Jane Bigelow Diary, February 1860 - March 1860


Jane Bigelow Diary, February 1860 - March 1860


The diaries of John Bigelow's wife, Jane Tunis Poultney Bigelow, make up the majority of the Diaries and Journals series. Just as respected and loved as her husband, Jane was an important figure in the New York literary and social scene. Her diaries detail their life and travels.


February 2, 1960 - March 6, 1960


Bigelow, Jane Tunis Poultney




February 1860
March 1860 [Blank] London Feb 2d - 1860
Our last two days in Paris were busy ones-
bundles coming in, bills to be paid, farewells
said, packing finished up & c But 6 o'clock
last evening found us with locked trunks,
rooms upside down, shawls baskets &
bonnets strewed [sic] every where [sic], & after a hurried
dinner all these with ourselves were
hurried into a bus, compliments and kisses
were showered upon us, fees were distributed
and we were whirled to the depot.
We took the first class cars & got on quite
comfortably to Calais - crossed to Dover -
least said about it now the better, for I am
still a little sea sick [sic] - but we were each
provided with a basin & each required
one - each managed however to get a
little nap between times & at 5 o’clock
we were rejoiced to reach Dover & take
the cars for London - another refreshing
nap shortened the journey considerably
and about 8 ½ mi first caught sights of
the great Metropolis. How things are exaggerated! I fancied smoke & fog & coal
dust combined would almost blind one,
but though the atmosphere was hazy I observed
nothing else peculiar about it excepting per-
-haps a somewhat smoky odor. With seven
pieces of baggage to be examined - we were
some time getting away from the customs
house, but and a longer time creeping
towards our destination in Pall Mall.
But we came along the Strand part of the
way and many streets we passed whose names
were familiar and it interested me to read
them, if even there had been nothing else to
look at on the way - Finally we stopped at
Mrs Coopers door - and the jolliest fat red
faced middle aged lady welcomed us
before we had time to ring. One pair of
stairs brought us to a cheerful well lighted
well furnished parlor, opening back into
one doubled [sic] bedded chamber, a dressing
room & water closet & behind these a
immense nursery with three windows
looking out into St. James’ Square - Bright
fires were burning in open grates in each room - there were large easy chairs and
lounges with pillows - ample wash stands
& basins & pitchers - cleanliness & comfort on
all sides - I felt happy & at home in England -
We breakfasted well - mutton chops, cold
foul - good milk - bread & butter & tea for
those who wanted it. Unpacked a few
necessaries & then walked around St
James & Buckingham Palace - the park &
It was very windy & cold & suffering with
an intense nervous head ache [sic], I could
not go any further. Mr B went on & I took
a good nap in the parlor before his return -
the first time in nearly six months that
I have attempted to sleep in the daytime -
and I was extremely refreshed by my success.
The children are all sleeping nicely, we
have had a nice home made [sic] dinner
exactly to our tastes - home baked apple pie
with cream, the most delicious part of it -
Mrs Lewis came to see me yesterday, says she
is engaged to Dr Johnson but wants my
advice & Mr B’s with regard to marrying him Is not sure that his morals are good & such
like trash - I should think not if he was at
Spencer’s ball with some man & his mistress!
He was forced into a very early marriage,
seperated [sic], & She believes his wife is dead.
I wonder if any part of this story is true, for
Stella is such a rile creature I can’t
suppose any man living would want to
make her his wife. Feb 3d
Mrs Cooper tells me she is the oldest of
six children - her mother had twins 3
times. She talks a great deal of her only
child Emmy[?], a spoiled girl she says
over & over again - but Emmy [?] she quotes on
all occasions & I feel quite curious to make
her acquaintance. Grace slept with her
last night as her bed was not arranged
in the nursery, & reports her a very nice
amiable young lady. This morning we
breakfasted about ten, & took the boys &
explored the neighborhood to Trafalgar
Square, Haymarket Theatre, Northumberland
House, club houses etc - dirty
walking - we have come in to let Louisa
have the remainder of the morning! Saturday Feb 4th. Suffered all yesterday with
violent tooth ache & last night almost went
wild - I had a chill at bed time & raging
fever later - Mr B gave me some aconite
& this morning I was much better, though
still had a severe headache - more med
icine & a good nap helped me wonderfully
& this afternoon I felt able to drive with
Mr B in a “Hansom” & leave a few of our
letters - we seemed to go for miles & miles
& I began to realize the immensity of
London. It was beautiful around Regent’s
Park - row after row of fine neat dwelling
Houses more pleasant to the eye than all
the gloomy palaces or apartments in Paris.
We found the Russell’s in summer place
near Glasgow Square - cheerful pretty
home like place - all were out. Sunny
took Grace a walk this morning, she came
home quite delighted. Read a sketch of
Macauley and two numbers of Thackeray’s
new magazine. The Cornhill - was much
pleased with it - Lovel the Widower particularly. Sunday Feb 5th. Rode an immense distance
this morning to hear Dr Bailey preach at
quite a pretty church in Argyle Square -
the script was “and his face was bound about
with a napkin” St John 11th Chap 44th verse
It was an extremely interesting sermon and
impressed me favorably towards the Dr
We took a bus to Regent’s Park & walked
across it to the Zoological Gardens where
we were extremely well entertained for
some hours after seeing the tigers fed
(a satisfactory winding up) - then took a
[illegible] home, & I walked alone the
length of Green Park to Hyde Park gate -
came back & found Mrs Russell with
Capt Williams in the parlor with Mr B -
The Bunson’s cards had been left - I was
sorry to be out - We had a letter from
Mrs Schuler to them which we delivered
yesterday - Abby Lodge, Hanover gate -
charming place, it seemed to be - It
seems Madame B was a Gurney, neice [sic]
of Mrs Fry & sister of the unfortunates who eloped with her footman the other
day - & filled Galigman’s with another
horrible item of fashionable life; the
children are with Madame B - the
husband heaven knows where.
Our way was through Islington to
church - “there was a man in Islington

And he was wondrous wise"

The words of the poet filled my memory
& I admit roused into my thoughts
even after the Dr had opened his
Monday Feb 6th. Walked across St James’s
Park to Westminster Abbey - I have seen
nothing more beautiful or interesting in
Europe - in Pact’s Corner almost at Addisons
feet was a little bench marked Lord.
Macaulay’s Geare - his father’s monument
we saw in another part of the church
How odd to an American to see one of the
first testimonies raised to the worth
& valor of the traitor Andre - Britannia
weeping did not make the matter any better. made an occasional remark -
Looked into the Houses of Parliament, highly
amused at Lord Chancellor Campbell & in
their long white wigs - Lord Brougham & others +
Brought Grace home & took Jonny & Baby in
a carriage to leave a few tellers - one for
Miss Bird at Lambeth Palace, since the
time of Coeur de Lion the city residence of
the Archbishop of Canterbury - we did not
go inside but the exterior was the oddest
old thing you can fancy. Returning found
Thacerays card with his daughters - an
invitation from Mack Bunson to lunch
Wednesday - a little snow spat which I
am enjoying at our parlor window -
Louisa is visiting in the country today &
Mrs Cooper’s neice [sic] Mary is playing with
the children in the nursery.
Tuesday Feb 7th. Took a penny boat at Hinges
- food Market dock for London Bridge -
passing under Blackfriers Waterloo
suspension & [illegible] before getting there.
Great throng of people & vehicles of business, as
busy a scene as busy London can boast. To the Tower [?] next - went through the Armoury
Department, saw Leicester’s suit worn 1560
marked with his initials & said to be without
doubt the genuine tilting outfit which
the elegant Dudley protected himself.
Those old fellows could afford to do a good
deal of fighting behind those great suit
walls - wars grew scarcer as the armor
grew lighter, and gallant knights won
fair ladies by milder means. We saw some
horrid instruments of torture - collars of iron,
thumb screws, a block, & the axe which
beheaded the unfortunate Anne of Boleyn -
perhaps she flirted a little poor thing and
kings had a summary mode of getting rid
of their jealousies & their wives at the same
time! husbands now a days have a harder
time of it. We saw where Walter Raleigh was
ten years confined, the dark cell adjoining
where he was locked at night - the window
of the bloody tower was pointed out to us
where the children of Edward 4th were
murdered in 1483 - . The room where only state prisoners were
confined, Anne Boleyn for a few days &
Lady Jane Grey - “Jane” is carved in the
stone wall beneath the window by her
husband when confined in the same room -
we stood on what was once the lower green
where we are told the Earl of Grey - the
brilliant young soldier & courtier had sacri
-ficed to the side slanders of his enemies -
and beheaded by order of that [illegible deletion] un-
grateful monster Elizabeth - Theres not
only brave men but brave women laid down
their young lives, then forced innocent
blood that stains England to this day.
The History of that old louse - what can equal
it! The noble captures who suffered long
years of martyrdom within those dreary
walls - Welsh & Scottish chiefs, James son of
King Robert 3d, Lord Hastings, the young
Earl of Warwick, Friar Thomas More [sic] the
old bishop of Rochester, poor Katherine
Howard, the Countess of Salisbury, Princess
Elizabeth herself even was imprisoned here. for a while, Cramer Reilly & Latimer, Sir
Walter Raleigh, the lovely Arabella Stuart
who died here after 12 years suffering -
her reason destroyed - Went from this to
“Billingsgate” but were too late to see
any thing of a throng - only few people & few
fish here & there. Saw the monument,
to commemorate the great fire
After I got home, Mrs Wedgewood called with
her sister (nice old dame), then Mr Hargreaves,
(to whom Mr Cobden gave us a little), pleasant
person, tremendous beard - Mrs Cropsey
sat with me more than an hour, I was
glad to see her again & she certainly seemed
delighted to see me - Very pretty she looked,
prettier even than I remembered her in
New York. She has two children, the
oldest two - four daughters in all.
Mr B has been in the House of Commons
since 5 - o’clock, has come in by early bed
time and as I feel rather tired after my
morning’s walk, I shall be off to say
dreams not of the Tower I pray. Wednesday Feb 8th Have returned from
“Luncheon” at de Bunsun's - pleasant
visit - no company - two homely children
at table, French tutor & German queer
ness - Madame erect, lady like, fine
voice & manner - Was amiable & talkative,
beautiful teeth - steak & chops at man’s
end of the table, roast mutton at ours -
a pie each side - plate of blancmange
& cake - box of prunes handed at the
close - two men waiters - after lunch
the little girl went with the coachman
in a pony chaise - her brother on a pony
behind - Mrs B - proposed showing me
the other children - took me into the
nursery and all over the house. Very
plainly furnished throughout but entirely
comfortable. Saw a sweet picture of Elizabeth
Fry - talked much of her & her Uncle Gurney,
Eliza his widow & proposed sending us a
letter to her brother a Mr. P. Went afterwards
to Thackeray’s, all out; had a chat at
Russell’s - Willie not home yet. She is in want of a cook & man, I fancy she
is a poor housekeeping, one of the kind
who dont [sic] much neglect her house
by being [illegible deletion] out of it, but the other way
She seems a good creature, faultless
temper, but oh, so lazy - she tries his
soul I know.
Thursday Feb 9th - My darling child has
been an angel - seven years today -
Walked through the Strand & Fleet St to
St. Pauls, but after Italy churches as such, don’t
astonish me - This is doubtless very large &
beautiful, but so unfurnished - and
dreary. Saw the old Fleet St prison
where so many literary people had to
retire when they got into tight places.
Christ Church School, where Coleridge
& Lamb had their young ideas taught -
took a bus home & soon Mrs Rich
called, a pleasant old lady, once
handsome - Walked with nurse baby & Jonny almost the length of Regents St.,
enjoyed the store windows much -
Came home in a snow shower, and
to summon a cab - got home safely
for a shilling. Mrs Morgan & Miss Dow
called, Mr Deane too. Letter from Mr
Robinson enclosing Capt Clite’s photograph
which Kelton & Pegrini had been
commissioned to send me; very good
Friday Feb 10th Spent some hours at the
British Museum, a perfect world of itself,
such immense collections of ancient &
modern curiosities, such wonders of fish
flesh or fowl - of wood & stone - mummy
of Cleopatra - the Portland Vase disappointed
me - though really a beautiful work of art
but such a small affair to what I had
expected. Saw Lady Jane Gray’s prayer book
which she used on the scaffold - Among the
many interesting & makeable autographs was
a letter of Joseph Addison - precisely
like mother’s writing, I would have sworn it was hers - The Museum is a huge
building, but every part of it well lighted &
warmed, seats distributed about, the most
perfect order & neatness everywhere - The
collection of stuffed birds was superb, finer than
any I have seen elsewhere - The statuary alone
did not compare favorably to that of the
Louvre or in Italy - but the immense value
attached to mutilated & dissolved pieces
of marble, is something I don’t understand -
To me the best statuary is expressionless
compared to life - a likeness however striking
is but like a portrait after death, rather
painful to look upon - altogether I am
inclined to consider the Art of Sculpture
rather a relic of barbarism, and quite
sympathise [sic] with some uncivilized Americans
who are about to invest a million of dollars
in a lot of utterly useless naked men &
women, idols & cast off jewelry & cooking
pans of the ancients. They say the nude
in marble never offends - that it does
resemble nature, but even the rudest invitation of the human figure without drapery
offends me, and naked men or woman [sic]
however spiritual the artists conception
of them, are not at all to my taste, & I dont
consider it a loss to any nation to be
without these costly Model Artistes.
I hope no worshipper [sic] of Art will ever
get hold of this journal or what will
they do with me. Called at the Chevalier
de Chatalaine - Very agreeable wife in a wig -
well shaped head - like George And wig
in the same style. He presented me
with Evangeline that he had trans
-lated into French - Invited us to dinner
next Wednesday - Told me the pretty Miss
[illegible] had appeared in London
as Lucretia, did well a few times, but
towards the close of the season not so well -
Deanes have called - Wrote to Mrs Cranch
& Clason yesterday - also a long letter home.
Poult made a narrow escape today, fell
in the fire & burnt his elbow quite
severely, but if nurse had not been by him, it might have been very serious - but
the all-loving all-merciful Father, who
protects us from so many dangers, bodily &
spiritual - are we grateful to him as we
should be?
Sunday Feb 12th. Have been to - church
with Poult - such great high comfortless
seats with stiff hard backs. [illegible deletion]
I know now what Dickens was talking
about in David Copperfield - how the
poor child suffered while Aunt Betsey
made her long prayers. A very polite
youth gave us seats & I wanted to leave
them before the service was half over -
the preacher was so overfed & uninspired
looking - Came home & found Mr McIn
-tosh & son - he married a Miss Appleton
of Boston - the son is in the Army. Dr
Roget - 82 years old, came soon after - His
Aunt married Sir Samuel Romilly -
Mr Russell sat some time with Mr B
before I returned - sorry to miss his
Visit. Ben Moran’s card was left at the
door merely - Mr B heard him say he had not time to come in - I knew him
when I was first grown up, stupid fellow
rather handsome.
Monday Feb 13th. Mr B. had a large back
tooth extracted this morning. Grace went
with him - an invitation from McIntosh
to dine with them Friday & from Mr Morgan
to dine there tomorrow. Mr Stone sur
prised us by a visit & took Mr B off with
him to see Mr Bates, Sturges & C. He is
to come back & dine with me, & Mr B
goes to the club with Russell - Parthenon.
Letter from Susan Thayer & 2 posts. Drove
with baby & Jonny three hours - calling
on Mrs Morgan, Cropsey & Gurney -
all very pleasantly located the M’s &
G’s have very large stylish houses &
are both in their way nice sort of people
A profusion of flowers in pots at Gurney’s
fresh from the country - Madame in
a brown merino, plain as a pipe stem
solid & substantial mind & heart.
Met at Cropsey’s & Mr Bingham a foolish
& offish fellow he seemed to be. Tuesday Feb 14th. Went to the Haymarket & saw
the Hunchback for the first time in my life -
Amy Sedgwick as Julie, Buckstone & C
The theatre [sic] is about the size of Wallack’s but
not so pretty; half filled, no ladies in hats excepting
in the pit - where the democracy prevailed
with a sprinkling of ginger pop & oranges -
I was delighted with the play though Stone had
never seen it worse acted - Fortunately I never
saw Fanny Beulle & her father in anything
so am prepared to enjoy lesser lights
“Ah youth, the charm was only thine
from thee alone the enchantment came”
For instance, [illegible words] & I went to the
Museum one afternoon & saw The Strangers
I was a wife & mother well passed [sic] my teens
(24) but it seems we were both young enough
to be moved beyond expression by the
most wretched performance I imaginable,
& we could not have indulged in more
heartfelt sobs or gone home in a more
depressed condition generally if Siddons
herself had played Mrs Haller or
Kemble the unhappy stranger. Wednesday Feb 15th. Walk with Grace yester
-day early, a visit to the National Gallery
before we came home - three exquisite
Murillo’s & many other geaus [?] that I am
too sleepy to go over tonight. - called with
Mr B later in the afternoon at De
Bunsun's, Dunn's & Dean’s - Mrs Cropsey
and Shapner were here before lunch.
Dined at Morgans with Stone Mr Howard,
(Freemont’s friend) & Miss Dunn - Delicious
dinner but stupid people - all as heavy
as possible, though good. This morning drove
over to leave Grace & Jonny but Mrs M
insisted on all coming in to lunch &
she would take me to call afterwards at
Wethered’s & bring me home - Cousin Mary
was sick in bed - Louisa & baby came back
with me & Poult waited to come with
the others about 5 1/2 - Juliette rode over
with them & they came up stairs in a
great glee & full of their day’s adventures -
An invitation at Hargreaves for
Saturday to dinner, but we are engaged elsewhere - Just returned from
dining with a Mr Scott at Chatelaine’s
& Mr B has gone off to some club with Mr
McIntosh - Wretched dinner waited on by
a scraggy old maid, lame of one leg -
The poor old soul hobbled in and out,
with very little worth eating, it is true,
but our host & hostess were very agreeable.
& I did not mind being a little hungry -
Soup all pepper was first - then Mr C cut
up a precious small loaf & threw a piece
at each of us, next came maccaroni [sic], all
fire again, some manner of balls,
fearful little hot pills & potatoes which
I welcomed - after these a turkey, aged
worthy old soul, about 18 months, a salad wound
up the substantials - omlet & custard & some
very good fruit concluded this really pleasant
entertainment. Mrs de C presented me with
one of her own books for children “Right
& Wrong” very nice it is - she sings very
well, is fluent in German, french of course -
a sweet kindly refined manner - beautiful head, covered with a wig like George Sand -
fine dark eyes, regular features, but an
orange peel skin & well defined mus
-stache [illegible word] all. No figure, or style
whatever & oh heavens such dressing.
One of those sick green shot silks as
antiquated as the ark, shered [sic] basque
trimmings all in keeping - little white
of imitation lace around the neck, basted
on ribbon with the ends crossed [illegible] -
black [illegible], no hoops - corsage. Padded out
in the queerest places to produce the
most unnatural effect possible - she was
certainly the oddest queerest specimen when
viewed with an eye of fashion - but not ridic -
ulous - the better part, the head & expression
were too intellectual & refined, the man
-ner too cordial & kindly sympathetic.
Russell’s new Army & Navy Gazette has
a review in praise of Lieut Gibbons book
“The Artillerist’s Manual”. Mr Moran
“Assistant Secretary” to Dallas sent me
Fuller’s “Sparks from a locomotive” Many better things in it than I thought he
could say, but on the whole the most foolish
impertinent thing I almost ever read -
Talks of Mrs Norton a “Byson [sic] in Petticoats”
the exuberant busts of English women
& “they dont [sic] care who knows it”
Thursday Feb 16th -
Seen Maguire’s new picture Cromwell
Refusing the Crown - had an order for
The Bank, but were too late to see it.
Returned Mr Meuller’s call - elegant large
house - saw his daughter Mrs Paulton -
fine talker, fine head & eyes - but the “loud
ensemble” was hideous at first - the dress
was so trying - two skirts of purple merino
fastened on the shoulder with gilt buttons
A net on her hair & large gold breastpin
stuck on the top - the hair more grey than
black, this ornamental part seemed out of
place. She asked us to join a few friends
who were to spend this evening with her -
Came home & found John Wethered’s card -
Mr B has gone to the house, I expect him
back to a late dinner. Friday Feb 17th. Went in a bus with baby and
Louisa to Kentish Town, got a little pink silk
hat for 3/6 a chemise for 2/9 & came home
to early dinner with the children. Dr Roget
called & took us to see the Atheneum
Club House, fine large building comfortably
arranged for bachelor life; came back
for Jonny & went to 22 Regent St with a
card from Mrs deBunsun to see an
immense dinner service of [illegible words]
juices/ made by order for the Bishop of
Mauricastro, Central Africa. People there
must pay dear for their religion - the
idea of an apostle taking his loaves
& fishes from such dishes! Dined at
McIntosh’s - Mr M looks in a decline &
heart broken besides - he is more repulsive
to me than almost any man I ever saw -
Charles Bayton & his wife (daughter of
Sir Henry Holland) & Mr Phillips -
Mr B is very nice, I don’t like her quite
so well - rather pretty but dowdy look.
Good enough dinner only they couldn’t let
us eat it - things put on table & then removed without asking even if people
wished any - I have come home actually
hungry -
Saturday Feb 18th. Been to the Admirality [sic]
saw all the models of ships in the English
Navy - afterwards to the United Service
Institution, saw the relics McClintock
brought home in /3-9 from his search for
Sir John Franklin - Dr Roget called while
we were at lunch to invite us to dine
March 2nd Went to Bedford Square & called
on Mrs Rich who is staying with a friend
Lady Inglis - knew Washington Irving when
he was here on his return from Spain -
thought him very agreeable. Mr McIn
tosh came for us in a very handsome
private carriage (his own I suppose) to go to
dinner at his sister’s Mrs H Wedgewood’s
Cumberland Terrace - Mr W took me down
to the table & seated me beside him at
one end - Mr B with Mrs W at the other
Lawrance the crayon artist was on my
left, beside him Mrs Rich, then a Mr Gaskell Holland who has been some
months in America, a youth whose name
I did not get & Miss Horner an artist -
Mr & Mrs Craft - opposite (he was at Cam
bridge some time) Mr McIntosh, Mrs
Gaskell, fine looking common sense
woman, remarkably well dressed for a
literary character - black [illegible] -
beautiful full arms - one of those
thin basques, narrow velvet & black
net - her daughter came after dinner -
fine nice looking girl, but not so pretty
I fancy as her mother at the same age -
Miss Wedgewood was well looking enough
though not pretty but decidedly clever -
The son I quite liked also - There was
near me at table a Mr Farey great friend
of Carlisle - handsome elderly gentle
-man decidedly pleasing & agreable [sic] -
It was altogether an interesting party
& very substantial compliment to us.
They had a new piano, made me play
several times & seemed to enjoy the music. I rather unfortunately asked Mrs Gaskell
if she had not some little trouble at one
time with her Charlotte Bronte - she looked
confused, said “at first they did give me
much trouble, but dont talk of it now.”
Some one told me the other day she had
told abominable lies about members of
Mrs B’s family who had made her come
out openly in the papers & retract them.
Madame de Chatelain told me this.
This Sunday morning Feb 19th
Have been with Grace to Exeter Hall in
the Strand to hear Spurgeon - I had
read a volume of his sermons with some
pleasure but had heard descriptions &
seen portraits of the man that had not
inclined me much towards him.
From 9 ½ to 10 ½ one pays a shilling for
entrance & securing a seat, after which
the doors are open to the public gratis
We were there among the first free
comers - & through the kindness of a very
worthy but leery looking individual
got seats almost in front of the speaker in the very best part of the house for seeing or
hearing - We look around that great building
filled to overflowing with earnest intelli
-gent looking people, though mostly of the
working class - convinced me that Spurgeon
was more of a man than it is the fashion
to consider him - I looked up & saw a plain
looking stout young man medium height
in [illegible deletion] black cloth cloak & white cravat -
He has fine teeth, rather fleshy features
but a spirited pleasing expression -
The manner was entirely unaffected
but genuine & effective, the voice as fine
to my ear as I ever heard - He read a
hymn beautifully, in the old fashioned
Methodist style, two lines at a time, in
which all the congregation joined & I
admit that this blending of every variety
of the human voice in a great crowd
like that seems more solemn & more
like worship to me, than when the organ
is played & a few hired performers
however cultivated do their part & execute the most melodious praises to
God - There was a warmth & feeling about
that singing today that made it sacred
music. An exhortation from
14th Chapter of John 1st & 2nd verses
“Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe
in God, believe also in me”
Then all sitting, a verse was sung
The life the truth the way,
The path of thyself hath trod
Lord teach us how to pray”.
A beautiful prayer followed & then a sermon
from the same chapter 27th verse “Peace I
leave with you, my peace I give unto you,
not as the world giveth give I unto you”
He said many fine things, but I cant
altogether remember the words, the whole
discourse interested me more than any sermon
I can remember to have heard for many
years & I am quite sure that Spurgeon is
a true good Christian & works for the glory
of god & not for the glory of himself
as I have heard often said. Thackeray & Russell have just left - the
latter to invite us to dinner on the 28th
T - asked for the children, saw all except
baby & gave each a half crown - expressed
much pleasure at seeing us again &
repeated several times that he was glad
to see me looking unchanged, as fresh &
bright & happy as ever - Mr B is quite sick
today & I am sorry was not entitled to a
similar compliment. Mrs King of
Charleston said to him once at Dinner,
after she had tried to show off & he had
taken no notice of her “People told me I
wouldn’t like you & I don’t” & “I’m sure
I don’t care a pin about it” - this he says
is a true story, the other a lie about her
saying she heard he was a gentleman &c
B says Mrs Gaskell is a horrid creature
so conceited & consequential - I rather
think she is modest & appears haughty
because somewhat embarrassed. Have
just written a reply to Miss Bird’s note - a
very kind one it was asking us to spend a few days at her country cottage 10 miles from
London - Her cousin the Arch bishop lives
at Lambeth Palace & she hopes to introduce
us to him on her return to the city.
Thackeray says it costs him but little trouble
to write Lovel, the Widower, its an old play
which he would have sold for L50 but could
not, now it is worth L1000
Monday Feb 20th If I was busy in London,
what am I here? A short walk with Grace
after breakfast, a broken pitcher to replace -
some notes to send off & more to read &
answer - lunch at two & hat & shawl ready
to go out the moment after - but Mr Russell
called & then his wife with the Miss Thack
- erays, both healthy cheerful looking girls,
though I much prefer the elder - there is
more amiability in her mirth - the other
is near sighted & I don’t often like anybody
whose eyes are not quite what they should
be - Mr de Chatelain came while they were
here, then the T’s left Mrs B with me
while they went to make some other calls - Mr B went off to the House, Mr & Mrs McIn
-tosh came, then Mrs McCulloch to invite
us for Thursday evening - A letter from
Miss Thayer to Mr B begging more money -
from Miss Cushman, Cohish [?] & David & Maria
A friend of Louisa’s has come in to take a cup
of tea with her - Grace & Poult helped themselves
to current wine while I was engaged with
Company & complain of being tipsy.
Wednesday Feb 22d
At 12 precisely yesterday were at 16 Clershand
Square with nurse & four children - they had
dinner almost immediately & at 1 ½ we were
lunched - Mrs P’s two children & two nurses,
with ours, all went to Kensington Gardens &
a sweet pretty looking group they were - the
two mothers partly rode & partly walked to Mrs
Cropsey’s & wound up at 3 Eastbourne Terrace,
not attractive neighborhood & found Cousin
Mary Wethered in the top story of a plain but
entirely comfortable house - She had been a week
in bed with neuralgia in her face & gums,
seemed delighted to see me - Her voice with its southern tuang [sic] struck me forcably [sic] after
having been so long away from home.
The little ones & nurses all had tea together
at 4 o’clock in the nursery - I went up to
feed baby & help get them off by 5 o’clock
& papa came back to join us at a 6 o’clock
dinner, the same carriage that took
them home - it seems their appetites came
on afresh & they had another bread & butter
feast before retiring - There was no company
at table - Mr & Mrs Poulton, her father Mr
Wesloe & a Miss Thomasson staying with
them; an auburn haired curly headed young
lady, very wide awake & intelligent -
Says Mr B looks every inch a nobleman
or as if he might be the president of the
United States, which is something much
better - Mr P is a thorough Irishman, nice
manner look & all - Mr W is a fine looking
old gentleman, Mrs P might have been a
beautiful girl but is now a particularly
faded elderly woman who looks weird like
from her extraordinarily brilliant eyes, dishevilled [sic] locks, & costume in color, fit, &
make unlike anything one is used to see -
For instance, her dinner toilette was
long streamers behind on the back of her
hair of black net, trimmed on the ends
with steel beeds [sic] - a red muslin, fiery red,
plain skirt & a loose sack of the same
over it, no lining, flowing sleeves, cord &
tassel around the waist - fastened up on
the shoulder with imitation pearls -
collar of the same - On a beautiful young
creature this wonderful get up might
be becoming but on an old skinny
soul with mixed hair & false teeth, it
was something inexpressibly forlorn.
The dinner was very nice & home like,
beautifully served - Mr & Mrs Hargraves joined
us in the evening, she has a sweet face &
manner. altogether they remind me strongly
of the McLaughlin’s, who affect the same style
but have not so much to go upon! Friday Feb 24th Yesterday took the children
& drove over to Russell’s at 11 ½ o’clock - gas men had the house upside down, Alberto had a
wretched cold, new cook & housemaid did not
understand their business & the Mistress was
greatly disturbed. I comforted all I could - Willy rode up on horseback & sat a half hour with us -
said he came expressly to see me - and promised
crimean pony should be at the door after
our early dinner & that I should drive his
wife in the Park. But the phaeton was
borrowed & our delightful scheme had to
be given up. The chicken did not arrive
till after the hour fixed for it to be eaten,
& I advised not waiting for it - we had
a fish & very good cold roast beef, potatoes
greens & celery - rhubarb pie & custard &
several dishes of dried fruits - We drove in
the afternoon to Gurney’s & Wedgewood’s
both out - called at the Army & Navy Gazette -
brought the children home & when they
were all in bed, went to Mrs McCullock’s
to Chester Square, as stupid a little affair
as I ever attended. She only introduced me to one lady who sat next me, but I chatted
however with several who came my way -
Mr & Mrs Cropsey were there & she introduced to
me a Miss Smith from Tasmania whose
father is very rich & the young lady is very
charming - a friend of the poet - Miss Proctor -
we all played on the piano occasionally
& there was some very poor singing - tea &
coffee passed around & when every body
was tired & sleepy, & some proposed going, they
were petioned [sic] to stay for the refreshments
which finally were brought in about
midnight, & consisted of wine & crackers &
sandwiches - I was sadly taken in for
I was really hungry & thought this “fashionable”
lady who hired in so much style & entertained
strangers so elegantly was a better provider.
The Wedgewoods called yesterday, Mr & Mrs
Thomas Lorde Buxton, De Bunson’s, Gaskell’s
& some others. We are invited to a party at
Samuel Gurneys March 7th & to dine at
Charles Buxton’s March 1st. Today took
Grace & saw the Reading Room at the British Museum - the most complete
place of the kind I expect in the world -
Mr Russell was instrumental in making
Mr B a Reader [crossed off meander] of the library there.
& he has access at all hours when it is open.
Dined at the Bunsun’s Wednesday, no
company but her sister Rachel (Mrs
T. Foule Buxton)’s husband. As nice plain
quaker a couple as I ever met, but extremely
cultivated & intelligent. The B’s live in
fine style & our hostess is particularly
agreable - both the ladies wore low necks,
but such a cut & fit! At dessert we had
some American pippins sent over yearly
by Mrs Abbott Laurance. After coming home
Mr B went to the Cosmopolitan Club by appoint
ment with Mr Macauley cousin of the
historian. There was a levee yesterday
at Buckingham Palace & Louisa took baby
& showed her the Queen in her carriage
crossing from one palace to the other.
Bought to day a little copy of Montgomery’s
Christian Life “Robert Blakey from Robert
Montgomery” on the fly leaf - price 1/ Sunday Feb 26th. Yesterday took a long walk
with Jonny - Mrs Cropsey came with her little
girl in the afternoon - I was glad to be at
home - Dined at Mr William Hargreaves
A Hungarian refugee, the Faccltons [?] & Mr
Mellor, Mr John Bright & his brother in law Mr
Lucas - Beautiful house & dinner but not the
company to interest me much. I was disap
-pointed in Bright - fine head but much
[illegible] once English conceited dictatorial
manner - he does not look at you much
either when talking or listening, has a
vulgar little pug nose - throws his remarks
right & left at either his enemies or his
friends with an equally disrespectful manner.
A Miss Dundas joined us in the evening,
showy, beautiful girl but not refined -
clever too - yet I would not trust her very
far. This morning have been to friend’s
meeting with Mrs Jan Gurney - we drove &
our husbands walked. Not very interesting
sermon from [loss] whose mother
Anna was many years in America - Saw also Josiah Foster who was most cordial & kind -
I remembered seeing him at grandmother’s
some years ago. Mrs G introduced me to several
other friends, all had pleasant nice faces.
Louisa has gone out for the afternoon &
I am writing in the nursery while baby
Monday Feb 27th. Had a brougham at 10 this
morning, went to Truman Hanbury Buxton & Co’s
brewery - vast place, went all through it & smells
of yeast for miles - at 1 we were at Mr Buxton’s
large comfortable country mansion at Layton
-stone - I saw the 9 children, 5 red headed, she
is on the way to a 10th & looks hardly older than
I do, though 36 or 37. We lunched - very well &
drove over to the homestead where Mrs Head [supposed word]
& Lady Buxton now live - two sisters of Mrs T
H. Buxton’s & both Gurney’s. We only saw Mrs Head
a fine looking grey haired elderly woman who showed
us through one of the most charming Country
homes I ever saw - immense dining room
beautiful drawing room with bow windows
library with a very large well filled green house communicating - I was surprised
she did not offer me a flower - the same at
her sisters - The children enjoyed excessively
this afternoon with each taking a turn in
driving the pony in the chaise - first Poultney,
then Grace - What kind cordial people they are -
we promised to come again in May & hurried
home to a 6 o’clock dinner - found our other
little darling getting on nicely - have just
dined & must dress to go for the Russell’s -
Tuesday Feb 28th -
Had to wait at Russell’s until 10 o’clock before
Madame was ready - A Dr Smith was dining
with them & they had not left the table
when we called for them after 8 ½, at which
hour we were to have been on our way to
Mrs Lorshe's [?]. Mr L has made a large fortune
as builder - they used to live next door to
the R’s - built their present house for the duke
of Rutland for whom it was too small & for
whom Mr L is now building another next
door to them - Her ambition is for titled
people & among her amateur performers were several with handles to their names -
a Lord Gerald FitzGerald & Lady Thynne being
I should judge the biggest lions. The Lady’s singing
with her own was about as poor a production as
I would wish to hear - a German girl who was
with a Dr Chapman sang superbly - fine face she
had - The Cropseys were very polite introducing
people - Sir Edward Ball dull ugly old soul
who they say has a grand house & gives grand dinner’s [sic]
It was a great bore from beginning to end.
Wednesday Feb 29th.
Yesterday was surprised by a visit from the Haggins -
They say Kelton & Pegrim went to see my portrait &
were delighted with it. A most gay & agreeable
dinner at Russell’s - only. Delaine Chief Conductor
& editor of the Times, Mr Romaine - secretary of
the Admiralty & Mayor Stuart a young but very
clever officer - all were in fine humor & good
things (no pun intended) were plenty. This morning
I have prepared a bundle of letters & Mrs Morgan’s
cape to send home by the Haggins - they sail Saturday
in the Asia. I wrote some lines to mommy
Sunday evening last which Mr B complimented
very highly by thinking them worthy of being copied into his journal - I will assign
them a similar honor

To Mommy!

My heart has traveled far to night
Across the waves, beyond the sea
Where circle round the fireside bright
faces beloved by me.
And mid the dear ones gathered there

Before thee I should number none,

Mother and friend & faithful nurse
Thous’t proved since life began.
The sleepless nights and anxious days
which helpless infancy demands
All these thous’t granted me and more
With heart and willing hands.
A patient hearing of my will -
A love that pardoned every fault -
Of harsh reproof, though oft deserved,
I can remember naught. Unselfish in thy tender care,
generous with all thou coulds’t bestow -
How can I ever pay to thee
the gratitude I owe!
And now that we are far apart,
Three thousand watery miles or more,
I tremble lest thy footsteps fail,
along lifes [sic]rugged shore.
I fear the worst - yet hope the best -
God in thy mercy grant say prayer
Whatee’r thou doest still is good -
Teach me thy will to bear!
Thursday March 1st Last evening attended a meeting
in behalf of the Girls Foundry at Mrs Robert Hanbury’s
a fine house formerly inhabited by Lady Buxton -
Lord Shaftesbury addressed the congregation - nothing
very new to say but he said it very well - Rev Mr
Chalmers & Ware also spoke - a box & plate were
passed around & after all the picking & stealing
was over we were dismissed with a prayer &
blessing & a few verses from Scripture - On our way out we were invited into a refreshment
room & partook of some cold milkings before
taking final leave. Dr Roget & Mrs Stevens were
here yesterday afternoon - I knew her in W &
had quite forgotten I had ever seen her.
Today by appointment - went to Mrs Gurney’s with
Jonny & Grace to lunch & met her sister Mrs
Reynolds who was a daughter of Elizabeth Fry -
truly nice good face she has - Mrs McIntosh was
here while I was out, Mr Hargreaves & Mr Delane
whom we met at Russells - I had a note from
the latter an hour since & also one from Thackeray
inviting us to dinner on the 10th. A letter from
Alice Townsend - I have prepared a bundle of
letters to send home by the Haggins with Mrs
Morgan’s lace cape.
Saturday March 3d Dinner Thursday at Charles
Buxton’s - His brother the Rev Mr Holland [supposed name] another
brother & his wife who was a niece of Lord Ma-
-cauley & daughter of Lady Trevilyan - Rev Mr
Gurney, Miss Holland & her cousins the
Misses Marsh - Arthur Stanley Canon
Of Oxford - Mr Edmund Gurney - very fine dinner & very agreable [sic] distinguished
company - yesterday lunched [sic] with the chil
-dren at Mrs Stevens - walked home by way
of the Pantheon - dined at Dr Roget’s - awfully
stupid to me but very interesting to my husband
The Dr’s son & daughter are both very refined &
agreable [sic] - handsome too - his sister an aged
lady upwards of 70 - Mrs Tweedie [?] & husband -
Dr Sharpie [sic] Secretary of the Royal Society,
Mr Welde assistant secretary & nephew of
Lady Franklin - Dr Mayo, President of the
College of Physicians & Surgeons - all nice
old fogies who almost put me to sleep at
table & I made my escape as soon as was possible.
I think perhaps I should have enjoyed myself
had I not been so terribly sleepy when I went -
but there was nothing to rouse me after
-wards. Rouse me reminds me of poor Burton
whose death I read in the Post the other
day - Did some housekeeping in the neigh
borhood, called on Mrs Shaftner, took a
bus to Brompton, Mrs Russell I found had
gone to the Isle of Wight - met Miss Thackeray in the street who walked to the
sington gate with me to show me the way
she had been to see a house her father
had bought at Kensington & was to re
-pair for his own use. Mr Cropsey walked
across the Park with me to leave a card
& letter on Mr Hornblower - put me in a
bus & I reached Pall Mall & my little
ones after five hours absence - Miss Dawn
had called, a note from Romaine & one
from the Rev Mr Gurney inviting us to
dine Monday or Thursday if more con
-venient. Invited to deBunsun’s tonight but
Mr B is going with Dr Roget to assist at
a soiree given by the President of the
Royal to the members & some of their
friends. Heard from Tracy Kellog yesterday
Ellen Walsh writes she is coming in April.
Sunday March 4th. Have been to the Temple
Church by order from Mr Romaine - I never
heard finer singing & chanting - there was so
much of it as to lengthen the service consid
-erably, but it was all very fine. Mrs Paulton & husband have just gone, they came to invite
us to dinner today - Mr McIntosh has called -
Mr B saw Prince Albert last night - thought
him very handsome. Mr B took me to
see the portraits at the Garrick Club of all the
most celebrated actors - forming a remar-
kably interesting gallery - Peg Woffington is
in almost every room in every variety of
dress & position - I thought her much handsomer
than any of the others though many were very
beautiful - I must reread Reade & go take
another look at her sweet face.
Monday March 5th Dined at Mr Mellors
with two gentlemen whose names I forget -
Mr Beight & Hargreaves came in before we
left the table - nearly 11 when we got home.
This morning Mrs Shaftner & her little boy
have been in - she had her pocket picked
in a bus Saturday - a letter from Louisa C
Taylor - very affectionate & pleasant - she says
“My husband is every thing I could desire”
but she has lost her lovely boy & her dear
mother within a few months past. Tuesday March 6th Miss [loss]
came for me yesterday to go & see some
enamel copies of the Munich & Dresden
Galleries - very beautiful, I would like to
have bought most of them. The children all
went with Louisa to Mr Edmund Gurney’s to
an early tea party given for them - about 20
little ones - we dined with the Russells at Mr
Romaine’s - nice large old timed house in
new street - we spent the evening as previously
arranged at the Kensington Museum & were
delighted with the sermon & Turner Collection of
pictures - the English school is much finer
than the French & I prefer it as [illegible deletion] as well as the German & Spanish, to the Italian - at least the
subjects are refreshing after the interminable
strings of Saints & Holy families. Sunday was
the only genuine rainy day we have had in England.
I am growing so anxious about Mommy - Lady
Inglis called with Mrs Rich yesterday & Mr McIn
tosh to invite us to dinner Friday. This evening
we spend at Hargreaves - but I am getting
pretty well tired of going out.

Jenny P. Bigelow [Blank] [Back cover]

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