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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a change of raiment. No news of the King, Guizot,
or the others. Louis Buonaparte has reached France


from London to see what is toward. Lord John
Russell states his determination not to interfere
with any government which France may deem
most fitting for herself, and Lord Normanby re-
mains in Paris. M, Van der Weyer^ the Belgian
ambassador, has offered the Royal Family his father-
in-law's house at East Sheen.

March 4. — Poor Louis Philippe and his Queen
arrived at Newhaven ; they have been skulking, in
different farms near Eu, in strange disguises. Guizot,
too, is come ; he crossed from Ostend to Folkestone.
His safety is a great comfort.

March 8. — Dinner at Penmere, when who should
appear but Mr. Froude. The only things specially
characteristic of his name that fell from him w^as a
solemn recognition of the vitality existing in the
Church of Rome, or rather, that if the Pope suc-
ceeds in maintaining his spiritual supremacy in
conjunction with all these remarkable reforms, it
will prove that a real vitality must exist. He also
spoke of Miss Agnew's second work, " The Young
Communicant," as likely to be a still more per-
plexing and influential book than " Geraldine."

March 18. — Plenty to do, and plenty to love, and
plenty to pity. No one need die of ennui.


March 21. — Deep in French Politics for the even-
ing : most of Europe has caught the infection ;
Metternich resigns at Vienna^ the King of Prussia
calming his people with noble and honest-seeming
protestations, Mitchel haranguing and printing in
Dublin, in Paris the National Guard and the mob
at daggers-drawn. It is a wild world, and nothing
need surprise us.

May 8. — Old Samuel Rundell has ended his
weary pilgrimage, with his old wife sitting by his
side: "he departed as one who was glad of the
opportunity." He, far more than any I have
seen, carries one back centuries in the history of
opinion and feeling. He was a perfect Quaker
of the old George Fox stamp, ponderous, uncom-
promising, slow, uninfluenced by the views of
others, intensely one-sided, with all the strength
and weakness of that characteristic ; a man to
excite universal esteem, but no enthusiasm ; simple
and childlike in his daily habits, solemn and massive
in his ministry ; that large voice seemed retained
to cry with ceaseless iteration, "The Kingdom
of God is within you." Last of the Puritans,
fare thee well ! There was a certain Johnsonian
grandeur about him, and one would have lost much


insight into a bygone time and an obsolete genera-
tion by not having known him.

May 15. — Read Carlyle's article on the " Repeal
of the Union." Terrible fun and grim earnest^
such as a United or other Irishman would writhe
under^ it gives them such an intense glimpse of
their smallness^ their folly, their rascality, and their
simple power of botheration ; his words are like
Luther's half-battles, the extenuated smaller animal
seems already half squelched under the hoof of the
much-enduring rhinoceros.

May 23. — Twenty-nine years came to an end
with this evening, and left me pondering on the
multiform and multitudinous blessings in disguise
with which I have been acquainted. Clad in
motley or in widow's weeds, the family likeness is
very perceptible to the patient, attentive, and
trustful observer ; therefore may our Father's will,
and that only, be done, even unto the very end,
whatever temporal suffering it may involve.

May 27. — Reading Bacon's Essays again, and
greatly struck by the exceeding worldliness of their
aim ; of course most profound and acute, but only
a Prophet in so far as he reveals things as they are,
not at all faithfully stimulating you to dwell here


and now^ in higher regions than the visible (I don't
mean only religiously), but not recommending the
highest, noblest virtues as — which they most abso-
lutely are — the truest Wisdom.

June I. — Barclay dined at the Buxtons, and met
M. Guizot and his daughter, Arthur Stanley, and
others. He had much chat with Guizot on French
matters, who expects sharper work in France, and
a collision between the National Guards and the
National Workmen.

Septemher 2. — R. Buxton writes of a charming
coterie she has been in at Lowestoft — Guizot, the
Bishop of Oxford, and Baron Alderson. Young
Guizot told her of having gained the first prize at
the Bourbon College this spring, but w^hen the
Revolution came the Professors refused to give it.
His two hundred fellow-students processed to them,
demanding justice, and the authorities had, after all,
to send the prize to him in England.

September 5. — Professor Lloyd and his wife came
to stay. She spoke of some one's dictum on Car-
lyle, " That he had a large capital of Faith not yet
invested." Had a stroll with the Professor; he was
on the heights where he breathes most freely. He
spoke of a little pet speculation of his own — of the


unity of Force which governs the material Universe.
Faraday's theory of forces is a sort of repetition of
Boscowitz's, which is a charming bit of Berkeley ism.
Talked on Fichte's character with delight, though
he was doomed to illustrate the melancholy truth,
that Ontology is not for man. On Whewell : his
want of humility one grand barrier to his real intel-
lectual elevation, his talents rather agglomerative
than original. Whately has been lately very busy
in making out that we do more by instinct, and
animals more by reasoning, than had ever been
guessed before. The anxiety about Sir John Frank-
lin is now almost despair, though he may still be in
some snug corner of Esquimaux land. He hopes
that this will be the last expedition of the sort.

September 6. — When Captain Ross was with the
Lloyds, he told them such pleasant things about
some of the Greenlanders who had come under mis-
sionary influence. He had asked a large party to
dine on board his ship, and they came in full native
costume, and when they assembled at the table they
all stood for a while and sang a Moravian hymn, to
the delighted surprise of their hosts. He finds some
vestiges of what he supposes to be a traditional reli-
gion amongst the most remote Esquimaux, a sense


of right and wrong, and an expectation of a future
state, though this takes the grossest form of enjoy-
ment — "plenty of whales." One of his sailors
married a Greenlander, and as she approached
England she was very curious to learn if seals were
to be found there. " Yes, a few, but you will
hardly meet with them." This was sad ; however,
she tried the country for a time, till the mal du pays
and the longing for seals seized her so fiercely,
that there was no comfort but in letting her return

September 7. — When Humboldt came through
Paris to see the Lloyds, he spoke of Elizabeth Fry
having been in Berlin, and that she had a religious
service there, and herself addressed the company,
when, Humboldt said, he had the honour of trans-
lating for her, which was, he added, with a twinkling
sense of incongruity, '' tres Ion pour mon dme."

September 8. — Professor Lloyd told us of Jenny
Lind, her nobility and simplicity of character. The
only time he heard her talk of her singing was when
she had got up a concert impromptu, for the sake of
an hospital which they feared must be abandoned
for want of funds, whereby a large sum was raised
which set things right again ; he congratulated her


on the happiness it must be, when she only said,
" Es ist schon, dass ich so gut singeii kann /"

September 9. — He talked of many of the astrono-
mers, and the extremely different way in which they
would handle scientific subjects. Science can be
most poetically treated, and most unpoetically.
When in Dublin, Sir William Hamilton men-
tioned to Airy some striking mathematical fact.
He paused a moment. " No, it cannot be so,"
interposed Airy. Sir William mildly remarked, " I
have been investigating it closely for the last few
months, and cannot doubt its truth." " But," said
Airy, " Pve been at it for the last five minutes, and
cannot see it at all."

October 23. — A wet day and all its luxuries.

October 24. — A fine day and all its liabilities.

October 26. — Read of the thrice-noble Fichte till
I cried, for love of him. Concluded that "My
mind to me a kingdom is " was a masculine senti-
ment, of which " My heart to me a kingdom is "
is the feminine. My mind, I fear, is a Republic.
Was also led to consider that Love has no tense,
it must always be Now or Never. " More sublime
than true. Grandmamma." '' Posterity, don't be
impertinent, or I'll send you to the nursery."




"Our Lord God doth like a printer, who setteth the letters back-
wards ; we see and feel well his setting, but we shall see the print
yonder, in the life to come." — LtrTHER's Table-Talk.

Penjerrick, January 8. — M. H gave me some

curious and graphic particulars of an execution he
had attended for purely moral purposes. He wanted
to see the effect on the individual of the certainty of
approaching death, and he saw that the fellow was
reckless, and elated as a mob-hero ; the hangman,
a little wretch, intent only on doing his job neatly ;
and when he walked home, sickened at what he had
seen, he heard one man ask another, "Weel, hast
been to th' hanging ? " " No, I've been at my
work." " Why, thee never dost go to see any
pleasuring." Thus much for its effect on society.

January 12. — Accounts reached us of the " humble
and prayerful " death of Hartley Coleridge. His
brother Derwent has been with him three weeks,
and had the unspeakable blessing of directing and


supporting that weak, but humble and loving spirit,
through its last conflicts with the powers of the
world. Much is for ever gone with this radiant
soul, but more radiance and peace clothe the
memories he leaves us than those who knew him
dared to hope.

January 18. — Attended George Wightwick's lec-
ture on " Macbeth." It was most forcibly done,
and some of the criticisms extremely valuable. One
of his grand objects in these Shakespeare Studies
is to correct the impression of characters made by
actors and actresses. Thus Lady Macbeth is always
conceived as a magnificent unapproachable woman
— in fact, as Mrs. Siddons ; whilst he, and Mrs.
Siddons too, think she was small, delicate, almost
fragile, with the quickest, sharpest of ferret eyes, as
such is the ordinary build of women greatly gifted
for intrigue. The witches too, and specially Hecate,
should be wild, unearthly beings, not ugly old women :
Hecate the palest of ghosts, with a little spirit to do
her bidding. He thinks the gist of the play to lie
in the manifold utterance of " Fair is foul, and foul
is fair," — a play of wicked magical contradictions ;
the witches ever present in spirit, and presiding
over the double-faced picture of life. He was ill


with rheumatism, but said that an enthusiastic
evening with Shakespeare had done him more
good than all the pills and rubbings, and this, un-
like any other social stimulant, leaves no weary
depression after it. On being asked that common
question as to your favourite amongst Shakespeare's
Plays, he said, " Oh, the one you know best."
That must always be the truth of the matter ;
every time one comes in contact with Shakespeare
new visions arise, new insight into that infinite
mind. But for versatility Wightwick selects the
2d Part of Henry IV.

January 21. — Driving to Falmouth, a pig at-
tached itself to the cortege and made us even more
remarkable than usual. Piggy and Dory (the dog)
scampering on side by side, and playing like frolic-
some children, spite of all we could do to turn
the incipient Bacon back to his former path in

February 4. — Aunt Charles read us some strik-
ing letters from Derwent Coleridge from the Knbbe,
whilst his brother Hartley was breathing forth
his last suffering sighs. He had much conflict,
but they feel that victory was achieved, and that
" what was sown in weakness is raised in power."


Derwent paints his feelings with Coleridgean nicety.
Then she read a clever letter from Harriet Mar-
tineau, combining the smoker^ the moralist, the
political economist, the gossip, and the woman.

March i. — Found a kindly note from Thomas
Carlyle. He has seen "my gigantic countryman,"
Burnard, and conceives that there is a real faculty
in him ; he gave him advice, and savs he is the
sort of person whom he will gladly help if he
can. Burnard forwarded to me, in great triumph,
the following note he had received from Carlyle
with reference to a projected bust of Charles
Buller: "February 25, 1849. . , . Nay, if the con-
ditions never mend, and you cannot get that Bust
to do at all, you may find yet (as often turns out
in life) that it was better for you you did not.
Courage ! Persist in your career with wise strength,
with silent resolution, with manful, patient, un-
conquerable endeavour; and if there lie a talent
in you (as I think there does), the gods will per-
mit you to develop it yet. — Believe me, yours very
sincerely, T. Carlyle."

March 12. — Our friend Edwards gave me some
private memories of Emerson. He is most quiet in
conversation, never impassioned; his ordinary life


is to sit by a brook some miles from Boston, and
gaze on the sky reflected in the water, and dream
out his problems of existence.

March 21. — S. Sutton came in, and we had a
talk about Anthony Froude's astonishing book,
''The Nemesis of Faith," which has made an ugly
stir, and has been publicly burnt at Oxford, and
so on. I guess it is a legitimate outcome of the
Oxford party's own dealings; for I remember how
a few years since he was warmly associated with
them, soon afterwards employed in writing some
of the lives of the Saints, then by degrees growing
disgusted at the falseness of their modus operandi.
All this must have given what was good and
Truth-seeking in him a terrible shake, and now
comes out this "Nemesis," whkh is a wild protest
against all authority. Divine and human.

April 2. — Read the horrid details of Rush's trial,
and felt bitterly for the poor chief witness, Emily
Sandford, who still evidently has compassion to-
wards him, but whose evidence will doubtless hang
him. She lived formerly at Truro.

April 6. — Rush's trial concluded as it could not
but do. Baron Rolfe, before pronouncing sen-
tence, remarked that if Rush had fulfilled his


promise to poor Emily Sandford and married her,
her evidence could not have been demanded^ and
thus the crime could not have been so mightily
brought home to him.

Mai/ 5. — William Ball staying with us. He
produced these graceful lines on this passage in
Anna Maria's Journal: "W. B. falls into the
ways of the house capitally " : —

" Into such ways who would not fall
That ever rightly knew them ?
It were a dull and wayward Ball
That would not roll- into them.

Ways by the law of kindness made
To shine with sweet increase ;

jMost pleasant ways, for overhead
Are lights of love and peace.

Sad wayfarers, in sore distress

Of troubles' cloudy day,
We, favour'd, feli, our hearts confess,

Lov'd Friends, into your way !

God speed such ways to Heaven's gate.
Heaven's Lord confess'd in all.

In such again, with lighter weight,
May we, more aptly, fall ! "

Caroline Fox to Mrs. Lloyd.
"May 8. — Yesterday we parted with a very
remarkable little person who has been spending a


few days with us — Dr. Guggenbiihl, who founded
the Institution for Cretins on the Abendberg, near
Interlaken. Do go and see him and his proteges
when you are next in Switzerland, if the moral
sublime is (as I fancy) more interesting to you than
the most glorious scenery. He is a very young
man, highly educated, full of sense as well as soul,
eminently a Christian — indeed, he is quite a saint
for the nineteenth century — uniting action with
thought, and explaining thought by action. His
face is one of the most serene and happy I have
ever beheld, expressing a fulness of faith, hope, and
charity, with all the liveliness and simplicity of the
Swiss character. Moreover, as Thomas (our old
servant) says, ' He would be very good-looking if
the gentleman would but trim himself!' The
offence in Thomas's eyes is long hair waving over
his shoulders, moustaches, and a cherished little
beard. It has been a real treat to have this strik-
ing little mortal amongst us, and to learn from his
words and acts lessons of self-forgetful ness and
God-reliance such as England is too busy and too
clever to furnish. He has the great happiness of
seeing three other institutions of the same sort
already arising in America, Wurtemberg, and Sar-


dinia, in imitation of the Abendberg; and a
'heavenly morning^ passed amongst some queer
cases, which we got up for him, confirmed his idea
that there is enough in England to justify the
formation of such an hospital. Now, they are
simply considered idiots and nothing is done for
them ; whereas were they treated when young with
tenderness and wisdom, first medically, then intel-
lectually, very many might become useful and
intelligent members of society. We hope the sub-
ject will be discussed and inquiries instituted at the
Medical Section of the Oxford B.A. Meeting."

London, May 21. — Samuel Gurney with us. I
never saw him in greater force than now — more
continuous in conversation, more sunny and happy.
Large and liberal he always was, but now he is
more mellow than ever. Sunshine on granite tells
but half the tale of the beaming cordiality and
unflinching strength and energy of his present

May 22.— To Queen's College, to F. D. Maurice's
Lecture on TheoIog\'. He was much exhausted
after it, for he was thoroughly in earnest ; but after
the refreshment of a cup of tea he went off with
us towards Carlton Terrace, talking with his usual



quiet depth and loving compassionate soul on things
and people the most accordant and discordant.
Paid the Bunsens a visit and lunched there, and
visited the Chevalier in his snuggery, and enjoyed
his dramatic, enthusiastic reading of the news that
Rome is saved, and the French fraternising there
as fast as they can. Drove to J, M. W. Turner's
house in Queen Anne's Street, and u^ere admitted
by a mysterious-looking old housekeeper, a bent
and mantled figure, who might have been yesterday
released from a sarcophagus. Well, she admitted
us to this dirty, musty, neglected house, where
art and economy delight to dwell. In the gallery
was a gorgeous display of haunted dreams thrown
on the canvas, rather in the way of hints and
insinuations than real pictures, and yet the effect
of some was most fascinating. The colouring
almost Venetian, the imagination of some almost
as grand as they were vague ; but I think one great
pleasure in them is the opportunity they give for
trying to find out what he can possibly mean, and
then you hug your own creative ingenuity, whilst
you pretend to be astonished at Turner's. This
especially refers to the Deluge and the Brazen


May 25, — Dined with the Gurneys in Lombard
Street. The Chevalier Bunsen, Elizabeth^ and
others were there. His face and Samuel Gurney's
were fine studies of genial humanity. He told us
that the deputation of Friends to Sir Robert Peel
had much to do with the settlement of the Oregon
question ; the earnestness of their appeal struck
him deeply, and he asked why the American
Friends did not, in the same way, memorialise their
own Government ? This he was told they had
already done ; some of the facts concerning America
which J. J. Gurney was able to give from his own
knowledge, buttressed their arguments capitally,
and that evening Bunsen was at Sir Robert Peel's,
when he and Lord Aberdeen talked over the matter
in the most satisfactory manner, and the business
was arranged very soon after.

After dinner we went with the Bunsens to the
German Hospital, and were charmed with the
order, cleanliness, and comfort of the whole estab-
lishment, but above all, with the dear Sisters from
Kaiserswerth, who are in active ministry here by
night and by day. One of them, in particular,
might have sat to Fra Angelico, so seraphic was
her face; it told of a heart perfectly devoted,


and perfectly happy in its devotion. It was good
to see the pleasure which the Chevalier's visit gave
to all who received it, and the friendly way in
which he entered into all their concerns. Much
pleasant talk with him : he is not surprised at the
outcry against Hare and Maurice, because he
knows the depths of ignorance and malice in
human nature to be absolutely unfathomable ; they
have many bad things in Germany, but are spared
the sorrow and shame of having any newspaper
which issues lies and malice in the name of the
God of Truth, the Prince of Peace. '' Our tempta-
tions are opposite ; you English are in peril from
Judaism, we from Paganism — the two extremes
of exclusion and inclusion. Tholuck is now rather
widening as well as deepening, and is accordingly
pausing from authorship ; he wrote ' Guido and
Julius' w^hen only twenty years of age." Bunsen
talked much of recent German politics; the dis-
tressing conflict of mind in which the King has
lately been. Peel considers his conduct almost
inconceivably vmselfish in refusing the Governor-
ship of the four Kingdoms for so long, but the
King thought he should assuredly involve Europe
in war if he were to accept it before the other


Powers had acceded ; this they have now done,
and to-day is arranged for his proclamation, the
beginning of a great and perfectly new experiment.
It is an American Federal Government adapted to
Monarchical Institutions, and the extent of this
hereditary protectorate is enormous. The Chevalier
is very sanguine about the result of this trial. He
complains sadly of the want of Faith in England ;
people will give their money but not themselves
to God, so their hearts continue cold, and they
effect so much less than they might do and are
called on to do. He cannot go on with his book
on Egypt till politics are quiet again. Speaking
of the great English manufacturers, he called them
" the feudal lords of modern times."

May 26, — Breakfasted at Carlton Terrace.
Ernest de Bunsen went off to-day to Coblentz,
to swell the loyal demonstration in the character
of special constable.^ The Chevalier, in pointing
out the views from their balcony, made us remark
the fuss and bustle on the one hand, whilst on
the other, where the real work of the nation is

^ In playful allusion to the staff appointment to the King of
Prussia which M. Ernest de Bunsen held.


clone — Houses of Parliament, Board (^f Trade,
Admiralty, Downing Street — all was so still and
solemn. He complained of there being too much
centralisation amongst us; no little alteration can
be made in a railroad, for instance, in Scotland,
but it must be referred to London for all the
arrangements of its plan.

F. D. Maurice with us in the evening. He
spoke of Edward Irving, and the blessing he proved,
spite of all his vagaries. He awakened people from
their tacit idolatry of systems to the sense of a
living Power amidst as well as above them ; John
the Baptist's mission was to bid people to repent,
because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand — not
near in point of time so much as now present,
now around your whole being. Stumbled some-
how on War. "Won't the world some day come
to think with us ? " quoth I. " They wall come
to think rightly," was his reply, " no doubt, but
perhaps very differently to you or I," "But would
any nation dare to attack another which resolves
under no circumstances to do them anything but
kindness ? " " Well, I find that whenever I am
most right, I may always expect to be most
bullied, and this, I suppose, will go on; it brings


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Online LibraryCaroline FoxMemories of old friends : being extracts from the journals of Caroline Fox of Penjerrick, Cornwall from 1835 to 1871 (Volume 2) → online text (page 6 of 19)