Page images
PDF
EPUB

FARRINGFORD, April 17th, 1862.

MY DEAR LADY AUGUSTA,

Accept my very best thanks for your kind letter. I perceive that it was written on the evening of that day when I called at Osborne, but I received it only yesterday; then I thought that I would wait till the prints 1 arrived, but as they have not, I will not delay my answer.

I was conscious of having spoken with considerable emotion to the Queen, but I have a very imperfect recollection of what I did say. Nor indeed-which perhaps you may think less excusable-do I very well recollect what Her Majesty said to me: but I loved the voice that spoke, for being very blind I am much led by the voice, and blind as I am and as I told Her I was, I yet could dimly perceive so great an expression of sweetness in Her countenance as made me wroth with those imperfect cartes de visite of H.M. which Mayall once sent me. Will you say, as you best know how to say it, how deeply grateful I am to Her Majesty for the prints of Herself and of Him which She proposes to send me, and how very much I shall value Her Gift? I was charmed with Princess Alice. She seemed to me what Goethe calls eine Natur. Did he not say that was the highest compliment that could be paid to a woman?

1 Portraits of the Queen and Prince Consort.

1

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

and the little Beatrice with her long tresses was very captivating. Thank you also for what you tell me of your own family. True, as you write, I often receive similar communications, but the value of these depends on the value of those from whom they come. I often scarce believe that I have done anything, especially when I meet with too flowery compliments: but when I know that I am spoken to sincerely, as by your Ladyship, I lift my head a little, and rejoice that I am not altogether useless.

Believe me, yours very truly,

A. TENNYSON.

T. II

337

Z

CHAPTER XIII

DERBYSHIRE AND YORKSHIRE

LETTERS

1862-18641

DURING this summer, after finishing his “Enoch Arden," or "The Fisherman" as he called it then, my father went with Palgrave for a tour to Derbyshire and Yorkshire. On his return I remember hearing him express delight at the beauties of Haddon Hall, and at the glories of the Peak cavern. The guide had asked the travellers, before entering the cavern, at what scale they would wish to see the Great Hall illuminated, for when the Emperor of Russia had been there, he had chosen the most magnificent of the illuminations offered. My father answered: "Let us be as grand as Emperors for once" and Palgrave and he were amply re

1 See Appendix, p. 351, for Reminiscences by Thomas Wilson and William Allingham, 1863-64.

2 See FitzGerald's "Hints for "Enoch Arden"" in Appendix, P. 355.

1862

TOUR WITH PALGRAVE

warded by the wonderful colour-effects produced, and especially by the display of the crimson fire. From Castleton they went to Ripon, Leyburn, Middleham, Wensleydale, Bolton, and Skipton. My father told me that it was at Middleham Castle he had made the lines in "Geraint and Enid":

And here had fall'n a great part of a tower, Whole, like a crag that tumbles from the cliff, And like a crag was gay with wilding flowers.

At Christmas a greeting from Edward FitzGerald came :

MARKET HILL, WOODBRIDGE, 1862.

Let me hear how you both are and your boys, and where you have been this summer.

I have, as usual, nothing to tell of myself: boating all the summer and reading Clarissa Harlowe since; you and I used to talk of the book more than 20 years ago. I believe I am better read in it than almost any one in existence now. No wonder, for it is almost intolerably tedious and absurd. But I can't read the Adam Bedes, Daisy Chains, etc. at all: I look at my row of Sir Walter Scott, and think with comfort that I can always go to him of a winter evening, when no other book comes to hand.

I think you must come over here one summer-day, not till summer, but before more summers are gone. Else, who knows? Do you smoke? I sometimes talk with seafaring men who come from Boston in billyboys, and from Goole, and other places in the Humber, and then I don't forget the coast of Locksley Hall.

1863

In January my father wrote to Frederick Locker, sending at the same time a volume of his poems for his daughter Eleanor :

FARRINGFORD,
Jan. 31st, 1863.

DEAR MR. LOCKER,

I am glad that your young lady approves of my little book. Why wouldn't you let me give it to her?

As to this canard of a Baronetcy, I remember the same foolish rumour arising some years ago, and with some little trouble I put it down, or it died down of itself. In this instance the notice had been out in the Athenæum several days before I heard of it, but I answered the first letter which alluded to it, by declaring that the rumour was wholly unfounded; so that, as no Baronetcy has been offered, there is less reason for considering your friendly pros and cons as to acceptance or refusal; if it had, I trust that I should have had grace and loyalty enough to think more of the Queen's feelings than my own in this matter. I mean whichever way I answered. Both myself and my wife have been somewhat vexed, and annoyed, by all this chatter.

Kind regards to Lady Charlotte. I shall be glad to see you here, whenever you like to come our way. Froude promised me he would come

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »