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Full text of "Catherine Gladstone"

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CATHERINE GLADSTONE 



From l'tfessrs. Nisbet's List 


SOME HA WARDEN 
LETTERS 
15/- net 


Edited by LISLE MARCH 
PHILLIPPS and 
BERTRAM CHRISTIA
 


A FORTY YEARS' 
FRIENDSHIP 
1016 net 
Letters from Canon H. 
Scott Holland to Mrs, 
Drew, Edited by Canon 
OLLARD 


w. G. C. 
GLADSTONE: A Memoir 
51- net 


By VISCOUNT GLADSTONE 




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MRS G 
.. lADSTONE 



CA THERINE 
GLADSTONE 


BY HER DAUGHTER 


MARY DREW 


1onðon 
NISBET & CO. LTD. 
22 BERNERS STRBET, W.l 



First Published 
ReþrÙzted . 


" 


December I9I9 
December I9I9 
. January I920 



TO 


THE DEAR AND HONOURED MEMORY 


OF 


MY MOTHER AND FATHER 


AND TO 


l\IY. BRO'I'HERS AND SI
'r
ERS 


IN LOVE AND GRATITUDE 


Prevent us, 0 Lord, in all our doings, 
lvilh Thy most graciolls fat'our,. that 
in oil Ollr morks begun, continued, and 
ended in 'l'hee, me mag glorify Thy hO
lj 
l\Tame,. through Jeslls Christ our Lord 


v 




If'JTRODUCTION 


A VING, a few years ago, written a 
sketch of my Mother for private 
circulation, by the wish of my 
brothers and sisters it was printed in 1916 
in the Cornhill Magazine. So deep and un- 
usual an interest was aroused in her life and 
personality, that the desire for fuller treat- 
ment, for more light on the picture, ,vas 
expressed by those who have the best right 
to ask it. But it remains a sketch, and I 
have felt that in some cases a sketch really 
reveals more than a finished picture. It 
leaves more to the imagination. 
It is a selection, made aln10st at random, 
from some among the scenes and incidents, 
the experiences and emotions, of her long life 
as they have occurred to her daughter. The 
book can hardly be called a monograph, for 
it seemed necessary to recall the atmosphere, 
the surroundings in which she lived and moved 
and had her being. For this reason I have 
touched on other lives than hers. It cannot 
be necessary to apologise for the abiding sense 
vü 



VIU 


INTRODUCTION 


of 11er husband's presence, ever permeating 
her own being. It will be recognised that, if 
these glimpses into her life and times are to 
give a truthful portrait ot her, it was neces- 
sary to study his personality as well as hers 
-in fact they were inseparable. For this the 
home daughter had, through life, exceptional 
opportunities; for, owing to the marriage of 
one sister in 1873 and the Cambridge career 
(1878-96) of the other (though naturally they 
"\Jvere both much at home), she had the privilege 
of living witl1 her parents both before and 
after her own marriage (1886), practically from 
l1er birth to their deaths. 
I should \vish to thank lVlr. A. 1'. Bassett and 
l\liss l\I'Carthy for their excellellt secretarial 
help in dealing with the papers. 
'}'o Lord Morley I o\ve a debt of gratitude 
that can never be paid for the inspiration of 
his Biography. 


M. D. 


Septc1nber 1919. 



CONTENTS 


PAGR 
I:NTRODL"'CTIOX VII 
CHAP. 
I. CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 1 
II. GIRLHOOD AND 
lARRIAGE 
4 
III. EARLY DIARIES AYD MARRIED LIFE. 40 
IV. LETI'ERS FRO
1 HER . 75 
V. LETI'ERS TO HER l
O 
VI. CHARACTERISTICS 20Q 
VII. GOOD WORKS 220 
VIII. REMINISCEKCES 
54 
IX. "VIA CRUCIS-VIA LUCIS " Q82 
GENEALOGICAL TABLE 
93 
INDEX 295 


6 


ix 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 


:VIRS. GLADSTO
:E 


Frontispiece 


FACING l'AGE 


VENETIA STAKLEY (LADY DIGBY) 4 


CATHERINE, MARY, STEPHEX, AXD HEXRY GLYNNE 
AT AUDLEY END 8 


CATHERINE AND l\IARY GLYNNE 10 


SIR STEPHEN GLYNNE 17 


HAWARDEN CASTLE. 28 





 $ 


MRS. GLADSTONE AND HER SISTER, LADY IAYTJ,..
I.- 
TON, ON THE LAWN AT HAWARDEN 4fl 


HAGLEY HALL 68 


CATHERINE GI"ADSTONE 87 


MARY, LADY LYTTELTON 89 


MRS. GLADSTONE AND HERBERT 10fl 


LADY BRAYRROOKE AND LADY FORTESCUE . 1fl8 


l.'HE RT. HON. \tV. E. GLADSTONE 148 


xi 



xu 


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 


A 
"AMILY GROUP AT IIAWARDEN . 


l\fn.s. GLADSTONE, 1863 


l\fRS. GLADSTONE AT HAWARDEX 


BILLINGBEAR 


FACING PAGE 


186 



04 




8 



44 


1\1&8. GLADSTONE AT DOT.LIS HILL, WITH HER GRAND- 
.. 
DAUGHTER, DOROTHY DREW 


l\IR. AND MRS. GLADSTONE AT CAK
ES 


HAW ARDEN CASTLE BY NIGHT 


. 



60 



78 


!286 



CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


CHAPTER I 


CHILDHOOD AI\T}) YOUTH 


u W HO is that lady, and what is she 
doing?" The lady in question 
was Mrs. Gladstone; she was carry- 
ing babies rolled up in blankets from the 
London Hospital, at the time of the virulent 
outbreak of cholera in 1866. 
Catherine Glynne ,vas born at Hawarden 
Castle on January 6, 1812. Both her parents 
were descended from Crusaders. Her father, 
Sir Stephen Glynne, representative of the 
Percy Barony, was t\venty-fourth in descent 
from 'ViJliam de Percy, a Norman chieftain who 
came over to England in 1066 witll William the 
Conqueror. He accompanied Duke Robert to 
the Holy Land in the First Crusade, and died 
near Jerusalem in 1096. 
Her mother, 
Iary Neville, daughter of 
Lord Braybrooke and Catherine Grenville, 
was eighteenth in descent from Richard de 
Grenville and Lady Isabelle, daughter of 
I 



2 


CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Lord Buckingham. Richard de Grenville, a 
Crusader, died in the Holy Land in 1147. 
Mary Neville was related to five Prime l\iinis- 
ters-the two Grenvilles (one of whom was 
her grandfather), Lord Chatham, Mr. Pitt, and 
Mr. Gladstone, her son-in-law. 
l\Ir. Gladstone compiled for the use of his 
children the list of the statesmen related to 
their grandmother, Lady Glynne: 


Right Hon. George Grenville. 
Sir William Wyndham . 
Lord Chatham 
Mr. Pitt 
Lord Grenville 
Lord Buckingham. 


. Grandfa ther. 
. Grea t -Grandfa ther. 
Great-Uncle. 
. First Cousin. 
. Great-Uncle. 
. Great-Uncle. 


Proud she might have been of the great 
historic names among her ancestors. Mr. 
Gladstone, if the idea had appealed to her, 
would have liked the Percy title to have been 
re-created on her behalf, she being one of the 
representatives of the Percy Barony. But 
she never would have borne to take a name 
different from that of her husband. Through 
Agnes de Percy and Jocelyn de Louvaine, she 
was directly descended from Charlemagne. 
Both her parents were on the Plantagenet 
Roll. To select a few of the most famous 
names in the history of England - Egbert, 
""Villiam the Conqueror, Harry Hotspur, and 
Edward I., were among her ancestors. Sir 
Richard Grenville of glorious memory, the 



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 


:3 


hero of Tennyson's" Revenge," was a member 
of her family. 1 
Sir John Glyn, Lord Chief Justice of Eng- 
land, second son of Sir 'Villi am Glyn of Glyn- 
Jifon, Carnarvonshire, was the founder of the 
Hawarden branch of the family. Being a 
younger son, he could not inherit the beautiful 
home of his Glyn ancestors. He went out 
into the world to seek his fortunes. He was 
twenty-first in descent from Cil l\Ien Troed 
Dhu, one of the seven Kings or Chieftains of 
Wales who flourished in 843. 
This brilliant young barrister won his spurs 
during the indictment of Lord Strafford. 
His speech on that occasion changed the 
fortunes of the day, and resulted in the con- 
demnation and death of Strafford. Sir John 
was buried beneath the Altar in St. l\largaret's 
Church, 'Vestminster. There was a decided 
fitness in the Glynnes following the Stanleys 
as owners of Ha,varden,2 Sir Stephen Glynne, 
father of l\Irs. Gladstone, being fourth in de- 
scent from Venetia Stanley, 3 "the renowned 
beauty," granddaughter of I ord Derby; and 


ll\iany families. of course, could claim the same historic descent, 
or others as notable. But there is a limit to those who, without 
personal research, can find it notified in standard works of genealogy. 
2 Glynlifon was acquired by the Wynns through marriage with the 
Glyn heiress. 
I Venetia married Sir Kenelm Digby, whose fine portrait by Van- 
dyck hangs over the chimney-piece in the Library at Hawarden 
Castle. 



4 


CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


the Stanleys had intermarried with Catherine 
Glynne's ancestors. 
Her father and mother were distinguished 
by remarkable beauty of face and form- 
beauty inherited by both their daughters. 
Their marriage was tragically cut short, after a 
few happy years, by Sir Stephen's death at the 
early age of thirty-three. They had posted to 
the Riviera as a last hope of benefiting his 
lungs. It is curious to read in Lady Glynne's 
journal that, there being then no professional 
nurses, any stray friend of hers staying at Nice 
-Lady Bradford and others-took it in turns 
to look after the patient. They had taken 
with them their carriages and riding horses, 
a whole retinue of servants, and the little 
eldest boy aged six. 
Napoleon was then safe in captivity at 
Elba. They bought, probably for the use of 
the invalid, one of his famous white chargers, 1 
the same horse which had carried him at the 
terrible battle of Borodino and in the succeed- 
ing stages of his retreat from Russia. 
It was in the year of the battle of \Vaterloo 
that Sir Stephen's death took place. Lady 
Glynne was caught in the great Hundred 
Days. Napoleon had made his escape from 
Elba and was at large. Lord Braybrooke set 


1 This horse went with them to England. after the death of Sir 
Stephen, and eventually died and was buried at Hawarden. 



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\9EXETIA ST.-\XLEY (L-\DY DIGBY) 
GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRAND'IOTHER OF MRS. GL\DSTONE 


From Vandyck's þ01'trait at IVindsor 



, 



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 5 


off from England to escort his daughter home, 
but his coach was st.. pped and his horses com- 
mandeered. 
Meanwhile Lady Glynne ,vas advised not 
to travel by sea for fear of the ship being 
seized and interned. They contrived to reach 
Genoa safely, and tllence, with many com- 
plications, they posted across J
ombardy, 
Switzerland, aIld Flanders on tlleir way to 
England. 


'Vith her four children, all under six, this 
beautiful young widow returned to the home 
of her girlhood, and li,red with her father in 
London, at Audley End, and at Billingbear. 
For three months of each year she resided at 
Hawarden. There is a diary in existence 
containing notes on her children between 1815 
and 1822. Catherine, at the age of three, is 
IIlentioned as a magnificent specimen with 
curly golden hair, abounding in animal spirits, 
a coaxing, passionate little PlISSY. She sonle- 
times "pretends to be feminine-' Pussy so 
tightened,' she says, when having no notion 
of fear." At four she says, "Nothin's too 
dood for Man1my." She had a passion for 
her allnt, Lady Chat.ham: la.id hold of her 
and held her tight on her departure from 
Audley End-" Don't go, dear Chat "-and 
was un,villing to let her get into the carriage. 



6 


CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


At five, she reads nicely and begins to write, 
kno,ys a little French and geography, showed 
great pluck over the extraction of a double 
tooth, minding far more when her brother 
Henry's was drawn. "Bloorning and healthy 
as it is possible for a child to be, de'Toted 
to her sister and brotIlers, much attracted 
by dress and finery, a beautiful child, but 
Mary may still grow up to be the prettiest." 
January 1818.-" Catherine, just six, reads 
and writes nicely. Learns a page of Bible 
IIistory by heart. She has been in several 
passions lately. TIle great punishnlent- 
dining by' herself on CIlristmas Day, when I 
dined ,vith the other children and George 1 and 
Charlotte-wilJ, I trust, prevent their so fre- 
quent recurrence; for she is really good and 
docile in general, picks up quickly." 
The accounts of her elder brother Stephen 
are more detailed, so interesting and unique 
was his character. The French governess 
who arrived in April 1818 brings improve- 
ment to Catherine's manners. She lIas music 
lessons at six and a half, and ,vo\lld sit for 
'hours listening to mtlsic-" fewer passions, and 
in general good and affectionate. A nice 
little voice and a true ear. She is a very good 
horsewoman." There are many health details 


1 The Rev. and Hon. Gf:'or
e Neville Grenville, Rector of 
Hawarden, His wife was Lady Charlotte Legge. 



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 7 


and much about physic, emetics being the 
order of the day. l\Iary at seven is described 
as witty and extremely entertaining, rattles 
a,vay in French. Catherine loves rea.ding, 
and the list of histories they read in French 
would frighten parents of the present day. 
The diary ends abruptly, September 1822. 
Their education was probably rather un- 
usual, but must have been ,visely conducted. 
A series of long-suffering governesses were 
possibly not of much good, but Lady Glynne 
was a remarkably clever, cultivated ".oman, 
as is shown by her letters. Catherine spoke 
Italian and French with ease and fluency, 
and the former with a beautiful accent. She 
had an extraordinary memory for poetry, and 
could easily, even in much later years, beat 
any of us in the game of " capping verses"- 
chiefly from the classics, Pope and l\lilton and 
Shakespeare. She surprised us all one e-v'ening 
late in life by repeating by heart l\Ianzoni's 
great ode to Napoleon, the" Cinque Maggio." 
She had some knowledge of 1-4atin, and could 
construe stray passages for us. Certainly 
she read little in later life-one ,vas not 
accustomed to seeing a book or even a news- 
paper in her hand-but her books of extracts 
testify to very serious reading in her youth; 
the mere fact of her reading Mr. Gladstone's 
first book, The ('hurch in its Relations with the 



8 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Sta.te, before he became her devout lover, 
testifies to her resolution. There are long 
extracts from Newman's Sermons, and later 
on we read a passage from St. Augustine in 
l\Ir. Gladstone's handwriting. She was in 
the habit of reading aloud to her children 
in later years: Scott's novels were read in 
that way. 
The following little note written in retro- 
spect by Catherine is interesting for its words 
on Bishop Heber, a great friend of Lady 
Glynne's : 
"I could not have been more than eight 
when Bishop Heber first visited I-Iawarden 
Castle-1820, I believe-but words spoken of 
11im by my mother have not faded. In 1815 
she had become a widow. It was natural at 
this time of trial that intercourse such as 
was now offered should be of special value to 
her. For I recall the Bishop's singular gifts, 
his greatness, his charm, his persuasiveness. 
So it was through her conversation after- 
wards that I can recall how comforting and 
precious it was to her. Then I remember 
the deep interest on hearing that he was 
to be Bishop of Calcutta, and the awe and 
sadness with which we received the tidings 
of his death." 
Long afterwards Mrs. Gladstone told Iler 
daughter she remembered how much startled 



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CATHERINE, :MARY, STEPHEN, AND HENRY GLYNNE 
AT AUDLEY END 


From a coloUl'ed dra,(,Ùzg by Eden U. Eddis 


.. 


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CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 9 
and grieved her mother (Lady Glynne) had 
been when she received an offer of nlarriage 
from one of her friends after she became a 
widow. In all her youth and beauty she had 
a sense of absolute consecration after the 
death of her husband. 'Vith so strong a 
feeling on her own part, she fully expected 
others to realise the same. 
Catherine's aunt, Lady 'Venlock, left it on 
record "that as a child it was difficult 
to teacll her, and, that she was recalcitrant 
in learning any kind of 'lessons'" [just what 
one would have guessed in after life fronl 
her impatience of routine]. " But nobody ever 
thOllght this implied any lack of intelligence. 
The fact ,vas, she was immensely interested in 
life at first hand, and she refused to take her 
knowledge from other people's brains or books." 
In 1828 when her daughters had reached the 
ages of fifteen and sixteen, l,ady Glynne took 
them with their governess to Paris. Tllis was 
with the object of education, and among their 
masters ,vas the great Abbé Liszt, who taught 
them the pianoforte. Though still in the 
schoolroom, Lady Glynne was persuaded to 
take them to two or three special festivities. 
No sooner had they set foot in Paris than 
Lord Douglas 1 (their brother Henry's greatest 


1 Eldest son of the Duke of Hamilton; one of the most romantic 
and fascinating figures of that day. 



10 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


friend) arrived at their hotel' to plead with 
Lady Glynne to bring them to his mother's 
dance. On hearing that the entertainment 
was part]y for children, Lady Glynne, to the 
iIltense delight of the Pussies, consented to 
bring them. The hairdresser was sent for. 
"Just as mine was þegun," wrote the elder 
Puss, " Stephen presented IIle with a bouquet 
in jewelry, the precious stones forming little 
flowers, the prettiest thing you ever saw; 
it is now fixed in my hair, and is facing J.\tlama., 
who cannot take her eyes off it." All fright 
on the part of the girls was dispelled by the 
great kindness of the Duchess's welcome, 
and Lord Douglas opened the ball with 
Catherine. 
But the Palais Royal was evidently COI1- 
sidered too grown up, and Catherine describes 
in a letter to Henry how her motþer, accom- 
panied by her eldest son,l attended the baU 
given by the Duc d'Orléans. They were 
dazzled by the grandeur of the rooms and the 
brilliance of the company, though dismayed by 
the throng. The prettiest sight of all, writes 
Catherine, was when the door opened and 
the Duchesse de Berri attended by a bevy of 
damsels all came dancing into the room in fancy 
dress, "like opera dancers, sixteen in num- 
ber, the prettiest thing Mama ever saw. They 
1 Sir Stephen Glynne, then nineteen years of age. 



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CATHERINE AND l\IARV GLYNNE 
AGED 17 A
D 18 


From a dra'wing fy j. Slater at llawardell 


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CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 11 
formed into a quadrille. They had little black 
shoes with gold bows, and fancy dresses; the 
music ,vas beautiful ,vith Tyrolean tunes, and 
the Gunters 1 who handed the refreshments were 
all in dress coats ,vith swords. l\Iama and 
Ste. ,vere fortunate in escaping at twelve, 
by a little back door, and ,vere amused at 
getting a peep of the cooks, ,vho all appeared 
dog tired." . 
They were also allo,ved to attend Lady 
Stuart de Rothsay's ball at the Britisl1 Em- 
bassy, and one or t,vo more special dances; 
l\iary, to her great delight, being taken to 
the Opera to hear l\Ialibran, to make up for 
not al,vays accompanying her sister. Lady 
Stuart's beautiful daughters, afterwards Lady 
Canning and Lady \Vaterford, became great 
friends ,vith the Pussies. Stephen attended a 
Court and 'vas presented to the King. "His 
coat ,vas a pretty brown, with cut steel buttons 
and lace ruffles and frills, black satin shorts 
and white silk stockings. \Vith ::\Iama's sap- 
phire and diamond brooch fastened in the lace, 
and his hair nicely dressed, he looked very 
,veIl," writes Catherine to Henry. She men- 
tions one of her partners, Lord Aboyne-the 
Lord Aboyne ,vho had actually danced with 

Iarie Antoinette - "he danced as if he 
,v ere twenty instead of seventy. Brides 


1 The hired waiters. 



12 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


dance as much as anyone, and age appears as 
no reason for not dancing." 
Though still in the schoolroom, they had 
a gay time in Paris: they danced with the 
young bloods, both English and foreign, of the 
day, about whom they wrote, full of girlish 
rapture, to their brother Henry, preparing for 
Oxford at his tutor's house. 
Lady Glynne, in her loneliness, leant much 
upon her uncle, Mr. Thomas Grellville, and still 
more upon her brother, George Neville Gren- 
ville, Ilector of Hawarden. The latter came 
to Hawarden in 1813, shortly before the death 
of his brother-in-law, Sir Stephen Glynne. 
fIe was ordained Deacon and Priest 011 two 
succeeding days, and 
Jad as was the old system 
of pitchforking any son or near kinsman of 
thehouse into the family living, irrespective 
of fitness, it was a good day for the huge 
parish of Hawarden when this very youthful 
Rector took charge. The parish of Hawarden 
was about the largest in the kingdom. It con- 
taineJ fifteen townships and now includes eight 
or nine churches. It was a Peculiar, i.e. not 
under the jurisdiction of a Bishop. If a Bishop's 
presence was required, as for Confirmation, he 
was invited as a guest, the Rector standing 
at the church door and welcoming him. But 
he was careful to define the business of the 
Bishop as confined to the performance of the 



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 13 


one act-the laying on of hands. In great 
state, the Rector held a yearly Court in a 
chapel divided from the church. Here he 
proved ,vilIs, granted marriage licences, etc., 
and dealt with the conduct of his parishioners. 
He awarded punishment for lapses from ortho- 
doxy and virtue-also for minor offences, such 
as sleeping or misbehaving in church or in 
its precincts. Public confession was the usual 
penalty. In 1850, sixteen years after Henry 
Glynne became Rector, these privileged Courts 
were abolished by Act of Parliament, but 
certain special powers still remain. Up to 
1813 Ha,varden had chiefly been notorious 
for its bad conduct. The first act of the 
new young Rector ,vas to call his parishioners 
together: "I cannot change your hearts," he 
said to them, "that has to be done by your- 
selves ,vith the help of God, but I can lessen 
your temptations." And accordingly he and 
Lady Glynne started in good ear
est and did 
away with various public - houses on the 
estate, and established a rule wllich went far 
to anticipate the Sunday Closing Act. They 
were autocrats in those days. Two new 
churches were built in Hawarden parish 
during his rectorship; schools were estab- 
lished in IIa,varden and its districts, ,vhich 
flourished chiefly through the bounty and 
energetic help and sympathy of Lady Glynne, 



14 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


and later of her sons and daughters. Queen 
Victoria, who with her mother, the Duchess of 
Kent, visited Hawarden Castle so long ago as 
1832, mentioned only a short time before she 
died, to a member of the family, how well she 
remembered the "beautiful Miss Glynnes." 
She first met them at Bishopthorpe. Many 
.. 
were the young men that frequented the 
parties at Hawarden, and on the Duke 
of Cambridge t.he impression left by his 
visit was more than ordinary; his friendship 
with 1\lrs. Gladstone only ended with his 
death. 
The sisters were brought up with infinite and 
most loving care and discipline, dut)T being 
always placed before pleasure. Reticence and 
self-control, in those days, were considered in- 
?ispensable to good manners and good breed- 
Ing . Not so much the condescending life, as 
the sense of brotherhood, the lifting up of 
their friends, whether rich or poor, to their 
own level; thinking more of others than of 
themselves-this was the essence of the lady, 
the significance of 'noblesse oblige. And in 
their hearts was the love and fear of God- 
"the beginning of wisdom." In these days 
of personal service, when inspiring examples 
and writings have kindled the enthusiasm 
and self-sacrifice of so man)T, the character 
and aims of these sisters would not perhaps 



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 15 


be as uncommon as in the earlier years of the 
nineteenth century. 
Every year three or four families, specially 
intimate with one another, were accustomed, 
about Christmas time, to assemble by turns 
at each other's country homes-Hawarden 
Castle, Vale Royal, Acton Park, and Norton 
Priory. The lovely daughters of Sir Richard 
Brooke, famous for their beauty, were ever 
the dearest friends of the Glynnes. On these 
occasions they met for the acting of plays: 
their refreshments, on the evening of any 
special performance, consisted of cold custard 
and glasses of milk flavoured with nutmeg- 
rather a contrast to modern habits. In later 
days, at Hawarden and Hagley, there were 
yearly plays acted by the sons and daughters. 
Both the sisters were excellent horsewomen 
and greatly skilled with the bow and arrow. 
Archery parties, or bow meetings, as they were 
called in Wales, were the craze of that day- 
a pretty and graceful pastime needing great 
skill. Great was the competition bet\veen the 
country houses in the neighbourhood of 
Hawarden. They visited their relations and 
friends, and many of the pleasant est country 
houses of England were open to the family 
through the ties of kinship -Audley End, 
Stowe, Vale Royal, Wynnstay, Powderham, 
Dropnlore, Boconoc, Escrich, Billingbear,. etc. 



16 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


But the first time tIle Pussies, as they were 
called, were allowed to travel in the mail- 
coach, chaperoned by their brother Henry- 
a great event -was in September 1837, ,vhen 
they started on a round of visits in Scotland 
and first spent a week at Dalmeny. 
Henry' writes to his brother Stephen describ- 
ing the beauties of Dalmeny and the extra- 
ordinary kindness of LordI and Lady Rosebery: 
"We found here Mr. and Mrs. Heathcote, 
good-natured people -he seems very uncertain 
in his politics, not caring to go all lengths 
with Lord Melbourne, yet not consenting to 
be a Tory. The Listers, clever and agreeable 
and both of them novelists. They draw and 
sing charmingly. Lord Bathurst on his way 
to Scone and Dunrobin. Music instrllmental 
and vocal enlivens our evenings. Lady Rose- 
bery on the harp, her son, Bouverie, on the 
cello, and the eldest daughter at the pianoforte. 
Her sister, Louisa, comes out next year and is 
unfortunately, at present, plain. The Scottish 
Service very long and dreary, one sermon 
following the other. The church a good 
specimen of Norman architecture inside and 
out, a rare thing in Scotland. A most lovely 
view of Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle 
from the grounds; the scenery is enchanting. 
Mr. and l\irs. Lister draw most beautifully, 


1 Grandfather of the present Earl. 




" 


SIR STEPHEN GLYNNE 
8TH BART. 


Frl'11l a þortrait by Saunders at Ha7('arden Castle 



CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 17 


and are so good-natured about giving away 
their drawings. \Ve are to join the Vernons 
at Scone 1 on Friday. A loyal letter from 
Angherad Lloyd, raving of our young Queen 
[then just come to the throne], and hot with 
Conservatism. The Pussies are to travel for 
the first time by mail. It will be quite 
proper as we have taken the whole inside of 
the coach, and so very convenient and quick 
through country not specially interesting. 
Colonel Harcourt's marriage to Lady Catherine 
Jenkinson is announced-I do not envy him, 
though of course they are sure to be called the 
happiest of the happy.2 The papers relate 
an interview between Uncle Beilby 3 and Lord 
Melbourne at Downing Street. Lord and Lady 
Rosebery are perfectly charming - it is the 
most delightful country house I ever was in." 
When the sisters came out, they lived in 
their grandfather's house in Berkeley Square. 
Society was very exclusive in those days, and 
the best of it was open to them. They used 
to ,vrite long letters to an old Hawarden 
curate descriptive of their London gaieties. 
An account of Queen Victoria's Coronation, 
which they attended - with the dressing of 
their hair in the early morning, for they had 
to be in 'ïV estminster ...t\bbey by eight; and 
1 The home of Lord Mansfield. 
2 Colonel Harcourt had proposed to one of the Pussies. 
3 Lord Wenlock. 
2 



18 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


again, a fancy ball at Devonshire House, to 
which one went as Dawn and the other as 
Night. 
"Catherine and Mary Glynne," writes a 
daughter of the latter, " were but one year and 
a half apa.rt in age and from their childhood, 
till death parted them, shared every interest, 
.. 
every sorrow or anxiety, ,and above all every 
joy. Married on the same day, the loving 
sisterly link ,vas rather doubled than weakened, 
their husbands being friends before they 
became brothers-in-law, their children almost 
int
rchangeably beloved. The sisters were 
alike tall and beautiful, but in character 
there were many differences. Both were 
intense lovers of children, both had a charming 
gift of humour and of intuition, practically 
they had the same friends, men and women 
alike. The nature of the younger sister was 
more reserved, less demonstrative than 
Catherine, who was ever the leader; both 
were equally cherished and beloved. To the 
end they loved and influenced each other, 
they were one in their outlook upon life, their 
high moral standard, tlleir religious principles 
and their deep pride in their beloved Hawarden 
home. Both were beautiful, noble-looking 
. 
women. Mary had the more regular features, 
her sister more brilliant colouring." 
Catherine had reigned in her beautiful home, 



, 


CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH 19 


as Mr. Gladstone notes in his diary, a very 
queen. Her mother's feeling for her was 
little short of adoration, and with her radiant 
beauty and impetuosity of will she carried 
everything befor
 her: her mother, her 
brothers, her sister, all moved as planets round 
the sun. It would not be easy to exchange 
this position of freedom and power, for the 
more subordinate rôle of a wife, for the duties 
and responsibilities of marriage and mother- 
hood. But, as we are now to see, she fell in 
love. 



CHAPTER I I 


GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE
 


I T was in November 1838 that William 
Gladstone, then twenty - eight years 
of age, met the Glynnes at Naples. 
Being at Christ Church with the brothers 
Stephen and Henry Glynne, he had already 
visited Hawarden Castle. He was one of a 
brilliant group of undergraduates - Lord 
Harris, the Duke of Hamilton, Canning, Lord 
Lincoln, afterwards Duke of Newcastle, Robin 
Curzon, afterwards Lord Zouche, Sir R. 
Phillimore=- Sir Francis Doyle-who used to 
meet at Tabley in Cheshire, the young owner, 
Lord de Tabley, being also neighbour and an 
intim
te friend of the Glynnes. 
Mr. Gladstone arrived at one of the prin- 
cipal hotels in Naples and found it in a great 
commotion-" Una gran famiglia Inglese è 
arrivata questa sera"; Lady Glynne and her 
daughters and suite, as was the fashion in those 
days, travelling in great state in their own 
roomy coach, or berline as it was then called. 
At Naples he dined frequently' with the 
20 



GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 21 


Glynnes and accompanied them on their 
numerous expeditions, going up Mount 
Vesuvius with them. He left Naples (he 
called it "this Circean City") for Rome 
on December 3; the Glynnes had already 
gone there. IIere the intercourse was more 
frequent, and his intimacy ,vith the sisters 
grew in depth and devotion. N early every 
day they met, and he spent Christmas Day 
with them. There is a conversation recorded 
in his Diary.. that took place in the gorgeous 
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. They were 
speaking of the immense and costly amount 
of labollr lavished on its embellishment. 
This led Catherine to contrasting our own 
parsimony in the service of God and the 
extravagance of our secular luxuries. 
Such speculations are now constantly in 
the very air we breathe; but at that time, 
now nearly eighty years ago, they seemed 
little to trouble the richer classes. 
"Do you think we can be justified in in- 
dulging ourselves in all these luxuries? " she 
said to him. 
He was profollndly moved. 
"I loved her for this question," he wrote in 
his Diary-" how sweet a thing it is to reflect 
that her heart and will are entirely in the hands 
of God. May He, in this, as in all things, be 
with her." 



22 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


To her children, in after years, Mrs. Glad- 
stone used to speak of the tragedy of that 
moonlight evening in Rome when, in spite 
of the glory and the romance of the circum- 
stances and the surroundings, she failed, when 
they were together in the Coliseum, to respond 
to his first declaration of love. Yet to the 
brother to whom she wrote after l\:lr. Glad- 
stone's retllrn to England it must have been 
tolerably apparent that this condition of things 
could not last. Her interest in "Già," as 
they called him, was too deep-her constant 
references to him, her qut1
tions about him, her 
absorption in his first book on Churrch and 
State, of which she copied long extracts for 
her private use. 
Here are a few passages from letters to her 
brother Henry, written in February 1839, he 
and Mr. Gladstone having left Rome for 
England together. 
" "T e had so hoped to have heard from you 
to-day at Marseilles,; we must try and be 
philosophic and wait patiently for another 
post. " 
She chatters of their daily doings, their 
gaieties, dinner parties, balls, studios-they sat 
to IVlacdonald for tlleir bllsts-the nllmerous 
friends they meet, among others Lord Macaulay, 
above all the intercourse ,vith l\Ianning, l to her 


1 Afterwards Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. 



GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 23 


the most interesting and absorbing - how 
much, one asks, for his own sake, or how 
much on account of his intiI?acy with 
" G -' "? 
la . 
"Write us political news, everyone is so 
anxious here, and write soon. . . . 'Vhat is 
the great subject of discussion in London? 
Lord Glenelg's retirement from office, Già's 
book, or Canada? . . . I appreciate very n1uch 
the generolls feelings which are expressed in 
his letter to me. . . . I cannot take l\Iichael 
Angelo's beautiful sonnet to myself, but the 
sentiments contained in it are so lofty, it ,vas 
impossible not to read it without the greatest 
delight. Please read this yourself to Già, as 
I particularly want the message to be given 
exactly. . . ." In a postscript she adds: 
"Tell me ho,v YOlI get through my message 
to Già and any rebound. 1 Nothing COlIld 
express more honourable feelings and taste 
than the letter he ,vrote me." 
Mr. Gladstone himself hardly seemed to 
realise any sense of assurance. lIe speaks 
in his Diary of his precipitancy, of his 
incorrigible stupidity and the worthless- 
ness of his affections. In her - Catherine 


I See the Glynnese Glossary-a volume privately printed containing 
a list of expressions in common use among members of the Glynne 
family, and employed in a sense peculiar to them. Compiled by the 
fourth Lord Lyttelton. Described by l\fr. Gladstone as .. a work of 
very fine scholarship--always favourable." 



24 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Glynne - he saw what he nlost desired, 
the admiration of sacrifices made for great 
obj ects. 
From the early days of April, when the 
Glynnes returned to their London house, 37 
Berkeley Square, the intercourse was renewed 
-he dined with them, rode with them, met 
.. 
them at the breakfasts of Mr. Rogers, the 
poet, and at many other houses. Yet, after 
an hour spent with them on May 27, he wrote : 
"But ,vhat I ask is next to an impossibility." 
On June 6 he confides the state of his feelings 
to his father: "Concealnlent became too heavy 
for me." 
All through these days his time is greatly 
occupied with work, in the House and in his 
Government Office. On June 8, at Lady 
Shelley's garden party at Fulham, Catherine 
Glynne told him tl1at all doubts on his part 
might end. "I went down ,vith the Glynnes, 
and here my Catherine gave me herself." 
They walked apart in the garden by the river, 
and he revealed to her his own story, and 
what had been the passionate desire of his 
heart. 1 He writes how all this produced a 
revulsion in her pure and lofty spirit. "She 
asked for the earliest Communion, that we 
might go together to the Altar of Christ. " 
" May I have from my God a due sense of the 


1 To take Holy Orders. 



GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 25 
value and the sweetness of this gift. Led by 
her questions, I have given her these passages 
for canons of our living : 


"Le fronde, onde s' infronda tutto Porto 
Dell' Ortoláno Eterno, am' io cotanto, 
Quanto da Lui a lor di bene è porto." 1 


And Dante again: 


"In la sua volontade è nostro pace." 2 


Mr. Gladstone sprang from an old Scotch 
family, originally a race of Borderers (there 
is still an old Gledstanes Castle). One of 
his ancestors, Herbert de Gledstanes, appears 
in Sir Walter Scott as "gude at need." His 
mother was descended from Robert Bruce. 
It was surely a sad lack of imagination that 
allowed his father and grandfather to anglicise 
the fine name of de Gledstanes into Gladstone. 
As a family, the brothers and sisters were 
tall and of a distinguished aspect. He was 
already a prominent member of the Conserva- 
tive party, " the hope of the unbending Tories." 
He had been in Parliament since he was twenty- 
two. At the age of twenty-four (December 
26, 1834), he joined the Ministry of Sir Robert 
Peel. It is easy to guess how the rare combina- 
tion of manliness and gentleness, loftiness of 


1 U Love for each plant that in the garden grows 
of the Eternal Gardener. I prove 
Proportioned to the goodness He bestows." 
., Paradiso," xxvi. 64-66. 
2" In His Will is our peace."-" Paradiso," iü. 70. 



26 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


aim and purity of mind, the powerful intellect 
and the pitiful heart, appealed to a girl brought 
up as she had been in the love and fear of 
God. A passage in Mr. Gladstone's Diary 
reads : 
June 18. -" At the end of a long and 
chequered day-chequered with joy, business, 
and excitement-I sit down to write and think 
a little. First, how much have I thought of 
God to-day while my hand was coursing over 
the paper? flow little have I thought of Him 
to thank Him! My blessing is indeed great. 
At two, she and I went to the Archbishop's 1 
by his desire, and he kissed Catherine." 
The following day he tells of calling witll her 
on a tribe of her relations, including her uncle, 
Thomas Grenville; breakfasting with Rogers, 
where he met Thirlwall and Lyttelton, "in 
whose affairs I am deeply interested." On 
June 17, George Lord Lyttelton became en- 
gaged to Mary Glynne; one month earlier she 
had refused him. After 11is death a small 
packet was found docketed "Story of a Month." 
The first letter was from her brotller, Sir 
Stephen Glynne, declining on behalf of his 
sister the honour of Lord Lyttelton's hand. 
The last was Mary's first love letter to 
him. So wrapped up in each other had these 
sisters been, so entirely content, that suitor 


1 Archbishop Harcourt, 



GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 27 


after suitor appeared only to be rejected; it 
was possibly the coincidence of two of the 
most brilliant men of their day, in character 
the most lofty and pure, happening to fall in 
love with them at the same time that brought 
about the miracle. 
:Mrs. Gladstone told one of her nieces, in 
later years, how George (Lord Lyttelton), in a 
tempest of uncontrollable joy, rushed down 
the stairs into the room below, where :Mr. 
Gladstone and Catherine were anxiously await- 
ing developments. 
In Mr. Gladstone's Diary. "Mary was much 
overcome, and hid her face in Catherine's 
bosom; then they fled away for a little." 
:Mr. Gladstone drew Lord Lyttelton on to his 
knees. "For a while he could not control his 
emotions, and yet he directed them towards 
God. He is a very noble and powerful 
creature." 
"He was a man of rare attainments: a 
beautiful scholar, his nature full of sharp 
contrasts - vigorous, tempestuous, devout, 
tender. " 
They met daily, riding, walking, driving. 
"Sent off a snowstorm of excuses for all 
pending parties." Then came a flight to 
Eton-the two pairs of lovers-for Sunday. 
" There is no end to our subjects-or to our 
interruptions," he says. It is easy to imagine 



28 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


what a bower of love and ecstasy the Berkeley 
Square house must have become in those 
summer months, with the two radiant pairs of 
lovers. 
" Time flies, and yet in retrospect we seem 
to have lived througll months." "Nuptial 
shopping." "All joy broken into shivers by 
constant interruption. I suppose the craving 
for something like continuance of repose by 
her side is the disease of self-love. We had 
been very anxious to be married by banns, but 
are reluctantly compelled to give it up-it is 
not a matter on which shocking people is 
worth while. . . . Routing out and struggling 
to arrange papers for C. . . . Come semplice 
di trovar solo un cotal diffetto." 
One of Catherine's dearest friends, Lady 
Brabazon, wrote to wish her joy of marrying 
one who would now help her to write and 
answer her letters ! 
And here, with his orderly habits, he must 
have felt some dismay. She often, in after life, 
used to tease him-" \'Vhat a bore you would 
have been, if you had married somebody as 
tidy as you." 
July 3. - "Assisting in Catherine's and 
l\Iary's arrangement of books, etc
, they have 
lived with community of goods-beautiful- 
settling papers, letters, etc., most joyously 
for departure." 



'"... 


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- "" 


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, . :iJ 
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;- :-< 
:n 

- <: 
l ::.-.;.. U 
: ...... Z 


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..... ",l , 
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Â\." .... 
 
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... 




GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 29 


Contrary to modern custom, three weeks 
before the wedding, the bridegrooms seem 
to have gone down to Hawarden, then in 
perfection of summer beauty, with Lady 
Glynne and her daughters, there to spend 
what must have been a heavenly time. 
Riding, driving, strolling, sitting out in the 
evening, visiting their friends, the schools, 
reading aloud. 
When Mr. Gladstone and Lord Lyttelton 
arrived at Hawarden, as they walked together 
down the village street -tIle one tall and up- 
right, pale, resolute, with eyes like an eagle; 
the other, spite of massive head and intel- 
lectual brow, somewhat rugged and uncouth in 
manner and appearance-he was only twenty- 
one-it was said by a passer-by, gazing with 
admiration on Mr. Gladstone: "Isn't it easy 
to see which is the lord ? " 
" Kenilworth aloud with dearest," -" much 
real intercourse. What am I, to charge myself 
with the care of such a being, and to mingle 
her destiny with mine? Instruction and 
profit on this earth do not usually come on 
the wings of joy so unmixed." 
July 21. -" Special Communion, George, 
Mary, Catherine and I-Henry much affected 
-many arrangements about rejoicings, fire- 
works, festivities for children and old people. 
The Nevilles arrived. Jane Lawley and Helen 



30 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


assisting Catherine and Mary in warmly 
greeting the old people." 
The eve of the wedding, settlements and 
pecuniary matters occupied the time, but at 
midnight the lovers walked in the garden- 
" a fine night -we spoke together of our great 
felicity. " 
On July 25, the wedding day, he speaks 
of his "too sound slumbers having been 
broken" -" Rose in good time and read the 
Psalms." Soon after ten, Sir Watkin Wynn 
having arrived, they set off from the Castle 
in twelve carriages, starting by the park, 
over the grass below the old castle, along the 
moat, into and through tl1e village. "Oh, 
w11at a scene-such an outpouring of pure 
human affection on these beloved girls, com- 
bined 
ith so solemn a mystery!" He des- 
cribes every house a bower, the road arched 
and festooned with. flowers, the deepest in- 
terest in every face-bands, processions of 
societies, the crowd thickening as they ap- 
proached the church, the road carpeted, the 
churchyard path strewn with flowers by the 
hands of children. He speaks of the music 
breaking down what little self-control he 
had left, as he walked up the crowded church 
with Lord Lyttelton. At the altar he found 
his beloved, and they were married first- 
the same opening and conclusion for both. 



GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 31 


" Uncle George 1 performed the service with 
dignity and great feeling, and entire [i.e. no 
omissions]. My beloved bore up. Her soul is 
as high and strong as it is tender." "Lord 
Lyttelton broke down, and in all the rejoicing 
there were many inevitable tears." 
The sisters changed their bridal attire at the 
Rectory, the Lytteltons honeymooning at 
Hagley, the Gladstones at Norton Priory in 
Cheshire, the home of their dearest friends the 
Brookes. 
At 5 p.m. of the same afternoon, he writes 
his journal while "the beloved sleeps on the 
sofa. '\tVe have read the lessons together. 
She sleeps gently as a babe-oh, may I never 
disturb her precious peace! " 
On July 26 they read the Bible together: 
"The daily practice will, I trust, last as long 
as our joint lives." 
On that day, looking back at the Hawarden 
wedding :- 
" How can I express," he writes, "the sense 
of the scene yesterday-it may seem extra- 
vagant to dwell so much on the accompani- 
ments, but it is because they did ennoble 
and sanctify the scene and did really, for the 
time, raise the heart to a high level according 
with the spirit of the great mystery of Christian 
marriage." Arid on a later day: "Not only 


1 Dean of Windsor. 



32 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


every day, but nearly every hour, convince 
me of the brightness of my treasure, her pure 
enduring brightness." 
Subjects of conversation and discussion are 
mentioned-on amusements, on the fallacy 
of private judgments, on the Lord's Day and 
how it should be kept, on charity and ex- 
penditure, on the sanctity of time as a trust 
committed to us, on the responsibilities of 
money. There was mu jlh that she had to 
learn from him, much that the engagement 
had not shown her. She used to tell us, long 
afterwards, that it was something of a shock 
to both sisters when, after marriage, any little 
waiting time, as at the railway station, which 
during their engagement would have been 
spent in love-making, was now spent in reading 
-both husbands carrying the inevitable little 
classic in their pockets. Out it would come 
and quickly engross the owner. Lord Lyttelton 
was to be seen at cricket matches in the play- 
ing field at Eton, lying on his front, reading 
bet,veen the overs, but never missing a ball. 
It was a blissful honeymoon, though must 
she not have felt that it bordered on austerity- 
his stern habits of self-control? 
They called on the clergyman to arrange 
their gifts in charity. 
The four met again at Hawarden in August: 
" A beautiful meeting between the sisters- 



GIRLHOOD AND 1\IARRIAGE 33 


Lady Glynne still depending as much as ever 
on Catherine. A servants' ball that night." 
Sir Francis Doyle, Professor of Poetry at 
Oxford, was at Hawarden for the wedding, 
evidently playing the part of best man to 
one of the two bridegrooms. He was one of 
the illustrious group of Mr. Gladstone's con- 
temporaries, most of whom played a dis- 
tinguished part in after life. He gave ex- 
pression to his thoughts in a poem dedicated 
"To Two Sister Brides" (now published in 
his collected works). The following extracts 
foreshadow something of the part played by the 
elder sister in after life: 


"High hopes are thine, 0 eldest flo\ver, 
Great duties to be greatly done, 
To soothe in many a toil-worn hour 
The noble heart that thou hast won. 


Covet not then the rest of those 
Who sleep through life unknown to fame; 
Fate grants not passionless repose 
To her who weds a glorious name. 


He presses on through calm and storm 
Unshaken, let what will betide; 
Thou hast an office to perform, 
To be his answering spirit bride. 


The path appointed for his feet 
Through desert wilds and rocks may go, 
Where the eye looks in vain to greet 
The gales that from the waters blow. 


Be thou a balmy breeze to him, 
A fountain singing at his side, 
A star whose light is never dim, 
A pillar to uphold and guide" 


3 



34 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


On August 13 the two bridal pairs set 
forth, with their respective carriages, by sea 
to Greenock, and from there they drove, day 
by day, throllgh glorious scenery-Loch 
Katrine and the Trossachs, Glencoe, Inveraray, 
Dunkeld, Taymouth (" magnificent in natural 
features, the house would be fine but for 
the surpassing grand
ur around "), Aberfeldy, 
Blairgowrie to Fasque. 
One can hardly conceive a honeymoon 
so delightfully and unusually spent, the 
sisters meeting daily for meals and at night 
for rest at the inns, cOlnparing notes. 
Sometimes walking, sometimes riding or 
driving. 
In a biography is ,vritten the following 
description taken from the diary of Henry 
Reeve 1 : 
" Walking through the wild passes from Loch 
Katrine to Inversnaid, two couples in the party 
excited Ollr attention. Both handsome, and 
dressed alike in the Lennox plaid. The sister 
brides were mounted on Highland ponies, 
eacl1 one attended by her Illost faithful and 
attentive squire, holding her bridle over the 
gullies and burns. '\IVe guessed tlley were 
brides, and at last Charles Hamilton made 
a brilliant shot, and we recognised them as 
the two sisters who were married the other 


1 J-Ienry Reeve, once Editor ot the Edinbu.rgh ReviPw, 




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GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 35 


day at Ha\varden, on the same day, to 
William Gladstone and Lord Lyttelton. A 
prettier, happier party never crossed tIle 
heather. " 
After a fortnight at Fasque, their brother 
Stephen having joined them, they posted to 
Ballater and Braemar, in ecstasy over the Dee- 
side scenery, scaling Lochnagar, " and we fare 
sumptuously every day." · 
Many reflections in his Diary and stern 
resolutions scrupulously kept. The Glad- 
stones returned to Fasque in September, and 
on the 23rd Catherine wrote to Mary, telling 
her how she had revealed her secret to her 
husband: 
"I imagine you receiving this at Chats- 
worth, dressed very smart and sitting in a fine 
dressing-room, unless in one of the grand rooms 
below. Poor little thing, you will feel shy, I 
know. I shall long for your letter." Both 
sisters had the happiest anticipations for the 
summer of 1840, and the time had come when 
their hopes might be shared. In a passage of 
infinite tenderness and beauty, but too sacred 
for quotation, Mrs. Gladstone describes to 
this sister of her heart in what way he guessed 
the happy secret-the old, old secret, yet ever 
new; his whispered benediction, and then the 
long silence, too deep for words, as he held 
her close to his heart. 



36 


CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Lass der feuchten Peden ungewohnte Zier 
Freudig hell erzittern in dem Auge mire 
\Vüsst ich nur mit Worten, wie ich's sagen solI; 
Komm und birg dein Antlitz hier an meiner Brust, 
Will in's Ohr dir flüstern aIle meine Lust. 
Bleib' an meinem Herzen, fühle dessen Schlag. 
Dass ich fest und fester nur dich drücken mag, 
Fest und fester! 
Hier, an meinem Bette hat die Wiege Raum, 
\V o-sie still verberge meinem holden Traum; 
Kommen wird der Morgen; wo der Traum erwacht, 
Und daraus, dein Bildnis mir entgegen lacht- 
Dein Bildnis. 1 


And another day she says to her sister, 
from Hawarden, in tIle following year: "My 
dearest, I found your letter upon arriving 
here very refreshing, for the getting home 
renews our separation. It was blue to be 
,vithout you, specially here. How disturbed 
we used to be when one of us was out of the 
room for any little time even: it is not to be 
wondered at now, when miles and miles have 
parted us and you can no longer enter the 
room." 
The list of books mentioned as read dur- 
ing the honeymoon and its continl1ation at 
Fasque :- 
Scott, Trench, Keble, Lyttelton's Dialogues, 
Bishop of London on Education, Hope, Hallaln, 
Dickens (finished Nicholas Nickelby: "It's 


1 Words immortalised by Schumann for all lovers: "She knows 
not how to break to him her secret? In her eyes the happy tears 
glisten. If sh3 can only find words-heart close to heart, she will 
whisper to him all her trembling rapture. . . . A cradle will hold 
her dream-and the morning will come and the dream-child win 
awaken, and reveal to her the image of her beloved." 



GIRLHOOD AND l\IARRIAGE 87 


length will, I fear, sink it -the tone very 
human-he is n10st happy in touches of natural 
pathos-the motives in the book are not those 
of religion "). Rothe's Anfange tier Christlichen 
Kirche is one of the books studied, but surely 
not by her! Mr. Gladstone's copy, now at 
St. Deiniol's Library at Hawarden, bears signs 
of most serious reading, copiously n1arked, 
during the honeymoon. The books strike one 
as being rather severe. But there seems to 
have been plenty of diversion; the two de- 
lighted in billiards and chess. In the latter 
l\Irs. Gladstone must have sho,vn no little skill. 
The tradition survives that l\Ir. Gladstone 
beat l\lrs. Gladstone, that :I\lrs. Gladstone beat 
Lord Lyttelton, and that Lord Lyttelton beat 
Mr. Gladstone. In the autumn of his marriage 
year he remarks: "C. and I in deadly con- 
flict-too great an expenditure, perhaps, of 
thought and interest "-and this was chess! 
They remained at Fasque for two months, 
then posted through Scotland and England, 
visiting various country houses, among thenl 
Escrich, the home of her uncle and aunt, 
"where C. is loved as a child," reaching 
Hawarden on Christmas Eve, where they find 
the Lytteltons. The Brabazons were of the 
party. In the Diary he descibes this greatest. 
friend of his wife 1 : 


1 Lady Brabazon was daughter of Sir R. Brooke. 



38 CATHERINE GLADS'fONE 


"A discussion with Lady Brabazon on 
Ireland and the Irish Chllrch-the prettiest 
sight possible-she is so ingenuous, sincere, 
acute, earnest, playful, and inconsistent, ller 
propositions being founded on single and 
reciprocally contradictory instincts, never com- 
pared and reviewed by the understanding. In 
short, most characteristically feminine." 
Tl1eir first parting was January 12, 1840, 
she going to Hagley. 
" Left my own at \Volverhalnpton-a week's 
parting stings." 
But he joined her at Hagley on January 22, 
and together they went to London, living in 
his father's 110use in Carlton Gardens until 
the house Mr. Gladstone had bought was fur- 
nished and ready. TI1e first starting of their 
London home, 13 Carlton House Terrace, 
was a great event; it was underta.ken by 
,. 
both in a spirit of the utmost seriousness 
and sense of responsibility: "Except the 
Lord build the house: their labour is but lost 
tllat build it." 
The house was large and grand for a couple 
unencumbered by children, but Lady Glynne 
had her rooms there while in London, and 
the Lytteltons always found a home and 
a welcome. Much pa.ins were taken in the 
preparation of household rules and regulations. 
Daily Family Prayers, and on Sundays 11e 



GIRLHOOD AND MARRIAGE 39 


wrote a short Address for Evening Prayers. 
He taught in the Sunday School at Bedford- 
bury, Chapel of Ease to St. l\lartin's in the 
}'ields, and so great was their sense of parochial 
duty that there was a yearly school feast on 
the terrace besides constant visiting in the 
parish. 
The Lytteltons first came to stay on March 
26, 1840. Both the sisters 11ad happy hopes 
for the following summer. On April 28, the 
first book-case w
s put up. In speaking 
gravely of buying "material things," MI. 
Gladstone notes that " Beauty is beauty even 
in furniture." They arranged a servants' 
library with great thought and care, and in all 
things their aims were for the good of others. 
They entertained largely:, and very soon 
started the Thursday ten o'clock breakfasts 
which were so interesting a feature in their 
lives. They were greatly sought after, and 
entered into the social entertainments ïof the 
day, visiting (often accon1panied by a baby 
ill aT IllS ) the stately homes of their frie11ds. 



CHAPTER III 


EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LI
'E 


M RS. GLADSTONE was no expert in 
diary jottings, and the few that 
remain show signs of having been 
undertaken from a sense of duty, certainly not 
from a sense of pleasure-unlike ller letters, they 
are not quite alive. To people like her the 
stimulus, the inspiration of letter-writing lies 
in the knowledge that they are ,vritten to and 
for one particular person-in a diary there is 
no direct sense of intercourse, and the lack of 
an audience becomes to some as deadening as 
talking in an empty room. Here and there we 
come across an interesting note, but on the 
whole the diaries give little impression of tIle 
brilliant social and political circle in which the 
young husband and wife lived. 
It was early in 1840 that the first entries were 
Made-dinners with the Archbishop of York 
(Harcourt) to meet Queen Adelaide, the Duke 
and Duchess of Can1bridge, etc. At Mr. 
Hallam's she sits next to Guizot, who speaks 
English to her, l\Ir. and Mrs. Grote, the Haw- 
4 0 



EA.RL Y DIAllIES AND l\lA.RRIED LIFE 41 


treys. Quizzical remarks on the appearance of 
l\{rs. Grote and on the manner in which l\Iarie, 
Marchioness of Ailesbury, dresses her hair. 
She never goes to a party at Buckinghan1 
Palace ,vithout an expression of special ap- 
preciation of the girl Queen's grace and 
dignity. Her Majesty was only t\venty, and 
some awkwardness and shyness would only 
have been natural. Her marriage \vith the 
Prince Consort took place a few months after 
the double wedding at Hawarden, and this 
fact lnade a special link bet,veen Her Majesty 
and the sister brides. In the years that 
follo\ved there was constant comparing of 
notes as to their respective children, as ,vill be 
recorded later on. Her first meeting \vith the 
Duke of ":"ellington was at the Duke of North- 
umberland's house: "He ,vent out of his ,yay 
to speak to "Tillianl-very interesting to \vatch 
the people's n1anners \vith hin1." 
In June of that year the first boy \vas born. 
To the parents the ever new miracle of life 
causes them to regard this event as quite out 
of the common, and to consider that the baby 
is as different as possible from all other babies. 
His mother says of his christening at St. 
Martin's, "He never cried through the whole 
Morning Service, and the manner in which 
he threw out his arms as Henry received him 
was quite overpowering. Godfathers and god- 



42 CATHE
RINE GLADS1'ONE 


mother: I\lr. Hope, Mr. Manning, and Mary" 
(Lady Lyttelton). Meriel Lyttelton was born 
a fortnight later. 
The following year Mrs. Gladstone had the 
delight of sitting next the Iron Duke at the 
house of the Archbishop of York. "I was 
pleased to think he had spoken to me before 
either of us died-I have long wished for this." 
In April 1841 she mentions first meeting tl1e 
Prime Minister. This was at the house of 
Lady Jersey, whose son, Lord Villiers, was 
just engaged to the daughter of Sir Robert 
Peel. Mrs. Gladstone was deeply flattered 
to find that the great man had asked to be 
" introduced to her. 
In September 1841, she was present at the 
Consecration of Bishop Selwyn-" That fine, 
touching service, never to be heard without 
emotion, but in the present instance how 
peculiarly affecting! He was leaving his 
native land and all that he held most dear. . . . 
We visited the Bishop at his house at Eton 
so as to be present at the dinner given by Mr. 
Coleridge the day before the farewell sermon 
at Windsor. There were forty present. I 
sat between Judge Patterson and Dr. I-Iawtrey, 
the Head Master. Mr. Coleridge proposed the 
health of the Bishop in a touching speech, for 
which the Bishop returned thanks. Devoted 
to the service of God, he is able to feel t11e step 



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Er\RL Y DIARIES AND J\IARRIED LIFE 43 


he has taken not as a sacrifice but as a privi- 
lege: he unites unusual tenderness of feeling 
to great manliness of character. The scene 
,vas an extraordinary one. Casting the eye 
down a long table, most of the guests ""ere in 
tears, men and women sobbing, and poor old 
Dr. Keate 1 (to-day was my first introduction 
to him), his head bowed down upon the table, 
his face buried in his handkerchief. I never 
witnessed such devotion. The farewell ser- 
mon at Windsor was striking and affecting: 
'Thou hast set my feet in a large roon1.' 
A cro,vded congregation, not even standing 
roorn." -" Evidently he is not allo,ving himself 
to think of returning to live in England. 
Very touching ,vas the way he spoke to me 
of his wife: 'She feels just as I could wish- 
all the tenderness of a woman joined to the 
greatest resolution. ' " 
London is evidently lonely to her with her 
husband's long hours of official work (he was 
then Vice-President of the Board of Trade 
and l\laster of the Mint). "I am greatly 
relieved to be with him, but he ,vorks hard 
all the time he is at home and it is a little 
dreary sometimes." No ,vonder, ,vhen one 
remembers that in office it was habitual ,vith 
him to work fourteen hours a day. "I have 
been reading Hook's Sermons, and Warren's 


1 Late Head :Mastcr of Etan, 1809-34. 



44 CA'.rH:ERINE GLADSTONE 


Te'n Thousa'nd a Year: the latter, although 
vulgar, is clever and interesting." 
January 6, 1842.-" I am thirty to-day- 
terrible thought ! We had a dinner party 
for Uncle Tom.! He sat an hour with me in the 
afternoon-as he walked from Hamilton Place 
and back, this was pretty well for eigllty-seven." 
She mentions a City dinner to meet the Prince 
Consort: "Peel spoke well, and the Prince 
\vas evidently affected by his allusion to the 
dear ties whicll bound him (the Prince) to 
England. Elizabeth Fry sat between the 
Prince and the Prime Minister." 
That month she mentions ill her Diary how 
at Hagley "Willy and l\Ieriel, at a year and 
a half, play very prettily together. Both 
kneel down when told and put their hands 
together and say, 'Papa, Mama, Amen.' 
Meriel the merriest. He obstreperous and a 
complete boy-I like to feel they have been 
taught to kneel and put their hands together 
before they could speak, and anticipate great 
delight w11en their little Ininds go with their 
outward actions." 
" I am looking after Lady de Tabley-the 
more I see of her the more I like her-no one 
can properly appreciate her who does not 
know ller well-such purity and goodness with 


1 Right Hon. T. Grenville. He bequeathed his famous library 
at Dropmore to the' British l\iuscunl. 



EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 45 


great unselfishness of disposition and devoted 
to her husband and children." 
They spent a week at Magdalene College at 
Cambridge, and she is struck by the great 
honour paid to her husband, the intense in- 
terest taken in hin1. 
January 20, 1842.-" William met the King 
of Prussia 1 at Bunsen's. H.M. was full of his 
book [Church and State]. Lady Canning the 
only lady except the hostess. A queer medley 
-clergy, Quakers, scientists, and polit.icians. 
I was dining with l\Irs. Grenville, meeting 
the Duchess of Sutherland,2 Lord and Lady 
Mahon, Mr. Harcourt, Mr. Samuel Rogers. 
I was pleased with the Duke and Duchess- 
she spoke nicely and naturally about nllrsing 
her babies." 
She attends parties at Stafford House and 
Apsley House, given in honour of the King. 
"The Duke of "7 ellington sat close to the 
pianoforte listening to the music, apparently 
lost to everything besides." She sits next 
Lord Stanley (afterwards Prime J\;Iinister) and 
revels in his wit: "At all events, he can shake 
off the cares of office." 
The Prime Minister had made an offer to 

lr. Gladstone, February 1842, ,vhich had as 
usual been confided to her. 


1 Frederick Willian1 IV. 
2 Afterwards their dearest friend, 



46 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


February 7.-" I in my turn had to tell 
something to William to-day. He is in great 
spirits, and what joy did it not give me when 
he told me I had been of some use to him the 
day before. In the midst of such toil as his 
it is often a grief to me how little real assistance 
I can be to him." 
.. 
February 13.-" A note from Sir Robert 
Peel desiring William to follow Lord John 
Russell in the House on Monday, on the Corn 
Laws. He made no preparation to-day." 
February 14.-" This has been a happy 
chance which fixed my night at the House of 
Commons for his speech. I found myself 
nearly upon Lady John Russell's lap, with 
Lady Palmerston and other wives near. 
Funny, we began talking, though before un- 
acquainted, and I told her my husband was 
to answer hers, which news she received with 

 
the greatest interest; she said her heart was 
beating, and she was all attention when Lord 
John began. He spoke for an hour and a 
half with eloquence and cleverness. It was 
quite pain to me before William rose, but 
before he had said many words there was 
something at once so spirited and so collected 
in his manner that all fright was lost in 
intense interest and delight. Pride is perhaps 
not the right feeling-great thankfulness was 
mixed up \vitll.it. We heard him very well- 



EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 47 


he ,vas rapid and without the smallest hesi- 
tation throughout. Peel was evidently de- 
lighted, and from all I gather this speech has 
made a great sensation. We had coffee in 
our room afterwards-how snug I need hardly 
describe-indeed I could not." 
This wa.s Mr. Gladstone's first great speech 
on the Corn Laws, a landmark in their lives, 
as it was in history, signifying his first funda- 
mental divergence with protection. 
The Bill lie was defending, introduced by 
the Prime Minister for lessening the duty on 
corn, was really what Lord Morley calls "the 
first invasion of the old Tory Corn Law of 1827." 
The epoch was, in Mr. Gladstone's own words, 
"an agitated and expectant age." He had 
inherited the system of protection almost 
as he had inherited his religion, but as he 
reached manhood it was qualified by his belief 
in Mr. Huskisson. In 1833, a speech against 
the Corn Laws had made him feel uncomfort- 
able. In 1841, his mind was " a sheet of white 
paper.'" But as Vice-President of the Board 
of Trade he worked hard, and every day so 
spent" beat like a battering-ram on the un- 
sure fabric of my official protectionism. By 
the end of that year I was far gone in the 
opposite sense." He was wrestling with the 
difficulties of t,vo opposed systems. Into the 
intricacies of the measures proposed by Sir 



48 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Robert Peel for the modification of the Corn 
Laws there is no need to enter. As a sub- 
ordinate though always influential member of 
the Government, Mr. Gladstone's mind worked 
ahead of the plans of his cl1ief. "rith further 
authority, after his appointment in 1842 as 
President of the Board of Trade, he passed 
from a sliding scale and its " vicious operation " 
on the corn trade to his great work of tariff 
revision, the removal of hundreds of restric- 
tions, and the practical acceptance of the 
principles of Mr. Cobden. In the course of 
six years he freed tllree hundred and seventy- 
one commodities from taxation; thus he put 
it into the power of the people to buy food 
and many other necessities that, up till then, 
had been practically out of their reach. 
February 15.-" Sir T. Fremantle and Mr. 
G. Hope we met in our early walk. They 
> 
praised the speech and told me how everyone 
was talking of it. \tVilliam's father nearly up- 
set me in his enthusiasn1, his eyes filling wit}1 
tears." 
February 16.-" William is so modest about 
his speech, and yet he literally cannot escape 
the knowledge of his success. He turns the 
subject by saying, 'It is better not to speak 
of it.' 
. 
" Many congrattllations." 
February 20.-" I have had very little of 



EARL Y DIARIES AND MA.RRIED LIFE 49 


\Villiam this week, and have felt unduly vexed. 
I fear he must get ill from this excessive 
labour. \Ve went to church together on 
Wednesday. I have great comfort in my 
darling boy-I cannot be too thankful." 
Her life is very full of social engagements, 
and she met and conversed with many in- 
teresting people--Sidney Smith, Wordsworth, 
Macaulay, Moore, etc. She occasionally dined 
out alone--" which I detest." She records a 
talk with Lord Mahon 1 regarding her husband, 
"his manner is so straightforward and his 
arguments convincing." Among other things 
Lord Ripon prophesied to her, "I see clearly 
his destination, but the first step-he will 
be Chancellor of the Exchequer." She de- 
lighted in Lord Stanley, losing h.er awe of 
him. They compared notes as to official life, 
and I..tÜrd Stanley told her how, late at 
night, with his feet in hot water, he partook 
of the most gossamer meal; subsequently 
reading a novel to compose himself to sleep. 
'Vhen Chief Secretary for Ireland, he told 
her, he worked eighteen hours a day-he 
maintained that with strenuous mental work 
there is no need for bodily exercise. He prided 
himself on twenty years' experience. He took 
off various tricks in speakers of note, specially 
Peel, who, he declared, was often exceedingly 


1 Afterwards Lord Stanhope. 


4 



50 CATHERINE GL.A.DSTONE 


nervous. He told anecdotes so ,vell--one of a 
dinner at Peel's, wIlen a boring man sitting next 
the Duke of 
'T ellington regaled him witI1 long 
trolls 1 on India. The Dul{e sat silent, his chin 
on his chest, with an occasional grunt; the 
bore ,vent on and on, till the Duke remarked 
quietly in a pallse, "I llave been in India." 
.. 
She describes a fancy dress ball at the 
Palace, where "l\Iary went as Henrietta 
l\Iaria, and I as Claude, ,vife of Francis I.-deep 
crimson petticoat and cap, large flowing sleeves 
of tissue. The sight very striking-specially 
the royal procession." 
Putney was deep in the country at tllat time, 
and they roucl1 enjoyed going out to Ripon 
House for dinner. Lord and Lady Ripon 
liked her to come, when tired or delicate, for 
change of air. 
In July 1842, she records how glad she was 
to be handed in by the Prime Minister and 
that she could tell him 11erself how deeply she 
had been touched by the words he llad writt
n 
about l\ir. Gladstone. 
" At no time," he wrote in June 1842, "ill 
the annals of Parliament has there been 
exhibited a nlore admirable cOlnbination of 
ability, extensive knowledge, telnper, and dis- 
cretion-your feelings nlust be gratified in the 
higl1est degree by the success ,vhich has 


1 Meaning rigmarole; ECC Glynnese Glossary_ 



EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 51 


naturally and justly followed his intellectual 
exertions; and that the capacity to make such 
exertions is combined, in his case, with such 
purity of heart and integrity of spirit." 
Sir Robert Peel told her he had read a letter 
from the Duke of Wellington soon after he 
entered the Army, in which he expresses an 
earnest hope that he may be able to resign his 
Commission " as there seemed no chance of any 
promotion for him." IIad his prayer been 
granted, the course of history might indeed 
have been changed! Peel had been shown a 
most touching letter to the Queen, from the 
King of France, l on the death of his son. 
" Peel told me he required 
ery little sleep, 
and could get but little rest when his mind 
was occupied. He regretted the amount of 
political power which the Duke of Wellington 
still had." 
She describes the Princess Royal 2 as a very 
interesting child, the image of the Queen. " I 
played on the pianoforte, which delighted her. 
She tried to dance, and when I stopped called 
for ' more' [she was then twenty months old]. 
The Prince of Wales a fine, fair, satisfactory 
baby, upon whom William and I gazed with 
deep interest. We kissed his little hand. Who 
could look at him and think of his destiny 


1 Louis Philippe. 
2 Afterwards Crown Princess of Germany and Empress. 



52 CATHERINE GLADS
rONE 


without emotion !" This recalls the occasion, 
fifty years later, when Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone 
at St. James's Palace paid their respects to 
tIle little Prince David (now Prince of Wales), 
then one year old. 
In September 1842, 1\11'. Gladstone, while out 
shooting at Hawarden, had a narrow escape. 
His gun went off as he was mllzzle-Ioading, 
blowing away the first finger of the left hand. 
" What a day I might have to record! " she 
writes in her Diary. "God has been merciful 
to n1e; may the memory of it sink into my 
heart, and the rest of my days prove my 
gratitude. I drove to meet the shooting 
party in the IrisI1 car. I met Henry. His 
pale face aroused n1Y fears. 'What has 
happened to William ?' How can I express 
what I felt before he could answer. 011, 
gracious God, was all earthly happiness to 
be dashed away? I found my precious one 
at the Rectory, calm and cheerful, only think- 
ing of his escape and how to make the best of 
it for me. It was then three:J and the accident 
had happened at two. The whole time before 
the operation, and even while it was going 
on, never did one word of complaint pass his 
lips-patient, brave, gentle, and even cheerful." 
Two operations proved to be necessary, as the 
surgeon first used the knife in the wrong place; 
and if the absence of all anæsthetics is remem- 



EARLY DIARIES AND l\IARRIED LIFE 53 


bered, the agony of pain whicll l\lr. Gladstone 
suffered with absolute serenity testified to 
his self-control. "I sat in the next room" 
(she was not allowed to be with him, as her 
confinement was to take place in October) 
" till Mr. Phillimore came. He was overcome 
by Ilis emotion, and burst into tears; the extra" 
ordinary courage shown by William wOllld be 
a lesson to him, he said, through life. He 
had held the patient's hand throughout the 
operat.ions. Little time was lost in moving 
him to the Castle, and he was given a com- 
posing draught for tIle nigIlt. How sweet 
was the consciousness to me of his quiet 
breathing as I watched him while he slept! " 
They were able to get to London on the 
tenth day, and for another fortnight they led 
as quiet a life as ,vas possible under the cir- 
CUlnstances. "The poor hand goes on well, 
there are no unto,vard symptoms, no fever or 
swelling, and oh, the difference in the dressing 
of the wound and the bandages! Scott does 
all he can to build up his strength. \Ve play 
at chess most nights, and are very snug and 
quiet. " 
October 18. - "Drove in the Park with 
\Villiam. My little girl was born at 8 p.m., 
a fine healthy baby with pretty features." 
The babies, from the scanty records in her 
Diary, seemed to arrive very casually and 



54 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


made little interruption in the social life. 
But there is a separate record of the children, 
in a book full of delicious notes and descrip- 
tions, hardly suitable for quotation, but re- 
vealing the beautiful mother-love and the 
utmost watchfulness and devoted care. Noth- 
ing seemed to escape her vigilant eye in 
their comings and their goings, in their 
characteristics, all the little ailments and 
their treatment
 the little sayings and doings. 
No tiniest seed of character passed unheeded. 
During the first thirteen and a half years of 
marriage eight children were born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Gladstone, and ten during the same 
period to Lord and Lady Lyttelton, so, as it 
will readily be believed, there was frequent 
comparing of notes between the sisters. When 
apart, they wrote daily to one another; to- 
gether, they still passed a great deal of their 
time in the capacious London house in Carlton 
House Terrace, with many weeks spent by 
the Lytteltons at Hawarden or the Gladstones 
at Hagley. There was still much community 
of goods between the Pussies-interchange of 
servants, clothes, even furniture, etc. In 1847, 
there were eleven children in the house under 
seven-six Lytteltons and five Gladstones. 
One can scarcely imagine how anyone could 
safely cross the room ,vith such a crowd about 
the floor. 



EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 55 
In the inimitable Glynnese Glossary Lord 
Lyttelton wrote a few years later: "On 
entering a room at Hagley or Hawarden 
during one of those great confluences of 
families which occur an10ng the Glynnese, 
and finding seventeen children upon the floor 
under the age of twelve, and consequently 
all inkstands, books, carpets, furniture, orna- 
ments, in intimate intermixture and in every 
form of fraction and confusion," etc. 
In these luxurious days of rapid motion, of 
trains and motors instead of the stage coacll, 
the private travelling carriage, or the creeping 
trains of those days, one reflects with astonisll- 
nlent, almost with incredulit.y, on these vast 
pilgrimages, with their avalanches of mothers 
and nurses and little ones, from Hawa.rden 
to Hagley or London, or vice versa. In 
..Tune 1843 : "Left Hawarden, seventeen 
of us without counting the children." 
"Lytteltons went away, eighteen souls in 
all." So we read in Mrs. Gladstone's letters 
or Diary. 
"Weighed the babies, Agnes and Charles; 
she is 14 lb., he is 14-7. 
Iost people are 
struck by her beatIty-the eyes peculiarly 
fine and very expressive, dark blue in colour, 
the sweetest thing that ever was. She takes 
great notice [six ,veeks old], laughs at her 
father's whistling most prettily." 



56 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


January 6, 1843.-" William to London- 
these partings do not get any easier." 
To the Ladies' Gallery she. was already a 
frequent visitor, and records the most notable 
speeches. Lord Stanley's in the Irish debate. 
One night she heard Sheil, the Irish orator: 
" His style was fluent and his speech brilliant, 
but ranting, and the voice peculiarly discord- 
ant and unpleasing." Lord Ashley 1 on the 
White Slave Trade in the factories. 2 She 
mentions Card,vell and Buller as two of the 
best speakers. She listened for the first time 
to a speech of the Duke of Wellington in the 
House of Lords (7th March 1843), and also 
mentions hearing Lord Lyndhurst and Lord 
Brollgham. 
But she keeps all her most enthusiastic 
admiration for her husband's speeches. 
Much later a note occurs in the Recollections 
of an Irish Judge testifying to her constant 
presence in the Ladies' Gallery: 
" In the House one day I noticed, looking 
at the Ladies' Gallery, that a small patch of 
the dull brass grille shone like burnished gold. 
I asked an at.tendant if he could explain it. 
'That,' said he, 'is the place where Mrs. 
Gladstone sits to watch the Grand Old l\ian 
whenever he speaks-she rests one hand on 
the grating, and the friction, as you see, has 


1 Afterwards Lord ShaItf'sbl1ry. 


2 Factory Bill. 



EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 57 


worn it bright.' Often 'afterwards I ,vatched 
the eager face close to the grille, ,vith one hand 
resting lightly on the grating." 1 
Their life, as judged from the diaries and 
letters of the day, in spite of the immense 
number of entertainments given or attended 
by theIn, still strikes one as singularly serious 
and strenuous-they seemed to enter no part 
of life light- heartedly . 
It is impossible not to smile over the follow- 
ing quite serious entry: "Engaged a cook, 
after a long conversation on religious matte1tS, 
chiefly between her and William." 
Apparently he shared very much more in. 
those days in the domestic machinery than 
has been commonly thought-long grave talks 
with any erring servant or any of the weaker 
brethren. There are pages and pages of his 
letters at this date con.cerning an ass travelling 
with them as personal luggage, the doctors hav- 
ing ordered asses' milk for the reigning baby. 
" A dinner at l\Ir. Samuel Rogers', more than. 
ordinarily clerical in character: the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London 
and Mrs. Blomfield, "'T ordsworth and Tommy 
l\Ioore, etc. Mr. R. whispered to me that he 
,vas much oppressed at having the heads of 
the Church to dine with him. I never sa,v 
him so little at ease." 


1 Recollections of an Irish judge. by M. 
l'cD. Bodkin. 



58 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


]}larch 17.-" 'Ve dined at the Palace. 
Clanwilliams, Lord Rosebery, Lord Palmer- 
ston, Lord Sydney, who took me in. After 
dinner the Queen asked me to tell her about 
William's accident, and questioned me as to the 
children and Mary. She has more expression 
when speaking than I thought [she was twenty- 
three at the time]. Really enjoyed my even- 
ing; was surprised at its being so little formal. 
Boy 1 is sitting to Mr. Richmond, ,vho finds 
him diffi cult. " 
'l'here is great sorrow over the guilt of a 
housemaid, taken up for stealing, and she 
describes minutely what she went through, 
for she had to give evidence at Bow Street 
against the poor girl: "She pleaded guilty, 
and William, in a short speech, recommended 
her to mercy. He ,vas affected, and so was I." 
They visited her afterwards in prison and at 
the penitentiary. 
In lVlay 1843, the Prime lVlinister offered her 
husband a seat in the Cabinet as President 
of the Board of Trade. The ,vhole crllX lay 
in Church questions; both l\'Ianning and Hope 
were consulted: 
" I ,valked "vitI1 him in Kensington Gardens. 
He was much oppressed-the great anxiety 
to act rightly. He asked me to pray for him. 
How thankful I am to be joined to one whose 


1 \Villiam Henry. born June 1840. 



EARL Y DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 59 


mind is purity and integrity itself! If I have 
received joy and pride in Peel's letter to him, 
how much more do I feel in seeing the way he 
received the offer, in witnessing the tenderness 
of conscience which shrinks from any idea of 
worldly gain lest it should conflict with higher 
duties! " 
May 15.-" l\Ianning and Hope advised his 
going direct to Peel to set forth clearly his 
position. . . . He has accepted. God bless and 
prosper him-may the increase of responsi- 
bility not injure his precious health. Ho"v I 
"vish he could have a horse! " 
At the end of July 1843, she went to 
Hawarden with her sister and their children, 
for the consecration of the new church Sir 
Stephen Glynne had built in the parish. Dr. 
Hook was the preacher and deeply impressed 
them all-" such warmth and simplicity, his 
heart overflo,ving "vith goodness." There is 
great joy over the engagement of IIenry 
Glynne, her brother, and Lavinia I.yttelton, 
then staying at the Castle. This made a 
double link "vith Hagley. "The two--Henry 
Glynne and Lavinia Lyttelton-walked to- 
gether in the garden. He gave her a r,ose. 
'fhere was no need for any words. She under- 
stood. She afterwards placed the rose witllin 
the lea.ves of her l")rayer Book." Nearly a 
century has passed a,vay; the rose, faintly 



60 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


coloured, still lies in the book, treasured by 
her surviving daughter. 1 "Oh, what joy 
and thanksgiving throughout the house 1- 
even little "Villy and Meriel partaking of the 
unmixed happiness, though unconscious of 
its real meaning [they were only just three 
years old]. . . . 'Aunt Lavinia is to marry 
Uncle Henry,' their dear voices announcing 
the tidings to the wondering nurses." 
In October, after seven ,veeks at Fasque, 
they travelled outside the mail-coach in very 
turbulent ,veather. Leaving Perth at mid- 
night, they crossed the water at Queens- 
ferry about 4 a.m., and travelled the two 
follo,ving days, reaching I
ondon in the 
. 
evenIng. 
The wedding took place at St. George's, 
October 1843. "Henry breakfasting with us, 
much affected at first seeing me. Never did I see 
her look so beautiful as she stood at the altar. 
flow blessed to feel such confidence in their 
happiness, a happiness built on duty 1 I imagine 
their life hand in hand, spurring one another 
to good and holy acts-a labour of love." 
But their wedded life ,vas to be brief and 
clouded. Five children V\rere born; one of 
them, the much-wished-for son and heir, died 
while the joy-bells were ringing for his birth. 
In 1850, th
 lovely mother passed away, one 


1 Gertrude, Lady Penrh}n. 



EARLY DI.:-'\.RIES l\ND l\IA.RRIED LI
--'E 61 


fortnight after giving birth to her youngest 
daughter. The Dowager Lady Lyttelton gave 
up her Court appointment so as to have more 
time to spend at Hawarden Rectory with the 
motherless little ones. 
November 8.-" In London again. A most 
interesting evening. Archdeacon l\Ianning 
slept here." They talked till midnight. 
Dinners with the Duke of Wellington, "vith 
the Cannings, with the Duke and Duchess 
of Buccleuch. She comments on the deep 
interest manifested by the Duke, when she 
sat next him, in the great contrasts of life- 
in the poverty and misery to be found in 
London side by side "vith great affluence. 
From one of the Ancient Concerts, slle 
mentions with pride her being handed out 
by the Duke of 'Vellington. "lIe insisted 
on escorting us down the long room to our 
carriage. I was fearful lest he should catch 
cold in the draught. He merely placed his 
cocked hat upon his head. Ho,v character- 
istic, in all he says and does, is the honesty and 
peculiar straightforwardness of his character! " 


Then come notes on the Duc ánd Duchesse 
de Nemours, and on Nicholas, the Emperor of 
Russia, whom they met at the Palace : 
"A noble-Iook:ing personage, the figure so 
striking, tall, and commanding, his manners 



62 CATHERINE GLADSrrONE 


civil and courteous, friendly without losing 
his dignity. The form and manner struck me 
more than the face itself, yet there is something 
peculiarly awful in the eyes wllich seem to look 
straight through one-it was interesting to 
watch him and the Duke of Wellington to- 
gether. The manner in "vhich the Queen took 
his arm, and his in giving it to her, was striking 
and graceful-the great inequality of their 
heights would never have been suspected, such 
was the grace and ease with "vhich they walked 
off together." 
The Do"vager I
ady I
yttelton told her how 
much impressed the Emperor was by the 
footing between the Royal children and their 
parents: 
S. L.-" How happy it is that the Queen 
alld Prince have succeeded in keeping their 
domestic relations like those of a private 
family, and can feel real famiJy happiness 
and comfort! C'est là, Sire, Ie vrai bonheur 
de Ia vie." 
Emperor.-" Le vrai bonheur? Le seul bon- 
heur pour nous autres." 
S. L.-" Non, Sire, pas Ie seu!." 
Emperor.-" Ah, l\'Iadame, nous n'en avons 
guère d'autre. C'est un dur métier que Ie 
nôtre." 


Sir Robert Peel spoke to her most feelingly 



EARL Y DIARIES AND l\IARRIED LIFE 63 
of the beautiful happiness of the domestic 
life of the Queen and the Prince Consort. 
Brougham was close by, and she delighted in 
listening to the talk between him and Peel. 
" At three and a half 'Villy is making sonle 
little progress in reading and can nlanage a 
sentence composed of words of two or three 
letters. I only give him ten n1inutes a day. 
He likes the Sunday lesson given him by his 
father, and reflects as he lies in his little bed. 
One night he told us he 11ad been 'talking to 
God.' "'That did you' say, 'Villy? '-' I said, 
" Listen to me.'" After the joy of his birth- 
day party they found him crying when they 
visited him in bed. 'I feel ungoodly,' he 
said." 
In the following words Mrs. Gladstone 
describes the emotion of his friends and col- 
leagues when her husband, early in 1845, 
resigned on the Maynooth Grant. Onl)T a few 
years had elapsed since he had published his 
treatise on The Ch'urch in its Relatiol1
 to the 
State. Though his mind, slowly but surely, 
had reached a more comprehensive view of 
what was sometimes called "the national 
endo,vrnent of Romanism," he felt bound to 
place himself in a position of entire freedom. 
"Disrae]j," writes Lord Morley, "was reported 
as havinG said that with his resignation on 
l\Iaynooth l\fr. Gladstone's career was over." 



64 CATHERINE GLAD STONE 


l\Iany years later l\fr. Gladstone described his 
action as one that WOllld be regarded "as 
fastidiolls and fanciful, more fit for a drea.mer 
tl1an for the practica.l purposes of public life." 
Tl1e majority judged it as a display of over- 
strained moral delicacy, "an act of political 
prudery." To his ad"versaries the flavour of 
.. 
the event was ruined by the absence of a.ll 
bitterness between him and his colleagues. 
Cl1aracteristically, 11e would not actually 
decide on the point at issue till he was de- 
tached from a position which might be sup- 
posed to bias his mind. 'Vhen he fOllnd him- 
self free from office, he had no difficulty in 
voting "with empl1asis" in support of the 
Bill. It WOllld be rare nowadays to find a 
tenderness of conscience so acute as to cause 
a man to resign office on a measure with 
which he was really in sympathy. Don 
Quixote would hardly ha.ve been a comfortable 
colleaglle in a Cabinet Council. 

Iacalllay's memorable words are worth 
recalling at this moment: 
"'Vhen I remember what was the faith of 
Edward III. and of Henry VI., of Margaret 
of Anjou and l\fargaret of Richmond, of 
William of "Tykeham and Cardinal 'V olsey ; 
when I remember what we have taken from the 
Roman Catholics, King's College, Christ Church, 
my own Trinit)T; and "vhen I look at the 



EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 65 


miserable Dotheboys Hall 1 we have given 
them in exchange, I feel, I must own, less proud 
than I could wish of being a Protestant and a 
Cambridge man." 
January 29, 1845.-" William has virtually 
resigned his seat in the Cabinet on the burn- 
ing subject of Irish education (the l\Jaynooth 
Grant), and though he cannot be one of the 
originators of the Government scheme, it 
would not be true to say that under existing 
circumstances he disapproves of their measure. 
l\lidst the deep pain he feels it is a comfort 
to him to reflect that the best understanding 
exists between him and his friends, and, as 
ever, he entertains the highest opinion of them; 
it has been most gratifying to see the warm 
feelings expressed, and Peel in every way is 
alive to 'Villiam's considerate conduct through- 
out this painful business. He was quite open 
and unconstrained. J. Shaw-Lefevre, A. "rood, 
Kinnaird, were here before eleven, and Uncle 
Tom 2 has just ,vritten in greatest anxiety' to 
inquire. Canning has written a beautiful 
letter, quite to give one a lump in one's throat, 
indeed I have been living all day with glisten- 
ing eyes. That kind, hearty l\Ir. Lefevre-he 
was turned quite sick. Then 'Villiam's good 
little secretary, l\lr. Northcote,3 who could not 


1 Maynooth College. ! Grenville. 
3 Afterwards Sir Stafford. and Earl of Iddesleigh. 
5 



66 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


help breaking down. Lord Dalhousie also 
much affected." 
Mr. Gladstone's own words in a letter to 
Manning testify to its having been no easy 
task to part from his own colleagues: "Do 
you know that daily intercourse and co-opera- 
tion with men, upon matters of great anxiety 
and moment, inter\veaves much of one's being 
with theirs, and parting with them, leaving 
them under pressure of work and setting one- 
self free, feels, I think, much lil{e dying." 
In Januar)T 1845, Mr. Gladstone went down 
to 
Vindsor to resign. He wrote to l\frs. G]ad- 
stone, describing how the Qtleen had " brought 
the little people to the corridor-they behaved 
very well, shook hands with me by H.l\I.'s 
wish. The Prince of 'Vales has a very good 
countenance. 'After YOtlr own cllildren,' 
the Qlleen said, 'you mtlst think them 
dwarfs.'" She expressed a wish to him that 
Mrs. Gladstone should bring Willy and Agnes. 
Accordingly: 
" Lady, Lyttelton received tIS, and ,ve took off 
the children's things before going in to H.l\f. 
She shook hands very kindly, and desired 
me to sit down by her. 
rhe three Royal 
children were with her. Princess Alice a nice 
fat baby, thoroughly good-hunloured and 
benevolent. Princess Royal about a head 
shorter than 
Vill
T-very engaging, not exactly 



EARL Y DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 67 
pretty, but like the Queen and Prince Albert. 
The Prince of Wales small and the head not 
striking me as well-shaped, his long trousers, 
tied below the ankles and very full, most un- 
becoming. IIis manners very dear and not 
shy. They are evidently quite unspoilt, and I 
observed the Queen made them obey her. 
Princess Royal and Willy kissed each other, 
and she patronised little Agnes, who stood 
by her and the Prince, quite at home and 
nearly as tall as the Prince, so much so as to 
make the Queen observe, 'The Prince is the 
tallest of the two' [he was a year older]. 
I was much relieved at my children being so 
good and doing no harm. The Queen ob- 
served, 'What care 'Villy takes of Agnes!' 
and admired his hair and his width. Agnes's 
independence amused her, and she was occa- 
sionally in fits of laughter at them. Before 
leaving, the Queen kissed both my children." 
Hagley.-" Agnes at four reads easy stories; 
both have a good ear for music. . . . A month's 
dissipation at Brighton made Willy too wild, 
but he is sweet tempered and tractable, though 
volatile, and has a st.ruggle to fix 11is attention." 
At four "Tilly begins to ride on a real 
saddle, and a little later, "sitting capitally, he 
trotted-only on a horse-cloth." 
One more description, three years later, may 
perhaps be quoted: 



68 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


, 


January 30, 1846.-" Dined at the Palace. 
The Queen unbecomingly dressed. Very kind 
to lIS, talking mtlch of Mary's children and my 
o,vn, and for some time to William. The Queen 
ordered me to bring my children to her on 
Saturday. I accordingly took the four-Willy, 
Agnes, Stephy, and Jessy. Her Majesty came 
in with her four, and Was very nice and kind. 
Princess Royal a nice quick thing; not so much 
difference in the heights as last time. Prince 
of Wales has a striking Cotlntenance, Alfred 
very pretty, all have such fat white necks. 
Prince Alfred is a year and a 11alf old. Stephy 
11ead and shoulders taller at one year and ten 
montl1s. The Queen commented on Agnes's 
looks, 'I had not heard about her being so 
very pretty.' Thought "Tilly pale and Stephen 
gigantic, baby fat and like her father. She 
took great notice of them all, kissed Agnes, 
and gave them a huge white lamb between 
them all, which the Royal children and ours 
played with very 11appily during their visit. 
The Queen spoke of their goodness, and asked 
if tl1ey ,vere al,vays so good." 
March 1847.-" Agnes at four and a half 
may be led by a silken thread, reads easy 
lessons with little teaching, and is picking up 
French quickly; no bump for figures." 
In the autumn of 1847, Agnes, five years 
old, ,vas dangerously ill at Fasque, and ,vhen 



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EARLY DIARIES AND 
IARRIED LIFE 69 


prayed for at a service in the chapel there 
came a change for the better. "rilly, walking 
with his father: "How lucky it was a 
saint's day, for you see Agnes is not grand 
enough to have a service for herself, and if she 
had not been prayed for she might have 
died. " 
1847.-" Arrived at Belvoir Castle, met the 
Sidney Herberts, Lord Clive, Bishops of Oxford 
and Lincoln, Lord Forrester, the three sons 
of the house, and many more of the family. 
Greatly struck by the grandeur of the situa- 
tion--dined from twenty to forty each day. 
Nothing could exceed the Duke's kindness and 
hospitality. Fascinated by l\lrs. Herbert,1 so 
pretty and taking-she seems most anxious 
to do what is right, and ,vas full of the ne,v 
church at \Vilton, the one ,vhich is to be conse- 
crated to-morro,v." 
1848.-" Dined at Sir R. Peel's-an inter- 
esting occasion. Anxiety and sorrow sat upon 
many of the countenances assembled. There 
stood Guizot, with that piercing eye of fire, 
his "Thole appearance eagle-like, his counten- 
ance beaming with sagacity and great intellect, 
in earnest conversation with Peel, full of 
gesture, and no,v and then his voice raised, 
as if bursting with feeling which would out. 
There were the poor Jarnacs, with full marks 


1 Afterwards Lady Herbert of Lea. 



70 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


of sorrow for their King and Queen. 1 The 
Princess Lieven; the Austrian Ambassador, 
harassed afresh with the increasing troubles 
in Austria, which so afflicted hi
 wife as to 
make it impossible for her to be present. 
The party was relieved by Lord and Lady 
Aberdeen, Lord and Lady Mahon. I had some 
talk with Madame Jarnac. Her account of 
the poor Queen of France especially was touch- 
ing; of the dangers and trials connected ,vith 
their flight, of the sad deprivations to ,vhich 
they ,vere subject, the terror of the poor Queen 
about her husband 2 and then her children. . . . 
Sir Robert Peel joined in our conversation. 
He views the state of Europe ,vith much alarm. 
He had received private information respecting 
the Prince of Prussia (now at Bunsen's) ,vho 
is said to have broken his sword and laid it, 
with his spurs, at the feet of tIle King of 
Prussia. ,. 
"Lady Peel looks wonderfully young and 
pretty. " 
Dining with the Prime 
Iinister, the con- 
versation turned on " subjects which especially 
brought out feeling-his children and their 
education. He enlarged on the satisfaction 
of having no permanent governess, liked his 
girls to travel with him, said it enlarged their 
minds, and much more-showing that amidst 


1 Revolution of 18 4 8 . 


I Louis Philippe. 



EARLY DIARIES i\ND 1\IARRIED LIFE 71 


his great cares the domestic element is deep 
in his heart." 
January 1849.-" Stephy at five and a half 
is a curious child. I feel there is much to come 
out of him and he will not be commonplace. 
Feelings warm, kindness and what he may 
think unkindness sink very deep. There is 
much in him for good or for evil." 
Fasque, 1849.-" lVïlly writes to Charles, 
bursting with happiness-tells how he has a 
hundred amusements and occupations. . . . 
He goes daily now to his father for his Latin 
lesson. His father tells me 11is choice of 
language is remarkable; but he is not one 
who makes the most of 11imself. I sometimes 
fear he ,viII do himself injustice. He reads 
the Bible to blind Peter on Sunday evenings- 
dear boy, he goes to school (9!) ne;xt month. 
May God keep him safe." 
His parents were much pleased a few years 
later when, at the age of seventeen, \Villy ,vas 
chosen by the Queen to accompany the Prince 
of Wales on his first tour abroad. The friend- 
ship ,vas continued at Christ Church and after. 
In the summer of 1849, Mr. Gladstone, at 
the instigation of his ,vife, left England and 
travelled across Europe in hopes of discovering 
and saving a lady ,vho had left her husband. 
The husband was one of his most trusted 
friends and colleagues, while the wife was very 



72 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


dear to Mrs. Gladstone. This quixotic mission 
was undertaken at the earnest wish of the 
husband, and both Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone 
would leave no stone unturned in bringing 
about a reconciliation between the two. The 
story is told by IJord Morley in vol. i. of his 
biography of l\lr. Gladstone. 1 It ,vas part of 
the work of rescue that ever lay so close to 
their hearts: it was characteristic of both 
that, rich or poor, hllmble or exalted, the 
appeal was never made in vain. 
l\Irs. Gladstone's notes on their fourth cllild, 
Jessy, show her, in her first two years, to have 
been quicker and more eager and passionately 
loving than the elder ones. But gradually 
a cloud seemed to settle upon this interesting 
child and she grew quiet and dro,vsy, her eyes 
grave and wistful-" Dormouse," as some 
one called her at that time. "At four 
years old she is very picturesque, with her 
curly hair and so pretty in her Rubens hat, 
peculiarly loving, watching me like a cat and 
taking tender care of me. Blessed child, I 
can see her now, ,vatching my every movement 
for the chance of going with me. At Hagley, 
when she was so un,vell and it hurt her to walk, 
she would follow me, s,veet lamb, to my room 
and sit happy in the arm-chair, living as it 
were on a word or look of mine. I can hear 


2 P. 3 6 4. 



EARLY DIARIES AND MARRIED LIFE 73 


her saying, , Dear sweet Mammy, you look so 
kind at me.' She was a darling baby. 'Vith 
what double pleasure, during her father's 
absence, did I gaze at her, tracing his image 
in Iler face-often it came across me that there 
would be a solidity of character about my 
Jessy, there was such earnestness in the large, 
serious eyes." 
For the first ten years all had gone radiantly 
,vith both families, and nothing but ephemeral 
anxieties came their way. It was early in 
1850 that death first cast its shadow over 
the Gladstone household and their beloved 
child, Catherine Jessy, developed meningitis 
at the age of four and a half years. It has 
been related that for some hours after her 
death (April 1850) her father was in a state 
of such violent grief as almost to frighten 
those around him. 
But suddenly his sense of duty got the upper 
hand. Thenceforward he was calm, and under 
the stress of deep emotion he put on paper 
a record of the little life; it might rank 
with the immortal .description written by De 
Quincey when death first touched his house- 
hold. 
But l\Irs. Gladstone's own pathetic words 
can be quoted here: "I dread lest the solemn 
remembrance of her loved face after death 
should in any way fade, so holy, so heavenly 



74 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


it was. My loved cllild-m)T own Jessy, to 
think that the quiet countenance in such deep 
repose is the same which a few hours ago was 
racked with pain. The hair lay curling on the 
marble forehead, the long dark lashes fringing 
her cheek, the little hands folded across one 
another, roses and lilies of the valley about 
her. I could not describe the sub]imity of 
her expression." 
And then she copies out the closing words 
of her husband's little memoir: 
" The countenance was holy, it was heavenly 
-it blessed the eyes that saw it. It was a 
voiceless yet speaking expression, and its 
meaning was this-' I have seen the things 
that ye know not of: I have tasted of the 
Eternal Peace. I have seen my Lord and 
my God, and I am with Him for ever.' 
"It bore witness to the promise, 'He shall 
,. 
gather the lambs within His arm. lIe shall 
carry them in His bosom.' 
"It answered the prayer ,vllich during her 
restlessness and pain so often rose instinctively 
to our lips: 
" 'Jesu bone, bone Jesu, Pastor ovium, 
Pastor agnorum, miserere.' " 1 


I J esu holy, holy J esu, Shepherd of the sheep, Shepherd of the 
lambs, have mercy upon us. 



CHAPTER IV 


LETTERS FRO
I HER 


M RS. GLADSTONE had a ,veIl-earned 
reputation for making bricks without 
straw. Certainly her letters, ,vritten 
anywhere, any time, anyho,v, ,vith totally 
inadequate materials, were miracles of ex- 
pression. She ,vrote ,vith facility and felicity, 
and was possessed of a rapid and expressive 

 
pen. To each of her daughters she wrote 
several thousand letters, her sons have as 
great a number, and many of her nieces and 
friends could say the same. In three words 
she ,gave a living picture-not so much facts, 
perhaps, as atmosphere. Nothing escaped her 
quick eye. She touched off with a masterly 
hand scenes, people, talks. To-day she would 
be classed as a first-rate Impressionist. When- 
ever absent from her, so long as one had the 
newspapers for facts and her letters for com- 
ments and atmosphere, one really seemed to 
know more, to be more au fait, than even 
when with her. And in spite of an elliptical 
and allusive style, apart from the Glynnese 
7S 



76 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


slang, her English and her grammar were 
pure. 
Of her o,vn and her sister's children-hers 
all but in name-one only inherits much of 
Catherine Gladstone's nature, her largeness 
of heart, her divine conlpassion, her san- 
guine temperament, her raciness of speech, 
her impetuosity, h;r disregard of appear- 
ances-and this is Lucy, Lady Fredericl{ 
Cavendish. 
A year or two ago l\Irs. Gladstone's daughter 
made an attempt to go through her own letters 
from her mother. In the midst of this task 
she dashed off an account of it to Lady 
Frederick, and it may throw some light on 
the subject to give this letter i.n extenso: 


"I am looking over her letters, a really 
appalling job, as there are thousands, and 
you, better than anyone, know the rags and 
tatters they are written on, the atrocious pens, 
the smudges and blots, no stops, the 'i's' 
never dotted, the 't's' never crossed: one 
requires a daily journal of the IIouse of Com- 
mons' doings and another of families-yours, 
ours, Stepneys, Talbots, Gladstones, Dumar- 
esques, Farquhars, Cavendishes, etc., all to 
whom she was mother, friend, angel. And 
yet another volume of benevolent doings. 
" The frequent lack of nominative cases, the 



LETTERS FROM HER 


77 


allusions, the hints, the flying remarks, and 
sketches and pen-pictures, and comparisons 
and suggestions and descriptions, enigmatic, 
elliptic, elusive, her finger literally on the 
pulse of the House of Commons-far more 
brilliant even than I had remembered, but 
buried in yards and yards of plans, accounts, 
domestic details, like brilliant fragments dug 
up in ancient Greece or Rome. They literally 
palpitate with life, they catch the very breath 
of the moment, they are essentially written 
for that moment only; they require the 
people, the tendencies, the thoughts, the 
feelings, the enthusiasms, the emotions, the 
thrills of that mon1ent; the spiciness depends 
on the homeliness or intimacy of the touch, 
the humour of the happenings, the expressions 
-Glynnese, Boffin, l or medical. The aroma 
vanishes if brought into the public eye. 
" One of the most amazing things is how he 
bore it, the endless chars 2 and jobs she put 
on him for charity or kindness, the manæuvres 
behind his back, the extraordinary dodges to 
smooth his path or oil his wheels or cocker 
up his health, the astonishing intricacy of 
her arrangements, the dovetailing and never- 
ceasing attempts to fit in things which cOIIldn't 
and wouJdn't fit! The never losing a chance or 
1 See Our 1\1utual Friend: H In the presence of 1\1rs. Boffin we had 
better drop the subject." 
2 .. Odd jobs done for others but not for him."-Gly-nnese Glossary. 



78 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


an opportunity of helping somebody, however 
remote or far-fetched; the tucking in or tuck- 
ing up of incongruous people, so long as they 
were troubled or in difficulties of sorts. . . . 
'" Could you order some tooth-brushes and 
brushes cheap for the Orphanage ? ' she wrote 
to him. ' Have you remembered to peep in 
on the l\Iiss D.'s ? 1 Only open the boudoir 
door and you will find them.' 'Did you 
manage the flowers (or grapes) for Mrs. 
Bagshawe ? She lives quite near Portland 
Place.' 'If you have time, please bring 
down a little present for my three-year-old 
godchild [a curate's baby]; there are beautiful 
Bible prints at the Sanctuary, 'Vestminster, 
and also we want a common easel from the 
same place, 5s. to 8/6, to hold the big maps for 
the boys.' 
"\Vhy didn't it drive him wild, with the 
direct and 'radiant simplicity' ôf his char- 
acter? No amount of experience made him 
SUSpICIOUS. Two things saved the situation 
and rendered him impervious to her pranks- 
his sense of humour and his heart of gold. 
Still it is bewildering-she lived a hundred 
lives at one go. 
"But what strikes me afresh and anew IS 
how marvellously, miraculously you jumped 


1 Two very poor Italian ladies secreted in Downing Street, osten- 
sibly éA.S caretakers. 



LETTERS FROM HER 


79 


,vith her, crept with her, flew with her. What- 
ever her pace, you kept up; whatever she 
needed, there you were, living; so to speak, in 
her pocket, always ready to fall in with her 
and dovetail, and swap butlers, and supply 
meals, beds, cooks, or carriages at a moment's 
notice. "Tas ever a miraculous allnt so 
blessed with a miraculous niece ?-and Freddy,1 
who might have been driven crazy, loved it, 
revelled in it, enj oyed it to the hilt. Can't 
you see his wink and hers? Can't you hear 
his laughter as he writhed with amusement 
over her description of a scene at Falconhurst, 
when she would call the tame little wood 
the jungle? Even this hurried little scrawl 
(enclosed) bubbles over with characteristic 
touches-the sudden arrival at your house, 
the scrambled hiding of the bulk of his letters, 
the blank for the secretary's name, the little 
bleat after her absent lamb, the thrilling 
scene at Euston (no one out of office nowa- 
days could arouse that frantic enthusiasm)." 


The following letter was written by one of 
her sons,2 who had attempted to tackle his own 
" library of letters " from her : 


"All so very personal, some so sacred, 
and nluch only likely to interest nears and 


1 Lord Frederick Cavendish. 


2 Rev. Stephen Gladstone. 



80 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


dears. The industry in writing is as extra- 
ordinary as the depth of love. It has truly 
been a sacred privilege, not short of a revela- 
tion, to read this library of letters again, 
throwing such intense light of truth and love 
shed by this mother of mothers on my poor 
life. Quit.e a new revelation in addition to 
past influences. But the personal character, 
the watchful care and deep devotion, as ex- 
pressed in words, are only meant for us. 
"But many things astonish me -little and 
great. Endless instances of how thoughtful, 
clear, and exact she was about making plans, 
often under very intricate and varying circum- 
stances. So rangé in her thoughtfulness, so 
business-like in her schemes, so penetrating 
her sympathy and insight; so keen for moral 
growth in 11er love. . . . All silent now and far 
removed. Yet th
t great heart beats more 
!> 
than ever now." 


But there is one short set of letters, written 
to her husband on the proposed resignation 
of the leadership, "\vhich strikes a more con- 
secutive note. 
In January 1875, she was at Hawarden just 
after her husband had told her that the time 
of his formal resignation of the leadership 
of the Liberal party was at hand. It was 
nine months after the General Election of 



L

TTERS -FROM HER 


81 


1874, when the trump card of his Address 
was the offer, for the first time in its history, 
to do away altogether with the Income Tax. 
His Government had accomplished mighty 
things. In Ireland the anomaly of a Pro- 
testant Church dominating an overwhelmingly 
Roman Catholic country had been removed.! 
Free National Education had been given to 
Great Britain. 2 Purchase in the Army had 
been abolished (1873). Arbitration as a 
governing principle in disputed international 
questions had been established. 3 Independ- 
ence and secrecy in voting had been ensured. 4 
Mr. Gladstone had paid twenty-six millions off 
the National Debt. He left a surplus of five 
millions to his successors. He looked for- 
ward, if returned to power, to abolishing the 
Income Tax. Such performance and promise, 
surely, as has been seldom marshalled before 
a country. But the country was sick and 
tired of economy and reform. The General 
Election gave a majority of fifty to his op- 
ponents. 
The deep desire of his heart for respite from 
controversy, as a preparation for death, was, 
without any doubt, the leading motive of his 
resignation at the comparatively early age of 
sixty-five. 
1 Disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church. 
2 Mr. Forster's Education Act, 1870. 
3 Alabama Claims, 18 73. C The Ballot Act. 
6 



8
 CATHERINE GL1\DS1'ONE 


Mrs. Gla.dstone 11ad left London at tIle crisis 
and had gone to Hagley to nurse a dearly 
loved niece. The follo,ving letters, or portions 
of letters, were written to hin1 by her in 
January 1875 :- 


ON l\'IR. GLADSTONE'S RESIGNATION OF 
THE LEADERSHIP 
. 


" January 7. 
"I know full well your whole soul is bent 
upon doing right. You would go to the death 
in a rigl1teous cause. Who could hold you 
\vhen tIle battle-cry sounded? I expressed 
myself so badly in the hurry of parting-alas, 
it seemed to you I was going against you, and 
that my jlldgment was formed! Perhaps 
from the very fact of my longing to see you 
rest and to acquiesce in all your wishes, I felt 
it the greater duty to look ,veIl on all sides; 
and remember, there are those \vho can speak 
nlore frankly to me tllan to you, and who desire 
your 110nourable course of action. Is tllere 
not something to be said against your own 
point, which strengthens tlleir argument in 
this shape? Great Church questions may 
arise when your power and influence would be 
valuable. Would you have the same power by 
a sudden rush to fight after putting the reins 
upon othe1"s? The party would naturall y be 
at sea. Is there no medium course? v''hat 



LETTERS FROlVI IIER 


83 


necessity would there be for constant attend- 
ance? "'Tho would expect it? Could ypu 
not take it quite easily? \Vould not the 
patience and calmness and modesty of your 
attitude speak, not only to the House of 
Commons, but to the whole country? No 
doubt there is a feeling that YOll only care 
about fights now-that would take away this 
idea: to see you so patient, so good, sacri- 
ficing your own wishes and only helping others, 
accepting the position and meeting it. May 
it not be right? Is not the position, so to 
speak, forced upon you? If you had any 
organic illness which made it wrong for you 
to expose your precious life, it would be 
different. Dr. Clark 1 spoke to me last year 
quite in an opposite sense. These little ail- 
ments are just safety valves. Some have 
giddiness in the head, or palpitations of the 
heart, and no warning but the danger; in 
your ailment, you have time to pull up and get 
right. You say if you take the lead you are 
there for ever. Why, who would say a word 
against your giving up, if health really de- 
manded it? I was saying to Edward Talbot 
how you yearned for rest from strife, and I 
suggested Hartington as leader. He said: 
" I, at all events, am a fair and impartial person 
as to politics, and knowing how Mr. G. might 


1 Sir Andrew Clark, M.D. 



84 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


have to do things for conciliation that I might 
disapprove, I still feel his importance to the 
country as leader so strongly that I hope 
he will not shrink." He thought many 
people would explain your resigning as a re- 
ligious mania, and that this would undermine 
your influence, whilst by proving you can 
calmly attend to political business in Opposi- 
tion you would double your influence when 
needed. 
" I hope I have not troubled you with my 
twaddle. At all events you may feel that I 
write with the one object that you may be 
guided aright to the glory of God and the 
good of your fellow creatures. That your 
acquiescing would be unselfish to the llighest 
degree-I know that well. At all events, you 
will forgive me. Do not write about it till 
you have seen Lord Granville again: it only 
takes out of you, which is the last thing I 
wish." 


"January 12, 1875. 
" First, it is a great deal too much to say 
that YOll and I take different views of this 
important question of the leadership. It 
could not be so, as I had by no means made 
up my own mind. But I did consider it my 
duty to lay before you the drawbacks; and 
t11at you should receive from me the un- 
biassed opinion of what lnight be thought, 



LETTERS FROM HER 


85 


and so weigh the n1atter. Perhaps I am too 
sensitive in the feeling of anything like running 
away, when the road is dark and hopeless. 
I believe (though perhaps I should fail) that 
I have looked upon your career very much 
as that of a general in a dangerous battle, 
whether winning or losing. However, my poor 
opinion is so little worth having, perhaps I 
need not have said anything; but I like you 
to know that ,ve do not really differ, more 
than from the great desire, the trembling 
desire, you should do right; and thus I wished 
to act as a kind of drag on so important a 
step. God will bless and help you as He has 
done in mighty decisions, and be \vhat it 
may, I am content. 
" In the meantime I delight in your report 
of Clark's opinion. Killing, your saying he 
does nöt take so rosy a view of the trouble 
as I do. All I mean is that there could not be 
a safer vent, and, as you seldom rest your dear 
head, I am patient over this vent, and thank 
God for Clark's word' Eæcellent.' Am I not 
borne out that it would be a quiz 1 for you to 
have pleaded health as a reason? And the thing 
I really desire everywhere is less high pressure, 
more calmness in work, and more allowance 
of relaxation." 


1 Glynnese Glossary. 



86 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


" January 16, 1875. 
" What a jolly letter! Quite human. So dear 
of you to give n1e such a treat ! Yesterday's 
letter will show you I am ' perfectly content.' 
You did not see that it was rather as the 
martyr I took up the argument. It was not, I 
think, ambition, except in the best sense of the 
word. . . . The Spencers want us to go to 
Althorp on tIle 25th. That would be flesll 1 ; if 
on our way to London it might be different." 


It was not the first time or the last that a 
man, not yet old, who had been Prime Minister, 
resigned the leadership for the shades of 
Opposition, to return to it a few years later 
at a great crisis. Mr. Gladstone resigned in 
January 1875, and two years llad barely 
elapsed before the great crisis (Eastern 
Question) called him back. In five years he 
was again Prime Minister. Mr. Balfour re- 
signed in 1911, at the age of sixty-four, also 
while in Opposition. A great crisis called 
him back, and he took office under Mr. Asquith 
in 1915. 


Some specimens may be selected from her 
more normal letters -letters written under 


1 II An exceedingly rare idiom, the use of which is perhaps confined 
to Mrs. Gladstone. It refers to money payments and means actual 
hard money out of pocket, and is said to be an allusion, more poetic 
than precise, to the story of ShyIock."-Glynnese Glossary. 




,.. 



 


CATHERINE GLADSTONE 
18 5 6 
From a þortrait by Say at Hawardcn 



LETTERS FROl\I HER 


87 


more favourable circumstances, such as a 
well-appointed ,vriting-table, a good quill- 
she never used a steel pen-some un\vonted 
leisure, and circumstances that appealed to her 
heart. The Royal visits, of ,vhich there are 
several accounts, fulfilled these conditions 
perhaps best of all, and such letters are of 
more public interest than some of those written 
from other houses. 
It has already been said that l\lrs. Gladstone 
and Lady Lyttelton when apart never allowed 
one day to pass ,vithout writing to each other. 
But these letters are specially unquotable, so 
intimate, often so sacred, so ephemeral they 
are. 
Taken at random from a heap of old letters 
at Hagley, one specimen may be quoted on 
account of its historical vallIe. 


CATHERINE TO 
IARY 


" March 1854. 
"
Iy LOVE,--Our anxiety is at an end for the 
present, but oh, how it wears one out! . . . 
They say it is all her doing. Lord John is 
firm one moment, then he goes home and she 
sits upon him-the whole thing being then 
set to wrongs again. IIowever, as you will 
see, he did end by giving in, and the Reform 
Bill is dropped. "Te were with Lady John 
in the I-Iouse. Poor Lord John did well, but 



88 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


he broke down at last and wept so as not to 
be able to rally. They cheered and cheered, 
but still his voice was entrecoupé, and he never 
recovered. Upstairs, in the Speaker's Gallery, 
Lady John wept too, and I leave it to your 
imagination to fancy the scene. Well, I 
had to go alone 1 to the Queen, very 
small and very pleasant, but I have no 
time to write the account I should wish. 
As there were no big-wigs I had nice con- 
versation with the Queen. 2 The points most 
interesting for you are these: 'How well 
your sister looks; and Albert, he is quite 
handsome. I had no idea he could turn out 
anything like that. . . . Meriel is too like her 
grandn1ama, 3 but Lucy is pretty (or very pretty 
-I forget exactly). '''nere does Lord Lyttelton 
get his peculiar manner from ?' I answered, 
, Oh, ma'am, everything about him is good; 
it is deligl1tful to see him with his children.' 
The Queen bowed her head in assent. I 
cannot tell you how I admire her extreme 
simplicity-my great difficulty is to keep in re- 
membrance that she is Queen. In the middle 
of talking, H.M. said, 'Oh, I must just run and 
llave my gown fastened.' Very nice, too, she 
1 Mr. Gladstone was iU. 
51 Among Queen Victoria's letters to Mrs. Gladstone there are 
several that refer to their long friendship. In 1885. H.M. reminded 
her that fifty years had elapsed since she first met II the beautiful 
Miss Glynnes " at Bisbopthorpe, in 1835. 
I Dowager Lady Lyttelton. 




/ 


\ 


- 


t 


:\IARV, LADY LVTTELTON 
]857 


From a portrait by Say at Hagley 



LETTERS FROl\I HER 


89 


was about 'Villiam; in short, I really enjoyed 
it, in spite of having felt so dépourvu. 
"The Duchess of Sutherland 1 insisted on 
returning home with me to see how \Villiam 
was. Fancy me entering his room with her, 
I fully expecting to find him in his old dressing- 
gown, with one candle-in short, unearthly! 2 
\Ve seated her upon the stool of repentance, her 
petticoats tipping over everything. 'Villiam 
and 'Villy 3 meanwhile devouring their mutton 
chops. " 


Catherine and l\Iary had lived so much with 
their mother at her beautiful home at Audley 
End that the Neville sons were to them more 
like brothers than cousins. The following 
letter, written in 1855, fro
 Catherine to Mary, 
speaks of their acute anxiety about Grey and 
Henry, two of the sons serving in the Crimean 
\Var : 


"I have been dining with l\Irs. Charles 
Neville, in search of information how to send 
Grey books and comforts. They won't believe 
that Henry is not killed, and their agony of 
suspense is awful. Poor Uncle Braybrooke 
keeps on saying, , If I cOllld only know ,vhat 


1 Duchess Harriet, l\Iistress of the Robes, the devoted friend of 
Mr. Gladstone and of Garibaldi. 
a Glynnese Glossa"y. 
· W
am Henry, their eldest son, aged thirteen. 



90 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


has happened, I feel I could bear it better.' 
And she has chlorosene, which only makes it 
worse. "r e cannot hear more before Wednes- 
day, and if it is at all good news, we mean to 
telegraph to Audley End. 'Vhen Henry wrote 
on the fourth he was well, and most thankful 
to have no Dlore trench ,york, the Turks 
having been put to that. He described it 
as awful, waiting in cold blood to have YOllr 
head blown off, far worse than a field of battle 
-at tinles not daring to keep one's head up 
lest a shell should blow it off. All this acts 
on the nerves, as you may suppose. Grey is 
so tall, so slim, llis constitution may not stand 
it. Henry much stronger. Grey 1 is twenty- 
three, and Mirabel 2 always looks upon him 
almost as a child. She is calm, but we see 
how she suffers. I hope I shall get leave for 
this little parcel of books to go out to him, 
besides the other parcel of a warm dressing- 
gown, poor dear fellow. AgaiIl we have a 
Cabinet to-day. Here is an interesting letter 
from l\iiss Nightingale, dated Constantinople, 
on board the Victory, which I send you as a 
curiosity. " 


The following letter, written on August 6, 
1861, from Hawarden, refers to the death, four 
1 Grey and Henry were both killed. 
I Their sister, whose hair tun1ed white from this agony. Both her 
brothers were killed, at lnkerruann and Balac1ava. 



LETTERS FROl\1 HER 


91 


days earlier, of Sidney Herbert, companion and 
colleague, the godfather of one of their sons, 
their next-door neighbour in Carlton Gardens, 
and perhaps their most intimate and best- 
beloved friend : 
"To-day brings me touching accounts 
from \Vilton-so resembling Hagley, it is 
moving to the last degree - and the same 
month too.! His begging their pardon for keep- 
ing them watching so long-' I am sorry it is 
so protracted '-and entreating them not to 
tire themselves-' I never thought that dying 
would be so difficult an operation, my poor 
darlings-it is so hard upon you all; but I am 
happy, quite happy.' I l{eep the letters for 
you. I much \vish )TOU could sleep at \Vilton ; 
you might be a help to her, and they would 
never have asked you had they not wished it." 
Here are her comnlents on his visit to 
""indsor, one year only after they were last 
there together in the Prince Consort's life- 
time. 


" Octobet' 1862. 
". . . I like to feel you can be a comfort 
to that darling Queen, and I know you can. 
You ,viII take in that this is nearly the anni- 
,"ersary of our visit, when all was still bright. 
I ,vas looking back to the little notes I made 


1 :Mary Lyttelton died in August 1857 (see page 279. Chap. VII!.). 



92 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


the last time that we were to meet on earth. 
The Prince Consort happened to be speaking 
to me about fevers and Lord Aberdeen and 
Peel, and I tried to remember his conversation 
witll you about the American War. You said 
to me a.fterwards you liked to think of it as 
one of his last. . . . No"\v, contrary to your 
ways, do pet the Queen, and for once believe 
you can, you dear old thing." 


A month later s11e writes of the "little 
boys," 1 nine and ten years old, first going to 
school: ""\IVe llave tried on th
 ne\v jackets 
and trousers, and a bathing feel 2 and a gulp 
could not be helped! Dear little fellows, God 
bless and prosper tllem! I did long for you 
to see them. On Sunday tlley beg to go to 
church in their school clothes, and I mean to 
be very brave; indeed, they will look very 
touclling, but it is trying the going away of 
the youngest pair, and the first launcl1ing of 
them into the world. You do understand, 
and will not think me very weak if I o"\vn to 
crying at the very thought-that other boy, 
too, just at the same moment hundreds of 
l11iles off riding upon the waves-a continual 
storn1 in my ears." 


There is a patlletic account of her first 


1 Harry and Herbert. 


2 See Glynnese Glossa,,)'. 



LET
rERS FROl\{ HER 


98 


interview with Queen Victoria after the death 
of the Prince Consort. She quotes her hus- 
band's words after seeing Her Majesty on 
March 22, 1862-three months after she became 
a widow. 


" I was really bewildered," he wrote, "but 
all that vanished when the Queen came in 
and held my hand a moment. All was beauti- 
ful, simple, noble, and touching to the very 
last degree. I need only repeat the first 
and last words. The first (putting down her 
head and struggling), 'The nation has been 
very good to me in my sorrow'; the last, 'I 
earnestly pray it may be long before you are 
parted from one another.' " 


After the intervie,v this message reaclled 
Mr. Gladstone: "Of all her l\'Iinisters, she 
seemed to feel that you had entered most 
into her sorrows: she dwelt especially on the 
manner in which you had parted with her." 
He left her astonished at her humility. "It 
was impossible not to be deeply stirred by her 
noble sorrow." 


"The first sight of her was. so piteous, " 
wrote l\Irs. Gladstone. "She saw I ,vas 
nervous, and when I kissed her hand drew me 
to her and kissed me. 'After all, I am but a 



94 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


wretched woman,' she said. 'You who are 
such a loving wife, I knew how you would feel 
for me, , and she gazed at me with tears in 
her eyes; there seemed so heavenly an ex- 
pression, a look beyond this world, a
d all 
the time such gentle kindness and submission. 
She spoke of the sympathy she had always felt 
for widows. At the first moment of his peril 
she had uttered, , You cannot. tell me that 
I am to lose him.' Princess Alice was tIle 
one to break the reality to her mother. She 
told me that she could only bear it from 
feeling it was but for a time. She dwelt 
upon the awful loneliness, 110W that the daily 
life together had grown into a very part of her 
being-now she had no one to tell things to. 
'Anything new, any change is a great trial,' 
she said. She spoke of the help it was to go 
on with his wishes, to carry out and finish his 
plans. ' Yes, this helps me on, and there is 
another thing helps. It is extraordinary 110W 
I cannot help constantly expecting to find 
him-whether it is out walking, near some 
tree or some flower, or sitting in some par- 
ticular spot, or coming into the room and 
hearing his footstep.' 
"As the Queen spoke she would grow qllite 
animated, with the idea almost as if she was 
going to see him. Then the countenance 
changed again to sadness. She asked me 



LETTERS FROl\1 HER 


95 


llluch about my sister, whether she had 
suffered. I told her 110W once my darling 
had said, 'I had no idea there could be such 
suffering.' The Queen looked full of pity. 
I often feel if the Prince had tried to live, 
if he had had more nervous energy, he might 
perhaps have recovered. She had already 
spoken of his having had no fear of death, and 
reasoned upon it as tIle more remarkable 
that 'he ,vas far from being one that had no 
pleasure or interest in life.' " 


Later, the Queen \\Tote 1\11'. Gladstone a 
letter of "passionate desolation." She ends: 
"Mrs. Gladstone, who is a most tender ,vife, 
lllay in a faint measure picture what the Queen 
suffers. " 


In October 1861 the distress in Lancashire 
reached a climax. The American Civil 'Var 
had arrested the supply of cotton, and pretty 
nearly produced something like famine in 
Lancashire. 1\Ir. and lVIrs. Gladstone set a 
scheme on foot for tIle employment of Lan- 
cashire operatives, and they had enlisted the 
co-operation of Lord "Test minster, Sir John 
IIamner, and others of their neighbours, and 
collected a considerable sum of money. The 
men ,vc.:..e to be employed on the several 
estates, and at Hawarden Mrs. Gladstone and 



96 CA'fHERINE GLADSTONE 


her brothers marked out new walks winding 
through some of the most entrancing spots 
in tIle park. Mrs. Gladstone went off to 
investigate for herself the condition of the 
cotton towns of Lancashire, and from her 
letters her husband formed the highest opinion 
of the "passive fortitude" of the sufferers 
under conditions of acute distress. "Self- 
command, respect for order, patience under 
suffering, confidence in the law." In the 
middle of November she writes to him from 
Blackburn, and mentions 110W she is l{eeping 
the Queen informed of the condition of the 
population. She speaks of tIle great joy and 
comfort given by the Queen's sympatI1Y and 
her messages to the sufferers. She visited 
the poor people in their homes, and describes 
the wonderful way "the Inen plod to church 
to listen to their rector's words of exh.ortation 
and hope. It was very edifying to see their 
attentiveness, but moving to the last degree to 
notice the pale, emaciated faces and the look 
of sadness-yet a resigned look, too. Dr. 
Robinson asked me to speak to them, and there 
was nothing for it but to try-simple and short ; 
indeed, I felt ready to cry as I noticed one 
man in tears. God will help them. ' Yes, 
these are tinles no one can ever forget; they 
will do us good,' said another n1an. One of 
them spoke of th.e text, 'Strive ye to enter 



LETTERS FROl\I HER 


97 


in.' '\Ve must not think of the great 
cost if it is to lead us to heaven. Oh, 
one ought to be the better for all this ex- 
perience.' " 
November 17.-" A very overpowering day; 
in truth, I am tired and cannot do justice to 
the scenes. I had to make another very little 
speech to-day to the poor men. Their grateful 
looks are so touching, but the extent of the 
misery goes to one's very heart-the sad- 
ness, the endurance. The l\Iayor came and 
thanked them all for me. Three hearty cheers 
and then one more for you for sending me 
here. " 
From Blackburn she proceeded to Preston, 
Darwin, and Ashton-under-Lyne. "A most 
interesting day, seeing, investigating, ad- 
vising." She gives touching instances of her 
experIences: 
" \Vhen I told her I ,vould take the child, the 
enlotion was too much, she fell upon her knees 
-and there are hundreds of such cases of 
silent, uncomplaining misery." During her 
progress she caught a chill, completely losing 
her voice, but still persevered. 
" I just managed Staley Bridge on t.he 20th, 
and realised Dr. 'Vhittaker's noble doings. 
I was actually sick between acts, managing 
to hide in a quiet room and then to emerge 
later and appear better, comme .
i rien n' était ! 
7 



98 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


When I reached Stockport I was, alas! com- 
pelled to give in and make my excuses. 
I should not presume to think my going 
or not going could be of consequence, only 
the kind feelings for my name, really for your 
sake, seem to have swelled into something 
(for me) very big." 


Mrs. Gladstone got up a concert at Ilawarden 
for the benefit of the Lancashire distress, 
when she arranged that the poor factory girls 
should go on to the platform in their working 
clothes, their shawls over their heads. They 
sang "I-Iard Tinles" with pathetic fervour, 
and the whole audience was moved to tears. 
In her frequent visits to Windsor and 
Osborne she makes many shrewd remarks 
&I 
about the Queen, always struck by her sim- 
plicity and sincerity, her common sense. "I 
never hear her talk without feeling one ought 
to be the better for it, she is 80 true." She 
quotes a remark of Her Majesty's during the 
American 'Var, advising carefulness in judg- 
ment. "I am afraid," she said, " we are very 
apt to have one law for ourselves and another 
for other people." " The way H.M. discusses 
things always interests me, arguing her own 
points and listening to the differences of others, 
all the time with a certain decision of manner." 
She comrrlents on the charm and 11appiness 



LETTERS FROl\l HER 


99 


of the Prince and Princess of Prussia. The 
Princess took her to her own suite of rooms at 
Windsor to see her works of art. "I have 
never been able to afford to have the casts 
made into marble," she said. " "Te have so 
many expenses-children-j ourneys, etc." 
The winning simplicity of the family circle 
strikes her. The Queen's relations with her 
sons-in-law recalls the Duchess of Sutherland's 
footing with the Duke of Argyll. The delight 
of the advent of the Danish bride, her beauty, 
her brightness, her fun. In 1871, when 
Irs. 
Gladstone was at Osborne, the Queen was most 
anxious the public should realise how devotedly 
the Princess of 'Vales nursed her husband the 
same year in his dangerous illness, how she 
never left him day or night. That apparently 
people imagined it ,vas his sister, Princess Alice 
of Hesse, who nursed him. She begged :\Irs. 
Gladstone to take every opportunity of making 
this known. 


II HAW ARDEN , June 9, 18 79. 
"-'s letters [from Faringford] are capital 
-the second surpassing the first. Tennyson 
loves them both, and is more quaint than ever- 
exarr1Ïnes -'s features, treats her as a child, 
is amused at what he calls her petit nez re- 
troussé,. says its wickedness is counteracted 
by her:.strong jawbone." 



100 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


In 1883 she meets at Osborne the three 
Princesses, daughters of Princess Alice of 
Hesse, her husband sitting between them at 
dinner, and describes specially the second- 
"a very striking face, fine speaking eyes, a 
dear manner, listens with that eager attention 
that brings out the expression of her counten- 
ance. The third daughter quite as natural 
and nice, good countenance, simple, and 
forthcoming." How little could then be 
guessed the tragic fate that awaited them in 
Russia ! 


To force the Sultan (specially in his promises 
regarding Greece and l\fontenegro) to carry 
out the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin 1 
l\1r. Gladstone's Government in October 1880, 
more or less backed by the Concert of Europe, 
threatened to blockade Smyrna. Each Power 
had sent a man-of-war to the Albanian coast. 
Turkey, thoroughly alarmed, to the boundless 
satisfaction of the Prime Minister, gave way, 
the Greek frontier was rectified, practically 
realising l\rJr. Gladstone's dream of a Homeric 
Greece, and Dulcigno was ceded to l\lontenegro. 


II HAWARDEN, October I I, 1880. 
"After being in bed with this tiresome 
throat, 'joy did come in the nlorning.' Oh, 
1 18 79. 



LETTERS FROl\I HER 


101 


your large sheet and its contents and Hymn 
of Praise! For IIis power has ,vrought 
,vonders. 


I We praise Thee and will praise Thee, 
We bless Thee and will bless, 
We give thanks to Thee and will give thanks.' 


" And you, dearest own, who have merci- 
fully been pernlitted to take part in such 
mighty operations! "That shall I say? It 
is almost too much to think of this consum- 
mation. The' ideal of your life' in foreign 
policy, God only grant it may be all right 
and no more bolting. But if he 1 does bolt 
on learning more as to the cowardly Powers, 
my hope even then is that the Powers may 
have had the warning from the Sultan's white 
feather, and join issue at once. You see I am 
arming myself for contingencies. ".,. e shall be 
all ready for you to-morrow. 
" The Flo,vers 2 came to hand yesterday in 
time for a lovely glo,v of sunshine ,vhich lighted 
up garden and Castle and all. They are very 
light in hand and easily pleased, but disap- 
pointed that you are away. I have been 
silent and dull until you open my lips as to 
Smyrna and Ireland, for though the paper 
has it, of course, that is different from my 
confirn1ation! Doubly careful with Lady 
Herbert.. The Flowers are very large- 


1 The Sultan. 


2 Afterwards Lord and Lady Battersea 



102 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


hearted people, full of good deeds, coffee- 
houses, hospitals, etc." 


To M. G. 


"SANDRINGHAM, November 2 I, 1880. 
" Here we are, somehow we llated the start, 
early at station, cold east wind, so we got 
chilled, travelled with the Granvilles-I feel I 
appreciate her much more. King's Lynn gave 
us a reception-nice to see the people hunting 
. 
for him patiently in the cold, in the way you 
know so well. Ely Cathedral, thOllgh nearly 
in the dark, stood grandly and looked majestic. 
As we entered the hall (with my usual arriving 
feelings) we were met by the darling llostess, 
the Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, and 
last, not least, dear little trio of Princesses, the 
eldest twelve-all so homey. Princess so dear, 
and different to London, came to our rooms 
upstairs and said to Stüme, l wl10 curtseyed in 
the corner; she hoped that 'all was comfy' 
(fancy her delight). Lovely flowers in my 
bedroom. I sat by Prince of Wales and Dr. 
Acland at dinner -- afterwards we chatted 
abundantly, Princess showing me her sitting- 
room and her collections-she is the most 
dear homey thing, full of her sons, who have 
left home for eighteen months. The eldest, 


1 A faithful maid with her for twenty years. 



.'-r' 


. 


. 



 


. 


\t 


" 
"" 
." 

't .oJ 
. 
\ " -.......' 
-. 
... 


:\IRS. GLADSTO
E AXD HER SO
 IIERUERT 
1861 



LETTERS FROM HER 103 


Prince Eddy, doats on his mother. He said 
in his last letter: 'Darling mother dear,-l 
smelt some scent which you always use, and 
it made me so sad.' 
"Father is to read the Lessons by order of 
Prince and Princess. A bright, glorious cold 
day, and we are just going to church. . . . 
"\Ve are back-you will have the first lesson 
fresh in your heart and mind-' In the sight 
of the unwise.' 'Stir up' Sunday. Think 
of the words coming from father's lips, the 
pathos and glorious emphasis. The Princess 
chooses the hymns always, and to-day had 
taken the greatest pains to select 11is (father's) 
favourites - 'Rock of Ages' and ' Lead, 
Kindly Light.' "\Vasn't it pretty? The 
Memorial to her baby just behind the Princess, 
'Suffer Little Children' and Our Lord re- 
ceiving the baby. Singing very pretty and 
all reverently, nicely done--the Altar with 
Cross and flowers. Father very happy. They 
made me play at bowls! 
" Mind you arrange I should see you on my 
way to "\Vellington and give you the birthday 
kiss. " 


In November 1880 she mentions a dinner at 
the Childers' . 1 " Very interesting, I sitting 
next to Sir F. Roberts. I liked hirn eætremely, 


1 :Minister for War. 



104 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


so modest, pacific seemingly as to Ireland, 
which won my heart. "\;Vho should walk in 
after dinner (only ladies present) but Sir 
Bartle Frere I-his daughter beamed, and I 
had to say something nice to him, at the risk 
of his not knowing me. Duke of Cambridge 
whispering and touching one's face. Mrs. 
Childers triumphant, Dufferins, Morleys. I 
liked young Childers, the lad who was at 
Eton with Harry and Herbert. He is just 
back from India with Sir F. R.-and evidently 
a sort of right hand to him. . . . Father just 
out of Cabinet, Ministers looking relieved. . 
To-morrow we go to Convalescent Home to 
see the new room." 


To M. D. 


(C SANDRINGHAM, Januat'y 29, 1887. 
"Here we are in spite of yesterday's 
scrimmage, for upon waking father was not 
well. I sent for Clark (perturbation), he 
meanwhile hoping to get off coming here- 
all ended ,veIl, and our journey was easy and 
luxurious - grand saloon carriage and the 
Prince in another. Good Bishop Claughton 
with us-he thrills over Lucy; give her his 
best love. Great demonstrations at Cam- 


1 Recalled from the Governorship of South Africa by Mr. 
Gladstone's Government. 



LETTERS FROM HER 105 


bridge <,vhere we shot out Helen into the arms 
of admiring crowds), at Ely, and King's Lynn. 
Eddie Haillilton tells me the Prince of '\;'Tales 
,vas very good-natured as to the great crowds 
and cheering for father, and ,was much in- 
terested to see it. It felt very queer with a 
Prince of \Vales in the offing. All kindness he 
was; took me and l\'ladame de Falbe in his 
carriage frOITI the station to the House; so 
genial and kind. Fancy her turning out to 
have been Mrs. Dudley "rard, who sang years 
ago at our house. I sat at dinner between 
Prince of "ì ales and Prince Eddy. I had 
some interesting talk with the former about 
Randolph; he seems to take his part. . . . 
Just come from church in carriage with darling 
Princess - more dear than ever. She was 
quite full of your illness. Old -- in white 
damask last night, hair carefully arranged 
and fuzzed, looking quite young behind. 
'Ve all sang. I pretending to, to please 
Princess. Princess of 'Vales accompanying 
three daughters, Falbe and I in a sort of 
mad glee till the men came in. . . ." 


CC SANDRINGHAM, January 3 0 . 
" "Ve have had a very nice visit here. There 
is really nothing like this Royal home-such 
simplicity and reality and thought for others. 



106 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


I am struck by their having people who fitted. 
Eddie H. and dear Bishop Claughton. He is 
all tenderness, and so interested in our going 
back to Hawarden for the l\Iission. No trace 
of ailment. Tell Lucy his luncheon before 
sturting was arrowroot and brandy; he is to 
have as little butter as possible, and less tea. 
But I am more than thankful seeing how 
entirely he was in his own force and form 
in House of Commons-voice excellent, some- 
thing peculiarly dignified in his speech. Fancy 
Lady Pembroke and Adelaide 1 admiring, 
though of course not agreeing. In the mean- 
time, Helen and I were trembling as to Can1- 
bridge. Dr. Clark rather shaken as to whether 
he could do it all after Sandringham." 


(Finished at Newnham College) 


"I am to dine with the students, father 
in Hall with Dr. Butler, then to co
e here 
to tea and bed. So pretty to see the girls 
playing in the garden. Father happy in his 
pretty, tiny dressing-room. No one could 
explain all this 2-one must see it to under- 
stand. Certainly Helen wins their hearts, and 
they ,vin hers. There is no doubt of this, and 
tllere is such ease about it all, everyone IS 
natural." 


1 Lady Brownlow. 


2 'Vomen's Colleges. 



LET1"'ERS FROM HER 


107 


"NEWNHAM COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, 
"January 31, 1887. 
"\Ve are to meet some thrilling company 
again at tea, father and all. Yesterday we 
went to King's. Oh! the Nunc dimittis, too 
lovely. How glorious the organ and the whole 
building, lifting one up! It is extraordinary 
the feeling for father. He is so well, and 
enters, as you know, into everything. Kath- 
leen a,vfully kind, and you and Lucy will delight 
in hearing how much struck we are \vith dear 
Arthur's 1 whole bearing-the right man in the 
fight place. Father says he fills it just as you 
would most desire. 
"'Vhat fine children the Lytteltons - nice 
and affectionate and unshy." 


In another letter from Sandringllam she 
describes a knock at the door just as she ,vas 
ready for bed. In walked the Princess, and 
H.R.H. was not satisfied till she had tucked 
her up in bed. 


"HAW ARDEN, 1887. 
"Oh, can you believe it? "Ve hear that the 
Duke of \Vestminster has sold father's beauti- 
ful picture 2 to Agne,v, and Agnew to Sir Charles 
Tennant. I could not help ,vriting to the Duke 


) Arthur Lyttelton, l\tlaster of Sehvyn College. 
2 Portrait of Mr. Gladstone by l\:1illais. 



108 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


thus in the first moment of my despair: 
'Have you sold that picture? Oh, why 
did you not tell us first?' I hope I have not 
done wrong; really, I felt it so much it came 
like a shot." 


The following letter describes a speech in 
Downing Street to the members for Durham, 
etc., on Lord Hartington's Irish record: 


CC July 8, 1887. 
" "Tell, oh, dear dear, but it was grand-a 
quiet winding up and immense good expected 
to come from the speech, given to 700 picked 
delegates. Such enthusiasm, such attention, 
the voice never flagging. John Morley de- 
lighted, and, as Herbert writes, l\1.P.'s came 
back over the moon to House of Commons. 
Lord Granville was quite nervous, for the speech 
did require a fine hand, as to Lord Hartington 
especially. It was so Christian, allo,ving for 
differences on honest ground, yet showing up 
the dangers, viz. Hartington consentillg to 
vote Tory, however nluch he disagreed, to 
keep the Liberals out. Never was there a 
better audience, seizing every point and enter- 
ing so into the fun, vide Chamberlain's cushion 
and the sowing and reaping. I never read 
the Thanl{sgiving with more feeling. Y ou will 
observe the Times even had forgotten for a 



LETTERS FROM HER 109 


moment its deadly rancour in adn1iration of the 
power and glorious ability. It was an evening 
to thrill over, an evening that made the life- 
blood tingle through one's veins. He is quite 
well. "\tVe dine at Dollis Hill, calling like 
Christians at Argyll Lodge on the way. 
" Lady Acton seemed pleased at my going 
to her on way from Burnett's and Langhorne's. 
They have been very anxious about their 
son with typhoid." 
" "Te are each of us still separately engaged . 
in a death-grapple with RobeJ.t Elsmere," 
Mr. Gladstone wrote early in 1888 to his 
daughter, and on April 2: "By hard work I 
have finished my article I-rather stiff work." 
At this time she wrote : 
" "\tVe are deep in Robert Eismere, one of 
the most extraordinary books. I am inclined 
(with Spencer) to think it may do good, but 
I have not finished volume three. It is not 
a book you can read fast-oh no, but I have 
a feeling father's review may be a corrective." 


C( 10 DOWNING STREET, Aþ'Yil 1888. 
"I have carefully digested the latter part 
of Robert Elsmere, and I am bound to say 
that I feel Catherine was wholly wrong in 
continuing her attendance at Elm Chapel- 


1 Review in the Nineteenth Centu"y. 



110 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


so very wrong that one stood amazed that, with 
the nobility of soul which she showed in the 
begillning of her life, she should fall so low 
in her mixing up of her religions. Yet I 
believe her faith in the Divinity of Our Lord 
was there; then you will say it was the more 
wrong she should go to the chapel as well as 
the church. 
"Poor thing, her love for him clouded her 
understanding. The book, nlore than ever, 
leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. I have 
had quiet hours to digest the review [Nine- 
teenth Century] - and to be very thankful 
for it." 


AFTER GOING OVER TO SAIGHTON 


H APril 1888. 
"The visit to dear Lady Grosvenor a 
success; the new husband 1 made a pleasant 
impression upon me-the snug family group 
quite like a novel, as after luncheon we went 
into the conservatory for coffee; picturesque, 
cos)r, homelike, pretty young Pamela 2 playing, 
and singing to a guitar, roses hanging over- 
head and heliotrope. Enter two nurses, each 
with her baby; one from Eaton, the other Lady 
Grosvenor's. Of course I nursed each one; 
the ,,-ryndham baby 3 such a beaut)T, four 
1 George Wyndham. 
2 Pamela Wyndham (Lady Glenconner). 
3 Percy Wyndham, killed in action September 1914. 



LETTERS FRO
I HER 


III 


months, sapphire eyes, hair dark brown; 
most beautiful the atmosphere, so unfine, 
happy, welcoming." 


Here is a note from the Durdans, February 
1889 : 


"At 6.30 ,ve came to the Durdans, falling 
in with Rosebery and E. Hamilton at the 
station, and here we are, no one else, in deep 
snow. Father delights in the house and the 
books and the quiet; you could hear a pin 
drop. Curious to relate, Dr. Duncan declares 
Peggy's to be scarlet fever! Going on well, 
peeling allover, disinfecting cloths all hung 
about. Strange she could be ill ten days, 
supposed to be inflammation of the lungs, 
no throat, and that neither of the doctors 
should shoot 1 the complaint till the fever had 
gone and the peeling ,vas high gee. 2 . . . It is 
good to talk with you, dear, ,vhether de- 
pressed or not. . . . 
" Post just going-your interesting letter I 
have only squinted at." 


ON THE DEATH OF LADY ROSEBERY 


" November 20, 1890. 


" I have had the most touching letter from 
Lady Leconfield-the end ,vas peace." 


1 Glynnese Glossary: to discover. 
2. Ibid.: in full fling. 



112 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Lady Rosebery's death took place on Nov- 
ember 19, 1890. This ,vas a great loss and 
sorrow to l\Irs. Gladstone, for, quite apart 
from her deep affection and regard for Lord 
Rosebery, her friendship for his wife was of 
long standing. They understood and loved 
one another. In the following letter, very 
typical of the conflicting events and emotions 
of one short day, she tells her daughter of 
these contrasts, life and death jostling each 
other. In Berkeley Square the crowd outside 
the house, the solemnity and silence within- 
" How different a scene to the late gay parties." 
She dwells on the touching interview with 
Lord Rosebery and his boys-the masses of 
flowers round the coffin, the placing there of 
the white roses she carried in her hand. Mr. 
Gladstone accompanied Lord Rosebery to the 
funeral; she mentions how much it touched 
her that their father should ask her to stay 
with his younger children. In their school- 
room above, she knelt and prayed with them. 
From this house of mourning she went on to 
yet another smitten home. She continues : 


"CARLTON GARDENS, later. 


"I was greatly surprised at reading the 
Jewish Burial Service-so very fine (as far 
as it goes, I mean)-the chosen texts-it 
was read in Hebrew. Father had, after Lord 



LETTERS FROl\I HER 113 


Rosebery, to thro,v earth upon the coffin. 
He stood close to him and his boys, and ,va
 
greatly affected. Oh, l\1ary, when I think of 
the two scenes of yesterday-in poor Berkeley 
Square and after,vards at the Speaker's,1 the 
sympathy that ,vas wrung from my heart as 
the poor Speaker poured out his griefs. 2 Then 
the Ladies' Gallery and the sickening appear- 
ance of Parnel1 3 -the astounding revelations- 
the mixture of ability and folly, the contradic- 
tions in that unfortunate man, the terrible 
throwing away of extraordinary gifts. . . . 
Professor Stuart has really been of great use- 
some call him fussy, and ,vhat does that mean 
but that he does not let the grass gro\v-that 
he sees ,vhen prompt action is important? 
I was struck by Herbert Paul-wise, judicious, 
cool-headed. Then there is father - calm, 
dignified, resolute, feeling the battle is but 
beginning, the Tories in the meanwhile 
clapping their hands." 


" CANNES, January 15, 1892. 
" I need not tell you the pang last evening 
brought in the tragic intelligence of Prince 
Eddy's death, 4 though I had been scolded for 
frightening myself. I was not really prepared; 
it seemed too dreadful to be true. Oh, darling 
1 Rt. Hon. Arthur Peel. 2 l\Irs. Peel's death-bed. 
:I The divorce proceedings. 
· Eldest son of the Prince of 'Vales, died January 1892. 
8 



114 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Princessy and the YOtIng wife to be. Galignani 
speaks of complications. I fear he caught cold 
at Count Gleichen's funeral. . . . The thought 
of dinner made me feel sick after such tidings. 
. . . Father wrote a very beautiful letter to the 
Prince of 'Vales, wllich I have copied hurriedly 
for you. I trust the reports of poor Princess 
being ill are exagger
ted. All this frightens one 
as to Prince George." 


After Mrs. Gladstone's return to England, she 
heard from the Princess's o,vn lips the story 
of the illness and death of her beloved eldest 
boy . Very near the end, as she sat near his 
pillow, in his restlessness and deliriulll, he 
suddenly turned his he
d and looked at her. 
" JVho is with me ? " he said. 
" Our Lord Jesus Christ," was her answer. 
And from that moment quiet came to him, 
and the look in his eyes was of one who saw 
a VISIon. 


" February 1892. 
"I have finished Miss Benson's novel. 1 
, Helen and I ratiler agree as to its being very 
unequal. It rather jars me sometimes, tIle 
slang-and then I am jealous of goodness being 
made disagreeable; and don't you think there 
are exaggerations in Ruth's character? The 


1 At Sundry Times and in Divers Manners, by Mary Benson. 



LETTERS .FROlVI HER 


115 


husband is not well drawn. Still, I agree 
with you-there are very beautiful bits, and 
much that shows great insight and great 
talent. " 


To l\IR. GLADSTONE 


cc 18 93- 
" Hawarden all in sunshine. Dossie 
be,vitching; sprang into my arms and actually 
kissed' l\laster Pins," 1 irrespective of beard. 
" \Ve must be patient ,vith the Queen. By 
degrees she will gain courage to speak instead 
of only writing. As to the Opposition I cannot 
trust nlyself to speak, but Heaven will bless 
you, God grant, more alld more." 


CC HAWARDEN, undated. 


"l\Iiss Eleanor Bellairs 2 tells a funny story 
of the Primrose League. One of their young 
maids went to a party given by the Primrose 
League, and in her own words : 
" '
irs. stood up and made a beautiful 
speech. ' 
" , 'Vhat did she say? ' 
" 'Oh, she said as 'ow we were to follo\v 
Gladstone. She said to us all: Y ou know 
the story of Mary and the little lamb? SaY3 


1 George Armitstead. M. P. 
2 Her father was rector of Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire. 



116 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


she, Gladstone's like Mary and we are like 
the little lamb. He puts a string round them 
and leads them wherever he likes! It was all 
so plain, it was-we 11ave nothing to do but 
follow Gladstone.' 
"Miss Bellairs declares that the poor young 
woman never discovered that the lady in 
question was labouring to warn them against 
Gladstone and the evil influence which made 
people follow him as the little lamb followed 
Mary." 


There are countless letters dashed off in the 
intervals of each progress-for every journey, 
every voyage, became a progress more than 
royal, and each one seemed to beat the last in 
spontaneity and enthusiasm, people assembling 
even along the railway lines and in the stations 
where the train never paused. They begin 
\rith the historic visit to Ne,vcastle in 1862- 
the ne,vspapers of the da
T relate how the bells 
were rung, the guns thundered, tIle bands 
played, as the procession steamed majestically 
dOWIl the Tyne, ships flying their gayest flags, 
the river-banks black with thollsands of people. 
Midlothian in 1879 and 1880 was possibly the 
climax, but the South "Tales tour in 1887 was 
a marvellous experience, 60,000 ,vorking men 
sacrificing their day's wages and paying their 
own expenses to come to SwanseH from all 



LETTERS FROM HER 117 


parts of "7 ales, for a touch of his hand or a 
glimpse of his face. It need hardly be told 
how she shared in these might)T demonstrations. 
Often she managed to save her husband by 
stretclting out her own hand to be touched or 
grasped by the multitude. The summer of 
1895 sa,v his last voyage. He and l\Irs. Glad- 
stone in the Tantallon Castle went as the guests 
of Sir Donald Currie to the opening of Kiel 
Harbour. No one ever foresaw more truly 
than he did the over,vhelming conflagration 
that must, sooner or later, be the outcome of 
that great assembly of rival battleships, and 
of the piling up of armaments. 
Here are t,vo or three specimens of these 
letters : 


" Yesterday' was a day which must hold a 
place in the hearts and minds of thousands, 
long after the first enthralment has died down. 
I think the young ,viII speak of it to their 
children, as they bless God for raising up one 
whose great gifts and energies could thus 
spend themselves on his country's good, heart 
and soul stirred by the one hope and desire 
to raise his fello,v-creatures for the honour 
and glory of God. To,vards the end it seemed 
as if all the energies of the man rose to their 
fullest strength-the voice more melodious 
and clear, and power seemed to be given him 



118 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


as the occasion demanded . . . it was the soul 
in him that spoke." 


At Torquay in 1889 she speaks of " a pro- 
cession three miles in length, we with our four 
horses at walking pace, enorn10US masses of 
people, imagine this place of places at its best, 
,vhite-crested waves, the wealth of blossom 
and verdure, myriads of wild flowers. He 
was not so tired as I was at the end of the 
day, spite of his speeches and howling cheers 
in his very ear. At Dartmouth we had good 
sleep till four, when our yacht started for 
Falmouth. Though we roll, and the drawers, 
etc., fell about, no one was sick. I have just 
peeped at him; he is reading, and spoke to me 
with his happy, wicked look, so surprised at 
his own wellness." 


t( LANHYDROCK HOUSE,! BODMIN, 188 9. 
"Looking back upon the last days of our 
progress, it is all a marvel to me, first of all 
his strength, his vigour of mind-the whole 
management of each speech with almost 
mathematical arrangement and yet such genius, 
adapting each to the circumstances of the place 
and people. The brain-power, the enthusiasm, 
the force, the pathos, and as yet I see no harm. 
Plymouth will be the most important day. 
1 The home of Lord and Lady Robartes. 



LETTERS FRO
I HER 


119 


To-morrow, after seeing something of this 
beautiful place, ,ve are going to drive t,venty 
miles to Lady Hayter's,! four horses to fly 
\vith us, and I hope a quiet evening. The 
Trelawneys are here, old good friends, and 
Freddy Leveson; such a house, great glorious 
galleries, such ceilings, such a gateway, such 
kindness." 


1 Tin tagil. 



CHAPTER V 


LETTERS TO HER 
. 


S OMEONE has said that a man's char- 
acter may be guessed from his books, 
and though there is truth in the idea, 
it would have been more true if the word 
correspondence had been substituted. Certain 
it is that in the case of Catherine Gladstone, 
the letters received by her bring to view 
attriblltes not generally recognised. They are 
lights that show up the different facets of a 
je,veI. The letters here selected speak for 
themselves, but there is one aspect which, 
reading them as a whole, shines out above all 
others-her character as mother, not alone 
to her children, but to all sorts and conditions 
of men. 
The art of letter-writing is not easy to define, 
but certainly one among its merits is the 
power to make small things live. "Whose 
interest has 110t been mOl
e really quickened by 
Mrs. Carlyle's accounts of her domestic worries 
than by any of the letters ,vritten by her 
husband? To be really effective, letters must 
120 



LETTERS TO HER 


121 


be spontaneous, not laborious. l\Irs. Glad- 
stone was alive to her finger-tips-her own 
letters were essentially human documents, and 
a reflection of them is to be found in the letters 
of her correspondents, only a very few of whom 
it is possible to mention in these pages. 
First among them must be given two of the 
mass of letters written to her by her husband. 
Absent from each other they never were, but 
for the imperative call of duty-any anxiety, 
physical or mental, of any of the members 
of their respective families. But both lived 
to the age of eighty-eight, so that the number 
of their letters to one another is considerable. 
The two following letters are chosen - the 
first on account of its deep personal nature- 
the other on account of its great historic 
interest. · 
In the first letter we recognise that under 
all the agitated surface of a life of turmoil and 
contention, "there flowed a deep, composing 
stream of faith that gave him, in face of a 
thousand buffets, the free mastery of all his 
resources of heart and brain." 
It was written little more than four years 
after their marriage, and she evidently had 
failed to realise, in that short time, the im- 
perative calls of public duty on his days and 
nights. She had evidently murmured at his 
prolonged absence and absorption, and she. 



122 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


must have been pleading for some relaxation, 
for -more time to be spent with wife and chil- 
dren; she must indeed have ventured to 
point out to him that here surely lay the first 
duty of a father and a husband. 


u 13 C.H.T., 
U Sunday evening , January 2 I, 18 44. 
" I am going to end tllis day of peace 
by a few words to show that what you said 
to me did not lightly pass away from my mind. 
There is a beautiful little sentence in the 
works of Charles Lamb concerning one who 
had been afflicted: 'He gave his heart to the 
purifier, and his will to the Sovereign Will of 
the Universe.' 
" But there is a speech in the third Canto of 
the Paradiso of Dante, spoken by Piccarda, 
which is a rare gem: 'In la sua voluntade è 
nostra pace.' The words are few and simple, 
and yet they appear to me to have an inex- 
pressible majesty of truth about them, to be 
almost as if they were spoken from the very 
mouth of God. It so happened that I first 
read that speech on a morning early in the 
year 1836, which was one of trial. I was 
profoundly impressed and profoundly sus- 
tained, almost absorbed, by these words. 
They cannot be too deeply graven upon the 
heart. In short, what we all want is that 



LETTERS TO HER 


123 


they should not come to us as an admonition 
from without, but as an instinct from within. 
They should not be adopted by effort, but 
they should be simply the habitual tone to 
,vhich all tempers, affections, emotions are 
set. In the Christian mood which ought never 
to be intermitted, the sense of this conviction 
should recur spontaneously, it should be the 
foundation of all mental thoughts and acts, 
and the measure to which the whole experience 
of life, inward and outward, is referred. The 
final state which we are to contemplate witl1 
hope, and to seek by discipline, is that in whicll 
our will shall be one with tI1e will of God; 
shall live and move with it, even as the pulse 
of the blood in the extremities acts with the 
central n10vement of the heart. And this 
is to be obtained through a double process : 
first that of repressing the inclination of the 
will to act with reference to self as a centre; 
the second to cllerish, exercise, and expand 
its new and heavenly power of acting accord- 
ing to the will of God, first perhaps by painful 
effort in great feebleness, but with continually 
augmenting regularity and force, until obedi- 
ence become a necessity of second nature. . . . 
"Resignation is too often conceived to be 
merely a submission. But it is less than the 
whole of the work of a Christian. Your full 
triumph, as far as that particular occasion of 



124 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


duty is concerned, will be to find that you 110t 
merely repress inward tendencies to murmur 
-but that you would not, if you could, alter 
what in any n1atter God has plainly willed. 
. . . Here is the great work of religion; 
}lere is the path through which sallctity is 
attained. And yet it is a path evident.ly to 
be traced in tIle course of our daily duties. 
Our duties can tak.e care of themselves when 
God calls us a'
lay from any of them. II . . To 
be able to relinquish a duty on command 
shows a higher grace than to be able to give 
up a mere pleasure for a duty." 
The other letter tells of tIle epoch-making 
speech delivered by l\lr. Gladstol1e in reply 
to l\ir. Disraeli's first Budget, December 1852. 
" Jjke t.wo of Sir '''Talter Scott's champions, 
these redoubtable antagonists gathered up all 
their force for the final strllggle, and en- 
countered each other in Inid career. How 
rather equal thall like, each side viewed the 
struggle of their chosen athletes, the fortunes 
of two parties marshalled in apparently equal 
array." 1 


" I have never gone through so exciting a 
passage of Parliamentary life," he wrote to 
l\Irs. Gladstone on Decen1ber 18, 1852. "I 
came home at seven, dined, read for a quarter 


1 Times, December 18, 1852. 



LETTERS TO HER 


125 


of an hour, and actually contrived to sleep 
for another quarter of an hour. Disraeli 
rose at 10.20, and from that moment I ,vas 
on tenter-hooks, except when his superlative 
acting and brilliant oratory absorbed Ine and 
made me quite forget that I had to follow him. 
He spoke tin 1 a.m. His speech, on the whole, 
was grand, the most po,verful I ever heard from 
him. At the same time it was disgraced by 
shameless personalities. "Then I heard his 
personalities I felt there ,vas no choice but to 
go on. l\'ly great object ,vas to show the Con- 
servative party how their leader ,vas hood- 
winking them. The House has not, I think, 
been so excited for years--the po,ver of his 
speech, the importance of the issue, the lateness 
of the hour were the causes. l\ly brain was 
strung high, and has not yet got back to calm, 
but I slept ,veIl last night. Still the time is 
an anxious one, and I am very well and not 
unquiet. I am told Disraeli is much stung 
by what I said. I am very sorry it fell to me to 
say it. God kno,vs I have no ,vish to give him 
pain; and really ,vith my deep sense of his gifts, 
I ,vould only pray they n1ight be well used." 


The T'imes writer contrasts the t,vo speeches 
in this Homeric b3ttle: "l\Ir. Disraeli's 
speecll ,vas in every l'espect ,vorthy of his 
oratorical reputation. The retorts \vere 



126 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


pointed and bitter, the hits telling, the sarcasm 
keen, the arguments in many respects cogent, 
in an ingenious, in some convincing. The 
merits were counterbalanced by no less glaring 
defects of tone, temper, and feeling. In some 
passages in"vective was pushed to tIle limit of 
virulence, and in others, the coarser stimu- 
lants to laughter were very freely applied. 
Occasionally whole sentences were delivered 
,vith an artificial voice and a tone of studied 
and sardonic bitterness, most painful to the 
audiencè, and tending to diminish the effect 
of this great intellectual and physical effort. 
The speech of l\Ir. Gladstone was in marked 
contrast--pitched throughout in a higll tone 
of moral feeling-the language was less studied, 
less ambitious-and though commencing in a 
tone of stern rebuke, it ended in ,vords of the 
most pathetic expostulation. '-rhat power of 
persuasion which seems denied to his anta- 
gonist, Mr. Gladstone possesses in great perfec- 
t 
tion-and when he concluded the House might 
,veIl feel proud of him, and of themselves." 


The blow to protection and all its works 
resulted in the defeat of the Conservative 
Government, and ]\tIre Gladstone became Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer for the first tirrle. 
This appears to have been the only occasion 
that Mrs. Gladstone was absent from her 



LETTERS TO HER 


127 


husband at a great crisis in the history of our 
times. In a letter ,vritten to her a fe,v days 
later, l\Ir. Gladstone comments on the un- 
expected loss of temper shown by Lord Derby 
on his resignation of the Premiership: he 
contrasts it with what took place in the I-Iouse 
of Comrrlons. "Nothing," he wrote, "could 
be better in temper, feeling, and judgment 
than Disraeli's farewell." And thus the curtain 
fell after a victory ,vhich the Times described 
as "not merely a battle, btlt a war-not a 
reverse-but a conqtlest." 
The earliest letter here printed, ,vritten by 
her cousin, Lady Delamere, to Catherine's 
mother, does not, strictly speaking, belong to 
her personal correspondence; but, owing no 
doubt to its historical interest, she carefully 
preserved it amongst her papers, and the same 
reason seems to justify its inclusion in the 
present volume. 'Vritten in the year before 
'Vaterloo, the letter gives a lively description 
of Blücher and Platof. The original is adorned 
\vith clever pen-and-ink sketches of the two 
generals. 


FROM LADY DELAMERE 1 TO LADY GLYNNE 
" Sunday [1814]. 
"
ly DEAREST l\IARY, -I di,d not receive 
the little books ,vhich you were kind enough 


1 l\Irs. Gladstone's cousin. 



128 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


to send Hugh 1 three days ago, or I would 
sooner have written to thank you for remem- 
. bering the little fellow. I am most happy to 
hear such good accounts of your Stephen, 
and trust that he is now quite recovered. I 
am so exceedingly hurried and bustled with 
all that is going on that I really have not a 
moment to spare, and what with going to see 
Emperors, Illuminations, Jugglers, and such 
like, &nd arranging dresses for the evening, I 
have hardly time for my meals. The other 
night I had a famous view of all these lions at 
Carlton House, where they all came the even- 
ing after their arrival. It was very fine, but 
ratller alarming; however, perhaps you will 
like particulars. "\tVe arrived at ten, and found 
at the upper part of the first room a circle 
made carelessly witl1 arm-chairs, into which we 
were in process of time ushered by tl1e Lord 
Chamberlain and l1is White 'V and. In tl1e 
centre was the Queen, sitting on each side of 
her the Prince 2 and the Emperor, 3 and behind, 
the King of Prussia, his brothers, sons and 
nephews, the background being filled up with 
the Grand Duchess, Princesses, Duchess of 
York, Princess Cl1arlotte, and the Prince of 
Orange. The coup d'æil was really very fine, 
and they looked like a royal family on the 


1 Lord Delamere, her first cousin. 
2 The Prince Regent. I Alexander..of Russia, 



I 


,: 


...... ................ ............ 


LADY BRAVBROO
E AXD LADY FORTE
CLE 
GRAXD:\IOTHER AXD GREAT-AUXT OF \IR
. l
LADSTO
F 


F'011l a þorbait at DJoþl/lore 


'" 
: 
... 

 
! 


. 
. 
. . 


.. 
.. 


. 
J'. 
1 
"I 



 




LETTERS TO HER 


129 


stage, which I think has a much better effect 
than when they walk about like us common 
individuals. The Queen and Prince spoke to 
everyone, and some were introduced to the 
\ 
Emperor, but we thought it a flurry for 
nothing. When we got out of the circle we 
,valked about in search of Blücher and Platof, 
who had each a little circle of their own, and the 
first is, as you see from the drawing annexed, a 
little square, stout old man with a very wild 
head of hair and immense whiskers covering 
his mouth entirely. ". He wore seven stars, 
infinite crosses, and from his neck hung a 
ribbon with the Prince's picture set in diamonds, 
which he gave him as soon as he set his foot 
in Carlton House. He is very old, but very 
galant vis-à-vis des dames, whom he is par- 
ticularly fond of. As to Platof, he was in my 
opinion much the best worth seeing of any, 
as he looked like an inhabitant of the deserts, 
and the simplicity of his dress formed a ,vonder- 
ful contrast with the gold and silver ,vhich 
surrounded him. He wore a quite plain dark 
greatcoat, with only a little silver work on the 
collar and a silver sash, and black thick boots, 
having positively refused to wear shoes, never 
having had them on in his life. However, to 
make amends, the feather in his cap, which as 
you would see in my drawing is near half a 
yard long, was composed entirely of diamonds 
9 


'- 



130 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


and emeralds most beautifully worked, which 
I was able to contemplate at my ease, as he 
gave me the cap in my o,vn hand to look at. 
\,\Te stayed till about t,vo, walking about quite 
at our ease, as there were only people enough 
to fill one room. . . ." 


In Jllne 1839 Mr. and l\Irs. Gladstone were 
engaged to be married. 


FROM THE RT. HON. THOMAS GRENVILLE 


"CLEVELAND HOUSE, June 9, 1839. 
"My DEAREST CATHERINE, -I ,viII not let 
one moment be lost in sincerely thanking you 
for tidings so sincerely gratifying to me. 1 am 
very fond of the great-nephew that you are 
giving to me, and very happy in the excellent 
husband that a bountiful Providence is giving 
to you. 
"I knew l\Ir. Gladstone by character, and 
knew him to be one of the very few about whom 
there is but one voice; latterly I have had the 
pleasure of making his acqllaintance, and am 
gratified beyond measure in thinking that your 
future happiness is committed to one so highly 
gifted in all that ensures it. Do not disre- 
gard these words as being mere congratulatory 
phrases, for 1 can ,veIl assure you that they 
are the llonest expressions of the feelings of my 
11eart, warml
'" interested about you and exult- 



LETTERS TO HER 


181 


ing in a marriage so promIsIng of all tllat I 
could wish for you. . · · 
"Say all the kindest from me on this 
happy occasion to your dear mot.her, and 
believe me always, dearest Catherine, your 
very affectionate old uncle, 
"THOMAS GRENVILLE." 


Charlotte Williams "Tynn, 1\lrs. Gladstone's 
cousin, was a diarist of some note in her day, 
and had travelled extensively. She formed 
" close and lasting friendships" ,vith Thomas 
Carlyle, Bunsen, and F. D. l\Iaurice. 


FROM CHARLOTTE 'VILLIAMS 'VVNN 
II Monday [ 18 47]. 
" l\{v DEAR CATHERINE,-Most heartily do I 
wish you joy upon the triumphant close to all 
your anxiety.1 
" I must say that I never could be persuaded 
to doubt the result of the contest. Looking 
at the matter in its broadest view, it did not 
seem to me possible that a University could 
wilfully put away from her the man with 
I genius, and clutch the man without. 
" As others, however, had not as strong faith 
as I had on the subject, it must have been a 
very nervous time, and I long to hear tllat you 


1 Mr. Gladstone was elected :l\lember of Parliament for Oxford 
University in August 1847- 



132 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


are qllite recovered. The last account of you 
,vas from your servant in Carlton Terrace, 
before I left town, upwards of a week ago. 
" As far as Oxford, papa 1 and I travelled 
together, and there we separated, after I had 
passed two days more enjoyably than any 
two days I remember for years. Think of nlY 
.. 
never having seen OJFford before! You will 
be glad to hear that papa was not a bit the 
worse for the little exertion, and though at 
first he rather dreaded it, I think: he enjoyed 
the whole thing, particularly his reception, 
which W8S very flattering. He then went on 
to Wales, and the election has passed off very 
prosperously. 
" Of course, since my arrival here the only 
topic has been the unexpected putting forward 
of Cobden 2 and the sudden withdrawal of the 
Conservative J\iember. 'Ve were all at the 
þ 
Nomination on Saturday expecting that a 
Contest would ensue, and Lady Carlisle, who 
was here with her son, was in a state of fidget 
beyond anything I ever saw. However, after 
a wordy, trashy speech from Lord l\forpeth 
(which had I been his mamma would have 
made me sonlewhat ashamed for hinl) the 
1 Charles Watkin Williams Wynn. 11.P.. in 1847. for Montgomery- 
shire. 
2 In the General Election of 1847 Cobden was returned for Stock- 
port and for the West Riding of Yorkshire, where Lord Morpeth 
was the other member. Cobden decided to sit for the latter con- 
stituency, which he represented until 1857. 



LETTERS TO HER 


133 


,vhole thing was quickly settled. l\Ir. B 
,vas, I fancy, literally frightened at the ghastly 
show of white manufacturing hands held up 
for Cobden, which look:ed like long lines of 
breakers on a dark sea, so dense and unani- 
mous was the cro,vd. He retired-and an 
hour afterwards received an express from 
Lord Fitzwilliam to say he would support 
him with all the influence he had if he would 
go to the Poll, but it was too late. 
" I remain here another fortnight, a,nd then 
when Mary goes to the Lakes shall retrace my 
steps, and pick up papa somewhere. 
"He has just sent me 1\11'. Gladstone's 
letter to him, which, though it answers in some 
degree my question as to your health, will not 
excuse you from writing when you are able 
and inclined to do so. 
U Adieu, give my love to your husband and 
tell hiln ho,v sincerely I congratulate him.- 
Ever yours affy., 
"CHARLOTTE "TILLIAMS WYNN." 


FROM CAROLINE, LADY 'VENLOCK 
U HAGLEY J Sunday J 1839. 
"My VERY DEAR Puss,-Here I am in 
dear l\lary's 1 Palladian Palace; for it is 
scarcely less! and more happy than I can 
express, to see her so extremely comfortable. 


1 Lady Lyttelton. 



134 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


She does really look like a bright gem in its 
proper casket, within these walls, and need not 
even yield the palm to her celebrated prede- 
cessor, the lovely Lucy, so famed in her hus- 
band's lays. 1 The house has been already 
described to you by Henry. I will only say 
therefore that it is as complete and as fine 
comparatively as either Stowe or Holkham, 
having notl1ing wrong about any part, and 
being exquisitely finished in the correct and 
chastened taste of its peclliiar day. There 
is, too, such an atmosphere of high breeding 
about it that one cannot wish for modern 
furniture, or anything else, but to leave the 
things as they are-being the substantial re- 
sult of many thoroughbred generations. They 
say the last Lord Lyttelton did wonders for 
the place in many ways, and all in the best 
taste. The modern plantations are beautifully 
managed, and there are no rabbits! I ought to 
call them single trees, perhaps, rather than 
anything else
and they are done with the 
most judicious eye. 2 We are going to town to- 
morrow, and then we return here to pass a few 
more days before we consider our visit made 
good. They have been so kind in forgiving its 
being disjointed, and to be sure 'L'homme 


1 To the Memory of a Lady (Lucy Lyttelton) Lately Deceased: a 
Monody, by Georgc, first Baron Lyttelton. LOlldon, 1747. 
2 The beauties of Hagley have been described in Thomson's 
Seasons, 1744- 



LETTERS TO HER 


185 


propose et Dieu dispose.' I am just returned 
from such a ,valk in the park, among (,vithout 
exception) the finest trees I have ever seen- 
more like those at \Vent,vorth than anywhere 
else, and with ten times more lovely grounds. 
I have enjoyed it beyond measure. They 
say there is every probability of the Queen's 
marrying, and that the Prince is very hand- 
some. l\Iiss Copley 1 told Ine the same thing- 
and a fresh report is current of Lady Cowper 
marrying Lord Palmerston,2 provided Lady 
F. C. will accept Lord Emlyn; also that both 
the daughters much dislike the idea of Lady 
C.'s marriage. If you remain so late as the 
middle of November I fear you ,viII find too 
many things to do before February, and ,ve 
shall be cut short of our visit. Of all sensa- 
tions here, I think the most lively for me is 
the idea of your dear mother 3 and what would 
have been lIeI' pride and deligllt in seeing this 
place
 It is ever before my eyes. May it do 
me good, and remind me that every happiness 
below is meant to have its alloy, and may tl1at 
alloy serve to wean us all from loving this 
world with an exclusive and engrossing love.- 
Your loving aunt, CAROLINE." 


1 Afterwards Countes
 Grey. 
2 Lord Palmerston married (December 18 39) Lord :Melboume's 
sister, widow of Earl Cowper. 
8 Lady Glynne had a stroke in 18 34, from which she only partially 
recovered. 




 



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138 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


U January 18 53. 
" DEAR l\lRS. GLADSTONE,--I think we shall 
win by about 100, as far as one can venture to 
guess, but it is blind work. I do not, however, 
apprehend. that there is the least real danger 
of actual defeat. We have several men who 
will come up rather than see us defeated. 
" Lord Ashburton voted for us to-day-our 
second peer (Lord Saye and Sele was the 
other). MR. BENNETT 1 VOTED FOR PERCEVAL. 
The force of imagination can go no further.- 
Yours very faithfully and sincerely, 
"STAFFORD H. N ORTHCOTE. 


"The Dean of Llandaff came here on his 
way to Madeira, for whicll he starts to-night, 
to vote for us." 


FROM LORD LINCOLN (afterwards DUKE OF 
NEWCASTJ-AE) 
"WARREN'S HOTEL, Saturday afternoon [1849]. 
"My DEAR lVIRS. GLADSTONE,-I have not 
the heart to call upon you to-day-to-morrow I 
hope to have slightly recovered from the sad 
and bitter feelings which your good, kind 
husband's letter has produced. 
" None but those who after a long and pro- 


1 A former strong supporter. The final election figures were: 
Gladstone, 1022; Perceval, 898; majority, 124. 



LET1 1 ERS TO HER 


139 


tracted mental suffering have allo\ved theln- 
selves to be buoyed up for a time by some 
new visionary hope can at all sympathise 
,vith me in all the sadness and depression 
,vhich this rene,ved blo\v has occasioned. . . . 
" If you will allow me I ,viII call upon you 
after morning church to-morrow.-Believe me, 
my dear l\'Irs. Gladstone, LINCOLN. 


" I assure you my o\vn grief does not make 
me forget all the trouble and annoyance my 
dear friend is undergoing for me." 1 


FROM THE l)UKE OF NEWCASTLE 


H CLUMBER, January 31, 18 53. 
"l\Iy DEAR l\IRS. GLADSToNE,-Your kind- 
ness to file and my children is really very 
great, and I cannot say how much I am obliged 
to you for the ,vay in which you are now 
sho,ving it. 
"I really do not kno,v what I could have 
done if it had not been for the way in which 
you have adopted them.-Ever yours most 
sincerely, NEWCASTLE." 


l\Irs. Gladstone n10thered his children, both 
in her house in London and at Ha,varden 
Castle, during a time of great trial. 
Appointed Governor-General of India in 1856, 
Lord Canning found his path beset with 
1 See p. 71. 



140 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


difficulties from the first. Not only did his 
first year of office ,vitness trouble with Persia 
which resulted in war, but the intricate 
question of the Oudh settlement had also 
to be dealt ,vith. His second year of office 
was marked by the infinitely more serious 
outbreak of the Indian ]\Iutiny, which had been 
in progress for six months when the following 
letter was written. 


FROM LADY CANNING 


II CALCUTTA, August 7, 18 57. 
"I have not written to you for a,n age, 
but I think I may as well prepare a short 
note for this mail. Not that I shall tell 
you news, but I think you will have thought 
of us so much in the terrible events of the 
last three months that you will like to hear 
of us. I think this dreadful war is so purely 
, defensive' that I may count upôn having 
Mr. Gladstone's sympathy with us, and his 
llearty support in giving all help from England. 
I am sure too he will see a mark of Providen- 
tial interposition in the fact that the China 
Armament, of which he so much disapproved, 
is turned aside to such great service, and that 
Providence brings it within reach at the 
time all other resources are exhausted. All 
this is very striking. We have as yet only 
two of the China ships, and three-quarters of 



LETTERS TO HER 


141 


two admirable regiments turned back from 
the Straits. Lord Elgin pronlised to send all, 
but I fear his orders are not at Singapore 
yet for the rest, but I suppose all will come. 
\\T e have to fight the Bengal army (allover 
Upper India and Bengal), all but about a 
third, which is either disarmed or quiet. "Tell 
affected can be said but of very few regiments, 
and we have but very few English regiments to 
fight with. Between this and Delhi at the 
outbreak there ,vere but four, counting the 
whole of Oudh and the whole valley of the 
Ganges -1000 nliles. The exe-rtions have 
done a great deal, but it is as anxious work 
as ever, and after the horrors of Cawnpore 
we are in the greatest anxiety that Lucknow 
rnay be saved, and we fervently hope that it is 
not too late. It holds out, and the assailants 
are short of ammunition. There are nunlbers 
of women and children in it, and to think of 
the long suspense of these poor things is really 
terrible - 1500 or 2000 men put to flight 
and beat 18,000, taking 12 guns. As General 
Havelock's fire has done this, we may trust it 
will be safel)T taken on tIle remainder of the 
march. 
" Agra is believed to be safe and not as yet 
besieged; it was attacked and left. They 
have a very strong fort well supplied. Poor 
Lady Outram, who is shut up in it, ,vrites in 



142 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


good heart to Sir James, and feels chiefly 
arlxious about hel-- son, who is skirmishing about 
in volunteer cavalry. Sir James has been in 
the house witil us for a few days since he 
arrived from Bombay. He now goes on to 
take the command of the Dinapore Division, 
when he supersedes an old General Lloyd. 
This poor man is in very bad odour with every 
one for his sad mismanagement; instead of 
disarming three regiments he allowed them 
to escape, and the disturbances have taken 
fresil root, and now the flame rages in Bengal 
itself. I could tell y"ou heart-breaking stories 
of sorrow and horrors to make your flesh creep, 
but you will have enough of it all in news- 
papers. "Te have been so struck at the actual 
happiness it has been to many people to find 
that their relations' names were in a list,. 
of deaths by cholera and wounds found at 
Cawnpore, with the date showing they ,vere 
spared from the last llorrible massacre. 
" You can llever imagine the surprise all 
this horrid re,rolt has caused here. I think 
perhaps all tIle more to those most used to 
India. The trust and confidence reposed in 
sepoys was so unbounded. They were so well 
treated, so prosperous, and so well behaved, 
and this tirrle the mllrmllrs arose on a question 
which seemed so easily. explained, and the Oilly 
grIevance was one at once removed. Or 



LETTERS TO HER 


143 


rather it ,vas so simple to show it had never 
existed, for no greased cartridges had ever 
been served out (only used a very short time 
in 3, school of musketry), one could not believe 
the delusion would be so industriously pro- 
pagated with all the fo01ish stories about Lord 
Canning's pledge to the Queen and to I.ord 
Palmerston. 
"Now the Hindoos are quite aware of the 
tool the 1\iussulmans have made them, and I 
believe they have no great fancy for their old 
masters. The strange contrast of Lord John's 
drinking the health of the Princes of Oudh 
and Major Bird returning thanks when we 
have shut up the King, is almost amusing. 
The King, I believe, is quite a dupe of his 
ministers, but the Oudh Court and the emis- 
saries of the King of Delhi are at the bottom 
of the whole, and the plot is evidently of long 
standing. 
"If they could have been turned out of 
Delhi at once, the disaffection would never 
have spread as it did, but now it seems to have 
reached its limits in Upper India, and if 
Bombay and }\1ladras keep quiet through the 
l\Iohammedan feasts of this month, I hope 
we may say we have seen the worst. Poor 
General Anson's death ,vas a very great 
loss. I am sure he would quietly and firmly 
have done the very best service. 



144 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


"Sir H. Barnard we have heard little 
about; he had a brilliant victory and repelled 
many attacks, and now the cholera has carried 
him off. The death of Sir H. Lawrence was 
most sad; his was a noble character in every 
possible way, and had done so well in those 
last times of great difficulty. Some few 
capital new men have come forth. Brigadier- 
General Neill you are sure to see praised in 
newspapers, and he deserves it; he is quite 
new, and comes fronl l\ladras as Colonel of 
an E.I.C. European regiment. We have often 
the whole population of Calcutta in a state of 
most abject panic, which must have the bad 
effect of ruining the natives' opinion of their 
own power. At last the ' Volunteers' were 
allowed both horse and foot, and we have 
enough English soldiers to guard against all 
sudden alarms. In the last three nights C. 
has allowed an English guard and now even 
our bodyguard has quietly given up its arms: 
we have really nobody to attack us. I cannot 
touch upon these topics without telling of 
all at too great length. Lord C. has kept well 
(excepting a few days) through all his anxiety 
and toil. I must say he looks upon it as 
calmly and coolly as possible. 1 The country 
must suffer greatly in every way; civilisation 


1 Lord Cannmg's calmness and clemency have been fulIy justified 
by history_ 



LETTERS TO HER 


145 


goes back full fifty years, for it is clear that 
the people had rather not have it and are not 
ready for it, and the number of burnt factories 
and sugar and indigo works and ruined mer- 
chants is very great. I believe the natives 
have taken alarm at the increase of Education, 
and whether secular or religious they do not 
much remark, for either undermines their 
superstitions and religion. Lord Ellenborough 
had better not have made that cut at Lord 
Canning; giving his weight to the foolish 
reports against him. I am sure :Mr. Gladstone 
would know how very little he of all people 
would incline to interfere with liberty of con- 
science. We have not a notion to what 
subscriptions Lord E. alludes, for it happens 
that there are none to missions-onIy several 
school subscriptions to great and useful 
schools. I have got credit, I find, for ' doing a 
great deal' and visiting schools. The whole 
amount of my visits was one to each girls' 
school in Calcutta, five in number, and five to 
the school under Government for high caste 
girls for secular instruction, and this was wholly 
supported by Lord Dalhousie before I came. 
This was in ten minutes, so I can take little 
credit or blame to myself on this score; and 
this year I have done much less. We must 
look forward to a long spell of Calcutta, and 
it is a good thing that the cliulate does not 
10 



146 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


deserve its bad character in my opInIon. 
I have never had but .one slight attack of fever, 
and I do not think it disagrees with Lord C. on 
the whole. The Talbots are the worst speci- 
mens, and he has gone on without moving to 
the hills, and I think the excitement is rather 
wholesome as far as health is concerned. I 
hope you are well- and strong. My love to 
Mrs. Talbot when you meet. I shall leave a 
page to fill in, if good news comes before 
Saturday night. Remember me to Mr. Glad- 
stone. - Yours very affectionately, 
"C. CANNING. 


"The Shannon is coming up the river with 
troops on board. A piece of most excellent 
news -whatever they may be. Lord Elgin 
must have sent ller. Madras sepoys are come 
too, and believed to be trustworthy, but I am 
afraid they are very small by th
 side of our 
former magnificent Bengal regiments and may 
be disinclined to face them. 


, 


"August 8.-'Vho do you think is about 
to arrive and pay us a visit but Lord Elgin 
hhnself in the Shannon, commanded by 
William Peel. 
"It will be very pleasant to see such well- 
known faces, but better still the 1700 soldiers 
they bring us, just when so much is wa.nted. 
'Ve sllall get on well now. 



LETTERS TO HER 


147 


"Remember me to Mr. Gladstone. I dare 
say you will see Mrs. Herbert; wish her joy 
of her new babe for me, and tell her about us, 
for I do not ,vrite to her to-day, and I know 
she cares to hear. Mrs. Talbot and you are 
sure to see and talk over our troubles. I feel 
much happier again now; we start afresh 
,vith new force to save and relieve those in 
jeopardy still." 


On February 10, 1860, Mr. Gladstone intro- 
duced one of his greatest Budgets,! "the most 
arduous operation I ever had in Parliament." 
It upheld the French Treaty, reduced the taxa- 
tion on certain articles of food, and was 
designed to repeal the Paper Duty, but the 
last proposal was rejected by the House of 
Lords, by ,vhom, ho,vever, it had to be accepted 
in the following year. 


FROl\tI SIR JAl\IES GRAHAM 


"GROSVENOR PLACE, 
(( February I I, 1860. 


" I had intended to have called on you this 
morning to inquire after my friend, and to 
offer you my cordial congratulations. Applause 
,vill follow in frolll every side; you know that. 
none is more sincere than mine. I cannot 
leave hOllle this morning: yet I should have 
1 In a fi. ve-hours' speech. 



148 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 
liked to have shaken the hand of Gladstone. 
He has saved his colleagues in spite of them- 
selves. He omitted nothing. He said nothing 
which ought to have been omitted; and all 
in his own perfect manner. I remembered 
Peel. He is, I hope, in a better and happier 
world. Had he been alive how he would 
have triumphed in the completion of his own 
work by the ablest and most faithful of his 
followers! " 


The Duke of Argyll's allusion in the letter 
which follows is somewhat obscure, but, as 
it was written on the day before the Budget 
speech of 1861, it probably refers to the 
measures taken by Mr. Gladstone to carry the 
repeal of the Paper D1lty through the House of 
Lords. This he did by including all taxation 
proposals in one l\ioney Bill, which had to be 
accepted or rejected in its entirety. 


FROM THE DUKE OF ARGYLL 


" CLIVEDEN, 
"MAIDENHEAD, APril 14, 1861. 


"lVIv DEAR l\'IRS. GLADSTONE,-- I cannot 
help writing you one line to congratulate you 
on your husband's successful ingenuity on 
Saturday, which made me as happy as when 
I joined you at the Crystal Palace last year; 



THE RT. Hox. \V. E. GLADSTONE 
18 5 8 
From a þortrait /Jy Watts ill tÌle National Portrait Gallery 




LETTERS TO HER 


149 


and at which I rejoiced all the n10re, that I 
think the proposal as it no,v stands is not only 
the best way out of a difficulty, but thoroughly 
right and sound in itself. 
"I could not help being reminded of a 
saying of an old Scotch body to a friend of 
mine when he proposed something which she 
thought very ingenious: 'Eh! \Vullie, "\Vullie, 
ye n1ay dee for want 0' breath, bllt ye winna 
dee for want 0' wiles.' 
" I expect him to have a great triumph both 
as regards the Past and Present." 


In 1861 the Prince of "Vales met for the 
first time, in Cologne Cathedra], Princess 
AJexandra of Denmark. Needless to say, 
he loved her at first sight. 1'he announce- 
nlent of the betrothal was received with no 
ordinary interest by the public at large, and 
the future Queen at once established that 
position in the hearts of the peopJe which 
she has ever since maintained. Describing 
the first meeting between Queen Victoria and 
the bride, a lady-in-waiting wrote to l\Irs. 
Gladstone at the time, "No one can fail to 
be struck with the ease, grace, dignity, and 
absence of self-consciousness of her manner 
and bearing, and sweet intelligent look. The 
Queen seemed to take her to her heart at 
once, " 



150 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


FROM THOMAS \V OOLNER 


u 29 WELBECK STREET, 
u September 14, 186 3. 
"DEAR MRS. GLA.DSTONE,-I sent a copy 
of the photograph of Tennyson which I men- 
tioned to you, addressed to you at Penrnaen- 
mawr. If )TOU agree with me that it is one of 
the best likenesses ever done and as good as a 
photograph can be, )TOU will think it almost 
worthy the honour of being presented to 
Mr. Gladstone to adorn the Temple of Peace, 
taking into consideration the great admira- 
tion which he feels towards the original of 
the portrait. 
"I am happy to tell you that the cast of 
the bllSt came out very well indeed, and I 3.m 
now only waiting till it becomes dry before 
beginning it in marble. But onpe persoll yet 
has seen it \vho knows Mr. Gladstone's face, 
and he said that he thought it by far the best 
head that I had done. I find, on comparing 
it with others in my studio, that it looks much 
nlore powerful than any of the others, and I 
think, all things being weighed, that it is the 
most complete of them all. 
" I cannot enough thank you for the thought 
and trouble you took t.o aid me in carrying 
out my ,vork; and it is one of the pleasantest 
memories of my extremely pleasant visit to 



LETTERS TO HER 


151 


Hawarden that I was so fortunate to please you 
in the aspect of Mr. Gladstone's character which 
I tried to represent." 


FROM GENERAL GARIBALDI 


" CLIVEDEN, 24 A vril 1864. 
"MADAME GLADSTONE, - Permettez qu' en 
partant je vous remercie de tout mon cæur 
pour votre généreuse amahilité à n10n égard.- 
V otre devoué, 


" G. GARIBALDI." 


FROM SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE (LORD 
IDDESLEIGH) 


"18 DEVONSHIRE PLACE, W. 
" APril 28, 1865. 
"DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE, -I am very glad 
to find that there is a prospect of some definite 
action with regard to the sick in workllouses. 
The recent disclosures are a great reproach 
to us, and I sincerely hope you may succeed 
in getting the reforms you mention adopted. 
" I will not fail to attend \vhen the question 
comes before Parliament, and I will speak to 
some of my friends who are likely to take an 
interest in it, and try to get a good attendance." 


In 1868 l\Ir. Gladstone 
l\linister for the first time. 


became Prin1e 
The Queen had 



152 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


written on December 1 asking him to under- 
take the formation of tIle new Government; and 
on December 4, the date of Lady Lyttelton's 
letter, lIe had, in an audience at Windsor, 
agreed to accept office. In his Diary he wrote : 
" I feel like a man with a burden under which 
he must fall and be cruslled if he looks 
to the right or left or fails from any cause 
to concentrate mind and muscle upon his 
progress. " 


FROM THE DOWAGER LADY LYTTELTON 


H December 4, 1868. 
"DEAREST CA THERINE- PREMIERE, - So tIle 
crisis has arrived, and the plunge is taken. 
Well, I suppose I must congratulate you and 
your dear husband - to you it will be an 
anxiety the more on his account. May it be 
> 
blessed to you both. I can express my ,vishes 
for him no better than by the first four verses 
of tIle 20th Psalm,! which'struck me as just 
fit for my pllrpose this morning. Perllaps in 
the railroad carriage you may have time to 
read them. Don't think of answering -only 
forgive tIle trouble. I could not help it.- 
Yours affectionately, 


"s. LYTTELTON." 


1 The psalm beginning. ,. The Lord hear thee in the day of 
trouble. . . . JI 



LETTERS TO HER 


153 


FROM LADY PALMERSTON 


U PARK LANE, Decembe
 22, 1868. 
" I am unfortunate in having called on you 
twice without success-to-day and last week- 
and I leave town to-morrow. I wished very 
much to find you, and to have the opportunity 
of congratulating yourself and Mr. Gladstone 
on your brilliant prospects, and to express all 
my good wishes on this occasion. 
" Mr. Gladstone has had the good fortune 
to be able to form a Gove
nment which gives a 
hope of long continuance, and I am very sorry 
that n1Y son "Villiam Cowper was unable to 
join it. 1 am going to Broadlands for a few 
weeks, and I shall hope on my return to find you 
and Mr. Gladstone in great health and spirits." 


FROM BISHOP SAMUEL 'VILBERFORCE 


U WINCHESTER HOUSE, 
U ST. JAMES'S SQUARE, S.W., 
" March 13, 18 7 0 . 
"My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE, -I could not 
help feeling to-day, when 1 saw him kneeling 
in that rapt devoutness at the altar's rails, 
that, if there are bad signs abroad, there are 
to me hopeful ones. When could a powerful 
Prime Minister of England have been so seen 
since Burleigh's time in the reign of Elizabeth: 
except perhaps Aberdeen and Peel ? 



154 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


" You will let me hear about Thursday. 
The Lord Chancellor and the Clarendons dine, 
and will all look in after ten. -I am ever 
affectionately yours, 


"s. WINTON." 


The "Mr. Reid " whom Bishop Wilberforce 
speaks so highly of in the letter which follows, 
and who was at the time but twenty-four 
years of age, is now known as Lord Loreburn, 
and became Lord Chancellor thirty-six years 
after the prophecy was made. 


FROM BISHOP WILBERFORCE 


u May 6, 187 0 . 
" 'ViII you invite a Mr. Reid, a young man, 
son of a Sir J. Reid who was some functionary 
in the Ionian Islands. The young man ,vas a 
very distingllislled Balliol man: an Ireland 
scholar. He held a school inspectorship-is 
now reading for the Bar; and will be Lord 
Cllancellor. He ,vrites for the Daily News, 
and worships Gladstone. He is a friend of 
Reginald. You met him at Winchester House. 
" If you will send me ' Yes ' or any better 
invitation, I ,viII act." 


The Public \V orsllip Regulation Bill was 
strongly opposed by Mr. Gladstone at every 
stage, and in his speech of July 9, to whicI1 Canon 



LETTERS TO HER 


155 


Liddon refers, he gave notice of six resolutions 
which, in his opinion, furnished a more secure 
basis for legislation; but his party declined to 
follow his lead, and eventually the Bill became 
law. Although proceedings under it were 
taken against several members of the Ritualist 
party in the 'seventies, it gradually fell into 
disuse and is to-day a dead letter. 


FROM CANON LIDDON 


U SLIGO, July 18, 1874. 
" I have just been reading a full report of 
Mr. Gladstone's speech on the second reading 
of the Public Worship Bill in the House of 
Commons. 
" And I cannot help writing to you to beg 
you, when an opportunity naturally presents 
itself, to express to him my most sincere and 
heartfelt thanks for so noble and considerate 
a plea for reasonable liberty in the Services of 
the Church. I did not ,vrite to him before the 
debate, partly on account of your recent 
sorrow,1 and because I felt sure that he would 
have anticipated a great deal more than I 
could possibly say. His speech ,viII have won 
the hearts of thousands of clergymen. The 
other day I was at Derry, and spent an even- 
ing "ith the Bishop there-Dr. Alexander. 


1 
Irs. Gladstone's brother, Sir Stephen Glynne, died in June 1874. 



156 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Referring to the debate, which he had just 
been reading, he said: 'I could not forgive 
Mr. Gladstone for our Disestablishment; but 
I own this speech completely draws me again 
to him. It entirely disposes of the charge 
that he is influenced by political motives in 
these matters, as such a speech must have 
forfeited a great deal of influence with the 
rank and file of the Liberal party.' And if 
an Irish Bishop can voluntarily say as much 
as this, it is easy to imagine the feelings of 
those who are nearer home and more imme- 
diately interested. 
" Even if the Bill should become law, such 
words will not be without effect in governing 
its administration, and in checking the mere 
unscrupulous exhibition of partisanship in 
the highest places of the Church, as well as 
in inducing some of our brethren to reconsider 
exaggerations, whether of languagé or practice, 
into which they may have been betrayed. In 
any case, justice, and still more generosity, 
are not to be met with every day in public 
life, and I, at least, learn to prize conspicuous 
examples of them more highly as I get 
older. . . . 
"Dear Mrs. Gladstone, if I have ventured 
to say too much, and especially at a time of 
such heavy sorrow, you will forgive me. But 
I am not. without 110pe that an assurance 



LETTERS TO HER 


157 


of the profound and affectionate gratitude 
which Mr. Gladstone has once more provoked 
in, I feel sure, thousands of hearts, may be a 
comfort to yourself." 
, 


FROM QUEEN VICTORIA 


"OSBORNE, July 22, 1875. 
"DEAR lVIRS. GLADSTONE,-I received with 
much pleasure your letter announcing to me 
your eldest son's engagement to Lord Blan- 
tyre's youngest daughter, and hasten to offer 
my sincerest good wishes to yourself and Mr. 
Gladstone. Pray also offer my congratula- 
tions to your son. I can easily understand how 
much pleased you must be to feel that your 
future daughter is the grandchild of the dear 
Duchess of Sutherland, my dear and valued 
friend, who was also grandmother to my son- 
in-law. I do not know Miss Gertrude Stuart, 
but have always heard her highly spoken of. 
U Before concluding, let me say how glad I 
was that Mr. Gladstone appreciated Angele's 
beautiful pictures. I wished he could see 
those he has done for me of Louise, and some 
which are specially successful as likenesses 
and works of art. Repeating my good wishes, 
believe me always, -Yours affectionately, 
" V.R.I. 
" You will, I trust, let me know when the 
marriage is to take place." 



158 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


FROM CARDINAL NEWMAN 


"THE ORATORY, 
H BIRMINGHAM, July 4, 1876. 
"My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE, -I thank you 
and Mr. Gladstone very sincerely for your 
invitation to breakfast on the 6th. 
"I shall rejoice to receive Mr. Gladstone's 
articles on Homer's Apollo and Athene,1 which 
he is so good as to promise to send me, having 
already read with much interest some portion 
of his remarks on the Homeric mythology." 


Tennyson and his son Hallam visited 
IIawarden in 1876, but before accepting the 
invitation the poet had made a bargain that 
he n1Ïght be a]lowed to indulge in his beloved 
pipe in the security of his bedroom, snloking 
not being then much in practice at the Castle. 
With him, the poet brought his newly written 
historical drama Harold, his "Tragedy of Doom" 
as he called it. It seems to have impressed 
l\{r. Gladstone, and in an article in the Con- 
temporary Review (Decerrlber 1876) on the 
Eastern Question he quoted the lines : 


U The voice of any people is the sword 
That guards them; or the sword that beats them down JJ 


1 II Homerology, JJ Contemporary Review, March, April, and July 
18 7 6 . 



LETTERS TO HER 


159 


FROM LORD TENNYSON 


" F ARINGFORD, 
"FRESHWATER, Novembef' 12, 1876. 


" I\Iy DEAR l\IRs. GLADSTONE,-Here we are 
returned to our winter quarters--we retain 
golden memories of our visit to Hawarden, and 
your statesman, not like Diocletian arrlong his 
cabbages, but among his oaks, axe ill hand. 
Has he anything to say about my drama? If 
so, let hin1 say it quickly before Harold passes 
into stereotype, and then burn or return the 
proofs. 
"I am glad Hallam made a favourable 
impression--I do not think any man ever 
had a better son than I have in him.--Al\vays 
yours, 


"A. TENNYSON." 


'fhe letter which follows is undated, but 
probably refers to the personal attack made 
by l\Ir. Chaplin upon l\Ir. Gladstone during a 
debate on the Eastern Question in February 
1877. l\lr. Gladstone's reply, a D1ixture of 
sarcasm and light-hearted banter, has been 
described as one of the most effective and 
brilliant ever spontaneously delivered in the 
House of Commons. 



160 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


FROl\l TIlE DUKE OF 'VESTl\iINSTER 


CC CLIVEDEN, MAIDENHEAD. 


"DEAR l\IRs. GLADSTONE,--Here for the 
day. I had to leave before I cOllld write a 
line on all the iniquities of last night. I never 
remenlbered so g
oss a personal attack, so 
prepared and in such bad taste. It elicited 
a wonderful instance in the crushing reply of 
n1arvellous power and readiness. It did one 
good to-day to hear the expressions of sym- 
pathy and of admiration.. 
"I hope Gladstone does not really IIlind 
this sort of wretched attacks, and that he takes 
theIIl as a N e"rfoundland dog does the worrying 
of a terrier. 
"After C 's language at Lincoln, of 
which I made a note, I was not surprised at 
the edifying performance that followed.- 
Yours sincerely, 


" \VESTMINSTER. 


" P.S.-Little Molly 1 was looking at a marble 
profile of Dante yesterday and asked, 'Is that 
Gladstone?' That was rather funn)', wasn't 
. t ? 
1 . 
" I)id you heal" R.osebery's child's deliglltful 
remark that she 'couldn't make her n1Înd sit 
down ' ? " 


1 Lady Mary Grosvenor, now Lady Mary Stanley. 



LETTERS TO HER 


161 


lYhen Sir Henry Ac]and visited RtlSkin in 
1878, he expressed the opinion that the attack 
of brain fever fronl which he was suffering 
could have only one of t,vo possible results, 
recovery being out of the question. Happily 
these forebodings were not realised. Ruskin 
had visited Hawarden before and after this 
attack of brain fever ,vith "his health better 
and 110 diminution of charm," as his host noted 
in his Diary. 


FROM SIR HENRY ACLAND 


U BLETCHLEV, March 10, 18 7 8 . 
" l\Iy DEAR l\IRS" GLADSTONE,-I am on my 
way back from Ruskin, at Coniston, and 
having to halt here for the first train (I came 
by the night mail thus far) I must write to 
you and l\Ir. Gladstone. I \vrite to you, I own, 
simply or in great part as a relief to pent-up 
feelings \vhich either did not exist or had no 
expression while I was with him. For now 
his ruind is utterly gone. He cannot be rightly 
said to kno\v anvone. He raves, in the same 

 
clear voice and exquisite inflection of tone, 
the most unmeaning ,vords-modulating then1 
now \vith sweet tenderness, now ,vith fierce- 
ness like a chained eagle-short, disconnected 
sentences, no one meaning anything, bllt 
beautiful to listen to for the mere sound, like 
the dashing of 
iagara. It did not move file, 
fl 



162 CATI-IERINE GLADSTONE 


though he 'VOllld alternately strike at me and 
tenderly clasp my hands-once only giving 
almost certain sign of knowledge. '.ro my 
question, 'Did you expect to see me by your 
bed ? ' he' answered in the most pathetic tone : 
, Yes, I e
pected you would corrle,' and then 
no more light any nlore. 
" On the 12th of Febrllary he had sent the 
copy of his description of the Turner drawings 
to the press. The Preface ends with these 
words (one of Turner's first pictures; his first 
picture with words of poetry attached-one 
of Coniston Fells): 'Morning breaks as I write, 
along these Coniston Fells, and the level mists, 
motionless and grey beneath the rose of the 
moorlands, veil the lower woods and the sleep- 
ing village, and the long lawns by the lake- 
shore. Oh! that some had told me in my 
youth, when all my 11eart seeme4 to be set on 
these colours and clouds, that appear for a 
little while, and then vanish away, how little 
my love of them would serve me, when the 
silence of lawn and wood in the dews of morn- 
ing should be completed, and all my thoughts 
should be of those whom, by neither, I was to 
meet more.' 
" A week after sending this to press, his mind 
began to fail, and on the 24th he was down 
with the violence of the brain fever. 
" I have thus ended n1Y sheet. As I look on 



LETTERS TO HER 


163 


his intelligent life, I seem to see how physi- 
ally he has been overwrought, and approach- 
ing slowly this grievous precipice. And, as I 
reflect, I seem to have seen or known no similar 
man. Nor now is he like any other; nor would 
any other be like him. The hours spent with 
him seem to have added a new and solemn 
act to the whole drama of life; and though I 
looked on almost stolidly at the time and quite 
unmoved, I look back with a certain holy, 
strange awe at the mystery of a human soul 
displayed on earth; the deep, pathetic 
mystery of every human life. 
" It was repeated to me what l\'Ir. Gladstone 
had said of Ruskin the other day at Grillon's. 
You know how I lately wished and thought 
about his going to you. I never saw him 
again after he yielded to my earnest entreaty 
to recall his refusal. And you have his last 
letter to me. I shall be back presently, God 
willing, at Iny daily work; may it be better 
done and more wisely and holily-and if I 
find I can yet help Ruskin, I shall go back 
again. There is a good, kind, sensible doctor 
near him, at Hawkshead. His old friend, 

Ir. Severn, has been with him too for the last 
ten days." 


The General Election of 1880 resulted in Mr. 
Gladstone's return to the Premiership for the 



164 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


second time. The Midlothian Carrlpaign had 
been a triunlphal procession, and at no time 
has the country ever been raised to such a 
pitch of enthusiasm as was then witnessed. 
As a result, the Liberals swept the country. 


FROM I.lORD BRYCE 
. 


It 7 NORFOLK SQUARE, vV., 
d December 9, 1880. 
"DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-'Vill you allow 
me to congratulate you on this wonderful 
campaign, and tell you, though you are sure 
to know it from a thousand sources already, 
what a feeling it has stirred in the breasts of 
the working men and the hearts of the humbler 
classes even here in London, ,vhere people 
are supposed to be least sympathetic and 
excitable? I have been usually two or three 
evenings every week in the Tower Hamlets 
canvassing, and so have been able to judge of 
the passionate interest with which these poor 
people have been following Mr. Gladstone's 
progress. One can't mention his name at a 
meeting without everybody springing to their 
feet and waving their hats. There is a warmer 
enthusiasm for him now here in the East of 
London than there ever was before, even in 
the election of 1868, and whatever tIle West 
End may say or think or write, I think the East 
End would hardly yield to Scotland or Wales 



LETTERS 'ro HER 


165 


in the depth and inten
ity of their attachment 
to his name. It is not so much a reaction 
to,vards Liberalisnl; it is what strikes one as 
better and finer even than political earnest- 
ness; it is loyalty and gratitude to a character 
and career ,vhich are their highest political 
ideal. Pardon me for troubling you with these 
lines. I trust that you and he are none the 
worse for so much fatigue and exposure." 


FROl\l THE DUKE OF 'VESTMINSTER 


II EATON, Wednesday, 1880. 
" l\Iy DEAR MRS. GLADSToNE,-One line, for 
you have no time for more, to add to the miles 
of congratulations that are your due from 
every' airt.' 
"Ho"\v gloriously rewarded Gladstone must 
feel himself to be in the triumph of all that is 
right over all that has been so ,vrong. 
" We shall win one seat here and very likely 
both, and take this Tory stronghold. 
"Ho,v right and graceful of Leeds if, as 
they propose, they elect Herbert.- Yours very 
sincerely and triumphantly, 
" 'VESTMINSTER. 


" You saw that Shaftesbury too had been 
captured." 


The tragedy of the Phænix Park murders 
roused a thrill of horror through all classes 



166 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


of society. The Prince of Wales wrote to 
Mr. Gladstone expressing his deep emotion, 
and the Queen was no less moved. At Her 
Majesty's request Mrs. Gladstone sent a por- 
trait of Lord Frederick Cavendish to Windsor. 


FROM QUEEN VICTOIlIA 


U WINDSOR CASTLE, July 18, 1882. 
"DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-I return with 
many thanks the touching, sad, but most 
peaceful and beautiful portrait you have kindly 
allowed me to see. It must be very comfort- 
ing for poor Lucy 1 to have it to look at. 
Was any cast taken to enable a bust to be 
made? 
" I send you a photograph of myself taken 
in the dress I wore at Leopold's wedding. 
It is much liked. The veil and lace trimmings 
are the same I wore at my own 'Yedding forty- 
two years ago." 


Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, died in 
March 1884. Mr. Gladstone was in bad health 
at the time and confined to his room. 


FROM ARCHBISHOP BENSON 


ULAMBETH PALACE, Aþ'YiI4, 1884. 
"My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-I have not 
troubled you with letters while the papers 


1 Lady Frederick Cavendish. 



LETTERS TO HER 


167 


(happily accompanied almost daily with com- 
mentaries better than the text from those who 
kno,v) have kept us informed of the slow, quiet 
repair which ,ve hope is better and sounder 
than a sudden reinstatement. But to-day, 
when one's eyes almost ached not to see l\ir. 
Gladstone in his stall at St. George's, I cannot 
help sending you one word, not meant to 
draw a moment's additional trouble from 
you, but to assure you how very beautiful 
and touching was the service, in which I am 
sure your hearts joined. 
"The Queen was wonderfully composed 
and strong, tll0Ugh she looked as if she had 
wept sorely. Ko one can ever forget the in- 
tense look of the Prince of "Tales, or the way 
in which he was rapt in the service, and his 
sudden kneeling down at the head of the grave 
when the Kyrie eleison began. 'Vhen he sent 
for me afterwards he looked so pale, and as if 
thoughts other than of earthly sorrow were 
with him. 
" The young Duchess was at a private little 
service yesterday in the memorial chapel,1 
the very image of strong resignation, as the 
Dean told me. And a young officer said that 
the little service before the body left the 
vessel yesterday was even more impressive than 


1 Twelve years later Archbishop Benson died in Hawarden church, 
when visiting Mr. and 
irs. Gladstone. See p. 192. 



168 CATHERINE GLADS'fONE 


the wonderful beauty and po,ver of to-day. 
Everyone says the Foreign Ambassadors were 
greatly impressed. 
"In London even poor cabmen had crape 
on their ,vhips in little bo,vs. Surely England 
has not done with loyal lo,re yet. 1Ir. Glad- 
stone ,vould have so entered into the piety 
. 
and strength and hope of the scene to-day. 
Please no ans,ver, I kno\v ho,v busy you are. 
"'Vith sincere hopes that every day and 
hour is strengthening l\Ir. Gladstone, and that 
you are ,vell.-Sincerely yours ever, 
" ED'V. CANTUAR." 


FROl\I KING EDWARD VII. '\VHEN PRINCE OF 
'V ALES 


U
IARLBOROUGH HOUSE, Aþril7, 1884. 
"l\Iv DEAR l\IRs. GLADSToNE,-Your kind 
letter ,vhich reached me to-day has deeply 
touched me, and I beg you and 
Ir. Gladstone 
to accept my sincerest thanks for your sym- 
pathy in the blo\v we have sustained. You 
have kno\vn us all since our childhood, and I 
felt sure ,vould feel for and with us at the 
sudden death of our poor brother. 
"If his life had been spared, he had a 
brilliant career before him . . . it is not for 
us to murmur. 
" The Queen and my sister-in-Ia,v are bear- 
ing up as well as can be expected in their grief. 



LE1'TERS TO HER 


1b9 


" 'Vith kind regards to 1\11". Gladstone, ,vho 
I trust is now quite himself." 


FROM THE DUKE OF "TESTl\IINSTER 


(( CLIVEDEN, May 8, 1884. 


H I wonder whether ,ve might ask G]adstone 
to confer a distinguished honour 011 our 
youngest son by consenting to become his 
godfather? '''''e have the Jess hesitation in 
making this proposal, as we do not think it 
will give him much additional ,vork, his 
coadjutors being l\Iary Cobham and A]fred 
Lyttelton, l ready to take all the work on to 
themselves. . . ." 


This ,vas Hugh Grosvenor, ,vho lost his 
life in the Great 'Yare 


Holman Hunt spent practically ten years 
,vorking on "The Triumph of the Innocents," 
of which there are two pictures, at Liverpool 
and Birmingham. 


FROl\1 HOLl\IAN HUNT 


(( DRA YCOTT LODGE, 
(( FULHAM, August 1884. 
" DEÄR 1\IRs. GLADSTONE,-I trust that you 
will not allow the request that I venture to 
make in this note, to hamper you in your many 
serious duties in the slightest degree, unless, 
1 Died July 1913. 



170 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


with the wonderful power Mr. Gladstone has 
of relieving his mind from his heavy responsi- 
bilities, you think that the honour of a visit 
from him to my studio would be a wholesome 
and practicable relaxation. 
"The picture, which it would be a great 
gratification to me to show both to you and to 
him, is one that I painted in Jerusalem some 
seven years since, but owing to the canvas 
being bad I was unable to bring the work to 
a conclusion without repeating it on another 
canvas, which has been a very trying task. 
It is now so nearly finished that it would be 
a disappointment to me to put off till your 
return to town this application, which I will 
confess I have kept in reserve as one of the 
pleasures to be earned by bringing my task 
to an end. The picture is an imaginary 
incident of the flight into Egypt, and it 
will be entitled 'The Triumph of the Holy 
Innocents.' 
"I will gladly be at my studio any time 
on Saturday that you might be able to 
appoint. " 


The 
 news of General Gordon's death was 
received in England on February 5, 1885, and 
ón February 23, Sir Stafford N orthcote moved 
a vote of censure on the Government. The 
final debate took place on February 27, and 



LETTERS TO HER 


171 


the division ,vas taken at four o'clock on the 
morning of the 28th. The result was a narro,v 
majority of fourteen for the Government. 


FROM G. W. E. RUSSELL 


(( HOUSE OF COMMONS, February 27 J 188 5. 
"l\ly DEAR 1\IRs. GLADSTONE,-I fear you 
must be feeling sad and anxious about to- 
night. And, though I can do no good, I feel 
impelled to write you one line of true and 
loyal sympathy. 
"Even if the worst happens, it will only 
be because ]\tlr. Gladstone preferred duty to 
inclination, and stayed on when he might 
have gone out in a blaze of triumph. His 
fame is assured for all time, and no passing 
reverses can affect it. 
"Never, I think, 'were you so enconlpassed 
with the love and trust of his real followers : 
and I personally should be the basest of the 
base if I did not, at this dispiriting moment, 
make a special acknowledgment of my grati- 
tude and veneration." 


The Afghan boundary dispute in the early 
part of 1885 occasioned grave fears of a war 
with Russia, but in May 1\1r. Gla.dstone was 
able to announce that a settlement had been 
arrived at. 



172 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


FROM SIR ARTHUR GORDON (LORD STANMORE) 


U QUEEN'S COTTAGE, 
U ONWARA ELIYA, 18/3/'85. 


" My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-I began our 
Pembroke Castle cruise positively by actually 
.. 
disliking l\liss Tennant.! I ended it, liking 
her very much and thinking highly of her. 
I am really growing old now, and am in feel- 
ings much older than my fifty-five years would 
warrant, for I have from my youth lived 
entirely with people older than myself, and 
made most of nlY more intimate friends among 
them. I have consequently a liking for les 
manières d' autrefois, which is not too often 
gratified nowadays. I must say I think well- 
bred women thirty or forty years ago had 
quieter, more refined and really polished ways 
:- 
than the young women of the present day 
can boast of, and were in consequence all the 
more agreeable to live with. 
"I heard with much regret of Sir Robert 
Phillimore's death. He had not of late been 
so much or so closely associated with you as 


1 Miss Laura Tennant, afterwards Mrs. Alfred Lyttelton. The 
Pembroke Castle trip was taken by Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone in 1883 ; 
Sir Donald Currie was host, and Tennyson was one of the guests. 
In Copenhagen harbour Mrs. Gladstone was hostess to the Emperor 
and Empress of Russia, the King and Queen of Greece, the King 
and Queen of Denmark, the Princess of Wales, and many others. 
See Some Hawarden Letters. 



LETTERS TO HER 


173 


was the case some years ago, but he ,vas still 
one of the most true and faithful personal 
friends of l\Ir. GJadstone. I see an early 
dissolution spok:en of. Aberdeen is to have 
two members. I wonder if they would take 
me as one ? 
"What crowds of events in the political 
world and what important and exciting ones ! 
I shall lose something of my faith if it be 
possible that a war should result from the 
discussions with Russia-discussions which 
appear to me to be eminently of a nature for 
settlement by amicable negot.iation. Bllt on 
the whole, such a result seems to me to be 
impossible, for there is not sufficient reason 
for it. I do not forget, however, that the 
Crimean War seemed equally impossible, and 
that l\Ir. Gladstone cannot be more averse 
to war than my father 1 was. But there is this 
enormous difference in the situation-that 
Mr. Gladstone has no party intriguings against 
him in his own Cabinet, and that the negotia- 
tions are directly carried on between two 
Powers only, instead of indirectly and with 
half a dozen, as in 1854. This is all in favour 
of a peaceful issue. 
"Though we are in the tropics, it is quite 
cold up here-frost at nights-fires in all our 
rooms-and a garden before the house with 


1 Lord Aberdeen, Prime Minister in 1854, 



174 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


none but English flowers in it.-I remain, 
yours very affectionately, 


"A. GORDON." 


On her daughter's dangerous illness. 


FROM G. \V". E. RUSSELL 


"WOBURN, Novembe'l' 4, 1886. 
" My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE, - Lady 
Stepney's letter just received has caused us 
such joy that my father desires me to write 
at once, on his behalf as well as my own, to 
say how very thankful and happy we are, 
for your daughter's sake and for yours. 
"There is no happiness on earth like the 
escape from fear, and God's mercy seems to 
shine more brightly when one has just emerged 
from a cloud. 
" That you have been allowed so to emerge, 
and again to feel and see the light, is indeed an 
unspeakable mercy." 


The split which occurred in the Liberal 
Party over Home Rule is a matter of history. 
Some of Mr. Gladstone's followers, like the 
Duke of Argyll and the Duke of ,V est minster , 
expressed tlleir dissent from the new policy in 
various ways, but through all their attachment 
to Mr. and l\{rs. Gladstone was maintained and 
their admiration undiminished. 



LETTERS TO HER 


175 


FROM JOHN BRIGHT 


CC EUSTON HOTEL, June I, '86. 
"DEAR MRS. GLADSToNE,-Your invita- 
tion is very kind, and I wish I could freely 
accept it; but at this moment, when I am 
driven into serious, but I hope only temporary, 
opposition to Mr. Gladstone in connection with 
his unfortunate Irish policy, I feel as though 
my company at your table could not be as 
pleasant to you or as satisfactory to myself 
as heretofore. You will see that I write 
frankly, eXplaining precisely why I will ask 
you to excuse and forgive me if I do not join 
you at dinner this evening. 
" I cannot tell you how grieved I am at the 
crisis at which we have arrived, but judgment 
and conscience must rule rather than personal 
preferences. As for myself, if you cannot 
approve, I may hope that you will be able to 
forgive.-Be]ieve me, very sincerely yours, 
"JOHN BRIGHT." 


The following letter refers to the tragic 
death of the Duchess cf Argyll ten years 
earlier. She was taken suddenly ill at Lord 
Frederick Cavendish's house in Carlton Ter- 
race, as l\Ir. Gladstone ,vas handing her in to 
dinner. He carried her into the study, her 
sons and daughters ,vere summoned, and she 



176 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


died the same evening in the arms of Mrs. 
Gladstone (May 25, 1878). 


FROM THE DUKE OF ARGYLL 


" July 29, 1888, 
CC ARGYLL LODGE, KENSINGTON. 


"My DEAR MRS. GLADsToNE,-I received 
your kind letter on Friday just as I was start- 
ing for Tennyson, and I could not write whilst 
there. 
" Pray be sure that I can never dislike any- 
thing that you can ever say to me. The last 
sight I had of my dear one was in your arms, 
and I think of you, as of Her, as " very woman 
of very woman," as the great poet wrote of 
Her to me. 
" But there is one thing I am not sure that 
you quite see-or at least fully estimate. 
" 'The Doctrine of the Two Spheres' is 
generally easy. But it becomes more difficult 
in practice when differences become funda- 
mental with one who is not only a leader, but 
the only leader whose teaching is of any power. 
" He can fire at us as a nameless group. We 
can't do this. His words and arguments are 
the only ones worth considering. We can 
argue with him alone. 
" The alternative is to speak at him: or to 
speak of him. 
" I hate the first-the second is always the 



LETTERS TO HER 


177 


most respectful, but it sounds more personal. 
This really can't be helped. 
" Pray also recollect how deeply this differ- 
ence cuts into life. Poor Leinster died of 
nothing else. He died of a broken heart- 
on the Irish question. He was a devoted 
Gladstonian up to the Hon1e Rule move, was 
quite angry ,vith me on the Land Question. 
But the last move killed him. lIe saw the 
break up of all he had loved and lived for- 
he and his, for many generations. 
"Such things can't be helped-in great 
revolutions. But if the Revolution be not 
certainly for the better, they are sacrifices 
which embitter-and are uncompensated to 
those ,vho stand in former convictions. 
"How very sad Evey Ailsa's 1 death t She 
,vas a very angel of goodness-therefore we 
need not grieve. 
"I found Tennyson weak physically, but 
writing new poelns as full of force and of 
pathos and beauty as ever.-Yours affection- 
ately, ARGYLL." 


FROM THE DUKE OF 
VESTMINSTER 


"EATON, June 27, 1892. 
"l\Iv DEAR l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-I have only 
just heard of this disgraceful act 2 by a dis- 
1 Lady Ailsa, his niece, sister of the Hon. 
Irs. \V. H. Gladstone. 
S A woman in the crowd had thrown a missile which hit Mr. Glad- 
stone in the eye. 
12 



178 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


graceful Chester woman, and I lament it 
greatly, and Ollly 110pe that the annoyance 
may not have been felt much by Gladstone 
and yourself. 
"It will have excited the disgust and in- 
dignation of all parties.- Yours under alJ 
circumstances, always affectionately, 
" "TESTMINSTER. 


" No ans,ver ! " 


Probably the most notable of Mr. Glad- 
stone's speeches delivered outside the House 
of Commons ,vas that made at Bingley Hall, 
Birmingham, in 1888, before an audience of 
some 18,000 people. Public excitement was 
at fever heat, and probably the only person 
in Birmingham ,vho remained calm was Mr. 
Gladstone himself, then seventy - eight years 
of age. Indeed, it is remembered' that on the 
day of tì1e meeting, when the whole household 
with whom Mr. and l\irs. Gladstone were 
staying was filled with apprehension and ex- 
citement at the magnitude of the task before 
llim, the chief actor was so dEer in a Ilomeric 
discussion, that it was \vith difficulty he was 
induced to take his seat in the carriage which 
was waiting to convey him to Bingley Hall. 
Lord l\Iorley has written a vivid description of 
the mèeting and of tIle scene at the close- 



LETTERS TO HER 


179 


"absolutely indescribable and incomparable, 
overwhelming like the sea." 


FROJ.\tI ONE OF HIS COLLEA.GUES 


" N ovembe" I I, '88. 


"l\Iv DEAR lVIRs. GLADSTONE,-I had to 
leave Bingley Hall as soon as 1\Ir. Gladstone 
sat down, for I ,vas pressed to catch a train. 
Since then I have hardly pllt pen to paper, 
and have scarcely thought of anything else. 
" He has beaten his record: his o,vn record! 
There has been nothing like it. I am con- 
vinced from my o,vn observations, and from 
casual words with odds and ends of people I 
met on rail,vay platforms, that his noble 
speech was heard all through by lS,pOO 
people. lIe shames the young, and is the 
despair of the old. 
"I envy you more than him. Our eyes 
synlpathised though ,ve could not speak. I 
feel privileged to take something of the same 
sort of pride that his family takes in these 
performances. I could indeed have waited 
as far as my train was concerned, but I wished 
the evening to close for me with that splendid 
recollection. 
"I am grateful to him personally for the 
stimulating idea of that august scene, which 
must have been a high incentive to every 
person present, however humble, who was 



180 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


interested in politics; and on behalf of the 
party, for an episode which places it in a 
new light of enthusiasm.-God bless you 
and him." 


FROM J. T. DELANE, EDITOR OF THE TIMES 


II 10 SERJEANT'S INN, June 8. 
"DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-When the Prime 
Minister on \Vednesday last was good enough 
to ask me to dine witl1 you on Thursday next 
I listened in, I hope, becoming wonder, that 
one, who knew so much, should not know that 
Thursday next is Cup Day at Ascot. 
"He promised me a card, and when none 
came I hoped it was I and not he who had 
mistaken the day. 
" Your note 'to remind ' has dispelled the 
fond illusion, and I feel as Dr. Manning might 
feel if he had accepted an invitation to a Ball 
on Good Friday. 
"Pray then intercede for me. I have a 
large party in my house at Ascot for the Races. 
I expect at least a hundred people, and most 
of your colleagues, to lunch there on Thursday. 
I had some hope that you yourself and Miss 
Gladstone might possibly honour me with 
your presence, and now I find myself partly 
engaged to dine with you in London. 
"Pray allow me to defer the honour to 


. 



LETTERS TO HER 


181 


some other occasion, and forgive the rash 
assent of, yours very faithfully, 
"JNO. T. DELANE." 


The laconic answer of Tennyson to an In- 
vitation to breakfast. 


FROM LORD TENNYSON 


(Undated.) 
"My DEAR l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-I am sorry 
that we cannot come to-morrow, so is she.- 
Ever yours, A. TENNYSON." 


'Vhat would the writer of the following 
letter have had to say about present-day 
fashions ? 


FROM DR. PUSEY 


"CHALE, 1. OF WIGHT, 
" Easter Tuesday, 1870. 
"::\Iy DEAR l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-l\Iy dear 
friend, your husband, tells me that he has 
shown you the part of my letter which relates 
to the dress of the upper class of society, 
and that if I had anything to suggest you 
. would be glad to speak with me, whenever I 
should be in town. 
" As I hear, there are two classes of evil: 
"1. The extravagance of dress. 
"2. Its character. 
"The first has its special evil both in pre- 



182 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


venting marriage (as so many young men 
cannot afford to marry such wives) and its 
horrible evils in consequence of young wives 
not daring to bring their bills to their hus- 
bands. This I have been told by married 
women, not by those who were guilty. 
"2. The indecency. And this, as far as I 
hear, is more inexcusable in the young or 
middle-aged married women, because in them 
it can hardly be to please their husbands, 
except so far as a vain or foolish husband from 
time to time likes his wife to be an object of 
admiration even at the cost of propriety of 
dress. I have heard of such a case, when 
the wife was evil spoken of because the vain 
husband liked her to appear in this undress 
and surrounded her with the society of men, 
probably like himself. 
" The second will be more easily withstood 

 
than the first. For a modest dress is really 
more becoming and more attractive than the 
immodest - I mean as far as attractiveness 
is a lawful object with mothers for their 
daughters. 'Vhat any men who are worth 
having for husbands are really attracted by is 
simplicity and reality. I have known cases 
when persons without any beauty or much 
sense have been attractive, simply by their 
freshness and simplicity. 
" The difficulty seems to be to persuade the 



LETTERS TO HER 


183 


young women themselves before they have 
unlearnt the simplicity which, if unlearnt, can 
only be recovered by the grace of God. 
" Yet I cannot but think that something 
might be done to check beginnings. 'Vhy 
should fashion be all in the wrong direction ? 
'Vhy should dressmakers have this autocracy? 
Or if they have it, why should their influence 
be on the wrong side? God has made His own 
work more beautiful than we can unmake it, 
and it is best set off by that which is becom- 
ing, i.e. suited to it. 
"People have learned the power of union 
and adopt it as far as they can. "Thy should 
not something of this sort be done for God ? 
"Ve have plenty of associations for the poor. 
'Vhy should not the good rich associate them- 
selves for the protection of our young women, 
the mothers of the future aristocracy of 
England, that our young English girls might 
become again what they ,vere in the days of 
your youth? Thus if a certain number of 
ladies, into whose houses mothers ,vould ,vish 
to introduce their daughters, '\vere, in issuing 
their cards for an evening party, to put (in 
French for the servants' sakes) something to 
the effect, 'It is required that ladies should 
not come in very low dress,' or the like, I should 
think a counter-tide of fashion might set in. 
"Ho,vever, you, ,vho live in society, can 



184 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


understand how everything is to be done for 
it, better than I who live out of it. But I 
feel sure that something could be done if those 
who can influence it do not look upon it as 
a hopeless evil, and so let the flood sweep 
on which is, one fears, sweeping so many to 
perdition. . 
"I wish also something could be done as 
to not inviting those persons whom people 
court also for their rank, but of whom charity 
itself can think no present good, but can only 
hope that they may be converted. 
"Of course there will be obloquy and ridi- 
cule; nothing good is ever done which is not 
spoken against. But you will have people's 
consciences, tlleir better feelings, their better 
selves, and God on your side, in setting yourself 
against tllis tide of evils; and you will find, 
I doubt not, as we ,did, ,vhen we began the 
I þ 
T'l"acts for the Times, that many will range 
themselves on the right side as soon as a 
decided stand is made, who before stood 
loitering about, choosing neither. God prosper 
you.- Yours very faithfully, 
"E. B. PUSEY." 


The visit to Italy foreshadowed in the next 
letter duly took place, lVlr. and Mrs. Gladstone 
staying with Lord Rendel at Naples, and there 
Lord Dufferin visited them. "I went, " he 



LETTERS TO HER 


185 


afterwards told their daughter, "thinking I 
could give l\Ir. Gladstone valuable information 
concerning Egypt and India, but I discovered 
he knew much more about them than I did." 


FROM LORD DUFFERIN 


"VICEROY'S CAMP, LAHORE, 
u November 16, '88. 


" l\lv DEAR l\IRs. GLADSTONE,-I had such a 
nice letter from l\Ir. Gladstone, and now you 
have been good enough also to ,vrite to me, 
which is very like old times. 
"And now about Rome. I cannot con- 
ceive any circumstances in which you and 
l\lr. Gladstone ,vould not be welcome at the 
Embassy, or in ,vhich I could not contrive 
someho,v to make you comfortable; but I 
must admit that next January would be a 
less propitious date than I could desire, for 
the simple reason that we do not ourselves 
get to Rome until the third or fourth of that 
month, and that the house is described as 
being so dilapidated and destitute of furniture 
that my wife and children, after staying for a 
few days, as at present arranged, in a hotel, 
go straight on to England, leaving me as a 
bachelor to do the best I can for myself until 
the workmen, painters and upholsterers have 
put the place in order. But, in spite of this 
unpromising state of things, it ,vould be such a 



186 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


pleasure to Ine to have you and Mr. Gladstone 
as my guests, if you would accept my bachelor 
hospitality, that I would ransack all the 
palaces of the Roman Princes to make you 
comfortable; but common honesty has driven 
me to tell you the exact truth, so that I n1ay 
not lure you into uncomfortable lodgings under 
false pretences. 
I send you a very modest retrospect of my 
four years' work in India, whieh pèrhaps Mr. 
Gladstone might like to glance over. I think 
he will find that my Government has done 
more than is generally known or supposed. 
Nobody but the few experts who have been 
behind the scenes understand what a difficult 
time I have had in India, and how many 
dangerous problems I have had to deal with. 
The fall in silver alone was enough to have 
upset the coael1, and scarcely 
 six months 
passed without some new trouble developing 
itself, but for all that I shall hand over India 
to Lord Lansdowne without a cloud on the 
11orizon, and what is still more satisfactory, if 
only silver does not take anotller bad turn, in 
a state of financial equilibrium, and that in 
spite of Burmah, Afghanistan, Thibet, and the 
Black Mountain. 
"With my wife's kindest regards, believe 
me, dear Mrs. Gladstone, yours sincerely, 
"DUFFERIN AND AVA." 




 


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LETTERS TO HER 


187 


l\Ir. and l\Irs. Gladstone celebrated the 
fiftieth anniversary of their wedding in 1889. 


FROM CARDINAL l\1ANNING 


CC ARCHBISHOP'S HOUSE, 
II WESTMINSTER, S.W., July 23, '89. 
"My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-The last 
time we met you said, 'I do not forget old 
days,' and truly I can say so too. 
"Therefore in tIle midst of all who will be 
congratulating you on the fiftieth anniversary 
of your home life I cannot be silent. 
" I have watched you both out on the sea of 
public tumults from my quiet shore. You 
know how nearly I ha"ve agreed in William's 
political career: especially in his Irish policy 
of the last twenty years. And I have seen 
also your works of cllarity for the people, in 
\vhich, as you kno,v, I heartily share with you. 
" There are fe,v who keep such a Jubilee as 
yours: and how few of our old friends and 
. . 
companIons no,v survIve. 
" \Ve have had a long climb up these eighty 
steps, for even you are not far behind: and I 
hope we shall not 'break the pitcher at the 
fountain.' I wonder at your activity and 
endurance of weather. 
" l\lay every blessing be with you botll to the 
end.-Believe me, al,vays yours affectionately, 
"HENRY E. CARD. l\IANNING." 



188 CATHERINE GL.l\DSTONE 


FROM THE EMPRESS FREDERICK 


Ie VILLA ZIRIO, 
Ie February 8, 1888. 


" DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-Pray accept my 
best thanks for your kind letter expressing so 
.. 
many ,vishes for the Crown Prince's recovery 
from this trying and protracted illness. We 
trust and hope they may all be fulfilled. The 
outlook is no longer as gloomy for us as it was 
in November, and this is a great comfort for 
which we are truly thankful. 
"The kind sympathy of all friends in Eng- 
land is very gratifying to me.-Ever yours, 
" VICTORIA, 
" Cro,vn Princess of Germany 
and Prussia and Princess Royal." 



 
In 1890 the Parnell Divorce Case shattered 
for the time all hopes of an Irish settlement. 
E.ver ready to take as its Inotto the dictum of 
Flaubert that" Nothing succeeds like excess," 
the Irish party was rent in twain and the 
air was filled with recriminations between 
Parnellites and anti - Parnellites. On the 
ground that he had helped to depose their 
leader, some of tIle former ,vere not slow to 
vilify Mr. Gladstone. 



LETTERS TO HER 


189 


FROM PIERCE MAHONY 1 <,vho supported 
Parnell) 


II HOUSE OF COMMONS LIBRARY J 
II Decembe'Y 8 J '9 0 . 


" DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-I take the liberty 
of expressing to you the great sorrow it gives 
me to appear even for a time to be acting in 
opposition to Mr. Gladstone. In the course 
of the last ten days expressions have been used, 
in moments of great excitement and passion, 
regarding Mr. Gladstone, which have given 
me great pain. 'Vhate"ver Inay occur in the 
future, I think that no expression ,,"ill ever 
fall from my lips in any way inconsistent with 
the deepest respect for and gratitude to l\Ir. 
Gladstone. The kindness you have shown to 
me makes me hope that you will excuse me for 
troubling you with this letter .-Believe me, 
dear Mrs. Gladstone, yours sincerely, 
"PIERCE l\IAHONY." 


FROM QUEEN VICTORIA 


"WINDSO
 CASTLE, May 7, 1893. 
" DEAR l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-Accept my best 
thanks for your very kind letter and con- 
gratulations on the betrothal of my dear 
grandson, George, with Princess Victoria l\Iary 


1 Now The O'l\iahony. 



190 CATHERINE GLADS'fONE 


of Teck, which gives me great pleasure, and 
which I trust will be the beginning of a 
long life of happiness to themselves, and be a 
blessing to their family and to the country at 
large. 
"It is indeed a very long time that I have 
known you. At York in '85 I saw the two 
very beautiful Miss Glynnes and have not 
forgotten it. How much of weal and woe has 
happened since that time." 


FROM G. F. "\tV ATTS 


U LITTLE HOLLAND HOUSE, 
" KENSINGTON, W., 
"August 4, 18 93. 
"DEAR MRS. GLADSToNE,-My wife .very 
earnestly desires to have the honour, and she 
is worthy of it
 of shaking hands once in her 
life with Mr. Gladstone. Could this be 
managed without intrusion upon time and 
attention so valuable? I also should like to 
have the same honour once more.-Very 
sincerely yours, G. F. WATTS." 


The horror of a tragedy still fresh in the 
minds of everyone becomes still more poignant 
\vhen one glances back to the time when all 
was bright and the future seemed filled with 
every augury of happiness. Writing to Mrs. 



LETTERS TO HER 


191 


Gladstone in lVlay 1894, Queen Alexandra said: 
"Thank you a thousand times for your very 
kind letter of congratulation on the engage- 
ment of my charming nephew, the Cesarevitch, 
to Alix of Hesse, dear Alice's youngest 
daughter. They both seem very happy, and I 
do hope that this union will be for their mutual 
blessing and for the welfare of our country, as 
we consider her half English, as well as for 
Russia, the land of her adoption." 


FROM }!ARGOT TENNANT 


CC COLD OVERTON, OAKHAM, 
cc March 18 94. 


"DEAREST AUNTY Pussv,-I was much 
touched by your m
ssage to :Mr. Asquith. 1 
" I dare say I was a little out of spirits that 
night at the Campbell-Bannermans', and I 
thought you were lecturing me too severely, 
but I am sure you know I value all you say. 
I feel so deeply your present sorrow of retiring 
from so long and beautiful a public life; it 
will be a lasting example to me in my humbler 
future to remember your courage and devo- 
tion. God bless you and your dear husband.- 
I am, '\vith all my faults, yours lovingly, 
"MARGOT TENNANT." 


I The Rt. Hon. H. H. Asquith married l\1iss :Margot Tennant in 
May 1894. 



192 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


FROM SIR \l'ILLIAM RICHMOND 


u HAMMERSMITH, Aþ'Yi129, 18 9 6 . 


"My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-I thank 
you for your kind and affectionate letter. 
We all, one and all of us, are delighted 
that my father's drawing has given you 
pleasure. 
"Alas, youth only comes once in a life- 
time, and whatever in after life recalls it 
by memories is very sweet and full of con- 
solation. 
"I have lately been reading and sorting 
out old letters of thirty years ago, with a 
mixture of pleasure and pain, but the pleasure 
on the whole predominates, by the memory of 
affection and love which are not dead but 
only sleep. 
" If souls are permitted to meet in another 
world, how precious ,viII be the intercourse 
sw
etened and purified by separation !- Yours, 
dear J.\tIrs. Gladstone, affectionately, 
"W. B. RICHMOND." 


When on a visit to Hawarden in 1896 Arch- 
bishop Benson died suddenly whilst attending 
service in the church. 



LETTERS TO HER 


198 


FROM THE DUKE OF ARGYLL 


"INVERARAY, ARGYLLSHIRE, 
" October 12, 1896. 


" 
Iy DEAR :\IRS. GLADSTONE,-One line only 
to say how much '\ve are all shocked and grieved 
for you all in this sad tragedy at Hawarden. 
It recalls only too vividly another linl{ 1 in 
which you were a ministering angel indeed.- 
Yours affectionately, ARGYLL. 


"Archbishop Benson was so kind to my 
son 'Valter '\vhen at 'Vellington College." 


The following letter '\vas written by Li Hung 
Chang after visiting Hawarden in August 
1896 : 


"PEKING, November 2J 1896. I 


"DEAR :\IRS. GLADSToNE,-Your valuable 
autograph letter of the 3rd September gives 
me great pleasure. 
" I arrived in Peking on the 20th uit., and 
had, on the fol1o,ving day, a long audience with 
the Emperor and his mother, the Empress 
Dowager, '\vho took great interest in hearing 
the accounts of my tour round the worJò" 


1 His own wife's sudden death (see p. I Î 5). 


13 



194 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


the Jives and habits of the European 
Sovereigns, and especially of the Queen- 
Empress Victoria. 
"It is always gratifying to remember the 
kind reception afforded to me by your husband 
and your good self in Hawarden Castle, where 
we spent together the pleasant afternoons. 
"l\lay I pray for the longevity of the most 
distinguished living scholar and statesman 
your husband and your good self to enjoy 
the surroundings of your children and grand- 
children.-I remain, yours very sincerely, 
" Lr HUNG CHANG." 


FROM FREDERIC HARRISON 


I, 3 8 WESTBOURNE TERRACE, 
" January 6, 1897. 
" DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE,-May I be suffered 
to join with all your many friends and millions 
and millions of Englishmen in wishing you 
and your husband all blessings in the year that 
we are entering ? 
" It ,viII always be one of the great memories 
of my life that I have known and conversed 
with one who ,viII live so long in the history 
of Ollr country. 
" I l'ej oice to hear from Mr. J. Morley and 
Lord Rendel the best news of the health of 
you both." 



LETTERS TO HER 


195 


On May 19, 1898, Mr. Gladstone's illness 
came to a peaceful end. At 5 a.m. on Ascen- 
sion Day he passed away. 


FROM QUEEN ALEXANDRA 


u SANDRINGHAM, NORFOLK, 
u Whitsunday, 1\1 ay 29, 18 9 8 . 
"DEAREST l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-I waited 
until now, when your beloved husband has been 
laid in his last resting-place, before daring to 
intrude on the sacredness of your sorrow, whicll 
I fear surpasses all that words can express. 
My telegram will, ho,vever, have told you how 
my thoughts and prayers have been con- 
stantly with and for you ever since the terl'lible 
news of his fatal illness first reached me. 
"1 e are thankful to think that, after all his 
sufferings, his last few days were peaceful and 
painless, and that his longing and ,vish to go 
to his 'heavenly home' were granted l1im on 
the very day of Our Saviour's Ascension. It 
must be of some consolation to you also to 
feel how the whole nation mourns with you and 
yours the loss of that great and good man, 
,vhose name will go do"\vn in letters of gold to 
posterity as one of the most beautiftÙ, up- 
right, and disinterested characters that has 
ever adorned the pages of history. "1 e all 
. 
individually grieve the loss of a great personal 



196 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


friend from whom we have received innumer- 
able kindnesses which we shall never forget. 
How my whole heart went out to you during 
Saturday's terrible ordeal, when I saw you 
kneeling by the side of the dear remains of 
him whom you loved best on earth-' the 
People's William,' and your all. 
"I do hope your health has not suffered, 
and that the cross our dear Lord has laid 
upon you is not more than you can bear, and 
that for your dear children's sake you will take 
the greatest care of yourself. I was so deeply 
touched by your kind lines when you thought 
there was a ray of hope left, and you may be 
sure our visit to you and your beloved husband 
only one little year ago, in your own beautiful 
home at Ha warden, will ever remain as one of 
our most precious and valued memories. 
" With deepest sympathy with you and your 
children.- Yours very affectionately, 
" ALEXANDRA." 


FROM SIR WILLIAM RICIIMOND 


" BEA VOR LODGE, HAMMERSMITH, 
" Octobe'Y 29, 1898. 


, 
"My DEAR MRS. GLADSTONE, - I return 
you my most affectionate thanks for the most 
precious and valuable n1emento which you 
have been so gracious as to give me. 
" I assure you tha.t I regard your kindness 



LETTERS TO HER 


197 


,vith gratitude. It happens that the Poenl
 
of 1\iichael Angelo have been for n1any years 
the object of n1Y constant study; most of thenl 
I have translated, and I remember talking 
over their many beauties with Mr. Glad- 
stone upon the occasion of my last walk with 
him a very few years ago. Now, you have 
given me his copy of those immortal works. 
Dear l\'Irs. Gladstone, please permit me to sub- 
scribe myself, your grateful and affectionate 
old friend, 'V. B. RICHMOND. 


"I anI Inost keen about the National 
l\Iemorial, and desirous that the form it takes 
from an artistic point shall be worthy, beauti- 
ful, and dignified." 


FROM SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT 


UMALWOOD, LYNDHURST, 
U November 25, '9 8 . 
"l\Iy DEAR l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-I have re- 
ceived through your Harry a most precious 
gift of a book ,vhich belonged to Mr. Glad- 
stone, as a memorial of one whom I do greatly 
love and honour, not more in his public great- 
ness than in that singular personal kindness 
,vhich he has ever bestowed on me and mine. 
" The Herodotus is full of the marks of his 
reading, so varied and yet so exact, and brings 



198 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


back to me at every page his likeness as I knew 
him. 
" I watch daily in my garden the growth of 
the walnut he planted here ten years ago, 
and the young ash tree, which will be historical 
monuments. 
" The book will be a precious heirloom which 
will be treasured by nlY children's children, 
who will be proud to know that I served under 
such a commander." 


l\Ir. and 
Irs. Gladstone had spent the 
winter of 1866-67 in Rome, and Sir WiHiam 
Richmond, then a young and rising artist, 
was one of the party. 


FROM SIR 'VILLIArvI RICHMOND 


II J anua'Y'Y I, 1899. 
"l\lv DEAR l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-You shall 
have the picture 1 very soon. 
" I grieve for you, dear lady. This time of 
year brings back very sweet memories to file of 
Rome in '67. How 
ind you all were to me, 
and what a thing it was for a young fellow 
to be allowed to be the companion of your 
great and noble husband. My love to all of 
you.- Y ours affectionately, 
"W. B. RICH1\IOND." 


1 The drawing taken the day after his death by Sir 'Villiam 
Richmond of 1tlr. Gladstone. 



LETTERS TO HER 


199 


FRO:I\! l\IRS. BENSON 


cc 5 BARTON STREET, \VESTMINSTER, 
CC Ascension Day, 18 99- 
"DEAREST l\IRS. GLADSTONE,-I could not 
tell you how often and how deeply you have 
been in my heart all these months, and so 
specially on Ascension Day, and now. 
" The po,ver of anniversaries comes to sonle 
people much more fully than to others, and I 
can't help feeling that with you (as '\vith me) 
it is scarcely possible for an anniversary to be 
fuller of the one thought and tIle one love, 
than all the other days. Oh, it must be so. 
'\\tnat have anniversaries to do with it when 
it is the life of one's life? Perhaps the feeling 
in the air and the look of everything in the 
trees and the flowers have a certain keenness, 
and perhaps they may help in this ,yay-in 
bringing back the fulness of the glory of 
his departure and of the first days. For how 
my heart has ached for you during these 
months! I have trodden the same ,veary road, 
and kno,v to the full what one could scarcely 
realise beforehand, the awful emptiness-the 
stagnation, as it seems, of everything; and for 
a time one's life has the old impetus in it, and 
then it ceases, and still the days and hours have 
to be lived through. 
"And, dear friend, ho,v I think of you to- 



200 CATH]
RINE GLADSTONE 


day! For to-day you look off from the present 
to the glorious past, and to the wonderful 
future-and the reality lies there-for I suppose 
it is in a way one's own impatience which 
makes any empty present seem intolerable; it is 
really one wit.h the fullest of one's life, and with 
the eternal crown of it all. Oh, forgive me for 
such weak words. My whole lleart goes out 
to you, for I seem to kno\v so well what there 
is to bear; but there are given such wonderful 
glimpses into tIle strengtll and consolations 
of God even \vhen times are driest that I hope 
in my soul you all live in these-and to-day 
all the perfect part lnust be yours so specially. 
I often wonder so what ' a year' nleans in tl1e 
eternal expression-glory and joy and growth- 
anyhow we shall kno,v, and that soon. May 
I send my deepest and most reverent love to 
you, and mucl1 too to Mary, and to Lady 
Frederick, and remain, your loving and 
grateful MARY BENSON." 


FROM LORD MORLEY 


u 57 ELM PARK GARDENS, 
U SOUTH KENSINGTON , May 18, 1899. 
"}\t!y DEAR J.\tIRs. GLADSTONE,-'V""hen you 
receive tllis, we shall all be thinking of the same 
mournful tiling. The year has gone quickly 
enough, but hardly a day has passed without 
tllat great loss being borne into IllY mind and 



LETTERS TO HER 


201 


heart. "Te all kne,v that it ,yould leave our 
lives emptier; but how terrible the emptiness 
would often be we could not know. I do 
not want t.o write you a letter; but only to 
assure you of my sincere affection, and of my 
unalterable attachment to his memory.- 
Always yours, JOHN MORLEY." 



CHAPTER VI 


CHARACTERISTICS 


W ILLIA
I and Catherine Gladstone were 
indeed a striking pair. She carried 
llerself regally, thougl1 her move- 
Illents ,vere swift and light. Her eyes were of 
a deep sapphire blue, set well apart, long in 
sllape, and with a world of meaning - eyes 
that danced with mischief or melted with 
tenderness-caressing eyes, capable of infinite 
love, infinite merriment. There is but one 
picture that has her eyes. It is one of 
Ron1ney's n10st beautiful portraits of Lady 
Halllilton. So strong is the resemblance- 
the long laughing eyes, the dark curling hair- 
that at Tabley, in tþe famous picture gallery 
where it hangs, it used always to be called 
"1\I1"s. Gladstone." 
She had an abundance of thick brown hair 
that waved softly upon her forehead. In figure 
she was tall and slender, and her movements 
were full of dignity and charn1. Her husband 
used to say that, as he stood near the dais at 
a Drawing-rooln or Court, no one approached 
:202 



CHARACTERISTICS 


208 


the Queen \vith so fine a carriage, or curtseyed 
with so much grace. And this was in spite 
of great rapidity, and even carelessness and 
indifference as to personal attire or adorn- 
ment. She was clothed as by magic. She 
never shopped unless it was to buy for others. 
All she wore was made at home. 1 She spared 
but the merest fragment of her time to matters 
of dress or ornament. But she responded Í1I a 
lnarked degree to any beauty of material, or 
form or colour; to a rare piece of old lace, 
to a jewel or a flower. On some women real 
jewels look sham, on others sham jewels look 
real. Je,vels looked their best and most 
brilliant on her; so did flowers. She always 
,yore a flower-a rose for choice. The first 
time she ever wore the blue velvet, afterwards 
an almost historic gown, she happened in the 
House of Commons to meet Lord Hartington : 
" The first bit of blue sky I have seen to-day." 
This anecdote she related with much relish to 
Lady Edwa.rd Cavendish, llis sister-in-Ia,v, 
Lord Hartington being llncommonly chary 
with his compliments. 
She had a rare sympathy and understanding. 
As an illustration of the tact that comes from 
them: Soon after the Phænix Park murders, 
a certain lady ,vas continually alluding to 
Lord Frederick's wife as "Lady Cavendish." 


11n her day, ladies' maids were skilled dressmakers. 



204 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


" She likes to be called Lady }'l'ederick Cavel1- 
dish," said Mrs. Gladstone, "because, you 
see, she does so love Ilis name." Indeed, she 
llad a unique capacity for putting herself 
into other people's places, seeing with their 
eyes, feeling with their emotions, suffering or 
rejoicing with them. At evening parties and 
balls all her pity would go out to the tired 
attendants in the cloak-room, the footmen 
and link-boys outside, the poor little patient 
cro,vd on the pavement, waiting for a chance 
glimpse of jewels or fine clothes, a gleam of 
light, or a strain of far-off music-content with 
the fragments of a feast they would never 
share. 
She was a great person for sharing. Mr. 
Gladstone used to smile as he declared that she 
,vas born without the sense of property. It 
amllsed him to call her a pickpocket. " You 
lit 
forgot to tell me," he once wrote, "for what 
cause you picked so-and-so's pocket?" He 
used to chaff ller mercilessly on her mistakes ; 
occasionally some unlucky mishap as to inviting 
the wrong person, or failing to send a carriage 
to 11leet a guest. Hawarden had the misfortune 
to possess half a dozen stations, which contri- 
buted not a little to these disasters. But once 
at Penn1aenmawr, when a missing purse was 
actually found in her own pocket, after she had 
indignantly denied it, it is easy to imagine her 




 

 
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:\IRs. GL\D
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186 3 


A þllotograþ/z takm for the Prince 01 11 Pales' IVeddillg Albu11l 



CHARACTERISTICS 


205 


utter discomfiture, and the delight of the on- 
lookers. She had entered a post office to buy 
stamps; a labouring man made ,yay for her, 
leaving his purse on the counter. Her business 
accomplished, she mechanically swept his 
purse into her own pocket. Her onslaughts 
on the purses and possessions of her relations 
and friends in the cause of charity were a 
constant amusement and alarm to them 
all. She was really a Communist at heart; 
she could never enjoy anything by herself; 
it must be shared by the few or the many- 
the whole world if possible. She never had so 
many claims that she would not undertake a 
fresh one; she never had so many Homes de- 
pending on her that she was not ready for a 
new venture. She spent almost nothing on 
herself; she was generally overdrawn. She 
,vould give, if need be, anything off her own 
person. Nobody was so ragged, so friend- 
less, so ,vretched, that she would not succour 
or save. 
Apropos of her way of putting herself 
into the circumstances of othel peopJe, Lord 
Ribblesdale gives me an åmusing instance. 
It was at Windsor, somewhere between 1880 
and 1885. 


" We were at luncheon," he writes-" that 
is, the background of the clatter and play 



206 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


of knife and fork, was daylight. . . . Some 
notable bUl1glar, 
fter a long series of in- 
glorious, daring, and successful robberies (per- 
haps Peace ?), had been' bagged.' And the 
papers were full of the actual and psychological 
eccentricities of his character and career. Mr. 
Gladstone had something to say on both, and 
it was then that your mother, dismissing 
summarily the metaphysical aspect of the 
affair, broke in. She said she alwa)Ts sym- 
pathised with those who, like Peace, after a 
full and exciting life, find themselves con- 
demned to the tedium and dullness of prison 
(' dull and .dullness ? were her defining words). 
Mrs. G. said this quite naturally and in much 
the same way as if she was commenting on a 
picnic being spoilt by rain. 
"Mr. G., who was still in the full swing 
of his metaphysical investigations, at first 
looked at her with something like indigna- 
tion - the expression of his eyes darkened 
and concentrated on, as it were, a new 
foeman. 
" He then was amused-and his eyes, too- 
nor do I ever recollect having seen him laugh 
so unrestrainedly and playfully-' the heart's 
laugh,' as it were. The Queen was there and 
laughed too. 
" Actual words I can't give--onl)T the general 
setting and its impression on me." 



CHARACTERISTICS 


207 


How vivid is this picture I-the triumph in 
the capture of so redoubtable a miscreant, 
the discussion on his unique personality. 
"But oh how dull he will be-conceive the 
utter dullness of a prison!" One can hear 
her very words-Mr. Gladstone's gravity broken 
down as he realised her attitude-his laughter 
-and the amusement of the Queen ! 
One day, going to her Convalescent Home 
at Woodford, she was quickly so absorbed 
in the pitiful tale of a fellow-traveller, quite 
unknown to her, that she forgot to alight 
at her own station, and had to borrow from 
the poor lady to enable her to get back to her 
destination. That night at a dinner-party 
she collected sixty or seventy pounds, and 
having asked the lady to visit her next day, 
was able to get her passage to Australia, so 
saving her a separation from her husband. 
(The said husband was highly sceptical of his 
wife's story. "'Veil, you have been taken in. 
The idea of Mrs. Gladstone travelling third 
class, and without any money! I shall come 
with you and wait outside the house.") 
l\Iany and many instances crowd in upon 
the memory, but this anecdote will suffice 
to SIlOW her abounding sympathy, and the 
consummate ease with which she leapt over 
difficulties that would have checkmated any- 
one else. "For I was an hungered, and ye 



208 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave 
Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; 
I was sick and ye visited Me; I was in prison, 
and ye came unto Me." Could any words more 
fitly describe her ? 
She would get more into one crowded hour 
than most people would into a day. She would 
be in the East End of London at one moment 
and at the House of Commons the next-no 
motor bus, or car, or taxi in those days. On 
foot, by underground, cab, or carriage, she 
performed these weary journeys. Often dead 
tired, and with a final climb of eighty-six steps 
to the Ladies' Gallery (no lift in those days), 
yet somehow or other, alive or dead, she 
usually contrived to be in her corner when 
her husband was going to speak. 
Unpunctual by nature, she never kept him 
waiting, realising the value of the few moments 
more or less. Ever at his side on all important 
or anxious occasions, she contrived to keep 
the manifold activities and businesses of her 
own life subordinate to his. A carriage at a 
moment's notice, her own or anybody else's, 
always available for his needs; meals ready 
at any and every minute that he might escape 
from the House (it made heavier demands on 
its Members in those days). Astute at ward- 
ing off bores or toadies, or tiresome or tiring 
people, she sa,v through them quickly; she 



CHARACTERISTICS 


209 


would put in her ,vord or sign of warning long 
before his guileless nature had detected any- 
thing below the surface. He could always be 
deceived, for, like Lord :i\Ielbourne, "he had 
a habit of believing people," and not only 
believing people but believing in people. He 
judged others by his own standards, and, as 
was once said of him by a famous contemporary 
historian, "he did not al,vays make bull's- 
eyes." She was far more acute in her judg- 
ment of character. She would have made a 
good general. She husbanded her resources, 
she never wasted po"vder, and she knew how 
to dispose of her materials to the best advan- 
tage. She was a strategist of the first order, 
and was a ,voman of infinite courage and 
resource. She was impatient of routine, 
of control; she loved adventure; she rose to 
the call, whatever it might be; she lived in 
every fibre of her being. She drank eagerly 
of all that life had to offer. "N othing venture, 
nothing have." She might have been the 
author of that proverb. 
" You felt her splendid intuition, lIeI' s,vift 
motions, the magic of her elusive phrases, her 
rapid courage, her never-failing fund of sym- 
pathy, her radiance, her gaiety of heart, 11er 
tenderness of response." 1 
No matter ,vhere she ,vas or ,vhere she ,vent, 


1 Rev. H. S. Holland. 


14 



2]{) CATlIERINE GLADSTONE 


llotllillg could remain dull or stupid. "Her 
presence brought an atmosphere," said Mr. 
George Russell, "a climate with it, all bright- 
ness, freshness, like sunshine and sea air." 
She somehow always seemed to raise the 
temperature of a room, morally and physically,- 
\vhether full of bored, stodgy grown-ups or 
shy, self-conscious boys and girls, or sick people 
in a hospital ward. By the magic toucll of 
her personality she woke them up, made 
them laugh or sing or dance. She set things 
going; she made things happen; she got 
things done. \;Vhile her love and pity were 
all-enfolding, her gaiety, the airy grace of her 
movements ,vere all infectious. Katharine 
Lyttelton remembers, in her young days, the 
sense of comfort and capacity she gave : 
" Children felt, especially in times of an;xiety 
or distress, that somebody had arrived who was 
going to help, to solve difficulties, to light up 
the road, and, incidentally, to make fun for 
all concerned. She radiated tenderness." 
Katharine's sister, Lady Lovelace, con- 
tinues : 
"At such dark times, dear Aunty Pussy 
would come as a fresh breeze in summer, 
bringing life and courage to old and young. I 
can hear now the gay voice at the door, before 
she had turned the handle, , Well, darlings ! ' 
and I see her come in with arms outstretched, 



CHARACTERISTICS 


21] 


into ,vhich we all tumbled. And she would sit 
among us and laugh and joke and tell us 
stories, all in her queer, humorous, family 
slang, ,vhich has been immortalised by her 
brother-in-Ia,v. 1 And all the time ,ve could see 
the tears in her beautiful eyes, and, young as 
,ve ,vere, ,ve kne,v that it was because she felt 
to her heart's core that she was making us 
merry. 
" l\Iany years ago, in our childhood, one of 
her daughters aJ?d t,vo Lyttelton boys were 
shut up in a St. Leonards lodging-house 
on the l\Iarine Parade. She used to come each 
morning and, regardless of on\ookers, dance 
in front of our windo,vs. I can see her no,v 
as we watched, fascinated, every movement full 
of gaiety and grace." 
As to her genius in the sick-room one of her 
nieces 2 ,vrites : 


" Few people ha,re possessed a finer instinct 
in illness than Aunty Pussy, added to a quite 
heroic unselfishness in devoting herself in a 
sick-room where she knew she was really 
,vanted, or where her deep Inother's love for 
one of her belongings brought her to the 
bedside. 
So it was in l\Iay's long, pathetic illness In 


1 Lord Lyttelton's Glynnese Glossary. 
2 Lavinia Lyttelton (Mrs. E. S. Talbot). 



212 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


January 1875. Directly she realised the nature 
of the illness, she pushed aside family, social, 
political engagements, and what was the 
greatest sacrifice of all-leaving ller husband 
at one of the n10st anxious mOlnents of his 
political life. 
" I shall never forget what she was to us 
at IIagley during the nine weeks of l\'1ay's 1 
alnlost hopeless illness. The mere fact of her 
presence in the room meant so much, with her 
inspiring ways and tone of voice. She had, 
moreover, an unusual instinct, quick and un- 
erring in detecting symptoms and changes, 
,vhether bad or good, and we l"elied on her 
judgment and accurate recognition of the 
true state of things. She was full of resource- 
fulness in little things, often going beyond 
the doctors, and her tender, patient watchful- 
ness never failed. 
"She encouraged and inspired the nurses, 
fascinated and impressed the doctors-she 
supplemented them all. I remember seeing 
Iler on the bed for hours, in a tiring, strailled 
attitude, helping to keep an ice-bag exactly 
in tIle right position on the head of the patient. 
And she ,vas, ,vhat is perllaps rarer, ,vise and 
careful in garnering up her own strength as 
well as that of those sharing the watching, and 
no one knew better how to have a real rest. 


1 :Mary L)'ttelton, third daughter of Lord LytteIton. 



CHARACTERISTICS 


213 


"Then her fun-never very far off-seeing 
the humorous side of things even in deepest 
anxiety, giving such racy accounts of her 
experiences, and such true ones, too, both in 
talk and in writing. 
" And when the end drew near, and we knew 
our darling May was not to stay with us, there 
shone out from her what was indeed present 
all through-her beautiful submission and 
strong faith and certainty that we were in the 
hands of a loving Father; while sharing it so 
deeply, she helped us to faèe the overwhelming 
grief of that young death by her tender love 
and brave, Christian bearing." 


One of her grandsons, l as he looks back upon 
his childhood, makes special mention of Mrs. 
Gladstone's fertility of ideas in dealing with 
children - how she ministered to his seIf- 
respect, his belief in his own capacities. 
At the age of three and a half he was im- 
prisoned at the Castle by scarlet fever, and 
when sent to convalesce at Rhyl, instead of 
equipping him with the indispensable bucket 
and spade, she engaged him to sweep up the 
leaves in the Castle garden at sixpence a day. 
Bursting with pride-" I bought my own 
appJiances for castle-building out of my own 
money ,vhich I had earned." Again, ten 


1 \v. G. \Vickham. 



214 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


years later, once more she played fairy god- 
mother. 
Instead of getting tickets for the play in the 
normal manner, she gave the boy a guinea, 
telling him he was to treat his mother to the 
play. Oh, the honour and glory of that 
guinea ! 
" As I had only been about three times before 
to a theatre, and had never previously been 
in a position to treat anyone to anything, 
my pride in that brief moment in the booking 
office was unforgettable. 
"I give these two episod.es because they have 
always seemed to me so typical of her. It 
was not merely that she seemed to live in one 
continuous round of thinking of small or large 
kindnesses to all about her, but that she 
appeared to be endowed with such a peculiar 
gift, amounting to genius, for devising un- 
common ways of conferring these, as to im- 
press them on grateful memories in a way that 
no one else cou]d have done." 


A characteristic anecdote will not come 
amiss illustrative of her resourcefulness, her 
husband's unsuspiciollsness. It was one 
winter in the 'eighties, at a tinle when Irish 
troubles and threatening letters obliged tIle 
Home Office to appoint detectives to shado,v 
l\fr. Gladstone even at Ha\varden. He and Mrs. 



CHARACTERISTICS 


215 


Gladstone and their daughter I-Ielen ,vere to 
dine and sleep at Soughton Hall, l a neighbouring 
country house. An hour or so before the hour 
fixed for starting, word came from the stables 
that the coachman had injured his hand too 
badly for hin1 to drive. No one else could be 
trusted to drive the rather fresh pair of horses. 
The only fly in the village 11ad been requisitioned 
by the detectives. \Vhat ,vas to be done? 
Mr. Gladstone ,vas the last person to be told. 
Lord and Lady Aberdeen were staying at the 
Castle, and quickly Mrs. Gladstone and Lord 
Aberdeen cut the Gordian knot. The latter 
,vould drive. It ,vas dark, so 
h. 'V. H. 
Gladstone would play the part of footman, 
sit on the box, show him the way, and return 
with him to Hawarden. l\{r. Gladstone, in the 
innocence of his heart, hunted for his guest to 
bid him good-bye. Lady Aberdeen played the 
game, joined in the hunt, and finally made his 
excuses, and took the fare,vell message. They 
drove off, and the follo,ving day the favourite 
little foreign maid, ,vho was inside the 
carriage with Mr. and 1\lrs. Gladstone and their 
daughter, wrote the follo,ving aCCOllnt of it to 
Lady Aberdeen: 


"Not many yards beyond the Castle gate, 
somehow the question arose about carriage 


1 The hOll1e of Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Sir J. Eldon Bankes. 



216 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


cOlllIng back. 'But the carriage puts up at 
Soughton?' 'No, dear, I thought it best for 
YOll to return to-morrow in the Victoria.' 
'Ho,v is that ?-a strange thing to change 
plans.' 'Oh, mama, you'd better tell father 
the trut11.' 'Very ,veIl, now we're safe on 
the way-we have had the most bothering 
affair.' [Mrs. Gladstone then explains to him 
the whole contretemps, as interpreted by the 
luaid in the most racy language.] , But where 
is Zadock?' 'Oh, don't bother yourself, 
father; it ,viII be all right.' 1\11'. Gladstone 
having gradually looked at the thing with 
merry eyes, burst out lauglling, alld a most 
joyous glee took place. The carriage was 
jugging along slow but sure, lodge past, a 
stray gate arrived, and suddenly a figure flew 
past carriage ,vindow, and Mr. Gladstone called 
Ollt, 'Why, there is Zadock opening the gate' 
[Mr. Gladstone's valet]. 'Most extraordinary 
proceedings; we must be in fairyland.' Another 
glee took place, tIle door of House was reached, 
Mr. 'V. H. Gladstone, footmanlike, jumped down 
from box and put the luggage inside front 
door. ...l\las, the delightful Wonderland came 
to an end. Had I known I was to write this 
I would have had pencil and paper in carriage. 

 Your Ladyship's humble, 
" AUGIJSTE SCHLÜTER.." 



CHARACTERISTICS 


217 


The letter in full, cleverly gives the charac- 
teristics of the three speakers in the carriage, 
so that each is unmistakable, thOllgh the 
writer gives no names. 
Early in their married life 11er llusband 
gave Mrs. Gladstone the choice bet\veen 
kno,ving all or nothing. It ,viII easily 
be guessed that she made the choice which 
gave her most share in his life. He told her 
everything. Lord Harcourt, the Lou-Iou of 
those days, \VIlO kne,v her very int.imately, 
makes the following comment in a letter: 
"Her discretion as to public secrets, of which 
she knew all, ,vas really extraordinary; she ,vas 
\villing, if necessary, to allo,v herself in con- 
versation to appear almost a fool, in order to 
conceal the fact of 11er kno\vledge." A good 
judge remarked that thel'e was an unn1istak- 
able element of greatness in her character, 
which justified the name by ,vhich she was 
known in intÏ1nate circles -- the "grnnde 
dame." 
Her energy, her spirit were almost super- 
hUlnan, but she ,vas capable of absolute repose. 
She would lie down quietly upon the sofa, 
as if she had not a duty or a care in the world, 
and fall into profound sleep for a fe,v minutes. 
There was a singular beauty and char In in 
her look and pose as she lay sleeping-the 
\vavy hair, the slightly parted lips, the look of 



218 CATHERINE GL.A.DSTONE 


utter peace-and she would wake up as a 
new being, absolutely rested and refreshed. 
If within the bounds of possibility, she 
never deviated from this rule of lying down 
to rest before dinner. In the multifarious 
energies of her life she found this habit a really 
marvellous pick-me-up. Sometimes for an 
hour's sleep, often for ten or five minutes only. 
How she could endure the torture of the sudden 
enforced awakening-sometimes at the last 
gasp of fatigue-is only to be eXplained by the 
self-control she had acquired in all matters 
that touched her husband, by the rigidity 
of her rule never to keep him waiting even for 
a moment. From the deepest, dreamless sleep 
up she would leap, a.nd in an incredibly short 
time she would appear, like Cinderella at the 
touch of the fairy wand, in her evening attire- 
\vreathed, shod, gloved, jewelled, to delight the 
eyes of the long-suffering foreign Þ n1aid 1 and 
of any who chanced to see her. 
She had no mind or patience for intricate 
questions,.. or the details of history, or science 
or theology. Tllese she disposed of as "red 
tape." 
"She contrived," writes Lady Lovelace, 
"to combine the keenest interest and quick 
apprehension of all that concerned 11er hus- 


1 "We had no time," she said. "1\1rs, GJadstone just 'Jumped 
into her clothes:; 



CHARACTERISTICS 


219 


band's career, with the most unashamed bore- 
dom with politics in general. If her respect 
for his opinions bordered on veneration, she 
could not always restrain an impish desire 
to interrupt tIle expression of them. At the 
dinner-table there was sure to be some one 
,vho would do his best to draw out the greatest 
statesman of the day upon some serious sub- 
ject, and when ,ve were all rather drooping 
under the consideration of how to compensate 
the Irish Clergy, or how to deal electorally ,vith 
the Compound Householder, it was to her 
that ,ve looked for relief. And sure enough 
sooner or later, with a rapid ,vink at the 
youngest of us, she would dart into some in- 
terstice of the conversation with a comic 
remark, or bit of refr,eshing gossip, which 
brought an instant change of atmosphere." 
There were some who were impatient of 
these interruptions, however comic and clever, 
but her husband ,vas always understanding 
and sympathetic, looking at her with a 
whimsical look in his eyes-what she called 
in one of her letters "that happy, ,vicked 
look." And if it really mattered, she had an 
instinct, an intuition amollnting to genius-a 
mind that leaped over every complication and 
somehow or other, by hook or by crook, landed 
on the right spot, and said and did and looked 
the right thing. 



220 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


In A Visit to lfawarden,l Lady Ribblesdale 
aptly hits her off. 
"Mrs. Gladstone ,vas sitting with us rOllnd 
the tea-table, cl1joying, not adding to, the 
talk. Slle listened in her own fugitive, happy 
way; what. ever the topic, she seen1ed to 
master all she needed ,vith three seconds' 
airy inattentioll. Her qllick sympathy 
enabled her to pick up anything she fancied, 
and if her understanding ,vas instinctive 
ratl1er than intellectllal, it was seldom at 
fault." 
.l\nd Lallra Lyttelton, at }-Ia,vnrden ill 1885, 
"Trites to her sister-in-law: 


". . . and my chief est among ten tllousand 
was Auntie Pussy. I did love 1Ier so." (Draw- 
ing of a puss.) 
"People say there is nothing so warm as a 
bed in the snow. If that's true, then Auntie 
Pussy is the snow bed. She is quite as white 
in that blessed old soul-young soul, I mean- 
of hers, quite as sparkling as snow in the sun, 
quite as deep and soft and quite as warnl- 
and warmer. . . ." 


She had the unusual gift of acting on the 
spur of the minute. With accurate judgment 
she sa 'v by intuition the psychological mOInent ; 


1 Nineteenth Century Review. 



CH.I.-\ RAC'fERISTICS 


221 


she \vould leap into the arena ,,"hile utllers 
\vere hesitating on the brink, waiting for a 
sign, asking themselves what could be done, 
like Browning's pair in "Dis aliter visum." 
Everybody's business is nobody's business. 
Sir Charles Ryan told me of his lifelong 
gratitude to her for coming to the rescue at 
the most e111bal-rassing moment of his life. 
He was being lnarried to lVliss Sha\v Lefevre 
in July 1862, at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, in 
the presence of the usual London crowd. \"
hen 
the time came for him to place the ring on 
the finger of the bride, it refused to go on- 
the ring was too small. An awkward pause 
ensued-paralysis on the part of the guests- 
\vhen :\Irs. Gladstone was seen rapidly making 
her ,yay through the cro\vd, and as she reached 
the neighbourhood of the bridal pair, drawing 
her o\vn \vedding-ring off her own finger, she 
put it in the hand of Sir Charles. He slipped 
it on, it fitted, and the situation was retrieved. 
Yet she ,vas al\vays almost superstitiollS about 
her \vedding-ring and could never bear to be 
\vithout it. 
Lord Rosebery reminùs me of another 
incident dUl-ing the first Midlothian Caulpaign, 
\Vllich greatly anlused and delighted him. 
One afternoon we drove from Dalmeny to a 
neighbouring to\vn for an election meeting, and 
called on the chief magnate of the place. The 



222 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


nleeting was timed for three o'clock; we had 
just had luncheon, and were somewhat dis- 
mayed at finding five o'clock tea ready for 
us at half-past two. It was suggested we 
should return after the meeting and partake 
of this hospitality. What was Mrs. Glad- 
stone's horror, after the meeting was over 
and we went back to tIle llouse, to find that 
the tea had been stewing on the hob during 
tl1e intervening hours-the very same tea 
that was offered at two-thirty! The first 
cup was aln10st like treacle when it was handed 
to ller husband. But even then her resource 
did not fail her. No conjurer could have 
been more nimble. She sauntered towards 
her husband, deftly took the cup and, con- 
cealing it beneath her mantle, she suddenly 
betrayed a longing to behold the view. 
Quietly and swiftly she moved towards the 
window, and, unseen by the company, she 
contrived to pour the offending liquid into 
the garden below. 
Here is one more instance: Mr. and Mrs. 
Gladstone had flitted up to London during 
the Recess, and were staying in Harley Street 
for a day or two-there was practically no 
household, and they had arranged to go to 
luncheon with their next - door neighboul'. 
They ,vere on the point of starting when the 
bell rang and Lord Granville was shown" in. 



CHARACTERISTICS 


228 


" Can you give me some luncheon ? " he said. 
Mr. Gladstone was just about to explain that 
unfortunately there was no luncheon, and that 
they were going out for luncheon. What 
was his surprise ,vhen l\!rs. Gladstone broke 
in before he could answer-" Oh yes, dear 
Lord Granville, too delighted to have you." 
Such was her husband's confidence in her 
powers of resource, that he veiled his astonish- 
ment and drew Lord Granville into the empty 
dining-room for his talk. 
Like a scene in a play, presently the door 
opened; footmen entered with trays; the 
cloth was laid, the table dressed, the butler 
brought in wine, etc. l\!rs. Gladstone had 
quietly slipped out of the house and brought 
back with her the whole contingent-hostess, 
servants, and food-from next door. Chuckling 
,vith delight, Mr. Gladstone seated himself 
at the head of the table, and turning to his 
hostess, now by a miracle changed into his 
guest: "May I have the pleasure of giving 
you some of this excellent pie? I have special 
reason for highly commending it," etc. etc. 
The spontaneity and inlpulsiveness of her 
nature, of 11er movements, her actions, her 
words, while distinctly adding to the charm, 
sometimes resulted in laughable situations. 
Rash and impetuous as she was, it will easily 
be believed that occasionally she made a 



224 CATHEltINE GLADSTONE 


faux pas; but if by cl1ance she did come to 
grief, no one was ever so quick at recovery, 
so alert at finding an e
cape, so nimble at 
turning the tables on her adversary. 
A friend who met ller at dinner in the 
'nineties relates the following incident. It 
aptly illustrates 11er l{nack of carelessly appro- 
priating to herself the vantage-ground, when 
(Iuite unmista!{ably belonging to her adversary. 
She ,vas seated next to l\Ir. Jacob Bright, 
and looked frankly bored. Presently' she broke 
the silence in a desperate sort of way : 
" .L-\nd ho,v is your brother? " 
" :ì\Iy brother, John Bright, is 110 more." 
lw.1
s. Gladstone.-" Oh, I know that-of 
course I did not mean him. I meant your 
other brother." 
Jacob B'J"ight.-" But I never had any 
other brother, l\irs. Gladstone." 
JI1
s. Gladstone.--" Yes, yes, I knew him 
quite well; fatter than you-he sat for Stoke 
and resigned l1is seat on account of ill-health." 
Jacob Bright (cheering up and pleased at 
b
ing mistal
en for his brother's son).-" Oh, 
that is not my brother-I only wish I was 
not too old to claim a brother so young. The 
one you mean is my nephew, "V\Tilliam Leathanl 
Bright, my brother John's son." 
JJlrs. Gladstone (smiling complacently and 
compassionately).-" Ah! I see you make the 



CHARACTERISTICS 


225 


same mistake I sometimes do and confuse 
the generations." 
(Total discomfiture of Jacob Bright, who saw 
that, somehow or other, the victory did not lie 
with him. She was over eighty at the time, 
but had not lost the elasticity of her mind.) 
Explanations, wordiness, "trolls," 1 bored 
and bothered her. She wanted to get without 
delay to the point; if possible to sum up in 
one pregnant word or phrase, something like a 
flash of lightning. Always she preferred short- 
cuts, leaving things to the imagination. 1'he 
keynote of the Glynnese Glossary (for many 
of whose expressions she surely must have been 
responsible) is ellipsis, short-cuts-" Than 
which "-see Lord Lyttelton's admirable ex- 
ample and explanation. "I have been half 
an hour teaching Albert to ,vrite-than which." 
" It is evident," says Lord Lyttelton, " that 
to assimilate this sentence to any recognised 
form of expression, nothing less than some 
enormous ellipse is required-' than which 
nothing more bothering or tedious can possibly 
be imagined.' It is spoken in a tone of. 
despairing good-humour, and with a sort of 
combined smile, sigh, and shake of the head." 
This characteristic often led her to join up 
or "telescope" proverbs or phrases: "The 
will has been declared vul1," she said. "Do 


1 
lynnese for prosiness. 


IS 



226 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


you mean null and void ? " asked her matter- 
of-fact interlocutor. "No, dear, I always say 
vull." He" put up his nose" (turned up his 
nose and put up his back), " riding a vicycle " 
(bicycle and vehicle). "The cat will be in 
the fire" (letting the cat out of the bag does 
put the fat in the fire). These were not the 
ordinary l\lalapropisms of Sheridan. They 
were her very own Bonapropisms, significant 
of ideas, impressions she ,vished rapidly and 
acutely to convey. With her amazing handi- 
ness at making good shots, at " twigging" on 
only fragmentary data (which she called 
" seeing with an eye "), it is not odd that she 
was often apt to credit others ,vith her o,vn 
quick intuitions, greatly to their discomfiture 
and to her own amazement, should they not 
rise to the occasion. 
"Thus she would se'Terely complain if 
certain plans or directions were not carried 
out, for the simple reason that she had omitted 
to supply the necessary details. On such 
occasions an aggrieved niece 1 would dub her 
Nebuchadnezzar,' because he expected his 
magicians, on pain of death, not only to inter- 
pret his dream but to tell him the dream he had 
dreamed." 
But it is very hard, no doubt, to give a true 
picture of her humour, so curious a blending 
1 Lady F. Cavendish. 



CHARACTERISTICS 


227 


was she of the casual and the concentrated. 
She had a heavenly sense of fun, but its manner 
of e

pression ,vas all her o,vn. There was 
nothing on earth to compare to the twinkle 
in her eye. And she ,vas really witty in her 
own way, though only half-consciously so; 
" hers was the incarnation of mother-,vit, not 
only in conversation but in the conduct of 
life generally-wit in the ,videst sellse, in- 
cluding gravity and wisdom." She ,vas ever 
a source of affectionate amusement to those 
who kne,v her well. One of those blessed 
beings you laughed with, at and for, and ,vhich- 
ever it ,vas she and you enjoyed it. 
Coming out from family prayers one 
morning, "l\'iulnble major," so she summed 
IIp the reading of our host. Of a good- 
hearted, bustling lady she ,vould say, "In 
she walked ,vith her here I am hat." Asked 
to describe a lady's dress (of rather question- 
able reputation), after picturing the general 
effect, she paused: "As to the body-weIl- 
I can only describe it as a look at me body." 
On another occasion she ,vas speaking about 
the unloverlike relations ûf a ne,vly engaged 
couple: "To be sure," she said, " they did sit 
side by side upon the couch; but they looked 
just like a coachnlan and footulan on the box, 
so stiff and upright, you could always see the 
tight .:.between." 



228 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


Daily she would be off on some erra11d of 
personal service, some act of love or synl- 
pathy; a smile, a sigh, a tear . Never did 
she seem to lose sight of the needs of others. 
She would scarcely enjoy a mouthful of food 
without remembering some one-perhaps in 
the village, or Home of Rest, or Orphanage- 

ess well supplied with worldly goods. "Cut 
off a wing," she WOllld say to the long-sllffering 
butler, "and let it go hot to Miss R. at once." 
On the mantelpiece in the hall ,vas usually 
to be seen some tit-bit she had purloined from 
the luncheon-table on the chance of somebody 
going up to the village. "Never go to bed 
at night," she said to her children, "without 
the feeling you have done some little act of 
kindness or selflessness." \ 
Nowadays she migllt have belonged to the 
P .B.S., 1 so few words did she waste. Her time 
also she never wasted. Up to her eighty-fifth 
year, she did not walk llPstairs, she ran. 
But S}le could hardly be called an ideal Prinle 
IVlinister's wife, any more tllan he could be 
cllosen as the type of an ideal Prime l\Iinister. 
His conscientiousness was often tiresome to 
and misunderstood by his colleagues; both of 
them were too much absorbed in tlleir several 
" worl{s " to fulfil small social duties ,vith much 
success; they "\yere neither of them gifted "\vith 


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CHARACTERISTICS 


229 


the royal eye, and-fatal fault-Îrequently 111is- 
took one þerson for another. She was, careless 
and neglectful as to returning calls. Lord 
Acton al,vays regretted that there was so little 
systen1 as to sInal1 civilities in society, or 
as he called it, "greasing the wheels" -i.e. 
dropping hundreds of cards, keeping in1macu- 
late lists of callers, of politicians carefully 
differentiated into groups, to be coaxed, 
flattered, noticed, looked after; wandering 
sheep to be led back to the Liberal fold. There 
,vas, indeed, but little of this necessary work. 
He ,vas up to his eyes in graver issues of State, 
and she was absorbed in schemes chiefly 
humanitarian. 
As we look back upon the fruitful years 
of this long and crowded life, we seem to re- 
cognise how the chief characteristics of the 
child, as seen in Chapter I., detern1ination 
of purpose and "enthusiasl11 of hUlnanity," 
have been throughout its mainspring. The 
dauntless will enabled her to surn10unt all 
difficulties, the loving heart to guide the will 
in the paths of righteousness. 
Infallible she was not; slle had her naughti- 
nesses; she was wayward; she was wilful; she 
made her mistakes; they were les défa'ltts de 
ses qualités. But she had a heart of gold; the 
eternal child was in her, and of such is the 
Kingdom of Heaven. 



230 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


It would be vain to attempt anything really 
approaching to a Life of Mrs. Gladstone under 
several volumes. Any reader who possibly 
may be kindled into a longing to know more 
of her fourscore years and eight must. have 
recourse to the Biography 1 of her husband. 
There can be in existence few books more 
elevating to the mind, more kindling to the 
spirit, more profoundly interesting both his- 
torically and personally. In these volumes 
only can be found the full record of her outer 
life-of the mighty triumphs, of the over- 
whelming anxieties, the hours of suspense, 
tIle trials and disappointments that she shared 
with hiln. But whetller in defeat or whether 
in victory, in sorrow or in joy, they were one 
in mind and soul. 


" If any two creatures grew into one, 
They would do more than the world has done. 
Though each apart were never so w
ak, 
Ye vainly through the \vorld should seek 
For the knowledge and the Inight 
'Vhich in such union grew their right." 2 


rrhe duration of their married life Vias 
nearly tllreescore years and ten, throughout 
which time their lives were closely interwoven; 
every tIling that concerned him touched the 
very roots of her being. They acted and re- 
acted on one another, and without the thrill 


1 L'lfe of w. E. Gladstone, by Lord Morley. 
2 The PUgh' of the Duchess, by Browning. 



CHARACTERISTICS 


281 


and profound interest of his life, hers \vould 
have been an absolutely different n1atter. 
"7itl10ut her, it is likely that he ,vould still 
have made an indelible mark on history, but 
much of the lighter side, the charm, the fun, 
would have been lost. Without him, her life 
,yould have lacked public importance and 
interest, but in whatever circumstances or 
conditions she had been born, she would have 
stirred the ,vaters; she would have made things 
hum; nothing approaching dullness or stagna- 
tion could have existed in her presence. 
No Olle kne\" him better in later life than 
Lord 
Iorley, no one can have studied more 
deeply every phase of his career and char- 
acter. l\Irs. Gladstone, in a conversation with 
him in 1891, spoke of her husband's two 
opposing sides-the one impetuous, impatient, 
irrestrainable; the other all self-control, able 
to dis111iss everything but the great centl"al 
aim, to put aside all that ,vas weakening 
or disturbing-that he had achieved this con1- 
plete n1astery of self, and had succeeded in 
the dire struggle ever since he was three- or 
four-and-twenty. This conquest he had won 
first by the natural grit of his character; 
second by ceaseless wrestling in prayer- 
prayer that had been abundantly ans\vered. 
"If he sometimes recalls a fiery hero of 
the 'Iliad,'" says Lord l\Iorley, "at other 



232 CA'fHERINE GLADSTONE 


tirnes lIe is the grave and studious Bene- 
dictine, but whether in quietude or move- 
ment, always a mall inspired witll a pur- 
pose. He was an idealist, yet ever applying 
ideals to their purposes in act." 

Irs. Gladstone, perhaps not unnaturally, 
regarded ller husband's speaking as abso- 
lutely unequalled, above that of e,rery orator 
living or dead. How far did she exaggerate 
this pre-eminence? Mr. Balfour paid it a 
notable tribute in the House of Commons, 
l\Iay 19, 1898; Lord l\lorley's more analytic 
description is a masterpiece, but Lord Acton 
surely sums it up best of all : 
"He alone possessed all the qualities of 
the orator. "1hether he prepared an oration 
or hurled a reply, ,vhether he addressed a 
British mob or the crealll of Italian politicians, 
and would be still the same if he spoke in 
Latill to Convocation." IÞ 
" S11all I be short and precise?" Mr. Glad- 
stone asked his chief before rising to reply in 
debate. " No," said Sir Robert Peel, "be 
long and diffuse. It is all-important in the 
House of Commons to state your case in many 
different ways." 
Yet no ot:le sympathised more truly with 
tllose Wll0 listened to him: "I had to make 
all oration to which they listened with admir- 
able patience." 



CI-IAR1\.CTERISTICS 


:!33 


The first time, as a cllild, he ever had to 
listen to a sermon (at St. George's, Liverpool), 
he remembered turning quickly to his mother: 
" ""ill he soon have done? " 
It was seen, quite in early days, that he 
was a man of lion heart. Three men he used 
to recognise as possessing in a supreme degree 
the virtue of Parliamentary courage-Sir 
Robert Peel, Lord John Russell, and J\'Ir. 
Disraeli. 
"Toil ,vas his natural element." lIe 
worked hard every day of the year, every 
hour of the day. 'Vhatever he did, 11e did 
with all his might. Yet he often felt the 
longing for repose. 
"The tumult of business," he wrote, 
H follows and ,vhirls me day and night." 
And again, " A day restless as the sea." 
And the following letter to Lord Lyttelton 
reveals the modesty and even self-distrust of 
his nature : 


" It is my nature to lean not so much on 
the applause as UpOll the assent of others to 
a degree ,vhich perhaps I do not show, from 
that sense of weakness and utter inadequacy 
to my work which never ceases to attend me 
\vhile I am engaged upon these subjects. . . . 
I ,vish you kne,v the state of total im}Jotence 
to \vhich I should be reduced if there ,vere 



284 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


no echo to the accents of my own voice. I 
go through my labour, such as it is, not by a 
genuine elasticity of spirit, but by a plodding 
movement only just able to contend with 
inert force, and in the midst of a life which 
indeed has little claim to be called active, 
yet is broken this way and that into a thousand 
small details certainly unfavourable to calm 
and continuity of thought." 


And to his wife in December 1841 he wrote 
of his craving for tranquillity-of his need 
of quiescence at home during the Parlia- 
mentary Session. He speaks of her presence 
and that of her sister Mary as alone never 
jarring or disturbing his" mental rest." But 
he adds, "There is no man, however near 
to me, with ,vhon1 I am fit to live when hard 
worked." 
"Tith all his gravity of temperament, those 
,vho kne,v hinl best ,vould ne,rer deny the 
gaiety of his heart. Sincerity and simplicity 
,vere the dominant llotes of his character- 
both quite compatible with subtlety of in- 
tellect-and kindness was the habit of his 
mind. No loving enterprise of llers ever came 
amiss to him. He trusted to her intuition, 
and ,vas ever ready to co-operate with her . 
financially or otherwise. Were we all of us 
moved by the loving-kindness that character- 



CHARACTERISTICS 


235 


ised these two, there ,vould be little more 
misery in the world. 
There is no doubt he was formidable at 
times, especially when carried away by 
righteous indignation, but not one of his 
children or grandchildren was e,,"'er in awe 
of him, or indeed failed to treat him more or 
less as an equal. Stern in self-judgment, he 
was infinitely gentle to the weak, the erring, 
and the fallen. 
It is by no means easy to place his 
sense of humour. It is denied to him by 
those who only 
xperienced the intensity of 
his earnestness. Sir Charles Dilke says: 
" Mr. Gladstone was always of a playful mind, 
and whatever his absorption in the subject, 
,vould break off to discuss some amusing 
triviality. " 
'.rhis would hardly be a llsual vie,v of hinl. 
1\I1's. Asquith ,vas surprised to discover his 
great appreciatioll of Heine, having resolved 
that his sense of humour would not be suffi- 
ciently subtle. Of playfulness his speeches 
give a thousand proofs, and no one would 
deny his alacrity of mind. But there is 
no doubt Lord l\Iorley is right "\vhen he 
says: "It ,vas not always easy to be sure 
beforehand ,vhat sort of jest would 11Ìt or 
miss." 
There can be no doubt that 1\lrs. Gladstone 



236 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


stiDlulated his sense of Ilunlour, and that very 
often it saved the situation. He was quick 
in seeing the Ilumour of a situation if not too 
deeply absorbed in its other aspects. l\lany 
an amusing poem or satire he dashed off on 
tIle spur of the moment, and one of his chiefest 
delights was to discover words for which it 
,vas difficult to find rhymes -e.g. Ilis poem to 
Margot and his address to Parkins and Gotto. 
Tllese would be found among his papers at 
St. Deiniol's.l 
One anecdote may be recorded as illustrating 
the way 1\lrs. Gladstone had schooled her 
husband to jump with her : 
"Oh, 'Villiam, only think, so exciting. 
The Cook and the Captain are going to be 
married! (This was her morning's llews fronl 
her Convalescent Home.) Apparently he took 
no notice; seenlingly absorbed in his own 
thoughts, he absently stretched out his 11and 
for a sheet of notepaper and began to write. 
"Oh, of course, you are too full of HODler 
alld your old gods and goddesses to care- 
stupid of me ! " 
For a few Dlinutes he went on writing, then 
handing her the paper -" There! that's all 
I can do, your information was so very 
scanty." And there was a poetic skit in three 
stanzas entitled : 


1 St. Deiniol's Library at Hawarden. 



CHARACTERISTICS 


237 


THE COOK AND THE CAPTAIN 
"The Cook and the Captain determined one day, 
When worthy Miss Simmons was out of the way, 
On splicing together a life and a life, 
The one as a husband the other as wife- 
Fol de rol, tol de rol, fol de rolla. 


The Captain a subaltern officer made, 
Bu t the Cook! she was monarch of all she surveyed- 
So how could they hit it the marrying day, 
If she was to order and he to obey? 
Fol de rol, tol de rol, fol de rolla. 


Miss Simmons came home and she shouted, C Oh dear! 
What riot is this? What the d-l is here? 
If the Cook and the Captain will not be quiescent, 
How can I expect it from each Convalescent?' 
Fol de rol, tol de rol, fol de rolla." 


Mr. G. "T. E. Russell, who visited Ha,varden 
nlore than once, notices the genial, lighter 
side of their life as inexpressibly attractive. 
One of the unexpected incidents wllich most 
surprised and pleased hÎ1n was their custom, 
in special Inoments Qf exhilaration, of stand- 
ing with arms round eacll other on the hearth- 
rug, s,vaying as they sang: 


" A ragamuffin husband and a rantipoling wife, 

v e' II fiddle it and scraþe it through the uþs and downs of life." 
She hardly ever had occasion to complain 
of his restlessness during sleepless nights. 
IIis iron self-contl
ol allowed hin1 to - keep 
rigidly quiet-he remembered the words of 
his" beloved physician." 1 "If you make up 
your mind, ,vhen you cannot sleep, to lie still, 


1 Sir Andrew Clark. 



238 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


little will be lost of your rest." There are 
but three known occasions that he departed 
from this rule. In 1844, the two pairs of 
honeymooners were again at Fasque. Ellen 
Middleton l was just published. :Mr. Gladstone 
was so engrossed by its absorbing interest that 
he read it all the night through; while the 
emotion broke his brother-in-law 2 into tears. 
In 1868, the question of Mr. Bright's inclusion 
in the Cabinet cost him his night's rest. 
But on the night of May 6, 1882, the day 
that Lord Frederick Cavendish was murdered, 
he was unable to lie still. He and Mrs. 
Gladstone had been with their niece in Carlton 
House Terrace until the small hours of the 
morning of May 7. This tragedy touched 
them both to the quick; they loved their 
niece's husband with a parental love. No 
young man, with the possible exception of Mr. 
Balfour, was ever more dear to them. That 
night restlessness overmastered him. Finally 
11e left 11is bed and composed the poem in twenty 
verses, which ends with these words : 


II And thou, 0 Mourner, lift thine head, 
And see this jewel of thy love 
Wi th earthly soil no more bestead, 
And safe for ever stored above. 


He suffereth no more, nor dieth, 
Nor wandereth now in twilights dim. 
In light and rest and peace he lieth, 
The prayers of miJlions follow him." 
1 By Lady Georgiana Fullerton. 2 Lord LytteIton. 



CHARACTERISTICS 


239 


Diverse as they were in character and tem- 
peram nt, what was the secret of their abiding 
love for one another, their joy through a 
span of life nearly t,venty years longer than 
that usually allotted to man ? 
They were moved by the same ardour to 
gather the very best, the richest out of life. 
To them life was not a thing to be idled and 
pleasured a\vay; it ,vas a sacred trust that 
implied true and laudable service to God and 
man. They lifted it to a new level. To them 
every additional child added a glory to their 
home. She revelled in the priceless blessing 
of his perfect trust, even while he might occa- 
sionally be bewildered by her daring exploits. 
With them to pity was to act. "I don't 
think much of their pity, ,vhen it does not 
touch their pockets," so said an old woman 
as she left a parish meeting. But tlleir en10- 
tions were never stirred in vain. One might 
reasonably think that the unavoidable daily 
grind of life is ample discipline in moulding 
and chastening the human character. But the 
highest development of self-restraint is seen 
at its best in those who gladly and voluntarily 
offer service, grappling perhaps daily with the 
first temptation that awaits them-the tempta- 
tion to lie in bed. Mr. Gladstone once owned 
that the struggle never grew less, that custom 
did not ease the battle, that it was as hard to 



240 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 
get daily out of bed for the uphill trudge to 
morning service after he was eighty as when 
he was half that age. The llabit of self- 
mastery at normal times gives the victory at 
a crisis. And the crown of the conflict was 
witnessed by her courage and self-command 
during the winter and spring of 1898, and in 
him during his final illness, when the spirit rose 
triumphant over the flesh and in the greatest 
anguish of body enabled him to give thanks.! 
To both of them religion ,vas the master-key 
of life. Mr. Gladstone never thought of the 
Church but as tIle soul of the State. In every 
act the religious motive "vas predominant. In 
everything he thought, said, and did, he took 
for granted that right and wrong depended 
on the same principles in Pllblic as in private 
life. It has been trllly said, "He lived and 
wrought in the sunlight." 
While he laboured inside and olltside the 
walls of Parliament to lighten tIle burdens of 
tilose least fitted to bear them, slle used her 
gifts and graces in strengthening and sweeten- 
ing and purifying the sad, the lonely, the sin- 
ful, the suffering, whether poor or rich, weak or 
powerful; with botll hands she gave ller love, 
her strength, her pity, her Sllccour, to those 
who needed them. 


1 Oftenest in the words of Newmanls hymn, U Praige to the 
lloliest." 



CHARACTERISTICS 


241 


It has been said of him, "lIe so lived and 
wrought that he kept the soul alive in Eng- 
land." 1 And if he kept the soul, she kept 
the heart alive. In truth, the secret lay in 
their devotion to Him, "Whose service is 
perfect freedom." 


1 For he divined" that laws should be adapted to those who have 
the heaviest stake in the country, those to whom misgovernment 
means, not mortified pride, or stinted luxury, but want and pain and 
degradation, and risk to their own lives and to their children's 
souls."-LOf'd Acton's Letters. 


16 



CHAPTER VII 


GOOD \VORI{S 


U She stretched out her hands to the poor, in her tongue was 
the la\v of kindness." 


HIS chapter on Mrs. Gladstone's "good 
works" is mostly taken from an 
In Memoriam, written by one of 
,vhom it may be said, that though not of 
Catherine Gladstone's own flesh and blood, 
she loved and served her, perhaps more than 
any other, "to the uttermost and to the 
end." 1 
l\Irs. Gladstone had the genius of Chal.ity. 
She could, much more than was often known, 
elaborate a plan and set a work going on large, 
wise foundations. 
. 
'Vith a houseful of children and grand- 
children, of nephews and nieces, and a husband 
to vvhom she was utterly devoted, she might 
easily have produced the favourite plea of 
"no time," and it would have appeared a 
satisfactory one. But l\{rs. Gladstone had a 
larger conception of duty and of love; with her 


1 Lucy, daughter of Sir Robert Phillimore. 
24 2 



GOOD WORKS 


243 


it was not " \Vhat must I do ?" but "What 
can I do ? " 
And to a nature like hers, an intuition as 
swift as it was unexplainable, time is a very 
elastic thing. Many a scheme which is either 
still in activity for good, or has completed 
its ,vork, had at its source Mrs. Gladstone 
as its inspiration. She saw the need, invented 
the plan, found the workers, set the machinery 
going, and turned to something fresh. 
l\lr. and Mrs. Gladstone together were 
amongst the first and most steadfast friends 
of the House of Charity, still a living home of 
mercy and pity, in Greek Street, Soho. The 
Nelvport Market Refuge and its offspring, the 
Boys' Industrial School, in the Great War, 
as in the past, have given the army many a 
dauntless soldier. l\lr. Gladstone, on hearing 
her plan, offered one hundred pounds, if 
she could raise nine other hundreds from her 
friends; this she accomplished, and the sum 
of a thousand pounds started the Refuge in 
Ne,vport l\larket, close to Seven Dials. It is 
now in \V estminster . 
Her own home at Hawaròen, all through her 
life nearest to her heart, ,vith its many de- 
pendent districts, found her alway, not a 
patroness, but a true and understanding 
friend, who was a wise and constant visitor, 
a nurse herself in many a case of illness, and 



244 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


ahead of her time in many of the arts of nurs- 
ing. "\i\Then 11ursing grew into a profession she 
did not rest till she had established a good nurse - 
for the district, sa
T to her provision and her 
cOlnfort, and cheered her by her sympathy. 
rrhe Lancashire Cotton Famine in 1861 gave 
her another opportunity for help, and in old 
magazines there al.e lTIany reports of how she 
,vould come, discuss the qllegtions, give a 
practical and practicable scheme for help, 
and set each p]ace going on lines neither 
pauperising nor hard. 
One of her tellder charities was the old 
ladies' Home close to the Castle, where people 
'VIIO had - pathetic l)hrase - "seen better 
days" were tended, comforted, alllused, and 
constal1tly visited. And visitors to the Castle 
,vere sent with instructions to "nlake break.s 
for them." 
I-Iere we may give one day of her life at 
Ha"\val"den, after she ,vas eighty. She had 
been to early church, nearly a mile uphill, 
,valkillg both ,vays; she had read family 
prayers at home; she was at her breakfast 
,vhen word came that a nurse looking after 
typhoid patients, in a distant part of the 
estate, had sickened ,vith the fever . Not a 
moment did she lose, and in her pony carriage 
she hurried off to Queen's Ferry, where the 
nurse was lodging. Having made full arrange- 



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GOOD WORKS 


245 


ments, she came bacl{ to the Castle to explain 
to her family; then returned to the station 
at Queen's Ferry (t,,;,o and a half miles off), 
and whipped the nurse off by train to Chester. 
Arrived there, she supported the patient up 
and down the long stairs at the railway station, 
carrying her bag and parcels in a fly with her 
all round Chester, in vain seeking admittance. 
At length, partly cajoling, partly scolding, 
she persuaded the Infirmary authorities to 
take her in; and, having seen her comfortably 
tucked up, she returned to the station, with a 
sandwich from the matron, and reached home 
about four o'clock. The grandchildren were 
coming to tea. First she prepared a stage- 
she had promised them charades-arranging 
screens, furniture, lights; then collected and 
arranged the rows of seats. Flew across to 
the Orphanage and Home of Rest to charter 
an audience from the inmates, among whom 
she placed the Prime J.\tIinister, wheedled out. 
of his Temple of Peace; gathered the children 
round her in the green-room, and, after a rapid 
coaching and coaxing, put them through their 
paces-taking a prominent part herself-and 
somehow or other contrived to get them 
through fairly creditably (none of them having 
any turn for acting). Afterwards she pre- 
sided at their tea-party, finishing up by play- 
ing spirited dances for them till it was time 


. 



246 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


for them to leave. Still there remained dress- 
ing and dinner and the normal evening, till 
bed welcomed her to ,veIl-earned rest. 
Just about the same period, after a mission 
held in the parish of I-Iawarden, she went up 
to sleep at the Rectory, so as to be close to the 
church for the final service. She had ,yorked 
hard throughout the mission, which had 
lasted a week. It was in January, and bitterly 
cold. The Holy Communion was to be cele- 
brated at 4 a.m., so that all or any might come 
to church before their work. 
At 3.30 a.m. her son, the Rector, went 
to her room witll a can of hot water. Ife 
knocked at the door. She opened it fully 
dressed for going out of doors. She had 
already had her coJd bath. 
She worked for the Institution for the 
Blind, for St. Mary Magdalen's in Paddington, 
for a preventive Home in Notting Hill; slle 
established soup kitchens in St. George's in 
the East during hard winters of exceptional 
distress. Her doings would fill volurnes, and 
surely do fill one volume-that of "The 
Lord's Book of Renlen1brance." 
Of all her works, the Home that bears her 
name might be reckoned as the nearest to her 
heart-the one known as the Catherine Glad- 
stone Home. It was tIle only free institution 
for convalescents in the kingdom. Begun in 



GOOD WORKS 


247 


1866 at VV oodford, Essex, many thousands have 
been its guests, nursed back to health of body, 
and with bruised and sore spirits soothed and 
consoled. It is easy to go to the East End 
and beyond it now; it ,vas toilsome then. 
But she constantl)T ,vent to \Voodford (the 
Home is now established at Mitcham), till 
she finally left London in 1894. She took 
people with her whom she could interest, 
sat and talked with the inmates, and with 
her marvellous intuition would select those 
whom prompt help could start afresh. Then 
she would set herself to enliven them, and, ,vith 
a singularly brilliant touch, would play them 
dance music to cheer their spirits and set theITI 
singing or dancing. 
Once a week Mrs. Gladstone, with Lady 
Frederick Cavendish, went to the London 
Hospital, herself saw and selected the patients, 
and sent them down to vVoodford ,vith words 
of cheer. No one ,vho went to the Home 
could ever say, "No man careth for my 
SOll1. " 
In 1866 London was s,vept by a plague of 
cholera. Mrs. Gladstone, regardless of in- 
fection, thre,v herself into the work in 110lne 
and hospital. In the latter, so great was the 
pressure that the sick had often to be laid 
on the floor till death vacated a bed. Mrs. 
Gladstone encouraged and inspirited doctors 



248 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


and nurses, comforted the dying with words 
of fait.h, and promises of care for the orphans 
left desolate. These promises took much time 
and contrivance to fulfil, but they were ful- 
filled. It was then she carried off the babies 
rolled up in blankets. One outcome was an 
orphanage at I-Iawarden for the boys, Mrs. 
Tait taking the girls-in whom to her life's 
end she took the \varmest personal interest, 
starting them in life, writing to them, and 
'understanding their characters. 
Tl1e Convalescent Home was really founded 
as a result of the cholera outbreak. 
It "vas her constant habit to ask the matron 
of the Convalescent Home, "Is there any 
good case we can set on its feet ? " No sooner 
was one found than she set every resource to 
work, till the man or woman ,vas well st.arted 
and had a full and fair opportunity; Mr. 
Gladstone being always ready to.-say, "Re- 
member, if it's ,vanted, I'm good for help." 
At the Home the inITIates were, and are still, 
gllests, expected to bel1ave as such, and re- 
sponding to the invitation. 
One day, "\vhile busy selecting convalescents 
for her Home, she asked Mrs. Lyttelton 1_ 
who had accompanied her to the London 
Hospital-to visit meanwhile in the wards. 
Finding herself in the men's ward, something 


1 Constance, wife of Rev. Hon. \V. H. Lyttelton. 



GOOD WORKS 


249 


made her approach a man of singularly un- 
inviting aspect, so gloomy and sinister was his 
expression. The Tale of Two Cities was in his 
hand. "And that's ,vhat we want here," 
he growled. "A Revolution." "But surely," 
said Constance, "the cruelties and injustices 
of those days are past; think of all the loving- 
kindness there is in the world-look at Mrs. 
Gladstone-she brought me here." His whole 
face changed and softened. "Ah! Mrs. Glad- 
stone, she is different." And as he spoke, 
the door opened, and slle came in and looked 
round with her radiant, tender smile. " If 
only there ,vere more like her . . . " 


Into one pitiful field of ,vork, the ,vork 
of tenderness and compassion for the fallen, 
rescue and prevention work among ,vomen, 

Ir. and Mrs. Gladstone had thrown the full 
fervour of their hearts. In 1852 they met 
Mrs. Mansell at Naples, and planned and 
shared with her in the establishment of the 
falnous and beautiful group of buildings at 
Clewer. 
Fifty years ago they had a meeting at their 
house in Carlton Terrace to start the Mary 
Magdalen Rescue Home, later on moved to 
Paddington. The chief object of tllis Home 
was to shelter the babies as ,veIl as the girl 
mothers. This was at that time quite a new 



250 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


departure. They held strongly tIle opInIon 
that it was the most natural as well as the 
most wholesome course, and often a means of 
regeneration to the mother. 
In the streets of London they worked ,vitll 
tireless energy; she shrank from nothing. 
This is not the place to enlarge on this subject. 
But when walking hon1e one night with a friend, 
Mr. Gladstone turned back to reSClle a poor, 
lost creatllre. "But what will Mrs. Gladstone 
say if you take tllis WOlnan home?" Mr. 
Gladstone turned round in surprise. "Why, 
it is to Mrs. Gladstone I am taking her." 
Truly it could be said throughout her life, 
"The heart of her husband doth safely trust 
in her." 


Helpfulness-that was the note of her char- 
acter. In any difficulty, in the most impossible 
case, she WOllld plan, contrive, arrange, enlist 
others, and never rest until the difficulty was 
solved and the persons pllt in the way of 
helping themselves; nay, more-supported, 
befriended, encouraged, till they COllld stand 
, 
alone. Perhaps few persons were so often 
consulted and appealed to. It might be young 
girls entering on life, in the first joy of a 
rnarriage engagement; or young beauties to 
whom she would sllggest thoughts that were 
unworldly. Often it woul(l be some llard- 



GOOD WORKS 


251 


worked London priest, toiling single-handed 
among his thousands and thinking, "No one 
cares," who found in her not only a listener 
but a sympathising friend; one who did not 
forget, but would forward his (plans, and 
had the rare gift of setting other people to 
\vork. 
During the Cattle Plague she established a 
whole family at the Castle, a mother and five 
or six children, to relieve the hard-hit gentle- 
man farmer of interruptions and financial 
anxieties. 
In 1893 the head mistress of a school near 
Tavistock, in despair how to dispose of one of 
her teachers-ill, poor, and friendless-as a 
forlorn hope wrote to Mrs. Gladstone, because 
she had heard of her as kind, and then to the 
Duchess of Bedford as wife of the lando\vner. 
From the Duchess slle received a ten-pound 
cheque; from 1\lrs. Gladstone a letter: "Send 
her off to Hawarden to-morrow. . . ." 
From the House of Charity in Soho she 
carried off a poor parson sick with scarlet 
fever, and established him in her o,vn house in 
Carlton Terrace. 
A Sister of l\lercy's life ? Yes, and besides 
this- 


U Great duties to be greatly done"- 


there ,vas the life of a great lady, moving 111 



252 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


a world of parties and social claims, with a 
husband t11e foremost figure in politics, whose 
every interest she shared, whose health and 
strength she garnered. 
It is hardly right to open the door of home 
life, yet could one know her without doing so ? 
Hawarden Castle! How the name suggests 
all the charm and serenity of home! It was 
well said in the diary of one who came there 
for the first time, "Thou hast set my feet 
in a large room" -so fresh and s,veet and 
spacious was the atmosphere. Her o,vn chil- 
dren, her children's children, the host of 
nephews and nieces to whom she was a mother 
and gathered into the warm circle of her love, 
the children of old friends and any lonely soul 
of any class whom she could cherish-these, 
as well as all that was brilliant, zealous, and 
inspiring in the life of that day: good, or to 
be helped to be good, that was the essence of it 
all. Religion, not forced, not obtruded, but 
as natural and vital as fresh air was, not an 
adjunct of life, but life itself. 
In 11er own devotions, in the daily Services 
of the Church, in many a Eucharist, did 
Catherine Gladstone renew her soul's life and 
increase the charity and the delightful gaiety 
of her temperament, and from the Spirit of 
"\tVisdom learn those intuitions which so rarely 
failed her. . It seemed but natural that her 



GOOD WORKS 253 


last spoken words were, " I must not be late 
for church." 
There was a something vital, tender, and 
wise in her spirit which lives on- 


". . . the actions of the just 
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust." 



CHAPTER VIII 


REMINISCENCES 


Cf Perfect wife and tender mother, 
Scarcely shall we find another 
Equal to her. 
To the Almighty reverence due 
She lowly tendered, friendship true 
To all who knew her." 


M ANY thrilling experiences crowd in 
upon the mind as we look back 
across the years. Moments of in- 
tense emotion in the early hours of the morning, 
when a few of us would find ourselves gathered 
together in the Carlton Terrace house, after 
some kindling debate, or some crucial division. 
A stray Whip or so on his way back from the 
House, possibly l\t{r. George Glyn; a Secretary 
or an enthusiastic l\f.P.-Freddy and Lucy 
Cavendish oftenest of all, as their house was 
opposite ours-dropping in to rejoice or con- 
dole, to share in victory or defeat, in exllilara- 
tion or depression; some great cause lost (for 
the time) or won. The view across the Park 
from the windows of our house, in the early 
morning, dwells in the memory as one of 
254 



REì\lINISCEN CES 


255 


singular beauty-the mass of foliage in the 
foreground, the to\vers of the Houses of 
Parliament and the Abbey rising abo,re the 
trees, the mysterious light, the whisper of the 
leaves, the magic of the dawn. . . . 


({ And all that mighty heart is lying still." 


.L\gain there is the crowd of passionate 
Reformers in June 1866. l\Irs. Gladstone ,vas 
alone in the house, with three or four members 
of the family. The cheers and shouts for 
1\11'. Gladstone gre\v in enthusiastic insistence. 
His Reform Bill, ten days earlier, had been 
beaten in the House of Commons, by the 
defection of some members of his own party. 
The ,vorking classes had a,voken to the fact 
that here ,vas a man, the first official states- 
man, ,vho ,vas ready to live or die for theln. 
He ,vas beaten. . The Government had resigned. 
But in perhaps the most inspired speech ever 
delivered in the House of Commons: "You 
cannot fight against the future," he said, ,vith 
a splendid s,veep of his arm. "Time is on our 
side. The great social forces that move onward 
i,n their might and majesty, and wllich the 
tumult of our debates cannot impede or disturb 
-they are marshalled on our side; the banner 
which ,ve now carry in this fight, though at 
some moment it may droop over our sinking 
heads, will soon again float in the eye of 



256 CATHERIN-E GLADSTONE 


HeaVel}, and will be borne in the hands of the 
united people, perhaps not to an easy, but to a 
certain and to a not far-distant victory." 
'Vords wortllY to rank with Lincoln's im- 
mortal speech at Gettysburg, and kindling 
the same torch of freedom. 1 
"Here," says Lord Morley, "the forecast 
,vas not a phrase, but a battle-cry-it revealed 
a cause and a man." The Government resigned 
office, but 1\Ir. Gladstone's prophetic vision was 
realised, and the banner uplifted even sooner 
than he knew. The Reform Bill that became 
la w in the following year ,vas the fulfilment of 
his prophecy. 

Iean"\vhile, on the night of JUlle 28, the road 
in front of their house was blocked by an 
excited crowd, persistently calling on him to 
appear. He was absent from home. Finally 
the police officers sent word to 1\lrs. Gladstone, 
that if only she would show herself upon the 
balcony, the crowd "\vould quietly go home. 
This she did, inadvertently dra,ving upon 
herself, as his representative, the passionate 
enthusiasm of the people. 
A cllaracteristic incident took place in 
Do,vning Street, abollt the year 1881, which, 
t.hO"llgll trivial in itself, is worth l'ecording for 
its hint of prophecy. A big official banquet 
1 .. This nation, under God. shall have a new birth of freedom; 
that government of the people. by the people, for the people, shall 
:aot perish from the earth." 



RE1\IINISCENCES 


257 


was taking place in the large dining- room, 
then only used on formal occasions, this 
being the preface to an evening party. Mr . 
Balfour's sisters, Eleanor and Alice, were dining 
quietly at No. 10 with l\Irs. Gladstone and 
her daughters. There was a snug little room 
downstairs, next door to the Cabinet room, 
where we dined. In the evening we were 
sitting cosily talking round the drawing-room 
fire, with little consciousness of the coming 
party, l\Irs. Gladstone, in a tea-gown, reposing 
on the sofa, her daughter-in-law fast asleep 
on another sofa. Suddenly the door opened- 
" Sir Joseph and Lady Hooker," 1 announced 
the butler in loud tones. The evening party 
had begun. The time had flown quickly . We 
were not even dres
ed. l\'Irs. Gladstone, awoken 
out of sound slumber, noiselessly melted, by 
another door, out of the room. Her daughters, 
whispering to the Balfours, " You must be 
hostesses," did likewise. Little did we then 
foresee the time, about fifteen years ahead, 
when lVlr. Balfour, as First Lord of the 
Treasury, would be residing in 10 Downing 
Street, and would, with his sister, be receiving 
at an evening party-possibly the famous 
botanist himself - but anyway their own 
guests. 
And the final fare\vell in Downing Street, 


1 Head of Kew Gardens
 


17 



258 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


That is a haunting memory, but not witilout 
its glealTI of joy. It was the 12tll of MarcIl. 
1\1r. Gladstone had paid his last official visit to 
tile Queen, and was no longer Prime Minister. 
lIe had resigned, and the last day had come. 
The carriage was at the door; disconsolate 
figures were wandering restlessly about the 
fanliliar rooms-secretaries, servants, officials; 
Mr. Gladstone always occupied to the very 
last moment; his ,vife bidding good-bye to 
faithful friends, her face sad and ,vistful, and, 
as some one remarked at tl1e time, looking as if 
her mainspring ,vas broken. As an accompani- 
nlent, a child's clear voice rang out from the 
staircase. This ,vas the little granddaughter 
,vllose home ,vas theirs so long as they lived. 
She had struck four the previous day, and 
had been decorated with a birthday wreath 
of flowers. Unconscious of tIle Ilistoric scene 
vibrating with emotion, ill which she was 
sharing, she sat patiently on the stairs ,vaiting 
for the start, and occupying the time in singing 
th
 Easter hYll1n. The Hallelujahs formed a 
kind of Greek cilorus to tIle farewells. . . . 


Only once again did they visit Downing 
Street. On June 22, 1895, news reached the 
Tantallon Castle,l as she drew near to England, 
of the defeat of the I
iberaI Government. A 


1 The ship in which we were the guests of Sir Donald Currie. 



RE}IINISCENCES 


259 


telegranl fron} Lord Rosebery ,vas handed to 
l\Irs. Gladstone before ,ve disembarked, con- 
taining an invitation to dine ,vith him that 
night. It was interesting once more to see then1 
there in the well-known rooms. Illuminated by 
Lord Rosebery's irresistible charm, we had a 
most delightful evening, the late and the 
present Prime Ministers being merry as boys 
out of school. 'Ve dined in the beautiful 
room, used latterly by 1\lr. Gladstone for 
Cabinet Councils (our o,vn sitting-roon1 no,v 
becoming-as in Lord Beaconsfield's day 1 
-the Prime l\linister's bedrooln). And so 
ended, quietly and undramatically, l\fr. and 
Mrs. Gladstone's connection with the historic 
building. 


The spring and summer spent at Dollis Hill, 
after 1\11". Gladstone's resignation in 1894, ,vas 
a wonderfully happy and interesting time. 
The lTIOst fervent ,yords of gratitude to Lord 
and Lady Aberdeen could never adequately 
express the blessing and refreshment of that 
perfect haven. For nearly fifteen years, it 
,vas ready on any day, a.t any moment, to 
receive them, ,vhether their hosts were there 
or not. In countless letters l\frs. Gladstone 
relates the joy of escaping out of the turn10il ; 


1 We used to invite visitors to salute the mark on the floor made 
by his bed. 



260 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


so near to London, yet so far, peaceful as in tIle 
depths of the country . You drove from the 
Marble Arch three or four miles along the 
Edgeware Road; presently green fields and 
hedges took the place of shops and houses. 
A deep country lane on the left brought you 
quickly to its gates. M:r. and l\{rs. Gladstone 
both revelled in its rest.fulness, in its welcoming 
aspect. And in 1894 it broke tl1e sudden 
departure from the absorbing interest of t.heir 
public life; it floated him through the trying 
weeks before the operation for cataract. It 
enabled them to entertain relations and friends, 
and almost literally t.o live out of doors. 
She had a way of suddenly getting ,vllole 
stacks of furniture into the garden-sofas, 
screens, cllairs, and tables. . She ,vould have 
been a capital foren1an to the scene-shifters 
at a theatre. l\1r. and :Mrs. Chamberlain were 
coming one day, and, in a twinkling, the 
dining-room table was out under the trees, 
and luncheon was laid. Lady Sarall Spencer, 
with 11er specially clear voice and enunciation, 
often came t.o read aloud, while tile e)TeS were 
hOTs de combat, and lllany and various were 
the deligl1tful and interesting people that 
came down to visit then1. 
On June 24, the day the Frencll President, 
Monsieur CHrnot, was assassinated, a friend 
came down to luncheon. All the morning their 



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TONE AT DOLLIS HILL. WITH HER 
CRAXD-D.\UGHTER, DOROTHY DRE\\ 
18 94 


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RElVIIÑISCENCES 


261 


little granddaughter had been busy with the 
funeral of a dead thrush; a cross of flo,vers 
,vas laid on its grave. l\1r. Gladstone was ask- 
ing of his guest earnest questions about the 
character and beliefs of the dead President: 
"I am so glad," he said meditatively, "that 
he died a Christian." 
" Does he mean the thrush ? " whispered the 
child. 
About a month after the operation 011 1\11'. 
Gladstone's eyes, the doctors can1e do,vn to 
examine the sight-the spectacles were tried 
on, the book was opened. Mrs. Gladstone stood 
close to him. All were full of hope. But he 
could not see; he could not read the print. 
There ,vas a tragic pause, broken by his voice: 
" This is a blow-for the oculists." 
Nu word of murU1ur passed his lips. Tiule 
proved to be tIle healer, and when 1\lr. Nettle- 
ship came later on to Ha,varden, the eye 
from which the cataract had been removed 
worked perfectly for reading and writing, 
and the eye that had not been touched served 
him for all other pllrposes. 


And now, perhaps, for a moment, I may 
indulge in a renliniscence of my own; for it 
thro,vs some light on t.he way in which lVIr. 
and 1\'Irs. Gladstone brought up their children. 
He ,vas in the Government years before any 



262 CATHERINE GLr\DSTONE 


of us were born; while children, we ,vere 
never conscious of him as anything out of the 
COllllnon; as a risi
g man, step by step attain- 
ing pre-elninence among his fellows. Not 
many years ago I was staying in a house in 
Westminster on the opening night of the 
Session. The master of the 110use had become 
a Menlber of Parlia111ent. The child.ren were 
in bed. Their motJler woke them out of their 
sleep, and led them to tl1e window and showed 
them the light burning in the Clock Tower. 
"Do you know wllat that light Ineans?" 
slle said. "It means that fatller is tllere 
helping to make laws for England." 
It struck me at the time as a loss that our 
mother had not stilnulated our imagination in 
this way. Witll us it was a case of a prophet 
not witllout llonour save in his o,vn country. 
IIis sun had already risen and ,ve knew it not. 
'fhe fact of his being a Cabinet 1\linister, fore- 
IllOst among his colleagues, never ilnpressed 
itself upon us as any special honour or glory. 
It never crossed my mind tllat other people's 
fathers were not just the same. All my friends, 
I thought, had the same sort of fatller. It 
was a cause of wonder to me when those Wll0 
came to the house, especially our cousins, 
treated him with awe and reverence, listening 
to every word that fell froln his lips. Indeed, 
,ve tl"eated him ,vith scant respect; arglled 



REl\IINISC}
NCES 


263 


across him ,vhile he was talking; even contra- 
dicted him. Both our parents were extraordin- 
arily simple, and never seemed conscious of 
occupying an exceptional plane. 'Vhatever ,ve 
learnt on this score came to us from outward 
sources, e.g. the brothers at school. In one of 
Lord Acton's letters he speaks of :his influence 
as greatest on multitudes, less in society-least 
at home. He contrasts it ,,,jth the Tennyson 
home: "I could not stay with the lofty 
entities that surround Tennyson, even when 
he butters toast." 
It is true that, ill later years, some of the 
Hawarden guests ,vere half startled and 
shocked by the freedom of criticism that 
reigned in the family circle. TIle balance was 
redressed when out.side the home -to the 
\vorld ,ve have al,vays sho,vn a united and 
in1pregnab]e front! But at home we dis- 
cussed things almost on terms of equality. 
It bored him to hear people apologetically 
differ: "l\Iy dearest love, I really think you 
are wrung." Partly in fun, he thougllt it more 
to the point to be short alld sharp: "A lie ! " 
It is impossible to forget Lord l\Iol"ley's face 
when he first heard one of us say to Mr. 
Gladstone: "A lie!" And it always suc- 
ceeded. It was an unfailing amusement and 
put everyone in good hllmour. 
I recall the very spot on the steps of the 



264 CATHERINE GL1\])STONE 


porch by ,vllich the house is entered, where it 
was suddenly borne in upon me how my 
eyes were holden. I had been out walking 
with a girl friend, l\Iargaret Leicester Warren 1 
-a hereditary friendship, her parents being 
great friends of l\ir. and Mrs. Gladstone. She 
paused. "You know," she said, "I think 
Mr. Gladstone much the greatest TIlan in the 
world, and I am not sure that he is not the 
greatest man who ever lived." 
It was an intense moment of revelation to 
a daughter, and not very long after the 
impression received its seal in a memorable 
conversation with Lord Acton. 
Yet tllouglliove, on the part of tl1eir cllildrell, 
cast out fear, the attitude of tllcir 111inds towards 
their parents was of a very different nature froln 
that of tl1e present generation. 
The relations bet,veen one generation and 
anotller had not become nearly so strained 
as in these present days. There ,vas more 
identity in the point of view; the spirit of 
investigation was more generally dormant; 
things were more taken for granted; traditions 
accepted; other people's homes were not 
necessarily superior to our own. "Honour 
your fatller and your mother," was accepted in 
the spirit and the letter. Scllool and University 
experiences did not necessarily bring sever- 


1 Daughter of Lord de Tabley. 



REMINISCENCES 


265 


anee, or even estrangement, bet.ween 1l1oLhe!'s 
and sons. The deeply interesting study of the 
relations between one generation and another, 
in the present day so much discussed in novels 
of note, would scarcely have fitted in those 
days. There was too much esprit de corps. 
The tone, the standard, set by the parents 
was followed almost unquestioningly by their 
children. Their aims were the same, they 
saw the same vision. 
I-Io,v much more there is to be thought and 
said on tllis interesting subject., but it ,vould 
be out of place here. 
There is no doubt that Mrs. Gladstone's 
supreme devotion to her husband, and her 
profound belief in the principles that guided 
him, made her very impatient with those who 
differed from him on fundamental questions of 
policy. 
Therefore it ,vas but natural that, ,vhen a 
nephew, specially dear to her as youngest 
son of her cI1erished sister, canle to Hawardell 
for Christmas (1894-95) and, with his irresist.- 
ible smile, light-heartedly announced to the 
fan1ily that he had joined the Unionist ranks, 
she was at first greatly shocked and pained. 
She and her sons and daughters, in fact, felt 
it far more acutely than did Mr. Gladstone. 
One of them in particular, to whom througll 
life he had confided his inner history, personal 



266 CA'fHERINE GLADSTONE 


and political, was as utterly in tI1e dark as the 
rest, though the frequency and intilnacy of 
tl1eir intercourse had not been relaxed tilrougll- 
out tI1e preceding SUffill1er. And iIldeed he 
had been the first of the clan wl10 in 1885 , 
bravely cast in his lot for a Parlian1ent on 
College Green, and had approved of the Home 
llule Bills of 1886 and 1893. This is not the 
time to exami11e his reasons, bllt it was more 
a drift tllan a principle-though the gro,ving 
power of the proletariat Inade llim increasingly 
uneaSY-Inore personal than political. But 
after Mr. Gladstone's resignation, the Liberal 
party ,vas at its lowest ebb; it was in dire 
need of the loyal service of everyone of its 
members. 
And as he can1e nearer to his ninetieth 
year, and the sands of life seemed to glide 
through the 11our-glass ,
-ith ever greater 
rapidity, in Mr. Gladstone's own estimation 
every 1110ment of his time seemed to intensify in 
value. 'Vhen he only discovered, at the end 
of a lengtl1Y discussion in the Temple of 
Peace, that tIle matter was already settled, 
the die was cast, it was not to be wondered at 
that I1e was nettled, that lIe resented the waste 
of his precious time. 
It is quite true that 1\11'. Gladstone fre- 
quently took agreement for granted, that he 
mistook silence for consent, and swept his 



RElVIINISCENCES 


267 


interlocutor into his own net. In matters of 
principle-and witll him every question was 
brought to the touchstone of conscience-he 
was wont to assume that otllers were moved 
by the principles he regarded as fundamental. 
After his death a sheet of paper was dis- 
covered among his letters, containing a list 
of names. It was headed, "Those who have 
disagreed with me," and at its foot were 
words to this effect, "Good for me to re- 
member what notable people have differed 
from n1e." And accordingly, to those ,vho, 
in all honesty, had reached conclusions con- 
trary to his own no one could have been 
Blore trustful, more generous. On one occa- 
sion when a friend confessed to him that 
had he been in Parliament he could not have 
seen his way to support the Home Rule Bill, 
the quietness and gentleness with ,vhich 

Ir. Gladstone received the news greatly 
astonished his friend. 'Vhen his niece, 1 re- 
ferring to some backing he was according to 
Mr. Chamberlain-" Oh, Uncle \Villiam, you 
really are the most magnanimous person in 
the world!" "'Vhat do you mean?" he 
said. " Chamberlain has always been very 
kind to me; he has behaved ill to Ireland, 
but never to me." Yet Chamberlain, in 1874, 
had described his Election address as "the 


1 Lady F. Cavendish. 



268 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


meanest document that ever proceeded frOll1 
the pen of a stateslllan." 1 Abuse of this killd 
went in at one ear and, as has been well said, 
came out at the same. 
Lord l\Iorley has placed it on record that 
1\Irs. Gladstone once came to his room "and 
said how glad she was I had not scrupled to 
put unpleasant points before her husband; 
that l\lr. Gladstone must not be shielded and 
sheltered as some great people are, who hear 
all the pleasant things and none of the un- 
pleasant. That the perturbation is but short- 
lived. She added, 'He is never made angry 
by what you say.'" 
It was the belief of many peopJe that Mrs. 
Gladstone was ever on the watch to soothe 
and quiet her husband, to persuade him to 
give up, to retire into private life-that he 
,vas al\\Tays keen for action, for power, eager 
for the fight. There was an impression 
abroad that. her one aim and idea was to 
induce people never to disagree ,vith him. 
" We never contradict Mr. Gladstone," she is 
supposed to 11ave said at a dinner - party. 
Nothing can be further from the truth. She 
knew better than anyone how carefully he 
refrained from reading books and papers 
eulogistic of llimself, e.g. he never read Lord 
Acton's letters to his daughter or, in the 


1 FOt'tnightly Review, Oct. 18ï4. 



REMINISCENCES 


269 


Prime l\linister Series, his o,vn Life, by 
G. W. E. Russell. But he always selected and 
studied inimical criticism, disagreement with 
his own views, as wholesome and humbling, 
and still more as revealing ideas that had 
possibly not occurred to him. It was he who 
ached for retirement, she who encouraged him 
to remain. To her his longing for resignation 
was frankly a great trial. She made no 
secret of it. She loved the atmosphere, the 
stimulus of battle; she was ever eager for 
the fray, and, from her own point of vie,v, 
she would have longed for him to die in 
harness. 


In July 1894 they were In Scotland, 1\lr. 
Armitstead piloting them to Pitlochry, in 
cODlpany with Lord Acton. 
August found them once more at Hawarden, 
the home that had been theirs all along, 
where they were peacefully to end their lives. 
The beloved home that had been hers from her 
cradle to the end. Few there can be who 
throughout life could have been surrounded 
and cherished by so many members of her 
family, four generations of whom lived 
by turns at IIawarden, near her or with 
her. 
After 1839, when not at Hagley or IJondon 
or Fasque, she and 
Ir. Gladstone lived at 



270 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


the Castle, with her unmarried brother, while 
Henry Glynne was at the Rectory. In spite of 
the great financial crisis that overwhelmed the 
Glynnes about the year 1847, they continued 
to reside there, and indeed, if it had not been 
for Mr. Gladstone, it would probably have been 
necessary for Sir Stephen to sell the Castle and 
the whole, instead of only part of, the estate. 
In 1872 died her favourite brother, Henry 
Glynne; in 1874 came the further blow of 
Sir Stephen's death. Her eldest son on his 
uncle's death became o,vner of Hawarden. Mr. 
and l\Irs. Gladstone, having a life interest in the 
Castle, remained in possession for the remainder 
of their lives-about a quarter of a century. 
Their son thus later on wrote of his uncle: 
"Hawarden can never be the same to those 
,vho remember and cherisl1 the caIrn sunshine 
of his presence in their midst. The loss of 
one endowed with such rare gifts of mind, 
such innocence of heart and gentleness of 
disposition, creates a void that time can 
scarcely fill. StIch is the feeling of his suc- 
cessor, after the lapse of one year from his 
uncle's death." The near neighbourhood of 
their two elder sons and their families, the 
lloliday visits of the \Vickham children and 
their parents, added not a little to the happi- 
ness, the pleasure, and interest of all concerned. 
Their eldest daughter married in 1873 E. C. 



REMINISCENCES 


271 


Wickham,1 Headmaster of Wellington College. 
The coming of the very first grandchildren, 
specially that of \tVilliam and Katie, ,vas no 
doubt an epoch-Inaking event. Helen entered 
Ne,vnham College as a student in 1878, and 
left it as Vice-Principal in December 1896, 
giving up the ,,"ork she loved to devote herself 
to her parents. 
Herbert, the only one born to the roll of the 
drum in Downing Street, spent every spare 
moment of his time at Hawarden; he was 
indeed through life the light of her eyes, as is 
often the case with the youngest child. 
It would not be possible for the daughter 
who with her husband 2 resided at the Castle, 
to describe their relations with her parents 
-they were too near, too sacred. She also 
enjoyed the inestimable privilege of never 
leaving her home, before or after marriage, 
as long as her father and lTIother lived, and 
the child ,vho came in 1890 ,vas the darling 
of the home-the sunshine of their old age- 
not because they loved her more than the 
other grandchildren, but from the mere fact of 
her living with them. 
It was the habit of their lives to go every 
day to church before breakfast. They enjoyed 
the ,valk, nearly a mile uphill, in the early 


1 Afterwards Dean of Lincoln. 
2 Rev. Harry Drew, married Mary. February 
, 1886. 



272 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


freshness of the morning, and winter or 
summer, storm or sunshine, saw them going to 
worship in Hawarden Church, l\Irs. Gladstone 
scattering the path with the letters which she 
read on the way. Not even the early cup of 
tea, indispensable to most people, broke their 
fast. 
I remember the. very first sign of some 
diminution of strength when one day, at the 
age of eighty-three or eigllty-four, he said: 
" I am afraid I must ask you to keep Petz 
from coming to church with me." Petz was 
the favourite Pomeranian dog, immortalised 
by a poem in Punch, who lay every morning 
on the mat at his dressing-room door waiting 
for him to start. " You see, I have to throw 
sticks for him to pick up, and stooping every 
other minute to get one and then throw it is 
too hard work on the hill." 
And so, by doctor's orders, tl1ey changed 
their lifelong habit and substituted Evensong 
for the morning service. 
Well on in their eighties they breakfasted in 
bed, not rising till ten o'clock. 
They did enj oy it ! 
From 1894 onwards a period of great tran- 
quillity set in, but at no time could it be said 
that it was ever dull or uninteresting, or that it 
,vas without its dramatic moments. 
About a year and a half before Mr. Glad- 



RE
IINISCENCES 


278 


stone's death, 1\'11'. Balfour came once more. 
The first of his visits to Hawarden was in 1870, 
when he stayed for a fortnight. "He relapsed 
quickly into the old cosy footing-no sense 
of restraint or stiffness. It might have been 
1870 again, as regards the old friendliness. 
111 those days he was unknown; to-day he is 
the Leader of the House of Commons. The talk 
at dinner was lively, the late and the future 
Prime Ministers discussing the nightly letter 
to the Queen." In the 'seventies l\Ir. Balfour 
used to ,vrite to 1\lrs. Gladstone pretty fre- 
quently. It is a real misfortune that these 
letters have been lost. 
In the summer of 1875, ,vhen he started on 
his round-the-world tour, she gave him a little 
gold cross for his watch-chain-it still hangs 
there. He ,vas always specially drawn to her 
by her great qualities of heart and her raciness 
of speech and sense of fun. 


Then there was the llnexpected arrival of Li 
Hung Chang-an interesting and picturesque 
scene. But the wheels drave heavily; the 
afternoon was hot and dro,vsy; there ,vere 
long pauses ,vhile he struggled to think of the 
right thing to say; the slo,vness of the 
interpreter and the clear voice of Gilbert 
Talbot 1 -then five years old-ringing through 
1 Killed in action, July 19 1 6. 


18 



274 CA'fHERINE GL

DSTONE 


the rOOIn, "I-Io,v long is this going to 
last ? " 
Li refused the honour of being carried to the 
dining-room, unless llis llost was likewise carried. 


And the great shock of the sudden death 
in Hawarden Chllrch of the Archbishop of 
Canterbury. " 
In October 1896 he and Mrs. Benson had 
crossed the Irish Channel, reaching Hawarden 
Castle one Saturday evening. On the Tuesday 
follo,ving he was borne from the church in 
,vhicll lIe had died to the station where he 
had arrived three days earlier, on the way to 
Canterbury for his burial. . 
On Sunday morning he had been to the 
service at 8 a.m. At II, we ,valked up to 
church. He passed to his rest as he knelt for 
the Confession; 1\lrs. Gladstone was next to 
him. Both she and Mr. Gladstone joined the 
funeral procession from Hawarden to Sandy- 
croft. It was a brilliant autumn lTIorning with 
snow on the grollnd-a solemn and a moving 
scene. 
In 1897 the Colonial Prime Ministers, in- 
cluding l\Ir. Seddon and Sir '\iVilfrid Laurier, 
arrived at Hawarden from the four quarters 
of the earth. They were photographed in the 
garden with their host and hostess, the Old 
Castle forming a picturesqlle background. 



RE1\IINISCENCES 


275 


In the year of Queen Victoria
s Jubilee, 
the Prince and Princess of "Tales came to 
luncheon, a visit \vhich gave exquisite pleasure 
to their hosts. 
In the afternoon, l\Ir. Gladstone started up 
the hill to the Old Castle \vith the Princess, 
the Prince \valking \vith l\Irs. Gladstone. On 
reaching the bridge over the moat, l\Ir. Glad- 
stone, fresl1 as a three-year-old, said, "Shall 
a- 
we go up to the top, ma'am?" Eager for the 
fray, she sprang for,vard, but first she glanced 
at lVIrs. Gladstone for approval. An almost 
imperceptible and knowing little wink ,vas 
telegraphed back to her-" Too much for 
him," it signified. Quick as lightning and ,vith 
charming tact, H.R.H. replied, "Oh, l\Ir. Glad- 
stone, YOll quite forget my poor lame leg." 
The qllartette were photographed, and the 
follo,ving day came a letter fron1 the Princess 
of 'Vales containing these words : 


" I must \vrite one line and thank both you 
and 1\11". Gladstone (dear 'Villiam) for the kind 
reception you gave us in )TOllr delightful 
home. 
""\tVe shall al,vays look back ,vith the greatest 
pleasure to the charming day spent \vith you, 
surrounded by your children and grand- 
children, \vhich to Ine ,vas a most touching 
. ht " 
SIg , etc. etc. 



276 CATHJ1
RINE GLADSTONE 


l\tIany were the friends that dropped in- 
Lord Rosebery with his boys, Sir Arthur 
Godley and George Russell, H. S. Holland. 
Among the signatures in the Ha,varden 
Visitors' Book, several of which occur more 
than once, for the years 1894-1900, are the 
following : 
Ed,vard and Georgina Burne Jones, JolIn 
l\Iorley, l\Iargaret Stepne)T, Algernon "Test, 
Arthur Godley, Sybil and Margaret Prin1rose, 
ROllald Leveson-Gower, 'Velby, L. Duchesne, 
Arthur C. Headlaln, \Villiam Booth, l Aberdeen 
and Isabel Aberdeen, Acton, E. "T. Hamilton, 
Evelyn de V esci, Tweedmouth, Hugh Currie, 
G. Armitstead, Sarah Spencer, Randall "'inton, 
Arthur, Hugh, and E. F. Benson, Arnold 
l\lorley, Laurence Currie, A. G. Asaph, Harry 
and Neil Primrose, Arthur Blomfield, E. T. 
Cook, Breadalbane and Alma Breadalbane, 
George If. l\lurray, Northbour
e, A. J. Balfour, 
H. J. Tennant, Ripon and H. Ripon, 'Valter 
Phillimore, Crewe, Halifax, 'Venlock, George 
Wyndham, John Sinclair, J. M. Carmichael, 
Spencer and Charlotte Spencer, J. 1VI. C. Crum, 
l\Iary Cruln, Lucy Graham Smith, etc.-with 
a full accolnpaniment of Lyttelton and Glad- 
stone and l\Iiss Pl1illimore, who devoted herself 
absolutely to ministering to Mrs. Gladstone, 
specially the last two years. 


. 1 The General of the Salvation Army. 



REl\fINISCENCES 


277 


And near by, at Saighton and Eaton, \verethe 
delightful George "Tyndham, Lady Grosvenor, 
the 'Vestminsters. 
In 1895, the last voyage in the Tantallon 
Castle; in 1896, the last speech at Liverpool, 
pleading with all the rassion of his most 
vigorous days for Armenia; in 1897, the final 
visit to London for the marriage of Princess 

Iaud, when Lord Rosebery remarked on the 
intense, almost dramatic interest attached 
to the three historic figures-Queen Victoria, 
lVlr. and 
Irs. Gladstone-all three having lived 
almost throughout the nineteenth century. In 
September 1897, their last visit to Scotland, 
and in November ,vas their last journey to the 
Riviera-the Aberdeens, the Actons, l\Ir. Armit- 
stead, Lord and Lady Rendel, who shall say 
,vhich of these ,vas the chiefest friend and bene- 
factor? But it was the last among these that 
received them, welcomed them so lovingly in 
the sad winter months of 1897-98, ,vhen the 
pain and distress of his final illness was gradu- 
ally undermining his health and strength. It 
,vas in the beautiful château at Cannes that 
I
ord and Lady Rendel sheltered them. In 1890 
their son Harry had married l\Iaud, the daughter 
of Lord Rendel, and no words could fitly de- 
scribe the devoted love they lavished both upon 
::\fr. and l\Irs. Gladstone. From Cannes thev 
eI 
,vent to Bournemouth in February 1898. 



278 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


On l\Iarch 18, while at Bournemouth, Mr. 
Gladstone learnt that his life was likely to end 
in a few weeks. The verdict he received with 
serenity and a deep sense of thankfulness. 
On leaving Bournemouth for Hawartlen, just 
as he entered the train, he paused and, turning 
to those who were seeing him off, with quiet 
gravity he said, " GQd bless you, and this place, 
and the land you love." 


Of Mrs. Gladstone's inner life, this book tries 
to give a few glimpses. Of the sorrows and 
losses inevitable in so long a period of time, 
there were three that cut her to the very quick 
-the death of the child already Inentioned- 
the death of her sister in August 1857-the 
death of her eldest son in 1891. Other sorrows 
there were, the loss of brothers, parents, 
relations, friends. But these three were 
different not only in degree but in kind. One 
of the Lyttelton twelve, 1 then a boy of thirteen, 
to this hour remembers the strange, wistful, 
almost hungry look in 11er eyes as she gazed and 
gazed in his face, striving to recognise in him 
some image of his mother-a look that im- 
pressed, haunted, yet baffled him, significant 
of an emotion too deep and too poignant for 
him to fathom. 
It was no ordinary link that bound these 


1 l\,lbert Victor. 



'..... 


'........ 


",,- 


(
Vullla Blanc Fils 
:\IR. AND :;\IRS. GLADSTO
E AT CANNES 


18 9 8 




RE1\IINISCENCES 


279 


t
..o sisters. Of )\iary it was once said that 
always "she made a sunshine in a shady 
place." 1 On entering a room it ,vas impossible 
not to be aware of her presence, such light 
and sweetness did it bring to the atmosphere. 
Possibly something of the beauty of her 
disposition, the high sense of honour and of 
duty, the capacity' for love and sacrifice, may 
be guessed from the lives and characters of 
her children, reflected indeed in the Lyttelton 
t,velve. 
As we have already seen, these two sisters 
were one in thought and mind, and the 
rending asunder of the one from the other 
signified a wound that no time ,vould heal. 
"Oh, if I were to see you in this state," 
said the dying sister, as she gazed at 
Catherine with infinite love and longing, " I 
think it would break my heart." And again, 
"I cannot possibly imagine you on earth 
without me." 
It was soon after the birth of Alfred, the 
youngest of the t,velve, that l\Iary's health began 
to fail, and for many ,veeks Catherine ,vas at 
Hagley, taking a large share in the nursing- 
there were no professional nurses in those 
days. In her own words, written at the time : 
"After receiving the Holy Communion her 
calmness ,vas extraordinary, and she even 


1 Spens<:-r's ]'(le...:"e Qlfef17e. 



280 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


said to me she 'would not wish to come back 
again.' 
t 0 Lord, my God, do Thou Thy Holy Will. 
I will lie still.' 


All discomposure and anxiety had left her. 
The Blessed Sacramel1t was life and sus- 
tenance, carrying her through the dark Valley 
of the Shadow of Death. She had left all her 
cares to Him who careth for her." 
The peace and beauty of the last days, the 
little traits of fun that carried her through the 
suffering, the gratitude, and almost enjoyment 
of any little alleviation, the look of fulfilment 
on her face after death, lifted the il1finite 
sense of love and loss, on the part of those 
that watched and mourned, to the highest 
spiritual level. And the maiming and crush- 
ing of her heart brought out special sweetness 
and endurance in the sister who ,vas left. But 
there is no doubt it was one of those heart- 
searching sorrows from which there is, in this 
world, no real recovery. Pain lives with us 
and becomes part and parcel of our being; we 
gro,v accustomed to its burden and its sting. 
But this in no way signifies the healing of the 
,vound, and with Mrs. Gladstone it was life- 
long. Many, many years later she wrote to 
her daughter, describing the pain she had to 
endure while a friend, sittil1g by her side at 
a dinner-partY!t persisted in speaking of Lady 



REl\fINISCENCES 


281 


Lyttelton, questioning her of her sister-and 
how she could not bear it. 
It is sometimes thought that old age brings 
gradual immunity from suffering, that its 
edge is blunted, that tile feeling of loss is 
blurred. This may be so, but it was by no 
means the case with 
Irs. Gladstone in 1891. 
From the moment her son became ill in 1890, 
"she went heavily as one that mourneth." 
Anyone would feel she "-"as changed, that she 
carried a heart sorely "rounded; the buoyancy 
,vas gone, 'brave though she might be in trying 
to hide her sorrow. 
Some time after his death, her daughter one 
day discovered some photographs of him in 
a drawer in her mother's room. She asked 
leave to take them a,vay and get them framed 
and placed on her writing-table. "You will 
think me such a co,vard," she said, with an 
ine
pressible look of pain, "but I keep them 
hidden on purpose, because I have not the 
courage to look at them." 
The death of her husband ,vas so different; 
it did not seem to part them-she felt him so 
near to her. 



CHAPTER IX 


VIA CRUCIS-VIA LUCIS 


I T is hardly possible to convey any 
accurate idea of the great ocean of 

:.4 sympathy and lovillg - kindness that 
flo,ved in from every part of the world during 
tllose last weeks-thousa.nds, even millions, 
scelned to ,vatcll round his deat]l-bed. 
"Froin every rank ill social life came 
outpollrings in every key of reverence and 
admiration. People seenled-as is tIle way 
when death comes - to see his life and 
character as a whole, and to gather up in 
his personality, thus transfigured . . . all tIle 
best hopes and aspirations of their own 
highest moments." 1 
It was a time of great suffering, but it was a 
time of great glory. It was a way of sorro,vs, 
but it ,vas a ,yay of victory. And all through 
those weeks sIle was near llim, cheering, fortify- 
ing, sweetening the atmosphere. She herself 
was not well, but all through his illness her 
spirit rose to a high plalle of self-forgetfulness, 


1 Lord Modey. 
:282 


" 



VIA CRUCIS-VIA LUCIS 283 


. 
and she devoted herself absolutely to soothe and 
minimise his pain. 
Among the many scenes of pathetic interest, 
the farewell visits of those dear to him, there 
is one that none could ever forget ,vho wit- 
nessed it. The cherished boy \vho bore his 
name, and who seventeen years later was, 
on the field of battle, to consecrate it anew, 
came down to the Castle to receive the farewell 
blessing. 
"Till was then an Eton boy of thirteen. 
By his father's death seven years earlier he had 
become heir to Hawarden. Mrs. Gladstone 
,vas seated close to her husband. 'Vith a 
gesture of infinite tenderness she drew hinl into 
her arms, and holding hinl close she gathered 
up all her strength, physical and mental; she 
spoke to him in the most wonderful way of 
his father and his mother, a11d the love he bore 
them; she spoke of the past and of all that had 
been suffered and sacrificed for Ha,varden by 
his grandfather; she spoke of the future 
and of his o,vn great duties as o,vner of the 
estate, of his responsibilities, of the great 
example he was to follo"T. \tVith her dying 
husband hardly conscious by her side, she 
poured out to the boy, ,vho listened so intently, 
her love for him, her hope for him, her belief 
in him. . . . 
In l\fay came some of his nearest friends and 



284 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


relations. Lord Rosebery caIne; 
Ir. 
lorley 
came; Lady Stepney and her daughter; 
George Russell and H. S. Holland; Bishop 
Wilkinson to administer the Holy Communion. 
Mrs. Benson came; her words written to one 
of her sons gives her own vivid impression. 


CC HAWARDEN CASTLE J May I, 18 9 8 . 
"\Ve have had a wonderful time. Mrs. 
Gladstone, though older, more worn, has just 
begun to realise that he cannot recover. She 
wept when she told me this, but she was flllJ 
of other people as usual-very full of lIS, and 
of the last time she had seen me here. 
" It is most pitiful, but also magnificent. . . . 
He is cast down and depressed, and suffers 
sadly at times. . . . His faith has never failed, 
and it is his uselessness which seems to weigh 
on his mind. . . . They hope he sJeeps a good 
deal. lVlrs. 'Vickham said he seems 'com.. 
muning with God '-and from time to time he 
breaks out into his favourite hymn, 'Praise 
to the hoJiest in the height' (onJy he likes 
best to say' highest '). He blesses eyeryone 
who comes near him. 
"The evening drew on and I had not seen 
him, when suddenly Mary Drew ca
e to me 
.. and said, 'Come quickly. I have told him 
you were here, and he says he will see you at 
once-but, he said, I can't talk.' \'Ve ran to 



VIA CRfJCIS-f'I...1 LUCIS 285 


his room. It \vas very dark-he al\vays will 
have it so-and in the midd]e with his back 
to the light he lay in a long chair; the dim 
light fell on his spJendid head. 
" I knelt by him and took his hand. 1\{. D. 
said, , Here is 1\11'8. Benson.' He took my hand 
and kissed it, and said, , God bless you. 'ViII 
you give me your prayers?' I said ho\v he 
always had them-ho,v I prayed continuously 
for him. ' Nobody,' he said, 'needs your 
prayers more than the poor sinner ,vho lies 
here before you.' This rang out in his magni- 
ficent voice-no alteration in that; then he 
went on, 'I often think of your husband; 
perhaps he pities me no\v.' I said, 'He loves 
you no,v as he did always,' and I kissed 
his hand which was stilJ holding mine. He 
blessed me again and I came a,vay. You 
will know all it was-sight and sound and 
,vords. . . . 
"Their kindness and thought and tender- 
ness are indescribable. I saw her again 
yesterday, and thanked her as well as I could. 
They tell me that what helps him most is 
anything that is said of his in any ,yay helping 
the 'World. I am sure If the world sa,v what 
I did they could be 'heJped' indeed. . . . 
God give him his release soon." 


There is no need to describe hel-e the very last 



286 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


sacred days and hours. They are wlitten 
large on the hearts of men. 
With his ,vife and children all around, in 
the early lllorning of Ascension Day, without a 
pang, he ceased to breathe. "Nature outside 
-wood and wide lawn, and cloudless, far-off 
sky--shone at her fairest." 
l\Irs. Gladstone, exhausted with the long 
,vatching, half an hour later, quiet and beauti- 
ful as of 019., fell into dreamless sleep. I still 
see her in t.he last historic scenes of her life- 
on every great occasion, with undiminished 
spirit, she rose to the call. T,vo scenes in 
particular abide in the memory. 
On May 22, a fatal accident occurred in 
one of tIle Estate Collieries. Mrs. Gladstone, 
llerself widowed only two days earlier, at once 
,vent to the cottage, and after speaking to the 
dead collier's wife in ,vords of tenderest under- 
standing and syn1pathy, she knelt down on the 
floor beside her, and prayed aloud a spontaneous, 
extempore prayer, a hllmble intercession ex- 
pressed in tl1e simplest words. 
A few days later, early in the 111orning, Mrs. 
Gladstone received the Holy Communion in 
llawarden Church, as the coffin, under its ,vhite 
pall, lay before the Altar. After the service 
,ve drove in an open carriage in the funeral 
Pl-ocession, throllgl1 the Park, with its glory 
of spring blossoms, and its black masses of 



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VIA CRU(
IS-TTI.L4 LUCIS 287 


people, thousands and thousands, from l\Ian- 
chester and Liverpool and other manufacturing 
towns. Like another great lady 1 twelve years 
later, she forgot everything but the thought of 
giving pleasure to the people, as she bowed 
from side to side all the ,yay to the station. 


As she entered the great west door of the 
Abbey, the vast concourse of people, seated 
tier above tier on each side of the nave, spon- 
taneously rose as she ,valked slo,vly up the 
centre. "She ,vent in like a ,vido,v, she came 
out like a bride" -so did the \vhole ceremony 
uplift and inspire her. The scene at the grave 
,vas indeed memorable. As the last solemn 
strains of the Dead March were dying away- 
l\lrs. Gladstone, a noble and pathetic figure, 
by the open gra"ve, gazing do\Vll upon the coffin 
of her husband-the Prince of 'Vales, after,vards 
King Edward VII., was seen to approach. 
Bending down, he reverently kissed her hand; 
his example ,vas followed by t.he other pall- 
bearers - Prince George (no,v King), Lord 
Salisbury, Lord Rosebery, 1\:11'. Balfour, the 
Duke of Rutland, Lord Spencer, I
ord Kimber- 
ley, Sir "VilHan1 Harcourt, Lord Rendel, l\Ir. 
Arnlitstead, and Lord Pembroke (,vho repre- 
sented Queen Victoria). To each one of them, 
as they bent do,vn, she spoke SOlne appropriate 


1 Que
n Alexandra. 



288 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


word, Sllo,ving far lllore self-colltrol t.han any of 
these deeply n10ved friends. 


" The congregation that filled the Abbey, the 
simplicity of dress, the unostentation of the 
cerelnonial, resembled the funeral of a village 
hero, in his own parish church. Only the 
parish was the Empir
, and the lnourners ,vere 
the representatives and rulers of the world. 
The most beautiful sight was the loving wife, 
,vho for sixty years had ministered to the dead 
man. Her sweet, patient, hopeful face ,vas a . 
homily and a solace to all who saw it." 
And alîother ,vrote: "It was all so beautifll1 
and moving-your darling mother thanking 
the pall-bearers-ho,v wOllderful slle was. 
The most touching thing of all was when she 
,valked down the nave, leaning on the arms 
of her two sons, and as she passed she smiled 
at the faces she knew-everybody cried at this 
-her being able so to forget herself, and re- 
member others in the most crushing moment 
of her life." 1 
Then there is Lord l\Iorley's unforgettable 
description of the mourning nations-France, 
America, Russia, Italy, Greece, Norway, 
Denn1ark, the Balkan Provinces-nations 
that had struggled or were struggling to be 
free: "It was not at 'Vestminster only that his 


1 Charlotte Ribblesdale. 



VIA CRUCIS-VIA LUCIS 289 


praise ,vent forth-famous men ha
le the world 
for their tomb-in foreign lands a memorial 
of them is graven on the hearts of men. No 
other statesman on our famous roll has touched 
the imagination of so wide a world. . . ." 


Before she returned to Hawarden, Lord Rose- 
bery came to her, bringing his two boys to be 
blessed by her. Only two years of loneliness 
were to pass. She left London the same day 
-it was typical of her unself-consciousness 
that she never looked at a paper, never once 
asked that the account of the historic scenes 
should be read to her. She lived her quiet life, 
physically and mentally, very gradually failing. 
Only once did she leave Hawarden again, tak- 
ing a house at Penmaenmawr in the autumn 
of 1898, and paying a farewell visit to Penrhyn 
Castle. On October 5, 1899, the Duke of 
'Vestminster, in her presence, laid the first stone 
of St. Deiniol's Library-it "'as part of the 
Nation's memorial to Mr. Gladstone. l\Irs. 
G]adstone, the previous day, had cut the first 
sod. Thus were these two lifelong friends 
together in their last public act. Their inter- 
course had at one time been shadowed by 
political differences. 
ut in the end they 
were associated in a ceremony, the object of 
\vhich was homage to l\rIr. Gladstone. The 
Duke only lived a few more weeks. She 
19 



290 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 


survived him by six months. She was chiefly 
in the company those last two years of her 
daughters and daughters-in-law, her nieces, 
and most intimate friends; and the frequent 
presence of her sons and grandchildren threw 
light and joy on the path she now trod alone. 
She much preferred men to women, and would 
often have felt a sense of boredom had not 
- 
others made special journeys to see her- 
Lord Rosebery, H. S. Holland, Sir Arthur 
Godley, George Russell. This tenderness of 
thought for her on the part of the younger 
generation greatly cheered and pleased her. 
Hardly a day passed, after May 1898, without 
bringing her a word from George Russell. He 
loved her as a son, and never lost a chance of 
cheering or amusing her ,vith some little word 
he had heard or read, or something he had 
seen, concernillg her husband. As has been 
already said she appeared to hare a sense of 
his nearness, almost a sense of his presence 
seemed to be granted to her, and there was 
little feeling of severance during the two 
years that separated them. The books she 
loved best were the Biographies written by 
Mr. Justin M'Carthy and Sir T. Wemyss 
Reid. These were read to her over and over 
again, and the sermons on Mr. Gladstone by 
her two sons-in-law, the Dean of Lincoln 
and Harry Drew; Edward Talbot and Arthur 



VI.l.4 CRUCIS-VILl LUCIS 291 


Lyttelton, her nephe\vs, and H. S. Holland, 
were rivers of refreshment to her. 
The ministrations of the Rector, her eldest 
surviving son, the presence of the ,vife and 
children of 11er loved eldest son, who after the 
death of l\Ir. Gladstone took up their residence 
at the Castle, all this tended to var)T and 
brighten t.he days of \vaiting. 
Iany charming 
" Sayings of the Children" 1 might enliven these 
pages. But the shado\vs are 110W lengthening, 
and her life dra,vs near to its close. 'Vith her 
unconquerable ,viiI and her vitality of spirit, it 
was hard through increasing weakness to drop, 
one by one, her activities, her responsibilities, 
her businesses. There comes a time in most 
lives, where the father and mother live long, 
when the relation between parents and children 
becomes, in some measure, reversed. "Tith 
him it had been not only an easy task, but 
one that had called forth his deepest gratitude, 
to hand over his possessions, to leave his affairs 
and even his indomitable ,viiI in the hands of his 
children, and especially in those of Harry, his 
most trusted son. But to her it was difficult 
to give in, to give up. She still struggled to 
fulfil her accustomed duties, the little minis- 
trations that she loved to bestow on all that 
needed then1. It ,vas the habit of her life. 
To the end sl1e strove to \vrite letters. 


1 By Pamela Glenconner. 



292 CATHERINE GLADSTONE 
'\tVe will not dwell on the last of her days 
on earth. It is life, not death, that matters. 
Gradually she became less and less conscious 
of the world-there was little or no suffering, 
and on the afternoon of June 14, the eager 
spirit passed, without struggle, to its rest. . . . 
"I desire to be buried" Mr. Gladstone had 
written "where my wife may also lie." 
And so it came to pass that burial in the 
great Abbey, by the side of her husband, ,vas 
granted to her. No one who was present on 
the early morning of June 19 will forget the 
Service at St. Faith's. The coffin had been 
brought from Hawarden to Westminster Abbey 
on the preceding day. It had rested in the 
Chapel of St. Faith's during the night, with its 
white pall and burning tapers and the flowers 
that she loved; the Cross at its head, the 
kneeling Sisters, who had watched all night, 
the solemn Requiem. . . . so 
A few hours later, with the same solemn 
service, the same glorious music, the same 
mourners-family, children and grandchildren, 
friends, statesmen, and many others, high and 
low, rich and poor-we stood once more around 
tllat same open grave, and to many the thought 
must have occurred that this was more a 
wedding than a funeral. 
" Lovely and pleasant were they in their lives, and in their 
death they were not divided." 





 
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Aberdeen, Lord and Lady, 21 5, 259, 
277. 
Aboyne, Lord, I I. 
Acland, Sir Henry, letter from, 161. 
Acton, Lady, 109, 277. 
Acton, Lord, 229, 264, 268, 26 9, 
277; his estimate of Gladstone's 
oratory, 232; quoted, 263; Letters 
quoted, 241 11. 
Afghan Boundary dispute, 171. 
Ailsa, Lady, 177 and n. I. 
Alexander, Bp., quoted, 155-6. 
Alfred, Prince, 68. 
Alice, Princess, 66, 94. 
Alix of Hesse (Empress of Russia), 
100, 191. 
Anson, Gen., 143. 
Argyll, Duchess of, death of, 175-6. 
Argyll, Duke of, letters from, 148, 
17 6 , 193. 
Armitstead, Mr., 115 and n. I, 269, 
277. 
Asquith, Mrs. (ì\1argot Tennant), 
letter from, 191. 
At Sundry Times, 114-15. 
Audley End,S, 15. 
Balfour, A. J., 86, 257 ; Gladstone's 
affection for, 238 ; at Hawarden, 
273. 
Barnard, Sir H., 144. 
Bathurst, Lord, 16. 
Battersea, Lord and Lady, 101. 
Bellairs, :Miss Eleanor, 115. 
Belvoir Castle, 69. 
Benson, Abp., letter from, 166; 
death of, 167 n., 19 2 -3, 274. 
Benson, Mrs., 199 ; letter on Mrs. 
Gladstone's last illness, 284-5. 
Blücher, 129. 
Books read, 3 6 -7, 43-4. 
Brabazon, Lady, 28, 38. 
Braybrooke, Lord, 89. 
Bright, Jacob, 224-5. 
Bright, John, letter from, 175. 


INDEX 


Brooke family, 15, 31. 
Brownlow, Lady, 106. 
Bryce, Lord, letter from, 164. 
Cambridge, Duke of, 104; friend- 
ship with Mrs. Gladstone, 14. 
Canning, Lady, letter from, 140. 
Canning, Lord, 20, 65, 139, 144-6. 
Carlisle, Lady, 132. 
Carlton House Terrace, 3 8 , 254-5. 
Carnot, President, 260-1. 
Catherine Gladstone Home, The, 
246-7. 
Cattle plague anecdote, 251. 
Cavendish, Lady (Lady Frederick), 
20 4, 226 and n" 247, 254, 267; 
letter to, 76. 
Cavendish, Lord Frederick, 79, 
254; murder of, 165-6, 238. 
Chamberlain, Joseph. 260, 267; 
cited, 63. 
Chaplin, H., 159-60. 
Charitable undertakings, 243-4, 
246, 248. 
Chatham, Lady,S. 
Chess, 37. 
Childers, H" 104. 
Cholera epidemic, I, 247. 
Church in z:ts relatlo1t to the State, 
The, 7, 22, 45, 63. 
Churchill, Lord Randolph, 105. 
Clark, Sir Andrew, 83, 237 and n. 
Claughton, Bp., 104, 106. 
Cobden, R., 132-3. 
Cobham, :!\Iary, Viscountess, 169. 
Coleridge, J. T., 4 2 , 
Colonial Prime :Ministers at Haw. 
rden, 274. 
Cook and the CaþtaÍ1t, The, 237. 
Coutts, Angela Burdett, 137 and n. 
Cowper, Lady. See Palmerston. 
Cowper, William, 153. 
Currie, Sir Donald, 172 1t. 


Dalhousie, Lord, 66. 
295 



296 


INDEX 


Dalmeny, 16-17. 
de Falbe, l\'Ime, 105. 
de Rothesay, Lady Stuart, II. 
de Tabley, Lady, 44. 
de Tabley, Lord, 20. 
Delamere, Lady, letter of, 127-30. 
Delane, J. T., letter from, 180. 
Denison, Archdeacon, 137. 
Derby, Lord, 127. 
Disraeli, B., 125, 127. 
Dollis Hill, 259-60. 
d'Orléans, Due, 10. 
Douglas, Lord, 9-10 and 11. I. 
Downing Street party anecdote, 
256-7. . 
Doyle, Sir Francis, 20, 33. 
Dress fashions. 181-4. 
Drew, Dorothy Mary Catherine, 
115, 25 8 , 261, 271 and 11. 3. 
Drew, Rev. Harry, 27 I and n. 2. 
Drew, Mary, letter of, to Lady F. 
Cavendish, 76. 
Dufferin, Lord, letter from, 185. 
Durdans, The, I I I. 


Edward, Prince (Eddy), 103; death 
of, 113-14. 
Ellen lVIiddletolz, 238. 
Ellenborough, Lord, 145. 
Escrich, 37. 
Fasque, 34. 
Frederick William IV., King of 
Prussia, 45. 
Frere, Sir Bartle, 104 and n. 
Garibaldi, Gen., letter from, 151. 
George, Prince, 189, 287. 
Gladstone, Agnes, 66-9. 
Gladstone, Catherine, ancestry of, 
1-4; childhood and education, 
5-9; in Paris, 9-12; home life, 
13-15; in Scotland, 16-17; 
London gaieties, 17- I 8; in 
Naples and Rome, 20-1; Mr. 
Gladstone's first proposal, 22; 
return to London, 24; engaged, 
24-9 ; married, 30 ff.; birth of 
her eldest son, 41; death of her 
child Catherine Jessy, 73-4, 278 ; 
rescue work, 249-50; death of 
her sister, 278-80; Lancs. cotton 
famine, 95 ff., 244; cholera epi- 
demic, I, 247; Pembroke Castle 
trip (1883), 172 and 11. ; visit to 
Italy, 184 ; golden wedding, 187 ; 


death of her eldest son, 278, 281 ; 
specimen day of her old age, 244- 
6; in her husband's last illness, 
282-6; his funeral, 286-8; failing 
health, 289 ff. ; death and funeral, 
292; her affection for her sister, 18, 
26, 36, 54 ; position in her home, 
19; relations with her husband, 
28, 68, 219, 230, 235-6, 265, .268, 
28 I ; watchful care of him, 208, 
221-2; book of extracts, 7-8; 
record work of her children, 53-4 ; 
appearance of, 18-19, 202. 
Gladstone, Harry, 92 and n., 277. 
Gladstone, Helen, 29-30, 105, 271. 
Gladstone, IIerbert, 92 and n., 165, 
271. 
Gladstone, J essy, 68, 72-4, 278. 
Gladstone, Rev. Stephen, 68, 71; 
letter from, quoted, 79, 
Gladstone, \V. E.-meets the 
Glynnes in Naples and Rome, 
20- I; first proposal, 22; ac- 
cepted, 24; speech on the Corn 
Laws, 46-7; as President of Board 
of Trade, 48; shooting accident, 
52, 13 6 ; enters the Cabinet, 58-9 ; 
resigns on Maynooth grant, 62-6 ; 
M.P. for Oxford (1847), 131 n. ; 
European journey for a friend 
(1849), 71-2; death of his child 
(1850), 73; Chancellor of the 
Exchequer (1853), 126, 137 ; 
re-election, 137-8; the Budget 
(1860), 147; political campaigns 
-N ewcastle, Midlothian, etc., 
116 ff.; Reform Bill (1866), 
255-6; Prim
 l"linister (1868), 
I 5 I; political achievement, 8 I ; 
resignation (1875), 82 ff. ; second 
time Premier (1880), 163; popular 
sentiments towards, 16 4- 5 ; 
Bingley Hall speech (1888), 
178-80 ; cataract, 261; old age, 
272; at Cannes, 277 ; at Bourne- 
mouth, 277-8; fatal illness, 277, 
278, 282 ff.; death of, 195 ff., 
286 ; funeral, 286-9; his ord erl y 
habits, 28; domestic interests, 
58; trustfulness, 209; estimate 
of, 231 ff. ; his oratory, 232; 
Millais portrait, 107; Biogra- 
phies, 230, 290; letter to Lord 
Lyttelton quoted, 233-4; The 
Cook and the Caþtain, 237 ; three 
sleepness nights, 238. 



INDEX 


Gladstone, \V. G. C., 283, 
Gladstone, \V. H., 4 1 , 44, 58, 63, 
89; estimate of, as a boy, 7 I ; 
engagement of, 157; death of, 
278, 281. 
Gladstone family, the, 25; home 
life of, 263-5. 
Glenconner, Lady, 110 and nn., 
291 n. 
Glyn, George, 254. 
Glyn, Sir John, 3. 
Glynne, Lady (Mary Neville), 1-2, 
4-5, 8-9, 33, 135 and n. 3. 
Glynne, Henry (brother), 6, 12, 16, 
29; marriage of, 59-60; death 
of, 270. 
Glynne, Mary. See Lyttelton, Lady. 
Glynne, Sir Stephen (father), 1-3, 
4,26, 
Glynne, Sir Stephen (brother), 6, 
10 and n. 2, I I, 35; death of, 
155 11-., 270. 
Glynnese Glossary, 23 n. I, 55, 211 
and n. I, 225. 
Godley, Sir Arthur, 276, 290. 
Gordon, Gen., 170. 
Graham, Sir James, letter from, 147. 
Granville, Lord, 102, 108; lunch- 
cheon party to, 222-3. 
Grenville, the Rev. and Hon. G. N., 
6 n., 12, 31. 
Grenville, Thomas, 12, 26, 44 and 
n., 65 ; letter from, 130. 
Grosvenor, Lady, 110. 
Grosvenor, Hugh, 169. 
Guizot, 69. 


Hagley, 15, 3 1 , 59, 134. 
Hamilton, Duchess of, 10. 
Hamilton, Duke of, 20. 
Harcourt, Abp., 26. 
Harcourt, Col., 17 and n. 2. 
Harcourt, Lord, quoted, 217. 
Harcourt, Sir \V m., 197. 
Harris, Lord, 20. 
Harrison, Frederic, letter from, 
194. 
Hartington, Lord, 108, 203. 
Hawarden- Visitors' Book, 276; 
St. Deiniol's Library, 289. 
IIawarden Estate, 3 ; colliery 
accident, 286. 
Hawarden parish, 12-13; New 
Church, 59. 
Heathcote, :Mr. and l\Irs., 16. 
Heber, Bishop, 8. 


297 


Herbert, l\lrs., 147. 
Herbert, Sidney, 91. 
Hesse, Princesses of, 100, 191. 
Holland, Rev. H. Scott, 276, 284, 
290; quoted, 209 and n. I. 
Home Rule split, 174 fr. 
Hook, Dr., 59, 
Hooker, Sir Joseph and Lady, 
257. 
Hope, A. J. B., 5 8 -9- 
Hunt, Holman, letter from, 169. 


Indian Mutiny, the, 140 ff. 
J arnac, Mme, 69-70. 
Keate, Dr., 43- 
Kiel Harbour opening, I 17. 
Lancashire cotton famine, 95ft:, 
244. 
Lawley, Jane, 29. 
Lawrence, Sir H., 144. 
Lefevre, J. Shaw-, 65. 
Leinster, Lord, 177. 
Leopold, Prince (Duke of Albany), 
death of, 166. 
Li Hung Chang, 273-4; letter from, 
193. 
Liddon, Canon, letter from, 155. 
Lincoln, Abraham, quoted, 256 
and n. 
Lister, Mr. and Mrs., 16. 
Liszt, Abbé, 9. 
Lloyd, Gen., 142. 
Lovelace, Lady, quoted, 210-1 I. 
Lyttelton, Dowager Lady, 61, 62, 
88 and n. 3 ; letter from, 152. 
Lyttelton, Lady, 6, 7, II, 14, 19, 
42; engagement, 26; marriage, 
30; children of, 54; at Hagley, 
134; characteristics of, 18; death 
of, 278-280. 
Lyttelton (George), Lord, 26-7, 30. 
Lyttelton, Albert Victor, 278 and n. 
Lyttelton, Alfred, 169 and It. I, 279. 
Lyttelton, Mrs. Alfred (Laura Ten- 
nant), 172 and n. ; quoted, 220. 
Lyttelton, Arthur, 107. 
Lyttelton, Constance, 248-9. 
Lyttelton, Katharine, quoted, 210. 
Lyttelton, Lavinia (Lavinia Glynne), 
59- 60 . 
Lyttelton, Lucy, 88. 
Lyttelton, l\fary (niece), 212 and n. 
Lyttelton, Meriel, 4 2 , 44, 88. 



298 


Macaulay, Lord, 22. 
Mahony, Pierce. See Q'l\iahony. 
Manning, Cardinal, 22, 42, 58-9, 
61 ; letters from, 136, 187. 
Marie Antoinette, 70. 
Maynooth, 63-6. 
Melbourne, Lord, 209. 
Midlothian campaign, 164, 221-2. 
JtIonsell, Mr., 249. 
Morley, Lord, 263, 284, quoted, 63, 
178-
 231-2, 256, 26
 28
 
28S-9; letter from, 200 ; estimate 
of his Life of W. E. Gladstone, 
230 and n. 1. 
Morpeth, Lord, 132. 


Napoleon's charger, 4. 
'Nebuchadnezzar,' 226. 
Neill, Brig.-Gen., 144. 
Neville, Mrs. Chas., 89. 
Neville, Grey, 89-90. 
Neville, Henry, 89-90. 
Neville, Mary. See Glynne. 
Neville, :Mirabel, 90 and 1,. 2. 
Newcastle, Duke of, 20; letters 
from, 138, 139. 
Newman, Cardinal, letter from, 158. 
Newnham College, 107. 
Nicholas, Emperor of Russia, 61-2, 
19 1 . 
Northcote, Sir Stafford, 65 and n. 3, 
170; letters from, 137, 151. 


O'Mahony, The, letter from, 189. 
Outram, Lady, 141-2. 


Palmerston, Lady (Lady Cowper), 
135 and n. 2; letter from, 153. 
Parnell, C. S., 113; the divorce 
case, 188. 
Paul, I-Ierbert, 113. 
Peel, Arthur, 113. 
Peel, Sir Robert, 4 2 , 44, 5 I, 62-3, 
69-70; the Corn Laws, 46-8; 
his estimate of Gladstone, 50-I. 
Pembroke, Lady, 106. 
Pembroke Castle trip, 172. 
Penrhyn, Gertrude, Lady, 60. 
Perceval, l\1r., 137-8. 
Petz, 272. 
Phillimore, Mr. 52. 
Phillimore, Lucy, In .J.
fe/1loriam by, 
cited, 242. 
Phillimore, Sir R., 20, 172. 
Phænix Park murders, 165. 
Platof, 129. 


INDEX 


Primrose, Lady Peggy, II I. 
Primrose League anecdote, 1 15. 
Prince Consort, 44, 92-3. 
Princess Royal,s I, 99; letter from, 
188. 
Prison dullness anecdote, 205-7. 
Public Worship Regulation Act, 
154- 6 . 
Pusey, Dr., letter from, 181. 


Recollections of an IrÚh Judge, 56-7. 
Reeve, Henry, quoted, 34. 
Reid, Sir R. (Lord Loreburn), 154. 
Rendel, Lord and Lady, 184, 277. 
Rescue work, 249-50. 
Ribblesdale, Lady, 220. 
Ribblesdale, Lord, 205. 
Richmond, Sir Wm., letters from, 
19 2 , 196, 198. 
Ripon, Lord, 49, 50. 
Robert Elsmere, 109. 
Roberts, Sir F. (Earl Roberts), 103- 
10 4. 
Rogers, Samuel, 24, 26; enter- 
taining the Church, 57; letter 
from, 136. 
Rosebery, Lord and Lady, 16, 17. 
Rosebery, Lady, death of, 111-12. 
Rosebery, Lord, 259, 276, 284, 
28 9, 29 0 ; cited, 221, 277. 
Ruskin, John, 161-3. 
Russell, George 'V. E., 276, 284, 
290; letters from, 171,174; cited, 
237. , 
Russell, Lord and Lady John, 46, 
87-8. 
Ryan, Sir Charles, 221. 


,. 


Saighton, 110. 
St. Leonards dancing incident, 211. 
Sandringham, 102 fl. 
SchlÜter, Auguste, letter from, 216. 
Sel wyn, Bishop, 42-3. 
Sheil, Irish orator, 56. 
Spencer, Lady Sarah, 260. 
Stanley, Lord, 45, 49, 56. 
Stanley, Lady Mary (Lady Mary 
Grosvenor), 160 and n. 
Stanmore, Lord (Sir Arthur Gordon), 
letter from, 172. 
Stepney, Lady, 284. 
Stuart, Prof., I 13. 
Stuart, Gertrude, 157. 
Sutherland, Duchess of, 45, 89 n. I, 
99. 
Swansea, 116. 



INDEX 


Talbot, Gilbert, 273 and n. 
Talbot, 1\lrs. E. S. (Lavinia 
Lyttelton), 211-13. 
Tanta/lon Castle, 25 8 , 277. 
Tennant, Laura. See Lyttelton, 
:Mrs. Alfred. 
Tennant,:Margot. See Asquith, Mrs. 
Tennyson, Lord, 99, 15 0 , 177; 
letters from, 159, 181 ; home life 
of, 263. 
Tennyson, Hallam, 159-60. 
Thirlwall, Bishop, 26. 
Times, The, 108-9. 
To Two Sister Brides, quoted, 33. 


Victoria, Queen, visits Hawarden, 
14; coronation of, 17; friendli- 
ness with Mrs. Gladstone, 4 1 , 58, 
66, 68, 88; sentiments towards 
Mr. Gladstone, 93; family life, 
62; death of the Prince Consort, 
93-5 ; interest in Lancashire 
cotton famine, 96; letters from, 
157, !66, 18 9. 


Wales, Prince of (Edward VII.), 51, 
66-8, 71, 10 5; illness ( 18 7 1 ), 99; 
at Duke of Albany's funeral, 167 ; 
letter from, 168; at Hawarden, 


299 


275 ; at Mr. Gladstone's funeral, 
287. 
\Vales, Prince of (present), 52. 
Wales, Princess of (Queen Alex- 
andra), 99; entertains the Glad- 
stones at Sandringham, 102, 107 ; 
visits Hawarden, 275; letters 
from, 19 1 , 195, 275. 
'Varren, :Margaret Leicester, 264. 
'Vatts, G. F" letter from, 190. 
Wedding-ring incident, 221. 
Wellington, Duke of, 4 1 , 4 2 , 45, 50, 
6 I; desire to resign his com- 
mission, 5 I. 
\Venlock, Lady, 9. 
'\Venlock, Lord, 17. 
Westminster, Duke of, 289; letters 
from, 160, 165, 169, 177. 
'Vickham, Rev. E. C., 270-1. 
'\Vickham, \V. C., 213-14. 
\Vilberforce, Bishop Samuel, letters 
from, 153-4. 
\Vilkinson, Bishop, 284. 
\Voodford journey anecdote, 207. 
\V oolner, Th05., letter from, 150. 
Wyndham, George, 1 102.ndn. 1,277. 
\Vyndham, Percy, 110 and n. 3. 
\V,ynn, Sir \Vatkin, 30. 


Zouche, Lord, 20. 



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