Caroline Fox.

Memories of old friends : being extracts from the journals of Caroline Fox of Penjerrick, Cornwall from 1835 to 1871 (Volume 2) online

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volumes were bought, and sent to be bound. Then for the casket,
for there was yet money to spare. Another idea ! It should be
a model of Shakespeare's house in inlaid woods, all beautifully
worked. The casket was accordingly made, and a meeting was
called for the 8th of May 1853, to present the gift of the nation
to Kossuth." — Vide "Life of Douglas Jerrold," by his Son, pp.
251, 252, &c.


Kossuth replied wonderfully; his language so well
chosen^ and pronounced with such emphasis and
point : his attitudes were quiet and unstudied^ and
he impressed one with viastly more respect than we
had ever felt for him before. He described his first
introduction to our language when in prison and
utterly alone, not seeing the trees or the sky; he
begged that a book might be granted him. " Very
well, if not on politics." " May I have an English
Shakespeare, grammar, and dictionary ? " These
were given, and so he laboured and pored for a
while, till light broke in and a new glory streamed
into his captive life.

Penzance, August 27. — At the Land's End breath-
ing in the beauty of the scene. I could not help
rather wishing myself in the Longships Light-
house, with Duty so clearly defined and so really
important, yet so much time left for one's own

Caroline Fox to E. T. Carne.

" Penjerrick, October 3. — Thy most welcome let-
ter would have been acknowledged much sooner,
but I had such a mass and variety of everybody's
business to attend to as quite bewildered my poor


little mind. Now, however, the pressure from with-
out has greatly abated, and poor little mind aforesaid
is, I really hope, getting into a more tidy and
manageable condition, . . .

" Our winter looks a little disjointed,^ but they
are all so anxious to see the simply right course to
take, that I have no doubt of the dissected map
being put neatly together before long, Jane has
all her children in the North except little Gurney,
who is my heart's delight, and a perfect mass of
sunshine to us. I have never before had a child
thrown so much on my care, and most delicious I
find the tender little dependence. And then I have
also the very new and very exalting experience of
my presence or absence being absolutely a matter
of importance to one dear human being. And oh
how much that dear mother and I do make of each
other ! . . . Maurice's new book, ' Theological
Essays,' is a great event to me. ... It fills one
with ponderings on large subjects, and I trust he
helps one to ponder them in a large and trustful
spirit, or, at least, to desire to do so. In his special
results there is plenty of matter for difference as

^ This refers to her brother's health being delicate, and he and
his wife having to leave their children and go abroad.



well as agreement, but for the spirit in which he
seeks them — thank God,"

Caroline Fox to J. M. Backhouse.

" Penjerrick, November 2, — Pray thank Aunt
Charles for the sight of the enclosed portrait of the
Stevensons. How incalculable is the national import-
ance of one such genuine Christian family. Tell her
that the King's College Council has decided against
F. D. Maurice, proclaiming him (as Socrates before
him) a dangerous teacher for youth ! This may
probably be but the beginning of ordeals for the
brave and faithful soul. He has expected it for
months, but it comes at last as a very painful blow.
His beautiful book, ' The Kings and Prophets of the
Old Testament,' dedicated to your friend Thomas
Erskine in such a lovely letter, seems to me an
admirable preparation for his present discipline.
But I imagine him in deep anxiety lest party
spirit and revenge should be awakened in the
hearts of those who feel how much they owe

November 29. — The Enys's brought a very re-
markable woman over here for several hours —


Courtney Boyle, for twenty years Maid of Honour
to Queen Adelaide, of whom she speaks with most
reverent affection. Though now in years and most
eccentric in dress, she is very beautiful and very
charming. Her grey hair all flows back at its own
sweet will, in utter ignorance of combs and hair-
pins, and on the top is placed a broad-brimmed
black beaver hat with a feather in it, which she
often takes off and carries in her hand. She
warbles and whistles like a bird, and was in
thorough harmony with Nature and Uncle Joshua.
As she stood on our bridge and looked at what is
called the London road, she remarked, " The World
is all very well in its place, but it has no business
here." She often pays long visits to W. S. Landor,
when he takes her back into the old times, and they
have Dante and Beatrice and such like at table with

December 10. — Amelia Opie is gone Home, after
an illness borne with much gentle peace and trust,
and ended with severe bodily conflict. I have had
a series of leave-takings amongst my cottage friends,
and a dog and a cat followed me so pertinaciously
that it was some trouble to dispense with them.
And sitting down under the hedge, old Pascoe and


I read of Christian and Hopeful passing over the
River^ and we looked across to the cottage of one
who had long been trembling on its banks^ but
had now been carried over^ and welcomed by the
Shining Ones.

Caroline Fox to E. T. Came.

" Falmouth^ December 19. — . . ..Oh! I love thy
definition of Heroism right heartily^ and thank thee
for every word thou hast written on the subject.
Speak it out boldly and often^ for it is sorely needed
in our egotistic day and generation. Strange in-
deed that Self should show its ugly face there^ but
most truly it does, and complicates our sense of
right and duty often in the strangest fashion, some-
times in the fatalest \\a.v. The lono;er one lives —
and I have lived a very long while — the more
earnest, I think, our desires become for simplicity
of judgment and of action; the simple rfg-^^, even
if it should be the pleasant too, rather than any
morbid Sutteeism, into which one may be driven
from mere dread of self-indulgence. . . . But
Heroism surely implies self-forgetfulness : let Self
be exalted or trampled under foot just as it may
happen, but the deed must be done. ... I have


often been struck with precisely this state of things
in Anna Maria, and accordingly she does habitually
many fine little things, whilst perhaps I may be
reading admirable treatises on self-sacrifice and
wondering how best to apply them. And I believe
she has no idea that she forgets Self. Heaven
bless her ! "

( 221 )



" Oh seek no bliss but to fulfil.
In Life, in Death, His holy will.'"

" This couplet has been so perpetually ranning through my head that
I may as well adopt it as my New Year's motto and watchword." — C.F.

Torquay, January 30. — Charles Kingsley called,
but we missed him.

February 3. — We paid him and his wife a very
happy call ; he fraternising at once, and stutter-
ing pleasant and discriminating things concerning
F. D. Maurice, Coleridge, and others. He looks
sunburnt with dredging all the morning, has a
piercing eye under an overhanging brow, and his
voice is most melodious and his pronunciation
exquisite. He is strangely attractive.

February 25. — The St. Petersburg Peace Depu-
tation has greatly flourished. They had half-an-
hour's colloquy with the Czar, who talked. very
freely over European politics and told them of


his pacific desires and bellicose necessities. He
ended by shaking hands and saying, "You would
like to see my wife," So they saw her, and she
had evidently been watching the previous inter-
view, for she told them that there were tears in
the Czar's eyes as they spoke to him. He means
to send a reply to the Address from the Society
of Friends : every -King looks over the precipice
of War, but happily with far more of shuddering
than heretofore.

Caroline Fox to E. T. Carne.

"Falmouth, March 18, — As for C. Kingsley, I
can't half answer thy questions : we saw much
more of his wife than himself, and of her rather
intimately. He has rather the look which thou
suggests a priori, but his wife's stories of him are
delightful : the solemn sense of duty under which
he writes, the confirming letters he has received
from far and near from ardent young spirits, who
thank him for having rescued them from infidelity-
Such things console him greatly for being ranked
amongst his country's plagues. '^ Yeast' was the
book which was written with his heart's blood ;
it was the outcome of circumstances, and cost him


an illness. Thou knows that Anthony Froude^ the
author of the burnt 'Nemesis/ has become his

" Hast thou read William Conybeare's clever
paper on Church Parties in the October Edinburgh ?
We had the Low, High, and Broad admirably illus-
trated at Torquay — the Stevensons, the Kingsleys,
and a family of \evy charming people, one of whom
gave me a long discourse on the blessings of auri-
cular confession. It is very delightful to get be-
neath all those crusty names and find the true
human heart beating right humanly in each and

"The British fleet has reached Copenhagen.
Such is to-day^s news. The staff does not start till
next week for Constantinople. ... So neither
Cobden's Doves, nor the fanatical Quakers, nor
the European Powers are likely to interfere with
what thou considers the right way of settling; a
Vexed Question. Poor Czar ! what strange dreams
he must have, and what a strange awakening ! " , . .

March 27. — Judge Talfourd died suddenly on
the Bench at Stafford after a striking charge, in
which he dwelt on the lack of sympathy between


the classes, and the fruitful source of crime which
this proved — employers and employed holding a me-
chanical rather than a human relation to each other.
May 24. — Madame de Wette is staying with us,
the widow of the well-known Professor.^ She is
lively, shrewd, warm-hearted, and with much know-
ledge of books and men. Professor Vinet was her
dear friend, and of him she gives lovely scraps and
sketches. She described an amusing evening she
spent with the Emperor Alexander at her sister's
house at Basle, where all etiquette was put aside
and they were as happy as birds. She told him
that they would hope to see him again at Basle,
but with a smaller attendance (he was then on his
way from Paris with 30,000 men).

^ Professor de Wette, author of critical works on the Bible and
Theology. That his teaching became more constructive than de-
structive is shown in the preface to his last book — "Commentary
on the Apocalypse " — where he says : " In studying the Apocalypse,
I have not learnt to prophesy ; I cannot, therefore, know what is
to be the future state of our beloved Evangelical Church : yet I do
know one thing, that there is no salvation but in the name of Jesus
Christ, and Jesus Christ crucified ; that for our Humanity there is
nothing above, nothing beyond, the union of God and man realised
in Him ; that the reign of God founded by Him on earth is very
far still from having entered into the life itself, even of those who
justly are considered as being the most zealous and devoted Chris-



June 5. — Some of Madame de Wette's stories
are very characteristic of the men and their times.
Her husband had once been accidentally received
and kindly entertained by Sand's mother ; so after
the murder of Kotzebue, and the execution of the
poor fanatic, he wrote a letter of comfort to the
poor old lady, saying, that though a human tribunal
could not but judge and condemn him, yet we
might trust that God, who saw his intention,
might judge differently and show him mercy. The
Prussian Government was then in a very sensitive
state, suspecting conspiracy against itself; so, on
searching the poor old lady's papers and discovering
this letter, they thought De Wette's politics unsatis-
factorv in a College Professor, and expelled him from
Prussia. He and Schleiermacher had worked much
together, so it was a sore wrench, and the students
were half frantic at the loss of what they con-
sidered their best teacher ; so he came to Basle, and
there he was Theological Professor until he died.
Before she married him she was staying with Vinet,
and asked what he thought of De Wette's views
on the non-eternity of punishment. He said, " I
think Professor de Wette wrong, and he thinks me

wrong ; but we cannot tell which of us may be the
VOL. II. p


mistaken one^ and it is not a subject which need
in any way separate true Christians."

One Saturday, when news came of some poor
people being burnt out of house and home, she
asked Vinet if she might spend Sunday in working
for them, as she had nothing with her to give.
"Well," he replied, "as I suppose your and my
wife's tongues will be wagging all day, I cannot say
that it will be any worse for your thumbs to wag
too ; so I leave it to your own convictions."

Juli/ 23. — We had a visit from Sir Charles Lemon
and Dr. Milman, the Dean of St. Paul's. He is
bowed down more with study than age, for his eyes
are bright and keen, and have a depth of geniality
and poetic feeling lying in them, overshadow^ed as
they are by black shaggy eyebrows ; the features are
all good, and the mouth very mobile in form and
expression. He is most friendly in manner and
free in conversation ; greatly open to admiring the
beautiful world around him, and expressing himself
with a poet's choice of language, and sometimes
with a Coleridgean intoned emphasis. They are
going to explore our coast, winding up with Tin-
tagel, whither as a boy he was poetically attracted,
and wrote a poem called "The City of Light,"


made up of King Arthur, the Anglo-Saxons, and
all sorts of things which he was utterly incompetent
to put together. " And when is Arthur coming
again ? " said I, with a laudable desire for infor-
mation. " He has come," was the reply ; " we have
had our second Arthur : can he be better represented
than in the Duke of Wellington ? "

The Dean used often to see and hear S. T. Cole-
ridge, but his wonderful talk was far too unvaried
from day to day ; also, there were some absolute
deficiencies in it, such as the total absence of wit ;
still it was very remarkable. " But," he added, " I
used to be wicked enough to divide it into three
parts: one third was admirable, beautiful in lan-
guage and exalted in thought ; another third was
sheer absolute nonsense ; and of the remaining
third, I knew not whether it were sense or non-

Caroline Fox to E. T. Came.

" Penjerrick, July 29. — My dear E., — Indeed I
would have maintained a decent silence for some
weeks, but then there is Mamma's gratitude about
the fruit ! and Papa's words concerning Madeira
earths, which, lest I forget, I will here set down. . . .

*'If thou wert cross, I was assuredly wondrous


])ragii)atical in my 'good advice;' well, I suppose
to the world's end some must preach and others
practise, for vou can't expect either party to do
double duty. . . .

"Uncle and Aunt Charles are just returned from
their long and eventful absence. . . . She has brought
home three little baby tortoises, most exquisite black
demonettes an inch and a half long, with long
tails, who, I have no doubt, often prove comforters.
' What am I doing — thinking — reading? ' My dear
E., verv little of either. Taking Life far too easily,
and enjoying it far too much — I mean the indolent
part of it. The only book I shall chronicle is the
' Heir of Redclyffe,' which I read w ith the Tregedna '

cousins, — an exquisite and inspiring vision of per-
severing and successful struggle wath the evil part
of human nature ; and H. Martineau's history of j-

thirty English years, really giving one a very inter-
esting insight into the birth of many Ideas which
have now got into jackets and trousers."

Caroline Fox to E. T. Came.

'^ Peiijerrick, Kovemler 21. — Now I have been a
little long in writing, haven't I ? But only listen
to me, and g-rant that there has been little time for


letter-writing. These daily peace-essays, published
in a paper called the Times, are enough to account
for any one's being kept in a breathless silence of
attention, awe-stricken, shuddering, asking with
round eyes, ' What next ? '

"But besides this, Robin and I have been with
Barclay to Southampton, and seen him otf for
Alexandria in the good ship Indus, and then with
heavy hearts went to London, Everything on
board the Indus looked promising; the second
officer magnificently gave up his luxurious cabin,
and when the bell rang we left our Brother, feeling
that we ought to be thankful for the present and
trustful for the future. His brother-in-law, John
Hodgkin, came down that morning from London
to see him off; he was in every way a great comfort
and strength, for we had a little time of solemn
silence and as solemn prayer before going on board,
which, though most touching, was essentially streng-
thening and helpful. The weather has been so fine
since he left that we feel we have had no pretext
for anxiety, and all we hear and all we know argues
that he is doing the very wisest thing possible, and
that there is every probability of its bringing him
into a vcrv different state of health from that in


which we part from him. And how different from
an embarkation for Sebastopol !

" F. Maurice was much cheered by the good
beginning of his People's College, and especially by
the unexpectedly large attendance of his own Bible-
class on Sunday evening ; his inaugural lecture, I
hear, was very fine and telling." . . ,

December 20. — I must copy Barclay's little Psalm
of Life sent to his wife : —

"Te Deum.

"The sea, the shore, and the morning
A glorious Anthem raise :
Shall I not swell the chorus
With a hearty hymn of praise?

Creator, Guide, Protector,

In whose strength grow we strong,

Shall we not trust Thee wholly.

Who've proved Thy power so long ?

Surely Thou art our Father,

Acknowledged or unknown ;
And we, but little children

That cannot run alone.

In small things, as in greater,

Thy watchful care I see ;
All work together for their good

Who love and lean on Thee.


Yes, Thou art still our Father,

Whether we go or stay,
In 'sweet home's' tranquil duties.

Or gliding o'er Biscay.

A silver chain extendeth

From Falmouth to the Nile,
And thrills with soft vibration

'Neath Thy paternal smile ;

And tightening gently, draws us
Tow'rd Thee, and each tow'rd each,

In mystical communion,
Beyond Expression's reach.

Most surely we will trust Thee,

Our Father, Guardian, Friend;
Thou hast been with us hitherto,

And wilt be to the end."

R. B. F.
Cairo, zs^h Noz'ember.

( 232 )


" Beyond the smiling and the weeping
I shall be soon ;
Beyond the waking and the sleeping,
Beyond the sowing and the reaping,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home !

Sweet hope !
Lord, tarry not, but come." — H. Bonar.

Caroline Fox to E. T. Came.

"Falmouth, January lo, — My poor dear afflicted
friend, who can't enlist ! — I quite agree with thee,
not one word about the War. . . . Our notions get
a Httle revohitionised in times like this. Pray, pray
that whatever is Christian in us may be deepened,
strengthened, vitalised in these times of strong
temptation, when so many uncertificated angels of
light are filling our atmosphere and bewildering the
most earnest souls. My silence on the subject of
War has like thine reached the third page, so I will


break it by a winding-up remark of my dear friend
F. D. Maurice after a chat we had had on this
same topic. I — ' Won't the World come to think
with us some day ? ' (!) F. D. M. — ' They will be
brought to think rightly on the subject, though it
may be very differently from either you or me.' "

Caroline Fox to E. T. Came.

"Falmouth, January 31. — . ... I am rather
flattered to find that we are considered such an
easy-going people, captious only on that one un-
mentionable topic. War ! I had fancied we were
the acknowledged nuisance of good society from
our multiform and multifarious crotchets and 'testi-
monies.' Why! what a fuss we made about the
Slave Trade and Slavery: then there was no peace
with us because the prisons must needs be looked
after ; then the asylums for the insane must be
differently managed ; then we positively refused to
swear on any consideration ; a large majority of
us equally decline drinking anything more stimu-
lating than coffee, and strongly urge the same
course on others ; then how dogged we are in
practical protest against a paid ministry : in fact,
there is no end to our scrupulosities, and we surely


are considered the most difficile and bizarre body
in Christendom (if we are to be found there).
But perhaps thy special allusion is to our not
vigorously opposing the money-getting spirit of
the age. Ah, my dear Elizabeth, there is a griev-
ous amount of truth in this (supposed) charge,
but I will say that it is i?i spite of the earnest
advice and beseeching of our official superiors.
I always try to account for the phenomenon by
remembering that we are essentially a middle-class
community; that amongst us industry, persever-
ance, and energy of character are habitually
cultivated, and that as our crotchets keep us out
of almost all the higher walks of professional life,
this industry, perseverance, and energy is found
in the money market, and is apt to succeed there-
in. All I can say in apology (for it does require
an apology) is, that the wealth we gain is not
generally spent on ourselves alone. But pray tell
us candidly which of the other crying evils of
our country thou wouldst urge on our attention,
for there are many listening for ' calls ' who would
thankfully take a good hint." . . .

March 3. — From Barclay letters have come.


ending cheerfully from a tomb under the shadow

of the Pyramids, with the mild-visaged Sphinx as

next-door neighbour, and his friend H. Taylor in

the tent at his side, four Arabs watching over

their slumbers to warn away wolves and Bedouins.

He is feeling better for this beginning of desert

life, and chose the old tomb because it is warmer

i)y night and cooler by day than the tent ; so he

had it fresh sanded, and a carpet hung before the


Caroline Fox to E. Lloyd.

"Falmouth, Jpril 7. — I will not let the week
close without asking thy pity and thy prayers.
Ah ! and thy thanksgivings too. For God in
His Fatherly Love has been pleased to send us a
great sorrow ; but consolations far beyond the
sorrow He has been pleased to grant also.

" It was last Sunday that the tidings reached
us that our dearest Barclay had been called hence
to be for ever with his Lord, Twenty-four tran-
quil, peaceful, holy hours succeeded the breaking
of a blood-vessel, and then he fell asleep — literally
fell asleep — and awoke in his Saviour's arms. It was
all so painless, so quiet, so holy, that how can we
but give thanks, and pray that we may not envy


him, but rather bear our little burdens faithfully

and meekly for a few short years, and then !

" It was so beautiful that he had asked the
Missionary Lieder and his wife to come and visit
him at his encampment by the Pyramids, because
they were in trouble ; so they came, and had
some bright, most enjoyable days together; and
thus, when the last illness came they nursed him
with parental tenderness ; and even after the spirit
had fled, they cared for all that was left, and
watched beside him in the desert. Mrs. Lieder
has kindly written most minute details of those
davs, and all our thoughts of him are thoughts
of peace. Even his very last words it is granted
us to know. In answer to some remark of Mr.
Lieder' s, he said, ' What a mercy it is that Christ
not only frees us from the guilt of sin, but also

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