the leads of the roof by a wooden bridge between the towers—"dim and dark, with a floor of unplaned oak, and the light falling from two stained windows upon a white head of Edward in a niche, and an old bed with a sword lying upon it in the position in which it was found after the murder." Then in the park were "the descendants of the stags which were harnessed to the king's bier, and which, for want of horses, drew him to his grave at Gloucester."

In the dreary solitude of my life at Lyncombe (as how often since!) drawing was a great resource, and much practice gave me facility in sketching. At this time I was very conceited about it, thought my drawings beautiful, and, as an inevitable consequence, fell violently into "the black stage," in which they were—abominable! In the holidays, however, my pride was well taken down by my mother, who herself drew with great taste and delicacy. She would look at my drawing carefully, and then say, "And what does this line mean?"—"Oh, I thought ... it looked well."—"Then, if you do not know exactly what it means, take it out at once." This was the best of all possible lessons.

The chief variety of our summer was spending two days in the little inn at Penshurst—seeing and drawing the fine old house there and Hever Castle, and a day at Winchelsea, where we slept at the primitive little public-house, and sketched from breakfast to sunset.


In the autumn, at Mr. Landor's house, I first met Miss Carolina Courtenay Boyle,[54] Queen Adelaide's ex-maid of honour, with whom, partly through my love of drawing, I made a great friendship. Accustomed as I was to the inferior twaddle which formed the conversation of the Maurice sisters, or the harsh judgments of those who considered everything pleasant to be sinful, Miss Boyle was a revelation to me. I was as one mesmerised by her. Hitherto my acquaintance with women had been chiefly with the kind who thought ample compensation for having treated me with inordinate unkindness and selfishness to be contained in the information that they would not fail to remember me in their prayers. It was a new experience, not only that a beautiful and clever lady should try to make herself agreeable, but that she should think it worth while to make herself agreeable to me. No wonder I adored her. She was then living with her mother Lady Boyle in the same house of Millard's Hill, near Frome, in which my great-aunts Caroline and Marianne Hare had lived before; and, to my great surprise and delight, I was allowed to go by the coach to spend two days with her there. It was on this occasion that I first wore a morning-coat instead of a jacket, and very proud I was of it. Apropos of dress, at this time and for many years afterwards, all young gentlemen wore straps to their trousers, not only when riding, but always: it was considered the ne plus ultra of snobbism to appear without them. The said trousers also always had stripes at the sides, which, beginning like those of soldiers, grew broader and broader, till they recalled the parti-coloured hose of Pinturicchio: then they disappeared altogether.

The house of Millard's Hill, when the Boyles inhabited it, was quite enchanting, so filled with pictures, carvings, and china; and Miss Boyle herself was a more beautiful picture than any of those upon her walls—still wonderfully striking in appearance, with delicately chiselled features and an unrivalled complexion, while her golden-grey hair, brushed back and cut short like a boy's (owing to a coup de soleil long before), added a marvellous picturesqueness. A greater contrast to the pinched and precise evangelical women whom alone I was usually permitted to visit could at this time scarcely be imagined. Wonderful were the stories which she had to tell me, and delighted to tell me, of her past life and sufferings, "through which only God and religion" had helped her, with the moral attached that since the few whom she had idolised were taken away, she must now live for all. She talked much also of her great anxiety about dear old Landor, "that God would change and rebuild his soul." Lady Boyle, a sweet and beautiful old lady,[55] was now quite paralysed, and her daughter would sit for hours at her feet, soothing her and holding her hands. I remember as especially touching, that when Miss Boyle sang hymns to her mother, she would purposely make a mistake, in order that her sick mother might have "the pleasure of correcting her."

When we went out, Miss Boyle's dress—a large Marie Antoinette hat and feathers and a scarlet cloak—at that time considered most extraordinary—excited great sensation. With her I went to Longleat; to Vallis, of which I have often been reminded in seeing Poussin's pictures; and to Marston, where old Lord Cork was still living, with his daughter-in-law Lady Dungarvan and her children. An immense number of the Boyles—"the illustrious family" by whom, our Dr. Johnson said, "almost every art had been encouraged or improved"—were at this time residing at or around Marston, and none of them on terms with one another, though they were all, individually, very kind to me. I now first made acquaintance with Miss Boyle's younger sister Mary, whom I knew better many years after, when I learned to value her wonderful sympathy with all the pathos of life, as much as to admire her quick wit and inimitable acting.[56] Landor used to say of her, "Mary Boyle is more than clever, she is profound;" but it is her quickness that remains by one. Of her lively answers it is difficult to give specimens, but I remember how one day when she neglected something, Lady Marion Alford said to her, "What a baby you are, Mary," and she answered, "Well, I can't help it; I was born so."

Another day Sir Frederic Leighton had promised to go to her, and, after keeping her waiting a long time, had disappointed her. She met him at the Academy party that evening, and he made a feint of kneeling down to beg her pardon—"Oh, pray rise up," she exclaimed; "people might think I was forgiving you."

But to return to Millard's Hill. In the evenings Miss Boyle took a guitar and played and sang—strange wild Spanish songs, which seemed perfectly in accordance with her floating hair and inspired mien. King William IV. desired her to play to him, which she dreaded so much, that when she was sent to fetch her guitar, she cut every string and then frizzled them up, and came back into the royal presence saying that her guitar was quite broken and she could not play. To her terror, the King sent for the guitar to see if it was true, but he was deceived. Queen Adelaide's death had made a great change in Miss Boyle's life, but she received the greatest kindness from the Queen's sister, Duchess Ida of Saxe-Weimar. When I was with her, she was looking forward to a homeless life after her mother's death, which could not be far distant, but was trusting in the family motto—"God's providence is my inheritance."

Soon after my return from Millard's Hill, I went to my grandfather Sir John Paul at the Hill House near Stroud—a much-dreaded visit, as I had never before seen most of the near relations amongst whom I so suddenly found myself.

From the Hill House I wrote to my mother—

"Dec. 19, 1850.—Lyncombe is done with! my own Mother, and oh! I cannot say how delightful it was, in parting with so many persons terribly familiar through two years and a half of misery, to know that I should never see them again.

"At Stroud Lady Paul's pony-carriage was waiting, and we drove swiftly through some deep valleys, the old coachman, twenty-five years in the family, telling me how he had seen and nursed me when a baby, and how glad he was that I was come to see my grandfather. We turned up by a house which he said was my 'Aunt Jane's,'[57] through a steep lane overhung by magnificent beech-trees, and then round a drive to this hill-set mansion, which has a fine view over wood and valley on one side, and on the other a garden with conservatories and fountains.

"As the bell rang, a good-natured, foreign-looking man came out to welcome me, and told me he was my Uncle Wentworth,[58] introduced me to his boy Johnnie, and took me into a large cheerful room (like the chintz room at Eridge), where the bright-eyed old Sir John was sitting with Lady Paul and my aunt Minnie Bankhead. Lady Paul kissed me, and it was not half so formidable as I expected.... Aunt Minnie is very handsome, and amuses everybody with her stories. She has just brought back His Excellency her husband from Mexico, where she has had the most wonderful adventures."



"Stern lawgiver, yet thou dost wear
   The Godhead's most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
   As is the smile upon thy face."
—WORDSWORTH, Ode to Duty.

"Duties bring blessings with them."
—SOUTHEY, Roderick.

"In the acquisition of more or less useless knowledge, soon happily to be forgotten, boyhood passes away. The schoolhouse fades from view, and we turn into the world's high-road."—J. K. Jerome.

MY new tutor, the Rev. Charles Bradley, was selected by Arthur Stanley, who had been acquainted with his brother, afterwards Master of University College at Oxford. I went over from Lime to see him at Hastings, and at once felt certain that, though he was very eccentric, his energy and vivacity were just what would be most helpful to me. His house was an ugly brick villa standing a little way back from the road in the pretty village of Southgate, about ten miles from London, and he had so many pupils that going there was like returning to school. The life at Southgate for the next two years was certainly the reverse of luxurious, and I did not get on well with my tutor owing to his extraordinary peculiarities, and probably to my many faults also; but I feel that mentally I owe everything to Mr. Bradley. "Vita sine proposito languida et vaga est"[59] was the first principle he inculcated. He was the only person who ever taught me anything, and that he did not teach me more than he did was entirely my own fault. He had a natural enthusiasm for knowledge himself, and imparted it to his pupils; and the energy and interest of the lessons at Southgate were perfectly delightful—every hour filled, not a moment wasted, and a constant excitement about examinations going on. I am sure that the manly vigour of my surroundings soon began to tell on my character as much as my mind, and at Southgate I soon learned to acquire more openness in matters of feeling, and a complete indifference to foolish sneers. Mr. R. for two years and a half had totally, systematically, and most cruelly neglected me: Mr. Bradley fully did his duty by me—to a degree of which I have only in after years learned the full value.

When we had a holiday at Southgate, it was the well-earned reward of hard work on the part of the pupils, not the result of idleness on the part of the tutor, and our holidays were intensely enjoyable. As he found he could trust me, Mr. Bradley let me make long excursions on these holidays—to Hatfield, St. Albans, Epping Forest, and often to London, where my happy hunts after old buildings and historic recollections laid the foundation of a work which I at that time little looked forward to.[60] Sometimes also I went to the Stanleys', ever becoming increasingly attracted by the charm, intelligence, and wisdom of my "Aunt Kitty." She was very alarming with her

"Strong sovereign will, and some desire to chide."[61]

But the acuteness of her observation, the crispness of her conversation, and the minute and inflexible justice of her daily conduct, ever showed the most rare union of masculine vigour with feminine delicacy.

My aunt was very intimate with the Miss Berrys, who both died in 1852, Agnes in January, Mary in November. Their celebrity began with their great intimacy at Devonshire House and Lansdowne House: the old Duchess of Devonshire was their great friend. I believe they were not clever in themselves, but they had a peculiar power of drawing clever people around them. They had both been engaged, Mary to the O'Hara, Agnes to the Mr. Ferguson who married Lady Elgin. They were very kind-hearted, and were, as it were, privileged to say rude things, which nobody minded, at their parties. Often, when a fresh person arrived towards the end of the evening, Miss Berry would say before all the other guests, "You see I've been able to get no one to meet you—no one at all." She would go out of the room whilst she was pouring out the tea, and call out over the stairs, "Murrell, no more women, no more women;" and Murrell, the butler, understood perfectly, and put out the lamp over the door. A few very intimate friends would still come in, but, when they saw the lamp was out, ladies generally drove away. Latterly, the Miss Berrys tried to draw in a good deal. A sort of jeu d'esprit went round to their friends, thanking them for past favours, and asking for a continuance on a smaller scale. It was never quite understood, but was supposed to mean that they did not wish to see quite so many. The death of Miss Agnes was like that of the wife. She had always been touching in that she could never understand how any one could like her better than her sister. She was the housekeeper, and she did what other housekeepers seldom do—she had the soup brought up to her every day whilst she was dressing, and tasted it, and would say, "There must be a little more sugar," or "There is too much salt," so that it was always perfect and always the same.

I think it must have been at this time also that I was taken to see the venerable Lady Louisa Stuart, who died soon afterwards.[62] I am glad that I can thus always retain a vivid recollection of the daughter of the famous Lord Bute and grand-daughter of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu as a very old lady of ninety-four, in a large cap, sitting in an old-fashioned high-backed chair covered with white stuff, in a room of extreme bareness.

Great was my excitement, on first going to Southgate. I stayed on the way with the Stanleys, to see the Exhibition (of 1851) which was then in full preparation, and the procession at the opening of Parliament.


"6 Grosvenor Crescent, Feb. 3, 1851.—The exterior of the Crystal Palace is disappointing, I had imagined it so much higher, but the interior is and looks gigantic. The most striking feature is the great tree: it is wonderful to see its huge branches enclosed quite to the topmost twigs, and the details of the building are beautiful."

"Feb. 4.—I went to the Bunsens' house to see the procession. There was a crowd of people on the terrace when the great gun announced that the Queen had left the palace, and already from distant parts of the avenue cries of 'God save the Queen' and 'Hurrah!' The procession of Lifeguards in their panoply of glittering helmets and breastplates was beautiful. Then came the six gorgeous carriages with the household, and lastly the eight cream-coloured horses drawing the great glass coach. Prince Albert in his great boots sat on the side nearest to us, opposite the Duchess of Sutherland in a diamond tiara; and on the other, the Queen, in a crown and glistening dress of embroidered silver, kept bowing to the shouts of her subjects—so much indeed that I heard a poor Irish-woman exclaim—'Och indeed, and mustn't the poor thing get tired of nodding her head about so.' ... There were forty people at luncheon with the Bunsens afterwards."

"Southgate, Feb. 8, 1851.—My own dearest mother, at last I am writing from my own room at Southgate. I joined the omnibus at a public-house at the bottom of Snow Hill,[63] and drove here through the moonlight, arriving at 10 P.M. We stopped at a large gate in a wall, which was opened by a stable-boy, who led the way across a grass-plat with trees. Mr. Bradley met me in the hall, and took me to see Mrs. Bradley, and then to my room, which at first seemed most dreary, cold, and comfortless."

"Feb. 9.—I have already seen enough of the life here to know a good deal about it. Mr. Bradley is an excellent tutor, though I could never like him as a man. He is much too familiar with his pupils, pulls their hair or hits them on the toes with the poker when they make mistakes: he will peer into their rooms, and if he finds a coat, &c., lying about, will fine them a penny, and there is a similar fine if you do not put the chair you have sat upon at dinner close up against the wall when you have done with it. The tradespeople are allowed to put in their bills, 'Pane of glass broken by Portman or Brooke,' &c. When I asked him to lend me a pen, he said, 'Oh, I don't provide my pupils with pens.' When he wanted to send a parcel to Miss Jason, he told her brother he should come upon him for the postage. The first thing he said to me after I entered the house was—pointing to the sideboard—'Mind you never take either of those two candles; those are Mrs. Bradley's and mine' (we have sickly-smelling farthing dips in dirty japanned candlesticks). These are instances to give you an idea of the man.

"If you have three indifferent marks from the mathematical master, you have either to stay in all the next half-holiday, or to receive three severe boxes on the ear!—a thing which I imagine would not be borne at any other private tutor's, but Bradley seems to have magic power. His inquisitiveness about trifles is boundless. If I bring down a book—'What is that book? Was it a present? Who from? Where was it bought? How much did it cost?'

"When I came down to prayers this morning (at eight, being Sunday), I found all the pupils assembled. I am the smallest but one, and look up at the gigantic Portman, who is only thirteen. Then we had breakfast. Cold beef and ham were on the table, a huge loaf, and two little glasses of butter. Mrs. Bradley poured out the tea, while Bradley threw to each pupil an immense hunch off the loaf, saying with mine, that I 'must not leave any, or any fat at dinner, that was never allowed; and that I must always say first what I wanted, much or little, fat or not.' After breakfast the pupils all gathered round the fire and talked. Soon Bradley made us sit down to work, myself at Greek Testament, till it was time to go to church, whither we went, not quite in a schoolboy procession, but very nearly. The church was 'Weld Chapel,' a barn-like building, with round windows and high galleries. At dinner there was cold roast and boiled beef, and plum and custard pudding, good and plain, but with severe regulations. We did not have any time to ourselves except three-quarters of an hour after afternoon church, after which we went down to a sort of Scripture examination, with such questions as, 'How do we know that Salome was the mother of Zebedee's children?' I wrote what I thought an excellent set of answers, but they proved sadly deficient, and I am afraid I am a dunce.... I am writing now after prayers, in forbidden time, and in danger of having my fire put out for a month! Do not think from my letter that I dislike being here. Oh, no! work, work, is the one thing I need, and which I must and will have, and, if I have it, all petty troubles will be forgotten. Good-night, my own dear blessed mother."

"Feb. 10.—Half my first work-day is over, and I have just washed my hands, sooty with lighting my own fire, to write before dinner. At half-past nine we all sat down to work at the long table in the dining-room. I was directed to do Euripides while the 'schemes' (tables of work) of the others were prepared, and we went on till half-past twelve, when Bradley said, 'You've done enough.' Then Campbell asked me to walk with him and Walker to the station.... All my companions seem very old."

"Feb. 12.—On Wednesday afternoon I went a long walk with Campbell. The country looks most dreary now, and mostly hidden by London fog, still I think there are bits which I could draw.... When we came home I ached with cold and my fire was out. Mrs. Bradley is certainly most good-natured; for happening to pass and see my plight, she insisted on going down herself to get sticks, laying it, and lighting it again. When I was going to bed, too, the servant came up with a little bason of arrowroot, steaming hot, and some biscuits, which 'Missis thought would do my cold good.'

"Bradley improves greatly on acquaintance, and is very kind to me, though I am sorry to say he finds me far more backward and stupid than he expected, especially in grammar. He has a wonderfully pleasant way of teaching, and instead of only telling us we are dunces and blockheads, like Mr. R., he helps us not to remain so.

"He was exceedingly indignant yesterday at receiving a letter from Lord Portman to say that his son had complained of the dreadful damp of the house, that his shirts put out at night were always wet before morning. After expatiating for a long time upon the unkindness and impropriety of Portman's conduct in writing to complain instead of asking for a fire, he ended good-humouredly by insisting on his going out into a laurel bush in the garden with Forbes, to receive advice as to improved conduct for the future! All this every pupil in the house was called down to witness: indeed, if any one does wrong, it is Bradley's great delight to make him a looking-glass to the others. Sometimes he holds up their actual persons to be looked at. If they are awkward, he makes them help the others at meals, &c., and all his little penances are made as public as possible."

"Feb. 14.—The days go quickly by in a succession of lessons, one after the other. I am much happier already at Southgate than I ever was anywhere else, for Bradley's whole aim, the whole thought of his soul, is to teach us, and he makes his lessons as interesting as Arthur (Stanley) himself would. I like all my companions very much, but Walker best; and, though I am the smallest, thinnest, weakest fellow here, I do not think they like me the worse for it."

"Feb. 16.—Yesterday, after work, I went by train to Hatfield House, provided with a large piece of cake for luncheon by Mrs. Bradley.... You may imagine my delight, as I expected something like Penshurst at best, to see tower after tower, and pile after pile of the most glorious old building, equally splendid in colour and outline—far the most beautiful house I ever saw. It was a perfect day, the sun lighting up the glorious building, and making deep shadows upon it, and glinting through the old oaks in the park upon the herds of deer.... The train was forty minutes late, and it was quite dark when I got back, but Mrs. Bradley's good-nature gave me a welcome and a hot meat tea, whereas with Mrs. R. there would indeed have been cold behaviour and cold tea—if any.

"The only way of getting on with Bradley is the most entire openness, and answering all his questions as shortly and simply as possible.... After Cicero he always gives us a composition to translate into Latin out of his own head, most extraordinary sometimes, though in the style of what we have been reading. I am already beginning to find Cicero quite easy, and am beginning at last even to make some little sense of Euripides."

"Feb. 21.—At half-past six I hear knocking without intermission at my door, which it is generally a long time before I am sufficiently awake to think other than a dream. Presently I jump up, brush my own clothes, seize my Cicero, and look it over while I dress, and at half-past seven rush downstairs to the dining-room. For some minutes the stairs are in a continual clatter. Meantime I retire into a window in agonies of agitation about my Cicero, till Bradley comes in rubbing his hands, and sits down in an arm-chair by the fire: I sit down by him, and Hill on the other side of me, like a great long giant. I generally do this lesson very ill, partly from want of presence of mind, partly from inattention, and partly because I am scarcely awake: however, Bradley makes it not only instructive but interesting, always giving us funny sentences out of his own head to construe into the sort of Latin we are doing. I quite enjoy my lessons with him, only he must think me such a dunce. After the lesson is construed, I sometimes have to do it all through by myself, or the others do it and I correct them (if I can). Sometimes the poker is held over their toes, when, without exception, they do it worse than before, and down it comes. Then we parse.

"Then a little bell tinkles. Portman cuts the bread, Bradley the ham, and I help to set chairs in two rows from the fire, while the others hang over it, very grim and cold. Two maidens and a stable-boy come in, we sit in two rows confronting each other, and Bradley in the oddest possible tone reads a chapter in 'Proverbs' and a prayer. Then the chairs are put to the table: I sit next but Hill to Mrs. Bradley, which means I am fourth eldest, Walker on the other side of me, Forbes and Campbell opposite. At breakfast every one talks of plans for the day, Forbes and Portman of hounds, races, and steeplechases, Campbell of church windows; it is very different from the silent meals at Lyncombe.

"We do not begin regular work again till half-past nine, though I generally prepare mine, but sometimes Forbes persuades me to come out and give them a chase, that is, to run away as hard as I can, with all the others yelping like hounds at my heels; but the scene of these chases is only a square walled garden and orchard, and there are no places for concealment. We come in very dirty, and Buchan is sometimes made to wear his dirty shoes round his neck, or to have them under his nose all worktime.

"I work in my room till ten, when I come in with Walker for the second Cicero lesson, which is even pleasanter than the other. Afterwards we write Latin compositions out of our own heads! Then I sometimes say Greek grammar, or else work in my own room again till twelve, when I go down to the young Cambridge wrangler, who is teaching some one all worktime, but with whom I do nothing except for this half-hour. He looks very young and delicate and is childish in manner, and generally gets into a fix over a fraction, and so do I, but we fumble and whisper together over arithmetic till half-past twelve. Meanwhile my letters have generally come, books are clapped together, and I run upstairs to write to you.

"A dinner-bell rings at half-past one, and the others come in from the drawing-room, whither they adjourn before dinner, with the penalty of a penny if they lean against the mantelpiece, as they might injure the ornaments. We have the same places at dinner, an excellent dinner always—variety of food and abundance of it. Afterwards I generally read, while the others play at quoits, and at half-past two I go out walking with Campbell, coming in to begin work at five. At half-past five Walker and I come in with Euripides, which is the last repetition: then I work in my own room till six, when we have tea, with bread and butter and cake. After tea the drawing-room is open to the public till half-past seven, when we all begin to prepare work for the next day, and write Latin exercises till nine, when prayers are read. Afterwards the younger ones generally go to bed, but some of us sit up talking or playing chess, &c., till nearly eleven.

"I like the sort of life excessively—the hardly having a moment to one's self, as the general working 'subject' takes up all leisure time—the hardly having time even to make acquaintance with one's companions from the succession of all that has to be done. No one thinks it odd if you do any amount of work in your own room; of course they laugh at you as 'a bookworm,' but what does that signify?

"I have forgotten to tell you that between breakfast and the chase, Hill and I are examined in three chapters of the Bible which we prepare beforehand. Bradley asks the most capital questions, which one would never think of, and we have to know the geography perfectly. I am astonished to find how indescribably ignorant I am."

"Feb. 23.—I daily feel how much happier I am with the Bradleys than I have ever been before. Compared to Lyncombe, Southgate is absolute paradise, the meals are so merry and the little congregations round the fire afterwards, and work is carried on with such zest and made so interesting.

"Yesterday, after work, I went to Waltham Abbey—a long walk to Edmonton, and then by rail to Waltham. I was very anxious to see what a place so long thought of would be like—a tall white tower rising above trees, a long rambling village street, and then the moss-grown walls of the church. The inside is glorious, with twisted Norman pillars, &c., but choked with pews and galleries. The old man who showed it said he was 'quite tired of hearing of church reform and restoration, though the pillars certainly did want whitewashing again sadly.' ... There is an old gothic gateway on the brink of the river Lea."

"March 9, Harrow.—Having got through 'the subject'—Cicero and Greek grammar—yesterday morning, with much trembling but favourable results, I set off to come here. With a bundle like a tramp, I passed through Colney Hatch, Finchley, and Hendon, keeping Harrow steeple and hill well in view, and two miles from Harrow met Kate in her carriage. This morning we have been to church, and I have since been to Mrs. Brush, the Pauls' old servant, whom I knew so well when at school here, and who came out exclaiming, 'O my dear good little soul, how glad I be to see ye!'"

"Southgate, March 14.—I must tell my mother of my birthday yesterday. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley made me order the meals, and do very much what I liked. The tutor, who can be as savage as a lion during work, relapses into a sucking-lamb when it is over. My health was drunk all round at dinner, and 'a truce' given afterwards, which I employed in going with little Fitzherbert Brooke to the old church at Chingford, close to Epping Forest—a picturesque, deserted, ivy-covered building, looking down over the flat country which I think so infinitely interesting, with the churches and towers of London in the distance.

"To-day there has been a great fuss, and it will probably have some dreadful ending. In the middle of work we were all suddenly called down, and Bradley, with his gravest face, headed a procession into the garden, where all across one of the flower-beds were seen footmarks, evidently left by some one in the chases yesterday. The gardener was called, and said he saw one of the party run across yesterday, but he was not allowed to say a word more. Then Bradley said he should allow a day in which the culprit might come forward and confess, in which case he would be forgiven and no one told his name, otherwise the shoes of yesterday, which have been locked up, would be measured with the footprints, and the offender sent away."

"March 15.—The plan has quite answered. In the evening, Bradley told me the offender had given himself up. No one knows who it is, and all goes on as before. Some of the others are given a tremendous punishment for running through some forbidden laurel bushes—the whole of 'Southey's Life of Nelson' to get up with the geography, and not to leave the house till it is done, no second course, no beer, and ... to take a pill every night."

"April 2.—The other day I was very careless in my work, and was asked where my mind was, and as I could not tell, Campbell was sent upstairs to fetch—my mind! and came down bearing two little pots of wild anemones, which were moved about with me as my 'mind,' to the great amusement of the others.... If I should ever seem to complain of anything here in my letters, mind you never allude to it to the Bradleys, as there is only one thing which Bradley never forgives a pupil, and that is having caused him to write a letter."

"April 7.—Yesterday I went with Campbell and Edgecombe to Hatfield, whence we ran all the way to St. Albans, an effort, but quite worth while, though we had only an hour there."

"(After the Easter vacation), April 27.—When I opened my eyes this morning on the wintry wilderness here, what a change it was from Lime—withered sooty evergreens, leafless trees, trampled grass, and thick London fog—I think the angels driven out of Paradise must have felt as I do, only I have a bad headache besides.... All here is the same as when we left, to the drawling sermon of Mr. Staunton about faith, grace, and redemption, sighing and groaning and hugging the pulpit-cushion the while. It is bitterly cold, but the law of the house allows no more fires.... Even Fausty's white hair, which still clings to my coat, has its value now."

"April 29.—Bradley has now taken a notion that I am dreadfully self-conceited, so I am made to sit on a high chair before him at lessons like a little school-boy, and yesterday, for mistakes in my Latin exercise, I was made to wear my coat and waistcoat inside out till dinner-time."

"May 11.—Yesterday, I went by train to Broxbourne, and walked thence by Hoddesdon across the bleak district called the Rye, till I saw an oasis of poplars and willows by the river Lea, and a red brick tower with terra-cotta ornaments, twisted chimney, flag-staff, and a grey arched door below. I had not expected it, so you may imagine how enchanted I was to find that it was the tower of the Rye-House. In that road Charles and James were to have been murdered on their return from Newmarket, and for the plot conceived in that tower Algernon Sidney and William Lord Russell died!

"Bradley is now alternately very good-natured and very provoking. He continually asks me if I do not think him the most annoying, tiresome man I ever met, and I always say, 'Yes, I do think so.' In return, he says that I am sapping his vitals and wearing him out by my ingratitude and exaggerations, but he does not think so at all."

"May 18.—I have been to Harrow. Mr. Bradley lent me a horse, to be sent back by the stable-boy after the first six miles, so I easily got through the rest.... I had many hours with Kate, and came away immediately after dinner, arriving at exactly ten minutes to ten—the fatal limit; so Bradley was pleased, and welcomed me, and I did not go supperless to bed."

"June 8, 1851.—Yesterday I walked to Dyrham Park near Barnet, to pay a visit to the Trotters. It is a handsome place.... I wrote upon my card, 'Will you see an unknown cousin?' and sending it in, was admitted at once. I found Mrs. Trotter[64] in the garden. She welcomed me very kindly, and seven of her nine children came trooping up to see 'the unknown cousin.' Captain Trotter is peculiar and peculiarly religious. I had not been there a minute before he gathered some leaves to dilate to me upon 'the beauty of the creation and the wonderful glory of the Creator,' with his magnifying-glass. He builds churches, gives the fourth of his income to the poor, and spends all his time in good works. I stayed to tea with all the children. The gardens are lovely, and the children have three houses in the shrubberies—one with a fireplace, cooking apparatus, and oven, where they can bake; another, a pretty thatched cottage with Robinson Crusoe's tree near it, with steps cut in it to the top."

"June 11.—The first day of our great examination is over, and I have written seventy-three answers, some of them occupying a whole sheet."

"June 12.—To-day has been ten hours and a half of hard writing. I was not plucked yesterday!"

"June 15.—I reached Harrow by one, through the hot lanes peopled with haymakers. I was delayed in returning, yet by tearing along the lanes arrived at ten exactly by my watch, but by the hall-clock it was half-past ten. Bradley was frigidly cold in consequence, and has been ever since. To-day at breakfast he said, 'Forbes may always be depended upon, but that is not the case with every one.'"

"June 20.—I have had an interesting day!—examinations all morning—the finale of Virgil, and then, as a reward, and because neither of my preceptors could attend to me, Bradley said I might go where I liked; so I fixed on Hertford, and, having walked to Ponder's End, took the train thither.... From Hertford, I walked to Panshanger, Lord Cowper's, which is shown, and in the most delightful way, as you are taken to the picture-gallery, supplied with a catalogue, and left to your own devices. The pictures are glorious and the gardens are quaint, in the old style. At Ware I saw the great bed, but the owners would not let me draw it on any account, because they were sure I was going to do it for the Pantomime. The bed is twelve feet square and is said to have belonged to Queen Elizabeth.

"In the Bible examination I am second, in spite of having said that Ishmael married an Egyptian, and having left out 'They drank of that rock which followed them' in answer to the question 'What were the miracles ordained to supply the temporal wants of the Israelites in the wilderness?'"

"June 25.—I am enchanted—quite enchanted that we are really going to Normandy.... I feel satisfied, now the end of the quarter is come, that I never was happier anywhere in my life than I have been here, and that I have done more, learned more, and thought more in the few months at Southgate than in all the rest of my life put together."

While I was away, my mother's life at Hurstmonceaux had flowed on in a quiet routine between Lime and the Rectory. She had, however, been much affected by the sudden death of Ralph Leycester, the young head of her family,[65] and cheerful, genial owner of Toft, her old family home. Chiefly, however, did she feel this from her share in the terrible sorrow of Ralph's eldest sister, her sister-like cousin Charlotte Leycester; and the hope of persuading her to have the change and of benefiting her by it, proved an incentive to make a short tour in Normandy—a plan with which I was intensely delighted. To go abroad was positively enchanting. But anything would have been better than staying at Hurstmonceaux, so overrun was it with Maurices. I suppose they sometimes meant well, but what appalling bores they were! "La bonne intention n'est de rien en fait d'esprit."[66]

We crossed to Boulogne on a sea which was perfectly calm at starting, but on the way there came on one of the most frightful thunderstorms I ever remember, and the sea rose immediately as under a hurricane. A lady who sate by us was dreadfully terrified, and I have no doubt remembers now the way in which (as the waves swept the deck) my mother repeated to her the hymn—"Oh, Jesus once rocked on the breast of the billow." I have often seen in dreams since, our first entrance into a French harbour, brilliant sunshine after the storm, perfectly still water after the raging waves, and the fishwomen, in high white caps like towers (universal then) and huge glittering golden earrings, lining the railing of the pier.

We saw Amiens and had a rapid glimpse of Paris, where we were all chiefly impressed by the Chapelle St. Ferdinand and the tomb of the Duke of Orleans, about whom there was still much enthusiasm. During this visit I also saw three phases of old Paris which I am especially glad to remember, and which I should have had no other opportunity of seeing. I saw houses still standing in the Place du Carrousel between the Tuileries and the then unfinished Louvre: I saw the Fontaine des Innocents in the middle of the market, uncovered as it then was: and I saw the Tour de S. Jacques rising in the midst of a crowd of old houses, which pressed close against it, and made it look much more picturesque than it has done since it has been freed from its surroundings. On leaving Paris, we spent delightful days at Rouen, and visited, at Darnetal, the parents of M. Waddington, who became well known as Minister of Foreign Affairs at Paris, and ambassador in England. From Havre we went by sea to Caen, arriving full of the study of Norman history and determined to find out, in her native place, all we could about Gunnora, Duchess of Normandy (grandmother of William the Conqueror), from whose second marriage both my mother and Charlotte Leycester were directly descended.

Very delightful were the excursions we made from Caen—to Bayeux with its grand cathedral and the strange strip of royal needlework known as "the Bayeux Tapestry:" and to the quaint little church of Thaon and Château Fontaine Henri, a wonderfully preserved great house of other days. Ever since I have had a strong sense of the charm of the wide upland Normandy plains of golden corn, alive with ever-changing cloud shadows, and of the sudden dips into wooded valleys, fresh with streams, where some little village of thatched cottages has a noble church with a great spire, and an area wide enough to contain all the people in the village and all their houses too. The most beautiful of all the breaks in the cornland occurs at Falaise, where the great castle of Robert the Devil rises on a precipice above a wooded rift with river and watermills and tanners' huts, in one of which Arlette, the mother of the Conqueror, and daughter of the tanner Verpray, was born.

From Falaise we went to Lisieux, which was then one of the most beautiful old towns in France, almost entirely of black and white timber houses. It was only a few miles thence to Val Richer, where we spent the afternoon with M. Guizot—"grave and austere, but brilliantly intellectual," as Princess Lieven has described him. His château was full of relics of Louis Philippe and his court, and the garden set with stately orange-trees in large tubs like those at the Tuileries. My mother and cousin returned to England from hence, but I was left for some weeks at Caen to study French at the house of M. Melun, a Protestant pasteur, in a quiet side-street close to the great Abbaye aux Dames, where Matilda of Flanders is buried.


"Caen, July 26, 1851.—It was very desolate, my own mother, being left alone in that square of Lisieux, and the old houses seemed to lose their beauty, the trees and cathedral to grow colourless, after you were all gone, so that I was glad when the diligence came to take me away. It was a long drive, passing through 'Coupe Gorge,' a ravine where Napoleon, hearing diligences were often robbed there, made one man settle, saying that others would soon follow, and now there is quite a village.

"I have a pleasant room here, with a clean wooden floor, and a view of S. Pierre from the window. Its only drawback is opening into the sitting-room where Mr. T., my fellow-pensionnaire, smokes his pipes. He is a heavy young man, very anxious to impress me with the honour and glory of his proficiency as a shot and cricketer, and of the Frenchmen he has knocked down and 'rather surprised.' We had prayers in Madame Melun's bedroom, she being dressed, but 'le petit' snoring in bed. The whole family, including les petits, have a great meat breakfast with wine, followed by bowls of sour milk.... Such a touching funeral procession has just passed up the Rue des Chanoines, a young girl carried on a bier by six of her companions in white dresses and wreaths."

"Sunday, July 27.—Yesterday I went a walk with M. Melun to the Prairie, where the races are going on. This morning he preached about them and the evils of the world with the most violent action I ever saw—stamping, kicking, spreading out his arms like the wings of a bird, and jumping as if about to descend upon the altar, which, in the Temple, is just under the pulpit. This afternoon I have been again to the service, but there was no congregation; all the world was gone to the races, and, M. Melun says, to perdition also."

"July 28.—It is such a burning day that I can hardly hold my head up. Everything seems lifeless with heat, and not a breath of air. I never missed a green tree so much: if you go out, except to the Prairie, there is not one to be seen, and even the streets are cool and refreshing compared with the barren country. Tens of thousands of people collected in the Prairie this morning, half to see the races, half the eclipse of the sun, for they both began at the same moment, and the many coloured dresses and high Norman caps were most picturesque."

"July 30.—It is like the deadly motionless heat of 'The Ancient Mariner;' I suppose the eclipse brings it ... the baking is absolute pain.... It is tiresome that the whole Melun family think it necessary to say 'bon jour' and to shake hands every time one goes in and out of the house, a ceremony which it makes one hotter to think of."

"July 31.—The heat is still terrific, but thinking anything better than the streets, I have been to Thaon—a scorching walk across the shadeless cornfields. The church and valley were the same, but seemed to have lost their charm since I last saw them with my mother. I have my French lesson now in the little carnation-garden on the other side of the street."

"August 1.—I have been by the diligence to Notre Dame de la Deliverande, a strange place, full of legends. In the little square an image of the Virgin is said to have fallen down from heaven: it was hidden for many years in the earth, and was at length discovered by the scratching of a lamb. Placed in the church, the Virgin every night returned to the place where she was disinterred, and at last the people were obliged to build her a shrine upon the spot. It is an old Norman chapel surrounded by booths of relics, and shouts of 'Achetez donc une Sainte Vierge' resound on all sides. Latterly, to please the fishermen, the worship of the Virgin has been combined with that of St. Nicholas, and they appear on the same medal, &c. When a crew is saved from shipwreck on this coast, it instantly starts in procession, barefoot, to 'La Deliverande,' and all the lame who visit the chapel are declared to go away healed.... In a blaze of gold and silver tinsel, surrounded by the bouquets of the faithful and the crutches of the healed, is the image which 'fell down from heaven,'—its mouldering form is arrayed in a silver robe, and, though very old, it looks unlikely to last long. I went on with M. Melun to Bernières, where there is a grand old church, to visit a poor Protestant family, the only one in this ultra-Catholic neighbourhood. They had begged the minister to come because one of the sisters was dead, and the whole party collected while he prayed with them, and they wept bitterly. Afterwards we asked where we could get some food. 'Chez nous, chez nous,' they exclaimed, and lighting a fire in their little mud room with some dried hemp, they boiled us some milk, and one of the sisters, who was a baker, brought in a long hot roll of sour bread, for which they persistently refused any payment.... I have had an English invitation from Madame de Lignerole in these words—'Will you be so very kind as to allow me to take the liberty of entreating you to have the kindness to confer the favour upon me of giving me the happiness of your company on Friday.'"

"August 2.—We went to-day to see M. Laire, an old antiquary who has lived all his life upon vegetables. His house is very attractive; the court, full of flowers mixed with carvings and Celtic remnants, borders on the willows which fringe the Odon, and the rooms are crammed with curiosities and pictures relating to Caen history. The old man himself is charming, and spends his life in collecting and giving away. He gave me a medallion of Malesherbes, and many other things."

"August 2.—I have been to dine with the Consul, Mr. Barrow. Under his garden is the quarry whence the stone was taken which built Westminster Abbey. It undermines all the grounds, and once, when a part fell in, the hot air which came out made it quite hot in winter. Mr. Barrow has built a conservatory over the spot, which needs no other heat, and plants flourish amazingly, though only camellias and smooth-leaved plants will do, as others are too much affected by the damp."

Want of money was still always the great trouble of my boyhood, as my dear mother never could be persuaded to see the necessity of my having any, and after she had made a minute calculation of the necessary pennies that came into her head, always gave me just that sum and no more, never allowing anything for the ever-recurring incidents and exigencies of daily life. When I was sixteen she was persuaded to allow me £10 a year, but out of this I was expected to buy all the smaller articles of dress, boots, hats, gloves, &c., so, as may be imagined, my annual allowance was almost nil; and my excursions at Southgate had been only possible by starvation, and because the third-class ticket to London cost only fourpence. When I was left at Caen, just the absolutely needful sum for my return journey was given me, and no allowance made for any personal expenses of my stay—for washer-woman servants, or payments for the many purchases which my mother wrote to desire me to make for her. Thus, when the time came for setting out homewards, with the nine packages which were to be taken to my mother, I was in the greatest embarrassment, and many were my adventures; yet my dread of a sea-voyage still made me refuse altogether to go by Havre and Southampton, and my longing to see a historical spot which I had long read and heard of made me determine if possible—if I half died for it on the way—to visit St. Denis, a place I had always had a special longing after. The journey entailed a singular chapter of accidents.

During the whole of the first long day—twelve hours' diligence journey—I had nothing whatever to eat but a brioche and some plums; but at seventeen starvation is not one of the worst things in life, and when I arrived at Evreux, the fair of St. Taurinus, the patron saint of the place, was going on, and I was in ecstasies the next morning over the costumes which it brought into the town, as well as over the old Bishop's Palace and the beautiful cathedral with its lace-work architecture.

From Evreux the diligence had to be taken again to Bonnières, where I joined the railway to Paris, and in the evening reached St. Denis. I had no money to go to a hotel, but spent the night in a wretched café which was open for carters under the walls of the cathedral, where I got some sour bread and eggs, having had no food all day. At five in the morning the doors of the Abbey were opened, and in my raptures over the monuments of Dagobert, Francis I., &c., I forgot all my miseries—especially in the crypt, full then of royal tombs and statues. At half-past twelve, when I was ready to leave, I found that no more trains for Boulogne would stop at St. Denis that day, and that I must return to Paris. I went in the omnibus, but owing to my ignorance of French, was carried far beyond my point, and had to be dropped, with all my packages, in a strange street, whence with some difficulty I got a porter to drag my things to the station, but arrived when the train was just gone, and no other till half-past seven, and it was then two. Hungry and forlorn, I made my way, losing it often, on foot, to the Tuileries gardens, where I felt that the beauty of the flowers repaid me for the immense walk, though I was disconcerted when I found that sitting down on a chair cost the two sous I had saved to buy bread with. In my return walk, ignorance and mistakes brought me to the railway for Rouen (Gare S. Lazare), instead of that for Boulogne (Gare du Nord). However, in time I reached the right place.

As we were half-way to the coast in the express, a strong smell of burning was borne on the wind, and the carriage soon filled with smoke. Looking out, we saw a line of screaming faces, and the roof of one of the front carriages in flames. Pieces of burning stuff rushed flaming past. A young lady in our carriage—"Gabrielle"—fell on her knees and said her prayers to the Virgin. Suddenly we stopped, and heard the rush of water above us. The engine-driver, to save the train, had, with terrible risk to the passengers, pushed on at a frightful speed to the pompe d'incendie of Pontoise.

At half-past one in the morning we reached Boulogne. I was told that the steamer for Folkestone would not start for an hour. An official in blue with silver lace said that he would call for me then. At the time, but rather late, he came. A cab was ready, and we were only just in time to catch the steamer. The official, as I was going on board, desired that I would pay my fare. I supposed it was all right, and gave up almost all my few remaining shillings. I was assured the packet was the one for Folkestone, and, though surprised at having no ticket, supposed it was because most of the passengers had through tickets from Paris to London, and because my going on was an afterthought.

The steamer started, but, before leaving the harbour, concussed with another vessel, which broke one of the paddle-boxes and delayed us an hour. Meantime it began to pour in torrents, the deck swam with water, and before we got out to sea the wind had risen and the sea was very rough. The vessel was fearfully crowded with three hundred and fifty people going to the Hyde Park Exhibition, and more than half of them were sea-sick.

At last day broke, and with it the English coast came in sight. But it was very odd; it was not a coast I knew, and Dover Castle seemed to be on the wrong side. Then a man came for the tickets, and said I must have had one if I had paid: as I had not one, I could not have paid. It was in vain that I protested I had paid already. "When I get to Folkestone," I said, "I should see some one who could prove my identity," &c. The man grinned. "It will be a long time before you get to Folkestone," he said, and he went away. Then I saw Dover Castle fade away, and we still coasted on, and I saw a little town which looked strangely like the pictures of Deal. At last a man next to me, recovering from a paroxysm of sea-sickness, said, "You think you're in the boat for Folkestone, but you are in the boat for London!" I had been swindled at Boulogne by a notorious rogue. Some weeks afterwards I saw in the papers that he had been arrested, after a similar case.

I was in despair, not so much because of the long voyage, as because to pay for it was impossible. We were not to reach London till four in the afternoon. I implored the captain to set me down, we were so near the coast. "No," he said, "go to London you must."

At last, as we passed Margate, he said I might perhaps get out, but it was rather too much to sacrifice the comfort of three hundred and fifty passengers to one. However, the three hundred and fifty seemed very glad of a break in the monotony of their voyage, and as there was another passenger anxious to land, a boat was hailed and reached the vessel. All my packages were thrown overboard and I after them, with injunctions to sit perfectly still and hold fast, as it was so frightfully rough. The injunctions were unnecessary, since, exhausted as I was, I very soon became unconscious, as I have so often done since in a rough sea.

It was too rough to land at the pier, so we were landed on a ridge of rocks at some distance from the shore. Seeing all my packages, the coastguardsmen naturally took us for smugglers, and were soon on the spot to seize our goods and carry them to the custom-house. Here I had to pay away all that remained to me except sixpence.

With that sixpence I reached Ramsgate.

There were four hours to wait for a train, and I spent it in observing the directions on the luggage of all arriving passengers, to see if there was any one I could beg of. But no help came; so eventually I told my story to the station-master, who kindly gave me a railway pass. At Ashford I had four hours more to wait, and I lay almost unconscious (from want of food) upon the floor of the waiting-room. Lying thus, I looked up, and saw the astonished face of my cousin Mary Stanley gazing in through the window at me. She was leaving in two minutes for France, but had time to give me a sovereign; with that sovereign, late in the night, I reached home in a gig from Hastings.

To MY MOTHER (after returning to Southgate).

"August 27, 1851.—I have just got your dear letter to refresh me after the first morning's work. It is strange to have to give oneself to Latin again after having thought of nothing but French for so long."

"August 28.—When I hear of all you are doing, I cannot but long to be with you, and yet I am very happy here in finding it so much less disagreeable than I expected, the Bradleys perfection, Walker very nice, and Portman delightful."

"Sept. 12, 1851.—I have just been to the old chapel in Ely Place and to the Savoy.... One may study architecture just as well in London as abroad: I had no idea before what beautiful bits are there."

"Oct. 18.—I have had an unfortunate trouble with Bradley lately. I am sure I have done right, but it is very unfortunate indeed. I will tell you all about it. In my Latin exercise I put 'quo velis' for 'go your way,' meaning 'go where you like,' which I thought was the meaning of that English sentence. Bradley scratched it out, and I said, 'But "go your way" does mean go where you like.' He thought I contradicted him and was very angry, and appealed to the opinion of every one at the table. They said it meant 'go away.' He said I was very obstinate, and wrote down, '"I have a bad headache, go your way"—what does that mean?' I wrote, 'Go wherever you like.' I thought no more was going to happen, but, to my astonishment, heard him send for Mrs. Bradley, who wisely refused to come. Then, in a voice in which he never spoke to me before, he ordered me to go into the drawing-room. I did, and asked Mrs. Bradley her opinion (not able to believe he could really mind being differed from). He followed in a moment, very angry, and said, 'Walk up to your room, if you please, Mr. Hare, this instant.' I prepared to obey, but he posted himself in the doorway and pushed me back into a chair. He then asked me again to explain the sentence. I said of course he was the only judge about the Latin passage, but that in English 'go your way' might certainly be taken to mean 'go where you like.' He said, 'If you are going to differ from me in this way, I shall not attempt to teach you any more.' All that day, morning, afternoon, and evening, I laboured or twaddled at arithmetic with Mr. Howse. Late in the evening Bradley took me for a whole hour by myself and tried to persuade me to say 'go your way' never meant 'go where you like.' I said if I did, it would not be true, but that I was very sorry to have differed from him, and had never meant in the least to contradict him. But it is no use; he quotes from the Bible—'"The house divided against itself falleth," therefore I cannot teach you any more.' I went to him again and said 'if I had seemed the least ill-tempered I begged his pardon.' He said I had not seemed at all ill-tempered, I had only differed from him. You need not be alarmed, however, for he will never send away for such a trifle the pupil who loves him best in spite of all his eccentricities: I have only told you all this in case anything more should happen. As I called on the B.'s to-day, I asked, without explanation, what they thought 'go your way' meant. They said at once, 'Go where you like.'"

"Oct. 21.—Dearest mother, the dispute with Bradley has now assumed so much more serious an aspect that I am afraid it cannot end well. For two days he said nothing more about it, so I did not volunteer anything: he was only very unpleasant in his manner to and about me.

"This morning he called me into his dressing-room and talked. He said that now he must write to you. But now he harps upon my setting up my opinion, and having said in the first moment, 'I always have thought so, and always shall think so.' In vain have I acknowledged that this was a very improper speech, that I only said such a thing hastily in a moment of annoyance, and in vain have I begged his pardon repeatedly, and offered to do so, if he wished it, before all his pupils. He says mine has been a successful instance of open rebellion. I have in vain tried to convince him how foolish a thing it will sound if I am sent away or go away merely because my opinion has differed from his: he now says it will be because I have 'rebelled against him'—though it would be strange indeed if I had wished to 'rebel' against the only tutor I have ever liked, from whom I have received so much kindness and learnt so much. I did not think it would come to this, and even now I cannot think I have done wrong, except in one hasty speech, which I am very sorry for.

"I am so sorry you should be troubled by this, dear mother, and even now I think Bradley will not be so infatuated—so really infatuated as to send away the only one of his pupils who likes him much, or would be really sorry to go."

"Oct. 22.—Only a few words, my own dear mother, to say we are all going now very much as if nothing had happened. I thought yesterday morning I should certainly have to go away, as Bradley repeatedly declared he would never hear me another word again, because I had differed from him before all his pupils. But at Cicero time he called me down and asked, 'Why did you not come down to your Cicero?' I said, 'Because I was packing up, as you said you would never hear me another word again.' He said, 'Oh, you may put whatever qualification on my words you like: whatever you like.' So I came down, and he took no notice, and I have come down ever since, and he treats me as if nothing had happened. He must have thought better of it.

"Mrs. Bradley sent me a beautiful myrtle branch from the nursery-garden, as a sign that all was right, I suppose: and I have expressed all penitence that can possibly be expressed."

"Nov. 13.—Yesterday I even let Bradley use his stick over the Virgil to put him into a good humour, and then asked for leave to go to the Temple Church ... and afterwards, brimful of the descriptions in Knight's 'London,' I went to Crosby Hall and to St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, full of delightful tombs. My coats are in holes and my shoes have no soles, so will you please give me some money to mend them?"

"Nov. 23.—To-day I have seen Smithfield, and St. Bartholomew's, and the Clerk's Well of Clerkenwell. I wonder if my 'kind good Mama,' as Mrs. Barrington calls her in writing, will let me go to see my cousins the Brymers at Wells before Christmas: old Mr. Liddell has given me some money to take me there."


"Harrow, Nov. 25, Sunday.—Yesterday I walked here with my bundle, meeting Kate at the foot of the hill.... To-day we have been to the Chapel Royal at St. James's, where Dr. Vaughan had to preach a funeral sermon for the King of Hanover.[67] The old Duke of Cambridge was there, and startled people by the cordiality of his loud assent—'By all means!' to the invitation 'Let us pray.' I must leave early to-morrow morning, as I have promised to be at Southgate at 9 A.M."

"Nov. 28.—We are in the depth of examinations. Some of the fellows are so excited about them, that they do not go to bed at all, only lie down on the rug at 5 A.M. for a short rest before dawn. To-morrow is the 'great Napoleon stakes, when all the horses are to run.' I think we shall have a pretty jumble, as we are to go to sleep on Napoleon and wake on Charles V.—such a confusion of campaigns (fifteen of Napoleon's) and places, and the passage and flow of all the rivers the two heroes ever crossed."

"Dec. 15.—On Thursday evening all the other fellows rushed up to my room shouting 'Ichabod! Hare is plucked in Charles V.' They were enchanted, because they thought it so conceited of me to take up the additional subject; but their triumph was a short one, for it was soon discovered that only half the marks had been added up.

"Friday was a very long examination in the Bible. Amongst the questions were—'Give the size, population, and government of Nineveh; the route of Jonah to Nineveh from Joppa; the religions of the sailors; where you suppose Tarshish to be, and the reason of your supposition; who were Tirshakeh, Adoram, &c.' It was a most interesting examination to get up. Yesterday was Euclid. It was much easier than I expected, and finished by twelve, so Bradley sent me to London on a commission. I had also time to go to the Bunsens, who were at luncheon, but when I sent in my card, they sent for me into the dining-room. Several gentlemen were there: I believe one of them was the Duke of Nassau. Madame Bunsen is always most kind in her welcome."

My visit to Wells took place, and was most delightful. Mrs. Brymer was the eldest granddaughter of John Lyon of Hetton, youngest brother of my great-grandmother Lady Anne Simpson, and she and her husband Archdeacon Brymer were most kind, genial, benevolent people, who had no children, but lived very luxuriously in a charming house in "the Liberty" at Wells. I had made their acquaintance at Bath when I was with Mrs. Barrington. Though it was bitterly cold weather, I made many drawings of Wells, which I have always thought the most perfectly beautiful cathedral town in England, with its clear rushing water, old palace and gateways, grand cathedral, and luxuriant surrounding orchards. It was a visit I looked forward to repeating very often, but the kind Archdeacon and his wife died—almost at the same time—very soon afterwards.

All through the year 1851 the Père La Vigne had been preaching constantly at Rome at the Church of S. Luigi dei Francesi. "Italima" had gone to hear him, with many other Protestant ladies. One evening she said to her faithful Victoire that she wished to be dressed very early the next morning—in black, with a veil, as if for the Sistine. Victoire did her bidding, and she went out early, and returned in the course of the morning, when she called Victoire to her, and said, embracing her, "A présent nous sommes vraiment sœurs; nous avons été toujours sœurs; à présent nous le sommes doublement."—"Qu'est que cela veut dire?" said Victoire to herself.—"Je suis devenue catholique," continued Italima; "je l'ai été toujours au fond du cœur, à présent je le suis en réalité." She then called Félix and took him by the hand—"Victoire vous expliquera tout," she said. Lady Lothian had been the "marraine," and, added to the influence of the Père La Vigne, had been that of Manning, himself a recent convert to the Catholic Church. That evening Italima said to Victoire, "Nous allons avoir la guerre dans la maison," and so it was. My sister discovered (at a ball, I believe) the next day what had happened, and she was quite furious—"en vraie tigresse." "Il n'y avait pas de reproches qu'elle ne faisait à sa mère" (records Victoire); "elle disait à sa mère qu'elle ne voulait plus de elle. Elle se renferma avec sa tante. Cela dura plus que deux ans." To Victoire herself she never spoke at all for several months.

For two whole years my sister deserted the drawing-room of Palazzo Parisani, and lived shut up with her aunt in her boudoir. Their chief occupation was drawing in charcoal, in which singular art they both attained a great proficiency. Esmeralda never spoke to her mother unless it was necessary. Italima must have led rather a dreary life at this time, as other events had already weakened her connection with the members of her own family and most of her old friends, and her change of religion widened the breach for ever.

Lord and Lady Feilding[68] had been most active in urging and assisting Italima's change of religion, and they now turned to my sister, leaving no means untried by which they might make her dissatisfied with the Protestant faith. As they left Rome, Lord Feilding put into her hand a long controversial letter, imploring her to study it. That very spring his own faith had been strengthened by a supposed miracle in his family. Lady Feilding had long been ill, and had partly lost the use of her limbs from sciatica. She had to be carried everywhere. All kinds of baths and doctors had been tried in vain. The case was almost given up, when Pope Pius IX. advised him to apply to a family of peasants living in the mountains above Foligno, who possessed a miraculous gift of healing. St. Peter, it was said, had passed by that way and had lodged with them, and, on taking leave, had said that of silver and gold he had none to give them, but that he left with them his miraculous gift of healing, to be perpetuated amongst their descendants. A messenger was despatched to this favoured family, and returned with a venerable old peasant, respectably dressed, who went up to Lady Feilding, and, after reciting the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, and Apostles' Creed, said, "Per l'intercessione dei Sti. Apostoli S. Pietro e S. Paolo siete guarita da tutti i mali come speriamo." He passed his hand rapidly over her limbs, and making the sign of the cross, said, "In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti"—and added, "E finito." Then Lady Feilding felt her limbs suddenly strengthened, and rising, walked upstairs like other people, which she had not done for many months, and the same afternoon went to St. Peter's to return thanks, walking all over that enormous basilica without pain.[69][70] Her illness returned slightly, however, in the following winter, and in the summer of 1853 she died of consumption at Naples. Her death was a great grief to Italima.

It was in the Carnival of 1852, immediately after her mother's change of religion, that my sister, after the then fashion of Roman ladies, was seated in one of the carriages which in a long line were proceeding slowly up the Corso, and whose inmates were employed in pelting those of the carriages which met them with bouquets and bonbons. As she was eagerly watching for her friends amongst those who passed, my sister observed in one of the carriages, dressed in deep mourning among the gay maskers, a lady who clasped her hands and looked at her fixedly. The expression of the lady was so peculiar, that when her carriage reached the end of the Corso and turned round at the Ripresa dei Barberi, my sister watched carefully for her reappearance in the opposite line of carriages which she was now again to meet. Again she saw the lady, who again looked at her with an expression of anguish and then burst into tears. The third time they met, the lady laid upon my sister's lap a splendid nosegay of azaleas and camellias, &c., quite different from the common bouquets which are usually thrown about in the Carnival.

When my sister went home, she told her little adventure to her aunt and mother while they were at dinner, but it did not make any great impression, as at Rome such little adventures are not uncommon, and do not create the surprise they would in England.

The next morning at breakfast the family were again speaking of what had happened, when the door opened, and Félix came in. He said that there was a lady in the passage, a lady in deep mourning, who gave her name as the Comtesse de Bolvilliers, who wished to speak to Italima at once on important business. At that time there were a great many lady quêteuses going about for the different charities, and most of them especially anxious to take advantage of the new convert to their Church. Therefore Italima answered that she was unable to receive Madame de Bolvilliers, and that she knew no such person. In a minute Félix returned saying that Madame de Bolvilliers could not leave the house without seeing Mrs. Hare, for that her errand involved a question of life and death. She was then admitted.

The lady who came into the room at Palazzo Parisani was not the lady my sister had seen in the Corso. She said she was come to tell a very sad story, and besought Italima to have patience with her while she told it, as she was the one person who had the power of assisting her. She said that she had a sister-in-law, another Countess de Bolvilliers, who was then living at the Palazzo Lovati in the Piazza del Popolo: that at the beginning of the winter her sister-in-law had come to Rome accompanied by her only daughter, in whom her whole life and love were bound up: that her daughter was of the exact age and appearance of my sister, and that she (the aunt) felt this so strongly, that it seemed to her, in looking upon my sister, as if her own niece was present before her: that soon after they came to Rome her niece had taken the Roman fever, and died after a very short illness: that her sister-in-law had been almost paralysed by grief, and had fallen into a state of mental apathy, from which nothing seemed able to rouse her. At last fears were entertained that, if her body recovered, her mind would never be roused again, and, two days before, the doctors had advised resorting to the expedient of a violent mental transition, and had urged that as Madame de Bolvilliers had remained for several months in her room, in silence and darkness, seeing no one, she should suddenly be taken out into the full blaze of the Carnival, when the shock of the change might have the effect of re-awakening her perceptions. At first the experiment had seemed to succeed; she had taken notice and recovered a certain degree of animation; but then, in the Carnival, she had seen what she believed to be her daughter returned from the grave; upon her return home, she had fallen into the most fearful state of anguish, and they had passed the most terrible night, the unhappy mother declaring that her lost daughter had returned to life, but was in the hands of others. The sister-in-law implored that Italima would allow her daughter to return home with her to the Palazzo Lovati, in order to prove that she was a living reality, and not what she was believed to be.

My sister at once put on her bonnet and walked back with the second Countess de Bolvilliers to the Palazzo Lovati, where the family rented the small apartment at the back of the courtyard. When they entered her room, the unhappy mother jumped up, and throwing her arms round my sister, declared that she was her daughter, her lost daughter, come back to her from the dead. Gradually, but very gradually, she was induced to believe in my sister's separate identity. When she became convinced of this, she declared her conviction that a person who so entirely resembled her daughter in appearance and manners must resemble her in character also; that she was herself very rich (her husband had been a Russian), and that if my sister would only come to live with her and be a daughter to her in the place of the one she had lost, she would devote her whole life to making her happy, and leave all her fortune to her when she died. My sister declared that this was impossible; that she had a mother of her own, whom she could not leave; that it was impossible for her to live with Madame de Bolvilliers. The Countess flung herself upon her knees, and implored and besought that my sister would reconsider her determination, but Esmeralda was inexorable. The Countess then said that she was of a very jealous disposition; that it was quite impossible that she could go on living in the world, and feeling that her daughter's living representative was the child of another,—that she should leave the world and go into a convent. My sister, whose antagonism to Roman Catholicism was just then at its height, besought her to reconsider this, urged the many opportunities which were still left to her of being useful in the world, and the folly of throwing away a life which might be devoted to the highest aims and purposes. But Madame de Bolvilliers, on her part, was now firm in her determination. Esmeralda then begged that she might sometimes be allowed to hear from her, and said that she should be glad to write to her; that, though she could not live with her and be her daughter, she could never lose the interest she already felt about her. But Madame de Bolvilliers said, "No! she could not have half love; she must either have my sister altogether, or she must never hear from her; that would try her and tantalise her too much." My sister then begged that she might at any rate be allowed to hear of her once—of her well-being and happiness, and, after much entreaty, Madame de Bolvilliers said, "Yes, after a year has expired, if you inquire at a certain house in the Rue S. Dominique at Paris, you shall hear of me, but not till then." She then went into the next room, and she came back with a number of jewels in her hands. "These," she said, "were the jewels my daughter wore when she was with me. I must have one last pleasure—one last consolation in this world, in fastening them upon the person of my daughter's living representative upon earth." And so saying, she fastened the necklace, bracelets, &c., upon my sister, who possessed these, the Bolvilliers jewels, till the day of her death. More than a year elapsed and nothing whatever was heard of the Countess.


In 1854, Italima and my sister were passing through Paris. They drove to see the Tombeau Napoleon, which was then newly erected at the Invalides. As they returned, and as they were turning a corner, the name "Rue S. Dominique" caught my sister's eyes. "Oh," she said, "the year has expired, and this is the place where we were to inquire after the Countess de Bolvilliers;" and in spite of her mother's assurance that it was useless to look for her, she insisted upon driving to the number the Countess had indicated; but the portress declared that she knew of no such person as Madame de Bolvilliers. Upon this Italima said, "Well, now you see how it is; I always told you she gave you a false direction, because she did not wish you to find her out, and you will never discover her." "But to find her I am perfectly determined," said my sister, and she insisted on getting out of the carriage and knocking at every door down the long extent of the Rue S. Dominique to make inquiries, but without any result. Her mother followed in the carriage, very angry, but quite vainly urging her to get in. Having done one side of the street, Esmeralda insisted upon going up the other, and inquiring at every door in the same way. Her mother stormed to no purpose. She then insisted upon going back to the first house and inquiring who did live there. "Oh," said the portress, "it is a convent of the Sacré Cœur." When my sister heard this, she asked for the Superior, and said, "Is there any one here whose real name it may generally be thought better to conceal, but who was once known in the world as the Countess de Bolvilliers?" And the Superior said, "You then are the lady who was to come from Rome in a year's time: you are exactly the person who has been described to me. Yes, Sister Marie Adelaïde was once known in the world as Madame de Bolvilliers."

When my sister saw the Countess in her nun's dress, she found her perfectly calm and satisfied. She no longer reproached my sister for not having consented to live with her. She did not regret the step she had taken; she was perfectly happy in her convent life with its regular duties and occupations. She was also pleased that my sister should frequently go again to see her. My sister went very often, and, while visiting her, was introduced to the famous controversialist nun Madame Davidoff, by whose teaching and arguments she was converted to the Roman Catholic Church.

The last thing Italima wished was that her daughter should become a Roman Catholic, for my sister was at that time a considerable heiress, the whole of her aunt's fortune being settled upon her, as well as that which Italima had derived from Lady Anne Simpson. And Italima knew that if my sister changed her religion, her aunt, a vehement Protestant, would at once disinherit her.

My sister said nothing to her mother of what was going on. It was supposed that Madame de Bolvilliers was the only cause of her visits to the Sacré Cœur. She also said nothing to her aunt, but her aunt suspected that all was not right. My sister had abstained from going to church on one pretext or another, for several Sundays. Easter was now approaching. "You will go to church with me on Good Friday, won't you, Esmeralda?" Aunt Eleanor kept saying.

At last Good Friday came. Aunt Eleanor, according to her habit, went in early to see my sister before she was up. My sister was more affectionate than usual. As soon as her aunt was gone, she got up and dressed very quickly and went off with her maid to the Sacré Cœur. In her room she left three letters—one to her mother, bidding her come to the church of the convent on a particular day, if she wished to see her received: one to her aunt, telling her that her determination was irrevocable, but breaking it to her as gently as she could: and one to her greatest friend, Marguerite Pole, begging her to go at once to her aunt to comfort her and be like a daughter in her place. "When Miss Paul read her letter," said Victoire, "her lips quivered and her face became pale as ashes. But she said no word to any one: it was quite awful, she was so terribly calm. She took up her bonnet from the place where it lay, and she walked straight downstairs and out of the house. We were so alarmed as to what she might do, that I followed her, but she walked quite firmly through the streets of Paris, till she reached Sir Peter Pole's house, and there she went in." Aunt Eleanor went straight up to Sir Peter Pole, and told him what had happened. Sir Peter was a very excitable man, and he immediately rang the bell and sent for his daughter Marguerite. When she came he said, "Esmeralda Hare is about to become a Roman Catholic; now remember that if you ever follow her example, I will turn you out of doors then and there with the clothes you have on, and will never either see you or hear of you again as long as you live." The result of this was that within a week Marguerite Pole had become a Roman Catholic. Of what happened at this time my sister has left some notes:—

"It was Madame Davidoff who led Marguerite Pole across the courtyard of the Sacré Cœur to the little room at the other side of it, where the Père de Ravignan was waiting for her. As she opened the door he looked up in an ecstasy. 'Voilà trois ans,' he said, 'que je prie pour votre arrivée, et vous voilà enfin.' She was quite overcome, and told him that for three years she had seen a figure constantly beckoning her forward, she knew not whither. The Père de Ravignan answered, 'I believe that you will see that figure for the last time on the day of your première communion;' and so it was: the figure stood by her then, and afterwards it disappeared for ever.

"At the first Sir Peter had said that he would turn Marguerite out of doors, and his fury knew no bounds. One evening Marguerite sent her maid privately to me with a note saying, 'To-morrow morning I shall declare myself: to-morrow my father will turn me out of doors, and what am I to do?' 'Oh,' I said, 'only have faith and watch what will happen, for it will all come right.' And sure enough, so it seemed at the time, for the next morning Sir Peter sent for his housekeeper and said to her, 'I've changed my mind; Miss Marguerite shall not go away; and I've changed my mind even so much that I shall send to Mrs. Hare and ask her to take me with her when she goes to see her daughter make her première communion.'

"It was quite a great function in the church of the Sacré Cœur. I was terrified out of my wits when I saw the crowd in the church, and in the chancel were the Bishop, the Papal Nuncio, and all the principal clergy of Paris, for it was quite an event. Marguerite and I were dressed in white, with white veils and wreaths of white roses. As the Papal Nuncio came forward to place his hands on our heads, in the very act of confirmation, there was a fearful crash, and Sir Peter fell forward over the bench just behind us, and was carried insensible out of the church. Mamma went with him, for she thought he was dying. When he came to himself his first words were—'Louisa, Louisa! I have seen Louisa.' He had seen Lady Louisa Pole.

"When Lady Louisa was dying she said to Marguerite, 'My child, there is one thing I regret; it is that I have had doubts about the Roman Catholic Church, and that I have never examined.'"

Of this time are the following notes by Victoire:—

"When your sister first insisted upon going to the Sacré Cœur, she said it was 'pour voir.' 'O comme c'est drôle,' I said to Madame Hare. But your sister was always obstinate in her own intentions. 'Je veux examiner la religion catholique au fond,' she said, 'ainsi que la religion protestante.' She got all the books. She read those on both sides. Then she went to the Sacré Cœur again. Her maid went to her three times a day. One day she took her a great many things. 'What is it you take to Mademoiselle?' I said. 'I take what she ordered me,' answered the maid, and I said no more: but it was really the white dress, the veil, and all that was required for the reception. The next day I had a note from Mademoiselle asking me to come to her at eight o'clock. I showed it to Madame. 'Eh bien, nous irons ensemble,' she said, and we went together in the carriage. When we reached the Sacré Cœur, we were shown at once to the chapel, and then I began to suspect. All the nuns were assembled. At last a door opened and your sister came in, all in white, with a long white veil on her head. She walked in firm and erect, and knelt down at a prie Dieu in the aisle. The Père de Ravignan made a most touching discourse. He bade her, if she still felt any doubts, to remember that there was still time; he urged her not to come forward without true faith. At the end of his discourse she walked firmly up to the altar and knelt on the steps. She remained there while mass was said. After it was over she was taken into the garden. There she embraced her mother and me. A collation was then served.... Nothing was said about her going away. 'Voulez vous amener votre fille?' said one of the nuns at last to Madame Hare. 'Je la laisse parfaitement libre maintenant et toujours,' she replied. 'Oh comme Mademoiselle était belle ce jour-là; elle était fraîche, elle allait si bien avec ce grand voile blanc, et ses beaux cheveux noirs, et ses grands yeux: elle avait du couleur, elle était vraiment ravissante! elle était radieuse!... Dans ce temps-là elle était la reine de tous les bals—à l'ambassade, à la cour, partout: mais elle n'était jamais plus ravissante de sa beauté que ce jour-là dans le couvent.'"

The Dowager Lady Lothian[71] once told me that in the letter of condolence which Madame Davidoff wrote to my sister after her mother's death she said, "The cross which you saw on the day of your first communion has been very heavy, but it has never crushed you." On the day of her first communion she saw a huge black cross between her and the altar. She lay on the ground, and it advanced to crush her, only it seemed as if an invisible power upheld it, and then she saw that the top was wreathed with flowers. Oh, how prophetic was this vision of the cross!

A few days after her reception, Sir Peter Pole fulfilled his word with regard to his daughter Marguerite. He turned her out of his house, and he never would allow her name to be mentioned again. Not only to her father, but to my sister, and to her own sister, Alice Pole, every trace of her was lost. How my sister met Marguerite Pole again, and of her extraordinary history in after years, will be told later in these volumes.

I have been anticipating greatly, but it seems impossible to break up a connected story into the different years in which their events occurred. Meantime, without any romantic excitement and far removed from religious controversy, our quiet existence flowed on; though I was always fond of my sister and deeply interested in the faint echoes which from time to time reached me from her life.

Mrs. Alexander was now settled at the Rectory at Hurstmonceaux, and she ruled as its queen. Uncle Julius consulted her even on the smallest details; she ordered everything in the house, she took the leading part with all the guests, everything gave way to her. And the odd thing was that Mrs. Julius Hare (Aunt Esther), instead of being jealous, worshipped with greater enthusiasm than any one else at the shrine of the domestic idol. I have met many perfectly holy and egotistical women, but Mrs. Alexander was the most characteristic specimen.


In the summer of 1851, Arthur Stanley had been appointed to a canonry at Canterbury, which was a great delight to me as well as to him. "One of my greatest pleasures in going to Canterbury is the thought of Augustus's raptures over the place and the cathedral," he wrote to my mother. And truly I did enjoy it, and so did he. The eight years he spent at Canterbury were certainly the happiest of his life. We spent part of my winter holidays there with him and his family. Mrs. Grote used to describe Arthur truly as "like a sausage, packed so full of information;" and, with many peculiarities, he was the most charming of hosts, while his enthusiastic interest peopled every chapel, every cloister, every garden, with historic memories. Arthur Stanley's was now the most stimulating companionship possible. He had lost all the excessive shyness which had characterised his youth, and talked on all subjects that interested him (ignoring those which did not) with an eloquence which "se moque de l'éloquence," as Pascal says. His canonry was situated in its own garden, reached by the narrow paved passage called "the Brick Walk," which then intersected the buildings on the north-east of the cathedral. Just behind was the Deanery, where the venerable Dean Lyall used to be seen walking up and down daily in the sun in the garden which contained the marvellous old mulberry tree, to preserve the life of which a bullock was actually killed that the tree might derive renewed youth from its blood. The fact that a huge bough rent asunder[72] from this old tree had taken root, and become even more flourishing than the parent stem, was adapted as an illustration by Arthur Stanley in a lecture in which he likened the two trees to the Churches of Rome and England.

Enchanting indeed were the many ancient surroundings of the mighty cathedral—the Baptistery with its open arches and conical roof half buried in ivy; the dark passage haunted by "Nell Cook;" the Norman staircase, so beautiful in colour; the Pilgrim's Inn, down a narrow entry from the street; the many tombs of the archbishops; and most of all the different points through which one could follow Thomas à Becket so vividly through his last hours from his palace to his martyrdom. I made many drawings, chiefly in pencil and sepia, for my mother and aunt deprecated colour. "Until you can draw perfectly you have no right to it. Do one thing well, and not two badly," they said. Of course they were right; and though often abashed and distressed by Aunt Kitty's dictum—"Crude, coarse, harsh, and vulgar," after looking at my sketches, I always felt the slight meed of praise just possible from her lips a prize well worth striving for. I owe much to her (as to my mother's) constant inquiry, after I had done a drawing I was conceitedly proud of, as to what each line meant, and unless I could give a good account of its intention, desiring me to rub it out; thus inculcating the pursuit of truth, which she urged in drawing as in all else, instead of striving after unattainable excellence.


One great interest of this winter was going with Arthur Stanley excursions to Bozledeane Wood and tracing out on the spot the curious history of the so-called Sir William Courtenay, which is so strangely at variance with the usually matter-of-fact character of the present century. Briefly, the story is that of John Nichols Tom, son of a maltster at Truro, who ran away from his wife, and, going to Canterbury, announced himself as Sir William Courtenay, and laid claim to the title and rights of the Earls of Devon. His dress was most extraordinary—a scarlet robe with a crimson hanger. He was taken up, tried for perjury, and confined in a lunatic asylum, but, while there, contrived to interest Sir Edward Knatchbull in his behalf, and obtained his release by Sir Edward's influence with Lord John Russell. On his return to Canterbury in 1838, he gave out that he was not only Sir William Courtenay, but Jesus Christ himself. It was not so much his dress, as his long flowing hair, his beard, his perfect proportions, his beauty and height, which lent themselves to his story, and his wonderful resemblance to the well-known pictures of the Saviour. The rustics and tradesmen welcomed him, and really believed in him. With forty of his most devoted disciples he took up his abode in a village near Canterbury. He was always preaching, and the chief part of his doctrine was faith—faith in himself. He formed a plan of storming Canterbury and seizing the cathedral on Whitsunday, when all the people were at the service there. But this plan was frustrated and he lived in comparative quietude till Michaelmas. Then a constable was sent to arrest him. The constable found Courtenay with his forty disciples at breakfast at a farmhouse near Bozledeane Wood, and when Courtenay saw him approach, he went out, shot him, and leaving him writhing in agony upon the ground, returned, perfectly unruffled, to finish his repast. After breakfast "Sir William Courtenay" led his disciples down the path, which still remains, into a hollow by a little stream in the heart of the wood. Here his followers, under Colonel Armstrong, a fanatical leader from Canterbury, threw up an earthwork, behind which they entrenched themselves, and here they were surrounded by a body of troops sent out in three bands to encompass them. Lieutenant Bennet, who was in command, was sent forward to parley with the impostor. Courtenay, who stood under a tree, waited till he came close up, and then shot him through the heart! The troops then rushed forwards, but the fanatics, though greatly astonished at the death of Courtenay, who, in spite of his professed invulnerability, fell in the first onset, fought with fury, and defended themselves with their bludgeons against the muskets of the soldiers. At last seven of them were killed and the rest taken prisoners.

Mr. Curteis, the Principal of St. Augustine's College, who went with us to Bozledeane Wood, described the scene after the battle, the pools of blood, the trees riddled with shot, the bodies lying in the public-house, and the beautiful hair of Courtenay being cut off and distributed amongst the people. It was fourteen years afterwards that we visited the spot. We went to the farmhouse where the last breakfast was held and the gate where the constable was shot. The view was beautiful over the Forest of Blean to the sea, with the line of the Isle of Sheppey breaking the blue waters. A boy guided us down the tangled path to the hollow where the battle took place by the little stream, said to be now frequented by the white squirrel and badger. The "stool" of the tree under which Courtenay stood had lately been grubbed up. The boy described Courtenay and his forty men lying on a green mossy bank talking, the evening before they were attacked, and his giving "bull's-eyes" to all the children on the morning of the battle. Courtenay had great powers of attracting all who came in contact with him. A girl belonging to the farmhouse (who on a previous occasion had knocked his arm aside when he would have shot a magistrate) rushed about during the engagement to give water and help to the dying, perfectly regardless of the bullets which were flying around her. And after his death his wife turned up, "Mrs. Tom" from Truro, most deeply afflicted, for "he was the best of husbands!"

I liked better being with the Stanleys at Canterbury than in London, where they talked—as people in London do talk, and where my dearest mother, who had lived only in the narrowest groove latterly, and especially as to religious things, often felt it necessary to "testify to her religious profession" in a way which was even more a mortification than a pain to me. After we began to go abroad, and she was removed from the "mutual admiration society" at Hurstmonceaux, she took a wider view of everything,[73] and had a far better and more general influence in consequence. But there was a time when my mother, so infinitely tender and gentle in her own nature, almost seemed to have lost her hold upon the liberality and gentleness of the Christian gospel in her eager espousal of the doctrine of fire and worms beyond the grave. I think it is St. Jerome who says, "Desire rather to act Scripture than to write about it, to do rather than to say holy things."


"Southgate, Feb. 10, 1852.—My own dearest mother, I am settled here again after my most happy holidays, with the old faces round me, and the old tiresome conversation about nothing but the comparative virtues of ruff pigeons and carriers.... The last part of the holidays at Canterbury was indeed perfectly delightful, and I enjoyed it—oh! so much. I shall work very hard, and tell Arthur I shall be quite ready for an examination on Pericles, Marathon, and Arbela when I see him again. I am afraid Aunt Kitty thought me awfully ignorant of Greek history, but I really never have had anything to do with it.[74] I think of you and your walk through the beautiful cloister when I plod through the muddy village to our hideous chapel. It is very smoky and dirty and misty, but—I will not be discontented."

"Feb. 14.—And now I think of my dearest mother at home again, sitting in the evening in her own arm-chair in Peace Corner, with her little table and her Testament, and John and my Fausty[75]—all white and clean—bringing in the supper, and, oh! how nice it must be!"


It was very soon after her return from Canterbury that my mother, going to visit a sick woman in the village, slipped down a turfy frostbound bank near some steps in the garden at Lime. Unable to make any one hear her cries for help, she contrived to crawl to the back part of the house, whence she was carried to a sofa, and a doctor was sent for, who found that her leg was broken. After very many weeks upon a sofa, all lameness was cured, but the confinement, to one used to an active life, told seriously upon her health, and my dearest mother was always liable to serious illness from this time, though her precious life was preserved to me for nineteen years to come. Henceforward I never left her without misery, and when with her was perhaps over-anxious about her. Mr. Bradley wisely sent me at once to her for a day that I might be reassured, and I feel still an echo of the pang with which I first saw her helpless—as I so often saw her afterwards. How I remember all the sheltered spots in which Lea and I found primroses for her in the one day I was at home in this bitterly early spring!

To MY MOTHER (after returning to Southgate).

"March 13, 1852.—Yesterday we had 'a truce,' so I hurried to see Gerard's Hall in Bow Lane before its demolition. It has latterly been an inn, with a statue of Gerard the Giant over the door. A wooden staircase leads into the wine-cellar, once Gerard's Crypt, possessing slender arches and pillars, most beautiful in colour, and forming wonderful subjects for pictures, with pewter pots and stone pitchers thrown about in confusion."

"April 29.—I have been to see Mrs. Gayford, the nurse who brought me over to England. She is very poor, and lives in an attic in the New Wharf Road, but was enchanted to see me. I sate upon the old seachest which has been often with her to India, and heard the history of her going to Mannheim and meeting my father with his 'weak baby—very passionate, you know, but then it's in the nature of such young gentlemen to be so.' And then she described the journey and voyage, and my ingratitude to a lady who had been very kind to me by slapping her in the face when she was sea-sick."

"June 15.—We are in the midst of an examination in Thierry's 'Norman Conquest.' At nine we all assemble in the dining-room, and the greatest anxiety is exhibited: the 'prophets' proclaim their views on the issue of the day, and the 'hunters' speculate upon the horses who are to 'run in the Thierry stakes.' Bradley comes in with the papers and gives one to each, and from that time we are in custody: no one can exchange a word, and two fellows may never go up to the table together. When we have done that set of questions, generally between one and three o'clock, we are at liberty till five, and then we are in custody again till we have done the next, at nine, ten, or eleven. Bradley is on guard all day, or, if he is obliged to go out, Mrs. B. mounts guard for him. They cannot employ themselves, as they have always to wander up and down the rows of writers with their eyes.... I like the life during these examinations, there is so much more excitement than over ordinary work, and one never has time to get stupid, but the others do nothing but bemoan themselves."

I think it must have been on leaving Southgate for the summer that I paid a visit of one day to "Italima" and my sister in a house which had been lent them in Grosvenor Square. It was then that my sister said, "Mamma, Augustus is only with us for one day. We ought to take the opportunity of telling him what may be of great importance to him: we ought to tell him the story of the 'Family Spy.'" What I then heard was as follows:—

For many years my sister had observed that she and her mother were followed and watched by a particular person. Wherever they went, or whatever they did, she was aware of the same tall thin man dressed in grey, who seemed to take a silent interest in all that happened to them. At last this surveillance became quite disagreeable and they tried to escape it. One spring they pretended that they were going to leave Rome on a particular day, announced it to their friends, and made secret preparations for quitting Rome a week earlier. They arrived in safety within a few miles of Florence, when, looking up at a tall tower by the side of the road, my sister saw the face of the Family Spy watching them from its battlements. Another time they heard that the Spy was ill and confined to his bed, and they took the opportunity of moving at once. As their vetturino carriage turned out of the piazza into the Via S. Claudio, in order to attain the Corso, which must be passed before reaching the gate of the city, the narrow street was almost blocked up by another carriage, in which my sister saw the emaciated form of the Family Spy propped on pillows and lying on a mattress, and which immediately followed them. Constant inquiries had long since elicited the fact that the Spy was a Sicilian Marquis who had been living at Palermo when my parents were there, and whose four children were exactly the same age as their four children. Soon afterwards his wife and all his children were swept away at one stroke by the cholera, and he was left utterly desolate. With characteristic Sicilian romance, he determined to create for himself a new family and a new interest in life by adopting the other family, which was exactly parallel to his own, and of which only the father had been removed—but adopting it by a mysterious bond, in which the difficulty of a constant surveillance should give entire occupation to his time and thought. When Italima heard this, after making inquiries about him which proved satisfactory, she sent to the Spy to say that she thought it much better this secret surveillance should end, but that she should be happy to admit him as a real friend, and allow him to see as much as he liked of the family in which he took so deep an interest. But, though expressing great gratitude for this proposal, the Spy utterly declined it. He said that he had so long accustomed himself to the constant excitement of his strange life, that it would be quite impossible for him to live without it; that if ever an opportunity occurred of rendering any great service to the family whose fortunes he followed, he would speak to them, but not till then.

When I had been told this story, my sister and Italima took me out in the afternoon to drive in the Park. As we were passing along the road by the Serpentine, my sister suddenly exclaimed, "There, look! there is the Family Spy," and, among those who walked by the water, I saw the tall thin grey figure she had described. We passed him several times, and he made such an impression upon me that I always knew him afterwards. My sister said, "If you look out at ten o'clock to-night, you will see him leaning against the railing of Grosvenor Square watching our windows,"—and so it was; there was the tall thin figure with his face uplifted in the moonlight.

In 1852 the extravagance of my two brothers Francis and William was already causing great anxiety to their mother. Francis, who had lately obtained his commission in the Life-Guards through old Lord Combermere, had begun to borrow money upon the Gresford estate. William, who was in the Blues, with scarcely any fortune at all, had plunged desperately into the London season. When winter approached, their letters caused even more anxiety on account of their health than their fortunes: both complaining of cough and other ailments. One day, in the late autumn of 1852, my sister, coming into the diningroom of the Palazzo Parisani, found her mother stretched insensible upon the hearth-rug, with a letter open in her hand. The letter was from the new Sir John Paul, who had not in the least got over his first anger at his sister's change of religion, and who wrote in the cruellest and harshest terms. He said, "Your eldest son is dying. It is quite impossible that you can arrive in time to see him alive. Your second son is also in a rapid decline, though if you set off at once and travel to England without stopping, you may still be in time to receive his last words."

Palazzo Parisani was at once thrown into the utmost confusion, and all its inmates occupied themselves in preparing for immediate departure. Owing to the great number of things to be stowed away, it was, however, utterly impossible that they should leave before the next morning. Italima's state of anguish baffles description, for Francis was her idol. In the afternoon my sister, hoping to give her quiet, persuaded her to go out for an hour and walk in the gardens of the Villa Medici, where she would not be likely to meet any one she knew. In the long arcaded bay-walks of the villa she saw a familiar figure approaching. It was the "Family Spy." He came up to her, and, to her amazement, he began to address her—he, the silent follower of so many years! He said, "The time has now come at which I can serve you, therefore I speak. This morning you received a letter." Italima started. "You are surprised that I know you have the letter, and yet I am going to tell you all that was in that letter," and he repeated it word for word. He continued—"I not only know all that was in your letter and the distress in which it has placed you, but I know all the circumstances under which that letter was written, and I know all that has happened to your sons since: I know all about your sons. Your son Francis was taken ill on such a day: he saw such and such doctors: he is already much better: there is no danger: you may be quite easy about him. Your son William is not in danger, but he is really much the more ill of the two. Dr. Fergusson has seen him, and a foreign winter is prescribed. It will not do for you to go to England yourself, but yet he is not well enough to travel alone. You have an old servant, Félix, who came to you in such a year, and who has been with you ever since. You must send him to fetch William, and here is a paper on which I have written down all the trains and steamers they are to travel by, both in going and returning." So saying, and having given the paper to Italima and bowing very low, the Family Spy retired. Italima went home. She acted entirely on the advice she had received. She unpacked her things and remained in her palazzo at Rome. She sent Félix, as the Spy had directed: he travelled according to the written programme, and in a fortnight he returned to Rome bringing William back with him. The Spy never spoke to any member of the family again.

It is anticipating, but I may mention here that when we went to Rome in 1857, I wondered if we should see the Family Spy. I spoke of it to my mother. As we passed through the Porta del Popolo, he was the first person who met us. I saw him very often that winter, and again when I was at Paris with my sister in October 1858. That winter my sister often saw him at Rome. The next year was marked by our great family misfortunes. My sister always expected that somehow or other he would come to the rescue of the lost fortunes, but he never did. Some time after she heard that he had died very suddenly about that time.

When I returned to my mother in the summer of 1852, she was at Eastbourne with Charlotte Leycester and very ill. It was the earliest phase of the strange hysteria with which I was afterwards so familiar—sudden flushings with a deathly chill over her face, and giddiness, sometimes followed by unconsciousness, occasionally by a complete apparent suspension of life, a death-like trance without breath or pulsation, lasting for hours, or even for many days together. It is a very rare illness, but it is known to doctors, and I believe it is called "Waking coma." In this summer I first began the anxious watchings of first symptoms—the swelling of my mother's fingers around her rings, and then by a kiss searched if the alarming chill had already taken possession of her face. Happily, the heavenly state of mind in which she always lived took away from her the terror of these illnesses; the visions which beset her waking and sleeping were of all things good and beautiful: the actual trances themselves were to her a translation into heavenly places and to the companionship of the blessed, and, for those who looked upon her, a transfiguration.

When my mother was able to move, it was decided that she must try foreign air, which then and often afterwards completely restored her to health for the time. It was settled that we should go to Heidelberg, and as her cousin Charlotte Leycester was to travel with her, I was able to precede her for a few days in the old Belgian towns, which, as I was then in the first enthusiasm about foreign travel, I looked upon as absolutely entrancing.


"St. Omer, July 15, 1852.—I shall never feel the day is properly over till it has been shared with my own dear mother. I have only left you a few hours, and yet, at an expense of one pound, how great is the change!... We embarked at Dover at one, with a cloudless sky and rippling waves, and an Irish lady near me was most amusing, telling anecdotes first in French to her neighbour on the other side and then in English to me. But half-way across the Channel the thickest of fogs came on, we made no way, and cries and whistles were kept up without cessation. Then it grew rough, the Irish lady's jokes became less vivacious, and at last she followed almost all the other passengers to the side of the vessel. At five o'clock sea and fog subsided and we went on, but then the tide had gone from the harbour, and when we were a mile and a half from Calais, all the passengers were transferred to open boats. As we were rowed in under the long pier, the beautiful fishing-nets were being drawn up out of the calm waters, and the old French faces with the high white caps and large gold earrings were looking down as last year.... The railway journey was delicious through the rich flat country, and the churches here, of the two missionary saints, Bertin and Omer, are most interesting."

"Bruges, July 17.—The heat is so intense that I am more inclined to watch the perfectly motionless branches of the acacia under the window than to do my duty by the sights. The old town and its people all seem lulled to sleep by the oppression. Yet the Dyver Canal is delightful, with its strange old towers and its poplar trees, and the market on its bank filled with Dutch fishwives in bright costumes.... My straw hat attracts much attention. 'Voilà le costume anglais,' I hear the people say.... The table d'hôte was very amusing, musicians playing the while on harp, guitar, and flute. To-night there is to be a procession which has had no equal for a hundred years.

"This morning I went to the Béguinage, a little village with walls of its own in the middle of the town. The sweet-faced Béguine nuns in long white veils were chanting the service in the church, ranged in the stalls of the choir. They wore long trains, which they took up when they came out of church. A priest was there, but the abbess seemed to take his part in officiating.[76] ... The streets are beautifully decorated for the procession, planted with living fir-trees, half the height of the houses, which, as they are very narrow, gives the effect of an avenue; but, behind, the houses are hung with flags and tapestry. In some streets altars are raised, surrounded with orange-trees and flowers.

"10 P.M.—The ceremonial was to celebrate 'the jubilee of the Carmelite tonsure.' ... The streets were all hung with flowers and tapestry, and garlands made a flower canopy across them, beneath which streamed crowds of peasants from every town in Belgium. Each pine-tree was a huge Christmas-tree with thousands of wax-lights blazing in the motionless air. Many hundreds of clergy formed the procession, and Capuchins and Carmelites and Franciscans, many with bare feet and flowing beards. There were also hundreds of torch-bearers and children swaying censers. Then came troops of young girls, 'brides of Christ,' in white, with garlands: then a beautiful little boy as St. John leading his lamb by a string; then Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—Mary crowned with a veil covered with golden stars, and endless winged cherubs in attendance; then abbots and canons; and lastly, under a crimson canopy, in a violet robe, the Bishop bearing the Host.

"The scene in the Grande Place was magnificent. Along the base of the halles burning torches rolled up their smoke around the belfry and the brilliant banners, and the sea of faces was motionless in expectation. It was a tremendous moment when the immense mass of clergy had sung a hymn around the altar in the square, and the Bishop took off his mitre and knelt upon the rushes before the Sacrament. Then, as he lifted the Host in his hands, the music ceased, and the whole multitude of people fell almost prostrate in silent prayer."

After visiting Ghent, Malines, Antwerp, and Louvain, I joined my mother and her companions at Brussels, and we proceeded by the Rhine and Frankfort to Heidelberg, where we found a charming apartment almost at the castle gate, at the back of a baker's shop, with a little oleander-fringed garden high on the hill-top, overlooking the town and river. Two sisters and their cousin waited upon us. The castle gardens were like our own, and delicious in their shade and freshness and the scent of their roses and lilacs; and the courtyards and towers were full of inexhaustible interest. We were never weary here of studying the history of the English Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, and finding out her connection with the different parts of the castle, and her little garden with its triumphal arch was our favourite resort. We seldom went down into the town except on Sundays, when the famous Dr. Schenkel preached in St. Peter's Church at the foot of our hill. In the evenings we used to walk along the edge of the hills, through flower-fringed lanes, to the clear springs of Wolfsbrunnen, where there was a sort of nursery of trout (florellen). The students shared the gardens with us, with their ridiculous dress and faces scarred for life in the silly duels at the Hirsch Gasse, which they looked upon as a distinction, and which generally arose from quarrels about giving way to each other in the street. They often, consequently, spent six hours a day in practising the sword-exercise, to the ruin of their studies. When we were at Heidelberg, all the clothes in the place used to be sent to be washed in the village of Spiegelhausen, because there the water was softer, and when its hills were covered with the linen of the whole town they produced the oddest effect. A large Heidelberg family considered it a great point of honour to have linen enough to last them six months, so as only to send it to be washed twice in the year, when it went in a great waggon to Spiegelhausen. A young lady always endeavoured to have this quantity at her marriage.

Lodging in the castle itself was M. Meyer,[77] afterwards a kind of secretary to the Empress Augusta of Germany, a most singular man, who was then employed upon an enormous poem, which he believed would throw Dante into the shade, though it has passed quite unnoticed. He delighted to read us some of its endless cantos in the castle gardens, and we tried to look as if we understood and appreciated. But he was really very kind to us, and was a most amusing companion in the long walks which he took us—to the Angel's Meadow, a small green space in the forests high on the mountains beyond the river, and elsewhere. I shared his admiration for Mrs. Hamilton (née Margaret Dillon, the maid of honour), who was at that time in the zenith of her beauty and attractiveness, and was living at Heidelberg with her husband and children.

We spent a day at Schwetzingen, where at that time was living the Grand Duchess Stephanie, the daughter of the Comte de Beauharnais and great-niece of the Empress Josephine, who had been adopted by Napoleon, and married against her will (1806) to the Prince of Baden. My aunt, Mrs. Stanley, was very intimate with her, and had much that was interesting to tell of her many trials.

It was during the latter part of our sojourn at Heidelberg that the Stanleys (Aunt Kitty, Arthur, and Mary), with Emmie Penrhyn, came to stay with us on their way to spend the winter at Rome, a journey which at that time was looked upon as a great family event. With them I went to Spires and its beautiful cathedral, and on the anniversary of my adoption we all went over to Mannheim, and dined at the hotel where, seventeen years before, I, being fourteen months old, was given away to my aunt, who was also my godmother, to live with her for ever as if I were her own child, and never to see my own parents, as such, any more. I dwell upon this because one of the strangest coincidences of my life—almost too strange for credence—happened that day at Mannheim.

When we returned to the station in the evening, we had a long time to wait for the train. On the platform was a poor woman, crying very bitterly, with a little child in her arms. Emmie Penrhyn, who was tender-hearted, went up to her, and said she was afraid she was in some great trouble. "Yes," she said, "it is about my little child. My little child, who is only fourteen months old, is going away from me for ever in the train which is coming. It is going away to be adopted by its aunt, who is also its godmother, and I shall never, never have anything to do with it any more."

It was of an adoption under exactly the same circumstances that we had been to Mannheim to keep the seventeenth anniversary!

After parting with the Stanleys, we left Heidelberg on the 26th of August and made a little tour.

To Mrs. Alexander.

"Coblentz, Sept. 1.—Here we are again at Coblentz, in a room looking on the friendly Rhine, with Ehrenbreitstein all new and yellow on the other side the water, and the older houses of the town below us.

"Our little tour has been most successful. We went first to Baden, and spent the afternoon in driving up through the forest to the Alte Schloss, coming down in a splendid sunset—the golden Rhine gleaming in a red valley through the dark pines. The next morning, as I was being shown over the Neue Schloss, I asked about the Grand Duchess Stephanie and the Princess Wasa, when the guide rushed to a window and said, 'Come quick, for the princesses are riding out of the courtyard upon their asses, as they do every morning before breakfast;' but I saw little more than their shadows flit across the court as their donkeys clattered through the gate. I was shown the circular opening through which prisoners bound in a chain used to be let down into the oubliettes and their subterranean judgment-hall, and the place where they had to give the baiser de la Vierge, when they fell through a trap-door upon wheels set round with knives which cut them to pieces.

"Next day we went to Strasbourg—so hot it was!—and then to Metz, where the cathedral is poor outside, but most glorious within—a vista of solid round pillars terminating in a blaze of stained glass. In one of the towers is 'Groggy,' a real dragon, dried.

"A diligence took us to Sierck on the Moselle, where we had a long time to wait, and mother sate and drew whilst I rambled about. It was evening before the churches of Treves appeared above the river-bank. We stayed at the charming Rothes Haus, with the little cross opposite commemorating the fiery vision of Constantine, which is supposed to have taken place there. Treves has a wonderful round of sights—the Roman baths, a beautiful ruin with tall brick arches, brilliant still in colour: thence up the vine-clad hill to where a gap between two ruined walls forms the entrance of the amphitheatre: back by the Porta Nigra, noblest of Roman gateways, with the hermitage whither S. Simeon was brought from Syracuse by Archbishop Poppo, and where he spent the rest of his life: finally to the cathedral, and the Liebfrauenkirche with lovely cloisters filled with flowers.

"We made great friends with the old sacristan at the cathedral, who gave us an extraordinary account of the last exhibition of its great relic, the 'Heilige Rock,' or seamless coat of the Saviour, when 30,000 persons passed through the church every day, weeping and sobbing, singing and praying as they went. The coat is only exhibited every twenty-five years, and awaits its next resurrection entombed in a treble coffin before the high altar. It has certainly done great things for Treves, as the cathedral has been restored, a capital hospital built, and all the fortunes of the citizens made by its exhibition. The sacristan was delighted to find that I also was a 'Romische Burgher,' but hoped that in a few years I should 'want some more cloth putting into my coat.'"


"Namur, Sept. 2.—Here I am, alone and dreary in the world once more.... It always seems as if I could have done a great deal more for you, and been more gentle and loving when I am gone, but I am sure my own darling mother will never really have thought me wanting in gratitude to her."

"Braine le Comte, Sept. 3.—I believe no one has such misfortunes as I have. I was at the Namur station at six this morning, and here by eight. Then the guard suggested my going into the waiting-room, as there was half-an-hour to wait before the train came up for Calais, for which I had a through ticket. I had no summons to the train: it came up on the opposite side of the station (concealed by another train) in five minutes, and I was left behind, and there is no train again till past seven o'clock this evening, and then only to Lille!—eleven hours to wait!"

"Southgate, Sept. 4.—As the dreary hours at Braine le Comte waned, two English families arrived from Namur, and with two ladies, 'Alice and Sybil,' and the boys of Sybil, I sallied out to see Braine le Comte, and then into the forest to pick bilberries for the luncheon which I had no money to buy. Then I arrived in the night at Lille, and being unable to find a hotel in the dark, and indeed having no money to pay for going to one, wandered about till at length I collapsed altogether on the doorstep of one of the houses. Here I was found by some of the old market-women when they arrived for the opening of the market at dawn, and they took me into the halles, and made me share their early breakfast. This was a kind of black broth in a huge wooden bowl, into which we all dipped a great spoon in turns, but it was most welcome, and the old women were very kind to me."

It was a great pleasure this autumn to pay a little visit to my mother's old friend Miss Clinton, whose frequent visits to Lime had counted as some of the happiest days of my childhood. She was essentially what the French call "bonne à vivre," so good-humoured and cheerful, and so indulgent to the faults of others. The crystal stream of her common-sense had always seemed to stir up the stagnant quagmire of religious inanities which the Maurice sisters had surrounded us with at Hurstmonceaux.

"Cokenach, Oct. 3.—I was so glad to come here for two days. The dear old Stoke carriage with Lou Clinton[78] in it met me at Royston. She took me first to see the antiquities—Lady Rohesia's chapel and Roysie's Cave, which gave the place its name, and a house where James I. stayed when he came hunting, in which his bedroom is preserved with its old furniture: in the garden is the first mulberry-tree planted in England. We reached Cokenach by the field roads.

"I was taken up at once to Lady Louisa,[79] who sate, as years ago, in her large chair by the blazing firelogs, with all her baskets of papers round her, and her table covered with things."

As it was considered a settled point that I was to take Orders when I was grown up (a point on which no single member of the family allowed any discussion or difference of opinion), and that I was then to have the rich family living of Hurstmonceaux, in the gift of my brother Francis, my whole education up to this time had been with that intention. My mother, therefore, was quite enchanted when my admiration of the Béguinages which I had seen in Belgium led me, in the autumn of 1852, to devote every spare moment to a sort of missionary work in the low wretched districts of Southgate. I had read in St. Vincent de Paul: "L'action bonne et parfaite est le véritable caractère de l'amour de Dieu ... c'est l'amour effectif qu'il faut à Dieu," and I determined to try to act upon it.


"Sept. 29, 1852.—I have now regularly entered on my parochial duties. There is a long strip of cottages in the village, yet out of Southgate parish, and which the clergyman of their own parish will have nothing to do with, as those of the inhabitants who go to church go to Southgate, so that he gets no marriage fees. The people would have been dreadfully neglected if Mrs. Bradley had not taken care of them, and as it is, they are in a very bad state, most of the men drunkards, and their wives and children starving. As the houses look out upon an open drain, they teem with illness for which there is no remedy. The children spend their days in making mud-pies upon the road.... I have now got all these cottages as my peculiar province.

"Most of the people cannot, or fancy they cannot, go to church, so I offered to have a sort of 'cottage reading' every Tuesday in the house of one of the better people—a Mrs. Perry. I was rather alarmed, though glad, to see how many came.... I tried to make the reading as interesting and easy as I could, and afterwards ventured upon a little 'discourse.'

"It was strange to find this really heathen colony—for they know nothing—close by, and I am glad to have a foretaste of what my life's work will be like."

"Southgate, October 12.—Mr. Bradley is in nothing so extraordinary as in the education of his children. All the moral lessons to his little daughter Jesse are taken from reminiscences of his 'poor dear first wife,' who never existed. I am used to it now, but was amazed when I first heard little Jesse ask something about 'your poor dear first wife, papa,' and he took out a handkerchief and covered over both their heads that no one might see them cry, which the little girl did abundantly over the touching story told her. Little Charlie's education was carried on in a similar way, only the model held up to him was a son of Mrs. Bradley's by an imaginary first husband, who 'died and is buried in Oxfordshire.' Little Moses's mamma, 'Mrs. Jochebed Amram,' is also held up as an effective example of Christian piety and patience, but Moses himself never touches their feelings at all. I must send you one of the allegories which I have heard Bradley tell his children; it is such a characteristic specimen:—

"'Now I will tell you a story about Hare. When Hare was a little child he lived at Rome: you know what we call it?—("Oh yes, papa, Babylon.")—Well, he lived at Babylon, and he was a very good little boy then, but he used to walk about dressed in scarlet, for they all wore scarlet there. One day a man was seen in the streets, very beautiful, a stranger with silver wings. And he said, "Are you little Hare, and would you like to go with me and learn how to be good?" for he was an angel. And little Hare said, "Oh yes, that is what I always like to be and try to be, and I shall like very much to go."

"'So the angel took little Hare up and carried him away on his back: and his poor mother went up and down the streets of Babylon crying and wringing her hands, for she did not know where her dear boy was gone.

"'But the angel carried Hare to the Happy Island, where all manner of little children were living—Ada and Angelina, and numbers of others. All these little children came to Hare and asked why he came there in his scarlet dress without getting it washed, because they all wore white robes, and they told him he must get his robes washed too. But he said he liked his scarlet clothes, and did not wish to have white robes like theirs, and he was very sullen and angry.

"'So then the angel and the children left him alone and took no notice of him. But after a time he observed that all the other children had little wings while he had none, and he felt sorry when the great angel passed by every day and took no notice of him, and at last he said, "How sorry I am to have spoken as I did, and how much I should like to have my robes washed and made white like those of the Happy Island children."

"'And the instant he said these words, his scarlet dress fell off, and he had beautiful white robes given him, and he felt a strange sensation in his shoulders, for little wings were growing there. And all the little children came up and kissed him, and cried, "Hosanna! hosanna! he is good; and he has got little wings like us."

"'So Hare lived on in the island, till, one day, the angel said, "Have you ever thought what your poor mother is doing now, and would you not like to go back to her?" And Hare said, "But can I always be good and have white robes and wings if I go back to Babylon?" And the angel said, "No, but you can try," and he took Hare on his back and flew off and off till he came to Babylon, where he set Hare down in the streets: and all the people looked at him, and when they saw his white robes and his wings, they said, "Why, there is a little angel come!"

"'And Hare went to his mother when she was asleep, and when she awoke she thought it was a dream, but he said, "No, mother, it is no dream. I have been in the Happy Island all this time, and I have come back good." Then his mother, when she saw his wings, said, "Oh, go on being good, and then your wings will grow larger and larger, till at last you will not only be able to go back yourself to the Happy Isle, but to take me with you." And Hare wished to do this, but nevertheless Babylon is a bad place, and as he went out in the streets his dress became soiled with their mud, and he mingled and played with its children till his wings grew smaller and smaller, and at last they fell off altogether.

"'Still, if you were to examine Hare on the bare shoulders when he is undressed, you would see the stumps where the wings were.'"

On the 17th of November I went up to London for the funeral of the Duke of Wellington on the following day. Very late at night Arthur Stanley arrived, having travelled day and night from Rome on purpose. We had to set off at four o'clock next morning to reach our reserved seats in St. Paul's, though I do not think the service began till twelve. We were four hours in the long chain of carriages wending at a foot's pace towards St. Paul's. A number of curious cases of robbery occurred then. I remember one, of an old gentleman in a carriage before us, who was leaning out of the carriage window with a pair of gold spectacles on his nose. A well-dressed man approached him between the two lines of carriages and said, "Sir, don't you know that you're very imprudent in leaning out of the carriage window on this occasion with such a very valuable pair of gold spectacles upon your nose? An ill-disposed person might come up and whip off your spectacles like this"—and, suiting the action to the word, he whipped them off, and escaped between the opposite line of carriages, leaving the old gentleman without any chance of redress.

The ceremony in St. Paul's was sublime beyond any power of words to describe. I recollect as one of the most striking features the figure of Dean Milman—bent almost double, with silver hair—who had been present at the funeral of Nelson in 1806, when he "heard, or seemed to hear, the low wail of the sailors who encircled their Admiral." My mother saw the procession from the Bunsens' house at Carlton Terrace.

In the winter of 1852-53 I passed through one of those phases of religious conviction which ultra-Evangelicals would call a "conversion"—an awakening at a distinct time which I can remember (January 11) of the strongest feeling of repentance for past sin and desire for improvement. "O amare! O ire! O sibi perire! O ad Deum pervenire," are words of St. Augustine which expressed my whole feeling at the time. I have no doubt that this feeling—exaggerated and violent as it was—was perfectly sincere at the time, and possibly in some way may have had a wholesome influence on my life. But I am quite sure that in other ways it had a very unwholesome influence, and that the habit of self-introspection and self-examination which I then felt a duty, and which many clergymen inculcate, is most injurious, as destroying simplicity of character, by leading an individual to dwell upon himself and his own doings, and thus causing him to invest that self and those doings with a most undue importance. I have always in later years, where I have had any influence, done all I could to discourage and repress these sudden religious "awakenings," producing unnatural mental sufferings at the time, and usually lapsing into an undesirable rebound. With an imaginary reality of conviction, young people are often led into hypocrisy, from a sense of the meritoriousness of that very hypocrisy itself in the eyes of many. I am quite sure that a simple Christian life of active benevolence and exertion for others, of bearing and forbearing, is the wholesome state—a life which is freed from all thoughts of self-introspection, and from all frantic efforts (really leading aside from simple faith in a Saviour) after self-salvation. I dwell upon this here for a moment, though I dislike to do so, because no narrative of my life could be true without it.

The last nine months of my stay at Southgate were less pleasant than the preceding ones, as Mr. Bradley had ceased to like me, and, though he fully did his duty by me in work-time, plainly showed, out of working hours, that he would be very glad when the time came for our final separation. This change arose entirely from my resistance, backed up by Dr. Vaughan at Harrow, to many of his absurd punishments. I was now nearly nineteen, and I offered to bear any amount of rational punishment he chose, but utterly refused to wear my coat inside out, and to run with a tin kettle tied to my coattail through the village, &c., which were the punishments he liked to impose.

But our final dispute came about in this way:—

My Latin prose was always the greatest stumbling-block in my work, and I was most trying, and inveterately careless over it, making the same mistake over and over again. At last Bradley decreed publicly, that for each of my commonest blunders, one of my companions should—kiss me! They thought it great fun, but I declared I would not submit. The decree had a good effect so far, that, for a very long time—a most unusually long time, the mistakes were evaded. At last, after about three weeks, a morning came when one of the mistakes occurred again. The fellow appointed to kiss me for this mistake was a big Scotchman named Buchan. Immediately the whole room was in motion, and Buchan in hot pursuit. I barricaded the way with chairs, jumped on the table, splashing right and left from all the inkstands, but eventually I was caught and—kissed.

In a blind fury, scarcely knowing what I did, I knocked Buchan's head against the sharp edge of the bookcase, and, seizing a great Liddell and Scott Lexicon, rushed upon Bradley, who was seated unsuspecting in a low chair by the fire, and, taking him unawares, banged him on the bald scalp with the lexicon till I could bang no longer. Bradley, after this, naturally said I must leave. I instantly fled over hedge and ditch fourteen miles to Harrow, and took refuge with the Vaughans, and after a day or two, Dr. Vaughan, by representing the fatal injury it would do me to be left tutorless just when I was going up to Oxford, persuaded Bradley to take me back and teach me as before. But this he consented to do only on condition that he was never expected to speak to me out of work-time, and he never did. My Southgate life henceforth was full of (in many ways well-deserved) petty hardships, though they were made endurable, because the time in which they had to be endured became every day more limited.


"Southgate, Feb. 6, 1853.—Bradley of course keeps aloof, but is not unkind to me, and it seems nothing to come back here, with Oxford as a bright guiding-star.... I now work all day as if it were the last day of preparation, and Walker and I question each other in the evening."

"Feb. 12.—I have been in my Southgate district all afternoon. The wretchedness and degradation of the people is such as only sight can give an idea of. In the last house in the upper alley live the Gudgeons, where two children were born a few days ago, and died a few hours after. I found Mrs. Gudgeon downstairs, for she had brought the thing she called a bed there, because, she said, if she was upstairs the children banging the doors maddened her. Two dirty shaggy children, never washed or combed since their mother was taken ill, were tugging at her; the eldest daughter, in tattered clothes and with dishevelled hair, was washing some rags, the fumes of which filled the room, while the floor was deep in dirt. Since the mother has been ill she has had the only blanket the family possess, so that she says the children howl with cold all night."

"Feb. 13.—To-day I found six of the Gudgeon children sitting on three-legged stools, huddled round a miserable fire, the door locked to prevent their running out into the snow. The mother said 'the Almighty knew what was good when He took the two babies; He knew I couldn't tell what in the world I was to do with them—though they were pretty babies, they were, every bit like little waxwork dolls. I sent for the doctor, but it was a cold night, and I was a poor woman, so he wouldn't come; if he had come, I should have known they wouldn't live, and should have had them baptized, and then I should have been happier about them.' I asked where the family all contrived to sleep. 'Why, sir,' she said, 'you know we have but two beds, and I sleep in the middle of one with Martha on one side and Polly on the other, and Lisa has her head out at the bottom, and sleeps at our feet; and father sleeps in the little bed, with Emma on one side and Tom on the other, and Georgie he lies at their feet, and Lu she lies with her grandmother.'"

"In another cottage I found that a good woman, Mrs. Caius, had just taken in a dwarf child who had been much ill-treated by the woman that took care of it. It had been dashed to and fro with convulsions for three hours, and now its limbs were quite rigid and stiff. It had not been stripped or washed for days, and its face was so begrimed with dirt that the features were scarcely discernible."

"February 19.—Aunt Kitty has done a most kind act in securing Mr. Jowett's protection for me at Oxford. I have had a kind note from him, in which his using my Christian name at once is very reassuring, though the fact that the seventeenth word he ever addressed to me is a Latin one looks rather formidable for future conversations."

Unfortunately, when I was just prepared to go up to Oxford for "Matriculation," I caught a violent chill while learning to skate, and, just when I should have started, became most seriously ill with inflammation of the lungs. As soon as I was able to be moved, I went to the Vaughans at Harrow, where I soon recovered under kind care and nursing. I always feel that I owe much in every way to the kindness and hospitality of my cousin Kate during these years of my life. As the authorities at the University were induced to give me a private examination later, in place of the one I had missed, I only remained at Southgate for a few days more.


"March 13.—My mother will like a letter on my nineteenth birthday—so very old the word makes it seem, and yet I feel just as if I were the dear mother's little child still; only now every year I may hope to be more of a comfort to her.

"Yesterday afternoon I went with Papillon to take leave of the (Epping) Forest. It was a perfect day; such picturesque lights and shades on the Edmonton levels. We went through Chingford churchyard, and then through the muddy forest to the old Hunting Lodge, which I had never reached before, and felt to be the one thing I must see. It is a small, gabled, weather-beaten house, near a group of magnificent oaks on a hill-top. Inside is the staircase up which Elizabeth rode to dinner in her first ecstasy over the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Afterwards, I suppose because she found it easy, she had a block put at the top from which she mounted to ride down again. To prove the tradition, a pony is now kept in the house, on which you may ride up and down the stairs in safety. The lodge is still inhabited by one of the oldest families of forest-rangers, who have been there for centuries: in a room upstairs are the portraits of their ancestors, and one bedroom is surrounded with tapestry which they declare was wrought by the Queen's own needle.

"And to-morrow I am going to Oxford—how exciting!"




"When I recall my youth, what I was then,
     What I am now, ye beloved ones all:
  It seems as though these were the living men,
     And we the coloured shadows on the wall."
Monckton Milnes.

"You are not bound to follow vulgar examples, nor to succeed—Fais ce que dois."—AMIEL.

"Study as if you would never reach the point you seek to attain, and hold on to all you have learnt as if you feared to lose it."—CONFUCIUS.

DURING a visit at Lime, Arthur Stanley had spent a whole evening in entertaining us with a most delightful description of the adventures of Messrs. Black, White, Blue, Green, and Yellow on their first arrival at Oxford, so that I was not wholly unprepared for what I had to encounter there. His kindness had also procured me a welcome from his most eccentric, but kind-hearted, friend Jowett, then a Fellow and tutor of Balliol,[80] which prevented any forlornness I might otherwise have experienced; but indeed so great was my longing for change and a freer life, that I had no need of consolation, even under the terrors of "Matriculation." At nineteen, I was just beginning to feel something of the self-confidence which boys usually experience at thirteen, and, as I emancipated myself gradually from the oppressors of my boyhood, to yearn with eager longings for and sudden inexplicable sympathies towards the friendship and confidence of companions of my own age. There was also a pleasure in feeling that henceforward, though I should always have to economise, I must have some money of my own, although a regular allowance was never granted at Oxford, or at any other time. It was partially the fact that I had no money to spend in my own way, and that my bills were always overlooked and commented upon, and partly that I had known no other young men except those whom I met at my private tutor's, which made me still very peculiar in dress as in voice and manner. I can see myself now—very shy and shrinking, arriving at Oxford in a rough "bear greatcoat," with a broad stripe down my trousers, such as was worn then, and can hear the shrill high tones in which I spoke.


"Balliol College, Oxford, March 14, 1853.—I cannot help writing to my own mother on this my first night in Oxford. I should not seem to have got through the day without it.

"I left Southgate with all good wishes and in pouring rain. When the domes and towers of Oxford rose over the levels, I was not much agitated at seeing them, and was very much disappointed at the look of them. A number of young men were at the station, but I jumped into an omnibus, and, in a tone as unlike a Freshman's as I could make it, exclaimed 'Balliol.' Dull streets brought us to an arched gateway, where I was set down, and asked the way to Mr. Jowett's rooms. Through one court with green grass and grey arches to another modern one, and upstairs to a door with 'Mr. Jowett' upon it. Having knocked some time in vain, I went in, and found two empty rooms, an uncomfortable external one evidently for lectures, and a pleasant inner sanctuary with books and prints and warm fire. My mother's letter was on the table, so she was the first person to welcome me to Oxford. Then Mr. Jowett came in, in cap and gown, with a pile of papers in his hand, and immediately hurried me out to visit a long succession of colleges and gardens, since which we have had dinner in his rooms and a pleasant evening. I like him thoroughly. It is a bright beginning of college life."

"March 16.—It is a member of the University who writes to my own mother.

"It was nervous work walking in the cold morning down the High Street to University. Mr. Jowett's last advice had been, 'Don't lose your presence of mind; it will be not only weak, but wrong.' Thus stimulated, I knocked at the Dean's (Mr. Hedley's) door. He took me to the Hall—a long hall, with long rows of men writing at a long table, at the end of which I was set down with pens, ink, and paper. Greek translation, Latin composition, and papers of arithmetic and Euclid were given me to do, and we were all locked in. I knew my work, and had done when we were let out, at half-past one, for twenty minutes. At the end of that time Mr. Hedley took me to the Master.[81] The old man sate in his study—very cold, very stern, and very tall. I thought the examination was over. Not a bit of it. The Master asked what books I had ever done, and took down the names on paper. Then he chose Herodotus. I knew with that old man a mistake would be fatal, and I did not make it. Then he asked me a number of odd questions—all the principal rivers in France and Spain, the towns they pass through, and the points where they enter the sea; all the prophecies in the Old Testament in their order relating to the coming of Christ; all the relationships of Abraham and all the places he lived in. These things fortunately I happened to know. Then the Master arose and solemnly made a little speech—'You have not read so many books, Mr. Hare, not nearly so many books as are generally required, but in consideration of the satisfactory way in which you have passed your general examination, and in which you have answered my questions, you will be allowed to matriculate, and this, I hope, will lead you,' &c. &c. But for me the moral lesson at the end is lost in the essential, and the hitherto cold countenance of Mr. Hedley now smiles pleasantly.

"Then a great book is brought out, and I am instructed to write—'Augustus Joannes Cuthbertus Hare, Armigeri filius.' Then there is a pause. The Master and Dean consult how 'born at Rome' is to be written. The Dean suggests, the Master does not approve; the Dean suggests again, the Master is irritated; the Dean consults a great folio volume, and I am told to write 'de urbe Roma civitate Italiæ.' When this is done, Mr. Hedley stands up, the Master looks vacant, I bow, and we go out.

"At five o'clock, having got a cap and gown at the tailor's, I return to Mr. Hedley, now very affable, who walks with me to Worcester, to the Vice-Chancellor. The servant at the door says, 'A gentleman is matriculating.' Mr. Hedley says he is going to matriculate me. So we go in, and I write again in a great book and sign the Articles. I swear to abjure the Pope and be devoted to the Queen, and kiss a Testament upon it. Then the Vice-Chancellor says, 'Now attend diligently,' and makes a little speech in Latin about obedience to the institutes of the University. Then I pay £3, 10s. and am free."

On my way back through London I went to my first evening party. It was at Lambeth Palace. Well do I remember my Aunt Kitty (Mrs. Stanley) looking me over before we set out, and then saying slowly, "Yes, you will do." At Lambeth I first heard on this occasion the beautiful singing of Mrs. Wilson, one of the three daughters of the Archbishop (Sumner). His other daughters, Miss Sumner and Mrs. Thomas and her children lived with him, and the household of united families dwelling harmoniously together was like that of Sir Thomas More. Another evening during this visit in London I made the acquaintance of the well-known Miss Marsh, and went with her to visit a refuge for reclaimed thieves in Westminster. As we were going over one of the rooms where they were at work, she began to speak to them, and warmed with her subject into a regular address, during which her bonnet fell off upon her shoulders, and, with her sparkling eyes and rippled hair, she looked quite inspired. It was on the same day—in the morning—that, under the auspices of Lea, who was a friend of the steward, I first saw Apsley House, where the sitting-room of the great Duke was then preserved just as he left it the year before, the pen lying by the dusty inkstand, and the litter of papers remaining as he had scattered them.

When I reached Southgate, Mr. Bradley received me with "How do, Hare? Your troubles are ended. No, perhaps they are begun." That was all, yet he had really been anxious about me. I was always so brimming with exaggerated sentiment myself at this time, that I had expected quite a demonstration of farewell from the poor people in the wretched Southgate district, to whom—after a sentimental fashion—I had devoted much time and trouble, and was greatly disappointed to receive little more than "Oh! be you?" when I informed them that I was going to leave them for ever. The parting with Mr. Bradley was also more than chilling, as his manner was so repellent; yet in after life I look back to him as a man to whom, with all his eccentricities, I am most deeply indebted.

During the greater part of the Easter vacation, my Uncle Penrhyn and his daughter Emmie were with us,—still filled with the first sorrow caused by Aunt Penrhyn's death a few weeks before. To me personally the death of this aunt made little difference, though she had always been kind to me—she had so long been ill, never recovering the birth of her immense number of children, chiefly still-born, and wornout besides with asthma. My uncle used to obtain for her a reprieve of sleep by mesmerising her, but in this state, though immovable and taking rest, she could be talked to, understood all that was said, and recollected it afterwards. I remember on one occasion her describing her agony when, in a mesmeric state, she knew a wasp had settled on her nose, and yet was unable to move. It was partly distress for her sorrowing relations acting on one in whom the mind so acutely affected the body, which made my dear mother very ill this spring, with the usual trying symptoms of trembling, confusion, giddiness, and sleeplessness. On such occasions I sincerely believe I never had any thought but for her. Not only for hours, but for weeks I would sit constantly beside her, chafing her cold hands and feet, watching every symptom, ready to read if she could bear it, or to bring my thoughts and words into almost baby-language, if—as was sometimes the case—she could bear nothing else. But when she was ill, the dead silence at Lime or the uncongenial society from the Rectory was certainly more than usually depressing, and I was glad when, as at this Easter, her doctor sent her to Hastings. Here, in her rare better moments, I had great enjoyment in beginning to colour from nature on the rocks. On the day before I returned to Oxford, we received the Sacrament kneeling by the sick-bed of Priscilla Maurice,[82] whose sick-room, which she then never left, was facing the sea in White Rock Place. At this time I had not only an enthusiasm for religion, which in itself was worth very little, but was just beginning to be filled with a steady anxiety to fulfil all the nobler aims of life; and to have a contempt for that life of much preaching and little practice in which I had latterly lived at Southgate, teaching others while I made no effort to improve myself. In going to Oxford, from the set I lived in, the so-called moral temptations of Oxford life not only did not assail, but were invisible to me. I believe the very fact that I was always ready—far too ready—to speak my mind, made base men avoid me. My chief difficulty was to do any work; not to see my acquaintance at all hours of the day; not to shut up Sophocles in utter weariness of what I had so often read before, that I might go out to talk and laugh with those I liked. In fact, probably I should have done little or nothing at first, if the Schools, like the sword of Damocles, had not been hanging over my head—the Schools, which, as I wrote in my journal-book, had, for hundreds of years, probably seen more continuous trouble and misery than any other rooms in the world.


On my way to Oxford, I paid a first visit to Hugh Pearson,[83] afterwards my very dear friend, at Sonning Rectory near Reading, and also visited the old Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley of Alderley,[84] at Holmwood. Old Lady Stanley was then, as always, most formidable; but her daughters Rianette and Louisa were not afraid of her, and in the one afternoon I was there they had a violent dispute and quarrel, with very high words, over which of their dogs barked loudest.


"University College, Oxford, April 9, 1853.—It is from my own rooms, 'No. 2, Kitchen Staircase,' that I write to my mother—in a room long and narrow, with yellow beams across the ceiling, and a tall window at one end admitting dingy light, with a view of straight gravel-walks, and beds of cabbages and rhubarb in the Master's kitchen-garden. Here, for £32, 16s. 6d. I have been forced to become the owner of the last proprietor's furniture—curtains which drip with dirt, a bed with a ragged counterpane, a bleared mirror in a gilt frame, and some ugly mahogany chairs and tables. 'Your rooms might be worse, but your servant could not,' said Mr. Hedley when he brought me here.... How shy I have just felt in Hall, sitting through a dinner with a whole set of men I did not know and who never spoke to me."

"March 10.—The chapel-clock is in my bedroom, and woke me with its vibration every time it struck the hour. However, I suppose I shall get used to it. But I was up long before the scout came to call me at seven, and was in such fear of being late for chapel, that I was ten minutes too early, and had to walk about in the cold and stare at the extraordinary stained windows—Jonah and the whale swimming about side by side; Abraham dragging Isaac to the sacrifice by his hair; Mary and Martha attending upon Christ, each with a brass ladle in her hand, only that Mary holds hers suspended, and Martha goes on dipping hers in the pot while He is talking. At last the Master entered statelily, and the troop of undergraduates in black gowns and scholars in white ones came clattering in; and Mr. Hedley read the service, and we all responded, and a scholar read the lessons; and then there was a general rush into Quad, and a great shaking of hands, at which I, having no hand to shake, felt very blank, and escaped to my rooms, and afterwards to breakfast with Mr. Jowett.... I am to go to him every night with a hundred lines of Sophocles, some Latin composition, and a piece of Cicero by heart—a great addition to my eighteen lectures a week, but the greatest advantage; and really he could not have done a more true kindness: I do not know how to say enough of it.

"I wish I knew some one in this college. It is most disagreeable being stared at wherever one goes, and having no one to speak to, and though the Hall, with its high roof and pictures, may seem picturesque at first, solitude in society becomes a bore. Expenses appear to be endless. This morning I held a levée. First a sooty man with a black face poked his head in at the door with 'Coalman's fee, if you please, sir,—half-a-crown.' The buttery, represented by a boy in a white apron, came up next, and then the college porter and scouts, though as yet all these officials have done for me—nothing! A man who declared himself sole agent of an important magazine, and also a vendor of flannels and 'dressing-robes,' has also just called—'supposed he had the honour of addressing Mr. Hare, and would I for a moment favour him with my approval,' which I declined to do, when he thanked me for 'my great condescension' and departed."

"March 17.—I have now been a whole week here. It seems a life to look back upon, and I am becoming quite used to it. My first visitor was a man called Troutbeck. This was our conversation:—

"'I suppose you're fond of boating: we must have you down to the river and see what you're made of.'

"'But I don't boat: you would find me utterly inefficient.'

"'Then you ride?'


"'Do you sing, then?'

"'No, not at all.'

"'Do you play rackets?'

"'No, I neither boat, nor ride, nor sing, nor play rackets; so you will never have been to call upon a more hopelessly stupid Freshman.'

"However, I have made plenty of acquaintances already, and I do not see much of either the temptations or difficulties of college life. In some ways a college repeats a public school. For instance, I have made rather friends with a Canadian called Hamilton, who all dinner-time has to answer, and does answer most good-naturedly, such questions as—'Pray, are you going to Canada for the long?—When did you hear last from the Bishop of the Red River?' &c."

"April 23.—Having been induced, or rather compelled, to give a two-guinea subscription to the cricket club, I have just been asked to a great wine given to show that Coleridge the undergraduate is not the same as Coleridge the cricket collector. I have now to prepare Latin prose for the cynical Goldwin Smith, but my principal lectures are with Mr. Shadforth, a man who has the character of being universally beloved and having no authority at all. The undergraduates knock at his door and walk in. He sits at a table in the middle, they on cane-chairs all round the room, and his lecture is a desultory conversation—questions addressed to each individual in turn. But he dawdles and twaddles so much over details, we have generally done very little before the hour ends, when he says, 'I will not detain you any longer.' I doubt if there is much good in any of the lectures one attends, or anything to be learnt from them except what one teaches oneself; still they are part of the college routine, and so have to be pottered through.

"There is a high Romanistic club here, called the Alfred, whose members spend their time in passing ridiculous votes of censure on different individuals. They are much tormented, but have a pleasant imagination of martyrdom, and believe they are suffering for their faith. When they met at Merton, the men of the college put slates on the top of the chimney of the room where they were, and they were almost suffocated with smoke. Here they met to pass a vote of censure on—St. Augustine, and the whole time of their sitting in conclave cayenne-pepper was burnt through the keyhole; and when it was over, every window in the Quad along which they passed was occupied by a man with a jug of water; so you may imagine they were well soused before they got out.

"The Schools are going on now. They seem less alarming since I have heard that the man passed satisfactorily who construed Ιησομς Χριστος—Julius Cæsar, and also the man who, when asked why they broke the legs of the two thieves, said he supposed it was to prevent their running away. It was all put down to nervousness. Christ Church walks are now green with chestnut buds, and a pear-tree is putting out some blossoms in the Master's arid garden under my windows."

"May 1.—I am writing at half-past six A.M., for at four o'clock I got up, roused Milligan[85] (now my chief friend and companion), and we went off to Magdalen. A number of undergraduates were already assembled, and when the door was opened, we were all let through one by one, and up the steep winding staircase to the platform amid the pinnacles on the top of the tower. Here stood the choristers and chaplains in a space railed off, with bare heads, and white surplices waving in the wind. It was a clear morning, and every spire in Oxford stood out against the sky, the bright young green of the trees mingling with them. Below was a vast crowd, but in the high air the silence seemed unbroken, till the clock struck five, and then, as every one took off their caps, the choristers began to sing the Latin hymn, a few voices softly at first, and then a full chorus bursting in. It was really beautiful, raised above the world on that great height, in the clear atmosphere of the sky. As the voices ceased, the bells began, and the tower rocked so that you could see it swaying backwards and forwards. Milligan and I walked round Magdalen walks afterwards, and when my scout found me dressed on coming to call me, he asked if I had been 'out a-Maying.' Yesterday afternoon I rowed with Milligan on the river to Godstowe. It was so shallow, that if we had upset, which was exceedingly probable, we could have walked to shore."

"May 4.—I have now become a regular visitor at the lodging-house of the Mendicity Society, which means taking my turn in going every evening for a week to receive the beggars who come with tickets, and reading prayers to them, besides giving them their supper, and noting any remarkable cases which need help. It is a strange congregation of wild haggard people, chiefly Irish, probably meeting for that one evening only on earth, and one feels anxious to do them some good.

"I went the other day with Troutbeck[86]—a friend of whom I see much—to Bagley Wood, where he sang old ballads under the trees upon a bank of bluebells and primroses. I have many friends now, and I never was happier in my life."

"May 22.—I am in the Schools to-morrow for Little-go, having insisted on going in, in spite of my tutors. I do not feel as if I minded much, but some of my friends are so alarmed about themselves that they can scarcely eat."

"May 23.—This morning the School-yard was full of men in white ties and Masters in hoods, friends catching friends for last words of advice, &c. Then the doors of the four Schools opened, and we poured in. The room where I was was full of little tables, and we each had one to ourselves. Then a Don walked about distributing the long printed papers to be filled up—arithmetic, chiefly decimals. At first I felt as if I understood nothing, and I saw several of my neighbours wringing their hands in the same despair which overwhelmed myself, but gradually ideas dawned upon me, and I wrote as fast as any one, and had only one question unanswered when we went out at twelve. In the afternoon was the Euclid school—very horrid, but I am certainly not plucked by to-day's work."

"May 30.—You will rejoice to hear I am safe. Just as I was preparing to decamp this morning, to be out of the way of the authorities, I was caught by the Dean's messenger, and was obliged to go to him. He began by saying he could not allow me to go into the Schools, both my friends and the college would suffer; but I so entreated, and declared, and exclaimed that I must go in, that I would be careful, &c., that at last, as his breakfast was getting quite cold, he gave in.

"I had translations of Sophocles and Virgil to do on paper, but it was not till the afternoon that 'Mr. Hare' was called for viva voce. I really did pretty well, and as one of the examiners considerately growled whenever I was turning down a wrong path, I was able to catch up my faults. Mr. Jowett was present amongst my friends, and as soon as all was over, carried me off to walk in New College Gardens; and when we came back, it was he who went in to ask my fate. He came back to me radiant with my testamur, and I am very happy in the restful feeling of its being over, and no other examination for so long.

"I have just been electro-biologised in the most marvellous manner by the power of Troutbeck's left eye! by which he is able to mesmerise friends far away in their own rooms, and can make a fellow called Barrow[87] clairvoyant, in which state he travels to Rugby, and other places where he has never been, and accurately describes all that is going on there."

"June 6.—Commemoration has been most amusing—concerts, flower-shows, &c. The procession of boats was really a beautiful sight—all the college boats, with their different flags and uniforms, moving slowly up between the banks crowded with people, and saluting the University barge by raising their oars and holding them straight up in the air as they passed."

All through my first year at Oxford, Mr. Jowett (afterwards Master of Balliol) continued to show me the utmost kindness, giving me extra work, and allowing me to bring the result to him in the evening. I had been so much neglected at Lyncombe, and so ill-grounded altogether in my boyhood, that my passing all my examinations successfully was probably owing to this generous action of his. Honours at Oxford, even in the History School, I never thought of. My mother would only have wondered what on earth I wanted them for, and, had I gained them, would have lamented them as terribly ensnaring. I was profoundly grateful to Mr. Jowett, but being constantly asked to breakfast alone with him was a terrible ordeal. Sometimes he never spoke at all, and would only walk round the room looking at me with unperceiving, absent eyes as I ate my bread and butter, in a way that, for a very nervous boy, was utterly terrific. Walking with this kind and silent friend was even worse: he scarcely ever spoke, and if, in my shyness, I said something at one milestone, he would make no response at all till we reached the next, when he would say abruptly, "Your last observation was singularly commonplace," and relapse into silence again. He was indeed truly "intermittent," as Swinburne has called him. His quaint brevity of speech was never more remarkable than when the Council, met in solemn conclave, summoned "the little heretic," as he used to be called, into its awful presence. Then, being asked, "Now, Mr. Jowett, answer the truth; can you sign the Thirty-nine Articles?" he dumbfoundered them with—"If you've a little ink!" He could be very satirical. I remember, in after years, when Jex Blake, afterwards Dean of Wells, had been talking very prosily, he said, "I have long known that Law comes from Lex, but I never knew till now that Jaw comes from Jex."

On looking back through the mists of years, I am often surprised at the acquaintance whose society I sought during my first terms at Oxford, few of whom, except my dear friends Willie Milligan and George Sheffield,[88] have had any share in my after life. This was partly owing to the fact that the men who were at University in my time for the most part belonged to so entirely different a station in life, that our after paths were not likely to cross; and partly to the fact that those who had any mental gifts—for most of my companions had none—were repulsive or disagreeable in their habits.

Milligan was the first real friend I had ever had; before that, if I had liked any one, they had never liked me, and vice versa. It was always "l'un qui baisse, et l'autre qui tend la joue."

Very odd and far less satisfactory were others of my early Oxford friendships. One was for a man who imposed upon those younger than himself by a sort of apathetic high-handed manner of his own, and whom, when he professed a great preference for me, I used to look up to as a sort of divinity. Many were the almost volumes of sentimental twaddle I wrote both to and about him, and I used to listen for his footstep on my staircase as the great event of the evening. But all this soon wore off, and when my idol was once dethroned from its pedestal, it became a contemptible object.

An odder friendship still, made in my early Oxford life, was that for a good-looking, sentimental, would-be poet. Of him I wrote home with heartfelt enthusiasm, and at length, though I had never before asked anything at home, took courage to persuade my mother to let me go abroad with him to Bohemia for part of the long vacation. Before we set out he came to stay with us at Hurstmonceaux, and greatly astonished my relations must have been to find my charming young man so utterly unlike what I had described him. But we had scarcely set out on our travels before I found it out for myself—the first discovery being made when he pronounced Cologne Cathedral "very pretty" and S. Aposteln "very nice."


"Andernach am Rhein, June 30, 1853.—I was delighted when we rounded the corner of the river below Rheinach, and the old tower of Andernach came in sight, with the cathedral, and the vineyard-clad hills behind. The whole place is delightful. In the evening we rambled up the rocks over carpets of thyme and stonecrop, and saw the last tinge of yellow pass away from the sky behind the cathedral and the light fade out of the river. All along the road are stone niches with sculptures of the 'Sept Douleurs,' and as we came in through the dark orchards a number of children were chaunting with lighted tapers before a gaudy image of a saint in a solitary place overshadowed by trees."

"July 2.—This morning we went out at five, meeting crowds of peasants coming in to market with their cheerful 'Guten Tag.' I sate to draw at the Convent of St. Thomas in a rose-garden, while A. read Hallam. At twelve, we drove through the volcanic hills, covered with the loveliest flowers—blue larkspur, marigolds, asphodels, campanulas, and great tufts of crimson pinks—to the Laacher See, a deep blue lake, once the crater of a volcano, in a wooded basin of the hills. It still sends forth such noxious vapours that no bird can fly across it and live, and dead bodies of small animals are constantly found along its shores. At one end of the lake, Kloster Laach rises out of the woods, with a little inn nestling in an orchard close under the walls of the church. The exterior of that old Norman church is most beautiful, mellowed with every tint of age, but internally it is disfigured by whitewash; only the canopied tomb of the Phaltzgraf Henry II. is very curious. We were so delighted with the place, that we sent away the carriage and spent the evening by the lake, which was all alive with fireflies, darting in and out with their little burdens of light amongst the trees. In the morning we walked back to Andernach, which was quite possible, as I had no luggage but a comb and a pair of scissors."

"Limbourg on Lahn, July 3.—What a tiresome diligence-drive we have had from Coblentz here through endless forests, but we were well repaid as we descended upon Limbourg. Our apathetic German fellow-travellers were roused to 'wunderschön,' 'wunderliebliche,' and even A. gave one glance and faintly emitted the word 'pretty.' The view from the bridge is glorious. A precipitous rock rises out of the flats, with the Lahn rushing beneath, and all up one side the picturesque old black and white houses of the town, while growing out of the bare rock, its front almost on the precipice, like Durham, towers the magnificent cathedral, one of the oldest in Germany, abounding in all those depths and contrasts of colour which make the old German churches so picturesque—each window having its different moulding of blue, yellow, and red stone: and reflected in the clear water beneath. In the evening we walked to the neighbouring village of Dietz—a long rambling street of old houses, with the castle of Oranienstein overhanging them; and a wonderful ruined bridge, with the river dashing triumphantly through broken arches and over towers which have fallen into the stream."

"Marbourg, July 6.—We came in the diligence from Limbourg with an emigrant family returning home from America, and words cannot describe their ecstasies as we drew near Weilbourg and they recognised every place as a scene of childhood. 'Oh, look! there is the school! there is the hedge under which we used to have our breakfast!' The noble old castle of Weilbourg, on a precipice above the grey bridge over the Lahn, is very striking. The German waiter at the inn asked with great gravity if we admired it more than 'the castled crag of Drachenfels.' The endless forest scenery afterwards was only varied by the huge castle of Braunfels, till a long avenue brought us into the town of Wetzlar, which has a great red sandstone and golden-lichened cathedral, with a grim and grand Norman door called the Heidenthurm. At Giessen we joined the railway for Marbourg, and the clock which is now striking nine A.M. is that of St. Elizabeth![89]

"The Church of St. Elizabeth is almost out of the town; a rambling street of old timber houses reaches down to it, but its golden-grey spires have nothing between them and the dark forest. Inside, the grove of red sandstone pillars is quite unspoilt by images or altars: one beautiful figure of St. Elizabeth stands in a niche against a pillar of the nave, and that is all. In the transept is the 'heilige Mausoleum.' Its red steps are worn away by the pilgrims: the tomb is covered with faded gold and vermilion; on its canopy are remains of fresco-painting, and within is a beautiful sleeping figure of Elizabeth. All around are grey monuments of the Landgraves, her predecessors, standing upright against the walls. The choir opens into the sacristy, where is the golden shrine of the saint. As we reached it, a pilgrim was just emerging, deeply solemnised by a tête-à-tête with her bones. In her daughter's tomb the face is quite worn away by the hands of the pilgrims. The tomb of Conrad, her confessor, is there also. The sacristan unlocked a great chest to show us Bible tapestry worked by the hands of the saint. Some of the old pictures in the church portrayed the flight from the Wartburg, and St. Elizabeth washing the feet of the lepers: all reminded me of the stories you used to read to me as a very little child out of the great book at the Rectory.

"We went from the grave of St. Elizabeth to her palace—the great castle of Marbourg, seen far and wide over the country and overhanging the town, with a vast view over the blue-green billows of Thuringian pine-forest. The castle is divided into two parts, and you may imagine its size on hearing that 276 soldiers are now quartered in one of them. A guide, who knew nothing of either Luther or St. Elizabeth, except that they were both 'ganz heilige,' let us into the chapel where Luther preached, and the Ritter Saale, an old vaulted chamber where he met Zwingli and discussed Transubstantiation."

"Erfurth, July 8.—It is a delightful walk to the Wartburg from Eisenach. A winding path through a fir-wood leads to an opening whence you look across a valley to a hill crowned with a worn gateway, something like one of the gates of Winchelsea. In the intervening hollow some stone steps lead to a dark gap in the wood, where is the fountain of St. Elizabeth under a grey archway with sculptured pillars and overgrown with ferns. The water here is excluded from the public as too holy for common use, but a little is let out for the people into a stone basin below. By the side is a stone seat, where it is said that Elizabeth used to wash herself.

"Again a narrow path edged with blue campanulas, and then the grey arch of the castle-gateway. You look down at the side, and half-way down the gorge you see a little plot of ground called 'Luther's Garden.'

"The Wartburg is much like an English farmhouse. If Priest's Hawse[90] was perched on the top of a mountain, it would resemble it. It has an irregular court, of which rugged rock is the pavement, surrounded with scattered buildings, some black and white, and some castellated. The latter, which have two rows of Norman arches and pillars and a kind of keep-tower at the end, were the palace of the Landgraves and Elizabeth. The whole was full of women and guides, geese, chickens, and dogs. We had some time to wait in a room, where we were refreshed with 'lemonade' made of raspberries, before we were shown over the castle—the most interesting points being the chapel with Luther's pulpit, and the room of his conflict with the devil, full of old pictures and furniture, but with nothing which can be relied upon as contemporary except his table and a stone which he used as a foot-stool. When he threw the inkstand at the devil, the ink made a tremendous splash upon the wall, but there is no trace of it now: the relic collectors have scraped the wall away down to the bare stones.

"At the last moment at Eisenach I could not resist rushing out to sketch 'Conrad Cotta's House,' where you have so often described how Ursula Cotta first found the little Martin Luther singing hymns.

"The heat here at Erfurth is so great that I have been in a state of perpetual dissolution. It is a dull town with a great cathedral, and another church raised high above the market-place and approached by long flights of steps. The Waisenhaus is an orphan institution occupying the Augustinian convent where Luther lived as a monk. All there is the same as in his time—the floors he used to sweep, the doors he had to open, and the courtyard filled with flowers and surrounded by wooden galleries. A passage lined with pictures from the Dance of Death leads to the cells. Luther's cell is a tiny chamber with a window full of octagonal glass, and walls covered with texts: two sides were written by himself. The furniture is the same, and even the inkstand from which I had to write my name, while the woman who showed me the place mentioned that the pens were not the same, for Luther's pens were worn out long ago! There is a portrait by Cranach and writing of the three friends, Luther, Bugenhagen, and Melancthon.

"A. cannot speak a word of German, and never knows what to do on the simplest occasion, loses everything, is always late for the train, cannot pack his things up, will not learn the money, and has left every necessary of life at home and brought the most preposterous things with him."

"Dresden, July 11.—We have seen a number of places on the way here. In the old cathedral of Naumbourg is a fine Cranach picture of St. Elizabeth, with the Wartbourg above her head and the Marbourg church at her feet. In the cathedral of Mersebourg is a most extraordinary picture of the Electoral family of Saxe-Mersebourg receiving the dead Christ and bearing him to the sepulchre. The family became extinct in 1738, and they all lie in the crypt under the church in the order in which they lived, in coffins covered with vermilion and gold, the little children in front and the grown people behind. Above, is the tomb of the Emperor Rudolph of Swabia, and in the sacristy they put into my hand a thing which I thought was a hand carved in oak, but found it was his own real hand, cut off in 1080!

"Dresden announces itself by four black-looking domes and towers above the flat horizon and then by the many arches of the long Elbe bridge. It is very like a little—a very little Paris; the same rows of tall white houses with green shutters: the same orange and lime trees filling the air with their sweetness: only the river is different, so gigantic and so bright. A broad flight of steps took us to the stately Bruhl terrace above the river—golden in the sunset. At the end an odd-looking building with a dome turned out to be a Jewish synagogue, and we went in. One old Jew in his hat dropped in after another, till at last one of them put on a white muslin shawl, and going up to a desk where the altar should be, began bobbing his head up and down and quacking like a duck. Then another in a corner, standing with his face close to the wall, quacked also at intervals, and then all the rest chimed in, till it was exactly like a farmyard. But no words can say how ridiculous it eventually became, when they all burst out into choruses which sounded like 'Cack a lack-lack-lack. Oh Jeremiah! Jeremiah! Oh Noah's ark, Noah's ark! Cack a lack-lack-lack, lack, lack: loo, loo, loo.' All the little black Wellington boots stamping on the floor together, and all the long white beards bobbing up and down, and giving an audible thump on the table at every bob.... And not the least absurd part was that they seemed to think our presence a compliment, at least they all bowed when we went out."

"Schona on Elbe, July 16.—We left Dresden by the steamer—the last view of the town very striking, with the broad flood of the Elbe sweeping through a line of palaces. At Pirna we left the boat, and a long walk through hot fields brought us to the entrance of the Ottowalder Gründ. A flight of steps leads into a chasm, with high rocks towering all round and the most brilliant and varied greens beneath. In one place the narrow path is crossed by a natural arch; then it winds up again through masses of forest and deep rocky glens, till it emerges on the top of the Bastei.

"I was disappointed with the Bastei, which is like a scene on the Wye rather exaggerated. You look over a precipice of seven hundred feet, and see all around rocks equally high shooting straight up skywards in every conceivable and inconceivable form—pillars, pyramids, cones: and up all of them fir-trees cling and scramble, and bright tufts of bilberries hang where no human hand can ever gather their fruit. There are bridges between some of the rocks, and they support fragments of castles of the robbers who used to infest the Elbe, and, beyond the river, all the distant hills rise in columnar masses of equal irregularity. After dining at the little inn, we walked on to Königstein, a fortress which has never been taken, large enough to hold the whole population of Dresden. Here a tremendous thunderstorm rolled with grand effect around the mountain. There is a terrible parapet overhanging the precipice, where a page fell asleep, and was awakened by one of the Electors firing a pistol close to his ear to break him of the habit. A long path through bilberry thickets brought us to the station, and we took the train to Schandau, where we slept—very glad to go to bed at ten, having been on foot since 4 A.M.

"This morning we took a carriage for the first eight miles up the valley of the Raven's Crag, and walked on to the Kuhl-stuhl. In the very top of the hill the rock has made a huge natural arch, which leads to an otherwise inaccessible platform overhanging the valleys. The peasants drove their cattle here for protection in the Thirty Years' War, whence the name of Kuhl-stuhl, and hither the Bohemian Protestants fled for refuge. There is a natural slit in the rock, with a staircase to an upper platform, which was the refuge of the women, but only a thin woman could reach this place of safety.

"Forest again, ever deeper and darker—and no human life but a few women gathering faggots with bare arms and legs, till we reached the Jagd-Haus on the promontory of the Lesser Winterberg, where Schiller's name is cut, with others, in the mossy stone. Forest and bilberries again to the hotel on the Greater Winterberg, where we dined on mountain florellen and strawberries and cranberries. Forest, ever the same, to the Prebischthor, a natural arch projecting over an abyss, splendid in light and shadow, and altogether the finest scene in the Saxon Switzerland ... then a descent to Schona. We found it easy to accomplish in a day and a half that for which Murray allots four days."

"Prague, July 17.—All through the night we travelled in a railway carriage with twenty-two windows and eighty inmates. Dawn broke on a flat country near the Moldau. At last a line of white wall crowned a distant hill. Then, while an Austrian official was collecting passports, railway and river alike made a turn, and a chain of towers, domes, and minarets appeared above the waving cornfields, one larger than the others—the citadel of Prague!

"What a poem the town is!—the old square of the Grosse Ring, where the beautiful delicately-sculptured Rathhaus and church look down upon a red marble fountain, ever surrounded by women with pitchers, in tall white caps: the streets of Bohemian palaces, with gigantic stone figures guarding the doors: the bridge, with statues of saints bending inwards from every pier, and the huge Hradschin palace on the hill beyond, with the cathedral in its midst: the gloomy precipice from which the Amazonian Queen Libessa hurled down her lovers one by one as she got tired of them: the glorious view from the terrace of the Hradschin, recalling pictures of the view from the Pincio at Rome: the wonderful tombs of the Bohemian kings, and the silver chandeliers and red lights before the shrine of St. John Nepomuck in the cathedral."

"July 18.—On Sunday afternoon we were at the Jewish synagogue, the oldest building here—older than Prague itself, and now only used on the Day of Atonement and other great occasions. It is quite in the midst of the Jews' quarter, which is entirely given up to them, and inside it is black with age, its gothic pillars looming out of a coating of soot and smoke, never allowed to be cleared away. The centre was spread with draperies of cloth of gold and silver. On the platform within them was the chief Rabbi, a venerable man with a white beard which swept over his brown robe as far as his waist. 'He is wonderfully learned,' whispered my neighbour to me. 'He understands every language in the whole world, and as for English he speaks it as well as an Englishman.' At last there was a bustle in the crowd, and a young woman made her way through, enveloped in a very curious ancient hood of worked gold, and several very smart ladies crowded up after her: we followed. Then the priest shouted in Hebrew so that the little building rang again, and the Rabbi took a little silver cup of oil and—I think—anointed the lady, and a service followed in which all the people responded electrically as if a bell were struck; but it was not till we came out that I found the lady in the golden hood had been—married.

"We went afterwards to the Jewish burial-ground—a wide rambling expanse in the heart of the town, literally crammed with tombstones, falling one over the other, and, between them, old gnarled elder-trees growing fantastically. The cemetery has been twice emptied!—and filled again. On one of the graves a young Jewess was lying, evidently very ill. 'You see,' said the old woman who let us into the cemetery, 'that the Rabbi who is buried there was so good when he was alive, that when all the other people were rooted up, they left him and his wife alone; and his good works live on so much, that sick persons are often brought here to lie upon his grave, in the hope of their being cured.'

"One of a knot of palaces in the Kleinsite was Wallenstein's. Here, one room is hung with artificial stalactites: in another are portraits of Wallenstein and his second wife, and the charger which was shot under him at Lützen, stuffed—but only the body remains of the original horse, the head and legs have been eaten up by moths and renewed! The garden is charming, with an aviary of peacocks.

"A. has been twice threatened with arrest for persisting in wearing a wide-awake in the streets, for at present it is a revolutionary emblem! At first he insisted on putting it on again, but the second attack has been too much for his fortitude. Just now I was roused by his shrieks, and reached his room just in time to see a large black sheep emerge from under his bed!—it had walked in from the market by the open galleries and had taken refuge there."

"Bamberg, July 23.—We came here by Dresden and Saxe-Altenberg, with its charming old castle. Near Hof the engine burst, doing us no harm, but keeping us for hours sitting on the grassy railway bank till another engine arrived, so that we did not get here till 3 A.M. The cathedral is glorious. Only imagine my having found Baron and Baroness von Usedom in the hotel, and the next morning Lady Malcolm and her two daughters arrived—most kind, most amusing—and Madame von Usedom most extraordinary. She received me with 'You're wonderfully like your sister, and she is very beautiful,' so that's a compliment!"

"July 28.—We have had another vision of loveliness at Nuremberg. One became quite weary of saying, 'Oh! how beautiful! how beautiful!' But no letter can give an idea of what Nuremberg is—'The German Venice' Madame d'Usedom called it. And Albert Dürer is a part of the place: whenever I see his woodcuts again at the Rectory, they will bring back the town to me—where his house is, and his pictures, his statue, and most of all his grave, in a cemetery full of hollyhocks and lilies."

We came home by Augsburg, Ulm, and Heidelberg, and then through France via Chalons and Rheims. In thinking of present expenses (1895), I often marvel at the cheapness of the long tour we had made. We had seen the greater part of Germany and much of France, had travelled for six weeks, and travelled in comfort, and, including journeys to and from the coast of England, we could each have spent only £25, for we had no more to spend. I joined my mother at Ashburton Vicarage, near Dartmoor, whence we saw "Wistman's Wood"—that wonderful stunted grove of immemorial oak-trees in the midst of the moors. On our way home we went to stay with Miss Boyle[91] at Portishead. It was my mother's first sight of her, and she was much struck by that extraordinary person, for whom at that time I had an almost passionate devotion, and who had unfortunately just become notorious through her appearance—being subpœnaed on the wrong side—at the trial of the false Sir Hugh Smith, the claimant of Ashton Court. This trial created a tremendous excitement at the time, and the decision was nearly given in favour of the claimant. His wife, a daughter of De Wint the artist, had already ordered the carriage in which she was to make a triumphal entry, when the cause suddenly collapsed through the evidence of a jeweller who had been employed to forge a brooch upon which much of importance depended.

The Bishop of St. David's, Thirlwall, was staying at the Rectory when I was at home. Excellent as he was, I was horribly afraid of him, for a more repellent, freezing manner than his I never saw. I hated the Rectory now more than ever, but was more than ever devoted to Lime. What a vision I have now of its quietude in those hot summer days, only the wind whispering in the old abele-trees and rippling the waves upon the pool, and of the fresh morning smell of the pinks and roses and syringa, bowed down by the heavy dew. Our intensely quiet life would have suited few young men, but when my dear mother was well, and the Rectory not too aggressive, I was always happy. Each day was a routine. Called by our fat John at seven, when Fausty's black nose was poked in my face, I woke to see the sun shining on the little pictures on the wall and the old-fashioned china ornaments, and to hear Joe Cornford whetting his scythe on the lawn under the windows. I was downstairs before my mother appeared in her lilac dress to breakfast and prayers. Then we walked on the terrace. I read—first aloud to her, then to myself—then went with her round the field and to the girls' school. At one was dinner; at half-past two we drove out—Fausty with us. Then my mother lay on the sofa and I read: then came our tea-supper, and I read aloud again, and mother sang such old songs as "Hohenlinden," "Lord Ullin's Daughter," "Auld Robin Gray," or the Russian "Pojalite." Then, after prayers, I helped her upstairs, and, at her little round table, she would say a little short prayer with or for me out of her own heart, and I came down to write till the melancholy sound of the mice in the wainscot drove me to bed also. On my return to Oxford in October, I published in "The Penny Post" my first story—"The Good Landgravine," about Elizabeth of Thuringia—quite as important to me then as the publication of one of my large books is now—and I obtained ten shillings for it with great pride! I had much pleasure in a visit from Arthur Stanley this term, and Mr. Jowett—"the great Balliol tutor"—continued his kindness and his voluntary lessons to me, though I must often sorely have tried his patience. I was, no doubt, a terrible little prig, and I have just found, amongst old letters, a very kind one from him, written in the vacation, urging me to make an effort to conquer "my conceit, which was not vanity, but a constant restlessness about myself."[92] Jowett was—tiresome perhaps, in some ways, but—one of the most unselfish persons I have ever known. By his own life, as in his sermons, he constantly inculcated disinterestedness, sympathy, and the love of God. The Christian doctrines of the Incarnation, Resurrection, &c., he utterly ignored, out of the pulpit as in it, and I believe Arthur Stanley quite agreed with him in his heart, though he had not quite "the courage of his opinions."

"Reading men" used to congratulate me upon my intimacy with Jowett, little knowing of how admonitory a nature were all his conversations with me. Amongst the freshmen of the term were two with whom I became great friends afterwards. One was Frederick Forsyth Grant,[93] whom we always called "Kyrie," because when he went to spend the long vacation at Athens (of all places in the world), he was called from his generosity "Kyrie Dora"—the lord of gifts. The other was a peculiarly boyish-looking fellow, with a remarkably lithe, graceful figure, and a little Skye-terrier to which he was devoted. I remember the shy longing I had to make friends with him, and my first visit after dinner—finding him drinking coffee with his little dog by his side: it was George Sheffield, my constant friend afterwards for very many years.


"University College, Nov. 18, 1853.—This morning I was asked to breakfast with the Master, whose courteous placidity is such that he looks as if turmoil, contradiction, and reform could never approach him. He received us kindly but very solemnly, with an old Miss Plumptre in a rich satin gown by his side. There was an awful pause at first, while we stood in a row, and the Master and his sister addressed an observation in turn to each of us, never going out of the regular line. At breakfast I thought they talked pleasantly, though the others pronounced it 'very flat.' When he considered we had stayed long enough, the Master[94] pulled out his watch and said, holding it in his hand, 'Good-bye, Mr. Gregson,' when Mr. Gregson felt he must get up and walk out, and we all followed. The Masters of colleges are really almost nonentities, but have an absurd idea of their own dignity. The Provost of Oriel the other day wrote—'The Provost of Oriel[95] presents his compliments to the Dean of Christ Church,[96] and wishes to know what time the examination will be;' and in answer was snubbed by 'Alexander the Great presents his compliments to Alexander the Coppersmith, and informs him that he knows nothing about it.'

"I breakfasted the other day at Wadham with a most extraordinary man called R., whose arms and legs all straggle away from his body, and who holds up his hands like a kangaroo. His oddities are a great amusement to his friends, who nevertheless esteem him. One day a man said to him, 'How do you do, R.?' and he answered, 'Quite well, thank you.' Imagine the man's astonishment at receiving next day a note—'Dear Sir, I am sorry to tell you that I have been acting a deceptive part. When I told you yesterday that I was quite well, I had really a headache: this has been upon my conscience ever since.' The man was extremely amused, and showed the letter to a friend, who, knowing R.'s frailties, said to him, 'Oh R., how could you act so wrongly as to call Mr. Burton "Dear Sir"—thereby giving him the impression that you liked him, when you know that you dislike him extremely?' So poor R. was sadly distressed, and a few days later Mr. Burton received the following:—'Burton, I am sorry to trouble you again, but I have been shown that, under the mask of friendship, I have been for the second time deceiving you: by calling you dear sir, I may have led you to suppose I liked you, which I never did, and never can do. I am, Burton, yours &c.!'"

The winter of 1853 was a very sad one. I found my dearest mother very feeble and tottering, and it was a constant grief to me to see the patient, worn look of illness in her forehead as she leant back in her chair. She would occupy herself, however, as usual in cutting out clothes for the poor, saying that her own sufferings from the cold forbade her not trying to prevent theirs. I scarcely ever ventured to leave her for a moment as long as we stayed at home, always inventing an excuse to walk behind her whenever she went upstairs, for fear she should suddenly fall. On the 20th of December, the Stanleys being absent at Canterbury, we went up to their empty house in Grosvenor Crescent. Here the winter was much preferable to that at Lime, and on the whole my mother suffered less; but my life was that of a constant sicknurse, scarcely ever away from her. When I was, I generally went in the dusk to the National Gallery—too late to see the pictures, but I liked to wander about in the almost empty rooms, and to feel that they were there, and knowing no one in London myself, to make imaginary histories about the one or two figures which still lingered, finding the same odd refuge as myself from the turmoil of the town. In reading my journal of this winter, I can recall the days of intense anguish I went through, seeing before me, as I thought, the realisation of Dr. Chapman's verdict that softening of the brain had definitely set in for my dearest mother. As the year closed in gloom, I looked forward with terror to what the next would bring, to the probability of not having another year to surround her with my love, to ward off every sorrow. Whilst conscious that my character had certainly expanded under the happier life I had been leading at Oxford, and that the interests of my friends there had become as near my heart as my own, I realised that all I could be and do for my own mother was no mere duty, it was the outpouring of my whole soul; for I did not entertain an angel unawares. At the New Year my mother's attacks increased; often she was unable to see and became almost unconscious. Yet by the 21st of January she had rallied so much that I was able to return in tolerable comfort to Oxford.


"University College, Jan. 22, 1854.—My dearest mother will often have thought of her child in his college home: and how often have I thought of my own mother, and longed to be by her to watch and take care of her still. I feel the blank on the staircase, now my hand has nothing to do in helping you. It is a comfort that you have plenty of nurses to take care of you; but the great comfort of all is that you now no longer want me.

"I have new rooms now in the 'New Buildings.' They are not very large, but the sitting-room has the charm of a beautiful oriel window overhanging the High Street, with a cushioned seat all round and a small writing-table in the middle: and the view is delightful."

I think it was during the Easter vacation of this year that a day of national humiliation was appointed on the outbreak of the Crimean War. Severely indeed was the fast-day observed at Hurstmonceaux. At Lime we had nothing to eat but bread, and for dinner some boiled sea-kale, a vegetable which I have ever since associated with that time; and I have a vivid remembrance of the serio-comic face of our butler, John Gidman, when we were ushered into the dining-room, with the table laid out as usual, and, when the covers were taken off, only that amount of food was displayed. In theory Aunt Esther was always urging the duty not only of a saintly, but of an ascetic life, and it was not her fault that the only cell where she could herself carry out in practice her austere views was an orange-scented library lined with rare folios or precious works of art.

This, the second year of my Oxford life, was very enjoyable. Not intending to read for honours, for which I had no ambition (as my mother, unlike many parents, would have had no pleasure whatever in my obtaining them, but, on the contrary, would have regarded them as a most undesirable "snare"), I had plenty of time for other things, and pursued those studies of French, Italian, History, and Archæology which have been far more really useful to me than any amount of Latin and Greek. My devotion to George Sheffield showed itself, amongst other ways, in writing a story every week, which was presented to him on Sunday. Many of these stories, though I forget them, must, I now believe, have been rather interesting. Lady Sheffield used to keep them, and, as they all referred to things and people long past, George and I used to make schemes of publishing them some day in a black cover adorned with a white skull and cross-bones, under the title of "Dead Dust,"—an idea which, I am thankful to say, was never carried out. With Troutbeck and Duckworth I used to attend and make copious notes of the lectures of Professor Philips on Geology, which sometimes assumed a peripatetic form.


"Oxford, June 9, 1854.—At half-past ten yesterday, Troutbeck, Duckworth, Bowden, and I, met the Professor and twenty-eight fellow-geologists at the station. The Professor was dressed in a queer old brown suit, and we were all armed with hammers, and baskets to carry provisions and bring back fossils. We took the train to Handbro', on the outskirts of Blenheim Park, and no sooner arrived there than the Professor, followed by his whole lecture, rushed up the railway bank, where he delivered a thrilling discourse on terrebratulæ, which are found in that place, and for which we all grubbed successfully immediately afterwards. And in that extraordinary manner we perambulated the country all day—getting on a few yards, and then stopping to hear a lecture on some stone the Professor had spied in the hedge, or which one of the party had picked up in the road. Greatly did we astonish the villages we passed through. 'What be's you all come professionising about, zur?' said one old man to me. We had luncheon in the remains of a Roman villa with mosaics."

"In the evening we went to the Professor's 'Soiree.' Here I found it much more amusing to listen to his sister's discourse about 'poor dear Buckland—my friends Whewell and Sedgwick—my dear friend Faraday—my very celebrated uncle, and my also celebrated brother,' than to attend to the Professor himself, who was exhibiting photographs of the scenery and geology of the moon."

Amongst the remarkable persons whom I frequently saw in my earlier Oxford life was the venerable Dr. (Martin Joseph) Routh, President of Magdalen, born 1755, who died in 1854, in his hundredth year. He would describe his mother as having known a lady who had met Charles II. walking round the parks at Oxford with his dogs. He had himself seen Dr. Johnson "scrambling up the steps of University." In him I myself saw a man of the type of Dr. Johnson, and of much the same dress, and even ponderous manner of speaking. I remember Goldwin Smith once asking him how he did, and his replying, "I am suffering, sir, from a catarrhal cold, which, however, sir, I take to be a kind provision of Nature to relieve the peccant humours of the system." His recollections of old Oxford extended naturally over the most immense period. Sir George Dasent has told me that the President once asked him, "Did you ever hear, sir, of Gownsman's Gallows?"—"No, Mr. President."—"What, sir, do you tell me, sir, that you never heard of Gownsman's Gallows? Why, I tell you, sir, that I have seen two undergraduates hanged on Gownsman's Gallows in Holywell—hanged, sir, for highway robbery."

A few years before the President's death, when he was at Ewelme, his living in the country, his butler became insane and had to be sent away. When he was leaving, he begged to see the President once more, "to ask his blessing," as he said. The President received him in the garden, where the man, stooping as if to kiss his hand, bit it—bit a piece out of it. "How did you feel, Mr. President," said Sir G. Dasent afterwards, "when the man bit your hand?"—"Why, at first, sir," said the President, "I felt considerably alarmed; for I was unaware, sir, what proportion of human virus might have been communicated by the bite; but in the interval of reaching the house, I was convinced that the proportion of virus must have been very small indeed: then I was at rest, but, sir, I had the bite cauterised." It was often observed of Dr. Routh that he never appeared on any occasion without his canonicals, which he wore constantly. Some ill-disposed undergraduates formed a plan which should force him to break this habit, and going under his window at midnight, they shouted "Fire." The President appeared immediately and in the most terrible state of alarm, but in full canonicals.

It was only forty-eight hours before Dr. Routh died that his powers began to fail. He ordered his servants to prepare rooms for a Mr. and Mrs. Cholmondeley, who had been long since dead, and then they felt sure the end was come. They tried to get him upstairs to bed, but he struggled with the banisters as with an imaginary enemy. He then spoke of pedigrees, and remarked that a Mr. Edwards was descended from two royal families: he just murmured something about the American war, and then he expired. He left his widow very ill provided for, but the college gave her a handsome income.

On reaching home in the summer of 1854, all the anxieties of the previous winter about my mother's health were renewed. She was utterly incapable of either any physical or any mental effort, and my every minute was occupied in an agony of watchfulness over her. I felt then, as so often since, that the only chance of her restoration was from the elasticity of foreign air, and then, as so often since, was my misery and anxiety increased by the cruel taunts of my aunts, who protested that I was only trying to drag her away from home, at a sacrifice to her comfort, from a most selfish desire for my own amusement. However, when a short stay at Southborough and Eastbourne seemed rather to increase than cure the malady, the absolute decision of her doctor caused the talked-of journey to be accomplished, and we set out for Switzerland, accompanied by Charlotte Leycester,—my mother, as usual, being quite delighted to go abroad, and saying, "I have no doubt as soon as I reach Boulogne I shall be quite well,"—a result which was very nearly obtained. We lingered first at Fontainebleau, with its pompous but then desolate château, and gardens brilliant with blue larkspurs and white feverfew—the commonest plants producing an effect I have seldom seen elsewhere. A pet trout, certainly of enormous age, and having its scales covered with a kind of fungus, was alive then, and came up for biscuit: it was said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette. At Chalons we took the steamer down the Saône, and a picture that dwells with me through life is that of the glorious effect, as we entered Lyons, of the sun suddenly bursting through the dark thunderclouds and lighting up every projection of roof and window in the tall houses which lined the quay and the bright figures beneath. I have often been at Lyons since, but have never cared for it as I did then, when we stayed long enough to enjoy S. Martin d'Ainay, and the picturesque ascent to the Fouvières and noble view from its terrace, and to marvel at the vast collection of votive offerings, memorials of those who prayed to the Virgin in danger and were protected by her, while we wondered where the memorials of those were who invoked her and whose prayers were not answered. My mother went straight from Lyons to Aix-les-Bains by voiturier, but I lingered to see the beauties of Vienne, and followed by steamer up the Rhone and Lac de Bourget with my Southgate friend Walter Portman.[97] We found Aix terribly hot, and generally spent the evenings by or on the lake, where one day my mother, Lea, and I were in some danger, being caught in a tremendous burrasco. Thence a most wearisome journey voiturier took us from Aix to Geneva, a place for which I conceived the most intense aversion, from its hot baking situation, and the illiberal and presumptuous "religion" of its inhabitants. While there, in a hotel facing the lake, I was called up in the middle of the night to Lea, who was very alarmingly ill, and while attending to and trying to calm her, was roused by shrieks of "Fire" in the street, and saw the opposite house burst into flame. Alarm-bells rang, engines were summoned, crowds arrived, and only a change in the wind saved us from destruction or flight. We moved afterwards to the Hôtel des Etrangers, a house in a damp garden near the lake. Here we were seated almost alone at the little table-d'hôte when we heard the most extraordinary hissing and rushing sound, like a clock being wound up, and a very little lady entered, who seemed to be impelled into the room, followed by her husband. On reaching her chair, several loud clicks resulted in her being lifted into it as by invisible power! It was Mrs. Archer Clive, the then celebrated authoress of "Paul Ferroll," who had no legs, and moved by clock-work.

While at Geneva, I saw many of its peculiar celebrities, especially M. Gaussen and M. Merle d'Aubigné, the historian of the Reformation, whose real name was only Merle, the sequence having been adopted from his former residence. He had a very striking appearance, his hair being quite grey, but his shaggy eyebrows deep black, with a fine forehead and expression. Another person we saw was M. Berthollet, with an enormous head. It was with difficulty that any of these persons could be convinced that our sole object in coming to Geneva was not to see a certain pasteur, of whom we had never even heard. We visited Ferney, which thrives upon the unpleasant memory of Voltaire, who had a villa there, in which we saw the tomb of—his heart! The inn has as its sign a portrait of him in his French wig.

We spent a pleasant afternoon at Colonel Tronchin's lovely villa. He was a most excellent man, and one could not help seeing how nobly and unostentatiously he employed his large fortune for the good of others. Yet one could not help seeing also how many of his followers put up their religious scruples like an umbrella to ward off whatever was not quite to their liking—how "No, I could not think of it; it would be against my conscience," became at Geneva, as elsewhere, very liable to be said in pure selfishness.

My mother's sufferings from the heat led to our going from Geneva to Chamounix. On the way we slept at St. Martin. As I was drawing there upon the bridge, a little girl came to beg, but beggars were so common that I paid no attention to her entreaties, till her queer expression attracted me, and a boy who came up at the same time described her as an "abandonnée," for her father was in prison, her sister dead, and her mother had deserted her and gone off to Paris. The child, who had scarcely an apology for being clothed, verified this in a touching and at the same time an elf-like way—grinning and bemoaning her sorrows in the same breath. Charlotte Leycester gave her four sous, with which she was so enchanted that she rushed away, throwing her hands into the air and making every demonstration of delight, and we thought we should see no more of her. However, in going home, we found her under a wall on the other side of the bridge, where she showed us with rapture the bread she had been able to buy with the money which had been given her. An old woman standing by told us about her—how wonderfully little the child lived on, sleeping from door to door, and how extraordinary her spirits still were. It was so odd a case, and there was something so interesting in the child, that we determined to follow her, and see where she really would go to sleep. To our surprise, instead of guiding us through the village, she took her way straight up the woods on the mountain-side, by a path which she assured us was frequented by wolves. It was very dark, and the place she led us to was most desolate—some châlets standing by themselves in the woods, almost at the foot of the mountain; the glass gone from the windows, which were filled up with straw and bits of wood. Meantime we had made out from the child that her name was Toinette, daughter of François Bernard, and that she once lived in the neighbouring village of Passy, where her home had been burnt to the ground, a scene which she described with marvellous gesticulations. She seemed to have conceived the greatest affection for Charlotte. When asked if she knew that it was wrong to lie and steal, she said, "Rather than steal, I would have my head cut off, like the people in the prisons. I pray every day, and my prayer shall be always for you, Madame."

A great dog flew out of the cottage at us, but Toinette drove it away, and called out a woman who was standing in the doorway. The woman said she knew nothing of Toinette, but that she had implored to sleep there about three weeks before, and that she had slept there ever since; and then the child, caressing her and stroking her cheeks, begged to be allowed to do the same again. The woman offered to go with us to another house, where the people knew the child better. On arriving, we heard the inmates at prayers inside, singing a simple litany in responses. Afterwards they came out to speak to us. They said it was but for a very small matter François Bernard was imprisoned, as he had only stolen some bread when he was starving, but that, if he came back, he could do nothing for Toinette, and as her uncles were idiots, there was nobody to take care of her: if we wished to do anything for her, we had better speak to the Syndic, who lived higher up the mountain; so thither we proceeded, with Toinette and all her female friends in our train.

It was a strange walk, by starlight through the woods, and a queer companionship of rough kind-hearted people. Toinette, only seven years old, laughed and skipped over the stones, holding Charlotte's gown, and declaring she would never leave her. We had expected to find the magistrate living in a better house than the others, but it was like its neighbours—a little brown châlet by the side of a torrent. The Syndic was already in bed, but Madame, his wife, speedily got him up, and we held a parley with him on the wooden staircase, all the other people standing below. He said that there were no workhouses, no orphan asylums, and that though it was a bad case, the commune had no funds; school did not open till October, and even if Toinette got work there was no lodging for her at night. However, when Charlotte promised to clothe her, he was so much enchanted with the "grandeur de sa charité," that he said he would consult with the commune about Toinette. Meantime, in the morning Charlotte bought her some clothes, and settled something for her future; but before we left we saw that she must not be too much indulged, as she asked Charlotte, who had given her a frock, shoes, and hat, to give her also some bonbons and a parasol!

We heard of Toinette Bernard for some years afterwards, and Charlotte Leycester sent annual remittances for her; but eventually she absconded, and utterly disappeared like a waif.

On the 1st of August I left my companions at Chamounix to make the circuit of Mont Blanc, but the weather was horrible, and most of the time the mountain-tops were hidden in swirl and mists; the paths were watercourses, and the châlets where I slept with my guide, Edouard Carrier, were piercingly cold and miserable—especially that of Motets, where there was nothing to eat but potatoes; no furniture whatever, nothing but some rotten straw to lie upon; no glass and no shutter to the window, through which an icy blast blew all night from the glacier, though the air of the filthy room was quite dense with fleas. Travelling in these parts is quite different now, but I have a most wretched recollection of the long walks in the cold mist, no sound but the cry of the marmots—yet one always had a wish to go on, not back.

Delightful was the change as we descended upon Courmayeur, with its valleys of chestnut-treesnoble view of Mont Blanc, and Aosta with its Roman ruins. In returning, I was overtaken by a tremendous snowstorm at the top of the St. Bernard, and detained the whole of a most tedious day in the company of the kind priests (monks they are not) and their dogs. During this time sixty travellers arrived in turn and took refuge. We all dined together, and saw the hospice and the Morgue, which is a very awful sight: the snow has so perfectly embalmed the bodies, that they retain all their features, though quite black; the hair also remains. In one corner was a woman hugging her baby to her breast as the death silence overtook her. We all went down through the snow in a regular caravan, and I joined my mother at Villeneuve and went with her to Clarens.

Railways make travelling in Switzerland, as elsewhere, so easy now, that it is difficult to realise how long and tedious the journey to Visp was when I next left my mother to go to Zermatt. On my way I visited the old mountain-perched cathedral of Sion, then one of the most entirely beautiful and romantic churches in the world, now utterly destroyed by a "restoration," from which one might have hoped its precipitous situation would have preserved it. I walked in one day from Visp to Zermatt, and thence made all the excursions, and always alone. The Gorner Grat is much the finest view, all the others being only bits of the same. It is a bleak rock, bare of vegetation, far from humanity. Thence you look down, first by a great precipice upon a wilderness of glaciers, and beyond, upon a still greater wilderness of mountains all covered with snow. They tell you one is Monte Rosa, another the Weiss Horn, and so on, but they all look very much alike, except the great awful Matterhorn, tossing back the clouds from its twisted peak. It is a grand view, but I could never care for it. The snow hides the forms of the mountains altogether, and none of them especially strike you except the Matterhorn. There is no beauty, as at Chamounix or Courmayeur: all is awful, bleak desolation. In memory I fully echo the sentiment I find in my journal—"I am very glad to have seen it, but, if I can help it, nothing shall ever induce me to see it again."

It was a long walk from the Riffel Berg to Visp (34 miles), whence I proceeded to the Baths of Leuk, where the immense tanks, in which a crowd of people, men, women, and children, lead an every-day life like ducks, up to their chins in water, were a most ridiculous sight. Sometimes you might find a sick and solitary old lady sitting alone in the water on a bench in the corner, with her hands and feet stretched out before her; but for the most part the patients were full of activity, laughter, and conversation. They held in the water the sort of society which once characterised the pump-room at Bath: the old people gossipped in groups, the young people flirted across their little tables. Each person possessed a tiny floating table, on which he or she placed handkerchief, gloves, flowers, smelling-bottle, newspaper, or breakfast. In one of the tanks some nuns were devoutly responding to a priest who was reciting the litany; but generally all the people were mingled together during their eight hours of daily simmering—sallow priests, fat young ladies, old men with grey beards, and young officers with jaunty little velvet caps stuck on the back of their heads. Generally they sate quite still, but sometimes there was a commotion as a whole family migrated to the other side of the bath, pushing their little tables before them; and sometimes introductions took place, and there was a great bowing and curtseying. The advent of strangers was a matter of great excitement, and you saw whole rows of heads in different head-dresses all uniformly staring at the new-comer: but woe betide him if he came upon the causeways between the tanks with his hat on his head. I had been warned of this, however, by the conducteur of the omnibus. "Oh! qu'ils crient! qu'ils crient! qu'ils crient!"

I left Leuk on the 18th of August to cross the Gemmi Pass, with a boy carrying my knapsack. It was very early morning. The Gemmi is a grass mountain with a perpendicular wall of rock overhanging it, up which the narrow path winds like a corkscrew, without railing or parapet—at least it had none then—and an appalling precipice below. On this path it is most unnecessary to take a false step, but a false step must be fatal. It was an exquisitely clear, beautiful morning, and high up on the mountain-side a large party might be seen descending towards us. I did not see them, but I believe the boy did. We had just reached the top of the grassy hill and were at the foot of the precipice when there was a prolonged shouting. The whole mountain seemed to have broken out into screams, which were echoed from the hills on every side. I said, "Is it a hunt?"—"Nein, nein," said the boy with great excitement, "es ist ein Pferd—ein Pferd muss übergefallen sein." But then, in a moment, came one long, bitter, appalling, agonising shriek, which could be uttered for no fall of a horse—there was a sudden flash—not more—of something between the light and the precipice, and a crash amid the stones and bushes beside us—and "Oh, ein Mensch—ein Mensch!" cried the boy, as he sank fainting on the ground.

Another moment, and a French gentleman rushed wildly past, his face white as a sheet, his expression fixed in voiceless horror. I eagerly asked what had happened (though I knew too well), but he rushed on as before. And directly afterwards came a number of peasants—guides probably. The two first looked bloodless, stricken aghast: it is the only time I ever saw a person's hair stand on end, but then I did, though they neither cried nor spoke. Then came one who sobbed, and another who wrung his hands, but who only said as he passed, "Ein Mensch—ein Mensch!" One of the peasants threw a cloak over the remains, and two guides cried bitterly over it. Strange to say, the body was that of a "garçon des bains" serving as a guide: he had jumped over a little stone in his descent, had jumped a little too far, and fallen over. For one awful moment he clung to the only fir-tree in the way—the moment of the screams—then the tree gave way, and all was ended.

I knew that if I did not go on at once the news would arrive at Thun before me and terrify my mother; but it was terrible, with the death-shriek ringing in one's ears, to follow the narrow unprotected path, and to pass the place where trampled turf and the broken fir-tree bore witness to the last struggle. An old German professor and his wife had left Leuk before us, and had heard nothing of what had happened. When I told them at the top of the mountain, they knelt on the grass, and touchingly and solemnly returned thanks for their safety. Then I met Theodora de Bunsen with Sir Fowell and Lady Buxton going down, and was obliged to tell them also. Awfully in sympathy with our sensations is the ghastly scenery at the top of the Gemmi—the black lake, which is frozen all the year round, and the dismal, miserable inn beside it, which is the scene of Werther's horrible tragedy, of which I have so often since told the foundation-story.

My Uncle Penrhyn paid us a visit at Thun, with his daughter Emmie and a cousin, and I afterwards joined them at Lucerne, and was their guest in a most happy excursion to Andermatt. Afterwards I went alone to Engelberg, the village and great Benedictine convent in the green Alps under the Tetlis mountains. Thence I made my way to Stanz, and penetrated into the valleys connected with the strange story of the Swiss pilgrim-saint, Nicholas von der Flue, ending in the great church of Sachselen, which contained his hideous skeleton, with diamond eyes and jewel-hung bones. Thence it was a very long walk over the Brunig (there was then no carriage-road) to Meyringen, and thence, the same day, over the Scheideck to Gründelwald; for my mother was expecting me there, and if I did not appear by the promised day, she might have been anxious; and in those days I was far too poor to have a mule: if I had money enough to pay for some luncheon, my utmost ambition was fulfilled.

In returning to England, we went to Freiburg in Breisgau, and visited the Bunsens at Heidelberg, greatly delighting in their beautifully situated villa of Charlottenberg, and the view of the castle and bridge from their terrace, with its oleanders and pomegranates. Afterwards we saw Meaux and its relics of Bossuet.


Uncle Julius, whose health was rapidly declining, received my mother with many tears on our return. I have a vivid recollection of that first evening. My mother read "Bless the Lord, O my soul," at evening prayers, and said she always read that after a journey, with "He healeth all thy diseases"—so true of her. We went to Hastings for Uncle Julius's Charge to the clergy, which produced much enthusiasm amongst them, very different from his lengthy sermons in Hurstmonceaux, under which the whole congregation used quietly to compose themselves to sleep, probably well aware that they would not understand a word, if they tried to attend. The effect was sometimes most ridiculous of the chancel filled with nodding heads, or of heads which had long since done nodding, and were resting on their elbows locked in fastest slumber. I believe Mrs. Sherwood describes a similar scene in one of her stories. Aunt Esther and the curate would try in vain to keep themselves awake with strong lavender lozenges during Uncle Julius's endless discourses. And then "There's Mrs. Hare asleep on one side of the Archdeacon and the curate on the other," the people would say, and he would go droning on with a sermon preached fifty times before. There were, however, days on which Uncle Julius would emerge from the vestry with clenched hands and his face full of pale enthusiasm, and then I would whisper to my mother: "Look, Uncle Julius is going to do Lady Macbeth!" There were no slumbers then, but rapt attention, as Uncle Julius in his most thrilling (and they were thrilling) tones went through the whole of the sleep-walking scene, wrung his hands over the pulpit-cushion, unable to wash out the "accursed spot" of sin. This was generally about once a year. Though Hurstmonceaux did not comprehend them, there are, however, many fragments, especially similes, in Uncle Julius's ordinary parish sermons which will always have an effect, especially that of grief at a death—the heavy plunge when the person goes down, and the circles vividly apparent at first, then gradually widening, till they are lost and disappear altogether. And though they did not understand him, his parishioners loved Uncle Julius, for he always acted up to his own answer to a question as to the value of a living—"Heaven or hell, according as the occupier does his duty."

Uncle Julius had published a versified edition of the Psalms. He thought his Psalter would be adopted by the whole Church, and it was never used in a single church except Hurstmonceaux. During the service, he had the oddest way of turning over the pages with his nose. "The sixteenth morning of the month," he gave out one day. "No, 'tain't," called the voice of Martin the clerk from below, "'tis the seventeenth." "Oh, the seventeenth morning of the month."

Julius Charles Hare

From a portrait by G Richmond Julius Charles Hare
From a portrait by G Richmond

There certainly was a curious absence of ritual in the services at Hurstmonceaux. Yet one felt that Uncle Julius's whole heart was in the way he read the prayers. What was wanting arose from his personal characteristics, the same which made him always hopelessly unpunctual, which caused him to waste his mornings in hopeless dawdling just when there was most to be done, which so often sent him off for his afternoon walk just as the dinner-bell rang.

I was more than usually tried during the weeks spent at home this autumn by the way in which Mrs. Alexander was set up on a pinnacle of worship by Uncle Julius and Aunt Esther—everything and everybody, especially my mother, being expected to give way to her. My journal, however, has many touching reminiscences of quiet evenings in our home life at this time—when I read aloud to my dearest mother, and she played and sang "Comfort ye," I sitting on the little sofa by her side, the light from the candles falling upon "the Reading Magdalen" over the pianoforte—and of her simple, earnest prayers aloud by the little round table in her own room that "the pleasures given us in this world might not draw us out of the simple way of God." Especially touching to me is the remembrance of our last evening together this summer, for it was then almost first that she began to allow the part my life bore in hers. "O God," she prayed, "be with us at our parting: and oh! prepare us to meet when parting will be at an end." As I kissed her afterwards she said, "You are a dear good child to me, darling. I may blame you sometimes, and find fault with your opinions, but you are a dear, good, dutiful child to me."

As I was returning to Oxford I paid a visit to Hugh Pearson at Sonning.


"Sonning, Oct. 21, 1854.—The thought that my mother is well now and does not need me enables me to bear having only paper-conversation again for a little while. But how I long to know each hour of the day what my dear mother is doing, and wish that she could see me—very happy here in this peaceful little spot.

"H. P. was dressing when I arrived, but came to my room to welcome me, most warmly, as he always does. There was a party at dinner, but they left early, and I had a long talk afterwards with my host over the fire. There is really no one I like so much. He gave an amusing description of his church-restoration, very gradual, not to shock people's prejudices. At last, when he put up a statuette of the patron saint—St. Andrew—over the entrance, Bishop Wilberforce came in high delight—'No other man in my diocese would have dared to do such a thing.'[98] Bishop Blomfield rather admired his stone pulpit, but said, 'I don't usually like a stone pulpit; I usually prefer a wooden one, something more suited to the preacher inside.'

"After breakfast we went out to pick up apples to feed H. P.'s pet donkey with. What a pretty place Sonning is! The river winding round, with old willows and a weir; the site of the palace of the Bishop of Sarum marked by an old ash-tree; and the church—'all as like naughty Rome as it dares,' says H. P., but very beautiful within.... 'What a rate you do write at, child,' he says as he is working tortoise-pace at his sermon by my side."

My mother was never given to being alarmed about me at any time, but I think she must have had some anxieties this autumn; Oxford was so dreadfully unhealthy—suffering from a perfect "wave of cholera," while typhus fever and small-pox were raging in the lower parts of the town. But the excitement of Aunt Kitty and Arthur about Mary Stanley, who had taken great part in preparing nurses for the victims of the Crimean War, and who eventually went out to Scutari herself as the unwelcomed assistant of Miss Nightingale, kept the family heart fixed in the East all through the autumn and winter.


"Oxford, Oct. 23, 1854.—There was a special cholera service last night. It is very bad still, and the cases very rapid. Those taken ill at five die at seven, and for fear of infection are buried at seven the next morning."

"Oct. 24.—Typhus fever has broken out in the lower town in addition to everything else, and there are 1000 cases of small-pox, besides cholera. This morning I met two men at breakfast at Mr. Jowett's. There was nothing to eat but cold mutton and some heavy bread called 'Balliol bricks,' but Mr. Jowett was in his best humour, and though he would not utter a word himself, he assisted us into uttering a good many. He is certainly at once the terror and the admiration of those he wishes to be kind to: as for myself, I love him, though I often feel I would go round three streets any day to avoid him."

"Nov. 1.—The usual Oxford rain is now varied by a yellow fog and stifling closeness, the consequence of which is that cholera has returned in all its force to the lower town, and in the upper almost every one is ill in one way or other. Duckworth and I walked to Headington Common yesterday, and thinking that such a high open place was sure to be free from illness, asked if there had been any cholera there, in a cottage where we often go to buy fossils. 'Yes,' said the young woman of the house, 'father died of it, and baby, and seven other people in this cottage and those joining—all those who seemed the healthiest and strongest. I saw them all seized with it in the morning, and before night they were all gone.'—'What,' I said, 'did you nurse them all?' The young woman turned away, but an old woman who came up and heard me said, 'Yes, she were a good creature. There were no one took but she went to them. She were afeard of nothing. I used to think as God wouldna' let the cholera come to her because she werena' afeard, and no more He did.'"

"Dec. 2.—Mrs. Parker[99] has just been telling me the beautiful story of 'Sister Marion's' labours in the cholera. Her real name was Miss Hughes. Mrs. P. was walking with her one day, when their notice was attracted by Greenford, the landlord of the Maidenhead inn, putting his beautiful little child on his great horse, while the child was laughing and shouting for joy. Next day they heard that the child was ill. Sister Marion went at once and nursed it till it died, and it was buried the same evening. Then came the rush of cholera. When any one was seized, they sent for Sister Marion—she rubbed them, watched them, prayed with them; no cases were too dreadful for her. She often had to put them in their coffins herself. When all were panic-stricken, she remembered everything. Mrs. Parker described one deathbed, where it required two men to hold a woman down in her agonies, and her shrieks and oaths were appalling. Little Miss Hughes came in, and taking both her hands, knelt down quietly by the side of the bed, and, though the doctors and others were standing round, began to pray aloud. Gradually the face of the woman relaxed, and her oaths ceased, though her groans were still fearful. At last Sister Marion said, 'Now your mind is easier, so you have more strength, and we can try to help your body;' and when she began the rubbings, &c., the woman took it quietly, and though she died that night, it was quite peacefully.

"Then the cholera camp was made. There was one house for the malignant cases, another for the convalescents, a third for the children of those taken or for those in whom there was reason to expect the disease to appear. Almost every nurse had to be dismissed for drunkenness; the people were almost alone, and the whole town seemed to depend on Sister Marion. Nine-tenths of those who took the cholera died. Mrs. P. took it herself, and was saved by constantly swallowing ice.

"I have just been to dine with the Master—a large party of undergraduates and very dull, the Master every now and then giving utterance to a solemn little proposition apropos of nothing at all—such as 'A beech-tree is a very remarkable tree, Mr. Hare'—'It is a very pleasant thing to ride in a fly, Mr. Bowden'—which no one attempted to contradict."

"Dec. 11.—Yesterday I went to the service at St. Thomas's, where three-fourths of the congregation were in mourning owing to the cholera. The sermon began with three strange propositions—1. That the reading of the Scriptures is not necessary to salvation. 2. That the Gospel consists not in the written Word, but in certain facts laid down and elucidated by the Church. 3. That the Scriptures ought not to be used as a means of converting the heathen. I suppose the sermon was directed against the Bible Society."

I insert a few paragraphs from my written winter-journal. They scarcely give an idea of the stagnation of our Hurstmonceaux life.

"Dec. 14.—A solemn tea-drinking of parish ladies at the Rectory. My mother very ailing with trembling, and almost deaf."

"Dec. 15.—A bitter drive to Hailsham through the bleak ugly lanes. Mother very poorly, and unable to show interest in or comprehension of anything. Entirely thrown on my own resources."

"Dec. 16.—Intense cold and misery at church. Ill with this, and felt the great usual Sunday want of anything to do, as I did not like even to open any book which might offend mother; but at last, finding 'Arnold's Life' would not be taken ill, settled to that. Mother not able to speak or hear; felt the great solitariness of loneliness not alone, and longed to have some friend who would enter into my odd little trials—surely singular at twenty—but I never have one."

"Dec. 17.—Bitter cold and a great gale. Siberia can scarcely be colder than Hurstmonceaux. Went by mother's wish to collect 'Missionary Pence' from the poor. No words can say how I hate this begging system, especially from the poor, who loathe it, but do not dare to refuse when 'the lady sends for their penny.' Sate a long time with Widow Hunnisett, and wondered how I shall ever endure it when I am in Orders, and have to sit daily in the cottages boring the people and myself."

At the end of December, partly probably in consequence of the cold to which I was constantly exposed, I became very ill with an agonising internal abscess, and though this eventually gave way to application of foxglove leaves (digitalis), just when a severe surgical operation was intended, I was long in entirely recovering. My mother's feeble powers, however, soon urged me to rouse myself, and, as soon as I could bring it about, to remove her to London, as Uncle Julius was failing daily, and I knew even then by experience how easily an invalid can bear a great sorrow which is unseen, while a great sorrow witnessed in all its harrowing incidents and details is often fatal to them.


"Jan. 1, 1855.—With mother to the Rectory this afternoon, wrapped up in the carriage. I went to Uncle Julius in his room. He does seem now most really ill: I have never seen him more so. He bemoaned his never being able to do anything now. Looking at his mother's picture[100] hanging opposite, he said what a treasure it was to him. His face quite lighted up when he saw my mother, but (naturally perhaps) he had not the slightest pleasure in seeing me, and his tone instantly altered as he turned to me from wishing her good-bye."

"Jan. 2.—Mother and I walked towards the school, but clouds gathering over the downs and level warned us home again. In the afternoon I was too ill to go out in the damp, but the crimson sunset cast beautiful gleams of light into the room, and mother went out to enjoy it in the garden."

"Jan. 3.—We accomplished a visit to the new school-mistress in the midst of her duties. A bright sunny spring morning, every little leaf looking up in gladness, and just that soft sighing breeze in the garden, with a freshness of newly-watered earth and dewy flowers, which is always associated with Lime in my mind. How beautiful—how peaceful—is our little home! Circumstances often prevent my enjoying it now, but if I left it, with what an intensity of longing love should I look back upon days spent here. In the afternoon I was very impatient of incessant small contradictions, and in the evening felt as if I had not been quite as loving or devoted to my mother as I might have been for the last few days—not throwing myself sufficiently into every little trivial interest of hers. Yet this I wish to do with all my heart; and as for her wishes, they ought to be not only fulfilled, but anticipated by me.... What I was reading in 'North and South' perhaps made me more sensitive, and caused me to watch my mother more intently this evening, and it struck me for the first time that she suffered when her cheek was so flushed and her eyes shut, and her hand moved nervously upwards. Perhaps it was only some painful thought, but it has often made me turn from my book to watch her anxiously when she was not looking."

"Jan. 4.—We drove along the Ninfield road, fresh and open, with the wind whistling through the oaktrees on the height, and then went to the Rectory. Mother went to Uncle Julius first, and then wished me to go. It was very difficult to find anything to say, for his illness had made him even more impatient than usual, at any word of mine, whatever it might be about."

When we went to the Stanleys' empty house in Grosvenor Crescent, we left Uncle Julius very feeble and ill at Hurstmonceaux. As soon as we reached London, my mother was attacked by severe bronchitis, and with this came one of her alarming phases of seeing endless processions passing before her, and addressing the individuals. Sometimes in the morning she was more worn than in the evening, having been what she called "maintaining conversation" all night long. In the hurry of after years, I have often looked back with surprise upon the stagnant lull of life in these winters, in which I scarcely ever left my mother, and, beyond chafing her limbs, reading to her, preparing remedies for all phases of her strange malady, scarcely did anything; yet always felt numb with fatigue when evening came, from the constant tension of an undivided anxiety. It was very severe weather, and if I was ever able to go out, it was for a rush up Piccadilly and Regent Street, where I always enjoyed even the sight of human movement amongst the shivering bluenosed people after the intensity of my solitude; for of visitors we had none except Lady Frances Higginson and her daughter Adelaide,[101] who came every morning to see my mother. At this time Henry Alford, afterwards Dean of Canterbury, was preaching at Quebec Chapel, and I used to go to hear him on Sundays.


"6 Grosvenor Crescent, Jan. 21.—The mother had fever again in the night, and told Lea in the morning that she had been in the Revelations, and she seemed indeed to have seen all that is there described. She has talked much since of the Holy City and the golden palace as of something she had looked upon. 'What a comfort it is,' she said, 'that my visions do not take me to Hurstmonceaux: I do not know how I could bear that.' It is indeed a comfort. She seems always only to see things most beautiful, and more of heaven than of earth.

"'After you left me last night,' she said, 'I heard on one side of my bed the most beautiful music. Oh, it was most beautiful! most grand!—a sort of military march it seemed—ebbing and rising and then dying softly and gently away. Then, on the other side of my bed, I saw an open cloister, and presently I saw that it was lined with charity-school children. By-and-by Charlotte came out amongst them. Now, I thought, I can see, by watching her, whether this is a picture or whether it is a reality: but, as my eyes followed her, she took out her handkerchief and did everything so exactly as Charlotte really does, that I felt sure it was a reality.'

"This morning, as I have been sitting by my mother, I have listened. As she lay dozing, she spoke in pauses—'I see the sea—It is a very misty morning, a very misty morning—There is a white boat tossing in the distance—It is getting black, it is so very misty—There is something coming—It is a great ship—They have put up a sail—It is very misty—Now I can scarcely see anything—Now it is all black.'"

"Jan. 23, 1855.—Before I was up, John came and said he thought there was a worse account from Hurstmonceaux. Soon Lea came, and I asked eagerly what it was. 'It is over. He is gone. The Archdeacon is dead!' One had always fancied one expected this, but the reality is a different thing—that he who had always in one way or another influenced daily thoughts and occupations had utterly passed out of one's life—would never influence it again.

"My mother was very calm. She had taken it quite quietly and laid down again to rest. When I went down, she cried, and also when Charlotte came, but she was calm beyond our hopes. It was a long painful day, in which it seemed almost sacrilegious to go about the ordinary work of life. Personally, however, I have only the regret for Uncle Julius which one feels for a familiar and honoured figure passing out of life. It is only 'a grief without a pang.'"[102]

"Jan. 29.—We reached home by midday. Mrs. Alexander came in the afternoon, and described his last words as 'Upwards—upwards.' In the evening Arthur Stanley and George Bunsen arrived."

"Jan. 30.—I went to the Rectory with Arthur at eleven.... In the midst of the library, amongst Uncle Julius's own books and papers, all that was mortal of him was once more present. It lay in a black coffin inscribed—'Julius Charles Hare. Born at Bologna. Died at Hurstmonceaux.' But his spirit?—how I wondered if it was present and saw us as we stood there.

"Through the open door of the drawing-room I saw all the bearers come in, in their white smock-frocks and crape bands, and go out again, carrying him for the last time over his own threshold. On, on they passed, into the snowy drive, with the full sunshine falling upon the pall, while the wind caught its white edges and waved them to and fro. Then some one called us, and I followed with Uncle Gustavus Hare immediately behind the coffin, six clergy who had been especially valued by Uncle Julius carrying the pall, and Arthur Stanley, Orby Shipley,[103] the Bishop of St. David's, and a number of other friends following, and then a long procession—clergy, schools, parishioners.

"On, down the shrubbery, with the snow still glittering on the evergreen leaves, to the gate, where many more people fell into the ranks behind. The wind was shrill and piercing, and, fresh from a sick-room, I felt numbed with the cold and fatigue. At Gardner Street all the shutters were shut, and the inmates of every house stood at their doors ready to join the procession. Amongst those waiting in front of the blacksmith's was old Edward Burchett. Strange to think that he should have known my great-grandfather, and lived in Hurstmonceaux Castle (where he was 'clock-winder') in its palmy days, and that he should be living still to see the last Hare 'of Hurstmonceaux' carried to his grave.

"More crowds of people joined from Windmill Hill and Lime Cross; it was as if by simultaneous movement the whole parish came forward to do honour to one who had certainly been as its father for twenty-two years. As the procession halted to change bearers at the bend of the road, I knew that my mother was looking out and could see it from her window. An immense body of clergy joined us at Hurstmonceaux Place, and many very old and familiar people—old Judith Coleman led by a little girl, old Pinnock on his crutches, and others. At the foot of the church hill three black-veiled figures—Aunt Esther and her sisters—were waiting.

"The effect was beautiful of passing through the churchyard with a pure covering of untrodden snow into the church lighted by full sunshine, and looking back and seeing the hill and the winding road filled with people as far as the eye could reach.

"The coffin was laid before the altar; the clergy and people thronged the church. I seemed to hear nothing but the voice of Arthur Stanley repeating the responses at my side.


"Then we went out to the grave. There, around the foot of the yew-tree, by the cross over the grave of Uncle Marcus, were grouped all the oldest people in the parish. Mr. Simpkinson read, the clergy standing around the open grave responded; and, as with one voice, all repeated the Lord's Prayer, which, broken as it was by sobs, had a peculiar solemnity, the words 'Thy will be done' bringing their own especial significance to many hearts."

The weeks which succeeded my uncle's funeral were occupied by hard work at the Rectory for his widow, chiefly making a catalogue of the fourteen thousand volumes in the library, which she gave for the most part to Trinity College. Uncle Julius had intended them as a provision for her, to whom he had very little money to bequeath; but she chose thus to dispose of them, and it was useless to contend with her. In the same way she decided upon giving away all the familiar pictures and sculptures, the former to the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge. My mother felt parting as I did with all these beautiful inanimate witnesses of our past lives—the first works of art I had known, the only ones which I then knew intimately. They have not been much valued at Cambridge, where the authorship of most of the pictures has been questioned; but whoever they were by, to us, who lived with them so much, they were always delightful.


"Feb. 14, 1855.—Mother and I were standing on the steps of the Rectory greenhouse when the carriage came to take me away (to return to Oxford). I shall always remember that last moment. The warm air fragrant with the flowers: the orange-trees laden with golden fruit: the long last look at the Roman senator and his wife sitting in their niche: at the Raffaelle, the Luini, the Giorgione—and then the place which had been the occasional interest and the constant misery of my childhood existed for me no longer."

To MY MOTHER (from Oxford).

"March 13.—Your letter was the first thing to greet the opening of my twenty-first year. Being of age is a great thing, I am told, but really it makes no difference to me. Only I hope that each year will help me to be more of a comfort and companion to you, and then there will be some good in growing old. In the evening my birthday was celebrated here by a 'wine,' at which there was a good deal of squabbling as to who should propose my health—the senior collegian, the senior scholar, or an old Harrovian; but it ended in the whole company doing it together, with great cheering and hurrahing, and then Coleridge proposed that they should give 'He's a jolly good fellow,' with musical honours—and a fine uproar there was. I had a number of charming presents from college friends—books, prints, and old china."

I was so anxious about my next public examination—"Moderations"—that, as my mother seemed then tolerably well, I had begged to be allowed to pass most of the Easter vacation in Oxford, studying uninterruptedly in the empty college. This examination was always the most alarming of all to me, as I had been so ill-grounded, owing to Mr. R.'s neglect, and grammar was the great requirement. Indeed, at more than double the age I was then, the tension and anxiety I was in often repeated itself to me in sleep, and I woke in an agony thinking that "Moderations" were coming on, and that I was not a bit prepared! One day, in the midst of our work, I went in a canoe down Godstowe river, accompanied by a friend (who had also "stayed up") in another canoe, as far as the ruin, and we dined at the little inn. The spring sun was peculiarly hot, and I remember feeling much oppressed with the smell of the weeds in the river, being very unwell at the inn, and reaching college with difficulty. Next day I was too ill to leave my bed, and when the doctor came he said I had the measles, which soon developed themselves (for the second time) with all violence. I was so ill, and so covered with measles, that the doctor said—the ground being deep in snow—that it was as much as my life was worth to get up or risk any exposure to cold. Ten minutes afterwards a telegram from Lime was given to me. It came from Mrs. Stanley (evidently already summoned), and bade me come directly—my mother was seriously ill.

My decision was made at once. If I exposed myself to the cold, I should perhaps die; but if I stayed still in the agony of anxiety I was in, I should certainly die. I sent for a friend, who helped me to dress and pack, summoned a fly and gave double fare to catch the next train. It was a dreadful journey. I remember how faint I was, but that I always sate bolt upright and determined not to give in.

I recollected that my mother had once said that if she were very ill, her cousin Charlotte Leycester must not be prevented coming to her. So as I passed through London I called for her, and we went on together. It was intensely cold, and my measles were all driven in; they never came out again—there was not time. There was too much to think of; I could not attend to myself, however ill I felt. I could only feel that my precious mother was in danger. John met me at the door of Lime—"You are still in time." Then Aunt Kitty and Lea came down, Lea very much overcome at seeing me—"I can bear anything now you are here."

My mother lay in still, deep stupor. She had not been well during the last days which Aunt Esther spent at the Rectory, feeling too acutely for her. When Aunt Esther left the Rectory finally and moved to Lime with Mrs. Alexander, my mother was ready to welcome them. But it was a last effort. An hour after they arrived she collapsed. From that time she had lain rigid for sixty hours: she seemed only to have an inner consciousness, all outward sense was gone. We knew afterwards that she would have spoken if she could—she would have screamed if she could, but she could not. Still Dr. Hale said, "Whilst that inner consciousness appears to last there is hope."

When I went to her, she lay quite still. Her face was drawn and much altered. There was no speculation in her eyes, which were glassy and fixed like stone. One cheek alone was flushed and red as vermilion. I went up. She did not notice me. There was no gleam, no significance, no movement, but when they asked if she knew I was come, she articulated "Yes."

I could not sleep at night and listened through the dressing-room wall. Suddenly I heard her cry out, and John Gidman stood by my bedside sobbing violently—"You must be told she is worse." I went into the room. She was in violent delirium. Aunt Kitty was trying to calm her with texts of Scripture; Lea was kneeling in her dressing-gown at the foot of the bed. I was determined she should not die. I felt as if I were wrestling for her life. I could not have spared her then. But God had mercy upon my agony. She became calmer. Suddenly, in the morning, as I was sitting by her, she said, "Augustus, fetch me a piece of bread." I did. She ate it. From that time gradually—very gradually—she dawned back into life from her sixty hours' trance, whilst I was watching over her every minute. Four days afterwards came Easter Eve. When I went in that morning, she was quite herself. "What a beautiful quiet morning," she said; "it is just such a day as Easter Eve ought to be. To me this is the most solemn day of all the year, for on it my Saviour was neither on earth nor in heaven, at least in his bodily form.... I am so glad that I learnt Wesley's hymn ("All blessing, glory, honour, praise") before I was ill: I can say it now." I see in my journal that on that afternoon of my darling mother's restoration I walked to the Rectory, and the garden was bright and smiling as ever, in the oak-walks it seemed as if the shadow of him who paced it so often must sometimes be walking still. There was no furniture left in the house except bookcases, and I was astonished then to realise for the first time how bare walls cannot speak to one; it is the objects which they have enclosed that have the human interest.


"April 8, 1855.—The mother has greeted me with 'A blessed Easter to you, darling—Christ is risen.' Last night tears came into her eyes as she remembered that Uncle Julius would never say those words to her again, but to-day she is bright and smiling, and the sunshine outside seems reflected from her. The others have been to church, so I have been alone most of the day in her sick-room."

"April 9.—In my mother's room most of the day. My Oxford work is sadly hindered; but that is not my first duty."

"April 14.—The dear mother came downstairs for the first time since her illness, and was delighted with the flowers—the heaths and cinerarias in the window recesses, and the masses of violets in the garden. There was much to be told that was new to her, of all that had happened since she went upstairs, but which had to be told very cautiously, for fear of over-excitement. Arthur Stanley, who has been here some days, examined me in my work, and in the afternoon we had a delightful walk through the woods to the farmhouse of the Hole."


"April 15.—Arthur preached in the church on the spies bringing back to the Israelites the fruits of the promised land—going on to describe how the fruits of our promised land were given us in the lives of those who were gone before—that these were the fruits of the Spirit spoken of in three verses of the Bible—verses better known perhaps and more loved than any others by the people of Hurstmonceaux. The first was written on the distant grave of one whom many of them had never seen, but whom all of them had heard of—Augustus, whose fruit was 'gentleness, and meekness, and long suffering.' The second was the verse inscribed on the older of the crosses under their own yew-tree: 'righteousness and truth' were the especial points which Marcus bore. The third was written on the latest and most loved cross: it told of 'wisdom'—that was Julius's fruit."

"April 16.—I left my darling mother to return to my work at Oxford. I remained with her till John tapped at the door to say the carriage was there. 'God bless you, my own darling—God bless you, dearest'—and I was gone, leaving my sweetest one looking after me with a smile upon her face. Oh, what a blessing it has been to leave her thus! How different this leaving Lime might have been, with no sense of home remaining, except in the shadow of the yew-tree and by the crosses in the churchyard!"

I might write of my mother as Chalmers of the Duchesse de Broglie: "Her prayers poured forth in her domestic circle, falling upon my ears like the music of Paradise, leave their fragrance behind them, and sweet is their remembrance."

On my way back to Oxford, I first saw the beautiful Empress Eugenie on her passage through London to Windsor with the Emperor Napoleon III. They had a most enthusiastic reception, the streets were thronged everywhere, and it was a very fine sight. Almost immediately after reaching college I was "in the Schools" for "Moderations," but did very well, as I had employed every available moment in preparing myself. Nevertheless, I was too anxious to go to fetch my own testamur, and vividly recall the feeling of ecstasy with which, from my high oriel window, I saw my friend Milligan come waving it round the corner of the High Street. A delightful feature of this term, which I always remember with pleasure, was an excursion by rail to Evesham and its abbey, just when the apple-orchards, with which the whole vale is filled, were in bloom like a great garden. As summer approached, we were frequently on the river. George Sheffield generally "punted" me, and Milligan floated alongside in a canoe. Another expedition of very great interest to me was that to Chalfont St. Giles in Buckinghamshire, where I saw the Vatche, the home of my great-great-grandfather, Bishop Hare, who married its heiress, a very attractive and charming place, which was sold by my great-grandfather. The "Hare Mausoleum," a hideous brick building, was then standing, attached to the church, and there Bishop Hare and many of his descendants were buried, the last funeral having been that (in 1820) of Anna-Maria Bulkeley, daughter of my grandfather's sister. The minute descriptions, with which I was familiar, in the letters of Bishop Hare and his widow, gave quite a historic charm to the scenes at Chalfont—the window where Mary Hare sate "in her great house, much too big and good for her, with as few servants as she could make shift with," and watched her "deare lord carried to church"—the steep lane down which the stately procession, in which "there were no bishops for pall-bearers because it was too cold for them to come into the country," passed with such difficulty—the manor pew, where Mary Margaret Hare complained over "Laurentia and all the troublesome little children"—the almshouses, built and endowed by the Robert Hare who married Miss Selman.

The installation of Lord Derby as Chancellor and the reception of Disraeli (then still a dandy in ringlets, velvet waistcoat, and prominent gold chains) made the "Commemoration" of this year especially exciting; though my pleasure in it was damped by the sudden news of the failure of Sir John Paul's[104] bank in the Strand, and fear for its effect upon my "real mother" and sister, who lost about two thousand a year by this catastrophe, though it was not this cause which involved them in the irretrievable ruin that afterwards befell them.

The longer I lived at Oxford, the more I learnt how little I could believe anything I heard there. Connected with a college of which many of the members belonged to the lower upper classes of society, I had peculiar opportunities for observing how often young men thought it worth while to pretend to a position and acquaintances which did not belong to them. One instance of this is too extraordinary to be omitted. From the very beginning of February, certain men in Hall (the great place for gossip and scandal) had spoken constantly of a certain Mrs. Fortescue, who had come to reside in Oxford, an exceedingly clever person and very highly connected. The subject did not interest me in the least, but still I heard of her so often, that I could not help being familiar with her name. Gradually her acquaintance seem to extend; men said, "I don't exactly know Mrs. Fortescue, but my family do"—or "my friend so and so means to introduce me," and so on. Mrs. Fortescue's witty sayings also were frequently repeated and commented upon. After some months it was said that Mrs. Fortescue was going to give a ball, for which there was anxiety to procure invitations—some men "had them, but did not mean to go,"—others were "sure to have them." As I did not wish to go, the subject was of very slight importance to me.

Within a week of the alleged date of Mrs. Fortescue's ball, my friend P. came late at night to see me. He said, "I have a dreadful thing to tell you. I have a secret to reveal at which you will be aghast.... I am Mrs. Fortescue!" Early in the year, observing how apt men were to assume intimacies which they did not possess, he and one or two other friends had agreed to talk incessantly of one person, a wholly imaginary person, and, while "making her the fashion," see if, very soon, a number of men would not pretend to be intimate with her. Dozens fell into the trap. In a certain class of men, every one was afraid of being behind his neighbour in boasting of an intimacy, &c., with one who was praised so highly. They even pretended to have received invitations to the imaginary ball. But the trick had assumed much greater dimensions than ever was intended at first; many people had been duped whose fury at the discovery would be a serious matter; many Oxford ladies had been asked to the ball, and, in fact, there was nothing to be done now but to go through with the whole drama to the end—the ball must take place! P. was quite prepared for the emergency of having to represent Mrs. Fortescue, but positively refused to go through it alone. His object was to implore me to help him out by appearing in some assumed character. This I for a long time refused, but at length assented to get up all the statistics of the neighbouring great house of Nuneham, and to arrive as Miss Harcourt, an imaginary niece of Lady Waldegrave, just come from thence. I was well acquainted with the best Oxford dressmaker, with whom one of my friends lodged, and she undertook to make my dress; while various styles of hair were tried by another person, who undertook that department, to see which produced the most complete disguise.

When the evening of the ball arrived, I took care to reach "Wyatt's Rooms" very early. Only a number of men and a very few ladies were there, when "Miss Harcourt—Miss Amy Leighton" were shouted up the staircase, and I sailed up (with another undergraduate, who represented my somewhat elderly companion) in a white tulle dress trimmed with a little gold lace and looped up with blue cornflowers, a wreath (wreaths were worn then) of the same, and a blue opera-cloak. Mrs. Fortescue, an elderly handsome woman, quite on the retour, dressed in crimson satin, came forward to meet me and kissed me on both cheeks, and I was introduced to a lady—a real lady—by whom I sate down. It is impossible to detail all the absurdities of the situation, all the awkward positions we were thrown into (Mrs. Fortescue had engaged her servants, being then in morning toilette, days before). Suffice it to say that the guests assembled, and the ball and the supper afterwards went off perfectly, and gave boundless satisfaction. I only refused to dance, pretending to have sprained my ankle in coming down in the train some days before; but I limped round the room on the arm of my own doctor (who never discovered me) between the dances, and examined the pictures on the walls. Mrs. Fortescue was inimitable. The trick was never discovered at the time, and would still be a secret, but that a friend, to whom I had revealed the story on promise of strict secrecy, repeated it long afterwards to P.'s elder brother. In June my mother visited me at Oxford, on her way to West Malvern, where we had delightful rooms overlooking the Herefordshire plains, in the house of "Phœbe Gale," who had long been a valued servant in the family. We much enjoyed delightful drives with the Leycesters in the neighbourhood; also frequently we went to see the Miss Ragsters, two remnants of one of the oldest families in Worcestershire, who, in a great age, were living, very poor, in a primitive farmhouse, with their one servant Betty—"the girl" they always called her, who still wore a pinafore, though she had been in their service forty-seven years. Their life had never varied: they had never seen a railway, and had never even been to Little Malvern. They gave a curious account of the poet Wordsworth coming to luncheon with them.

From Malvern I went to the Wye with Willie Milligan. "Never," as I wrote to my mother, "was there a companion so delightful, so amusing, so charming and good-natured under all circumstances—and his circumstances were certainly none of the most brilliant, as he lost all his luggage at the outset, and had to perform the whole journey with nothing of his own but a comb and a tooth-brush." Wherever we went, he made friends, retailing all the local information gained from one person to the next he met, in the most entertaining way. Especially do I remember one occasion at Chepstow. I was drawing the castle, surrounded by about a hundred little children, and he made himself so charming to them, and was so indescribably entertaining, that one after the other of the little things succumbed, till at last the whole party were rolling on the ground in fits of uncontrollable laughter. On this visit to Chepstow I remember the touching incident of our walking in the churchyard late at night, and seeing a woman bring a number of glow-worms to put upon her child's grave, that she might still see it from the window of her cottage. We saw Tintern, Raglan, Goodrich (the great collection of "Meyrick's Ancient Armour" was there then), and Ross, with its old market-house, still standing, owing to the recent defence of the market-women, who had positively refused to enter a new one which had been built for them. A shorter expedition from Malvern was one which I made with Emma Leycester to Worcester, which resulted in a story I published in a magazine years afterwards—"The Shadows of Old Worcester." In one of the passages of the china manufactory we saw a figure of "Tragedy"—a magnificently handsome woman with a wreath of laurel on her head. Was it Mrs. Siddons? "No," said the guide, "it was modelled from a poor girl who used to work here, and who was murdered by her lover last night."

From Malvern we drove through the rose-fringed lanes by Ledbury to Hereford, and then went to stay at Tickwood, in Shropshire, with my uncle's old friend Mr. Hull, and Mrs. Butler, my mother's early instructress, who lived there to take care of his only child by his second wife (Miss Rowe)—Rowna—whose great wealth was her only fault in her father's eyes. Afterwards we went to meet our old friends, the Tayleurs of Buntingsdale, at the quaint old Raven Inn at Shrewsbury, and thence proceeded to Llangollen and Valle Crucis. Plas Newydd, the house of "the ladies of Llangollen,"[105] was still in existence—a very ridiculous little place; and "the ladies" had had successors, Miss Andrews and Miss Lolly!—of whom Miss Lolly still survived. A beautiful varied drive by Corwen and Bettwys y Coed took us to the Penrhyn Arms at Capel Curig, where my mother had often been in her childhood, and where, at the bottom of the garden, is the noble view of Snowdon across lake and moorland, so well known from pictures innumerable. From Llanberis I ascended Snowdon, which in my recollection is—from its innate picturesqueness, not its views—the only mountain in Europe worth ascending, except Soracte. Afterwards we went to the William Stanleys[106] at Penrhôs in Anglesea, and it was a very pleasant visit, as Mrs. William Stanley was a most kind and amusing person, good-natured to young people, and exceedingly pleased with my delight over all she showed me, especially over the rocks—so glorious in colour—near the South Stack lighthouse. It recalls oddly the extreme poverty as to pocket-money in which I spent my youth, when I remember that the sum of £2 which my Aunt Lucy gave me at Penrhôs was at twenty-one the largest present in money that I had ever yet received in my life. I spent it in the purchase of Lord Lindsay's "Christian Art."

After visiting Penrhyn Castle, we went to take lodgings near the Albert Ways at Conway, of which I recollect nothing remarkable except the exemplification of "cast not your pearls before swine" in the frantic eagerness the pigs at Towen showed to get at the mussels from which the tiny pearls found there (and sold at two shillings an ounce) were being extracted by the pearl-fishers. Our next visit was to Bodelwyddelan, the fine place of Sir John and Lady Sarah Williams. We went afterwards to Alton Towers, Ham in Dovedale, Matlock, and Rowsley—whence I saw Chatsworth and spent several days in drawing the old courts of Haddon Hall.

All through the past winter the Crimean War had been an absorbing interest, people had sobbed in the churches when the prayer for time of war was read, and even those not immediately concerned had waited in agonised expectation for the news from the Alma, Inkermann, the Redan. While we were at Lichfield came the news of the capture of Sebastopol, announced by the bells of the cathedral, followed by all the churches, and every town and village became gay with flags from every window.

In returning home this year, I felt even more anxious than before to improve and educate myself, and always got up for the purpose as early as I could, recollecting how Chevalier Bunsen, by always getting up four hours before other people, made his year into sixteen months instead of twelve. Beginning to think of colour in sketching now tended to make me even more observant than I had been of the wonderfully artistic elements of the scenery around our home—the long lines of the levels with their fleeting shadows, the delicate softness of the distant downs, the trees embossed in their dark green against the burnt-up grass of the old deer-park.


"Sept. 24, 1855.—We have had a visit from Miss Rosam, the last of the old Sussex family who once lived at Lime. She said when she was here as a little child the old convent was still standing. She remembered the deep massive Saxon (?) archway at the entrance and the large dark hall into which it led.

"'Were there any stories about the place?' I asked.

"'Nothing but about the fish; of course you know that?'

"'No, I don't; do tell me.'

"'Well, I don't say that it's true, but certainly it is very generally believed that the whole of the great fish-ponds were once entirely filled with gold and silver fish, and the night my grandfather died all the fish died too. And then perhaps you do not know about the horse. My grandfather had a very beautiful horse, which he was very fond of, and though it was so old and infirm that it could scarcely drag its legs along, he would not have it made an end of, and it still remained in the field. But the night my grandfather died, a man saw the horse suddenly spring up and race at full gallop over the field, and at the moment my grandfather died the horse fell down and died too.'

"Just now we have a full moon, and the reflections in the pond are so clear that you can see the fish dance in the moonbeams. The mother says, 'It is difficult to realise that this same moon, ever serene and peaceful, is looking down upon all the troubles and quarrels of the earth.'"

"Sept. 29.—We came in the morning to Eastbourne, which is much altered and enlarged, only a few of the old familiar features left as landmarks—Sergeant Bruce's house, No. 13—O how I suffered there!—Miss Holland's, outside which I used to wait in my agonies of grief and rage—the beach where as a little child I played at building houses."

"Oct. 4.—In spite of threatening clouds, we drove to Wilmington, whence I walked with Mr. Cooper to Alfriston, a most wild out-of-the-way place, just suited for the beautiful 'effects' of Copley Fielding. The cruciform church, with its battered shingled spire, stands on a little hill, and, with a few wind-stricken trees around it, is backed by a hazy distance of downs, where the softest grey melts into the green. When we were there, all the clouds were tossed into wild forms, with only a gleam of frightened sunshine struggling through here and there."


"Oct. 7.—I fear I rather distressed mother to-day by reverting to the Rectory miseries, the recollection of which was aroused by finding an old journal. I will never do it again. My darling mother has been given back to me from the brink of the grave to love and to cherish, and, whatever it costs me, can I ever say anything to cause her even one flush of pain? My will is strong, I know, and it shall be exercised in always ignoring my own troubles and prejudices, and never forgetting to anticipate each thought, each wish of hers. Henceforward I am determined to have no separate identity, and to be only her reflection."

"Oct. 25.—Went to see old Mrs. Pinnock. She was lying on her rag-bed in her wretched garret, sadly changed now from the old woman who, two years ago, would go in the spring-time to Lime Wood that she might see the bluebells and listen to the nightingales. Now her old husband sate by, pointing at her worn, dying form, and exclaiming,'Poor cratur! poor cratur!' She fumbled her poor shrunken hands over the bedclothes and murmured, 'God bless you, sir; may God bless you.' They are probably the last words I shall ever hear from her, and she has always been an object of interest. As I read 'Shadows' this last evening to the mother, I could not help feeling how like some of them my own home reminiscences must some day become, so sad and so softened. But it is no use to think about the future, for which only God can arrange. 'Good-night, darling, comfort and blessing of my life,' mother said to me to-night. 'I will try not to be too anxious. May you be preserved, and may I have faith. Good-night, my own Birdie.'"


"Chartwell (Mr. Colquhoun's), Oct. 18, 1855.—This is a beautiful neighbourhood.... How every hour of the day have I thought of my sweetest mother, and longed to know what she was doing. We have been so much together this vacation, and so uncloudedly happy, that it is unnatural to be separate; but my darling mother and I are never away from one another in heart, though we so often are in body. And what a blessing it is for me to have left my mother so well, and to feel that she can still take so much interest and be so happy in the old home, and that I may go on cheerily with my Oxford work."

"Harrow, Oct. 11, 1855.—No one is here (with the Vaughans) except Mr. Munro, whom I find to be the author of 'Basil the Schoolboy,' which he declares to be a true picture of Harrow life in his time. A Mr. Gordon has called, who gave a most curious account of his adventures after having been at school here three days, and how his companions, having stoned their master's lapdog to death, forced him to eat it uncooked!"[107]

"Portishead, Nov. 10.—How often I have thought of my mother when sitting here in the little bow-window, surrounded by the quaint pictures and china, and the old furniture. Miss Boyle[108] is in her great chair, her white hair brushed back over her forehead. The Channel is a dull lead-colour, and the Welsh mountains are half shrouded in clouds, but every now and then comes out one of those long gleams and lines of light which are so characteristic of this place. The day I arrived, a worn-out clockmaker and a retired architect came to spend the evening and read Shakspeare, and Miss Boyle made herself quite as charming to them as she has doubtless been all summer to the archduchesses and princesses with whom she has been staying in Germany. The next day we went to Clevedon, and saw the old cruciform church above the sea, celebrated in 'In Memoriam,' where Arthur Hallam and his brothers and sisters are buried. From the knoll above was a lovely view of the church—immediately below was a precipice with the white breakers at the bottom, which beyond the church ripple up into two little sandy bays: in the distance, the Welsh mountains, instead of blue, were the most delicate green. We returned by Clapton, where, beside an ancient manor-house, is a little church upon a hill, with a group of old yew-trees."

"Oxford, Nov. 15.—On Monday, Miss Boyle came in my fly to Bristol, her mission being to break a man she had met with of drunkenness, having made a promise to his wife that she would save him. She said that she had shut herself up for hours in prayer about it, and that, though she did not know in the least how it was to be done, she was on her way to Bristol to do it. One day, as we were walking, we met a woman who knew that she had seen her in a drunken state. 'You will never speak to me again, ma'am,' said the woman; 'I can never dare see you again.'—'God forbid,' answered Miss Boyle. 'I've been as great a sinner myself in my time, and I can never forsake you because you've done wrong: it is more reason why I should try to lead you to do right.' I had an interesting day at Bath with dear old Mr. Landor, who sent his best remembrances to you—'the best and kindest creature he ever knew.'"

"Oxford, Nov. 21.—I have been dining at New College and drinking out of a silver cup inscribed—'Ex dono Socii Augustus Hare.'

"Yesterday I went to luncheon at Iffley with Miss Sydney Warburton, authoress of 'Letters to my Unknown Friends,' and sister of the Rector—a most remarkable and interesting person. She had been speaking of the study of life, when the door opened and a young lady entered. Miss Warburton had just time to whisper 'Watch her—she is a study indeed.' It was Mrs. Eliot Warburton, uninteresting in her first aspect, but marvellously original and powerful in all she said."

"Nov. 26.—I have been a long drive to Boarstall Tower, which is like an old Border castle, with a moat and bridge. It was defended during the Civil Wars by a Royalist lady, who, when starved out after some months' siege, made her escape by a subterranean passage, carrying off everything with her. Afterwards it was always in the hands of the Aubreys, till, in the last century, Sir Edward Aubrey accidentally poisoned his only and idolised son there. The old nurse imagined that no one knew what had happened but herself, and she spent her whole life in trying to prevent Sir Edward from finding out what he had done, and succeeded so well, that it was years before he discovered it. At last, at a contested election, a man in the opposition called out, 'Who murdered his own son?' which led to inquiries, and when Sir Edward found out the truth, he died of the shock.

"Mrs. Eliot Warburton and her sister-in-law have just been to luncheon with me in college, and I am as much charmed with them as before."

"Dec. 3.—I have been to spend Sunday at Iffley with the Warburtons."

I have inserted these notices of my first acquaintance with the Warburtons, because for some years after this they bore so large a share in all my interests and thoughts. Mrs. Eliot Warburton at that time chiefly lived at Oxford or Iffley with her two little boys. Her brother, Dr. Cradock, was Principal of Brazenose, and had married Miss Lister, the maid of honour, with whom I became very intimate, scarcely passing a day without going to Dr. Cradock's house. Miss Warburton died not long afterwards, but Mrs. Eliot Warburton became one of my dearest friends, and not mine only, but that of my college circle; for she lived with us in singular, probably unique intimacy, as if she had been an undergraduate herself. Scarcely a morning passed without her coming to our rooms, scarcely an afternoon without our walking with her or going with her on the river. It was a friendship of the very best kind, with a constant interchange of the best and highest thoughts, and her one object was to stimulate us onwards to the noblest aims and ambitions, though I believe she overrated us, and was mistaken in her great desire that her two boys should grow up like Sheffield and me. We gave her a little dog, which she called "Sheffie" after him. We often went to a distant wood together, where we spent whole hours amongst the primroses and bluebells or wandered amongst "the warm green muffled Cumnor hills," as Matthew Arnold calls them; in the evenings we frequently acted charades in Mrs. Cradock's house. Our intimacy was never broken while I stayed at Oxford. But I never saw my dear friend afterwards. In 1857 I heard with a shock of what it is strange that I had never for an instant anticipated—her engagement to make a second marriage. She wrote to tell me of it herself, but I never heard from her again. She had other children, girls, and a few years afterwards she died. Her death was the first great sorrow I had ever felt from death out of my own family. Her memory will always be a possession to me. I often saw her husband afterwards in London, but as I had never seen him with her, it is difficult for me to associate him with her in my mind.


"Lime, Dec. 23, 1855.—I have found such a true observation in 'Heartsease'—'One must humble oneself in the dust and crawl under the archway before one can enter the beautiful palace.' This is exactly what I feel now in waiting upon my mother. When sensible of being more attentive and lovingly careful than usual, I am, of course, conscious that I must be deficient at other times, and so that, while I fancy I do all that could be done, I frequently fall short. A greater effort is necessary to prevent my mind being even preoccupied when it is possible that she may want sympathy or interest, even though it may be in the very merest trifles.

"The dear mother says her great wish is that I should study—drink deep, as she calls it—in Latin and Greek, for the strengthening of my mind. It is quite in vain to try to convince her that college lectures only improve one for the worse, and that I might do myself and the world more good by devoting myself to English literature and diction, the one only thing in which it is ever possible that I might ever distinguish myself. Oh, how I wish I could become an author! I begin so now to thirst after distinction of some kind, and of that kind above all others: but I know my mind must receive quite a new tone first, and that my scattered fragments of sense would have to be called into an unanimous action to which they are quite unaccustomed.

"The Talmud says 'that there are four kinds of pupils—the sponge and the funnel, the strainer and the sieve; the sponge is he who spongeth up everything; and the funnel is he that taketh in at this ear and letteth out at that: the strainer is he that letteth go the wine and retaineth the dross; the sieve is he that letteth go the bran and retaineth the fine flour.' I think I have begun at least to wish to belong to the last.

"It has been fearfully cold lately, and it has told sadly upon the mother and has aged her years in a week. But she is most sweet and gentle—smiling and trying to find amusement and interest even in her ailments, and with a loving smile and look for the least thing done for her."

Soon after this was written we went to London, and the rest of the winter was spent between the house of Mrs. Stanley, 6 Grosvenor Crescent, and that of my Uncle Penrhyn at Sheen. At Grosvenor Crescent I often had the opportunity of seeing people of more or less interest, for my Aunt Kitty was a capital talker, as well as a very wise and clever thinker. She had "le bon sens à jet continu," as Victor Hugo said of Voltaire. She also understood the art of showing off others to the best advantage, and in society she never failed to practise it, which always made her popular; at home, except when Arthur was present, she kept all the conversation to herself, which was also for the best. Macaulay often dined with her, and talked to a degree which made those who heard him sympathise with Sydney Smith, who called him "that talking machine," talked of his "flumen sermonis," and declared that, when ill, he dreamt he was chained to a rock and being talked to death by Macaulay or Harriet Martineau. This year also I met Mrs. Stowe, whose book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" made at the time a more profound impression in England than any other book I ever remember. She was very entertaining in describing her Scotch visits. Inverary she had liked, but she declared with vehemence that she would "rather be smashed into triangles than go to Dunrobin again."


Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
Edinburgh and London



Maria Hare.

From a portrait by Canaveri Maria Hare.
From a portrait by Canaveri






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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.
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MARIA HARE. From G. Canevari.
AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE. From G. Canevari.
To face 96
To face 132
VIEW FROM HOLMHURST. (Full-page woodcut)To face 286
ANNE F. M. L. HARE. From G. Canevari.
To face 416



"A few souls brought together as it were by chance, for a short friendship and mutual dependence in this little ship of earth, so soon to land her passengers and break up the company for ever."—C. Kinsgley.

"To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
Shakspeare, Polonius to Laertes.

"IF you would escape vexation, reprove yourself liberally and others sparingly."—CONFUCIUS.

It was the third year of our Oxford life, and Milligan and I were now the "senior men" resident in college; we sat at one of the higher tables in hall, and occupied stalls in chapel. We generally attended lectures together, and many are the amusing tricks I recall which Milligan used to play—one especially, on a freshman named Dry—a pious youth in green spectacles, and with the general aspect of "Verdant Green." An undergraduate's gown is always adorned with two long strings behind; these strings of Dry, Milligan adroitly fastened to mine, and, inventing one excuse after another, for slipping round the room to open the door, shut a window, &c., he eventually had connected the whole lecture in one continuous chain; finally, he fastened himself to Dry on the other side; and then, with loud outcries of "Don't, Dry,—don't, Dry," pulled himself away, the result being that Dry and his chair were overturned, and that the whole lecture, one after another, came crashing on the top of him! Milligan would have got into a serious scrape on this occasion, but that he was equally popular with the tutors and his companions, so that every possible excuse was made for him, while I laughed in such convulsions at the absurdity of the scene, that I was eventually expelled from the lecture, and served as a scapegoat.

I think we were liked in college—Milligan much better than I. Though we never had the same sort of popularity as boating-men and cricketers often acquire, we afforded plenty of amusement. When the college gates were closed at night, I often used to rush down into Quad and act "Hare" all over the queer passages and dark corners of the college, pursued by a pack of hounds who were more in unison with the general idea of Harrow than of Oxford. One night I had been keeping ahead of my pursuers so long, that, as one was apt to be rather roughly handled when caught after a very long chase, I thought it was as well to make good my escape to my own rooms in the New Buildings, and to "sport my oak." Yet, after some time, beginning to feel my solitude rather flat after so much excitement, I longed to regain the quadrangle, but knew that the staircase was well guarded by a troop of my pursuers. By a vigorous coup d'état, however, I threw open my "oak," and seizing the handrail of the bannisters, slipped on it through the midst of them, and reached the foot of the staircase in safety. Between me and the quadrangle a long cloistered passage still remained to be traversed, and here I saw the way blocked up by a figure approaching in the moonlight. Of course it must be an enemy! There was nothing for it but desperation. I rushed at him like a bolt from a catapult, and by taking him unawares, butting him in the stomach, and then flinging myself on his neck, overturned him into the coal-hole, and escaped into Quad. My pursuers, seeing some one struggling in the coal-hole, thought it was I, and flung all their sharp-edged college caps at him, under which he was speedily buried, but emerged in time to exhibit himself as—John Conington, Professor of Latin!

Meantime, I had discovered the depth of my iniquity, and fled to the rooms of Duckworth, a scholar, to whom I recounted my adventure, and with whom I stayed. Late in the evening a note was brought in for Duckworth, who said, "It is a note from John Conington," and read—"Dear Duckworth, having been the victim of a cruel outrage on the part of some undergraduates of the college, I trust to your friendship for me to assist me in finding out the perpetrators," &c. Duckworth urged that I should give myself up—that John Conington was very good-natured—in fact, that I had better confess the whole truth, &c. So I immediately sat down and wrote the whole story to Professor Conington, and not till I had sent it, and it was safe in his hands, did Duckworth confess that the note he had received was a forgery, that he had contrived to slip out of the room and write it to himself—and that I had made my confession unnecessarily. However, he went off with the story and its latest additions to the Professor, and no more was said.

If Milligan was my constant companion in college, George Sheffield and I were inseparable out of doors, though I often wondered at his caring so much to be with me, as he was a capital rider, shot, oarsman—in fact, everything which I was not. I believe we exactly at this time, and for some years after, supplied each other's vacancies. It was the most wholesome, best kind of devotion, and, if we needed any ennobling influence, we always had it at hand in Mrs. Eliot Warburton, who sympathised in all we did, and who, except his mother, was the only woman whom I ever knew George Sheffield have any regard for. It was about this time that the Bill was before Parliament for destroying the privileges of Founder's kin. While it was in progress, we discovered that George was distinctly "Founder's kin" to Thomas Teesdale, the founder of Pembroke, and half because our ideas were conservative, half because we delighted in an adventure of any kind, we determined to take advantage of the privilege. Dr. Jeune, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough, was Master of Pembroke then, and was perfectly furious at our audacity, which was generally laughed at at the time, and treated as the mere whim of two foolish schoolboys; but we would not be daunted, and went on our own way. Day after day I studied with George the subjects of his examination, goading him on. Day after day I walked down with him to the place of examination, doing my best to screw up his courage to meet the inquisitors. We went against the Heads of Houses with the enthusiasm of martyrs in a much greater cause, and we were victorious. George Sheffield was forcibly elected to a Founder's-kin Scholarship at Pembroke, and was the last so elected. Dr. Jeune was grievously annoyed, but, with the generosity which was always characteristic of him, he at once accorded us his friendship, and remained my most warm and honoured friend till his death about ten years afterwards. He was remarkable at Oxford for dogmatically repealing the law which obliged undergraduates to receive the Sacrament on certain days in the year. "In future," he announced in chapel, "no member of this college will be compelled to eat and drink his own damnation."

In urging George Sheffield to become a scholar of Pembroke, I was certainly disinterested; without him University lost half its charms, and Oxford was never the same to me without "Giorgione"—the George of Georges. But our last summer together was uncloudedly happy. We used to engage a little pony-carriage at the Maidenhead, with a pony called Tommy, which was certainly the most wonderful beast for bearing fatigue, and as soon as ever the college gates were opened, we were "over the hills and far away." Sometimes we would arrive in time for breakfast at Thame, a quaint old town quite on the Oxfordshire boundary, where John Hampden was at school. Then we would mount the Chiltern Hills with our pony, and when we reached the top, look down upon the great Buckinghamshire plains, with their rich woods; and when we saw the different gentlemen's places scattered about in the distance, we used to say, "There we will go to luncheon"—"There we will go to dinner," and the little programmes we made we always carried out; for having each a good many relations and friends, we seldom found we had no link with any of the places we came to. Sometimes Albert Rutson would ride by the side of our carriage, but I do not think that either then or afterwards we quite liked having anybody with us, we were so perfectly contented with each other, and had always so much to say to each other. Our most delightful day of all was that on which we had luncheon at Great Hampden with Mr. and Lady Vere Cameron and their daughters, who were slightly known to my mother; and dined at the wonderful old house of Chequers, filled with relics of the Cromwells, the owner, Lady Frankland Russell, being a cousin of Lady Sheffield's. Most enchanting was the late return from these long excursions through the lanes hung with honeysuckle and clematis, satiated as we were, but not wearied with happiness, and full of interest and enthusiasm in each other and in our mutual lives, both past and present. One of the results of our frequent visits to the scenes of John Hampden's life was a lecture which I was induced to deliver in the town-hall at Oxford, during the last year of my Oxford life, upon John Hampden—a lecture which was sadly too short, because at that time I had no experience to guide me as to how long such things would take.

It was during this spring that my mother was greatly distressed by the long-deferred declaration of Mary Stanley that she had become a Roman Catholic.[109] A burst of family indignation followed, during which I constituted myself Mary's defender, utterly refused to make any difference with her, as well as preventing my mother from doing so; and many were the battles I fought for her.

A little episode in my life at this time was the publication of my first book—a very small one, "Epitaphs for Country Churchyards." It was published by John Henry Parker, who was exceedingly good-natured in undertaking it, for it is needless to say it was not remunerative to either of us. The ever-kind Landor praised the preface very much, and delighted my mother by his grandiloquent announcement that it was "quite worthy of Addison!"

At this time also my distant cousin Henry Liddell was appointed to the Deanery of Christ Church. He had previously been Headmaster of Westminster, and during his residence there had become celebrated by his Lexicon. One day he told the boys in his class that they must write an English epigram. Some of them said it was impossible. He said it was not impossible at all; they might each choose their own subject, but an epigram they must write. One boy wrote—

"Two men wrote a Lexicon,
Liddell and Scott;
One half was clever,
And one half was not.
Give me the answer, boys,
Quick to this riddle,
Which was by Scott
And which was by Liddell?"

Dr. Liddell, when it was shown up, only said, "I think you are rather severe."

As to education, I did not receive much more at Oxford this year than I had done before. The college lectures were the merest rubbish; and of what was learnt to pass the University examinations, nothing has since been of use to me, except the History for the final Schools. About fourteen years of life and above £4000 I consider to have been wasted on my education of nothingness. At Oxford, however, I was not idle, and the History, French, and Italian, which I taught myself, have always been useful.


"Oxford, Feb. 19, 1856.—Your news about dear Mary (Stanley) is very sad. She will find out too late the mistake she has made: that, because she cannot agree with everything in the Church of England, she should think it necessary to join another, where, if she receives anything, she will be obliged to receive everything. I am sorry that the person chosen to argue with her was not one whose views were more consistent with her own than Dr. Vaughan's. It is seldom acknowledged, but I believe that, by their tolerance, Mr. Liddell and Mr. Bennett[110] keep as many people from Rome as other people drive there. I am very sorry for Aunt Kitty, and hope that no one who loves her will add to her sorrow by estranging themselves from Mary—above all, that you will not consider her religion a barrier. When people see how nobly all her life is given to good, and how she has even made this great step, at sacrifice to herself, because she believes that good may better be carried out in another Church, they may pity her delusion, but no person of right feeling can possibly be angry with her. And, after all, she has not changed her religion. It is, as your own beloved John Wesley said, on hearing that his nephew had become a Papist—'He has changed his opinions and mode of worship, but has not changed his religion: that is quite another thing.'"


"Lime, March 30, 1856.—My mother and I have had a very happy Easter together—more than blessed when I look back at the anxiety of last Easter. Once when her bell rang in the night, I started up and rushed out into the passage in an agony of alarm, for every unusual sound at home has terrified me since her illness; but it was nothing. I have been full of my work, chiefly Aristotle's Politics, for 'Greats'—too full, I fear, to enter as I ought into all her little thoughts and plans as usual: but she is ever loving and gentle, and had interest and sympathy even when I was preoccupied. She thinks that knowledge may teach humility even in a spiritual sense. She says, 'In knowledge the feeling is the same which one has in ascending mountains—that, the higher one gets, the farther one is from heaven.' To-day, as we were walking amongst the flowers, she said, 'I suppose every one's impressions of heaven are according to the feeling they have for earthly things: I always feel that a garden is my impression—the garden of Paradise.' 'People generally love themselves first, their friends next, and God last,' she said one day. 'Well, I do not think that is the case with me,' I replied; 'I really believe I do put you first and self next.' 'Yes, I really think you do,' she said."

When I returned to Oxford after Easter, 1856, my pleasant time in college rooms was over, and I moved to lodgings over Wheeler's bookshop and facing Dr. Cradock's house, so that I was able to see more than ever of Mrs. Eliot Warburton. I was almost immediately in the "Schools," for the classical and divinity part of my final examination, which I got through very comfortably. While in the Schools at this time, I remember a man being asked what John the Baptist was beheaded for—and the answer, "Dancing with Herodias's daughter!" Once through these Schools, I was free for some time, and charades were our chief amusement, Mrs. Warburton, the Misses Elliot,[111] Sheffield, and I being the principal actors. The proclamation of peace after the Crimean War was celebrated—Oxford fashion—by tremendous riots in the town, and smashing of windows in all directions.

At Whitsuntide, I had a little tour in Warwickshire with Albert Rutson as my companion. We enjoyed a stay at Edgehill, at the charming little inn called "The Sun Rising," which overlooks the battlefield, having the great sycamore by its side under which Charles I. breakfasted before the battle, and a number of Cavalier arms inside, with the hangings of the bed in which Lord Lindsey died. From Edgehill I saw the wonderful old house of the Comptons at Compton-Whinyates, with its endless secret staircases and trap-doors, and its rooms of unplaned oak, evidently arranged with no other purpose than defence or escape. We went on to Stratford-on-Avon, with Shakspeare's tomb, his house in Henley Street, and the pretty old thatched cottage where he wooed his wife—Anne Hathaway. Also we went to visit Mrs. Lucy (sister of Mrs. William Stanley) at Charlecote, a most entertaining person, with the family characteristic of fun and goodhumour; and to Combe Abbey, full of relics of Elizabeth of Bohemia and her daughters, who lived there with Lord Craven. Many of the portraits were painted by her daughter Louisa. A few weeks later I went up to the Stanleys in London for the Peace illuminations—"very neat, but all alike," as I heard a voice in the crowd say. I saw them from the house of Lady Mildred Hope, who had a party for them like the one in Scripture, not the rich and great, but the "poor, maimed, halt, and blind;" as, except Aldersons and Stanleys, she arranged that there should not be a single person "in society" there.


"Lime, June 8, 1856.—I had found the dear mother in a sadly fragile state, so infirm and tottering that it is not safe to leave her alone for a minute, and she is so well aware of it, that she does not wish to be left. She cannot now even cross the room alone, and never thinks of moving anywhere without a stick. Every breath, even of the summer wind, she feels most intensely. '"The Lord establish, strengthen you," that must be my verse,' she says."

"June 15.—I am afraid I cannot help being tired of the mental solitude at home, as the dear mother, without being ill enough to create any anxiety, has not been well enough to take any interest, or have any share in my doings. Sometimes I am almost sick with the silence, and, as I can never go far enough from her to allow of my leaving the garden, I know not only every cabbage, but every leaf upon every cabbage."


"June 29.—We have been for a week with the Stanleys at Canterbury, and it was very pleasant to be with Arthur, who was his most charming self."

Early in July, I preceded my mother northwards, made a little sketching tour in Lincolnshire, where arriving with little luggage, and drawing hard all day, I excited great commiseration amongst the people as a poor travelling artist. "Eh, I shouldn't like to have such hard work as that on. Measter, I zay, I should'na like to be you."

At Lincoln I joined my mother, and we went on together to Yorkshire, where my friend Rutson lent us a charming old manor-house, Nunnington Hall near Helmsley, the centre of an interesting country, in which we visited the principal ruined abbeys of Yorkshire. My mother entirely recovered here, and was full of enjoyment. On our way to Harrogate, a Quakeress with whom we travelled persecuted me with "The Enquiring Parishioner on the Way to Salvation," and then, after looking at my sketches, hoped that "one so gifted was not being led away by Dr. Pusey!" At Bolton we stayed several days at the Farfield Farm, and thence drove through Swale Dale to Richmond. On our way farther north, I paid my first visit to my cousins at Ravensworth, and very alarming I thought it; rejoining my mother at Warkworth, a place I have always delighted in, and where Mrs. Clutterbuck[112] and her daughters were very kind to us. More charming still were the next few days spent with my kind old cousin Henry Liddell (brother-in-law of my Aunt Ravensworth) in Bamborough Castle.

We visited Dryburgh and Jedburgh, and the vulgar commonplace villa, with small ill-proportioned rooms looking out upon nothing at all, out of which Sir Walter Scott created the Abbotsford of his imagination. Charlotte Leycester having joined us, I left my mother at the Bridge of Allan for a little tour, in the first hour of which I, Italian-fashion, made a friendship with one with whom till her death I continued to be most intimate.


"Tillycoultry House, August 12, 1856.—My mother will be surprised that, instead of writing from an inn, I should date from one of the most beautiful places in the Ochils, and that I should be staying with people whom, though we met for the first time a few hours ago, I already seem to know intimately.

"When I left my mother and entered the train at Stirling, two ladies got in after me; one old, yellow, and withered; the other, though elderly, still handsome, and with a very sweet interesting expression. She immediately began to talk. 'Was I a sportsman?'—'No, only a tourist.'—'Then did I know that on the old bridge we were passing, the Bishop of Glasgow long ago was hung in full canonicals?' And with such histories the younger of the two sisters, in a very sweet Scottish accent, animated the whole way to Alloa. Having arrived there, she said, 'If we part now, we shall probably never meet again: there is no time for discussion, but be assured that my husband, Mr. Dalzell, will be glad to see you. Change your ticket at once, and come home with me to Tillycoultry.' And ... I obeyed; and here I am in a great, old, half-desolate house, by the side of a torrent and a ruined churchyard, under a rocky part of the Ochils.

"Mr. Dalzell met us in the avenue. He is a rigid maintainer of the Free Kirk, upon which Mrs. Huggan (the old sister) says he spends all his money—about £18,000 a year—and he is very odd, and passes three-fourths of the day quite alone, in meditation and prayer. He has much sweetness of manner in speaking, but seems quite hazy about things of earth, and entirely rapt in prophecies and thoughts either of the second coming of Christ or of the trials of the Kirk part of his Church on earth.

"Mrs. Dalzell is quite different, truly, beautifully, practically holy. She 'feels,' as I heard her say to her sister to-night, 'all things are wrapt up in Christ.' The evening was very long, as we dined at four, but was varied by music and Scotch songs.

"The old Catholic priest who once lived here cursed the place, in consequence of which it is believed that there are—no little birds!"

"Dunfermline, August 13.—This morning I walked with Mr. Dalzell to Castle Campbell—an old ruined tower, on a precipitous rock in a lovely situation surrounded by mountains, the lower parts of which are clothed with birch woods. Inside the castle is a ruined court, where John Knox administered his first Sacrament. On the way we passed the little burial-ground of the Taits, surrounded by a high wall, only open on one side, towards the river Devon."

"Falkland, August 14.—After drawing in beautiful ruined Dunfermline, I drove to Kinross, and embarked in the 'Abbot' for the castle of Loch Leven, which rises on its dark island against a most delicate distance of low mountains.... There is a charming oldfashioned inn here, and a beautiful old castle, in one of the rooms of which the young Duke of Rothesay was starved to death by his uncle."

"St. Andrews, August 15.—This is a glorious place, a rocky promontory washed by the sea on both sides, crowned by Cardinal Beaton's castle, and backed by a perfect crowd of ecclesiastical ruins. The cathedral was the finest in Scotland, but destroyed in one day by a mob instigated by John Knox, who ought to have been flayed for it. Close by its ruins is a grand old tower, built by St. Regulus, who 'came with two ships' from Patras, and died in one of the natural caves in the cliff under the castle. In the castle itself is Cardinal Beaton's dungeon, where a Lord Airlie was imprisoned, and whence he was rescued by his sister, who dressed him up in her clothes."

"Brechin, August 17.—The ruin of Arbroath (Aberbrothock) is most interesting. William the Lion is buried before the high altar, and in the chapter-house is the lid of his coffin in Scottish marble, with his headless figure, the only existing effigy of a Scottish king. In the chapter-house a man puts into your hand what looks like a lump of decayed ebony, and you are told it is the 'blood, gums, and intestines' of the king. You also see the skull of the Queen, the thigh-bone of her brother, and other such relics of royalty. Most beautiful are the cliffs of Arbroath, a scene of Scott's 'Antiquary.' From a natural terrace you look down into deep tiny gulfs of blue water in the rich red sandstone rock, with every variety of tiny islet, dark cave, and perpendicular pillar; and, far in the distance, is the Inchcape Rock, where the Danish pirate stole the warning bell, and was afterwards lost himself; which gave rise to the ballad of 'Sir Patrick Spens.' The Pictish tower here is most curious, but its character injured by the cathedral being built too near."

I have an ever-vivid recollection of a most piteous Sunday spent in the wretched town of Brechin, with nothing whatever to do, as in those days it would have made my mother too miserable if I had travelled at all on a Sunday—the wretched folly of Sabbatarianism (against which our Saviour so especially preached when on earth) being then rife in our family, to such a degree, that I regard with loathing the recollection of every seventh day of my life until I was about eight-and-twenty.[113] After leaving Brechin, I saw the noble castle of Dunottar, and joined my mother at Braemar, where we stayed at the inn, and Charlotte Leycester at a tiny lodging in a cottage thatched with peat. I disliked Braemar extremely, and never could see the beauty of that much-admired valley, with its featureless hills, half-dry river, and the ugly castellated house of Balmoral. Dean Alford and his family were at Braemar, and their being run away with in a carriage, our coming up to them, our servant John stopping their horses, the wife and daughters being taken into our carriage, and my walking back with the Dean, first led to my becoming intimate with him. I remember, during this walk, the description he gave me of the "Apostles' Club" at Cambridge, of which Henry Hallam was the nucleus and centre, and of which Tennyson was a member, but from which he was turned out because he was too lazy to write the necessary essay. Hallam, who died at twenty-two, had "grasped the whole of literature before he was nineteen." The Alfords were travelling without any luggage, and could consequently walk their journeys anywhere—that is, each lady had only a very small hand-bag, and the Dean had a walking-stick, which unscrewed and displayed the materials of a dressing-case, a pocket inkstand, and a candlestick.

On our way southwards I first saw Glamis. I did not care about the places on the inland Scottish lakes, except Killin, where our cousin Fanny Tatton and her friend Miss Heygarth joined us, and where we spent some pleasant week-days and a most abominable Sunday. We afterwards lingered at Arrochar on Loch Long, whither Aunt Kitty and Arthur Stanley came to us from Inverary. We returned to Glasgow by the Gareloch, which allowed me to visit at Paisley the tomb of my royal ancestress, Marjory Bruce. At Glasgow, though we were most uncomfortable in a noisy and very expensive hotel, my mother insisted upon spending a wretched day, because of—Sunday! We afterwards paid pleasant visits at Foxhow and Toft, whence I went on alone to Peatswood in Shropshire (Mr. Twemlow's), and paid from thence a most affecting visit to our old home at Stoke, and to Goldstone Farm, the home of my dear Nurse Lea. Hence I returned with Archdeacon and Mrs. Moore to Lichfield, and being there when the grave of St. Chad was opened, was presented with a fragment of his body—a treasure inestimable to Roman Catholics, which I possess still.

During the remaining weeks of autumn, before I returned to Oxford, we had many visitors at Lime, including my new friend Mrs. Dalzell, whose goodness and simplicity perfectly charmed my mother.


We passed the latter part of the winter between the Penrhyns' house at Sheen, Aunt Kitty's house of 6 Grosvenor Crescent, and Arthur Stanley's Canonry at Canterbury. With Arthur I dined at the house of Mr. Woodhall, a Canterbury clergyman, now a Roman Catholic priest, having been specially invited to meet (at a huge horseshoe table) "the middle classes"—a very large party of chemists, nurserymen, &c., and their wives, and very pleasant people they were. I used to think Canterbury perfectly enchanting, and Arthur was most kind and charming to me. While there, I remember his examining a school at St. Stephen's, and asking the meaning of bearing false witness against one's neighbour—"When nobody does nothing to nobody," answered a child, "and somebody goes and tells."

In returning to Oxford in 1857, I terribly missed my constant companions hitherto—Milligan and Sheffield, who had both left, and, except perhaps Forsyth Grant, I had no real friends left, though many pleasant acquaintances, amongst whom I had an especial regard for Tom Brassey, the simple, honest, hardworking son of the great contractor and millionaire—afterwards my near neighbour in Sussex, whom I have watched grow rapidly up from nothing to a peerage, with only boundless money and common-sense as his aides-de-camp. The men I now saw most of were those who called themselves the δωδεκα—generally reputed "the fast men" of the college, but a manly high-minded set of fellows. Most of my time was spent in learning Italian with Count Saffi, who, a member of the well-known Roman triumvirate, was at that time residing at Oxford with his wife, née Nina Crauford of Portincross.[114] I was great friends with this remarkable man, of a much-tried and ever-patient countenance, and afterwards went to visit him at Forli. I may mention Godfrey Lushington (then of All Souls) as an acquaintance of whom I saw much at this time, and whom I have always liked and respected exceedingly, though our paths in life have not brought us often together since. It was very difficult to distinguish him from his twinbrother Vernon; indeed, it would have been impossible to know them apart, if Vernon had not, fortunately for their friends, shot off some of his fingers.

In March (1857) I was proud to receive my aunt, Mrs. Stanley, with all her children, Mrs. Grote, and several others, at a luncheon in my rooms in honour of Arthur Stanley's inaugural lecture as Professor of Ecclesiastical History, in which capacity his lectures, as indeed all else concerning him, were subjects of the greatest interest to me, my affection for him being that of a devoted younger brother.

I was enchanted with Mrs. Grote, whom De Tocqueville pronounced "the cleverest woman of his acquaintance," though her exterior—with a short waist, brown mantle of stamped velvet, and huge bonnet, full of fullblown red roses—was certainly not captivating. Sydney Smith always called her "Grota," and said she was the origin of the word grotesque. Mrs. Grote was celebrated for having never felt shy. She had a passion for discordant colours, and had her petticoats always arranged to display her feet and ankles, of which she was excessively proud. At her own home of Burnham she would drive out with a man's hat and a coachman's cloak of many capes. She had an invalid friend in that neighbourhood, who had been very seriously ill, and was still intensely weak. When Mrs. Grote proposed coming to take her for a drive, she was pleased, but was horrified when she saw Mrs. Grote arrive in a very high dogcart, herself driving it. With great pain and labour she climbed up beside Mrs. Grote, and they set off. For some time she was too exhausted to speak, then she said something almost in a whisper. "Good God! don't speak so loud," said Mrs. Grote, "or you'll frighten the horse: if he runs away, God only knows when he'll stop."

On the occasion of this visit at Oxford, Mrs. Grote sat with one leg over the other, both high in the air, and talked for two hours, turning with equal facility to Saffi on Italian Literature, Max Müller on Epic Poetry, and Arthur on Ecclesiastical History, and then plunged into a discourse on the best manure for turnips and the best way of forcing Cotswold mutton, with an interlude first upon the "harmony of shadow" in watercolour drawing, and then upon rat-hunts at Jemmy Shawe's—a low public-house in Westminster. Upon all these subjects she was equally vigorous, and gave all her decisions with the manner and tone of one laying down the laws of Athens. She admired Arthur excessively, but was a capital friend for him, because she was not afraid of laughing—as all his own family were—at his morbid passion for impossible analogies. In his second lecture Arthur made a capital allusion to Mr. Grote, while his eyes were fixed upon the spouse of the historian, and when she heard it, she thumped with both fists upon her knees, and exclaimed loudly, "Good God! how good!" I did not often meet Mrs. Grote in after life, but when I did, was always on very cordial terms with her. She was, to the last, one of the most original women in England, shrewd, generous, and excessively vain. I remember hearing that when she published her Life of her husband, Mr. Murray was obliged to insist upon her suppressing one sentence, indescribably comic to those who were familiar with her uncouth aspect. It was—"When George Grote and I were young, we were equally distinguished by the beauty of our persons and the vivacity of our conversation!" Her own true vocation she always declared was that of an opera-dancer.

Arthur Stanley made his home with me during this visit to Oxford, but one day I dined with him at Oriel, where we had "Herodotus pudding"—a dish peculiar to that college.


"Lime, Easter Sunday, April 12, 1857.—I have been spending a happy fortnight at home. The burst of spring has been beautiful—such a golden carpet of primroses on the bank, interspersed with tufts of still more golden daffodils, hazels putting forth their fresh green, and birds singing. My sweet mother is more than usually patient under the trial of failure of sight—glad to be read to for hours, but contented to be left alone, only saying sometimes—'Now, darling, come and talk to me a little.' On going to church this morning, we found that poor Margaret Coleman, the carpenter's wife, had, as always on this day, covered Uncle Julius's grave with flowers. He is wonderfully missed by the people, though they seldom saw him except in church; for, as Mrs. Jasper Harmer said to me the other day, 'We didn't often see him, but then we knew he was always studying us—now wasn't he?'"

A subject of intense interest after my return to Oxford was hearing Thackeray deliver his lectures on the Georges. That which spoke of the blindness of George III., with his glorious intonation, was indescribably pathetic. It was a great delight to have George Sheffield back and to resume our excursions, one of which was to see the May Cross of Charlton-on-Ottmoor, on which I published a very feeble story in a magazine; and another to Abingdon, where we had luncheon with the Head-master of the Grammar School, who, as soon as it was over, apologised for leaving us because he had got "to wallop so many boys." All our visits to Abingdon ended in visits to the extraordinary old brothers Smith, cobblers, who always sat cross-legged on a counter, and always lived upon raw meat. We had heard of their possession of an extraordinary old house which no one had entered, and we used to try to persuade them to take us there; but when we asked one he said, "I would, but my brother Tom is so eccentric, it would be as much as my life is worth—I really couldn't;" and when we asked the other he said, "I would, but you've no idea what an extraordinary man my brother John is; he would never consent." However, one day we captured both the old men together and over-persuaded them (no one ever could resist George), and we went to the old house, a dismal tumble-down building, with shuttered windows, outside the town. Inside it was a place of past ages—old chairs and cupboards of the sixteenth century, old tapestries, and old china, but all deep, deep in dust and dirt, which was never cleaned away. It was like the palace of the Sleeping Beauty after the hundred years' sleep. I have several pieces of china out of that old house now—"Gris de Flandres ware."

In June I made a little tour, partly of visits, and from Mrs. Vaughan's house at Leicester had an enchanting expedition to Bradgate, the ruined home of Lady Jane Grey, in a glen full of oaks and beeches of immense age.

In my final (History and Law) Schools I had passed with great ease, and had for some time been residing at Oxford as a Bachelor, having taken my degree. But as one friend after another departed, the interest of Oxford had faded. I left it on the 13th of June 1857, and without regret.



"Under the arch of Life, where love and death,
Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw
Beauty enthroned; and though her gaze struck awe,
I drew it in as simply as my breath."—ROSSETTI.

"A good mental condition includes just as much culture as is necessary to the development of the faculties, but not any burden of erudition heavy enough to diminish (as erudition so often does) the promptitude or elasticity of the mind."—HAMERTON, French and English.

"WHO thinks the story is all told at twenty? Let them live on and try."—Hitherto.

In June 1857 we left Lime for a long residence abroad. My mother's doctors had declared that being thoroughly imbued with heat in a warm climate was the only way in which her health could be permanently benefited. It was a journey so long prepared for by historical studies, that I imagine few people have gone to Italy with a more thorough knowledge of what they would find there than we possessed.

We took our two old servants, Lea and John (Gidman), abroad with us, and Charlotte Leycester accompanied us to Lucerne, where the family was established for the hot summer months at the Pension Faller, which stands at the end of a long green terrace behind the cathedral cloisters, with a glorious view of Mont Pilate and all the range of mountains on the other side of the lake. George Sheffield came out to Lucerne to accompany me thence to Austria; but as he was very young at the time, and his college examinations were not over, we had to gain his parents' consent to this project by consenting to his having a tutor, and chose for this purpose our common acquaintance Robinson Duckworth, afterwards tutor to Prince Leopold. The arrangement did not answer, though it must be confessed that we treated Duckworth very ill, and were always playing him tricks. One night at Linz, for instance, we were greatly annoyed by finding he would have to sleep in our room, which was a very large one. He went out to listen to the band in the evening, and we spent the time of his absence in drawing the third bed into the middle of the room, and arranging it like a kind of catafalque, with lighted candles at the four corners. We then went to bed ourselves and pretended to be deep in slumber. When Duckworth came in, though two people could just manage to move the heavy bed to its pedestal, it was quite impossible for him alone to move it back again, and he was obliged to go to bed upon it—and most absurd he looked in the morning. I do not think he ever quite forgave us for this trick.


"Constance, July 24.—The Falls of Schaffhausen, with the dashing and roaring emerald water, were quite glorious. We came here from thence by steamer—the entrance to Constance very lovely, and the distant Alps lighted with the most delicate pink hues of sunset. The inn is close to the lake-pier and to the old Council-house. We have walked to the field at Bruhl where Huss was burnt, and since then Duckworth has been serenading the nuns of a Franciscan convent under their windows with airs out of 'Don Giovanni.'"

"July 26.—We were called at four, and my companions went out fishing, and returned dragging an immense pike which they had caught. Meanwhile I had seen the Minster and drawn the Kauf-haus, and was ready to leave with them at nine. We had a delicious journey across the still lake, Sheffield and I sitting quite down in the bow of the boat, where we had nothing before us but the soft blue lake and distant snows, and where we cut through air and water at the same time."

"July 29.—Yesterday we embarked at Donauwörth on the Danube steamer—crowded, filthy, and ceaselessly vibrating—the river the colour of pea-soup, with sandbanks on which we stuck every five minutes. There was no relief to the hideous monotony of the nine hours' voyage, the blackened swamps only changing into barren sandhills, on which a few ragged hops were vainly struggling for existence. But to-day in grand old Ratisbon has made up for yesterday's sufferings. Sheffield and I had great fun in making an expedition to the palace of the Prince of Thurm and Taxis. Numbers of people were out, and we discovered it was to greet the two young princes, who were to return that day from their travels: so we represented them, bowed to the right and left all through the street, and finally being set down at the palace, escaped into the garden and out the other way: what became of the real princes we have not heard. After all our audacity and impertinence in pushing through the Prince's courtyard and intruding upon his garden, we were rather touched by coming upon a placard inscribed—'The possessor of this garden, who has nothing nearer his heart than the promotion of universal pleasure, bids you—welcome!'"

"August 1.—In early morning we were on board the Danube steamer. Immediately after, three very common-looking men came on board by a boat, and descended at once to the cabin. Soon a neighbour whispered that one of them was the Archduke Albrecht, Governor of Hungary,—and behold, in a few minutes the three strangers emerged, dressed in gorgeous uniforms and glittering with orders.... All along the shore were crowds of bowing and curtseying people. At the hotel at Linz the Archduchess and her two daughters were waiting for the Archduke on the balcony of the inn; and their presence brought a splendid band under the window in the evening. This morning the whole family came on board, amid guns firing and crowds of people, to whom we thought the Archduchess would have bowed her head off. The presence of royalties gave us a better steamer, and before reaching Vienna the scenery of the Danube improved, especially at the rocks and castle of Dürnstein, where Richard Cœur-de-Lion was imprisoned."

"August 4.—Vienna would be delightful if it were not for the heat, but the grass is all burnt brown, and the trees almost black. Sheffield and I have driven to the old convent called Klosterneuburg, and in returning saw at Nussdorf the arrival of the Archduke Maximilian and his lovely wife,[115] radiant, unaffected, captivating all who saw her."

"August 6.—We have been to the country-palace of Laxenburg—a terrible drive in a sirocco, which made both Sheffield and me as ill as a sea-voyage. Laxenburg was the palace of Maria Theresa, and has an English park, only the grounds are full of gothic temples, &c., and an imitation dungeon fortress, with an imitation prisoner in it, who lifts his hands beseechingly and rattles his chains as you approach. Princess Charlotte was to have her first meeting with all the imperial family in the afternoon, and we waited for the public appearance of the royalties after dinner. We saw them emerge from the palace, and then ran down to the lake to see them embark. The imperial party arrived in carriages at the water's edge, and were set down under some old plane-trees, where their barges were ready, with rowers in sailors' dresses. First came the Empress, looking very lovely and charming, bowing her way to her own boat, which was distinguished by its blue cloth linings. Then came the Emperor, running as hard as he could, to be in time to hand her in: then sweet-looking Princess Charlotte, with a radiantly happy and not at all a shy expression; the mother of the Empress; Princess Marguerite; the Queen of Saxony; and the Archduchess Albrecht. All these entered the imperial boat, which was followed by another with three old countesses, and then all the court ladies in other boats. The Emperor and the Archdukes Leopold and Heinrich rowed themselves. There could hardly be a prettier scene—no crowd, no staring, and sunset on the water as the little fleet glided in among the cypress-covered islets. The last I saw of them was one of the princesses seizing hold of the old countesses' boat, and rocking it violently to give them a good fright.

"Throughout our travels we have perpetually fallen in with two solitary ladies. Yesterday one of them said to Duckworth, 'I beg your pardon, perhaps I ought not to ask, but the melancholy gentleman (meaning me) must have had a very severe disappointment; was it recent?—he seems to take on very much. Well, my idea is one must always be crossed three times before love runs smooth.' Duckworth asked where they were going. 'Oh, where is it?' said the younger lady; 'I quite forget the name of the place; something very long, I know.'—'Oh, Constantinople, my dear, that's the name, and then we go to a place they call Smyrna, and then to Algeria; for you see we've been to Rome and Naples, and if you don't mind travelling, it's just the same thing whether you go to one place or another.'"

"Aussee in Styria, August 8.—The last thing Sheffield and I did together was to go to the Capuchin vault, where all the sovereigns of the House of Hapsburg lie in gorgeous sarcophagi and coffins: amongst them Maria Theresa, and the husband by whose grave she came to pray every Friday in this dark vault. In one corner was the little Archduchess Sophia, only dead two months, her coffin heaped still with the white garlands deposited by her father and mother, who—are out of mourning for her.

"After parting with my companions, I went by train to Modling, and drove through the Wienerwald to Heiligenkreutz,[116] a gigantic monastery on the edge of a perfectly desolate moor, but in itself magnificent, with a quadrangle larger than 'Tom Quad' at Oxford. Daylight was waning, and I hastened to get the Sacristan to show me the 'Heilige Partikel,' which is kept in a venerable old leather case, and set in a huge golden cross covered with jewels. There are beautiful cloisters, and several chapels of the fourteenth century, and in one of them a fountain, so large that its sound is that of a waterfall. From Baden I crossed the Simmering pass to Bruck-an-der-Mur. Here all the travellers who descended from the train drew diligence tickets by turns, and as mine was only No. 11, I came in for the rickety board by the driver! What a road it was, in which the heavy wheels alternately sank into quagmires of deep mud, or jolted over the piles of stones which were thrown down to fill them up. The dank marshy plain was covered with driving white fog, from which one could only take refuge in the fumes of bad tobacco around one.

"When at length it was my turn to change, it was into an old car with leathern curtains, and horses so feeble that the passengers were obliged to get out and plod through the thick mud at every incline. I had a German companion, who smoked all night in my face.

"All through the night a succession of these cars was kept up, the company being turned out every two hours in some filthy village street, while another wretched old carriage was searched for and brought out. The taverns at which we stopped were most miserable. In the only one I entered the old landlady came out in her nightgown, and seizing my straw hat from my head, placed it on the top of her own top-knot, exclaiming, 'Schöne Strohhut.' Not till midday did we arrive here, and then found the inn full and the hills shrouded in mist—the 'Mountains of the Dead,' as the surroundings of this lonely lake are called, appalling in their white winding-sheets."

"Salzburg, August 14.—During my first days in the Salzkammergut, I might have been inside a kitchen boiler, so thick and white was the steam. But the landlord at Ischl said it was not likely to clear, and, wearied of waiting and longing to see something, I went off to the Traunsee, where, to my surprise, the mist suddenly gave way, the sun appeared, and in a few minutes the heavy veil rolled back, and the beautiful blue lake and high forest-clad mountains were disclosed as if by magic. In a few minutes after shivering, we were all complaining of heat again, and then luxuriating in the cool breeze as we steamed slowly under the great purple Traunstein. At Gmünden[117] we dined at the little inn, served by ladies in gold helmets, with great silver chains round their necks. I drove on to the fall in an Einspanner. It is a miniature Schaffhausen, and the colour of the water most beautiful. On the following day an old Colonel Woodruffe and his wife took me with them to Hallstadt, where we were rowed by women in crimson petticoats down the lovely lake to the village. The scenery is magnificent—jagged mountains melting into beautiful chestnut woods which reach to the water's edge, and at the end of the lake the little town, with its picturesque wooden houses and beautiful gothic chapel. The population consists of nine hundred Roman Catholics and nine hundred Protestants, who live together most amicably. No vehicle can enter the town, for the streets are narrow gullies, with staircases from one house to another.

"My new friends left me at Hallstadt, and early next morning I was up, and in the forest, to see the Wildbach waterfall, an exquisite walk, through green glades carpeted with cyclamen and columbines, with great masses of moss-grown rock tossed about amongst the trees, and high mountains rising all around. The goats were just getting up and coming out of their sheds, ringing their little bells as they skipped about amongst the rocks, and the flowers were all glistening with dew—no human being moving, except the goatherds directing their flocks up the mountain paths. I reached the waterfall, in its wild amphitheatre of rock, before the sun, and saw the first rolling away of the morning mist, and the clear mountain torrent foaming forth in its place; while far beyond was the great snowy Dachstein.

"At nine, a little boat took me to the Gosauswang at the other end of the lake, and while I was waiting there for an Einspanner, four travellers came up, one of whom—a pleasant-looking clergyman—introduced himself as Mr. Clements, the Rector of Upton St. Leonards, and informed me that his companions were his brother, just returned from Australia, and the two young Akers of Prinknash.

"As soon as they were gone off in their boat, my little carriage came, and I had a glorious drive, up the banks of the torrent Gosau, to open mountain pastures, backed by a magnificent range of bare rocky peaks. There is only a footpath from the 'Schmidt' to the Vorder See, set in the loveliest of forests, and backed by noble rugged peaks and snowy glaciers. The colour of the lake was indescribable, but oftenest like a rainbow seen through a prism—the purple, green, and clear blue melting into each other, and the whole transparent as crystal, showing all the bright stones and pebbles in the immense depths and reflecting all the snow-peaks beyond. When I returned to the inn, the Clements' party had arrived, and finding they were going the same way, I engaged to travel with them to Innsbruck.

"On Friday we all went again to the Vorder See, and then, taking a woodcutter as guide, scrambled on for two hours through woods and rocks to the Hinter See,[118] which is like a turquoise set in the mountains.

"We returned together to Ischl, and left in a carriage next day. At the end of St. Wolfgang Lake we engaged a boat and crossed to the curious old gothic church which contains the shrine of St. Wolfgang, and his rocky bed projecting through the pavement of a chapel, upon which the peasants throw kreutzers through a grating. We did not arrive at Salzburg till dark. What a fine old town it is!—but what most interested me was seeing here an old lady in black walking to church with a lady behind her. It was the Kaiserin Caroline, widow of the Emperor Francis I., grand-daughter-in-law of Maria Theresa, niece of Marie Antoinette, sister-in-law of Marie Louise!"

"Reichenhall, August 26.—From Salzburg we visited the mines of Hallein, into which we descended in full miner's costume—thick white trousers, smock-frock, cap, and a leathern apron behind. The guide gave us each a light, and marshalled us in single file through the narrow dark passages. On the summit of the first descent, we were all made to sit down upon our leathern aprons, to put our legs round each others' heads, hold a rope, and then slide off like a train into the dark abyss—alarming at first, and then very amusing. After three slides, we reached a black lake like the Styx, with lamps glittering like stars on faraway rocks. Here a boat moved by invisible hands came soundlessly gliding towards us: we stepped in, and in death-like silence, without oars or rowers, floated across the ghastly waters. On the opposite bank a wooden horse was waiting, on which we were made to sit, each behind the other, and, when we were mounted, rushed away with the speed of a whirlwind through the dark unearthly passages. At last, what looked like a twinkling star appeared in the distance, and it gradually increased till we emerged in open daylight. It is a most extraordinary expedition, but as the salt is all black, there is no beauty. We went on to Berchtesgaden and the Königsee and Obersee, but the wet weather only cleared enough to show us the beauties of the myrtle-green water."

It was a most wearisome journey then—two days of twelve hours in a carriage—to Innsbruck, where I parted with my companions. Hence a terrible long diligence journey of seventeen hours brought me to Botzen. The driver beguiled the way by telling me the history of his life—how when quite young he had given up smoking, and constantly put by all the money he should have spent on tobacco, in the hope of using it in revisiting Naples and the Island of Ischia, where he had been in boyhood as a soldier; but that two years before these designs had been cut short, because one day, when he returned with his diligence from Verona, he found his house burnt to the ground, and nothing saved except six silver spoons which his wife had carried off in her apron.

From Botzen I went to Meran and Trafoi, whence I walked across the Stelvio to the Baths of Bormio; but this part of the tour was not enjoyable, as my sufferings were always so great from bad weather, and hunger owing to want of money. Still less pleasant were the immense journeys afterwards by Finstermuntz and the Great Arlberg, along horrible roads and in wretched diligences, which, in these days of luxurious railway travelling, we should think perfectly unendurable. At Wesen, on the Lake of Wallenstadt, I had the happiest of meetings with my dear mother and her old servants, and vividly does the impression come back to me of the luxurious sense of rest in the first evening, and of freedom from discomfort, privation, and want.


We crossed the Bernardino to Locarno, where we were joined by mother's widowed niece, Mrs. Charles Stanley, and by her friend Miss Cole. There were many circumstances which made me see the whole of North Italy through jaundiced eyes at this time, so that Milan, Venice, and even beautiful Verona, became more associated in my mind with mental and bodily fatigue than with any pleasure. One of the happiest recollections which comes back to me is an excursion alone with my sweet mother to the old deserted convent of Chiaravalle near Milan, and the grave of the enthusiast Wilhelmina. At Venice we had much pleasure in sight-seeing with Miss Louisa Cole, and her cousins Mr. and Miss Warre, the latter of whom afterwards married Froude the historian.

At Padua we engaged two vetturino carriages, in one of which our companions travelled, and in the other my mother and I with our two old servants. The first day's journey, through the rich plain of the vintage in October, was very pleasant, meeting the immense wains and waggons laden with grapes, and the merry peasants, who delighted to give us large ripe bunches as we passed. But we had a perilous passage of the swollen Po, on which our carriage was embarked in a large boat, towed with ropes by numbers of men in smaller boats. In our long journey in our roomy excellent carriage—our home for about three weeks—we were provided with a perfect library of books, for my mother was quite of the opinion of Montaigne when he said, "Je ne voyage sans livres, n'y en paix, n'y en guerre. C'est la meilleure munition j'aye trouvé à cet humain voyage." So we studied the whole of Arnold, Gibbon, Ranke, and Milman at this time. The slower the mode of travel, the greater its variety. In the middle of the day the vetturini rested often in some picturesque town, where there were churches, convents, and pictures to sketch or visit; sometimes in quiet country inns, near which we wandered in country lanes, and collected the wild-flowers of the district. How vividly the recollections of these quiet weeks come back to me—of the charm of our studies and the weekly examination upon them: of the novel which my mother and I used afterwards to tell each other alternately, in which the good characters lived at a place called "Holmhurst," but somehow contrived to have always some link with the scenes through which we were travelling: of our early luncheon of bread and preserved apricots: of our arrival in the evenings at rooms which had always a wholesome barn-like smell, from the fresh straw under the carpets: of the children, who scampered along by the sides of the carriage calling out "Tà-tà"—as short for Carità: of my mother screaming at Ferrara as she ran away from a white spectral figure, with eyes gleaming out of holes in a peaked hood and rattling a money-box—a figure to which we became well accustomed afterwards as a Frate della Misericordia: of the great castle of Ferrara, whose picturesque outlines seemed so strangely familiar till I recollected where I had seen them—at the bottom of willow-patterned washing-basins.


Ravenna was at this time reached by a wearisome journey through marshy flats overgrown by a dark-berried plant much used in the making of dye: we afterwards imported it to Hurstmonceaux. The Stanleys, whom we seldom contradicted, had greatly opposed our going thither, so that our journey to Ravenna had the charm of eating forbidden fruit; but I was able to silence their angry reproaches afterwards for having "taken my mother into so unhealthy a climate" by finding in Gibbon the remark that Ravenna, though situated in the midst of fœtid marshes, possesses one of the most salubrious climates in Italy! My mother was even more enchanted with the wonderful old city than myself, especially with the peerage of martyrs in the long palm-bearing procession in the mosaics of S. Apollinare Nuovo, and with the exquisite and ever-varied loveliness of the Pineta.

Deeply interesting was the historical journey afterwards along the shores of the Adriatic—the sunset on the Metaurus—the proud ruins of Roman Rimini, where also we went to see the soft lustrous picture known as "the winking Virgin," and accidentally met the father of the painter in the church—the Rubicon and Pesaro; Sinigaglia and Fano; and the exquisitely beautiful approach to Ancona, with the town climbing up the steep headland crowned by the cathedral, and the blue sea covered with shipping. In many ways Ancona has always seemed to me more beautiful than Naples. I have seen much of all these towns since, but there is nothing now like the halcyon days of vetturino travelling, with the abundant time for seeing and digesting everything, and the quiet regular progression, without fuss or fatigue, or anything to mar mental impressions.

From Ancona we went to Loreto, a lovely drive then, through ranges of hills, sweeping one behind another like files of an advancing army, and crested sometimes by the picturesque roofs, domes, and towers of an old town; sometimes clothed to their summits with olives and pines, vineyards and mulberry-gardens. Here and there a decayed villa stood by the roadside in its overgrown garden, huge aloes and tall cypresses rising from its tangled grass and periwinkles. Very lovely was the ascent to Osimo, thronged with the students of the old university town in their black cloaks, amongst whom was the Cardinal-bishop, going for a walk in crimson stockings, sash, and gloves, with two footmen in cocked hats strutting behind him.


Nothing can be grander than the situation of Loreto, and the views from it over the surrounding country—the walls overlooking a wide sea-view as well. A building like a huge castle, with massive semicircular towers, dominates the town, and is the fortress which guards the holy of holies—the Santa Casa. We were called at five to go to the church. It was still pitch dark, but many pilgrims had already arrived, and waited with us in a corridor till the doors were opened. The scene inside was most singular—the huge expanse quite dark, except where a blaze of light under the dome illuminated the marble casing of the Santa Casa, or where a solitary lamp permitted a picture or an image to loom out of the chaos. The great mass of pilgrims knelt together before the shrine, but here and there a desolate figure, with arms outstretched in agonising prayer, threw a long weird shadow down the pavement of the nave, while others were crawling on hands and knees round the side walls of the house, occasionally licking up the sacred dust with their tongues, which left a bloody trail upon the floor. At either door of the House, the lamplight flashed upon the drawn sword of a soldier, keeping guard to prevent too many people pressing in together, as they ceaselessly passed in single file upon their knees, to gaze for a few seconds upon the rugged walls of unplastered brick, blackened with soot, which they believed to be the veritable walls of the cottage at Nazareth. Here, in strange contrast, the negress statue, attributed to St. Luke, gleams in a mass of diamonds. At the west end of the House was the window by which the angel entered! The collection of jewels and robes in the sacristy was enormous, though the priests lamented bitterly to us over the ravages of the Revolution, and that now the Virgin had only wardrobe sufficient to allow of her changing her dress once instead of three times every day of the year.


We travelled afterwards through a country seldom visited now—by hill-set Macerata and Recanati, and picturesque Tolentino with its relics of S. Nicolas, into the central Apennines, where Sabbatarianism doomed us to spend a most miserable Sunday at the unspeakably wretched inn of La Muccia. From Foligno we made an excursion to Assisi, then filled with troops of stately Franciscan monks—all "possidenti;" and by the Clitumnus temple, Spoleto, and Narni to Terni. At Civita Castellana the famous robber chief Gesparoni was imprisoned at this time, this year being the thirty-third of his imprisonment. Miss Cole and I obtained an order to visit him and his band, tall gaunt forms in a large room in the castle. The chieftain had a long white beard: we bought a little knitted cap of his workmanship. There was a ghastly sensation in being alone for a few minutes with this gang of men, who had all been murderers, and mostly murderers of many.

Breathlessly interesting was the first approach to Rome—the characteristic scenery of the Campagna, with its tufa quarries, and its crumbling towers and tombs rising amidst the withered thistles and asphodels; its strange herds of buffaloes; then the faint grey dome rising over the low hills, and the unspoken knowledge about it, which was almost too much for words; lastly, the miserable suburb and the great Piazza del Popolo.

I never shall forget the ecstasy of awaking the next morning in the Hôtel d'Angleterre, and feeling that the longed-for desire of many years was realised. We engaged apartments in the upper floor of the Palazzo Lovati in the Piazza del Popolo—cold dreary rooms enough, but from my mother's bedroom there was a lovely view to St. Peter's across the meadows of S. Angelo.


Naturally one of my first visits was to Mrs. Hare and my sister, whom I found established in the first floor of the Palazzo Parisani, which occupies two sides of the little Piazza S. Claudio, a dismal little square, but which my sister regarded with idolatry, asserting that there was no house half so delightful as the Palazzo Parisani, no view which could be compared in interest to that of the Piazza S. Claudio. Making acquaintance with my sister at this time was to me like the perpetual reading of an engrossing romance, for nobody ever was more amusing, no one ever had more power of throwing an interest into the commonest things of life. She did not colour her descriptions, but she saw life through a prism, and imparted its rays to others. Her manner, her dress, all her surroundings were poetical. If one went to dine with her, the dinner was much the same as we had at home, but some picturesquely hung grapes, or a stalk of finocchio, or some half-opened pomegranates, gave the table an air which made it all seem quite different.

"Italima" liked my coming and going, and was very angry if I did not come, though she never professed any maternal affection for me. I often found myself in difficulties between my two mothers. My adopted mother would sometimes take an alarm that I was going too often to Italima, and would demand my presence just on the particular occasion when "Italima" had counted upon it; in which case I always gave way to her. And indeed, as a rule, I always spent all my time with my mother, except about two evenings in the week, when I went to Italima and the Palazzo Parisani. On rare occasions, also, I went out "into the world" with Italima and my sister, to balls at the Palazzo Borghese, and at the Palazzo di Spagna, where old Queen Christina of Spain was then living, an interesting historic figure to me as the sister of the Duchesse de Berri and great-niece of Marie Antoinette. She was very hospitable, and her parties, approached through an avenue of silver candelabra representing palm-trees—spoils from the Spanish convents—were exceedingly magnificent. At her suppers on Fridays, one side of the room was laid for "maigre," the other for "gras," and when the doors were opened, there was a general scrimmage to reach the delicious viands on the "maigre" table. After each of her receptions, it was the rule that five cards should be left by each guest—for herself, for her husband the Duc de Rianzares (who had been a common soldier), for her master of the household, for her equerry, and for her lady-in-waiting. The principal balls were those given by Princess Borghese, at which many cardinals were present, but would sit down to whist in a room apart from the dancers. A great feature of the Borghese parties at this time was the Princess-mother, who always sat in a conspicuous place in the anteroom, and to whom all the guests were expected to pay their court. By birth she was Adèle de la Rochefoucauld, and she was the mother of three princes—Marc-Antonio Borghese, Aldobrandini, and Salviati. She was "sage, souple, et avide des biens," as Voltaire says of Mazarin, and it was she who—probably most unjustly—had then the reputation of having poisoned the beautiful Princess Guendolina, first wife of Marc-Antonio, with all her sons, in order that her own son might marry her niece, Thérèse[124] de la Rochefoucauld, which he afterwards did. A conspicuous figure was the beautiful young Princess del Drago, one of the daughters of Queen Christina's second marriage, whose husband had a most fiendish face. I often saw the blind Duke of Sermoneta, celebrated for his knowledge of Dante, and his witty canonical brother, Don Filippo Caiëtani, generally known as "Don Pippo." The then Duchess of Sermoneta was "Margherita," née Miss Knight, a most ghastly and solemn woman to outsiders, but much beloved by those who knew her intimately.

The Prince of Piombino, who lived in exile or seclusion after the change of government in Rome, was then flourishing in his immense palace in the Corso, and his children, then young married people, were the life of all the parties. Of these, Rudolfo, Duke of Sora, had married the saint-like Agnese, only surviving child of Donna Guendolina Borghese, who was supposed only by absence to have escaped the fate of her mother and brothers. Of his sisters, Donna Carolina was the clever, brilliant Princess Pallavicini, and Donna Giulia had married the Duke of Fiano, who lived in the neighbouring palace, and by marrying her had broken the heart of Mademoiselle Judith Falconnet.[125]

One of the Romans whom I saw most frequently was the Princess Santa Croce, living in the old historical palace which has the reputation of being the only haunted house in Rome, where two statues of cardinals come down from their pedestals and rattle their marble trains up and down the long galleries. The Princess was one of the daughters of Mr. Scully in Ireland. He had three, of whom two were beautiful, clever, and brilliant, but the third was uninteresting. The two elder Miss Scullys went out into the world, and were greatly admired and much made of; but the youngest stayed at home like Cinderella, and was never known at all except as "the Miss Scullys' younger sister." Many people wished to marry the elder Miss Scullys; but they said "No, for we have a presentiment that we are to marry dukes, and therefore we will wait." But no dukes came forward, and at length old Mr. Scully died, leaving his daughters three great fortunes; and being Roman Catholics, without any particular call or claim, they determined to visit Rome before they settled in life. They took many introductions with them, and on their arrival the good looks, cleverness, and wealth of the elder sisters created quite a sensation; but people asked them, Roman-fashion, "what was their vocation," for in Rome all Catholic ladies are expected to have decided this. Then they said they had never thought of it, and they went to spend a week in the convent of the Trinità de' Monti to consider it. When the day came on which the three Miss Scullys were to declare their vocation, all Rome was interested, and the "great world" thronged the parlours of the Trinità de' Monti to hear it; but the expectants were petrified when the two elder Miss Scullys came out, for they had found their vocation, and it was a convent! No doubt whatever was felt about the youngest—"of course she would follow her sisters." But no; she had found her vocation, and it was marriage! and the youngest Miss Scully, additionally enriched by half the fortunes of her two elder sisters, went out into the world, and in three weeks she had accepted the great Roman Prince of Santa Croce, who claims descent from Valerius Publicola. I often used to watch with interest the Princess Santa Croce, who went to confess and pray at the convent of the Villa Lante (which Roman princesses are wont to frequent), for the two portresses who opened the doors were her two elder sisters, the proud Miss Scullys: it was the story of Cinderella in real life. I was at Rome years afterwards (1864) when the Princess Santa Croce died. All the princesses lie in state after death, but by old custom, the higher their rank, the lower they must lie, and the Princess Santa Croce was of such excessively high rank, that she lay upon the bare boards.

I think that it was towards the middle of our stay in Rome that I received a summons to a private audience of Pius IX. Italima and my sister went with me. We went in evening dress to the Vatican in the middle of the day, and were shown into a gallery where a number of Monsignori were standing. Amongst them was Monsignore Talbot, who asked me if I did not feel very much agitated. I said "No," and he answered, "But every one must be agitated when they are about to stand in the presence of the Vicar of Christ"—and at that moment he drew aside a portière, and we found ourselves at one end of a long hall, at the other end of which a sturdy figure with a beneficent face, in what looked like a white dressing-gown, was standing leaning his hand upon a table: it was Pius IX. We had been told beforehand that, as we had asked for a private audience, we must perform all the genuflections, three at the doorway, three in the middle of the room, and three at the feet of the Pope, and the same in returning; and Italima had declared that the thought of this made her so nervous that we must do all the talking. But Italima had often been to the Pope before, and she was so active and agile, that by the time my sister and I got up from the third genuflection in the doorway, she was already curvetting in the centre of the hall, and we heard the beautiful voice of the Pope, like a silver bell, say, "E come sta la figlia mia—e come sta la cara figlia mia," and by the time we were in the middle of the apartment she was already at the feet of the Pope. Eventually my sister and I arrived, and flung ourselves down, one on each side of Italima, at the feet of the Pope, who gave us his ring to kiss, and his foot, or rather a great raised gold cross upon his white slipper. "E questa la figlia?" he said, pointing to my sister. "Si, Sua Santità," said Italima. "Ed e questo il figlio?" he said, turning to me. "Si, Sua Santità," said Italima. Then my sister, who thought it was a golden opportunity which she would never have again, and which was not to be lost, broke through all the rules of etiquette, and called out from the other side of the daïs, clasping her hands, "Ma, Sua Santità, il mio fratello e stato Protestant."

Then the Pope turned to me and spoke of the great privilege and blessing of being a Catholic, but said that from what he had heard of me he felt that I did not deserve that privilege, and that therefore he could not wish that I should enjoy its blessings. He said much more, and then that, before I left, I should make him a "piccolo piccolino promessino" (the least little bit of a promise in the world), and that I should remember all my life that I had made it at the feet of Pius IX. I said that I should wish to do whatever Sua Santità desired, but that before I engaged to make a promise I should like to know what the promise was to be about. "Oh," said the Pope, smiling, "it is nothing so very difficult; it is only something which a priest in your own Church might ask: it is that you will say the Lord's Prayer every morning and evening." "Yes," I replied, "I shall be delighted to make Sua Santità the promise; but perhaps Sua Santità is not aware that the practice is not unusual in the Church of England." Then, almost severely for one so gentle, the Pope said, "You seem to think the promise a light one; I think it a very serious one; in fact, I think it so serious, that I will only ask you to promise to use one petition—'Fiat voluntas tua, O Deus, in terris ut in cœlo,' and remember that you have promised that at the feet of Pius IX." Then he blended his farewell very touchingly into a beautiful prayer and blessing; he blessed the things—rosaries, &c.—which my sister had brought with her; he again gave us his ring and the cross on his foot to kiss, and while he rang the little bell at his side, we found our way out backwards—quite a geometrical problem with nine genuflections to be made on the way.

I was often in the convent of the Trinità when I was at Rome in 1857, for visitors are allowed there at certain hours, and a great friend of my sister's, Adèle, Madame Davidoff, was then in the convent, having been sent to Rome on an especial mission to the Pope on matters connected with the French convents of the Sacré Cœur. Madame Davidoff ("Madame" only "in religion," as "a spouse of Christ") was daughter of the Maréchale Sebastiani, the stepmother of the murdered Duchesse de Praslin, and was grand-daughter of the Duchesse de Grammont, who founded the Sacré Cœur. Her own life had been very romantic. One winter there was a very handsome young Count Schouvaloff in Rome, whom my sister knew very well. She had been one day in the convent, and Madame Davidoff had accompanied her to the outer door, and was standing engrossed with last words, leaning against the green baize door leading into the church. Suddenly a man appeared, coming through the inner door of the convent, evidently from visiting the Abbess. "Mais c'est le Comte Schouvaloff!" said Madame Davidoff to my sister, and pushing the baize door behind her, suddenly disappeared into the church, while Schouvaloff, seeing her suddenly vanish, rushed forward to my sister exclaiming, "Oh, c'est elle—c'est elle! Oh, mon Adèle, mon Adèle!" He had been on the eve of marriage with her, when she had thought herself suddenly seized by a conventual vocation, had taken the veil, and he had never seen her since. The next day Count Schouvaloff left Rome. He went into retreat for some time at the Certosa of Pavia, where total silence is the rule of daily life. He took orders, and in a few years, having a wonderful gift for preaching, was sent on a mission to Paris; but the shock of returning to the scenes of his old life was too much for him, and in a few days after reaching Paris he died.

When I knew Madame Davidoff, she still possessed an extraordinary charm of conversation and manner, and the most exuberant eloquence of any person I have ever seen. Her one object was conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, and into that she threw all her energies, all her charm and wit, and even her affections. Her memory was as prodigious as that of Macaulay, and she knew all the controversial portions of the great Catholic writers by heart. What was more extraordinary still was, that having many "cases" going on at the same time (for people used to go to visit her and sit round her anteroom like patients at a fashionable dentist's), she never confounded one with another in her mind, never lost time, and always went on exactly where she left off. But her love of ruling made Madame Davidoff less popular within the walls of her convent than with the outside world; and after her return to Paris, the means which she often took to attain the ends to which she devoted her life brought such trouble to the convent of the Sacré Cœur, that the nuns refused to keep her amongst them, and she afterwards lived in the world, giving frequent anxiety to her sister, the Marquise de Gabriac, and to Lord Tankerville and Lady Malmesbury, her cousins. During my first visit at Rome, I saw Madame Davidoff often, and, after a courteous expression of regret that I was sure to be eternally damned, she would do her best to convert me. I believe my dear mother underwent great qualms on my visits to her. But her religious unscrupulousness soon alienated me, and I had a final rupture with her upon her urging me to become a Roman Catholic secretly, and to conceal it from my adopted mother as long as she lived. Other Roman Catholics who made a vehement effort for my perversion were Monsignor Talbot and Monsignor Howard, the latter of whom I had known as a very handsome dashing young guardsman a few years before, but who afterwards became a Cardinal. There was a most ridiculous scene when they came to the Palazzo Lovati, where Monsignor Howard made so violent a harangue against Protestantism that Monsignor Talbot was obliged to apologise for him. Roman Catholics with whom we were intimate from circumstances were the ex-Jew Mr. Goldsmid and his wife. Mr. Goldsmid had been converted by the Père Ratisbon, whose own conversion was attributed partially to the image of the Virgin in the Church of Andrea delle Fratte, and partly to the prayers of M. de la Ferronays, which are believed to have endowed the image with speech.

A really excellent Roman Catholic priest of whom I saw much was Monsignor Pellerin, Bishop in Cochin-China. His conversation was liberal and beautiful, and he had the simplicity of a mediæval saint. He was at that time about to return to China, with a great probability of martyrdom. On his last day in Rome he celebrated mass in the Catacombs in the Chapel of Santa Cecilia, a most touching sight even to those who were not of his faith. On taking leave, he gave me a small silver crucifix, which I treasured for a long time, then it disappeared: I always thought that Lea made away with it, in the fear that it might make me a Roman Catholic. I heard of the close of Monsignor Pellerin's self-sacrificing life in China several years later.

Amongst the English we had many pleasant friends, especially the George Cavendishes and the Greene Wilkinsons, who had a great fortune left to them for opening a pew-door to an old gentleman: it used to be said that they ought to take "Pro Pudor" as their motto.

But no notice of our familiar society at Rome can be complete which does not speak of "Auntie"—Miss Paul—the sister of "Italima," who lived her own life apart in two rooms in a corner of the Parisani Palace, where she saw and observed everything, and was very ready to make her quaint original remarks upon what she had observed when she joined the rest of the family, which was only in the evenings. I never saw "Auntie" otherwise than desperately busy, sometimes with immense rolls of embroidery, sometimes with charcoal-drawing, often with extraordinary and most incomprehensible schemes for recovering the very large fortune she had once possessed, and which she had lost in "the Paul Bankruptcy." Italima was not at all kind to her, but this did not affect her in the least: she went her own way, and when she was most soundly abused, it only seemed to amuse her. My sister she absolutely adored, and then and afterwards used to think it perfect happiness to sit and watch her for hours, not being able to hear a word she said on account of her deafness. I was exceedingly fond of "Auntie," and used to delight to escape from the ungenial atmosphere of Italima's great drawing-room to the busy little den in the corner of the palace, where I was always a welcome visitor, and always found something amusing going on.

When we arrived in Rome, my sister Esmeralda was supposed to be partially engaged to Don Emilio Rignano, eldest son of the Duke Massimo, whom she had known well from childhood. Emilio at one time passed every evening at the Palazzo Parisani; but during this winter Donna Teresa Doria appeared in the world, and the old Duchess Massimo, who hated Anglo-Roman alliances, by a clever scheme soon compelled her son to consent to an engagement with her. Having learnt this, Esmeralda refused ever to receive Emilio again. On the day before his marriage, however, he found her in the Church of S. Claudio, and tried to make her marry him at once by the easy Roman form, "Ecco il mio marito—Ecco la mia moglie," but she would not listen to him. Then, when she drove to the Villa Borghese, he pursued the carriage, regardless of the people in the street. His hat fell off, but he would not stop: he seemed to have lost his senses.

At a marriage in high life in Rome, the guests are often asked, not to the actual ceremony, but to St. Peter's afterwards, to see the bridal pair kiss the foot of the famous statue. When the Duke and Duchess Rignano entered St. Peter's, they were piteous to see: they would not look at each other. Old Lady Rolle was there, standing by the statue, and when they came near she said audibly, "What a wicked scene! what a sinful marriage!" And Emilio heard her, gave her one look of agony, and flung himself down on the pavement in front of the statue.

As Duchess Rignano, Teresa Doria was wretched. We saw her afterwards at Genoa, in the old Doria Palace, with her mother, whose death was hastened by the sight of her daughter's woe and her own disappointed ambition. Before long the Duchess Teresa was separated from her husband. Her tragical fate was a good thing for her sisters: the second sister, Guendolina, made a happy marriage with the Conte di Somaglia in the Marchi, and the youngest, Olimpia, was allowed to remain long unmarried. This last daughter of the house of Doria was described by her mother as so very small when she was born, that they swathed her in flannel and laid her in the sun, in the hope that it would make her grow like a plant. I was one day at the house of Mrs. de Selby, cousin of Princess Doria, when her servant threw open the door and announced in a stentorian voice, allo Romano—"La sua Eccellenza l'illustrissima Principessina la Donna Olimpia di Doria,"—and there marched in a stately little maiden of eight years old!

Cardinal Antonelli obtained an order for my sister and me to visit the Madre Makrina, the sole survivor of the Polish nuns who were martyred for their faith in the terrible persecution at Minsk. The nuns were starved, flogged to death, buried alive, subjected to the most horrible cruelties. Three escaped and reached Vienna, where two of them disappeared and never were heard of again. After a series of unparalleled adventures and escapes, the Abbess, the Madre Makrina, arrived in Rome. Pope Gregory XVI. received her kindly, but made her tell her whole story once for all in the presence of sixty witnesses, who all wrote it down at once to ensure accuracy, and then he shut her up, for fear she should be turned into a saint and object of pilgrimage. It was not generally known what had become of the Madre Makrina—it was a mystery in Rome—but we were able to trace her to the tiny convent of the Monacche Polacche, which has since been destroyed by the Sardinian Government, but which then stood near the Arch of Gallienus, nearly opposite the Church of S. Eusebio. Italima wished to go with us, but we could only obtain an order for two. When we rang the convent bell and had shown our permit through the grille, a portress from within drew a bolt which admitted us to a little room—den rather—barred with iron, and with an iron cage at one side, behind which the portress, a very fat old woman, reappearing, asked us many questions about ourselves, the Pope, the state of Rome generally. At last we got tired and said, "But shall we not soon see the Madre Makrina?"—"Io sono la Madre Makrina," said the old woman, laughing. Then we said, "Oh, do tell us the story of Minsk."—"No," she replied, "I promised at the feet of Pope Gregory XVI. that I would never tell that story again: the story is written down, you can read it, but I cannot break my promise."—"How dreadfully you must have suffered at Minsk," we said. "Yes," she answered, and, going backwards, she pulled up her petticoats and showed us her legs, which were enormously fat, yet, a short distance above the ankles, were quite eaten away, so that you could see the bones. "This," she said, "was caused by the chains I wore at Minsk." The Madre Makrina, when we took leave, said, "I am filled with wonder as to how you got admittance. I have never seen any one before since I came here, and I do not suppose I shall ever see any one again, so I will give you a little memorial of your visit!" and she gave me a tiny crucifix and medal off her chain. I have it still.

When the Emperor Nicholas came to Rome, he went to pay his respects to the Pope, who received him very coldly. "You are a great king," said Pius IX. "You are one of the mightiest monarchs in the world, and I am a feeble old man, the servant of servants; but I cite you to meet me again, to meet me before the throne of the Judge of the world, and to answer there for your treatment of the nuns at Minsk."

But of the gathering up of reminiscences of Roman life there is no end, and, after all, my normal life was a quiet one with my mother, driving with her, sketching with her, sitting with her in the studio of the venerable Canevari,[126] who was doing her portrait, spending afternoons with her in the Medici gardens, in the beautiful Villa Wolkonski, or in the quiet valley near the grove and grotto of Egeria.

In the mornings we generally walked on the Pincio, and there often noticed a family of father, mother, and daughter working on the terrace, as the custom then was, at rope-making. One day a carriage passed and re-passed with a solitary gentleman in it, who at last, as if he could no longer restrain himself, jumped out and rushed towards the group exclaiming, "C'est elle! c'est elle!" Then he became embarrassed, retired, and eventually sent his servant to beg that the mother would bring some of her cord to his house the next morning. She obeyed, and on entering his apartment was struck at once by a portrait on the wall. "That is the picture of my daughter," she said. "No," he replied, "that is the portrait of my dead wife." He then proceeded to say that he must from that time consider himself affianced to her daughter, for that in her he seemed to see again his lost wife, and he insisted on establishing the old woman and her daughter in comfortable lodgings, and hiring all kinds of masters for the latter, saying that he would go away and leave her to her studies, and that in a year he should come back to marry her, which he did. In England this would be a very extraordinary story, but it was not thought much of at Rome.


I have always found that the interests of Rome have a more adhesive power than those of any other place, and that it is more difficult to detach oneself from them; and even in this first winter, which was the least pleasant I have spent there—the conflicting requirements of my two mothers causing no small difficulty—I was greatly distressed when my mother, in her terror of Madame Davidoff and Co., decided that we must leave for Naples on the twenty-third of February. What an unpleasant companion I was as we drove out of the Porta S. Giovanni in the large carriage of the vetturino Constantino, with—after the custom of that time—a black Spitz sitting on the luggage behind to guard it, which he did most efficaciously. I remember with a mental shiver how piteously the wind howled over the parched Campagna, and how the ruins looked almost frightful in the drab light of a sunless winter morning. But though the cold was most intense, for the season really was too early for such a journey, our spirits were revived by the extreme picturesqueness of the old towns we passed through. In Valmontone, where the huge Doria palace is, we met a ghastly funeral, an old woman carried by the Frati della Misericordia on an open bier, her withered head nodding to and fro with the motion, and priests—as Lea said—"gibbering before her." Here, from the broad deserted terrace in front of the palace, we looked over the mountains, with mists drifting across them in the wind; all was the essence of picturesqueness, raggedness, ignorance, and filth. By Frosinone and Ceprano—then the dreary scene of the Neapolitan custom-house—we reached San Germano, where the inn was in those days most wretched. In our rooms we were not only exposed to every wind that blew, but to the invasions of little Marianina, Joannina, and Nicolina, who darted in every minute to look at us, and to the hens, who walked about and laid their eggs under the bed and table. Most intensely, however, did we delight in the beauties of the glorious ascent to Monte Cassino and in all that we saw there.

How well I remember the extreme wretchedness of our mid-day halting-places in the after journey to Capua, and wonder how the pampered Italian travellers of the present day would put up with them; but in those days we did not mind, and till it was time to go on again, we drew the line of old crones sitting miserably against the inn-wall, rocking themselves to and fro in their coloured hoods, and cursing us in a chorus of—

"Ah, vi pigli un accidente
Voi che non date niente,"

if we did not give them anything.


While we were at Naples, every one was full of the terrible earthquake which in December had been devastating the Basilicata. Whole towns were destroyed. It was as after a deep snow in England, which covers fields and hedges alike; you could not tell in the mass of débris whether you were walking over houses or streets. The inhabitants who escaped were utterly paralysed, and sat like Indian Brahmins with their elbows on their knees, staring in vacant despair. Hundreds were buried alive, who might have been extricated if sufficient energy had been left in the survivors. Others, buried to the middle, had the upper part of their bodies burnt off by the fire which spread from the ruined houses, and from which they were unable to escape. Thousands died afterwards from the hunger and exposure.

Whilst we were at Naples my mother lost her gold watch. We believed it to have been stolen as we were entering the Museo Borbonico, and gave notice to the police. They said they could do nothing unless we went to the King of the Thieves, who could easily get it back for us: it would be necessary to make terms with him. So a ragazaccio[129] was sent to guide us through one of the labyrinthian alleys on the hill of St. Elmo to a house where we were presented to the King of Thieves. He mentioned his terms, which we agreed to, and he then said, "If the watch has been stolen anywhere within twelve miles round Naples, you shall have it in twenty-four hours." Meanwhile the watch was found by one of the custodes of the Museo at the bottom of that bronze vase in which you are supposed to hear the roaring of the sea; my mother had been stooping down to listen, and the watch had fallen in. But the story is worth mentioning, as the subserviency of the police to the King of the Thieves was characteristic of public justice under Ferdinand II.

To my Sister.

"Sorrento, March 7, 1858.—Some people say Sorrento is the most beautiful place in the world, and I believe that even my town-loving sister, if she could gaze over the golden woods in the sunset of this evening, and see the crimson smoke float over dark Vesuvius and then drift far over the blue sea, would allow it to be more inspiring than the Piazza S. Claudio! Then to-day the mother and her three companions have been riding on donkeys to the lovely Vigna Sersale through a fringe of coronilla and myrtle, anemones and violets.... It is a comfort here to be free from the begging atmosphere of Naples, for in Sorrento people do not beg; they only propose 'mangiare maccaroni alla sua salute.'"

"April 4.—We have had a charming cruise in the 'Centaur'—the sea like glass, the view clear. Captain Clifford sent his boat to fetch us, and we sat on deck in arm-chairs, as if on land. In tiny fishing-boats, lying flat on our backs, we entered the Grotta Azurra (of Capri), like a magical cavern peopled with phantoms, each face looking livid as the boats floated over the deep blue water. Then we scrambled up to the fortress-palace of Tiberius, our ascent being enlivened by a tremendous battle between the midshipmen and the donkey-women, who finally drew their stilettos!

"Amalfi is most romantic and lovely. We were there ten days, and spent the mornings in drawing amongst the purple rocks and sandy bays, and the afternoons in riding up the mountain staircases to the Saracenic rock-built castles and desolate towns.

"The mother thinks I have grown dreadfully worldly under your influence, and that my love for wild-flowers is the only hopeful sign remaining!"



From Salerno we made a glorious expedition to Pæstum, but on our return found our servant, John Gidman, alarmingly ill in consequence of a sunstroke while fallen asleep on the balcony at Amalfi. His sufferings were dreadful, and he remained between life and death for a long time, and I believe was only eventually saved by the violent bleedings (so often inveighed against) of an Italian doctor. This delayed us long at the dull Salerno, and afterwards at La Cava, where I comforted myself by much drawing at Salvator Rosa's grotto in the valley below the old Benedictine convent.

In May our companions returned to England, and having no one but ourselves to consider, we planned to make our own northern vetturino journey as interesting as possible. I think it was a description in "Dennis" which made us take the route by Viterbo and Orvieto, but we went there and saw it with enthusiasm, as afterwards Perugia—to which we zigzagged back across the Apennines, and Cortona, where the hill was redolent with great wild yellow roses, and where I drew the tomb of S. Margherita in the monastery, to the great delight of the monks, who regaled us with snuff and wine.

Whilst we were at Florence, living in the Casa Iandelli, I made a delightful excursion to Vallombrosa, driving in a little carriage to Pelago, and thence riding on a cart-horse up the forest-clothed mountain by the rough track which emerges on a bright green lawn, then covered with masses of lilies and columbine, and other spring flowers of every description. All around the dark forests swept down from the mountains towards the convent, where the hospitable monks entertained me with a most excellent dinner, and the abbot showed the manuscripts.


On my return, I found my mother so convulsed with laughter that it was long before she was able to explain the cause of it. At last she showed me a letter in her hand, which was a violent declaration of love and proposal of marriage from one Giorgio Rovert—"bello—possidente—avocato"—who was even then waiting at Siena to know if his "fiamme d'amore" was responded to, and if he might hasten to Florence to throw himself at the feet of the object of his adoration. For some time we were utterly bewildered, but at length recollected that at Rome a young man had constantly followed the cousin who was with us, had lifted the heavy curtains for her at the entrance of the churches, found her places in a mass-book, &c., and we concluded that he must have tracked her to the Palazzo Lovati, inquired of the porter who lived there, and hearing it was "Mrs. Hare," had followed us to Florence. Lady Anne S. Giorgio coming in soon after to see us, undertook to answer the letter, and did so most capitally; but Giorgio Rovert did not break his heart, and within three weeks we heard of him as proposing to old Lady Dillon!

The Lady Anne S. Giorgio I have mentioned began at this time to fill a great part in our life. She was a Roman Catholic, and used to say that she had become so (at sixteen) on account of the poor apology which she found made for Protestantism in Robertson's "Charles V.," which she had been reading. After she was a widow, she became a member of a Tertiary Order which binds its votaries to forsake the vanities of the world, to wear a cross, and be dressed in black. She used to be very anxious for my conversion, and have special prayers to that intent on St. Augustine's Day. She read through Madame de Sévigné every year, and her library of books excited the astonishment of her poorer neighbours, who said, "O la Contessa e tanto buona; legge sempre; prega sempre; e tanto buona," for they cannot understand any one reading anything but religious books.

Lady Anne was one of the daughters of that beautiful Lady Oxford whose offspring were named "the Harleian Miscellany." Lady Oxford lived at Genoa with her daughters, leaving Lord Oxford in England, and during her Italian life had many strange adventures, and one of a most terrible kind, the story of which was related to me by Dr. Wellesley, who was present at the time, but I will omit it. Of the weird stories of the other sisters I will say nothing, but Lady Anne in her youth was engaged to a young Italian, who, with the ugly name of Boggi, was yet of a very good family. However, before they could be married, Boggi died, and the Harleys returned to England. While there, Lady Anne wished to marry her music-master, but her family would not hear of it, and by the harshness of their opposition made her life miserable. Having striven vainly for some years to win the consent of her family, Lady Anne wrote to Madame Boggi, the mother of her late betrothed, with whom she had always kept up a communication, to say that she was in wretched health and spirits, that she required change terribly, and that she was very unhappy because her family violently opposed her marriage with a very excellent young Italian—but she did not say who he was. Madame Boggi replied by saying that nothing could give her greater happiness than having her dearest Annie with her, and imploring her to come out to her at once. The Harley family consented, thinking that the change might cure Lady Anne's heartache, and she went out to Madame Boggi, who had always said that she looked upon her as a daughter because she was once engaged to her dead son.

While Lady Anne was with Madame Boggi, she heard that her Italian lover had returned to Italy to join his friends, but that he had been stopped by illness at some place in the north of Italy, and was lying in a very critical condition. I cannot say how Lady Anne persuaded Madame Boggi, but she did persuade her to consent to her going off to nurse her lover, and, unmarried girl as she was, she nursed him through all his illness. He died, but his brother, who came to him when he was dying, was so touched by Lady Anne's devotion, that he afterwards proposed to her, and she married him.

The husband of Lady Anne was only a "cavaliere." They were dreadfully poor, and lived at a little farm somewhere in the hills above Spezia, where two boys and a girl were born. But Lady Anne did not mind poverty; she fattened her chickens and pigs for market, she studied botany and all the ologies by herself, and she taught her children. After she became a widow, she heard one day that her father, Lord Oxford, from whom she had been separated from childhood, was passing through Italy, and she threw herself in his way upon the staircase in the inn at Sarzana. When he found who she was, he was delighted both with her and her children. He said, "I have done nothing for you hitherto, and I can do nothing for you after my death, for my affairs are arranged and they cannot be altered; but whatever you ask me to do now shall be granted." "Then," said Lady Anne, "you have always looked down upon me and despised me, because my husband was a simple 'cavaliere.' You are going to Rome: get me created a Countess in my own right, and then you will despise me no more." And Lord Oxford went to Rome, and, by his personal influence with the Pope, to whom he had great opportunities of being useful, his daughter Anne was created a Countess in her own right, and her sons became titular Counts and her daughter a Countess.

It was in this summer of 1858, while we were at Florence, that Lady Anne came to "Italima" (for she had known my father intimately in her palmy days) and said, "You know how I have lived like a hermit in my 'tenuto,' and meanwhile here is Carolina grown up, and Carolina must marry somebody, and that somebody you must find, for you are almost the only person I know." And, to her surprise, Italima was able to answer, "It is really very odd, but Mrs. de Selby, the cousin of the Princesses Doria and Borghese, was here this morning, and she said, 'Here is Roberto, and I want to find somebody for him to marry. I do not want a fortune, we have plenty of money, but it must be a girl of good family, and if she is partly English so much the better.'"

We went to the betrothal dinner of Robert Selby and Carolina di S. Giorgio, and afterwards we ran about the Torrigiani gardens in the still summer evening, and made round our straw hats wreaths of the fireflies, which, when they are once fixed, seldom fly away. Carolina was afterwards a great friend of ours, and most entertaining and clever. She could imitate an old priest scolding and taking snuff so exactly, that if you shut your eyes you thought one must be in the room; and she used to create for herself little dramas and tragedies, in which she was as pathetic as she was at other times comic. As a mother she was most unfortunate. Several of her children were poisoned by eating "fungi" at a trattoria outside the Porta del Popolo, and she herself nearly died from the same cause. After Robert Selby's death she married again, and went to live at Leghorn.

I was very sorry afterwards that during this visit we never saw Mrs. Browning, who died in 1861, before we were at Florence again. We used to hear much of her—of her peculiar appearance, with her long curls, and (from illness) her head always on one side; of the infinite charm of her conversation; of her interest in spiritualism; how she would endeavour to assert her belief in it in her little feeble voice, upon which Browning would descend in his loud tones; but they were perfectly devoted to each other.

Another person whom we often saw at Florence was the foolish wife of our dear old Landor, who never ceased to describe with fury his passionate altercations with her, chiefly caused apparently by jealousy. Landor was still living at Bath at this time.

In the Cascine at Florence we found the same old flower-woman who had been there when I was a baby in the Prato, where I was taught to walk. She used to drive to the Cascine with her flowers in a smart carriage with a pair of horses, and would smile and kiss her hands to us as we passed. It was contrary to good Florentine manners not to accept the flowers which she offered to every one she saw when she arrived where the carriages were waiting, but they were never paid for at the time; only a present was sent occasionally, or given by foreigners when they left Florence, and she came to the station to see them off and present a farewell bouquet. I merely mention these customs because they are probably dying out, perhaps are already extinct.

My cousin Lady Normanby was at this time resident in her beautiful Florentine villa, with its lovely garden of roses and view over Florence, and she was very kind to us.

We were at Florence this year during the festival of Corpus Domini, and saw that curious procession, chiefly consisting of little boys in white dominos, and brown monks and brothers of the Misericordia; but, following the Archbishop under his canopy, came the Grand Duke on foot, with all the male members of the Corsini and Guicciardini families, and the young Archdukes in white satin trains.

We saw also the Foundling Hospital, where all the children were brought up and nursed by goats, and where, when the children cried, the goats ran and gave them suck.

About the 10th of June we settled at Lucca baths, in the pleasant little Casa Bertini, a primitive house more like a farm-house than a villa, on the steep hillside above the Grand Duke's palace, possessing a charming little garden of oleanders and apple-trees at the back, with views down into the gorge of the river, and up into the hilly cornfields, which were always open to us. Very delightful were the early mornings, when the mother, with book and camp-stool, wandered up the hill-path, fringed with flowers, to the Bagni Caldi. Charming too the evenings, when, after "merenda" at four o'clock in the garden, we used to go forth, with all the little society, in carriages or on horseback, till the heavy dews fell, and drove us in by the light of the fireflies. A most pleasant circle surrounded us. Close by, in a large cool villa with a fountain, was the gentle invalid Mrs. Greville (née Locke), singing and composing music, with her pleasant companion Miss Rowland. Just below, in the hotel of the villa, "Auntie" was living with the George Cavendishes, and in the street by the river the pretty widow, Mrs. Francis Colegrave, with her children, Howard and Florence, and her sister Miss Chichester.

An amusing member of the society at the Bagni, living in a cottage full of curiosities, was Mrs. Stisted, the original of Mrs. Ricketts in "The Daltons." She had set her heart upon converting the Duke of Parma to Protestantism, and he often condescended to controversy with her. One day she thought she had really succeeded, but driving into Lucca town next day, to her horror she met him walking bare-headed in a procession with a lighted candle in his hand. Then and there she stopped her carriage and began to upbraid him. When he returned to the Bagni, he went to see her and to reprove her. "There cannot," he said, "be two sovereigns at Lucca; either I must be Duke or you must be Queen," and ever after she was called the Queen of the Bagni. Colonel Stisted had a number of curious autographs, the most interesting being the MS. of the "Lines to an Indian air"—"I rise from dreams of thee"—found in the pocket of Shelley after he was drowned.

Living beneath us all this summer were the Grand Ducal family, and we saw them constantly. They were greatly beloved, but the Grand Duchess-Dowager, who was a Sardinian princess, was more popular than the reigning Grand Duchess, who was a Neapolitan Bourbon, and ultimately brought about the ruin of the family by her influence. The Grand Duchess-Dowager was the step-mother of the Grand Duke, and also his sister-in-law, having been sister-in-law of his first wife. The Hereditary Grand Duke was married to her niece, a lovely Saxon princess, who died soon afterwards: it was said that he treated her very ill, and that his younger brother protected her. We were at a very pretty ball which was given on the festa of S. Anna, her patroness. The Grand Ducal family generally went out at the same hour as ourselves. In the middle of the day nothing stirred except the scorpions, which were a constant terror. One was found in my bath in the morning, and all that day we were in fearful expectation, as the creatures never go about singly; but in the evening we met the companion coming upstairs. There were also quantities of serpents, which in the evening used frequently to be seen crossing the road in a body going down to the river to drink.

Augustus J. C. Hare.

From a portrait by Canevari. Augustus J. C. Hare.
From a portrait by Canevari.


Every Friday afternoon we had a reception in our hill-set garden, and our maid Quintilia set out tea and fruit, &c., in the summer-house. At the gate a basket was held, into which every one dropped a story as they entered, and they were all read aloud after tea. One day, one of these stories, a squib on Ultra-Protestants written by the younger Miss Cavendish, led to a great fracas with the George Cavendishes, Admiral and Mrs. Cavendish being perfectly furious with my gentle mother, who of all people was the most innocent, as she could not have an idea of what was in the stories till they were read aloud. Well do I remember coming round the corner of the villa, and finding the Admiral storming at her as she sat upon her donkey, with "My daughters shall never enter your house again—they shall never enter it again!" and her sweet smile as she replied, "Then, Admiral Cavendish, I have only to thank you so very much for having so often allowed them to come to me hitherto,"—and the Admiral's subdued look afterwards.

There was a little school established by the Grand Duchess just below us, whither my mother sometimes went in the mornings. The children were taught Scripture dialogues. One little girl would say to another, "Oh, cara mia, cara amica mia, I have such a wonderful thing to tell you," and then would narrate how a babe was born in Bethlehem, &c., upon which the hearer would exclaim, "O Gran Dio" in her amazement, and on one occasion, with a cry of "O cielo!" pretended to faint away with astonishment in the most natural way imaginable.

A long excursion from Lucca was that to Galicano, where a hermit with a reputation of great sanctity was living under an overhanging cliff in the mountains. He hid himself on our approach, but our large party hunted him, and eventually unearthed him—an old dirty man in a brown gown, with a chain of huge beads at his girdle. We wanted to see the miraculous image of which he was guardian, but he would not show it unless we were Catholics, and was much puzzled by my protesting that we were, and my mother that we were not. However, at last he consented to exhibit it, on condition that we all knelt, and that the ladies took off their bonnets. We returned home much later than was expected, and so, as we found afterwards, escaped seven bandits, who had been lying in wait for us, and at last gave us up. The whole of the road from Lucca to Galicano had then black crosses at intervals, commemorating the murders committed there.

This summer at Lucca was altogether the greatest halt in my life I have ever known. We seemed so removed from the world, and I was more free from family snubbings than I had ever been before. But, all through the time we were there, I had been far from well, and the doctor who was consulted declared that I could not survive the severities of an English winter. In spite of this, my mother never flinched in her determination to return, for having once taken the impression (without the remotest reason) that I had a tendency to Roman Catholicism, she had a far greater terror of what she considered as danger to my soul than of any danger to my body.

When we left the Bagni di Lucca on the 2nd of August, I left it in despair. Behind us was a quiet, peaceful, and a far from useless life, encircled by troops of friends, and supplying the literary and artistic occupations in which I began to feel that I might possibly in time be able to distinguish myself. Before me was the weary monotony of Hurstmonceaux, only broken by visits from or to relations, by most of whom I was disliked and slighted, if not positively ill-treated. I also felt sure that all the influence of my aunts would be used with my easily guided mother to force upon me the most uncongenial of employments, which she was only too certain to allow them to advocate as "especially desirable for Augustus, because they were uncongenial!" I was at this time also in more than usual disgrace, because disgust at the sham Christians, sham Evangelicals, sham Protestants, with whom for years I had been thrown, had induced me to avow my horror of Ordination. In every way I felt myself unfitted for it. I wrote at this time—"'Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no depth of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and, because they had no root, they withered away.' If you want to know about my past religious 'impressions,' that is just my story." Still the declaration of my determination not to take Orders, dreaded and put off for years, cost me acutest suffering from the pain and disappointment which I knew it inflicted upon my mother.

When we left Casa Bertini and descended the steep hill to our carriages, we found that the whole society had been amusing themselves by dressing in mourning, and were waiting to sing "a dirge" of their own composition, as we drove away. But we had one or two more happy days. On the morning after our arrival at Lucca town, we were astonished by sounds of loud singing in the passage, and going out, found all those we had so recently parted from at the Bagni singing in chorus some more verses which they had composed as "a serenade," and bringing for us a picture of the Ponte alla Maddalena, painted on a stone out of the river. We quickly determined to spend the day in going with them to Pisa, and making an excursion to the Gombo, where the Pisan pines end in the sands by the seashore—and we did not return till midnight. It was the custom at Lucca for those who drew to make little sketches in the travellers' book at the hotel, and I had amused myself by doing one the day before, and inscribing it "View from the Walls of Lucca," though it was a wretched performance. When we came back, we found a most lovely drawing opposite, inscribed—"View from the Walls of Lucca as it really is." The Grand Duke's artist had been at the hotel in the interval.


We travelled then with delicious slowness, only rolling onwards through the most glorious scenery in the cool mornings and evenings, and resting in the heat of mid-day, while, as at this time we only took our carriage from place to place, we had no scruple in halting for days at Pietra Santa, with its glorious views over the mountains, and old convents embosomed in olives and cypresses; in making excursions to Serravezza and to dismal Carrara; in lingering at La Spezia, where the avenue of oleanders was in full blaze of bloom, and driving thence to Porto Venere with its marble church and wonderful views along the cliffs—blue, green, yellow, and coral-red, descending abruptly into the sea.

To my Aunt Eleanor Paul.

"Lucca, August 3, 1858.—Once upon a time there was a lady advanced in years, who had an only child. They were sick and sorrowful, and the tempests of the world beat upon them. Driven from home, they wandered hither and thither, seeking rest and finding none, till at length one day they arrived, wearied and wayworn, at the entrance of a mountain valley. 'Alas!' they whispered, 'what place is this?'—'Take courage,' answered the trees and fountains; 'rejoice,' shouted the flowers, 'for this is the Happy Valley, where those who enter rest from all sickness and trouble: this is the place where people may have a halt in life, and where care and anxiety do not exist.' And when they heard these words, the countenances of the weary lady and her son were glad, and the flowers and the trees and the fountains laughed and shouted for joy in the ceaseless golden sunshine. For two months the strangers rested in the Happy Valley, and then once more the tempest howled to receive them, and the voices of the unseen sternly bade them depart; and slowly and sadly they arose, and went out again into the wilderness, where every solitary flower, every mountain and stream, seemed only an echo from a lost and beautiful past.

"Oh, my auntie, do you know who the mother and son were, and what was the Happy Valley to which they looked back with so much loving regret?"

"La Spezia, August 8.—We have been to Carrara. Do you know, my auntie, that once upon a time there lived in the mountains of Carrara a race of funny little people called Fanticelle? They were the hobgoblins of the marble rocks, and were very merry, very useful, and highly respected by every one. Each marble had its own Fante; one was dressed in red, another in yellow, and others in stripes of various colours; but the Fante of the white marble wore only a simple dress as white as snow, and was greatly despised in consequence by her companions, who were so fashionably attired. Daily the poor white Fante was snubbed and insulted, and at last, when the ancient Romans came to make quarries, and cut and hacked her to pieces, and carried her remains away in carts, all the other Fanti smiled in their cold satire and said, 'It only served the vulgar creature right, for she did not even know how to dress herself, and sitting upon the mountain with nothing on but her night-dress was really quite indecorous.'

"But when some years had passed, the great guardian spirit came to the mountains, and, stretching forth his wings, he gathered all the Fanti beneath them, and said, 'Now, my children, you shall go forth to see the world, and, when you return, you shall each say what is most highly esteemed by the lovers of art, and what it is that the children of men consider most beautiful and best.'

"Thus the Fanti of Carrara flew forth to see the world! They alighted first in the square at Genoa. All around were huge and stately palaces, and in the centre the statue of a hero, with the world lying captive at his feet. But what the Fanti remarked most was that in the most magnificent chambers of every palace, and even upon the statue of the great Columbus himself, sat the semblance of their despised sister the white Fante, as if enshrined and honoured. 'Alas!' exclaimed the Fanti, 'what degraded notions have these Genoese; let us examine places better worth our notice.' So they came to Spain, and visited the Alhambra, but in every court, and even on the Fountain of Lions itself, they found the image of the white Fante seated before them. Thence they passed on to London, to Paris, to Berlin, to Vienna, but it was ever the same. In every gallery of statues, over the hearth of every palace, upon the altar of every church, it seemed as if the white Fante was reigning. 'Ah,' they exclaimed, 'can all men be thus degraded? can all good taste be banished from the earth? Let us see one more city nearer home, and from that let us form our judgment, for the inhabitants of these northern cities are not worthy to be ranked with mankind.'

"So the Fanti came to Milan, and beneath the wings of the great guardian spirit, rejoicing in their approaching triumph, they entered its vast square. And behold the spirit drew back his wings, and they beheld a mighty and an awful vision! Before them stood their sister, the Fante of the milk-white rocks, but no longer humble, no longer to be restrained even within the bounds of the greatest palace upon earth. Majestic in beauty, invincible in power, she raised her mighty wings to heaven in the aisles of a vast cathedral, and mounted higher and higher as by an aërial staircase, till, far above all human things, she flung her snow-white tresses into the azure sky!

"Then the Fanti of the coloured robes bowed their heads and trembled, and acknowledged in penitence and humility—'Truly the Fante of the white rocks is the most beautiful thing in the world!'

"Who can go to Carrara, my auntie, and not feel this?"

We were for a few days at Turin. The society there was then, as it is still, the very climax of stagnation. One of its most admired ornaments was a beautiful young Contessa la Marmora. She did nothing all day, absolutely nothing, but sit looking pretty, with her chin leaning on her hand. Her mother-in-law was rather more energetic than herself, and hoping to rouse her, left a new "Journal des Modes" upon her table. Some days after, she asked what she thought of it. "Alas!" said the young Countess, with her beautiful head still leaning upon her hand, "I have been so much occupied, that I never have found time to look into it." In all my acquaintance since with Italian ladies, I have always found the same, that they are all intensely occupied, but that it is in doing—nothing!

Since the dreadful epidemic at court, which swept away at once the Queen, the Queen-Dowager, and the Duke of Genoa, the King had never received, and as his eldest daughter, Madame Clotilde, was not old enough to do so, there were no court parties. At the opera all the young ladies sat facing the stage, and the old ladies away from it; but when the ballet began there was a general change; the old ladies moved to the front, and the young ones went behind.


A great contrast to the Italians at Turin was Mr. Ruskin, whom we saw constantly. He was sitting all day upon a scaffold in the gallery, copying bits of the great picture by Paul Veronese. My mother was very proud of my drawings at this time, and gave them to him to look at. He examined them all very carefully and said nothing for some time. At last he pointed out one of the cathedral at Perugia as "the least bad of a very poor collection." One day in the gallery, I asked him to give me some advice. He said, "Watch me." He then looked at the flounce in the dress of a maid of honour of the Queen of Sheba for five minutes, and then he painted one thread: he looked for another five minutes, and then he painted another thread.[135] At the rate at which he was working he might hope to paint the whole dress in ten years: but it was a lesson as to examining what one drew well before drawing it. I said to him, "Do you admire all Paul Veronese's works as you do this?" He answered, "I merely think that Paul Veronese was ordained by Almighty God to be an archangel, neither more nor less; for it was not only that he knew how to cover yards of canvas with noble figures and exquisite colouring, it was that it was all right. If you look at other pictures in this gallery, or any gallery, you will find mistakes, corrected perhaps, but mistakes of every form and kind; but Paul Veronese had such perfect knowledge, he never made mistakes."

The Charles Bunsens were at Turin, and we dined with them. With Mrs. C. Bunsen was her brother, whom we thought a very dull, heavy young man. Long afterwards he became very well known as the French Ambassador, Waddington.

We saw Mr. Ruskin again several times in the Vaudois, whither we went from Turin, and stayed for several days at La Tour, riding on donkeys to the wild scene of the Waldensian battle in the valley of Angrogna, and jolting in a carriage to the beautiful villages of Villar and Bobbio—"une vraie penitence," as our driver expressed it, though the scenery is lovely. My mother was charmed to find an old woman at La Tour who had known Oberlin very well and had lived in his parish.


Amongst the endless little out-of-the-way excursions which my mother, Lea, and I have made together in little chars-à-banc, one of those I remember with greatest pleasure is that from Vergogna up the Val Anzasca. The scenery was magnificent: such a deep gorge, with purple rocks breaking through the rich woods, and range upon range of distant mountains, with the snows of Monte Rosa closing them in. We stayed at a charming little mountain inn at Ponte Grande, where everything was extraordinarily cheap, and wandered in the meadows filled with globe-ranunculus and over-shadowed by huge chestnut-trees. In the evening the charcoal-burners came down from the mountains, where we had watched the smoke of the fires all day amongst the woods, and serenaded us under our windows, singing in parts, with magnificent voices, most effective in the still night. We were afterwards at Domo d'Ossola for a Sunday for the extraordinary fête of the imaginary Santa Filomena—kept all day with frantic enthusiasm, cannons firing, bells ringing, and processions of girls in white, chaunting as they walked, pouring in from all the country parishes in the neighbourhood.

To Mrs. Hare (Italima).

"Lausanne, Sept. 3, 1858.—At Martigny we found Galignani, which we had not seen for some days, and you will imagine my distress at the sad news about Mr. Landor with which they were filled.[137] Dear Mr. Landor! I had always hoped and intended to be near him and watch over the last years of this old, old friend. I feel certain that there is much, which the world does not know, to be said on his side. I have known Mrs. Y. for years ... and always prophesied that she would be the ruin of Mr. Landor some day. For the poems, no excuse can be offered except that he was so imbued with the spirit of the classical authors, that when he wished to write against Mrs. Y., he thought, 'How would Horace have written this?' and wrote accordingly, only that Horace would have said things a great deal worse.

'Some thought far worse of him, and judged him wrong;
But verse was what he had been wedded to,
And his own mind did like a tempest strong
Come to him thus, and drove the weary wight along.'[138]

Whatever his faults are, I am sure you will feel that we who have known him well must draw a veil for ourselves over the failings of his old age, and remember only the many kind words of the dear old man, so tender in heart and so fastidious in taste, the many good and generous acts of his long life, and how many they are.

"How much we have been struck with the pale blue of the Swiss lakes compared with the deep blue of those of Italy."

To my Aunt, Eleanor Paul.

"Dijon, Sept. 12, 1858.—We found Fribourg quite up to our expectations, quite worth coming all the way round by Switzerland to visit. And the organ, how magnificent it is! We went in the evening to hear it, when all the beautiful gothic church was wrapped in darkness, except the solitary gleam of light in the organ-loft, and we all sat long in breathless expectation. When the music came, it was like a story. One seemed to be sitting far up the nave of some great cathedral, and to hear from the distant choir the choristers chaunting a litany, answering one another, and then swelling and joining in a universal chorus. Then, while they were singing, it was as if a great storm arose, the hail rattled and the rain splashed against the windows, the thunder crashed overhead, and the wind howled around. And then a mighty earthquake convulsed and shook the church to its very foundations. But always, in the pauses of the storm, the sweet silvery voices of the choristers were heard above the roaring of the elements, and when the storm subsided, they joined in thanksgiving, which died away in the faint echoes of the surrounding hills. And all this was the organ!

"We came by Morat to Neuchâtel. It is a pretty, though not a striking place; but the view of the vast mass of Mont Blanc and of all the Oberland Alps in the rose-coloured glow is magnificent. The mother made inquiries after many old acquaintances,[139] to find most of them dead, and those who were still living old, old ladies of ninety and of one hundred.

"Did you ever hear of Doubs? We came through it yesterday, and it certainly seemed to us the most melancholy, ill-fated village we had ever seen. Some time ago there lived there a boy, whose stepmother was very cruel to him—so cruel that his whole aim and object in life was to obtain money enough to set up for himself and escape from her tyranny. At last he succeeded, and leaving his father's house with his heart full of bitterness, he invested his savings in a partnership with the owner of the village café, where he kept the accounts. One day his partner accused him of not giving him a fair share of the profits. This made him perfectly frantic—so furious that he determined to avenge himself by nothing less than the total destruction of his native place! He began by setting fire to his café, but the alarm was scarcely given when it was discovered that almost every other house was in flames. The inhabitants hurried from their beds, and were barely able to save themselves, their houses, cattle, and goods perishing at one blow. Only a few houses and the church escaped, in which the fugitives took refuge, and were beginning to collect their energies, when, after ten days, the fire broke out again in the night, and the rest of the village was consumed with all it contained, including a child of four years old. Between the two fires cholera had broken out, so that numbers perished from pestilence as well as exposure. The author of all the misery was taken and transported, but the town is only now beginning to rise again from its ruins, and the people to raise their spirits."

On reaching Paris, we found Italima and my sister at the Hôtel d'Oxford et Cambridge. Greatly to my relief, my mother decided that, as she was in perfect health and well supplied with visitors, it was an admirable opportunity for my remaining abroad to learn French: this I was only too thankful for, as it put off the evil day of my return to England, and encountering the family wrath about my refusal to take Orders. With my sister I spent an amusing day at Versailles on a visit to the Marquis and Marquise du Prât, the latter a daughter of the Duc de Grammont, and a very pretty, lively person. They lived in an ideal house of the ancienne régime, where the chairs, picture-frames, carpets, even the antimacassars, were carved or worked with the shields, crests, and mottoes of the family.

After my sister left, the intrigues of Madame Davidoff, whom, in compliance with my mother's wishes, I had refused to visit, brought about my acquaintance with the Vicomte de Costa le Cerda, a Franco-Spaniard and ardent Catholic, who constituted himself my cicerone, and amongst other places took me to séances of the Académie de France, of which he was a member; and I should have been much interested in seeing all the celebrated philosophers, politicians, physicians, geologists, &c., if I had not been so ignorant of French literature that I had scarcely heard of any one of them before. The Marquis de Gabriac[140] (I forget how his office entitled him to do so) sent me a medal which enabled me to visit all profane, and the Archbishop of Paris a permission to enter all religious, institutions. Using the latter, I went with De Costa to the Benedictines, Ursulines, Carmelites, Petites Sœurs des Pauvres, and the Œuvre de la Compassion for bringing up little homeless boys. On Sundays I heard Père Félix, the philosophic Bourdaloue of the nineteenth century, preach with his musical voice to vast enthralled audiences in Nôtre Dame.[141]


Capital were the French lessons I received from the excellent M. Nyon, to whom I have always felt indebted. After Italima left Paris, I lodged with a Madame Barraud, who rented a small apartment at the back of a court in the Rue des Saints-Pères. Here my wretched little room looked out upon a blank wall, and was as thoroughly uncomfortable as it was possible to be. The weather soon became bitterly cold, and, to prevent being starved, I had to sit almost all day in the one poor uncarpeted sitting-room with old Madame Barraud herself, who was a most extraordinary character. Without the slightest apparent reason, a sudden suspicion would seize her, and she would rush off to the kitchen. In another minute she would return, wringing her hands, and would fling herself down in a chair with—"Oh, que je suis malheureuse! Oh, que je suis malheureuse! C'est une fille abominable cette Marie—cette tortue! elle ne sait pas le service du tout," and then, before she had time to take breath, she would run off to investigate the causes of a fresh noise in the kitchen. You were never safe from her. Every moment that old woman would dart in like a whirlwind, just to wipe off one speck of dust she had discovered on the mirror, or to smooth some crease she suspected in the tablecloth; and almost before you could look up she was vanishing with her eternal refrain of "que je suis misérable! que je suis malheureuse!"

The one subject of discussion till twelve o'clock was the déjeûner, from twelve to six the dinner, and after that the déjeûner of the next morning. Matters, however, were rather improved when Mademoiselle Barraud was at home—a thoroughly sensible, sterling person, who was generally absent on professional duties, being one of the first music-mistresses of the day. Sometimes Madame and Mademoiselle had friends in the evening, when it was amusing to see specimens of the better sort of third-class Parisians.

I made very few friends at Paris, but the persons I saw oftenest were the Marquise du Pregnier and her old mother, who remembered the Reign of Terror and had lost both her parents by the guillotine. Occasionally I went in the evening to the salon of Madame Mohl, wife of Julius Mohl, the great Orientalist, but herself an Englishwoman, who had in early life been intimate with Chateaubriand and present at his touching last hours, when his friend Madame Recamier, beautiful to the end, sat watching him with her blind eyes. Madame Mohl was a most extraordinary-looking person, like a poodle, with frizzled hair hanging down over her face and very short skirts. Her salon, at 120 Rue de Bac, especially on Friday evenings, was at that time quite one of the social features of Paris. One savant used to drop in after the other and sit round her talking in a circle, and with a finesse d'esprit all her own, she would address each in turn in her quick sharp voice, always saying something pungent or clever. Politics were the chief topic, and though I remember Madame Mohl once saying that "political society was not what could be called a nourishing occupation," there were no refreshments, however late the company stayed, but tea and biscuits. She had always had a sort of salon, even when, as Miss Clarke, she lived with her old mother in a very small apartment in the Abbaye-aux-Bois. Ticknor speaks of her there as keeping a little bureau d'esprit all her own, à la française.

One night when I was shown into her salon, I found, to my horror, that I was not only the first to arrive, but that the old lady was so engrossed in administering a violent scolding to her husband, that she was promenading the drawing-room half undressed, with her strange locks still in curl-papers. It was a most ridiculous scene, and my premature appearance not a little embarrassing to them both. I retreated into the passage till Madame Mohl was "done up," though that operation was not accomplished till many other guests had arrived.

M. Julius Mohl was the greatest contrast to his quicksilver wife. He used to be called "le bourru bienfaisant," from his rough exterior and genuine kindness of heart. He was really ten years younger than his wife, though she considered sixty-eight the right age for a woman to attain to, and never to her last day allowed that she had passed that limit.

Madame Mohl was fond of describing how, when she was at Paris in her childhood, her elder sister, Mrs. Frewen, was taken by their mother and grandmother to the chapel royal at the Tuileries, where Marie Antoinette was then living in a kind of half-captivity. She was a very little girl, and a gendarme thought she would be crushed, and lifted her upon his shoulders, on which she was just opposite the King and Queen. She remembered, as in a picture, how on one side of them were first Madame Royale, then Madame Elizabeth, then the little Dauphin.

The cause which led to Mrs. Frewen seeing Marie Antoinette at that time was in itself very curious. She was returning from the south with her mother (Mrs. Clarke) and her grandmother. They reached Bordeaux, where they were to embark for England in a "smack." Their luggage was already on board; but, on the night before starting, the grandmother had a vivid dream that the smack was lost with all on board. In the morning she declared that nothing on earth should induce her to go in it. The daughter remonstrated vigorously about expense, but the old lady stood firm. They were able to take off their smaller things, but all their larger luggage had to be left. The smack went down on the Goodwin Sands and all was lost; so the family came to Paris.[143]

Of all the evenings I spent at Paris, the most interesting was one with the Archbishop, who kindly invited me to his old country château of Issy, once a palace of the Prince de Condé, and very magnificent. The Archbishop, however, only inhabited the porter's lodge, and all the rest was left deserted. The Archbishop was playing at bagatelle with his chaplains when we entered, upon which he seated himself opposite to us (De Costa went with me) in an arm-chair. He was a fine old man with grey hair, dressed in cardinal's robes and crimson stockings, with the chain of a Grand Almoner of France round his neck. There was only one light in the high dark room, a lamp close to his shoulder, which threw a most picturesque light over him, like a Rembrandt portrait. He inquired about my visits to the different "religious" in Paris, and spoke regretfully of the difficulties encountered by the Petites Sœurs des Pauvres. Then he talked to De Costa about his medical studies and about phrenology. This led him to the great Napoleon, of whose habits he gave a very curious account. He said that he believed his strange phrenological development was caused by his extraordinary way of feeding—that he never was known to take a regular meal, but that he had a spit on which a chicken was always roasting at a slow fire, and that whenever he felt inclined he took a slice. When demolished, the chicken was instantly replaced. It was the same with sleep: he never went to bed at regular hours, only when he felt sleepy. We had been warned that the Archbishop himself went to bed at nine, as he always rose at four; so at nine I got up and kissed his ring, as we always did then to the cardinals at Rome, but the kind old man insisted on coming out after us into the passage, and seeing that we were well wrapped up in our greatcoats.

In October, Aunt Kitty (Mrs. Stanley) came for a few days to Paris, and going about with Arthur Stanley was a great pleasure.


"Paris, Oct. 19, 1858.—I have been much disturbed by my dearest mother's writing twice to Aunt Kitty to urge upon me the duty of instantly deciding upon some situation. It seems so useless to make oneself miserable in the interval because situations and professions do not drop from the clouds whenever one chooses to call for them. You know how I have dreaded the return to England, simply because I knew how wearing the family onslaught would be directly I arrived, and that all peace would be at an end, and it certainly was not likely to mend matters to write to complain to the Stanleys of how grievously I had disappointed you, and that therefore I must decide instantly! If my mother will consider, she will see that it is no question of exerting oneself. I know exactly what there is to be had and what there is not, and we both know how extremely improbable it is that I could get anything without some knowledge of modern languages, at least of French. This therefore is evidently the first point, and whilst one is employed all day long in struggling and striving to attain it, is it not rather hard to see letters from England about waste of time, want of effort, &c.?

"Were I to take an office in London now, the pay might possibly be as much as £60 a year, without any vacation, or any hope of advance in life, and even in the most miserable lodgings it would be difficult to live in London under £200 a year. However, if my mother hears of anything which she wishes me to take, I will certainly take it.


"Aunt Kitty has been very kind, and I have enjoyed going about with Arthur. Yesterday we went to the Conciergerie, where, by help of the Archbishop's letter and an order from the Préfecture of Police, we contrived to gain admittance. It is in the centre of Louis the Ninth's palace, of which it was once the dungeon, and has been very little altered. The room in which Marie Antoinette was confined for two months before her execution has scarcely been changed at all. There are still the heavy barred doors, the brick floor, the cold damp smell, the crucifix which hung before the window and kneeling before which she received the viaticum, the place where the bed stood, upon which the Queen could not lie down without being watched by the guards—who never took their eyes off—from the wicket opposite. Opening out of the Queen's prison is the small narrow chamber in which Robespierre was confined for one day, but where he never slept—brought there at eight, tried at eleven, executed at four. This opens into a large room, now the chapel, once the prison of Madame Elizabeth, and afterwards the place in which the Girondists held their last dreadful banquet before execution, when they sang the Marseillaise around the dead man on the table, and are said to have composed 'Mourir pour la Patrie.'

"To-day Arthur and I went by rail to Versailles, and took a little carriage thence to Port Royal. The country was lovely, the forest red and golden with autumnal tints. In a wooded valley, with a green lawn winding through it like a river, watered by a little brooklet, are the remains of Port Royal, the farmhouse where Racine and Pascal lived and wrote, the dovecot and fountain of Mère Angélique, the ruins of the church, the cemetery and cross, and 'the Solitude' where the nuns sat in solemn council around a crucifix in the middle of the woods. In the house is a collection of old pictures of the celebrities connected with the place. Arthur, of course, peopled the whole place in imagination and description with the figures of the past, and insisted on our 'walking in procession' (of two) down the ruined church.

"We went on to Dampierre, a fine old château of the Duc de Luynes, with green drives and avenues; and then to Chevreuse, where we climbed up the hill to the ruined castle with machicolated towers and a wide view over the orange-coloured woods, where the famous Madame de Chevreuse lived."


"Nov. 8.—The cold is almost insupportable! Parisians are so accustomed to their horrible climate, that Madame Barraud cannot understand my feeling it, and I have great difficulty in getting even the one little fire we have, and am occupied all day in shutting the doors, which every one else makes a point of leaving open. Madame Barraud describes her own character exactly when she stands in the middle of the room and says with a tragic voice, 'Je suis juste, Monsieur, je suis bonne; mais, Monsieur, je suis sévère!' She is excellent and generous on all great occasions, but I never knew any one who had such a power of making people uncomfortable by petty grievances and incessant fidgetting. Though she will give me fifty times more food than I wish, nothing on earth would induce her to light the fire in my bedroom, even in the most ferocious weather, because it is not 'son habitude'. 'La bonne Providence m'a donné un caractère,' she said the other day, recounting her history. 'Avec ce caractère j'ai fait un mariage de convenance avec M. Barraud: avec ce caractère, étant veuve, j'ai pris ma petite fille de douze ans, et je suis venue à Paris pour faire jouer son talent: avec ce caractère, quand les fils de mon mari m'ont fait des mauvaises tournées, je n'ai rien dit, mais je les ai quittés pour toujours, parceque je n'ai pas voulu voir le nom de mon mari paraître dans des querelles: je suis bonne, Monsieur, je suis juste, c'est ma nature; mais, Monsieur, je suis sévère; et je ne les reverrais jamais.' Just now she is possessed with the idea—solely based upon her having a new pair of shoes—that Marie, the maid, certainly has a lover concealed somewhere, and she constantly goes to look for him under the kitchen-table, in the cupboard, &c. She hangs up the chicken or goose for the next day's dinner in the little passage leading to my room, and in the middle of the night I hear stealthy footsteps, and a murmur of 'Oh, qu'il est gras! Oh, qu'il sera délicieux!' as she pats it and feels it all over."

At the end of November I returned to England. Two years after, when we were in Paris on our way to Italy, I went to the Rue des Saints-Pères. Madame Barraud was dead then, and her daughter, left alone, was lamenting her so bitterly that she was quite unable to attend to her work, and sat all day in tears. She never rallied. When I inquired, as we returned through Paris, Mademoiselle Barraud had followed her mother to the grave; constantly as she had been scolded by her, wearisome as her life seemed to have been made, the grief for her loss had literally broken her heart.

During the winter we were absent at Rome, our house of Lime was lent to Aunt Esther (Mrs. Julius Hare) and Mrs. Alexander. Two cabinets contained all our family MSS., which Aunt Esther knew that I valued beyond everything else. Therefore, she forced both the cabinets open and destroyed the whole—all Lady Jones's journals and letters from India, all Bishop Shipley's letters—every letter, in fact, relating to any member of the Hare family. She replaced the letters to my adopted mother from the members of her own family in the front of the cabinets, and thus the fact they had nothing behind them was never discovered till we left Hurstmonceaux, two years after. When asked about it, Aunt Esther only said, "Yes, I did it: I saw fit to destroy them." It was a strange and lasting legacy of injustice to bequeath, and I think I cannot be harsh in saying that only a very peculiar temperament could construe such an act into "right-doing."



"How can a man learn to know himself? By reflection never, only by action. In the measure in which thou seekest to do thy duty shalt thou know what is in thee. But what is one's duty? The demand of the hour."—GOETHE.

"Il est donné, de nos jours, à un bien petit nombre, même parmi les plus délicats et ceux qui les apprécient le mieux, de recueillir, d'ordonner sa vie selon ses admirations et selon ses goûts, avec suite, avec noblesse."—Sainte-Beuve.

"Every man has a separate calling, an end peculiar to himself."—Frederick Schlegel.

"The old lord-treasurer Burleigh, if any one came to the Lords of the Council for a licence to travel, he would first examine him of England: if he found him ignorant, he would bid him stay at home and know his own country first."—HENRY PEACHAM, 1622, The Compleat Gentleman.

UPON returning to England in the winter of 1858, I felt more bitterly that ever the want of sympathy which had formerly oppressed me. Though I had the most idolatrous love for my dearest mother, and the most over-anxious wish to please her, there was then none of the perfect friendship between us, the easy interchange of every thought, which there was in later years; for she was still so entirely governed by her sisters-in-law as scarcely to have any individuality of her own. Often, often, did she pain me bitterly by suspecting my motives and questioning my actions, even when I was most desirous of doing right; and from the long habit of being told that I was idle and ignorant, that I cared for nothing useful, and that I frittered away my life, she had grown to believe it, and constantly assumed that it was so. Thus all my studies were embittered to me. I was quite sure that nothing I did would be appreciated, so that it never seemed worth while to do anything, and I became utterly deficient in that cheerfulness of disposition which is the most important element in all private success.

As I write this, and remember the number of delightful intimates by whom my after years have been surrounded, I find it difficult to realise that I had at this time no friends who, by mutual confidence, could help or cheer me. The best of them, Milligan, was now settled in London, being in full work in the Ecclesiastical Commission Office, and though always very kind to me, he had now fallen into a new set of acquaintances and surroundings, and had no time to bestow upon me individually. George Sheffield I seldom saw; and I had no other friends worth speaking of.

At this time all the intellectual impetus I received, and without which I should have fallen into a state of stagnation, came from the house of my aunt, Mrs. Stanley. Her grace, ease, and tact in society were unrivalled. At her house, and there alone, I met people of original ideas and liberal conversation. In this conversation, however, I was at that time far too shy to join, and I was so dreadfully afraid of my aunt, who, with the kindest intentions, had a very cold unsympathetic manner in private, that—while I always appreciated her—I was unable to reap much benefit from her society. Perhaps my chief friend was my cousin Arthur Stanley, whom I was not the least afraid of, and whom I believe to have been really fond of me at this time; also, though he had a very poor opinion of my present powers and abilities, he did not seem, like other people, utterly to despair of my future.

Catherine Stanley Catherine Stanley

By my mother's desire, Archdeacon Moore (an old friend of the Hare family) had written to Sir Antonio Panizzi,[146] then the autocratic ruler of the British Museum Library, with a view to my standing for a clerkship there. But this idea was afterwards abandoned, and it was owing to the kindness of my cousin Arthur and that of Albert Way (our connection by his marriage with Emmeline Stanley) that I obtained from John Murray, the publisher, the employment of my next two years—the "Handbook of Berks, Bucks, and Oxfordshire."

The commission to undertake this Handbook was one which I hailed with rapture. The work was in every respect welcome to me. I had an inner consciousness that I could do it well, and that while I was doing it I should be acquiring information and advancing my own neglected education. Besides, the people with whom the work would necessarily bring me in contact were just those who were most congenial. My principal residence would be Oxford, associated with some of my happiest days, and where it was now a real pleasure to be near Arthur Stanley; while, if my mother were ill or needed me in any way, there was nothing in my work which would prevent my returning to her, and continuing it at home. Above all, the fact of my having the work to do would silence the ceaseless insinuations to my mother as to my desire for an idle life of self-indulgence. I knew nothing then of the mercantile value of my labour. I did not know (and I had no one to inform me) that I was giving away the earnest work of two years for a pitiful sum,[147] which was not a tenth of its value, and which was utterly insufficient to meet its expenses.

How well I remember my first sight of John Murray, when he came to dine at the Stanleys' house in Grosvenor Crescent—his hard, dry questions, his sharp, concise note afterwards, in which he announced the terms of our hardly-driven bargain, received by me as if it had been the greatest of favours. Perhaps, however, the very character of the man I had to deal with, and the rules he enjoined as to my work, were a corrective I was much the better for at this time. The style of my writing was to be as hard, dry, and incisive as my taskmaster. It was to be a mere catalogue of facts and dates, mingled with measurements of buildings, and irritating details as to the "E. E.," "Dec.," or "Perp." architecture even of the most insignificant churches, this being the peculiar hobby of the publisher. No sentiment, no expression of opinion were ever to be allowed; all description was to be reduced to its barest bones, dusty, dead, and colourless. In fact, I was to produce a book which I knew to be utterly unreadable, though correct and useful for reference. Many a paper struggle did I have with John Murray the third—for there has been a dynasty of John Murrays in Albemarle Street—as to the retention of paragraphs I had written. I remember how this was especially the case as to my description of Redesdale, which was one of the best things I have ever done. Murray, however, was never averse to a contribution from one whose name was already distinguished either by rank or literature, and when Arthur Stanley contributed passages with his signature to my account of Oxford, they were gladly accepted, though antagonistic to all his rules.


Arthur Stanley had been made Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford before we had gone abroad, and, while we were absent, a Canonry at Christ Church, attached to the professorship, had fallen in to him. The Canon's house was just inside the Peckwater Gate leading into Tom Quad, and had a stiff narrow walled garden behind, planted with apple-trees, in the centre of which Arthur made a fountain. It had been a trouble to the Canon that it was almost impossible in his position to make the acquaintance he wished with the young men around him, and in this I was able to be a help to him, and in some way to return the kindness which often gave me a second home in his house for many months together. His helpless untidiness, and utter inability to look after himself, were also troubles which I could at least ameliorate. I rapidly made acquaintances in Christ Church, several of which developed into friendships, and I was only too glad to accede to Arthur's wish that I should invite them to his house, where they became his acquaintances also. Of Christ Church men at this time I became most familiar with Brownlow,[148] Le Strange,[149] Edward Stanhope,[150] Stopford,[151] Addie Hay,[152] and my second cousin, Victor Williamson.[153] A little later, at the house of Mrs. Cradock, I was introduced to "Charlie Wood."[154] I did not think that I should like him at first; but we became intimate over an excursion to Watlington and Sherborne Castle, and he has ever since been the best and dearest of my friends. Very soon in constant companionship, we drew together in the Bodleian and Christ Church libraries, we read together at home, and many were the delightful excursions we made in home scenes, forerunners of after excursions in more striking scenes abroad. We also often shared in the little feasts in Mrs. Cradock's[155] garden, where we used to amuse ourselves and others by composing and reciting verses.

I frequently left Christ Church for a week or two upon exploring raids into the counties on which I was employed, and used to bring back materials to work up in Oxford, with the help of the Bodleian and other libraries. Very early, in this time of excursions, I received an invitation (often repeated) from Jane, Viscountess Barrington, a first cousin of my real mother, to visit her at Beckett near Shrivenham. I had seen so little then of any members of my real family, that I went to Beckett with more shyness and misgivings than I have ever taken to any other place; but I soon became deeply attached to my dear cousin Lady Barrington, who began from the first to show an interest in me, which was more that of a tenderly affectionate aunt than of any more distant relation. Lord Barrington, the very type of a courteous English nobleman, was also most kind. Of their daughters, two were unmarried—Augusta, who was exceedingly handsome, brimful of very accurate information, and rather alarming on first acquaintance; and Adelaide, who was of a much brighter, gentler nature. I thought at this time, however, that Lina, Lady Somerton, was more engaging than either of her sisters. I often found her at Beckett with her children, of whom the little Nina—afterwards Countess of Clarendon—used to be put into a large china pot upon the staircase when she was naughty. Beckett was a very large luxurious house in the Tudor style, with a great hall, built by Thomas Liddell, Lady Barrington's brother. The park was rather flat, but had a pretty piece of water with swans, and a picturesque summer-house built by Inigo Jones. Much of the family fortune came from Lord Barrington's uncle, Shute Barrington, Bishop of Durham, who used to say he was the only licensed poacher in England—"I Shute, by the grace of God," &c. This old bishop, when his nephew brought his bride to visit him—a wedding visit—at Mongewell, filled all the trees with rare cockatoos and parrots, in the hope that when she heard them scream, she would think they were the native birds of that district. Lord and Lady Barrington took me, amongst other places, to see Mr. Aitkens of Kingston Lyle—"the Squire" in Tom Hughes's "Scouring of the White Horse," and also to see the creature itself, which is far more like a weasel than a horse. The kindness of Lord Barrington also secured my favourable reception at every other house in the county, and many were the visits I paid in Berkshire at places described in my Handbook.

Much kindness was also shown me by old Lady Stanley of Alderley,[156] who was often very violent, indeed quite furious, about her own opinions; but full of the most sincere interest and kindness towards me for my mother's sake. Holmwood, near Henley, whither I went several times to visit her, was an enchanting place, with luxuriant lawn and flowers, fine trees, and beautiful distant views. A succession of grandchildren always filled the house, and found it most enjoyable, the two unmarried aunts—Rianette (Maria Margaret) and Louisa—being, as one of them (Lady Airlie) has often told me, "the good fairies of their childhood." Like most Stanleys, they were peculiarly subject to what that family calls "fits of righteous indignation" with all who differed from them; but nobody minded. Having had the most interesting youth themselves, during which their uncle (afterwards Bishop Stanley) and other relations were always inventing something for their amusement, they had a special gift for interesting others, so that those who went to visit them always felt that though they received many and often unmerited scoldings, their visit could never be dull. How well I remember still Louisa Stanley's graphic imitation of many people of her long-ago—especially of old Mr. Holland, the Knutsford doctor,[157] who would come in saying, "Well, Miss Louisa, and how are we to-day? We must take a little more rubbub and magnesia; and I would eat a leetle plain pudden with a leetle shugger over it!" and then, ringing the bell, "Would you send round my hearse, if you please?"

Lady Stanley herself had been the pupil of Gibbon at Lausanne, and had much to tell of past days; and the pertinacity with which she maintained her own opinions about them and everything else, rendered her recollections very vivid and amusing. All the family, including my mother, were so dreadfully afraid of Lady Stanley, that a visit to her always partook of the nature of an adventure; but it generally turned out to be a very charming adventure, and I always look back to her with affectionate gratitude, and feel that there was a great charm in the singleness, sincerity, and freshness of her character. When I was at Holmwood, I used to engage a little carriage and go out for long excursions of eight or ten hours into the country; and when I returned just before dinner, Lady Stanley was so anxious to hear my adventures, that she would not wait till I came down, but would insist upon the whole history through the bedroom door as I was dressing.

If people were not afraid of her, Lady Stanley liked them the better for it, and she always heartily enjoyed a joke. I remember hearing how one day at Alderley she raged and stormed because the gentlemen sat longer after dinner than she liked. Old Mr. Davenport was the first to come into the drawing-room. "Well now, what have you been doing?" she exclaimed; "what can you have found to talk about to keep you so long?"—"Would you really like to know what we've been talking about, my lady?" said Mr. Davenport. "Yes indeed," she stormed. "Well," said Mr. Davenport very deliberately, "we talked first about the depression in the salt (mines), and that led us on inadvertently to pepper, and that led us to cayenne, and that, my lady, led us ... to yourself,"—and she was vastly amused. One day her maid told her that there was a regular uproar downstairs about precedence, as to which of the maids was to come in first to prayers. "Oh, that is very easily settled," said Lady Stanley; "the ugliest woman in the house must always, of course, have the precedence," and she heard no more about it.

Another house which I was frequently invited to use as a centre for my excursions was that of my father's first cousin, Penelope, Mrs. Warren, who was living in the old home of Lady Jones at Worting, near Basingstoke. It was in a most dreary, cold, wind-stricken district, and was especially selected on that account by Lady Jones, because of its extreme contrast to the India which she abominated. Internally, however, the old red-brick house was very comfortable and charming, and Mrs. Warren herself a very sweet and lovable old lady, tenderly cared for by her sons and daughters, many of whom were always about her, though only one of the latter, Anna, was unmarried. Mrs. Warren had been the eldest of the daughters of Dean Shipley, and the only one who never gave her family any trouble, and who was invariably loved and honoured by its other members. Her character through life had been that of a peacemaker, and in her old age she seemed almost glorified by the effulgence of the love which had emanated from her, no single member of the family having a recollection of her which was not connected with some kindly word or unselfish action.[158] That Lady Jones should bequeath Worting to her was felt by all the other nephews and nieces to have been most natural. "Who should it have been to, if not to Penelope?" She liked to talk of old times, and her reminiscences were most interesting. She was also very proud of her family, especially of the Mordaunts, and of our direct descent, through the Shipleys, from the youngest son of Edward I. It was on one of my early visits at Worting that I first made acquaintance with my cousin Harriet, Mrs. Thornton, niece of Mrs. Warren, and one of the daughters of Bishop Heber.[159] She described the second marriage of her mother to Count Valsamachi in the Greek church at Venice, and the fun she and her sister thought it to walk round the altar with huge wedding favours in their hands. She was full of amusing stories of India, from which she was just returned: would tell how one day she was sitting next a Rajah who was carving a pie, and when he lifted the crust a whole flock of little birds flew out—"Whir-r-r-r!" said the Rajah as they flew all over the room; how, one day, being surprised that an expected ham was not brought in to dinner, she went out and found it lying in the court, with all the native servants round it in a circle spitting at it; and how one day at the Cape she was told that a woman was bitten by a venomous snake, and going out, found her eating a toad as a remedy. One of Mrs. Thornton's stories, which I have often repeated since, is so curious as to deserve insertion here.

"M. de Sartines had been brought up by an old friend of his family who lived in Picardy. The château of his old friend was the home of his youth, and the only place where he felt sure that all his failings would be overlooked and all his fancies and wishes would be considered.

"While he was absent from France on diplomatic service, M. de Sartines heard with great grief that his old friend was dead. In losing him, he lost not only the friend who had been as a second father, but the only home which remained to him in France. He felt his loss very much—so much, indeed, that for many years he did not return to France at all, but spent his time of leave in travelling in Italy and elsewhere.

"Some years after, M. de Sartines, finding himself in Paris, received a letter from the nephew of his old friend, who had succeeded to the Picardy property. It was a very nice letter indeed, saying how much he and his wife wished to keep up old family ties and connections, and that though he was well aware that it would cost M. de Sartines much to revisit the château so tenderly connected with memories of the dead, still, if he could make that effort, no guest would be more affectionately welcomed, and that he and his wife would do their utmost to make him feel that the friendship which had been held had not passed away, but was continued to another generation. It was so nice a letter that M. de Sartines felt that he ought not to reject the hand of friendship stretched out in so considerate and touching a manner, and though it certainly cost him a great effort, he went down to the château in Picardy.

"His old friend's nephew and his wife received him on the doorstep. Everything was prepared to welcome him. They had inquired of former servants which room he had occupied and how he liked it arranged, and all was ready accordingly. They had even inquired about and provided his favourite dishes at dinner. Nothing was wanting which the most disinterested solicitude could effect.

"When M. de Sartines retired to his room for the night, he was filled with conflicting emotions. The blank which he felt in the loss of his old friend was mingled with a grateful sense of the kindness he had received from the nephew. He felt he could not sleep, or would be long in doing so; but having made up a large fire, for it was very cold weather, he went to bed.

"In process of time, as he lay wakefully with his head upon the pillow, he became aware of the figure of a little wizened old man hirpling towards the fire. He thought he must be dreaming, but, as he listened, the old man spoke—'Il y a longtemps que je n'ai vu un feu, il faut que je me chauffe.'

"The blood of M. de Sartines ran cold within him as the figure turned slowly round towards the bed and continued in trembling accents—'Il y a longtemps que je n'ai vu un lit, il faut que je me couche.'

"But every fibre in M. de Sartines' body froze as the old man, on reaching the bed, drew the curtains, and seeing him, exclaimed—'Il y a longtemps que je n'ai vu M. de Sartines, il faut que je l'embrasse.'

"M. de Sartines almost died of fright. But fortunately he did not quite die. He lived to know that it was his old friend himself. The nephew had got tired of waiting for the inheritance; he had imprisoned his uncle in the cellar, and had given out his death, and had a false funeral of a coffin filled with stones. The invitation to his uncle's friend was a coup de théâtre: if any suspicions had existed, they must have been lulled for ever by the presence of such a guest in the château. But on the very day on which M. de Sartines had arrived, the old gentleman had contrived to escape from his cell, and wandering half imbecile about the house, made his way to the room where he remembered having so often been with his friend, and found there his friend himself.

"M. de Sartines saw the rightful owner of the castle reinstated, and the villainy of the wicked nephew exposed; but the old man died soon afterwards."

Here is another story which Mrs. Thornton told, apropos of the benefits of cousinship:—

"Frederick the Great was one day travelling incognito, when he met a student on his way to Berlin, and asked him what he was going to do there. 'Oh,' said the student, 'I am going to Berlin to look for a cousin, for I have heard of so many people who have found cousins in Berlin, and who have risen through their influence to rank and power, that I am going to try if I cannot find one too.' Frederick had much further conversation with him, and on parting said, 'Well, if you trust to me, I believe that I shall be able to find a cousin for you before you arrive at Berlin.' The student thanked his unknown friend, and they parted.

"Soon after he reached Berlin, an officer of the court came to the student, and said that he was his cousin, and that he had already used influence for him with the King, who had desired that he should preach before him on the following Sunday, but that he should use the text which the King himself should send him, and no other.

"The student was anxious to have the text, that he might consider his sermon, but one day after another of the week passed, and at last Sunday came and no text was sent. The time for going to church came, and no text had arrived. The King and the court were seated, and the unhappy student proceeded with the service, but still no text was given. At last, just as he was going up into the pulpit, a sealed paper was given to him. After the prayer he opened it, and it was ... blank! He turned at once to the congregation, and showing them the two sides of the paper, said, 'Here is nothing, and there is nothing, and out of nothing God made the world'—and he preached the most striking sermon the court had ever heard."

Mrs. Thornton described how old Mr. Thornton had been staying in Somersetshire with Sir Thomas Acland, when he heard two countrymen talking together. One of them said to the other, who was trying to persuade him to do something, "Wal, noo, as they say, 'shake an ass and go.'" Mr. Thornton came back and said to Sir Thomas, "What very extraordinary proverbial expressions they have in these parts. Just now I heard a man say 'shake an ass and go'—such a very extraordinary proverbial expression." "Well," said Sir Thomas, "the fact is there are a great many French expressions lingering in this neighbourhood: that meant 'Chacun à son goût!'"

Of the new acquaintances I made in Oxfordshire, those of whose hospitality I oftenest availed myself were the Cottrell Dormers, who lived at the curious old house of Rousham, above the Cherwell, near Heythrop. It is a beautiful place, with long evergreen shrubberies, green lawns with quaint old statues, and a long walk shaded by yews, with a clear stream running down a stone channel in the midst. Within, the house is full of old family portraits, and has a wonderful collection of MSS., and the pedigree of the family from Noah! Mr. and Mrs. Dormer were quaint characters: he always insisting that he was a Roman Catholic in disguise, chiefly to plague his wife, and always reading the whole of Pope's works, in the large quarto edition, through once a year; she full of kind-heartedness, riding by herself about the property to manage the estate and cottagers, always welcoming you with a hearty "Well, to be sure, and how do you do?" She was a maîtresse femme, who ruled the house with a sunshiny success which utterly set at nought the old proverb—

"La maison est misérable et méchante
Où la Poule plus haut que le Coq chante."

Mrs. Dormer was somehow descended from one of the daughters of Sir Thomas More, and at Cokethorpe, the place of her brother, Mr. Strickland, was one of the three great pictures by Holbein of the family of Sir Thomas More, which was long in the possession of the Lenthalls.[160] Another place in the neighbourhood of Rousham which I visited was Fritwell Manor, a most picturesque old house, rented by the father of my college friend Forsyth Grant—"Kyrie." Fritwell is a haunted house, and was inhabited by two families. When the Edwardes lived there in the summer, no figure was seen, but stains of fresh blood were constantly found on the staircase. When the Grants lived there, for hunting, in the winter, there was no blood, but the servants who went down first in the morning would meet on the staircase an old man in a grey dressing-gown, bleeding from an open wound in the throat. It is said that Sir Baldwin Wake, a former proprietor, quarrelled with his brother about a lady of whom they were both enamoured, and, giving out that he was insane, imprisoned him till real madness ensued. His prison was at the top of the house, where a sort of large human dog-kennel still exists, to which the unfortunate man is said to have been chained.

I made a delightful excursion with "Kyrie" to Wroxton Abbey and Broughton Castle—Lord Saye and Sele's—where we were invited to luncheon by Mr. Fiennes and Lady Augusta, in the former of whom I most unexpectedly found 'Twisleton'[161]—an old hero boy-friend of my Harrow school-days, whom I regarded then much as David Copperfield did Steerforth. The old castle is very picturesque, and the church full of curious monuments.


"Christ Church, Oxford, April 25, 1859.—Arthur and I dined last night at Canon Jelf's. He was for thirteen years tutor to the King of Hanover, and while at the court fell in love with Countess Schlippenbach, the Queen's lady-in-waiting, who married him.... Dr. Jelf told a great deal that was interesting about the King: how, as Prince George, he would insist upon playing at being his Eton fag, brush his clothes, make his toast, &c.: that he was with the Prince at the time of the fatal accident which caused his blindness, when, in the garden at Kew, having just given half-a-crown to a beggar, he was whisking his purse round and round, when the ring at the end went into his eye. A fortnight's anxiety followed, and then came the great grief of his dear Prince one day saying to him when out shooting, 'Will you give me your arm, sir? I don't see quite so well as I ought to do. I think we had better go home.' Afterwards, instead of murmuring, the Prince only said, 'Those who will not obey must suffer: you told me not to whisk my things about in that way, and I disobeyed: it is right that I should suffer for it.'

"He gave many beautiful pictures of the King's after life: how the dear blind King, who bears no outward mark of his misfortune, always turns to the sun, as if seeking the light: of his marriage with his cousin of Saxe-Altenbourg, a true love-match: that he, the old tutor, was never forgotten, and that on his last birthday, when he least expected it, a royal telegram announced—'The King, the Queen, and the royal children of Hanover wish Dr. Jelf many happy new years.' The King always writes to Dr. and Mrs. Jelf on their wedding-day, which even their own family do not always remember, and on their silver-wedding he sent them a beautiful portrait of himself.

"Arthur, I imagine, rather likes having me here, though no outsiders would imagine so; but he finds me useful after a fashion, and is much annoyed if I allude to ever going into lodgings. He certainly does exactly what he likes when I am there, and is quite as unreserved in his ways as if nobody whatever was present. I am generally down first. He comes in pre-engrossed, and there is seldom any morning salutation. At breakfast I sit (he wills it so) at the end of the table, pour out his excessively weak tea, and put the heavy buttered buns which he loves within his easy reach. When we are alone, I eat my own bread and butter in silence; but if undergraduates breakfast with us, it is my duty, if I know anything about it, so to turn the conversation that he may learn what their 'lines' are, and converse accordingly. Certainly the merry nonsense and childlike buoyancy which cause his breakfast parties to be so delightful, make the contrast of his silent irresponsiveness rather trying when we are alone—it is such a complete 'you are not worth talking to.' However, I have learnt to enjoy the first, and to take no notice of the other; indeed, if I can do so quite effectually, it generally ends in his becoming pleasanter. In amiable moments he will sometimes glance at my MSS., and give them a sanction like that of Cardinal Richelieu—'Accepi, legi, probavi.' After breakfast, he often has something for me to do for him, great plans, maps, or drawings for his lectures, on huge sheets of paper, which take a good deal of time, but which he never notices except when the moment comes for using them. All morning he stands at his desk by the study window (where I see him sometimes from the garden, which he expects me to look after), and he writes sheet after sheet, which he sometimes tears up and flings to rejoin the letters of the morning, which cover the carpet in all directions.[162] It would never do for him to marry, a wife would be so annoyed at his hopelessly untidy ways; at his tearing every new book to pieces, for instance, because he is too impatient to cut it open (though I now do a good deal in this way). Meantime, as Goethe says, 'it is the errors of men that make them amiable,' and I believe he is all the better loved for his peculiarities. Towards the middle of the day, I sometimes have an indication that he has no one to walk with him, and would wish me to go, and he likes me to be in the way then, in case I am wanted, but I am never to expect to be talked to during the walk. If not required, I amuse myself, or go on with my own work, and indeed I seldom see Arthur till the evening, when, if any one dines for whom he thinks it worth while to come out of himself, he is very pleasant, and sometimes very entertaining."

My mother spent a great part of the spring of 1859 at Clifton, whither I went to visit her, afterwards making a tourette by myself to Salisbury, Southampton, Beaulieu, and Winchester.

"Salisbury, April 12, 1859.—At 8½ I was out on bleak Salisbury Plain, where, as the driver of my gig observed, 'it is a whole coat colder than in the valley.' What an immense desert it is! The day, so intensely grey, with great black clouds sweeping across the sky, was quite in character with the long lines of desolate country. At last we turned off the road over the turf, and in the distance rose the gigantic temple, with the sun shining through the apertures in the stones. It was most majestic and impressive, not a creature in sight, except a quantity of rabbits scampering about, and a distant shepherd."

The latter part of June 1859 I spent most happily in a pony-carriage tour in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire with my friend George Sheffield, who had just passed his examination at the Foreign Office. It was on this occasion that, as we were driving under a park wall in Buckinghamshire, I said to George, "Inside that park is a very fine old house, and inside the house is a very fine old sundial. We will go to see the house, and we will take away the sundial;" and we did, though at that moment I did not even know the name of the people who lived there. The old house was the Vatche, which had belonged to my great-great-grandfather, Bishop Hare, who married its heiress in the reign of George II., and I had heard of the sundial from the churchwarden of Chalfont, with whom I had had some correspondence about my ancestor's tomb. It was made on the marriage of Bishop Hare with Miss Alston and bore his arms. The family of Allen, then living at the Vatche, allowed us to see the house, and my enthusiasm at sight of the sundial, which was lying neglected in a corner, so worked upon the feelings of Mrs. Allen, that she gave it me. It is now in the garden at Holmhurst.


"June 16.—I have enjoyed a visit to the Henry Leycesters at White Place, which lies low in the meadows, but has the charm of a little creek full of luxuriant water-plants, down which Henry Leycester punts his guests into the Thames opposite Clifden; and how picturesque are the old yew-trees and winding walks of that beautiful place. Henry Leycester, to look upon, is like one of the magnificent Vandykes in the Brignole Palace at Genoa. Little Mrs. Leycester is a timid shrinking creature, who daily becomes terribly afraid of the domestic ghost (a lady carrying her head) as evening comes on. 'Imagine my feelings, Mr. Hare,' she says, 'my awful position as a wife and a mother, when my husband is away, and I am left alone in the long evenings with her.'"

"June 17, Christ Church.—Last week the Dean, with much imprudence, punished two Christ Church men most severely for the same offence, but one more than the other. The next night the Deanery garden was broken into, the rose-trees torn up and flower-beds destroyed, the children's swing cut down, and the name of the injured man cut in large letters in the turf. It has created great indignation.

"My chief work, now I am at Oxford, is in the Bodleian, where I have much to look out and refer to, and where everything is made delightful by Mr. Coxe, the librarian,[163] who is not only the most accurate and learned person in the world, but also the most sympathetic, lively, and lovable. 'Never mind, dear boy,' he always says, the more trouble I give him. Anything more unlike the cut-and-dried type of Oxford Dons cannot be imagined. He has given me a plant (Linaria purpurea) from the tomb of Cicero.

"I should like to take my Master's degree, but the fees will be about £20. I could then vote at the election. I should certainly vote against Gladstone, though Arthur says he should vote for him 'with both hands and both feet.' ... I have great satisfaction in being here now, in feeling that I can be useful to Arthur, in preparing drawings for his lectures, &c., also that he really prefers my presence to my absence."

"July 4.—I sate up till twelve last night preparing 'the bidding prayer' for Arthur (who was to preach the 'Act Sermon to-day at St. Mary's)—immensely long, as the whole of the founders and benefactors have to be mentioned. Imagine my horror when, after the service, the Vice-Chancellor came up to Arthur and demanded to know why he had not been prayed for! I had actually omitted his name of all others! Arthur said it was all the fault of 'Silvanus.' In his sermon on Deborah, Arthur described how the long vacation, 'like the ancient river, the river Kishon,' was about to form a barrier, and might wash away all the past and supply a halting-place from which to begin a new life: that the bondage caused by concealment of faults or debts might now be broken: that now, when undergraduates were literally 'going to their father,' they might apply the story of the Prodigal Son, and obtain that freedom which is truth."


In July I paid a first visit to my cousins, the Heber Percys, at Hodnet Hall, in order to meet Countess Valsamachi (Mrs. Heber Percy's mother).[164] The old Hodnet Hall was a long low two-storied house, like an immense cottage, or rather like a beehive, from the abundant family life which overcrowded it. The low dining-room was full of curious pictures of the Vernons, whose heiress married one of the Hebers, but when the pictures had been sent up to London to be cleaned, the cleaner had cut all their legs off. At this time a debt of £40,000 existed upon the Hodnet estate. Mr. Percy's father, the Bishop of Carlisle, had promised to pay it off when certain fees came in. At last the fees were paid, and the papers were in the house, only awaiting the signature of the Bishop. That day he fell down dead. When it was told to his children, they only said, "It is the will of God; we must not complain."

I had much conversation with Lady Valsamachi. Talking of religion, she spoke of an atheist who once grumbled at the dispensation of a gourd having such a slender stem, while an acorn was supported by an oak. "When he had done speaking, the acorn fell upon his nose; had it been the gourd, his nose would have been no more!"

We walked to where Stoke had been, so tenderly connected with past days. All was altered, except the Terne flowing through reedy meadows. It was less painful to me to see it than on my last visit, but cost me many pangs.

I joined my mother at Toft, where our dear cousin Charlotte Leycester was acting as mistress of the house, and gave us a cordial welcome to the old family home. Greatly did my mother enjoy being there, and the sight of familiar things and people. Especially was she welcomed by an old woman named Betty Strongitharm; I remember how this old woman said, "When I am alone, I think, and think, and think, and the end of all my thinking is that Christ is all in all ... but I do not want to go to heaven alone; I want to take a many others along with me."


"When we left Toft, we went to our cousins at Thornycroft. At Thornycroft was a labourer named Rathbone. One winter day, when his wife was in her confinement, she was in great want of something from Macclesfield, which her husband undertook to get for her when he went to his work in the town, but he said that he must take his little girl of ten years old with him, that she might bring it back to her mother. The woman entreated him not to take the child, as the snow was very deep, and she feared that she might not find her way home again. However, the father insisted, and set off, taking his little girl with him. The purchase was made and the child set off to return home with it, but she—never arrived.

"When Rathbone reached home in the evening, and found that his child had not appeared, he was in an agony of terror, and set off at once to search for her. He traced her to Monk's Heath. People had seen her there, and directed her back to Henbury, but she seemed to have lost her way again. Rathbone next traced her to a farmhouse at Peover, where the people had had the barbarity to turn her out at night and direct her back to Henbury. Then all trace of her was lost.

"At last Rathbone was persuaded by his friends and neighbours to apply to a woman whom they called 'the White Witch' at Manchester, and to her he went. She told him to look into a glass and tell her what he saw there. He looked into the glass and said, 'I see a man holding up his hat.' 'Well,' she said, 'then go on with your search, and when you meet a man holding up his hat, he will tell you where your child is.' So he returned and went again to search, taking another man with him. At length, as they were going down a lane, Rathbone exclaimed, 'There he is!'—'Who?' said the companion, for he only saw a man running and holding up his hat. That man told them that he had just found the body of a child under a tree, and there, near a pond, frozen to death, lay Rathbone's little girl.

"When we were at Thornycroft, Rathbone was still overwhelmed with contrition for what he considered the sin of having consulted the witch."

From Cheshire we went to the English Lakes. The curious old King's Arms Inn at Lancaster, described by Dickens, was then in existence, and it was a pleasure to sleep there, and walk in the morning upon the high terrace in front of the church and castle. From Ambleside, we spent a delightful day in making the round by Dungeon Ghyll and Blea Tarn, where we drew the soft grey peaks of Langdale Pikes, framed in dark heather-covered rocks, and in the foreground the blue tarn sleeping amid the pastures. From Keswick I ascended Skiddaw, and had a glorious view across the billows of mountains to the sea and the faint outlines of the Isle of Man. Another delightful day was spent with the mother and Lea in Borrowdale. One of the most beautiful effects I have ever seen was in crossing to Buttermere by Borrowdale Hawse, a tremendous wild mountain chasm, into which the setting sun was pouring floods of crimson light as we descended, smiting into blood the waters of the little torrent which was struggling down beside us through the rocks. We arrived at Buttermere very late, and found not a single room unoccupied in the village, so had to return in the dark night to Keswick.

We were much interested in Dumfries, in many ways one of the most foreign-looking towns in Britain, where we remained several days, making excursions to the exquisitely graceful ruins of Lincluden Abbey; to New Abbey (glorious in colour), founded by Devorgilda to contain the heart of John Baliol; to the Irongray Church, where Helen Walker, the original of Jeannie Deans, is buried, and where, on a rocky knoll under some old oaks, is a desolate Covenanter's grave; to Ellisland, the primitive cottage-home of Burns, overlooking the purple hills and clear rushing Nith; and to the great desolate castle of Caerlaverock near Solway Firth. The old churchyard of Dumfries reminded us of Père la Chaise in its forest of tombs, but was far more picturesque. Burns is buried there, with all his family. The exaggerated worship which follows Burns in Scotland rather sets one against him, and shows how many a saint got into the Calendar; for there are many there whose private lives would as little bear inspection as his. His son, formerly a clerk in Somerset House, had long been living at Dumfries upon a pension, and died there three years before our visit. Many are the old red sandstone gravestones in Dumfries and its neighbourhood bearing inscriptions to Covenanters, telling how they were "martyrs for adhering to the word of God, Christ's kingly government in his house, and the covenanted work of Reformation against tyrannie, perjury, and prelacie."

Amongst our Roman friends had been Mrs. Fotheringham of Fotheringham, whom we visited at the so-called Fotheringham Castle, a comfortable modern house, in Forfarshire. We went with her to spend a day with the charming old Thomas Erskine,[165] author of the "Essays," and since well known from his "Letters." With him lived his two beautiful and venerable old sisters, Mrs. Stirling and Mrs. Paterson, and their home of Linlathen contained many noble Italian pictures. Another excursion was to visit Miss Stirling Graham at Duntrune, a beautiful place overlooking the blue firth and bay of St. Andrews. Miss Graham was the authoress and heroine of "Mystifications," intimately bound up with all the literary associations of Edinburgh in the first half of the nineteenth century. She was also the nearest surviving relation of Claverhouse, and Duntrune was filled with relics of him.[166] She was a great bee-fancier and bee-friend, and would allow the bees to settle all over her. "My dear, where can you have lived all your life not to know about bees?" she said to a young lady who asked her some simple questions about them. At Fotheringham, the principal relic is a portrait of "the Flower of Yarrow" (said by Sir Walter Scott to have been such an ugly old woman at seventy), singing from a piece of music. The last cannibals in Scotland lived in a glen near Fotheringham, where carters and ploughmen were perpetually disappearing. The glen was known to be the abode of robbers, and at last a strong force was sent against them, and they were all killed, except one little girl of ten years old, whom it was thought a shame to destroy. She had not been with her preservers many days before she said, "Why do you never eat man's flesh? for if you once ate that, you would never wish to eat anything else again." My mother made an excursion from Fotheringham to see Panmure, where the housekeeper said to her that her Lord[167] was "very bad, for he had not killed a single beast that year."


"August 22.—I went early by rail to Stonehaven, and walked to Dunottar. The sea was of the softest Mediterranean blue, and the walk along the edge of the cliffs, through the cornfields, looking down first on the old town and then on the different little coves with their curiously twisted and richly coloured rocks, most delightful. The castle is hidden by the uplands at first, but crowns the ridge of a magnificent rock, which runs far out into the sea, with a line of battered towers. In the depths are reefs covered with seaweed, between which the sea flows up in deep green pools.

"A narrow ledge of rock, of which you can scarcely make out whether it is natural or artificial, connects the castle with the mainland, and here through an arch in the wall you look down into a second bay, where the precipices, crested by a huge red fragment of tower, descend direct upon the water. High up in one of the turrets lives the keeper, a girl, who said that she was so used to climbing, that she could go anywhere where there was the least rest for the sole of her foot; that she did not care to have anything to hold on by, and had never known what it was to be giddy. The 'Whigs' Vault' is shown, in which a hundred and twenty Covenanters were chained, and, beneath it, the awfully close stifling dungeon in which forty-eight were confined, and many of them suffocated. The place still remains where they were let down from the more airy vault above, and also the hole through which their food was transmitted to them. On one side of the dungeon is the well of brackish water which is said (as in the prison of St. Peter) to have sprung up in one night to quench their thirst; on the other, the hole which, in their agonised desperation, they scratched with their hands through the wall, and by which five-and-twenty escape, but were all dashed to pieces against the rocks or taken, except two; while, if the dark night had only allowed them to see it, there is a little footpath near, by which they might all have passed in safety. In the castle also are the chamber in which the Regalia of Scotland were concealed, and the well once supplied by pipes, the cutting of which by Cromwell caused the surrender of the garrison."

"August 23, Eccles Greig, Montrose.—This is a charming place belonging to Kyrie's[168] father, and of which he is the heir. Miss Grant drove me to-day to Denfenella, a beautiful ravine of tremendous depth, where a lovely burn dashes over a precipice, and then rushes away to the sea through depths of rock and fern, amid which it makes a succession of deep shadowy pools. Endless are the Scottish stories about this place:

"That Queen Fenella—the fairy queen—first washed her clothes in the bright shining Morne, and then walked on the tops of the trees, by which means she escaped.

"That Queen Fenella, having murdered her husband, fled to Denfenella, where she flung herself over the rocks to escape justice.

"That Queen Fenella, widow of Kenneth III., after the death of her husband and her own escape from the Castle of Kincardine, fled to Denfenella, where she was taken and put to death.

"That Queen Fenella loved a beautiful youth, but that her enemies tried to force her to marry another; and that, rather than do so, she fled from her father's castle, which is at an immense distance from this, but, on reaching Denfenella, she felt that farther escape was hopeless, and let herself float down the stream and be carried away over the waterfall into the sea.

"All the stories, however, agree in one fact, that at midnight the beautiful Fenella still always walks in the braes where she died, and still washes her clothes in the bright shining Morne.

"We went on to the 'Came of Mathers,' a wild cove on the seashore with a ruined castle on the farthest point of an inaccessible precipice, beneath which the green waves rush through deep rifts of the rock, which is worn into caves and arches. The Sheriff of these parts was once very unpopular, and the lairds complained to King James, who said in a joke that it would be a very good thing if the Sheriff were boiled and cut up and made into browse. When the lairds heard this, they beguiled the Sheriff to Gavoch, where they had a huge caldron prepared, into which they immediately popped him, and boiled him, and cut him up. Then, literally to carry out the King's words, they each ate a part of him. Having done this, they were all so dreadfully afraid of King James, that they sought every possible means of escape, and the Laird of Arbuthnot, who had been one of the most forward in boiling the Sheriff, built this impregnable castle, where he lived in defiance of the King.

"Beneath the castle is a deep cleft in the rock, which seems endless. It is said to continue in a subterranean passage to Lauriston. The drummer of Lauriston once went up it, and tried to work his way through, but he never was seen again; and at night, it is said, that the drummer of Lauriston is still heard beating his drum in the cavern beneath."

Upon leaving Eccles Greig, I joined my mother, and went with her to St. Andrews, which I had always greatly desired that she should see. Even more than the wonderful charm of the place at this time was that of seeing much of the genial, witty, eccentric Provost, Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair. He first came up to me when I was drawing—an old man in a cloak—and invited me into his garden, whither we returned several times. That garden was the most extraordinary place, representing all the important facts of the history of the world, from chaos and the creation of the sun down to the Reform Bill, "whence," said Sir Hugh, "you may date the decline of the British Empire." On the same chart were marked the lengths of all the principal ships, while representations of the planets indicated their distance from the sun! No verbal description, however, can recall the genial oddity of the garden's owner. On Saturdays he used to open his garden to the public, and follow in the crowd to hear their opinion of himself. He said they would often say, "Ah! the poor Provost, he has more money than brains; he is sadly deficient here," pointing to the forehead. Once some of the people said to him, "We do so want to see the Provost; how would it be possible to see Sir Hugh?"—"Oh," he answered, "I think you had better go and look in at the windows, and you will be sure to see him." So they all crowded to the windows, but there was no one to be seen. "Oh," he said, "I'll tell you why that is: that is because he is under the table. It is a way Sir Hugh has. He is so dreadfully shy, that whenever he hears any one coming, he always goes under the table directly." Presently, on going out, they met an official, who, coming up, touched his hat and said, "If you please, Sir Hugh, I've spoken to that policeman, as you ordered me," and the horrified people discovered their mistake, to Sir Hugh's intense amusement.


"August 30.—A stormy day, but I went by train to Tynehead for Crichton. Two old ladies of ninety got into the carriage after me. An old gentleman opposite made a civil speech to one of them, upon which she tartly replied, 'I don't hear a word, for I thank Almighty God for all His mercies, and most of all that He has made me quite deaf, for if I heard I should be obliged to speak to you, and I don't want to speak to you.'

"Crichton is a red ruined castle on a hill, with a distance of purple moorland, and inside is the courtyard so exactly described in 'Marmion.' With storm raging round it, it was awfully desolate. Close by is an old stumpy-towered thoroughly Scotch church."

After a visit to the Dalzels at North Berwick, my mother went south from Durham. I turned backwards to pay my first visit to Mrs. Davidson—the "Cousin Susan" with whom I was afterwards most intimate. "The beautiful Lord Strathmore," my great-grandmother's brother, so often painted by Angelica Kauffmann, who married "the Unhappy Countess," had two daughters, Maria and Anna. After Lady Strathmore was released from her brutal second husband, the one thing she had the greatest horror of for her daughters was matrimony, and she did all she could to prevent their seeing any one. But Lady Anna Bowes, while her mother was living in Fludyer Street, made the acquaintance of a young lawyer who lived on the other side the way, and performed the extraordinary acrobatic feat of walking across a plank suspended across the street to his rooms,[169] where she was married to him. The marriage was an unhappy one, but Mr. Jessop did not survive long, and left Lady Anna with two young daughters, of whom one died early: the other was "Cousin Susan." Lady Anna was given a home (in a house adjoining the park at Gibside) by her brother, John, Lord Strathmore, and her daughters were brought up in sister-like intimacy with his (illegitimate) son, John Bowes. Susan Jessop afterwards married Mr. Davidson of Otterburn, who, being a very rich man, to please her, bought and endowed her with the old Ridley property—Ridley Hall on South Tyne.

Cousin Susan was an active, bright little woman, always beautifully dressed, and with the most perfect figure imaginable. No one except Mr. Bowes knew how old she was, and he would not tell, but she liked to be thought very young, and still danced at Newcastle balls. She was a capital manager of her large estate, entered into all business questions herself, and would walk for hours about her woods, marking timber, planning bridges or summer-houses, and contriving walks and staircases in the most difficult and apparently inaccessible places.

Ridley Hall was the most intense source of pride to Cousin Susan, and though the house was very ugly, the place was indeed most beautiful. The house stood on a grassy hill above the South Tyne Railway, with a large flower-garden on the other side, where, through the whole summer, three hundred and sixty-five flower-beds were bright with every colour of the rainbow. I never saw such a use of annuals as at Ridley Hall—there were perfect sheets of Colinsia, Nemophila, and other common things, from which, in the seed-time, Cousin Susan would gather what she called her harvest, which it took her whole evenings to thresh out and arrange. A tiny inner garden, concealed by trees and rockwork, would have been quite charming to children, with a miniature thatched cottage, filled with the smallest furniture that could be put into use, bookcases, and pictures, &c. Beyond the garden was a lovely view towards the moors, ever varied by the blue shadows of clouds fleeting across them. Thence an avenue, high above the river, led to the kitchen-garden, just where the rushing Allen Water, seen through a succession of green arches, was hurrying to its junction with the Tyne. Here one entered upon the wood walks, which wound for five miles up and down hill, through every exquisite variety of scenery—to Bilberry Hill Moss House, with its views, across the woods, up the gorge of the Allen to the old tower of Staward Peel—to the Raven's Crag, the great yellow sandstone cliff crowned with old yew-trees, which overhangs the river—and across the delicately swung chain-bridge by the Birkie Brae to a lonely tarn in the hills, returning by the Swiss Cottage and the Craggy Pass, a steep staircase under a tremendous overhanging rock.

During my first visits at Ridley Hall, words would fail to express my enjoyment of the natural beauties of the place, and I passed many delightful hours reading in the mossy walks, or sketching amongst the huge rocks in the bed of the shallow river; but at Ridley more than anywhere else I have learnt how insufficient mere beauty is to fill one's life; and in later years, when poor Cousin Susan's age and infirmities increased, I felt terribly the desolation of the place, the miles and miles of walks kept up for no one else to enjoy them—the hours, and days, and weeks in which one might wander for ever and never meet a human being.

During my earlier visits, however, Cousin Susan would fill her house in the summer, especially in the shooting season. There was nothing particularly intellectual in the people, but a large party in a beautiful place generally finds sources of enjoyment: which were always sought on foot, for there was only one road near Ridley Hall, that along the Tyne valley, which led to Hexham on the east and Haltwhistle on the west. Constant guests and great friends of Cousin Susan were the two old Miss Coulsons—Mary and Arabella—of Blenkinsop, primitive, pleasant old ladies, and two of the most kind-hearted people I have ever known. Cousin Susan delighted in her denomination of "the Great Lady of the Tyne," and, in these earlier years of our intimacy, was adored by her tenantry and the people of the neighbouring villages, who several times, when she appeared at a public gathering, insisted on taking out her horses and drawing her home. With her neighbours of a higher class, Cousin Susan was always very exacting of attention, and very apt to take offence.

But no account of Ridley Hall can be complete without alluding to the dogs, of which there were great numbers, treated quite as human beings and part of the family. An extra dog was never considered an infliction; thus, when Cousin Susan engaged a new servant, he or she was always told that a dog would be especially annexed to them, and considered to belong to them. When the footman came in to put on the coals, his dog came in with him; when you met the housemaid in the passage, she was accompanied by her dog. On the first day of my arrival, Cousin Susan said at dessert, "John, now bring in the boys," and when I was expecting the advent of a number of unknown young cousins, the footman threw open the door, and volleys of little dogs rushed into the room, but all white Spitzes except the Chowdy-Tow, a most comical Japanese. Church service at Ridley Hall was held at the Beltingham Chapel, where Cousin Susan was supreme. The miserable little clergyman, who used to pray for "Queen-Victori-ā," was never allowed to begin till she had entered the church and taken her place in a sort of tribune on a level with the altar. Many of the dogs went to church too, with the servants to whom they were annexed. This was so completely considered a matter of course, that I never observed it as anything absurd till one day when my connections the Scotts (daughters of Alethea Stanley) came to the chapel from Sir Edward Blackett's, and were received into Cousin Susan's pew. In the Confession, one Miss Scott after another became overwhelmed with uncontrollable fits of laughter. When I looked up, I saw the black noses and white ears of a row of little Spitz dogs, one over each of the prayer-books in the opposite seat. Cousin Susan was furiously angry, and declared that the Scotts should never come to Ridley Hall again: it was not because they had laughed in church, but because they had laughed at the dogs!

Upon leaving Ridley Hall, I paid another visit, which I then thought scarcely less interesting. My grandmother's first cousin, John, Earl of Strathmore (who left £10,000 to my grandfather), was a very agreeable and popular man, but by no means a moral character. Living near his castle of Streatlam was a beautiful girl named Mary Milner, daughter of a market-gardener at Staindrop. With this girl he went through a false ceremony of marriage, after which, in all innocence, she lived with him as his wife. Their only boy, John Bowes, was sent to Eton as Lord Glamis. On his deathbed Lord Strathmore confessed to Mary Milner that their marriage was false and that she was not really his wife. She said, "I understand that you mean to marry me now, but that will not do: there must be no more secret marriages!" and, ill as he was, she had every one within reach summoned to attend the ceremony, and she had him carried to church and was married to him before all the world. Lord Strathmore died soon after he re-entered the house, but he left her Countess of Strathmore. It was too late to legitimatise John Bowes.

Lady Strathmore always behaved well. As soon as she was a widow, she said to all the people whom she had known as her husband's relations and friends, that if they liked to keep up her acquaintance, she should be very grateful to them, and always glad to see them when they came to her, but that she should never enter any house on a visit again: and she never did. My grandmother, and, in later years, "Italima," had always appreciated Lady Strathmore, and so had Mrs. Davidson, and the kindness they showed her was met with unbounded gratitude. Lady Strathmore therefore received with the greatest effusion my proposal of a visit to Gibside. She was a stately woman, still beautiful, and she had educated herself since her youth, but, from her quiet life (full of unostentatious charity), she had become very eccentric. One of her oddities was that her only measurement of time was one thousand years. "Is it long since you have seen Mrs. Davidson?" I said. "Yes, one thousand years!"—"Have you had your dog a long time?"—"A thousand years."—"That must be a very old picture."—"Yes, a thousand years old."

Seeing no one but Mr. Hutt, the agreeable tutor of her son, Lady Strathmore had married him, and by her wealth and influence he became member for Gateshead. He was rather a prim man, but could make himself very agreeable, and he was vastly civil to me. I think he rather tyrannised over Lady Strathmore, but he was very well behaved to her in public. Soon after her death[170] he married again.


Gibside was a beautiful place. The long many-orielled battlemented house was reached through exquisite woods feathering down to the Derwent. A tall column in the park commemorates the victory of George Bowes (the father of the unhappy 9th Lady Strathmore, who married a Blakiston, the heiress of Gibside) over Sir Robert Walpole at a Newcastle election. There was a charming panelled drawing-room, full of old furniture and pictures. The house had two ghosts, one "in a silk dress," being that Lady Tyrconnel who died in the house while living there on somewhat too intimate terms with John, Earl of Strathmore. He gave her a funeral which almost ruined the estate. Her face was painted like the most brilliant life. He dressed her head himself! and then, having decked her out in all her jewels, and covered her with Brussels lace from head to foot, he sent her up to London, causing her to lie in state at every town upon the road, and finally to be buried in Westminster Abbey!

At the end of the garden was the chapel, beneath which many of my Strathmore ancestors are buried—a beautiful building externally, but hideous within, with the pulpit in the centre. During the service on Sundays a most extraordinary effect was produced by the clerk not only giving out the hymns, but singing them entirely through afterwards by himself, in a harsh nasal twang, without the very slightest help from any member of the congregation.

After we parted at Paris in the autumn of 1858, Mrs. Hare and my sister, as usual, spent the winter at Rome, returning northwards by the seat of the war in Lombardy. Thence Esmeralda wrote:—

"Turin, May 25, 1859.—Instead of a dolce far niente at Frascati or Albano, we have been listening to the roaring of cannon. The Austrians are said to be fourteen miles off, but there is no apparent excitement in the town. The juggler attracts a crowd around him as usual in the piazza, the ladies walk about with their fans and smelling-bottles, the men sing vivas. The town is guarded by the guardia civile; all the regular troops have left for the battlefield. The nobility are either shut up or walk about in the streets, for all their carriage and riding horses have been taken from them for the use of the army. Bulletins are published twice a day, and give a short account of the engagements. The Piedmontese are confident of ultimate success: fresh French troops are pouring in every day. The lancers came in this morning with flying colours, splendidly mounted, and were received with thundering applause, the people shouting and clapping their hands, waving their handkerchiefs, and decorating them with bouquets and wreaths of flowers. I hear the Emperor has been waiting for the arrival of this regiment to begin war in earnest, and a great battle is expected on Monday.... We left Genoa at night, and came on by the ten o'clock train to the seat of war. The French were mounting guard in Alessandria,—the Zouaves and Turcos in their African dress lounging at the railway station. The Austrians had been repulsed the day before in trying to cross the river; the cannon had been rolling all day, but the officers were chatting as gaily as if nothing had happened, and were looking into the railway carriages for amusement. I longed to stop at Alessandria and go to see the camp, but Mama would not hear of it. There were troops encamped at distances all along the line.... We have had no difficulty in coming by land, though people tried to frighten us. We proceeded by vetturino to Siena: everything was quiet, and we met troops of volunteers singing 'Viva l'Italia'—so radiant, they seemed to be starting for a festival. Five hundred volunteers went with us in the same train, and when we arrived at Pisa, more volunteers were parading the streets amid the acclamations of the people. At Genoa, hundreds of French soldiers were walking about the town, looking in at the shop-windows. Prince Napoleon Bonaparte was walking about the Via Balbi with his hands in his pockets, followed by great crowds.

"We packed up everything before leaving Palazzo Parisani, in case we should not be able to return there next winter. I will not think of the misery of being kept out of Rome; it would be too great. Perhaps you will see us in England this year, but it is not at all probable."

Alas! my sister did not return to Rome that year, or for many years after. "L'homme s'agite et Dieu le mêne."[171] Parisani was never again really her home. A terrible cloud of misfortune was gathering over her, accompanied by a series of adventures the most mysterious and the most incredible. I should not believe all that happened myself, unless I had followed it day by day; therefore I cannot expect others to believe it. As Lucas Malet says, "English people distrust everything that does not carry ballast in the shape of obvious dulness," and they are not likely, therefore, to believe what follows. But it is true nevertheless. In narrating what occurred, I shall confine myself to a simple narrative of facts: as to the source of the extraordinary powers possessed by the lady who for some time exercised a great influence upon the fortunes of our family, I can offer no suggestion.

When Mrs. Hare and my sister arrived at Geneva in June 1859, though their fortunes had suffered very considerably by the Paul bankruptcy, they were still in possession of a large income, and of every luxury of life. To save the trouble of taking a villa, they engaged an excellent suite of apartments in the Hôtel de la Metropole, where they intended remaining for the greater part of the summer.

Soon after her arrival, Italima (Mrs. Hare) wrote to her banker for money, and was much astonished to hear from him that she had overdrawn her account by £150. Knowing that she ought at that season to have plenty of money in the bank, she wrote to her attorney, Mr. B. (who had the whole management of her affairs), to desire that he would pay the rest of the money due into Coutts', and that he would send her £100 immediately. She had no answer from Mr. B., and she wrote again and again, without any answer. She was not alarmed, because Mr. B. was always in the habit of going abroad in the summer, and she supposed that her letters did not reach him because he was away. Still, as she really wanted the money, it was very inconvenient.

One day, when she came down to the table-d'hôte, the place next to her was occupied by an elderly lady, who immediately attempted to enter into conversation with her. Italima, who always looked coldly upon strangers, answered shortly, and turned away. "Je vois, Madame," said the lady, with a most peculiar intonation, "que vous aimez les princesses et les grandeurs." "Yes," said Italima, who was never otherwise than perfectly truthful, "you are quite right; I do." And after that—it was so very singular—a sort of conversation became inevitable. But the lady soon turned to my sister and said, "You are very much interested about the war in Italy: you have friends in the Italian army: you are longing to know how things are going on. I see it all: to-morrow there will be a great battle, and if you come to my room to-morrow morning, you will hear of it, for I shall be there."—"Yes," said Esmeralda, but she went away thinking the lady was perfectly mad—quite raving.

The next morning, as my sister was going down the passage of the hotel, she heard a strange sound in one of the bedrooms. The door was ajar, she pushed it rather wider open, and there, upon two chairs, lay the lady, quite rigid, her eyes distended, speaking very rapidly. Esmeralda fetched her mother, and there they both remained transfixed from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. The lady was evidently at a great battle: she described the movements of the troops: she echoed the commands: she shuddered at the firing and the slaughter, and she never ceased speaking. At 3 P.M. she grew calm, her voice ceased, her muscles became flexible, she was soon quite herself. My sister spoke to her of what had taken place: she seemed to have scarcely any remembrance of it. At 6 P.M. they went down to dinner. Suddenly the lady startled the table-d'hôte by dropping her knife and fork and exclaiming, "Oh, l'Empereur! l'Empereur! il est en danger." She described a flight, a confusion, clouds of dust arising—in fact, all the final act of the battle of Solferino. That night the telegrams of Solferino came to Geneva, and for days afterwards the details kept arriving. Everything was what the lady described. It was at the battle of Solferino that she had been.

When my sister questioned the landlord, she learnt that the lady was known as Madame de Trafford, that she had been née Mademoiselle Martine Larmignac (de l'Armagnac?), and that she was possessed of what were supposed to be supernatural powers. Esmeralda herself describes the next incident in her acquaintance with Madame de Trafford.

"One day when we were sitting in our room at Geneva, a lady came in, a very pleasing-looking person, perfectly gracieuse, even distinguée. She sat down, and then said that the object of her visit was to ask assistance for a charity; that Madame de Trafford, who was living below us, had given her sixty francs, and that she hoped we should not refuse to give her something also. Then she told us a story of a banker's family at Paris who had been totally ruined, and who were reduced to the utmost penury, and living in the greatest destitution at Lausanne. She entered into the details of the story, dwelling upon the beauty of the children, their efforts at self-help, and various other details. When she had ended, Mama said she regretted that she was unable to give her more than ten francs, but that she should be glad to contribute so much, and I was quite affected by the story, which was most beautifully told.

"Meantime, Madame de Trafford, by her secondsight, knew that she was going to be robbed, yet she would not forego her usual custom of keeping a large sum of money by her. She wrapped up a parcel of bank-notes and some napoleons in a piece of newspaper, and threw it upon the top of a wardrobe in which her dresses were hung. She told me of this, and said she had hidden the money so well that it was unlikely that any one could find it.

"In a few days, the lady came again to tell us of the improvement in the poor family, and she also went to see Madame de Trafford. She was alone with her, and Madame de Trafford told her about her money, and showed her the place where she had put it, asking her if she did not think it well concealed.

"Some days after, when we came up from dinner, we found the same lady, the quêteuse, walking up and down the gallery fanning herself. She said she had been waiting for Madame de Trafford, but had found her apartment so hot, she had left it to walk about the passage. We all went into the public sitting-room together, but Mama and I stayed to read the papers, whilst the lady passed on with Madame de Trafford to her room beyond, as she said she wished to speak to her. Soon she returned alone, and began talking to us, when ... the door opened, and in came Madame de Trafford, dreadfully agitated, looking perfectly livid, and exclaiming in a voice of thunder, 'On m'a volé,' and then, turning to the lady, 'Et voilà la voleuse.' Then, becoming quite calm, she said coldly, 'Madame, vous étiez seule pendant que nous étions à table; je vous prie donc de vous ... déshabiller.'—'Mais, Madame, c'est inoui de me soupçonner,' said the lady, 'mais ... enfin ... Madame....' But she was compelled to pass before Madame de Trafford into the bedroom and to undo her dress. In her purse were ten napoleons, but of these no notice was taken; she might have had them before. Then Madame de Trafford gave the lady five minutes to drop the notes she had taken, and came out to us—'Car c'est elle!' she said. In five minutes the lady came out of the room and passed us, saying, 'Vraiment cette Madame de Trafford c'est une personne très exaltée,' and went out. Then Madame de Trafford called us. 'Venez, Madame Hare,' she said. We went into the bedroom, and in the corner of the floor lay a bundle of bank-notes. 'Elle les a jeté,' said Madame de Trafford."

Of the same week my sister narrates the following:—

"One Sunday morning, the heat was so great, I had been almost roasted in going to church. In the afternoon Madame de Trafford came in. 'Venez, ma chère, venez avec moi à vêpres,' she said. 'Oh, non, il y a trop de soleil, c'est impossible, et je vous conseille de vous garder aussi d'un coup de soleil.'—'Moi, je vais à l'église,' she answered, 'et aussi je vais à pied, parceque je ne veux pas payer une voiture, et personne ne me menera pour rien; il n'y a pas de charité dans ce monde.' And she went.

"When she came back she said, 'Eh bien, ma chère, je suis allé à vêpres, mais je ne suis pas allé à pied. Je n'étais que sorti de l'hôtel, quand je voyais tous ces cochers avec leurs voitures en face de moi. "Et que feras tu donc, si tu trouveras la charité en chemin?" me disait la voix. "Je lui donnerai un napoléon." Eh bien, un de ces cochers, je le sentais, me menerait pour la charité: je le sentais, mais j'avançais toujours; et voilà que Pierre, qui nous avait amené avec sa voiture l'autre journée, me poursuivit avec sa voiture en criant, "Mais, madame, où allez vous donc: venez, montez, je ne veux pas vous voir vous promener comme cela; je vous menerai pour rien."—"Mais, Pierre, que voulez vous donc," je dis. "Mais montez, madame, montez; je vous menerai pour rien," il repetait, et je montais. Pierre m'emmenait à l'église, et voila la voix qui me dit, "Et ton napoléon," parceque j'avais dit que si je trouvais la charité en chemin, je lui donnerais un napoléon. Mais je n'ai pas voulu lui donner le napoléon de suite, parceque cela pouvait lui faire tourner la tête, et j'ai dit, "Venez, Pierre, venez me voir demain au soir. Vous avez fait un acte de la charité: Dieu vous recompensera."'

"Madame de Trafford always wore a miniature of the Emperor Napoleon in a ring which she had: the ring opened, and inside was the miniature. The next morning she showed it to me, and asked me to get it out of the ring, as she was going to send the ring to a jeweller to be repaired. I got scissors, &c., and poked, and thumped, and pulled at the picture, but I could not get it out of the ring: I could not move it in the least.

"In the morning Mama was with Madame de Trafford when Pierre came. I was not there. Pierre was a dull stupid Swiss lout of a cocher. 'Madame m'a commandé de venir,' he said, and he could say nothing else.

"Then Madame de Trafford held out a napoleon, saying, 'Tenez, Pierre, voilà un napoléon pour vous, parceque vous avez voulu faire un acte de la charité, et ordinairement il n'y a pas de charité dans ce monde.' ... But as Madame de Trafford stretched forth her hand, the ring flew open and the portrait vanished. It did not slip out of the ring, it did not fall—it vanished! it ceased to exist! 'Oh, le portrait, le portrait!' cried Madame de Trafford. She screamed: she was perfectly frantic. 'Quel portrait?' said Pierre, for he had seen none: he was stupefied: he could not think what it all meant. As for Mama, she was so terrified, she rushed out of the room. She locked her door, she declared nothing should induce her to remain in the same room with Madame de Trafford again.

"I went down to Madame de Trafford. She offered a napoleon to any one who would find the portrait. She was wild. I never saw her in such a state, never. Of course every one hunted, garçons, filles-de-chambre, every one, but not a trace of the portrait could any one find. At last Madame de Trafford became quite calm; she said, 'Je sens que dans une semaine j'aurai mon portrait, et je vois que ce sera un des braves du grand Napoléon qui me le rapportera.'

"I thought this very extraordinary, and really I did not remember that there was any soldier of the old Napoleon in the house. I was so accustomed to Félix as our old servant, it never would have occurred to me to think of him. The week passed. 'C'est la fin de la semaine,' said Madame de Trafford, 'et demain j'aurai mon portrait.'

"We had never told Victoire about the portrait, for she was so superstitious, we thought she might refuse to stay in the house with Madame de Trafford if we told her. But the next morning she came to Mama and said that a child who was playing in a garret at the top of the house had found there, amongst some straw, the smallest portrait ever seen, and had given it to Félix, and Félix had shown it to her, saying, 'Voila c'est bien fait çà; çà n'est pas un bagatelle; çà n'est pas un joujoux çà!' and he had put it away. 'Why, it is the lost portrait,' said Mama. 'What portrait?' said Victoire. Then Mama told Victoire how Madame de Trafford had lost the portrait out of her ring, and Félix took it back to her. It was when Félix took back the portrait that I first remembered he had been a soldier of the old Napoleon, and was even then in receipt of a pension for his services in the Moscow campaign.

"Félix refused the napoleon Madame de Trafford had offered as a reward; but she insisted on his having it, so he took it, and wears it on his watchchain always: he almost looks upon it as a talisman."

As Italima and Esmeralda saw more of Madame de Trafford, they learned that she was the second wife of Mr. Trafford of Wroxham in Norfolk. He did not live with her, because he said that when he married her he intended to marry Mademoiselle Martine Larmignac, but he did not intend to marry "Maricot," as she called the spirit—the "voice"—which spoke through her lips, and live with Maricot he would not. He showed his wife every possible attention, and placed implicit confidence in her. He left her entire control of her fortune. He constantly visited her, and always came to take leave of her when she set off on any of her journeys; but he could not live with her.

One day Italima received a letter from her eldest son Francis, who said that he knew she would not believe him, but that Mr. B. was a penniless bankrupt, and that she would receive no more money from him. She did not believe Francis a bit, still the letter made her anxious and uncomfortable: no money had come in answer to her repeated letters, and there were many things at Geneva to be paid for. That day she came down to the table-d'hôte looking very much harassed. Madame de Trafford said to my sister, "Your mother looks very much agitated: what is it?" Esmeralda felt that, whether she told her or not, Madame de Trafford would know what had happened, and she told her the simple truth. Madame de Trafford said, "Now, do not be surprised at what I am going to say; don't be grateful to me; it's my vocation in life. Here is £80: take it at once. That is the sum you owe in Geneva, and you have no money. I knew that you wanted that sum, and I brought it down to dinner with me. Now I know all that is going to happen: it is written before me like an open book,—and I know how important it is that you should go to England at once. I have prepared for that, and I am going with you. In an hour you must start for England." And such was the confidence that Italima and Esmeralda now had in Madame de Trafford, such was her wonderful power and influence, that they did all she told them: they paid their bills at Geneva with the money she gave, they left Félix and Victoire to pack up and to follow them to Paris, and they started by the night-train the same evening with Madame de Trafford.

That was an awful night. My sister never lost the horror of it. "Madame de Trafford had told me that extraordinary things often happened to her between two and four in the morning," said Esmeralda. "When we went with her through the night in the coupé of the railway-carriage, she was very anxious that I should sleep. Mama slept the whole time. 'Mais dormez donc, ma chère,' she said, 'dormez donc.'—'Oh, je dormirai bientôt,' I always replied, but I was quite determined to keep awake. It was very dreadful, I thought, but if anything did happen, I would see what it was. As it drew near two o'clock I felt the most awful sensation of horror come over me. Then a cold perspiration broke out all over me. Then I heard—oh, I cannot describe it! a most awful sound—a voice—a sort of squeak. It spoke, it was a language; but it was a language I did not understand,[172] and then something came out of the mouth of Madame de Trafford—bur-r-r-r! It passed in front of me, black but misty. I rushed at it. Madame de Trafford seized me and forced me back upon the seat. I felt as if I should faint. Her expression was quite awful. No one knows it but Mama. Some time after, Mr. Trafford spoke to me of a hunchback in Molière, who had a voice speaking inside him, over which he had no control, and then he said, 'What my wife has is like that.'"

As they drew near Paris, Madame de Trafford began to describe her apartments to my sister. It was like a description of Aladdin's palace, and Esmeralda did not believe it. When they reached the station, Madame de Trafford said, "I have one peculiarity in my house: I have no servants. I used to have them, but I did not like them; so now, when I am at Paris, I never have them: therefore, on our way from the station, we will stop as we pass through the Rue St. Honoré, and buy the bread, and milk, and candles—in fact, all the things we want." And so they did.

The carriage stopped before a porte cochère in the Champs Elysées, where Madame de Trafford got a key from the concierge, and preceded her guests up a staircase. When she unlocked the door of the apartment, it was quite dark, and hot and stuffy, as closed rooms are, but when the shutters were opened, all that Madame de Trafford had said as to the magnificence of the furniture, &c., was more than realised—only there were no servants. Madame de Trafford herself brought down mattresses from the attics, she aired and made the beds, and she lighted the fire and boiled the kettle for supper and breakfast.

Of that evening my sister wrote:—

"I shall never forget a scene with Madame de Trafford. I had gone to rest in my room, but I did not venture to stay long. She also had been up all night, but that was nothing to her—paresse was what she could never endure. When I went into her room, she had the concierge with her, but she was greatly excited. She was even then contending with her spirit. 'Taisez-vous, Maricot,' she was exclaiming. 'Voulez vous vous taire: taisez-vous, Maricot.' I saw that the concierge was getting very angry, quite boiling with indignation, for there was no one else present, and she thought Madame de Trafford was talking to her. 'Mais, madame, madame, je ne parle pas,' she said. But Madame de Trafford went on, 'Va-t'en, Maricot: va-t'en donc.'—'Mais, madame, je suis toute prête,' said the concierge, and she went out, banging the door behind her."[173]

Madame de Trafford told my sister in Paris that her extraordinary power had first come to her, as it then existed, many years before in the Church of S. Roch. She had gone there, not to pray, but to look about her, and, as she was walking round the ambulatory, there suddenly came to her the extraordinary sensation that she knew all that those kneeling around her were thinking, feeling, and wishing. Her own impression was one of horror, and an idea that the power came from evil; but kneeling down then and there before the altar, she made a solemn dedication of herself; she prayed that such strange knowledge might be taken away, but, if that were not to be, made a vow to turn the evil against itself, by using it always for good.

People suddenly ruined—whom Madame de Trafford called "the poor rich"—she considered to be her peculiar vocation, because in her younger life she had twice been utterly ruined herself. Once it was in England. She had only a shilling left in the world, and, in her quaint way of narrating things, she said, "Having only a shilling left in the world, I thought what I had better do, and I thought that, as I had only a shilling left in the world, I had better go out and take a walk. I went out, and I met a man, and the man said to me, 'Give me something, for I have nothing left in the world,' and I gave him sixpence, and I went on. And I met a woman, and the woman said to me, 'Give me something, for I have nothing whatever left in the world.' And I said, 'I cannot give you anything, for I have only sixpence left in the world, so I cannot give you anything.' And the woman said, 'But you are much richer than I, for you are well dressed; you have a good bonnet, a gown, and shawl, while I am clothed in rags, and so you must give me something.' And I thought, 'Well, that is true,' so I gave her the sixpence, and I went on. At the corner of the street I found a sovereign lying in the street. With that sovereign I paid for food and lodging. The next day I had remittances from an uncle I had long supposed to be dead, and who expressed the wish that I should come to him. He died and left me his heiress: money has since then always flowed in, and I go about to look for the poor rich." A presentiment would come to Madame de Trafford, or the voice of Maricot would tell her, where she would be needed, and she would set out. Thus she went to Geneva to help some one unknown. She moved from hotel to hotel until she found the right one; and she sat by person after person at the table-d'hôte, till she felt she was sitting by the right one; then she waited quietly till the moment came when she divined what was wanted.

The morning after their arrival in Paris, Madame de Trafford stood by my sister's bedside when she awoke, ready dressed, and having already put away most of the things in the apartment. As soon as breakfast was over, a carriage came to take them to the station, and they set off for Boulogne, where Madame de Trafford set her guests afloat for England with £40 in their pockets. Thus they arrived on the scene of action.

Straight from London Bridge Station they drove to Mr. B.'s office. He was there, and apparently delighted to see them. "Well, Mr. B., and pray why have you sent me no money?" asked Italima. "Why, I've sent you quantities of money," said Mr. B., without a change of countenance. "If you write to Messrs. O. & L., the bankers at Geneva, you will find it's all there. I have sent you money several times," and he said this with such perfect sangfroid that they believed him. Italima then said, "Well now, Mr. B., I should wish to see the mortgages," because from time to time he had persuaded her to transfer £46,000 of her own fortune from other securities to mortgages on a Mr. Howell's estate in Cornwall. Mr. B. replied, "Do you know, when you say that, it would almost seem as if you did not quite trust me."—"That I cannot help," said Italima, "but I should wish to see the mortgages."—"There is no difficulty whatever," said Mr. B.; "you could have seen them last year if you had wished: to-day you cannot see them because they are in the Bank, and the Bank is closed, but you can fix any other day you like for seeing them,"—and they fixed the following Wednesday. Afterwards Mr. B. said, "Well, Mrs. Hare, you do not seem to have trusted me as I deserve, still I think it my duty to give you the pleasant news that you will be richer this year than you have ever been in your life. A great deal of money is recovered from the Paul bankruptcy, which you never expected to see again; all your other investments are prospering, and your income will certainly be larger than it has ever been before." Italima was perfectly satisfied. That evening she made my sister write to Mrs. Julius Hare and say, "We are convinced that Mr. B. is the best friend we have in the world. Augustus was always talking against him, and we have been brought to England by a raving mad Frenchwoman who warned us against him; but we will never doubt or mistrust him any more."

When the Wednesday came on which they were to see the mortgages, Italima was not well, and she said to my sister, "I am quite glad I am not well, because it will be an excuse for you to go and fetch the mortgages, when we can look them over quietly together." My sister went off to Lincoln's Inn, but before going to Mr. B., she called at the house of another lawyer, whom she knew very well, to ask if he had heard any reports about Mr. B. "I pray to God, Miss Hare, that you are safe from that man," was all he said. She rushed on to the office. Mr. B. was gone: the whole place was sotto-sopra: everything was gone: there were no mortgages: there was no Mr. Howell's estate: there was no money: £60,000 was gone: there was absolutely nothing left whatever.

Never was ruin more complete! Italima and Esmeralda had nothing left: not a loaf of bread, not a penny to buy one—nothing. My sister said she prayed within herself as to how she could possibly go back and tell her mother, and it seemed to her as if a voice said, "Go back, go back, tell her at once," and she went. When she reached the door of Ellison's hotel, where they were staying, the waiter said a gentleman was sitting with her mother, but it seemed as if the voice said, "Go up, go up, tell her at once." When she went in, her mother was sitting on the sofa, and a strange gentleman was talking to her. She went up to her mother and said, "Mama, we are totally ruined: Mr. B. has taken flight: we have lost everything we have in the world, and we never can hope to have anything any more." The strange gentleman came in like a special intervention of Providence. He was a Mr. Touchet, who had known Italima well when she was quite a girl, who had never seen her since, and who had come that day for the first time to renew his acquaintance. He was full of commiseration and sympathy with them over what he heard; he at once devoted himself to their service, and begged them to make use of him: the mere accident of his presence just broke the first shock.

Lady Normanby was at Sydenham when the catastrophe occurred; she at once came up to London and helped her cousins for the moment. Then Lady Shelley, the daughter-in-law of Italima's old friend Mrs. Shelley (see chap. i.), fetched them home to her at Boscombe near Bournemouth, and was unboundedly kind to them. Sir Percy Shelley offered them a cottage rent-free in his pine-woods, but they only remained there three weeks, and then went to Lady Williamson at Whitburn Hall near Sunderland, where I first saw them.

Everything had happened exactly as Madame de Trafford had predicted. My sister wrote to me:—

"The most dreadful news. We are ruined. Mr. B. has bolted, and is a fraudulent bankrupt. Nobody knows where he is. We are nearly wild. God help us. I hardly know what I am writing. What is to become of Francis and William? We hardly know what we have lost. I fear B. has seized on Mama's mortgages. Pray for us."

We received this letter when we were staying at Fotheringham. We were very much shocked, but we said that when my sister talked of absolute ruin, it was only a figure of speech. She and her mother might be very much poorer than they had been, but there was a considerable marriage settlement; that, we imagined, B. could not have possessed himself of.

But it was too true; he had taken everything. The marriage settlement was in favour of younger children, I being one of the three who would have benefited. Some years before, Mr. B. had been to Italima and persuaded her to give up £2000 of my brother William's portion, during her life, in order to pay his debts. On her assenting to this, Mr. B. had subtly entered the whole sum mentioned in the settlement, instead of £2000, in the deed of release, and the two trustees had signed without a question, so implicit was their faith in Mr. B., who passed not only for a very honourable, but for a very religious man. Mr. B. had used the £2000 to pay William's debts, and had taken all the rest of the money for himself. About Italima's own fortune he had been even less scrupulous. Mr. Howell's estate in Cornwall had never existed at all. Mr. B. had taken the £46,000 for himself; there had been no mortgages, but he had paid the interest as usual, and the robbery had passed undetected. He had kept Italima from coming upon him during the last summer by cutting off her supplies, and all might have gone on as usual if Madame de Trafford had not brought his victims to England, and Italima had not insisted upon seeing the mortgages.

The next details we received were from my aunt Eleanor Paul.

"Sept. 1, 1859.—B. is bankrupt and has absconded. They think he is gone to Sweden. The first day there were bills filed against him for £100,000, the second day for £100,000 more, all money that he swindled people out of. I have not suffered personally, as the instant I heard there was anything against him, I went to his house, demanded my securities, put them in my pocket, and walked away with them. But I fear B. has made away with all the mortgages your mother and sister were supposed to have, or that they never existed, as they are not forthcoming. It is supposed that he has also made away with all the trust-money, besides the £5000 left to your sister by her aunt. At this moment they are penniless.... Your mother went to B. as soon as she arrived and desired to have the mortgages. He promised to have them ready in a few days, and meantime he talked her over, and made her believe he was a most honourable man. Before the day came he had bolted...."

I went from Gibside to Whitburn to be there when Italima arrived. Her despair and misery were terrible to witness. She did nothing all day but lament and wail over her fate, and was most violent to my sister, who bore her own loss with the utmost calmness and patience. Nothing could exceed Lady Williamson's kindness to them. She pressed them to stay on with her, and cared for them with unwearied generosity during the first ten months of their destitution. Many other friends offered help, and the Liddell cousins promised an annual subscription for their maintenance; but the generosity which most came home to their hearts was that of their old Roman friend Mr. William Palmer, who out of his very small income pressed upon them a cheque for £150. In this, as in all other cases of the kind, those who had least gave most. One idea was to obtain admission for them to St. Catherine's Almshouses for ladies of good family, but this was unwisely, though generously, opposed by my Aunt Eleanor.

"I am inclined to quarrel with you for ever mentioning the word 'Almshouse.' I have lived with my sister during her richer days, and certainly do not mean to desert her in her distress. I only wish she could think as I do. We can live in a smaller domain very happily, and if the worst come to the worst, I have £300 a year, and if the Liddell family allow £150, that, with the colliery shares, would make up £500 a year between us: and I have every prospect of recovering at least a portion of my fortune, and if I do, shall have £200, perhaps £300 a year more, making £800. Knowing this, I think it wrong to make oneself miserable. Francis and William must work: they have had their share of the fortune. I am only waiting till something is settled with regard to my affairs, but desertion has never for a moment entered my brain, and I hope you never gave me credit for anything so barbarous."[174]

To MY MOTHER (before seeing Italima).

"Whitburn Hall, Sept. 13.—Nothing can exceed Lady Williamson's kindness about Italima. Though she can ill afford it, she at once sent them £110 for present necessities.... She does not think it possible they can ever return to Rome, but having to part with Félix and Victoire is the greatest of their immediate trials. In addition to her invalid husband and son, Lady Williamson, the good angel of the whole family, has since her father's death taken the entire charge of his old sister, Mrs. Richmond—'Aunt Titchie.' Victor and I have just been paying a visit in her bedroom to this extraordinary old lady, who was rolled up in petticoats, with a little dog under a shawl by way of muff. She is passionately fond of eating, and dilated upon the goodness of the cook—'Her tripe and onions are de-licious!'—'I like a green gosling, and plenty of sage and stuffing, that's what I like.'

"She is a complete Mrs. Malaprop. 'I was educated, my dear,' she said, 'at a cemetery for young ladies;' but this is only a specimen. She is also used to very strong language, and till she became blind, she used to hunt all over the country in top-boots and leathern breeches, like a man. When her husband died, she went up from Mrs. Villiers' house at Grove Mill to prove his will. Adolphus Liddell met her at the station, and helped her to do it, and then took her to the 'Ship and Turtle' and gave her real turtle—in fact, a most excellent luncheon. He afterwards saw her off at Euston. She is blind, you know, and took no notice of there being other passengers in the carriage, and greatly astonished they must have been, as he was taking leave of her, to hear the old lady say in her deliberate tones, 'Capital turtle! de-e-licious punch! Why, lor bless ye! I'd prove my husband's will once a week to get such a blow-out as that.'

"I thought this place hideous at first, but it improves on acquaintance, and has its availabilities, like everything else: there is a fine sea with beautiful sands, and the flower-garden is radiant."

"Sept. 15.—I long for you to know Lady Williamson. Of all people I have ever known, she has the most truly Christian power of seeing the virtues of every one and passing over their faults. She also has to perfection the not-hearing, not-seeing knack, which is the most convenient thing possible in such a mixed family circle.

"Charlie Williamson arrived yesterday, and, with the most jovial entertaining manner, has all his mother's delicacy of feeling and excessive kindness of heart. When he heard of the B. catastrophe, he went up at once from Aldershot to see Italima in London. 'Your mother was quite crushed,' he says, 'but as for your dear sister, there isn't a girl in England has the pluck she shows. She never was down for a moment, not she: no, she was as cheery as possible, and said, "Mama, it is done, and it is not our fault, so we must learn to make the best of it." People may say what they like, but she is real downright good, and no mistake about it.'

"I have been with Victor to Seaton Delaval—the 'lordly Seaton Delaval' of 'Marmion,' scene of many of the iniquities of the last Lord Delaval. It is a magnificent house, but the centre is now a ruin, having been burnt about eighty years ago, by the connivance, it is said, of its then owner, Sir Jacob Astley. There is a Norman chapel, full of black effigies of knights, which look as if they were carved out of coal, and in one of the wings is a number of pictures, including Lord Delaval's four beautiful daughters, one of whom married the village baker, while another was that Lady Tyrconnel who died at Gibside.

"I hope I shall know all these cousins better some day. At present, from their having quite a different set of friends and associations, I always feel as if I had not a single thing to say to them, and I am sure they all think I am dreadfully stupid.... But I am enchanted with Charlie Williamson, his tremendous spirits and amusing ways."

"Sept. 17.—At 8½, as we were sitting at tea, Lady Williamson put her head in at the drawing-room door and said, 'Come down with me; they are arriving.' So we went to the hall-door just as the carriage drove up, and Italima got out and flung herself into Lady Williamson's arms.... Both she and Esmeralda looked utterly worn-out, and their account was truly awful.... Lady Normanby came at once to their assistance—but what touched them most was the kindness of dear good Charlie Williamson, who came up directly from Aldershot, bringing them all he had—£50."

"Sept. 18.—It has now come out that Mr. B. was the person who had Francis arrested, and he kept him in prison while he plundered his estate of £17,000. It has also transpired that when, on a former occasion, Sir J. Paul gave Mr. B. £1000 to pay Francis's debts, he never paid them, but appropriated the money. B. has robbed Italima of the whole of her own fortune besides her marriage settlement. Two years ago he arranged with the trustees and Italima to sell £2000 of the settlement fund to pay William's debts, and presented to the trustees, as they supposed, papers to sign for this purpose. They trusted to B. and did not examine the papers, which they now find empowered him to take possession not only of the £2000, but of the whole fund!"

"Sept. 19.—Italima's state is the most hopeless I ever saw, because she absolutely refuses to find hope or comfort or pleasure in anything, and as absolutely refuses to take any interest or bestir herself in any measures for the recovery of her lost fortune.... When any one tries to elicit what she recollects about the mortgages, she will begin the story, and then bury herself in the sofa-cushions, and say we are killing her by asking her questions, and that if we do not want her to die, she must be quiet. She is furious with me because I will not see that the case is quite hopeless, and quite acts up to her promise of never regarding me with the slightest affection.... The state of Italima is appalling, but my sister is perfectly calm. Lady Williamson is kindness itself; and as for Charlie, I never knew his equal for goodness, consideration, and generosity.

"I wish you could hear Lady Williamson sing; even when she was a little girl, Catalani said that her voice was better than her own, and that if it were necessary for her to sing publicly, she would be the first singer in Europe."

"Sept. 21.—Italima is daily more entirely woe-begone, and her way of receiving her misfortunes more bitter.... It seems a trouble to her even to see her cousins so prosperous, while she ...! The Normanbys are here and most kind, though much out of patience with her.... Old Mrs. Richmond, who has been very kind throughout, sent for my sister the other day to her room, and gave her five pounds to buy winter clothes, and has sent for patterns to Edinburgh for a warm dress for her."

"Sandhutton Hall, Sept. 24.—I left Whitburn yesterday, very sorry to part with the dear kind cousins, with whom I had a tender leave-taking—not so with Italima, who took no more notice of my departure than she had done of my visit."

The only event of our home-autumn was the death of the Rector of Hurstmonceaux, who had succeeded my uncle, and the appointment of the charming old Dr. Wellesley[175] in his place. In November I was at Harrow with the Vaughans, meeting there for the first time two sets of cousins, Lord and Lady Spencer,[176] and Sir John Shaw-Lefevre,[177] with two of his daughters. With the latter cousins I made a great friendship. Then I returned to Oxford.


"Christ Church, Dec. 6, 1859.-My whole visit here this time has been enjoyable. Arthur is always so very good and kind, so knowing in what will give one pleasure: which I especially feel in his cordiality to all my friends when they come here. Then it is so interesting and delightful being perpetually examined by him in different parts of history, and charming to feel that I can in a small way be useful to him in looking out or copying things for his lectures, &c. Victor Williamson and Charlie Wood come in and out constantly.

"Mr. Richmond the artist is here. I quite long to be Arthur, going to sit to him: he is so perfectly delightful: no wonder his portraits are always smiling."

In the winter of 1859-60 I made a much-appreciated acquaintance with Sir George Grey, author of "Polynesian Mythology."


"Dec. 15, 1859.—At the Haringtons' I met Sir George and Lady Grey. I was very anxious to make acquaintance, but much afraid that I should not have an opportunity of doing so, as I was never introduced. As they were going away, I expressed regret at having missed them before, and he hoped that we should meet another time. I suppose I looked very really sorry for not seeing more of him, for, after a consultation in the passage, he came back, and asked if I would walk part of the way with him. I walked with him all the way to Windmill Hill, where he was staying: he walked home with me: I walked home with him; and he home with me for the third time, when I was truly sorry to take leave, so very interesting was he, and so easy to talk to. We began about Polynesian Mythology—then poetry—then Murray, who, he said, had just paid Dr. Livingstone £10,000 as his share of the profits on his book—then of Lord Dillon, who, he said, had led them the most jovial rollicking life when he went to Ditchley to look over MSS., so that he had done nothing.

"Then he talked of the Church in the Colonies. He said that High Churchism had penetrated to the Cape to the greatest extent, and that the two or three churches where it was carried out were thronged as fashionable: that one of the views preached was, that religion was a belief in whatever you fancied was for your good, so that if you fancied that, our Lord being one with God, it would be well for you to have a mediator between yourself and Him, you ought then to believe in that mediator, and to invoke your guardian angel as the mediator most natural. Another tenet was that prayer was only 'a tracter' to draw down the blessings of God—that, as there were three kinds of prayer, so there were three kinds of tracters—that individual prayer would draw down a blessing on the individual, family prayer on a family, but that public prayer, as proceeding from the mouth of a priest, could draw down a blessing on the whole state. Sir George had heard a sermon on 'It is needful for you that I go away from you,' &c., proving that it was needful, because if not, Christ would have to have remained as an earthly king, have had to negotiate with other kings, meddle in affairs of state, &c.—also because he would have been made 'a lion' of—perhaps have become an object of pilgrimage, &c.

"Sir George said that the Wesleyan Methodists lived a holier, more spiritual life in the Colonies, but then it was because religion was there so easy to them; in London it would not be so; that London, the place in the world most unsuited to Christianity, lived on a great world of gambling-houses, brothels, &c., as if there were no God; no one seemed to care. He said what a grand thing it would be if, in one of the great public services in St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey, the preacher were to shout out as his awful text—'Where art thou, Adam?'—and show how the Lord would look in vain for His in most parts of London—where, where had they hidden themselves?

"Sir George told me an anecdote of a dog in New Zealand—that two officers were walking by the shore, and that one of them said, 'You declare your dog will do everything. I'll bet you he does not fetch that if you tell him,' and he threw his walking-stick into a canoe lying out at some distance in the shallow water, where the natives wade up to their waists to get into them, and where they are secured by strong hempen cords. The dog, when told, instantly swam out, but, as the man who made the bet had foreseen, whenever he tried to scramble into the canoe to get the stick, it almost upset, and at length, after repeated struggles, he was obliged to swim to shore again and lie down to rest. Once rested, however, without a second bidding, he swam out again, and this time gnawed through the cord, pulled the canoe on shore, and then got the stick out, and brought it to his master."[178]

I told Arthur Stanley much of this conversation with Sir George Grey. Some time after, he was very anxious that I should go to hear Dr. Vaughan preach in a great public service under the dome of St. Paul's. I went, and was startled by the text—"Where art thou, Adam?"

In January 1860 I paid a delightful visit to Sir John Shaw-Lefevre at Sutton Place, near Guildford, a beautiful old brick house with terra-cotta ornaments, which once belonged to Sir Francis Weston, Anne Boleyn's reputed lover. Besides the large pleasant family of the house, Lord Eversley and his daughter were there, and Sophia, daughter of Henry Lefevre, with Mr. Wickham, whom she soon afterwards married.


"Sutton Place, Jan. 8.—Lord Eversley has been talking of Bramshill, the old home of Prince Henry, where Archbishop Abbott shot a keeper by accident, in consequence of which it became a question whether consecration rites received at his hands were valid. Lord Eversley did not believe that the oak in the park, from which the arrow glanced (with the same effect as in the case of Rufus), was the real tree, because it was too old: oaks beyond a certain age, after the bark has ceased to be smooth, do not allow an arrow to glance and rebound.

"The Buxtons sent me a ticket for Lord Macaulay's funeral, but I would not leave Sutton to go. Sir John went, and described that, as often in the case of funerals and other sad ceremonies, people, by a rebound, became remarkably merry and amusing, and that they had occupied the time of waiting by telling a number of uncommonly good stories. The sight of Lady Holland[179] and her daughters amongst the mourners had reproduced the bon-mot of Mrs. Grote, who, when asked how this Lady Holland was to be distinguished from the original person of the name, said, 'Oh, this is New Holland, and her capital is Sydney.'

"Apropos of Macaulay, Sir John remarked how extraordinary it was in growing age to see a person pass away whose birth, education, public career, and death were all within your memory.

"He said how unreadable 'Roderick Random' and 'Tom Jones' were now. A lady had asked to borrow 'Pamela' from his library, saying she well remembered the pleasure of it in her youth; but she returned it the next day, saying she was quite ashamed of having asked for anything so improper.

"Yesterday was Sunday, and I groped my way through the dark passages to the evening service in the Catholic chapel, which has always been attached to the house. An old priest, seated on the steps of the altar, preached a kind of catechetical sermon upon Transubstantiation—'My flesh is meat indeed'—'and the poor Protestants have this in their Bibles, and yet they throw away the benefit of the indeed.' The sight was most picturesque—the dark old-fashioned roof, only seen by the light of the candles on the richly decorated altar, and the poor English peasants grouped upon the benches. It carried one back to the time before the Reformation. In his discourse, the old priest described his childhood, when he sat in the east wing of the house learning his catechism, and when there were only two Catholics in Guildford; and 'what would these two solitary ones say now if they had seen the crowd in St. Joseph's Chapel at Guildford this morning? Yes, what would old Jem Savin say if he could rise up and see us now, poor man?'"

To MY MOTHER (after I had returned to my Handbook explorations).

"Aldermaston Hall, Berks, Jan. 14, 1860.—I came here from Newbury. The weather was so horrible, and the prospect of a damp lonely Sunday in an inn so uninviting, that I thought over all possible and impossible houses in the neighbourhood, and finally decided upon Aldermaston as the best, and have taken it by storm.

"It was the dampest and dreariest of mornings as I came from the station, but this place looked beautiful in spite of it—a wild picturesque park, and a large house, full of colour inside, like a restored French château. Mrs. Higford Burr (who seems to live more in Italy than here) wears a sort of Greek dress with a girdle and a broad gold hem.... I was at once, as I rather expected, invited to stay per l'amore d'Italia, and my luggage sent for. This afternoon Mrs. Burr, who is a most tremendous walker, has taken me to Upton Court, the home of Arabella Fermor (Pope's Belinda), a charming old house with a ghost, which the farm-people described as 'coming a clinkerin upstairs right upon un loike.'"

"Christ Church, Feb. 4.—I have had a terribly cold tour to Drayton-Beauchamp, Ashridge, Aylesbury, &c. The pleasantest feature was a warm welcome from Mrs. Barnard, wife of the great yeoman-farmer at Creslow Pastures, the royal feeding-grounds from the time of Elizabeth to Charles II., with a lovely and interesting old house overlooking Christ Low (the Christ's Meadow) and Heaven's Low (Heaven's Meadow). Thence I went to North Marston, where was the shrine of Sir John Shorne, a sainted rector, who preserved his congregation from sin by 'conjuring the devil into his boot.' Buckinghamshire is full of these quaint stories.

"Arthur has just been making great sensation by a splendid sermon at St. Mary's, given in his most animated manner, his energies gradually kindling till his whole being was on fire. It was on, 'Why stand ye here idle all the day long?—the first shall be last and the last first.' 'Why stand ye here idle, listless, in the quadrangle, in your own rooms, doing nothing; so that in the years to come you will never be able to look back and say, "In such a year, in such a term, I learnt this or that—that idea, that book, that thought then first struck me"? Perhaps this may be a voice to the winds, perhaps those to whom it would most apply are even now in their places of resort, standing idle: probably even those who are here would answer to my question, "Because no man hath hired us."'

"Then he described the powers, objects, and advantages of Oxford. Then the persons who had passed away within the year, leaving gaps to be filled up—the seven great masters of the English language,[180] the German poets and philosophers,[181] the French philosopher[182]—'and their praise shall go forth from generation to generation.' Then he dwelt on the different duties of the coming life to be prepared for, and he described the model country-clergyman (Pearson), the model teacher (Jowett), the model country-gentleman. Then came a beautiful and pictorial passage about the eleventh hour and the foreboding of the awful twelfth. The congregation was immense, and listened with breathless interest. When the signatures were being collected for the Jowett appeal, Arthur was hard at work upon them on Sunday when Mr. Jowett came in. Arthur said, 'You need not mind my being at work to-day, for I can assure you it is quite a Sunday occupation, a work of justice, if not of mercy.'—'Yes,' said Jowett, 'I see how it is: an ass has fallen into a pit, and you think it right to pull him out on the Sabbath-day.'"

Arthur Stanley used to see a great deal of Mr. Jowett during this year—far too much, my mother thought when she was staying with him at Oxford; for Jowett—kind and unselfish as a saint—was only "Christian" in so far that he believed the central light of Christianity to spring from the life of Christ. He occasionally preached, but his sermons were only illustrative of practical duties, or the lessons to be learnt from holy and unselfish lives. It was during this year, too, that the English Church recognised with surprise that it was being shaken to its foundations by the volume of—mostly feeble and dull—"Essays and Reviews." But to turn to a very different religious phase.


"Wantage, Feb. 21, 1860.—I came here yesterday over dreary snow-sprinkled downs. Wantage is a curious little town surrounding a great cruciform church in the midst of a desert. The Vicar (Rev. W. J. Butler[183]) welcomed me at the door of the gothic vicarage, and almost immediately a clerical procession, consisting of three curates, schoolmaster, organist, and scripture-reader, filed in (as they do every day) to dinner, and were introduced one by one. The tall agreeable Vicar did the honours just as a schoolmaster would to his boys. There was such a look of daily service, chanting, and discipline over the whole party, that I quite felt as if Mrs. Butler ought also to be a clergyman, and as if the two little girls would have been more appropriately attired in black coats and bands.

"After dinner, in raging snow and biting east wind, we sallied out to survey the numerous religious institutions, which have been almost entirely founded by the energy and perseverance of this Vicar in the thirteen years he has been at Wantage. The church is magnificent. There is an old grammar-school in honour of Alfred (who was born here), a National School painted with Scripture frescoes by Pollen, Burgon, &c., a training school under the charge of Mrs. Trevelyan, a cemetery with a beautiful chapel, and St. Mary's Home for penitents. At seven o'clock all the curates dispersed to various evening services, Mr. Butler went to St. Mary's Home, and Mrs. Butler and I to the church, where we sat in the dark, and heard a choir chant a service out of what looked like a gorgeous illumination.

"I was aghast to hear breakfast was at half-past seven, but as I could not sleep from the piercing cold, it did not signify. At seven a bell rang, and we all hurried to a little domestic chapel in the house, hung with red and carpeted with red, but containing nothing else except a cross with flowers at one end of the room, before which knelt Mr. Butler. We all flung ourselves down upon the red carpet, and Mr. Butler, with his face to the wall, intoned to us, and Mrs. Butler and the servants intoned to him, and all the little children intoned too, with their faces to the ground.

"Now there is to be full church service again, and then—oh! how glad I shall be to get away."[184]

The society of Mrs. Gaskell the authoress was a great pleasure during this term at Oxford. I made great friends with her, and we kept up a correspondence for some time afterwards. Everybody liked Mrs Gaskell.[185] I remember that one of the points which struck me most about her at first was not only her kindness, but her extreme courtesy and deference to her own daughters. While she was at Oxford, the subject of ghosts was brought forward for a debate at the Union; she wished to have spoken from the gallery, and if she had, would probably have carried the motion in favour of ghosts at once. Here is one of her personal experiences:—

"Mrs. Gaskell was staying with some cousins at Stratford-on-Avon, who took her over to see Compton Whinyates. On their return she stayed to tea at Eddington with her cousins—cousins who were Quakers. Compton Whinyates naturally led to the subject of spirits, and Mrs. Gaskell asked the son of the house whether there were any stories of the kind about their neighbourhood; upon which the father, who was a very stiff, stern old man, reproved them for vain and light talking.

"After tea Mrs. Gaskell and her cousins went out to walk about the place with the younger Quaker, when the subject of the supernatural was renewed, and he said that their attention had lately been called to it in a very singular manner. That a woman who was a native of the place had many years ago gone as a lady's-maid to London, leaving her lover, who was a carter, behind her. While in London, she forgot her carter and married some one else, but after some years her husband died, leaving her a large competence, and she came back to spend the rest of her life in her native village. There she renewed her acquaintance with the carter, to whom, after a fortnight's renewal of courtship, she was married. After they had been married a few weeks, she said she must go up to London to sell all the property she had there, and come down to settle finally in the country. She wished her husband to go with her, and urgently entreated him to do so; but he, like many countrymen in that part, had a horror of London, fancied it was the seat of all wickedness, and that those who went there never could come back safe: so the woman went alone, but she did not return. Some time after her husband heard that she had been found in the streets of London—dead.

"A few weeks after this the carter husband was observed to have become unaccountably pale, ill, and anxious, and on being asked what was the matter with him, he complained bitterly, and said that it was because his wife would not let him rest at nights. He did not seem to be frightened, but lamented that his case was a very hard one, for that he had to work all day, and, when he wanted rest, his wife came and sat by his bedside, moaning and lamenting and wringing her hands all the night long, so that he could not sleep.

"Mrs. Gaskell naturally expressed a wish to see the man and to hear the story from his own lips. The Quaker said that nothing could be easier, as he lived in a cottage close by; to which she went, together with five other persons. It was like a Cheshire cottage, with a window on each side of the door, and a little enclosure, half-court, half-garden, in front. It was six o'clock in broad summer daylight when they arrived. The door was locked and the Quaker went round to try the back entrance, leaving Mrs. Gaskell and her friends in the enclosure in front. They all, while there, distinctly saw a woman, of hard features, dressed in a common lilac print gown, come up to the latticed window close by them on the inside and look out. They then saw her pass on and appear again at the window on the other side of the door, after which she went away altogether.

"When the Quaker appeared, unsuccessful in opening the back-door, they said, 'But there is some one who could have let you in, for there is a woman in the house.' They tried unsuccessfully, however, to make her hear. Then they went to the adjoining cottage, where the people assured them that the man was gone out for the day, and that there could not possibly be any one in the house. 'Oh,' said Mrs. Gaskell, 'but we have seen a woman in the house in a lilac print gown.' 'Then,' they answered, 'you have seen the ghost: there is no woman in the house; but that is she.'"


It was when I was at Beckett, just before Easter 1860, that I was first told that we should have to leave our dear home at Hurstmonceaux. Many years before, there had been an alarm, and my mother would then have bought the Lime property, but that the price asked was so greatly above its value, and no other purchasers came forward. So she was satisfied to go on renting Lime and the surrounding fields for a small sum, especially as she had a promise from those who had charge of the sale that no other offer should be accepted without giving her the preference. In the spring of 1860, however, Mr. Arkcoll, a rich old Hurstmonceaux farmer and churchwarden, died, leaving a large fortune to his nephew and a considerable sum of ready money to buy a house near his property. Lime had long been as Naboth's vineyard in the younger Mr. Arkcoll's eyes, and before we knew that the uncle was dead, we heard that the nephew was the purchaser of Lime, the promise to us having been broken.

My mother immediately offered Mr. Arkcoll a much larger sum than he had paid to save Lime, but not unnaturally he was inexorable.

Thus it was inevitable that at Michaelmas we must leave our dear home, and, though I had suffered much at Hurstmonceaux, and though our position there as a ruined family was often a dismal one, yet we felt that nothing could ev