The Life of Robert Godefroy Harvey
by His Father (1896)
This book tells "the story of the short and joyous life of Robert Godefroy ("Tito ") Harvey born 31st August, 1884. died 21st May, 1895", for whom the white marble tomb in Harberton churchyard was built.
Sir Robert Harvey purchased Dundridge in the Spring of 1890. The book incidentally tells how Robert Harvey had electric lighting installed throughout Dundridge shortly before Easter 1894. A building alongside the stables is shown as "The Engine House" on an old plan.
A thumbnailed low-resolution graphical version of the original will be
available on this website in due course.
The full text has been captured by OCR (but not yet proofread) and is reproduced below:
[p.i – handwritten]
To Mrs George Lockett
in memory of her sweet little friend
from his father & mother
1st June 1896
R G Harvey
1, Palace Gate
OF THE SHORT AND JOYOUS LIFE OF
ROBERT GODEFROY ("TITO ") HARVEY
BORN 31ST AUGUST, 1884. DIED 21ST MAY, 1895
WRITTEN BY HIS FATHER
(FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION ONLY)
BELGIAN NEWS PRESS
MY BELOVED WIFE
JOYS AND SORROWS
I. Iquique - - - 1
II. Home - - - - 9
III. At Torquay - - - 17
IV. Kensington Gore - - 23
V. Palace Gate and Berry Pomeroy 29
VI. A Continental Tour - - - 35
VII. Home Once More - - 47
VIII. School - - - - 53
IX. Abroad Again - - - 57
X. Through Scotland - - - 95
XI. Return to London and Dundridge 7
XII. Another Expedition to the "Sunny
South "- - - - 77
XIII. At Gibraltar - - - 95
XIV. Malaga, Granada and Seville - 103
XV. An Easter Bull-Fight - - 113
XVI. Last Days in Andalusia - 119
XVII. Fatal Fonthill - - - 125
XVIII. Signs of Danger - - 133
XIX. The Beginning of the End - 137
XX. Falling Asleep - - - 141
XXI. The Funeral - - - 158
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. Portrait of R. G. Harvey, with
autograph. September, 1894 Frontispiece.
2. "Tito" on his Christening-day, 1884 Pages 2-3
2. "Tito" at Iquique, 1885 „ 6-7
3. "Tito" at Perran Porth, 1886 „ 14-15
4. Our Little Trumpeter at Gloucester
Place, 1887 „ 18-19
5. Our Darlings in Jubilee Year, 1887 „ 20- 21
6. "Tito" on Broadstairs Sands, 1888 „ 24-25
7, "Tito" at Kensington Gore, 1888 „ 26-27
8. Our Little Highland Chief at Nice „ 28-29
9. "Tito" as Page at Mrs. Lambert's
wedding, 1890 „ 30-31
10. Our Happy Family in 1889 „ 32-33
11. "Tito's " First Party at Palace Gate,
1891 „ 34-35
12. Our Nursery Soldier at Palace Gate,
1891 „ 46-47
13. The Young Squire of Dundridge on
his pony, 1892_ „ 48-19
14. "Tito" at Dundridge, 1892 - „ 50-51
15. "Tito" as "Faust" at the Mansion
House Ball, 1894 „ 52-53
16. "Tito" and Emile in the Bois de
Boulogne, 1894 „ 62-63
17. The Family Picture at Dandridge „ 72-73
18. "He giveth his Beloved Sleep,"
May 21st „ 156-157
19. Recumbent figure in Harberton
Churchyard „ 158-159
20. "Tito's " last Resting Place - „ 160 -161
21. "Till the Resurrection Morning." - „ 162-163
22. Memorial Window in Harberton
Church „ The End.
THROUGH lapse of time and man's forgetfulness many circumstances which ought to be remembered are allowed to be forgotten, and many persons' lives abounding in good and praiseworthy deeds, which ought to be chronicled, are permitted to pass unrecorded and unnoticed through inattention or inadvertence in not writing these for the sake of those who are too young to remember, and those who are too old to concentrate their memory on circumstances which happened in their younger days. My youngest child is not yet three years old, and although now he remembers "Tito," yet he is not old enough to realize that his brother has bid an eternal farewell to this world, and unless his
memory be assisted by some permanent record, he will, as he grows older, entirely forget his loving elder brother, who doted on him, and whose special delight it was to assist his brother Emile and his sister Lilita in providing innocent amusement tor the baby Alfred Northy, to whom I principally dedicate this brief retrospective sketch of one of the most gentle, sweet-tempered and beautiful of boys, whose short life was like a sunbeam, which, during its momentary existence, brightened all around it by its heavenly rays, and on its fading away left the surrounding darkness more oppressive by contrast.
At Iquique on August 31st, 1884, I had pressing business at the Liverpool Nitrate Company's works, "Ramirez," and was obliged to leave my wife for two days, and although we knew that the "fulness of time had come," yet we hoped that the two days I should be absent would pass quietly, and I took leave of her and our little Lilita, only fifteen months old, leaving my wife's aunt Graciana (Mrs. Galindo) on whom, as my dear good friend and affectionate relative, I could place implicit reliance on her, in time of trouble, or illness, however trivial, we always found Mrs. Galindo our most serviceable, unobtrusive, and reliable friend, and it was she who nursed both my wife and Lilita with the tender care of a mother, and as one who had herself "drunk deeply of the cup of sorrow."
My wife's mother also resided next door to us, and although then in delicate health, would be ready, in case of need, to assist her daughter in any emergency,
A few hours after my arrival at "Ramirez," I received a telegram from Alfredo Godefroy, my wife's only brother, saying: "A boy is born, with blue eyes; Alida and he doing well "
My hopes and prayers for a son were realized, and I fear I was not then so thankful to God for granting my wish, as I am now, notwithstanding our irreparable loss, for the many mercies vouchsafed to me and my remaining family. My labours had been blessed with prosperity, my wedded life with happiness, and now I had both a daughter and a son.
I worked late into the night, sleeping only a few hours, and fortunately finished the work I had in hand (erecting a new winding engine) most satisfactorily. Next morning I arose early, had my horse saddled, and took my faithful servant Santos with me across the hills to Iquique.
As no passenger train would be due until the day after, I could not restrain my impatience to see my son until then, and preferred to ride over fifty miles in a tropical sun in order to gratify my paternal affection and pride.
Santos, who entered into all my joys and sorrows, was as elated as I, although I must confess that before we started I gave him something strong in which to drink the health of La Senora con an huagua.
At 11 a.m. on the 1st September, I arrived at my house and found many of my wife's relatives there, all with joyous faces, who spoke of the easy time my wife had, and of the quietness and strength of the
child. Quietly I went to my wife's room, and was overjoyed to see her with a bright smile on her face, looking proud and happy, and thought of' the Scriptures which tell us how a mother rejoiceth when "A man is born into the world."
The child was placed in my arms, and I then noticed that his eyes were large and brown, and that his hair was very dark.
It was then explained that a mistake had been made in the telegram, but to console me for his not having blue eyes like Lilita's, I was told that they were the colour of mine, but much finer. The convalescence of my wife was soon over, as our sweet boy came into the world without causing her trouble or pain, as indeed he passed his sweet short life, and our pain now is caused only in selfish grieving for him who was our pride and our pleasure, as we know full well that he is with "the Light that shineth for ever," and is one of the Kingdom referred to by Christ, who said : "Suffer little children to come unto me."
Through Lilita being of a weaker disposition her mother had to give her most of her time and care, whilst "Tito" who grew and thrived apace was cared for more by his nurse, who daily stood at my house corner with my boy, awaiting my arrival to breakfast, when I would take him from her to caress him. I also devoted all the time I could spare from my work to my family, and "Tito," being the boy, was invariably in my arms when awake, and doubtless this made him cling to me, and develop a strong and deep affection
for me. Indeed, I have never known an instance of a child being so attached to his father as "Tito" was to me During his teething and other infantile ailments he was always tranquil and quiet when in my arms, and when he cried, which was phenomenally seldom, instead of crying as other children for "Mamma," he invariably called "Papa."
When he was two years old, I had to take my wife and children to the Pampa, as both my wife and Lilita were unwell, and a change of air was recommended. I left them at the "Peruana" Oficina and returned to Iquique to my work.
In a few days, I received a letter from my wife saying that "Tito" was most unhappy without me, and was continually calling for his "Papa," and she suggested my going to the "Peruana " and returning with "Tito" and his nurse. I did this at once, and I shall never forget my arrival at the Oficina, when my boy fairly crowed with delight at being again in my arms.
I brought him to Iquique, where he was most happy and content with me, and where he remained until my wife and Lilita returned to Iquique all the better for the change.
From the age of a few weeks, his dark hair disappeared, and his beautiful flaxen and curly locks grew out, until he had such beautiful and luxuriant golden curls that he became a source of admiration to all who looked on his beautiful dreamy eyes and rosy countenance. His light and long eyelashes, light
eyebrows, and beautiful light hair were shewn to great advantage by his sweetly smiling large brown eyes, and on many occasions I have, on gazing at him, thought that his beauty was not of this world, and now we can all realize, as we think of his loving and lovable ways, that he was only sent to us that we might see and know him as a bright beacon light, a brilliant star, towards whom we must direct our course, and with whom we shall be united in his bright home by going to him as he calls and beckons us towards him by his gentle gestures, and by the entrancing sweet light of his eyes.
The birth of our dear Emile made our happiness complete, as before that event our beloved Lilita had been so ill at Vina del Mar, that we feared that God would have taken her from us, but by His goodness she "passed through the valley of death," and became strong and well, and was to us apparently a second gift from God as snatched from the grave.
With the possession of health, sufficient wealth, and these three children, we began to talk of returning to England to live quietly in the enjoyment of the fruit of our labour, and to return once more to the grave of our dear eldest child, Alicia Emma, who was horn at Truro, and who rests there with my mother, brother, and two sisters.
Emile being the baby now, naturally took up the attention of the household, whilst Lilita was the favoured of her grandmother and her step-grandfather, and "Tito" was left more to me, and was considered
more as my special charge and care than the others, and to such an extent did "Tito" reciprocate this, that I was obliged to resort to many subterfuges in order to be able to leave the house for my office without leaving him in tears. By an accident, I found that he delighted in amusing himself by putting his little hands in a barrel of maize or Indian corn, which I kept for my fowls, and by placing him beside the barrel I was, for several months, enabled to leave the house unnoticed, until he apparently became aware of the ruse, and would only be quieted by being taken with me to the office door, when he would return contentedly with his nurse.
In March, 1886, my wife became ill, and we all decided to return to England. We left Iquique on April 22nd, my wife being so ill, that my brother-in-law, Dr. Pendavis, accompanied us on board the steamer, and went with us as far as Autofogasta, where he left us, as the change into a colder climate had already much improved my wife's condition
We were accompanied by our faithful nurse, Mary Negus, who came to us from home, my wife's aunt Gertrude (Mrs. Hine), and her servant Josepha. It was arranged that Mary was to take care of Emile, Mrs. Hine of Lilita, and I, with the others' assistance, of "Tito," as my wife was then too ill to be of great assistance to any of the children.
"Tito" being my special care was in my arms from morning until night, with the exception of a short time when he had his noonday sleep, and as he did
not care to be fed by any one but me, and cried when Josepha or the other took him, he naturally became more attached to me, and regarded me as peculiarly his own. This he believed to such an extent that when he was a little older he spoke of Lilita's mamma, and his papa.
On our arrival at the Straits of Magellan my wife's aunt became ill through sea-sickness, and her servant Josepha shewed signs of consumption, which induced them to leave us at Punta Arenas, from whence they returned to Iquique in a passing steamer, and my wife, who had much improved in health, took charge of Lilita. In this way we managed until we arrived at Monte-Video, where, tired by our voyage and the continual charge of three young children, we decided to rest a fortnight. Some three days North of Magellan Straits on the Atlantic side, I was one morning sitting in the deck smoking room with "Tito" in my arms, when, finding the weather too rough and windy, and surf dashing hard against the windows, I left the room and proceeded below. On my reaching the saloon gangway, we shipped a heavy sea, which completely washed away the smoking-room bodily, and would have undoubtedly carried my dear "Tito" and me with it had Providence not directed me to move away some two minutes before.
This ship, the Valparaiso, was completely lost in the next outward voyage, and, although all hands were saved, the Captain, Friend, by name, with all his officers and crew were lost in the "Gulf of Guayaquil "
about a year after. During our stay at Monte Video we engaged two Swiss girls, sisters, to proceed to England with us, from whence we agreed to pay their expenses hack to Monte Video.
The (lay having arrived for our departure from Monte Video, we went on hoard a French steamer, one of the Messageries Maritimes boats, bound for Bordeaux.
We were all the better for our rest at Monte Video, and "Tito," in some measure, was taken from me by one of the Swiss girls. He did not, however, take kindly to the change, but preferred being with me always.
We had an exceedingly rough passage from Monte Video to Rio Janeiro, and as the Captain and crew were all French, and the passengers chiefly South Americans, who spoke nothing but Spanish, we were to a certain extent a little coterie or clique of our own. Mr. Maurice Hartog and his wife were on hoard, Belgians, who both spoke English as well as Spanish with much fluency, and with them we became on very intimate terms, which ripened into a friend-ship which will end only with our lives.
Lilita on nearing the tropics became exceedingly thin and weak, but "Tito" and Emile throve and did well, although the quantity and quality of the food on hoard was far from the standard which one expects for first-class passengers in a first-class ship.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Hartog, whose children were in Belgium, were exceedingly kind to us, and greatly
assisted us in taking care of and amusing the children. On our arrival at Rio de Janeiro I found my old schoolfellow, Charles Farley, who arranged a six mule conveyance for me to take my family to the Hotel at Tjuca, some ten or twelve miles from Rio, in the mountains.
The cool air there, and the fresh milk and butter, were very beneficial to my children, where our dear "Tito" delighted to be carried by me to a waterfall, which was his admiration and delight, as being born in a rainless country, running water was both novel and attractive to him.
After three days at Tjuca we had to sail again. Leaving Rio our ship ran aground, and although Mr. Hartog and I protested against our being put to sea without an examination of the keel by a diver, and notwithstanding our wish to be put ashore again, the Captain was inexorable, and after getting off the rocks started once more in very rough weather.
With much care I noticed the soundings in the wells, and talked with the engineer on the matter, and was greatly relieved to find the ship was not making more water than the pumps could easily take away.
We had an uncomfortable voyage as far as Dakar, where we took in some 200 invalided French soldiers from the Senegal settlements, in our already over-laden ship. "Tito" and Lilita were much amused at the negro boys diving for money, and spoke of them as Monos (Monkeys). "Tito" was also much amused
and puzzled with a black boy brought on board by one of the French officers, and frequently trod on the boy's bare feet, and then looked in his face to see if it made an impression on him. He would also rub his little white hands on the boy's arms and then look at them in wonder at the black not having come off on his own hands.
One morning, I left "Tito" on deck in charge of Emma, one of the Swiss girls, whilst I went to my cabin to cook some rice for him and Lilita, which I did daily, with a spirit lamp, and which they always enjoyed. On returning to the deck I found an admiring crowd around "Tito," and a large monkey, belonging to one of the officers, in the rigging grinning and chattering fiercely. I was told that one of the passengers gave "Tito" a banana, which the monkey snatched from him. "Tito" promptly closed with the monkey and they both fell on the deck, when "Tito" rescued his banana, and the monkey ran to the rigging. "Tito" quietly held the banana towards me and continued eating it as if nothing had happened.
At Lisbon our troubles in a great measure ceased, as many Brazilian passengers got off here, and we had ample supplies of food, especially vegetables, which we sadly lacked before. Lilita also became better, although she was so weak and ill after leaving Dakar that Mrs. Hartog and I feared she would never reach Europe alive. We did not tell our fears to my wife, as we feared that might retard her recovery, which happily was progressing most favourably.
On our arrival at Bordeaux on June 24th, 1886, we were met by my wife's aunt and cousin, Mrs. Forestier and son, and were taken by them to their country house at Pessac, where we enjoyed their great hospitality and kindness.
The rest of two weeks there did us all much good, and restored my wife to perfect health, and made Lilita much stronger. "Tito," who was the admiration of all who saw him, revelled in the running water, and the fruit, which he never saw growing before. Lilita was excessively fond of red currants and "Tito" of cherries, which he called, in common with all food "Taya," and was for ever asking for "mas Taya."
Finding my father and mother impatient for my return, we proceeded to Paris, and from thence to London, and to Truro, where, after an absence of three years and some months, we returned with three children and three nurses, after having left Truro childless, as our first born had been laid in St. Mary's churchyard there.
In order to enjoy the bracing air of the North Channel and to give my wife a complete rest, I took a house at Perranporth for three months. "Tito," as ever, recognized me as his property only, and as I moved from room to room he would run after me, and scarcely ever was out of my sight.
The runs on the sands and the drives in our carriage we all enjoyed very much, and we were blest in seeing Emile grow apace, fatter and stronger than the others, whilst Lilita became fairly well, and
"Tito" was as perfect and beautiful as an angel.
We had a severe fright here on one occasion through, I fear, a want of care on my part. I gave an apple to a donkey which was grazing beside the road. "Tito," to imitate me, held his hand to the donkey's mouth, and was severely bitten, in the fleshy inside part of the third finger, by the donkey, and I had difficulty in making it release its hold by firmly squeezing its nostrils. In a few days, his finger healed, but he never forgot the incident of the Perranporth donkey.
Whenever I moved from one room to another "Tito" would follow me, and immediately I took my hat to go out he would cling round my legs and cry, so that in order to reciprocate his great love for me, I usually took him in my arms wherever I went, and only when shooting, or going too far away for him to accompany me, did I leave him at home.
After passing the autumn at Perran Porth, we left for London, going to Bailey's Hotel, Gloucester Road, where we remained a little more than a month, when we returned to Torquay, where we took a house, "Lisworney," for six months. We did this for Lilita's sake, as she again began to get weak and to cough, and to cause my wife and me intense anxiety regarding her health. Previous to our going into Lisworney we were at the Torbay Hotel, where Lilita was so ill that we feared she would be taken from us. Our prayers for her restoration to health were granted, and to our
great surprise and joy, Dr. Nankwill's words of hope to us became fully realized, and although delicate, she passed a fairly tranquil winter in the latter part of 1886, and the beginning of 1887.
"Tito" and Emile were always well at Lisworney, and thrived and grew apace.
My father, mother, sister Emma; and brother Charles came to spend the Christmas with us there, and we had a very happy family reunion.
Here occasionally a little son of the Vicar of Saint Mark's came to play with our children. His name was Purefoy, who frequently monopolised my children's toys. Once pushing dear "Tito" entirely aside, when the gentle child looked into Purefoy's face and said, in tones of gentle remonstrance. "Don't push me, little boy."
"Tito" was especially fond of my mother, whom he called "Ganny," and would sit contentedly in her lap speaking of "el pobre hombre en el bote," and "poor man in the boat," so that she might understand the pity he felt for the fishermen in the boats he could see from our windows off Berry Head and Brixham
My library at Lisworney, where "Tito" loved to be with me and my dog, "Rake," was adjoining the kitchen, but immediately he heard the noise of the water boiling from the hot water apparatus of the kitchen boiler, he would run away, calling out "water boiling," "water boiling." This was the only thing which would take him from my side, which unfortunately happened oftener than either he or I wished.
Whilst at Torquay, I took a seven years lease of the sporting rights of Berry Pomeroy, and my dear children frequently accompanied my wife and me to my shooting-box at North Torrs, and to Berry Woods, which they much enjoyed.
On one occasion "Tito" was in the carriage with my wife and his nurse, and unexpectedly met me in the wood, near the Castle. I well remember his laughing aloud with delight at finding me, and during a momentary distraction the carriage-door opened, and he rolled out over the step and on to the road. He screamed for a short time, but as he was fortunately not hurt, his smiles to be in my arms soon vanquished his tears at this accident. On my return from shooting he delighted to handle the pheasants and partridges, which, doubtless, he considered we brought home for his amusement.
In May, 1887, we went to London, and took a furnished house at 69, Gloucester Place, Hyde Park.
Here the children enjoyed their daily drives in their pony carriage, with their nurse, in Hyde Park, where they were some little attraction to the passers-by, who were pleased to see the happy faces of the three bright children. Whilst here, I had the children's picture made, as in their pony carriage drawn by our cob Butterfly, and when I look on that picture I think of the time of the "Year of Jubilee," which was to me a year of happiness and prosperity.
During our residence here I weighed our three children at Whiteley's Stores, and by a most curious
coincidence they each weighed 591bs. "Tito" was the weight he should be for his age, as in that, as in all his qualities, he was a child nearer perfection than any other I ever knew. Emile was very stout for his age, and weighed more than he ought, whilst Lilita was frail, and weighed less than she ought. This was a most curious coincidence, which I venture to think has been seldom equalled.
During our stay at Gloucester Place, our dear "Tito" had chicken-pox, but fortunately, by the great attention of the doctor residing near us, our dear boy soon recovered from this indisposition.
In the month of August, 1887, we went to Cromer, where we remained two months. At that time my wife's brother accompanied us, and we were a very happy party, and enjoyed ourselves on the sands and driving in our pony carriage. We have to-day some photographs of our party taken there by an amateur friend, where "Tito" may be seen with the others, a perfect specimen of innocent beauty and joy.
During our stay at Cromer my wife and I visited London several times, as we were then furnishing No. 12, Kensington Gore, the lease of which I had just taken, and to where we removed in October, 1887, and where we had our principal residence until November, 1889.
In December, 1887, Lilita again showed signs of lung weakness and cough, and by the doctor's advice we went to Torquay (Cumper's Hotel) to winter.
The winter of 1887-88 was passed at Torquay, in a most happy and comfortable manner, as I took our
carriages and horses there, and with my Berry shooting I had ample amusement when I could absent myself from London business.
"Tito" at this time was over three years old, and was most intelligent and amusing in his conversation, and winning in his manners. His great delight was to sleep in my bed and nestle in my arms, and at that tender age he was so considerate as to ask for a little milk at night in a whisper, so as not to awake my wife who was asleep at my side.
My children were all well in the spring of 1888, when we returned to 12, Kensington Gore, but unfortunately soon after our return Emile fell sick of the measles. Lilita was then under special treatment, by Dr. Barlow and Sir William Jenner, for displacement of the heart caused by solidification of the lung, and was strapped tightly on the right side so that the left side might work more, in order to replace the heart.
It was then our great desire to keep her from measles infection, as we feared that in her precarious condition the malady might be more than her strength would bear. Notwithstanding isolation, she was attacked with measles, which necessitated the removal of the straps, when to our great joy Sir William Jenner shewed us that the heart had regained its proper place, and that the former solidification of the lung
had become considerably modified. Up to this time "Tito" had escaped the measles, but whilst the others were convalescent, he sickened, and had a more severe attack than the others. At the same time he shewed signs of suffocation which Dr. Barlow feared was diptheria. To such an alarming extent did his throat complaint increase that an operator to perform tracheotomy came with his instruments and slept at the house. Never shall I forget my hopes and fears of that night. My bed was made up next to his room, where he was attended by a very good and kind professional nurse. I did not sleep until 3 a.m., as up to midnight his struggles for breath continued. The doctor was asleep in a bed made in my library, and previous to retiring for the night I saw him open his bag and arrange his operating instruments. This brought back vividly a sad scene in which I enacted a part in 1878, when a little child of my friend Grundy's died in my arms whilst being operated on for diptheria. Knowing the great danger and risk in this operation, I resolved not to call the doctor unless my child became much worse, and God granted my prayers by making him better, for at 1 a.m. his breathing became much easier, and some ipecacuanha had the desired effect of clearing his throat. At 2 a.m. I called the doctor and told him I thought "Tito" was much better, and on looking at hint he pronounced the danger over and an operation unnecessary. I went to my wife's room, who was nursing Lilita and Emile, to communicate this joyful news, and with a thankful
heart went to sleep. At this time our boy had thick golden curls, and during his convalesence he was a marvel of beauty, in which I delighted my eyes, and revelled in my love for him.
To such an extent was my love concentrated in him that Mary Vegas, Emile's nurse, was conversing' in loud tones with Mary Mullins, another Cornish servant (both were good and faithful to us), when I overheard her remark, "Mr Harvey is very fond of Lilita. He does not trouble much about my Emile, but he would die for ` Tito,' and that's not fair." I pondered over this, and examined my heart, and found that I was wrong in giving "Tito" more thought and care than the others, and from then have endeavoured to love one and all alike, and, be the result as it may, no child was ever so attached to his father as "Tito" was to me.
At this time my children, to make their convalesence more pleasant, asked for a pet each; Lilita asked for a canary, "Tito" for a guinea pig, and Emile for a cat. Dear "Tito" was the first to lose his pet, as a few days after he had it, it died. The canary lived up to 1894, and the descendant of the cat we have with us still.
It is impossible to forget how beautiful our clear "Tito" looked after his recovery, in his first suit of boy's clothes, of which he was also very proud. All who saw him admired his beauty and his splendid curly golden hair, especially the fine curl over his forehead, but the only photograph we have of him at
this age was taken by Miss Syres Jones, which, although not very distinct, is a great consolation to us now.
The summer came and we were all well, and with the autumn heat we went to Broadstairs, where the children thrived and were happy "Tito" and the others passed most of the day on the sands with their nurses, and by so frequently hearing the minstrels sing, knew most of their songs, which they frequently sang to their mother and me for our amusement.
Finding 12, Kensington Gore, too small for our in-creasing family, and for our relatives, who frequently visited us from abroad and from the country, we looked about for a larger house, and as winter approached we decided to go to the Riviera.
We went to Nice for the winter in January, and passed a most happy time there, with the exception of three weeks, when my wife was ill. Fortunately she recovered, and, with the children, enjoyed herself very much. I well remember the first battle of flowers, when with Lilita in white, and "Tito" and Emile in Scotch costume, we drove along the Corso, they were the admiration of all who saw them. Indeed, no flowers could equal our show of innocence and beauty personified by our dear children.
Daily the children went to the Public Square and played under the trees to the music of the band, and became known to most of the habitués there.
An old woman kept a sweets-stall there, and sold long sugar-sticks at two sous each. Daily our children visited her, and when they happened to have no
money, the good old woman gave them sugar-sticks on trust. On one occasion we were altogether, Emile had eaten his sugar-stick before "Tito" had finished one half of his, when Emile said aloud, so that we noticed it, "'Tito, ' will you lend me your sugar-stick a little while?" When the gentle boy, with his usual self-sacrificing generosity, immediately handed his brother his sugar-stick for his enjoyment.
I mention this as one of the many circumstances which even at that early age, demonstrated his kind and gentle nature. I well remember here that our dear "Tito" became a little troublesome, as all children do occasionally, and would slam a door to the annoyance of others. I took him on my knees and gave him a slight slap, which caused him to weep at such treatment from me, but at the same he nestled into my arms so lovingly that I wept with him to see his gentle nature so perturbed.
We were all the better for our trip abroad, where, with our good friend Mrs. Taylor and her husband, we enjoyed ourselves very much. Almost daily I took the three children to the top of the Chateau Cascade, from whence they delighted in having a boat-race with pieces of wood, from the top down the zig-zag path to the tramway. On one occasion here, Lilita. much to our amusement, expressed a wish to have a piece of "fat stick," or an end of rope, for a boat, instead of the strip of lath she had, like the others. The children looked splendid in their little dominoes playing the Carnival of Confetti at Nice.
PALACE GATE AND BERRY POMEROY.
After returning to England, I bought my house at 1, Palace Gate, and was frequently accompanied by my three children when I visited the house to superintend the repairs and decorations. In June of 1889, our friend, Mrs. Fellows, requested us to allow our dear "Tito" to be a page at her daughter's wedding with Mr. Lambert. We consented and had a beautiful little Incroyable dress made for him. With little Miss Lorna Fellows he held the bride's train, and on re-turning from the altar steps, roses and other beautiful flowers were strewn before the bride, when our dear "Tito" looked most angelic in skipping from flower to flower so as not to step on them. The whole congregation admired the beautiful and gentle boy picking his way daintily amongst the flowers.
During the carrying out of the work at Palace Gate, and to escape the summer heat, we all went to Eastbourne for a month, to the delight of our children and with pleasure to ourselves.
Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher (my mother-in-law and step father-in-law) were there also, so that we were a merry family party. Our friend Smithers was one day telling my children a story of St. George and the Dragon whilst we sat on the pier. At the conclusion of the story Mr. Smithers said, "Now children, did you like that story ?" when Emile, much to our amusement, said, "Oh, it is delicious ! "
From Eastbourne we went to Berry Pomeroy to rusticate, and with us, Dr. Pendairs, his wife (my wile's sister), and their two children. They occupied my shooting-box, whilst I and my family lived at
Castle Mill. Here the children passed a most delightful holiday, and enjoyed themselves heartily in fishing in the stream, with the little nets I had purchased for them.
"Tito" then, as later on, had more patience than the others, and invariably caught more minnows and sticklebacks than they. In order to amuse my children I hired a pony, whose name was "Joe," on which they used to ride in turns. On one occasion I was driving the pony before me with "Tito" on his back, from Castle Mill to the box at North Torrs, and the pony seeing a field gate open, ran in. I tried to catch him, but he galloped away. I was almost paralyzed with fear to see my dear "Tito" frightened, and called to him to hold tight, the pony galloped and swerved, which threw my dear boy, but I was rejoiced to see that his foot did not catch the stirrup, and that the pony did not kick him. I ran to him and raised him
in my arms, and found that his little hands were slightly bleeding by being pricked by the spikes of a thistle on which he fell. On laughing at this "Tito" laughed also, and so the incident passed, although it might have resulted much more seriously had Providence not watched over him in his fall.
In October we returned to 12, Kensington Gore, and from there went in November, 1889, to 1, Palace Gate, and did not go abroad that winter, as Lilita did not become unwell owing to the mild winter.
On Emile's birthday, December 7th, my wife had a beautiful Christmas tree and children's party in honour of the occasion. Over a hundred children were present, and enjoyed the dancing and the presents from the Christmas tree very much.
'Tito" and Emile grew apace, and with Miss Batt, their governess, learnt many little songs, and could recite many little pieces of poetry, which seemed all the prettier from "Tito," as he had a slight lisp then which added a charm to the sweet boy's fascinating manner and ways.
Doubtless through me, our children took a dislike to London, and always longed for the country, which they emphasized by singing:
"My heart is in Berry a chasing the fowls, My heart is in Berry a hearing the owls. "My heart is in Berry a riding on ' Joe'. "My heart is in Berry wherever I go."
In the spring of 1890, I purchased Dundridge, and after some months of negotiation with the tenant, I
induced her to accept a sum of money as compensation, and to leave the house, which I wished to occupy as my country residence.
My wife took considerable trouble in comfortably furnishing the house, which, ever since our occupation, has been a source of delight and pleasure to us all.
About this time all my children took lessons at Madame Soutane's classes, and my wife gave them another children's party on June 12th, Lilita's birthday. As our children could all dance well then they enjoyed it very much, and gave us great pleasure in shewing their hospitality to their little guests at the refreshment table. About this time my clear boys amused themselves by dressing in their grenadier uniform, and looked really enchanting. Fortunately we took their photographs in their uniform, and even now we have some consolation in looking at the picture of our beautiful little soldier now in heaven.
At a children's tea-treat at Eltham, given by Mrs. North, my dear "Tito" was noticed and spoken to by Mr. Wilder, the ventriloquist, who asked him his name. Noticing how Mr. Wilder laughed, I enquired the cause, when he told me my little boy said his name was "raw potatoe." My dear boy said "Robertito," which was misunderstood by Mr. Wilder. This so took dear "Tito's " fancy, that for many weeks he carried a small potatoe in his pocket and would frequently shew it, saying "This is my name."
My children rejoiced in the spring to know they
were to come to Dundridge, and on our arrival there were highly pleased with the house and surroundings.
"Tito" especially delighted in the ponds, the gardens, and all the other surroundings, as I explained to him that he would inherit the property from me.
Even then, the sweet boy would say that he wished to die before me, as he would not enjoy himself without me.
From that time up to the dear child's death his delight was to be at Dundridge, and when he could not be at Dundridge, his great consolation was to talk of it, and enquire when we would return to the place he loved so well. My mother with my father came to Dundridge to visit us in the autumn, this being the last autumn of my dear mother's declining days, as she died the following winter. "Tito" took great interest in the building of the lodge and planting out the drive, but would make little remark when I explained to him that by the time he grew to be a man the trees would he high and matured.
Just before Christmas my wife took our children to Eltham to a Fancy Dress Ball given by Mrs. North to her little son's friends, where they passed the night in happy enjoyment. Miss North (now Mrs. George Lockett) was dancing Sir Roger de Coverley with dear "Tito," when on her saying she was called "Tito," our dear boy replied, then, if you are called "Tito" my name must he Emma, that being Miss North's name. Even now Mrs. Lockett laughs when relating this incident.
As the winter was coining on we resolved after
Christmas to return to London, and decided on passing the cold months out of England, and in January, 1891, we all started for Paris, where we remained a few days.
A CONTINENTAL TOUR.
As I had recently accepted the candidature of Devonport in the Conservative interest, we had to arrange our proposed tour according to fixed dates, so that my agent at Devonport might be able to communicate with me on any given day, and after consultation with the map we arranged our itinerary. We went from Paris to Bâle in Switzerland, and remained some days at the "Three Kings," Trois Roys Hotel, where dear "Tito" and the other children were much amused by the close stoves for heating, the bag quilts for the beds, the honey for breakfast, and many other novelties which they had not seen before. With my
children I also crossed and re-crossed the Rhine in a ferry-boat fastened by a pulley and rope, and propelled to and fro by the current of the mighty river At the gardens in Bâle "Tito" was much amused at the gambols of a beaver, and was unwilling to leave the place, as he was so entertained by the fascinating little animal.
From Bâle we went to Lucerne, and stopped at the Kaiserhof Hotel, which hotel "Tito" pronounced then, and hundreds of times after, as the best hotel he had ever been in, and in later years, when we had been in excellent hotels, "Tito" would lay great stress on his high appreciation of the Kaiserhof. This seems all the more strange when I remember that it was snowing most of the time we were there, and even when we set out for a drive along the side of the lake, we had to return through stress of weather. "Tito," who was ever studious and fond of history, was much pleased to be in the land of William Tell, and never tired of asking questions about his adventures with the Austrian tyrants. Gesler was most odious to him, and he much admired the scenery around Tell's cave.
From Lucerne we went to Lugano by the Saint Gothard tunnel, the anticipation of passing through which caused my children much thought and reflection, and the reality much delight. As we ascended the Alps in a snow storm, the scenery was awe-inspiring and grand, and the passage through the tunnel was most impressive to my boys, especially
when I explained to them that the Alps were still 2,000 feet over our heads. "Tito" here became conversant with the Roman Catholic Bishop of New Orleans, who was in the train with us, who much admired his intelligence of conversation, as well as the beauty of his face.
On passing through the tunnel we began to descend on the Italian side, in bright sunshine and spring vegetation, which delighted as all, especially as we had so recently left the snow behind us. At Lugano we remained three days, and made interesting excursions in the neighbourhood. Our children were much delighted with a trip up a mountain by a funicular railway, and they in their innocence thought they were ascending the Rigi, and to this day they believe it. Dear "Tito" spoke often of when he ascended the Rigi, and as the system of ascending was the same, I did not undeceive them.
From Lugano we went to Milan, where we remained some days. We spent a great part of our time at the Cathedral. He was much concerned with Michael Angelo's statue of Moses, and could not understand why Moses was represented with horns on his head. I also had to confess that I did not know why this was done, and even now I do not know why the statue is so made.
We visited the building containing the celebrated Last Supper by Leonardo di Vinci. The children expressed their regret at Napoleon's action in turning this refectory into a stable for his soldiers, although they
are admirers of all Napoleonic legends and history.
A curious sun-dial on the floor of the Cathedral attracted "Tito's " special attention, and his explanation of its movement to Emile was clear and lucid.
At Milan we made the acquaintance of Mr. Symons and his two sons who were travelling nearly the same route as ourselves, and with us travelled to Venice.
On our arrival at Venice the children, as ourselves, noted the extreme silence of the place, and were delighted at getting into a gondola instead of a bus or a cab on our arrival at Venice station. We went to the Hotel Danielli, where we remained some days, making excursions through the city by the canals. "Tito" especially took notice of the blank canvas and frame in the hall of the Palace of the Doges, and remembered well the story of Marino Falerio which I told him. He with the others were also much interested with the Bridge of Sighs, and shewed their contempt for ancient monuments by throwing little stones in the Lion's mouth.
We started from Venice with our friends Symons, who entertained the children until night with stories, when they fell asleep on the seats until ten, when we arrived at Florence, where we remained three days, and visited most of the galleries there.
Again late in the afternoon we left for Rome where the children fell asleep en route, and arrived at nearly midnight at Rome, where, much to our regret, we had to arouse them from their slumbers in order to go to the Hotel de Roma, where we arrived at about 1 a.m. In
Rome we all revelled in history and antiquities, and daily took our strolls and the children played games on the Pincian Hill. We also took them to the Catacombs, where they descended with us with lights in their hands, much enjoying the novelty of the scene, and at the same time, highly impressed with the sad history of the former Christian occupants of these strange excavations. We also went to the Carnival procession and show, which even to "Tito" was poor and tawdry. At St. Peters's we were most charmed and awed, and visited the noble Cathedral on many occasions, each visit leaving us all more impressed with its vastness.
I well remember my dear children kissing the toe of St. Peter's statue, and asking me to do the same, which I did, as in this and in all things, I was never more delighted in pleasing my children than in any other occupation or amusement. "Tito" took great interest in the water-clock said to have been constructed by a prisoner, and erected by him on the Pincian Hill, for which he received a free pardon and absolution for his crimes.
All my children, but more especially "Tito," were greatly impressed with the magnitude of the Colosseum, and pointed out to each other their ideas of where the great emperors sat, and where the bleeding Christians fell. The Cloaca Maxima was also an attraction to them, especially when I explained to them that it was formerly the receptacle of the mangled corpses from the great arena we had recently left, and that
many poor victims of ambition and licentiousness found their watery grave their. At this time my children were more advanced in general knowledge than most children of their age, so that their remarks were a continual source of admiration and amusement to my wife and to me, and we frequently congratulated ourselves on having such promising children, I must here mention that whilst my wife and I were busy packing our trunks so as to leave Rome, "Tito" and Emile took advantage of our absence from the sitting room, and amused themselves by throwing orange peel, newspapers, bread and other things out of the window into the courtyard of the hotel.
We felt annoyed at this, and ashamed to offer the hotel manager such a poor compliment when on the point of leaving, and I pulled the ears of each of the boys. Emile, ever daring and courageous, resented this, and protested by wishing I never had been born, but dear "Tito" as usual, felt more hurt at my displeasure than by the punishment, and immediately expressed his regret for doing wrong. I well know Emile did not really mean what he said, but I cannot, even now, help thinking of his elder brother's sweet temper and nature in this incident as in all things.
We left Rome for Naples, and passed some happy days there, amongst them, an excursion to Pompeï.
Here the children were in such high spirits and so boisterous, that we gave a soldier a small gift in order to make him, apparently, annoyed at the children's deportment, and, in Italian, he told them to cease their
gambols and behave quieter. This was serious to "Tito," who came at once and took my hand, and by dint of his example, the other two children quieted their manner. In going to, and returning from Pompeï, our children particularly noticed the rough way the macaroni was being dried in the flat housetops, with dogs and cats walking and running over it, which had such an effect on them that, for more than a year after, neither of them would touch macaroni. We saw Vesuvius in eruption, but from a distance, as we would not go near it in that state. At Naples all my children expressed their strong disapprobation of the cruel treatment of the horses, and of the filthy condition of the streets, which were vividly contrasted by nature's beauties, so lavishly bestowed in that favoured climate and position.
From Naples we again returned to Rome, and on the journey a serious accident happened which made a great impression on us all. A short time after leaving a station, some two hours from Naples, the engine-driver was standing on the tender, passing down coals to the stoker, who was his brother-in-law, and to whose sister he was only recently married. The driver was nearing an arch, but as he had his face from the motion, and not looking towards it, the arch was not observed by him, which caused him to come in contact with the crown of the arch and knocked him between the engine and tender, where death must have been instantaneous, as his body was dreadfully mangled. We were surprised by the stopping
of the train, and seeing the stoker tearing his hair and beating the ground and calling loudly on the Madonna, and some time elapsed before the poor distracted stoker could explain the cause of the fatal accident.
This sad occurence cast a gloom over us all, and made my wife and children exceedingly nervous, but happily another driver and stoker took us safely to Rome without any further accident. Again at Rome we had a pleasant, but short stay, and proceeded from there to Genoa, where we remained only long enough to see the principal sights of the city, when we proceeded to Nice. Our children, as well as my wife and I, enjoyed this trip exceedingly, as the scenery on the Italian Franco Riviera is probably the most pleasing of any in Europe. At Nice we had the good fortune to meet at the hotel, our old parish priest of Iquique, Father Ortuzar who was my friend in Chili, who married my wife and me, and who baptized Lilita.
Here we renewed our friendship which had been broken from the time of our having left Iquique, but which, unfortunately, did not last long, as only two years after this we received the announcement of his death. We remained at Nice for the battle of flowers, and to rest from our long journey, for about two weeks, when we started for Spain, via Marseilles. We remained at Marseilles only two days, and had most enjoyable weather there, although rather cold. From Marseilles we went to Narbonne, where we had an experience which we shall never forget. On the way
the weather became excessively cold and boisterous, and on our arrival at Narbonne it was very dark and bitterly cold. I had engaged rooms in the best hotel at Narbonne, but even so, on our arrival after an uncomfortable drive in a creaky little bus, we were shewn to our rooms, which were windy, cold and dreary. Under the circumstances we had no alternative but to make the best of our position, so we passed the night as best we could. My wife could not undress as she was cold, and was continually disturbed by the blowing of doors, the fires dying out, and other unmentionable troubles which kept us awake most of the night.
The sanitary arrangements were of the most primitive character. We resolved to leave by the 7 a.m. train next morning, and in order to pack up we had to be up at 5, as here our French maid, who never was of much assistance, became so unwell as to be a trouble instead of a help to us. We left the hotel at 6, and took the train at 7, after congratulating ourselves on our escape from such a dirty and uninviting place.
Even the hotel keeper refused to accept English sovereigns in payment of his bill, as he said they were not current there.
Up to this date my children, when they wish to banish any one to a place of suffering, say jocularly, "go to Narbonne."
Many, many times our dear "Tito" has spoken of our unhappy night at this place, and remembered it up to the day of his death. We arrived at Port
Beau, the Spanish frontier, where we experienced both kindness and attention from the Spaniards, as they are invariably most courteous to all who can speak their language. As I speak Spanish well, and as it is my wife's mother tongue, we found ourselves quite at home and happy here. We arrived late at Barcelona, and proceeded to the Hotel de Cuatro Naciones where we remained for about a week. During our stay at Barcelona we had many pleasant excursions, and enjoyed the warmth of this genial climate as well as the general scenes in this active and most prosperous city of Spain. The hall porter of the hotel was very much like an actor whom my children saw at a pantomime in London previous to our leaving there, and every day stood before him singing the song the actor sang in London :
"Every night at half-past eight"
"Somebody's tapping at the garden gate,"
which was ultimately most annoying to the hall porter, who came to me and complained of my children's gesticulations and attentions to him, and asked for an explanation. I explained that he very much resembled an English actor of great reputation, and the children sang more in compliment than otherwise, which pleased him very much, and made him very kind and attentive to them in the future.
After leaving Barcelona we went to Valencia, where we also spent some happy days. It was here that my
children, especially "Tito," acquired a contempt for the Spaniard I could never dissipate. I took them to a Café in the afternoon, where they saw innumerable Spaniards sitting and wasting the best of their day in smoking, drinking coffee, and talking. I pointed out that they were very sober and drank nothing but coffee or sugar and water, but my children said it was worse than getting drunk, as, by sitting so long during the best of the day, the most valuable part of their time was unproductive, and consequently lost.
From Valencia we took train for Madrid, by the only good train, which like all other rapid trains in Spain, travelled by night only. Fortunately there were few passengers, which enabled us to occupy two compartments. The children were not uncomfortable, as we arranged fairly comfortable beds for them on the floor and seats, and my wife and I passed the night as best we could, sometimes asleep and sometimes sitting up watching for the comfort of our dear children, who arrived at Madrid none the worse for their journey.
We went to the Hotel de la Paix and were exceedingly comfortable there. The waiters and other servants taking great pains to administer to the comfort and pleasure of our children.
Here I purchased catapults for my boys, which might have led to serious results, as "Tito," whilst aiming at a statue, struck Emile a severe blow in the face, and, on being frightened at such a misfortune, ran into a pile of quick lime which was being used by some
plasterers working hard by. Fortunately he was not burned, although I had great difficulty in preventing this by the timely use of sand and water on his boots and stockings.
Here we all delighted in the picture gallery, which is reputed the best in Europe, and in the other sights of the city.
We went to an afternoon performance at a theatre, but my children, being accustomed to London theatres, found little pleasure in this. From Madrid we went by sleeping-car to Bordeaux in order to visit my wife's aunt and cousin, who were so kind to us at Pessac in 1886, and whom we had not seen since 1887 when they visited us in London. The sleeping car was always a place of delight to my children, and the restaurant dining car a source of pleasure, consequently they made this trip with as little inconvenience as can be imagined, and arrived at Bordeaux, almost with regret at the journey not being more distant.
We remained at Bordeaux a few days in the pleasant society of my wife's aunt and cousin, and came on to Paris, where, after a few days' rest, we left for Brussels, and then home, and after a very fine passage across the channel we arrived in the middle of April at 1, Palace Gate. We remained there only a few weeks, and came to Dundridge for the Easter Holidays. During these Lilita took the whooping caugh, and after her, "Tito," and Emile, which hung on them until the Summer.
HOME ONCE MORE.
At the end of May we returned to London, and on the 5th June this year (1891), our son Alfred Charles was born. Although this dear child only lived a little over 24 hours, yet we felt severe grief for his loss, and buried him in the Brompton Cemetery on the 9th of June, where a cross is erected to his memory.
My wife was ill for some time, and my children still with whooping cough, which caused us to go, by advice of our good friend and family medical attendant, Dr. Walker, to Folkestone in the beginning of July.
The children and I took our daily walks by the side of my wife's bath chair, and we all derived great benefit from the Folkestone air, for over two months.
On the 10th August, I left my family to go to Scotland for grouse shooting with my friend Inglis, who from that time has given me an annual invitation to Scotland, and with whom I have shot for the last four years.
On my return from Scotland we returned to 1, Palace Gate, where we were all well and happy.
"Tito," with the others, continued to make fair progress with our governess, and owing to their enquiring dispositions, and their continued association with my wife and me, they possessed general information beyond their years, whilst their self-possession and manners were the admiration of all our friends, and all could recite poetry well. Dear "Tito" reciting "Two Little Kittens" in a charming manner.
In September we came to Dundridge, where we enjoyed the autumn, and where "Tito" and Emile first had their Shetland ponies, Ginger and Tinker, which they rode out daily, whilst Lilita rode our Cob Butterfly, but she soon tired of riding, whilst the boys became still fonder of this healthful exercise.
In October we returned to London, and on my wife's birthday, the 23rd December, 1891, she gave a Childrens Fancy Dress Ball, where Lilita was Madame de Pompadour ; "Tito,". was dressed beautifully as Faust, and Emile. as Louis XVI. Over eighty children were there, but amongst them all none looked more handsome or lovely than our beloved "Tito."
At this time I had to make almost weekly visits to Devonport on political business. This was a source of great disappointment to my dear children, as they
missed me very much on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons especially, as I generally took them to a theatre, the Aquarium or some other place or novelty on these days, and made visits to Madame Tussaud's, Tower of London, British Museum, South Kensington Museum, and other places, which pleasure they had to forego until after the General Election of July, 1892.
"Tito" became much interested in politics and in my candidature, and delighted in hearing of my successful meetings, whilst Emile was indifferent, and Lilita (with my wife) strongly disapproved of my exhausting my energies and time, and expending money at Devonport.
In July, 1892, the General Election came on, which I lost by 347, and Capt. Price by 290 votes. My wife was unwell at this time and could not accompany me to Devonport, and the state of her health during my repeated long absences from home concerned me very much.
However, I was not sorry to lose the election after all, and was glad of a little rest and peace at home.
Although defeated, I did not withdraw my candidature, and with Capt. Price decided to continue as candidates in the Conservative interest.
On August 6th of this year, our dear son Alfred Northey was born. Alfred, generally called "Baby," and by dear "Tito" and Emile, "Jimmy," from his birth occasioned intense delight to the boys and to Lilita, and has been a bright ray of sunshine in our house, and even now in the dark days so soon after
dear "Tito's" death, he is a source of consolation to us, and we thank God for leaving him with Emile and Lilita to be a solace in our sorrow.
Again on August 12th I went to Scotland with my friend Inglis, but shot only three days, as on the third day I received a pellet in the eye, from a friend's gun, which obliged me to desist and to return home. Fortunately the shot did not affect the sight, so being comparatively uninjured, my return home so soon was hailed with delight by my children.
In September we again came to Dundridge with Mr. Parsons (Alfred's godfather) and Admiral and Mrs. Fenwick, and passed a very happy autumn here.
Our old nurse Mary Negus came with us again, and in her careful hands, and with the good air and milk of Dundridge, Alfred thrived and grew, and escaped many infantile ailments which the other children had gone through. We remained at Dundridge until November, when we returned to London. As our baby was so young and our other children so well we did not go abroad for the winter of 1892-93, but remained in London, where I must say I did not pass a pleasant Christmas, as Christmas in London is to me dreary and dull, and my children are of the same opinion.
In January of this year dear "Tito" with our other children went to the Mansion House Fancy Dress Ball. Lilita had attended these annual entertainments before, but her brothers had not. Lilita was dressed as "Snowdrop," "Tito" as "Faust," and Emile as "Louis XVI.
The illustrated papers depicted them as examples of youthful beauty and good taste. "Tito" especially was the admiration of all who saw him, and called forth special commendation from the then Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (Sir George and Lady Tyler).
This ball was the more appreciated by our two boys who could not attend the former ball to which they were invited, as they had to go to Brighton to recover from whooping-cough, but where they managed to enjoy themselves by going to the Pantomime, Aquarium and other amusements.
About this time "Tito" and Emile expressed a strong wish to go to school, and my wife and I made arrangements for them to go to the Kensington Grammar School after the Easter holidays.
"Tito" especially shewed a great inclination for study, and would be well acquainted with all popular movements and questions of the day owing to his continual studying the pictures of the Daily Graphic. This was my sweet son's constant pleasure before breakfast, and he unvariably told his mother the probable state of the weather on her coming to the table, which knowledge he acquired from the Daily Graphic illustrations.
May came, and with May my dear boys went to Mr. Joscelyn's school, and there made fair progress, and were happy with their schoolfellows.
It had always been my ambition to have my boys brought up at Eton and one of the Universities. This was the stronger in me because I have had so many struggles against adverse circumstances through having begun a laborious life so young with deficient theoretical or scientific education, and because I wished my boys to make friends and acquaintances at Eton who in after life might he pleasing to them. My wife was not of my way of thinking, but in deference to my wishes co-operated with me to this end. How I regret now that I wished this for my dear son's sake! Vain, alas ! are my regrets, and my sorrow is of no avail.
By the advice of our good friend, the Dowager Lady Haldon, I placed our two boys' names down for the two first vacancies in Mr. Radcliffe's preparatory school for Eton, at Fonthill, East Grinstead, and for Mr. Radcliffe's brother's house at Eton. As Lady Haldon's grandson had been prepared for Eton here, and as the school had such a good reputation, I thought myself particularly fortunate in our selection. We knew there would be no vacancy for two years, and as that was long to wait, we then did not think much more on the subject.
At the Kensington Grammar School my boys, more especially Emile, made fair progress in their studies. "Tito" did not progress so much to Mr. Joscelyne's satisfaction, although he did to mine, as he had peculiar ways of his own in acquiring information. When once told of any circumstances or fact by me he retained it with a peculiar tenacity of memory. He also knew more of History than Emile, as he was of a less energetic nature, and read much more than boys of his age, and even at this time knew all the details of the battle of Waterloo. He also could relate with facility the disastrous details of the charge of the six hundred at Balaclava, and spoke of Captain Nolan as if he had known him. He was also conversant with the relative naval strength of European nations, and took great interest in looking at all illustrations of naval manœuvres or launching of ships, which were published in the Daily Graphic.
In September, as usual, we went to Dundridge; to
which my children always returned with the greatest delight. During this time Mr. Savage Cooper painted the group-portraits of our four children playing on the Western lawn at Dundridge, and which now hangs in the morning-room. Although dear "Tito's" portrait is not a very faithful one as regards the features, yet his figure is perfect and the picture vividly depicts what he, with our other dear children, appeared then.
In this year we presented "Tito" with a fishing-rod for his birthday present, which he utilized considerably at Dundridge, and became so expert as a fisherman, that we frequently had dishes of trout cooked for breakfast, taken by him. As usual, in September, my boys accompanied me and my friends in our shooting excursions, and became adepts in climbing hedges, marking down birds, and ether country accomplishments, and delighted in taking their luncheon with us under a shady tree by the side of a cool spring, of which there are many on my estate. The boys being so much at Dundridge, somewhat encroached on their school-days, which kept them in a lower class than they would have been otherwise.
In October we returned to London, where all went as well as usual, but we went down to Dundridge for Christmas, as at Dundridge my children could, and still can, enjoy Christmas with a joyousness which is unattainable in London.
I forgot to mention that in September this year we made our first picnic excursion to Dartmoor, taking all our food, etc., etc., by the side of the Dart at
Hexworthy, to which place we have made a yearly excursion ever since. "Tito" always looked forward with delight to these treats, and with the others and with Jack Campbell and Frank Nicholls, his two little boy friends, enjoyed these excursions more than a boy who had seen so much would he naturally supposed to do.
After spending a happy Christmas at Dundridge, we returned to London and prepared to start for Cap Martin, a delightful place on the French Riviera, between Monte Carlo and Mentone. We left England the first week in February, and went straight through by sleeping-car.
Alfred Northey, the baby, was then but one-and-a-half year old, and was still being nursed, and my children were most amused at my French at Saint Lazare station in Paris, where we had a stoppage of five minutes only, but where by dint of my bad French and a five-franc piece, I managed to secure a feeding bottle to replace the only one we had taken from home, and which had just been broken.
The dining-restaurant and sleeping-car were, as usual, an attraction to my children. My berth and "Tito's" were unfortunately not alone, but with two gentlemen who were going as far as Marseilles. I requested them not to smoke as it was annoying to my boy. They, however, persisted in doing so, as the rules of the Railway Company did not prohibit it.
In the morning, "Tito" who was sleeping over me, could not find his stockings in order to dress. I stood on the little table of the sleeping car and reached up to find the stockings, which I handed to "Tito," when at that moment the table broke, and I fell back on one of the gentlemen who was in the opposite berth to me. In falling my elbow came with great force into his stomach, and he was so shocked and hurt by this accident that I feared he might think it was not unintentional on my part, as our altercation about smoking might have made him think I wished to retaliate. However, I profusely begged his pardon. as I was indeed sorry, but "Tito" said after he had left, that it was providence who paid him out for being so unkind, and that I looked like a great giant falling on him, and he ("Tito") thought, as I was falling, that I should have killed him,
We arrived at Mentone, and proceeded by carriage to Cap Martin, where we remained two months, and where, with our friends the Campbells, we made a happy and ever-to-be-remembered sojourn. My dear children revelled in the sunshine, and in the beautiful walks
and drives in the neighbourhood, and my wife was happier here than at any other place or other hotel at which we had stayed on other occasions. As many other children were there, juvenile pleasures were varied, so that the children never tired or wished for a change more than a donkey ride or a drive, which we frequently took. So strong were the three larger children then that they accompanied me in a walk to Monte Carlo, which they did without much effort, but we returned in a carriage. The caterpillars of that neighbourhood at this period of the year form themselves into long strings of from 25 to 30 feet, and migrate from one place to another It was "Tito's " great amusement to remove the leader of the string to a back or middle place, and then notice the confusion until the whole position became gradually changed, and the leader again placed in the front. The waiters and servants of the hotel became very fond of my children, which made then all the happier in this delightful place.
In March the Emperor and Empress of Austria came with there retinue to remain a while at the hotel. On one occasion the Prince of Wales came there to visit the Emperor. I could not persuade my children to remain in the hall to see the Prince pass, as they said they preferred playing in the summer-house by the sea. The Empress Eugenie we frequently met in our walks, but my children appeared to be little impressed by Royalty or by exalted personages.
On one occasion Emile called Prince Metternich to
kill a snake which he and the other children thought they saw or heard in the bushes, and from that time the Prince as well as Countess Lichtenstein became most intimate with Emile, and conversed with him almost every evening, but "Tito," as usual, preferred sitting on my knee or at my side, asking questions, which was the cause of his possessing, for a child, an extraordinary amount of general information. We drove to Nice by the Corniche Road, taking the children with us, and went with them to the Château Cascade, the Park, the Promenade, and other places, where they had been with me four years before, and which they so well remembered. We had our lunch at the London House, where "Tito" especially (who invariably had a most excellent appetite) enjoyed himself immensely.
On our way the horses fell, one of them barking his knees severely. The coachman stopped at a peasant's house, and asked for a little boot-blacking, which he applied to the broken knees, and which completely hid the wounds. "Tito" admired the man's resource, and said he would always carry a little blacking in his pocket when he became master of hounds in Devonshire. His pony, he said, was too sure-footed to fall, but later on in life his horse might.
For the purpose of settling a long-outstanding debt due to my wife at Bordeaux, I had to take leave of my family for a few days in order to go there with my friend Hartog who had a business place at Monte
Carlo, and was kind enough to accompany and assist me in this troublesome business. I shall ever remember my sweet son's bright eyes filling with tears when I kissed him previous to leaving, and had to turn my face from him in order to hide my own emotion at seeing this strong mark of attachment and love. Fortunately I was not long away, as my journey, through Mr. Hartog's good offices, was successful. The welcome I received on my return from my dear wife and children was such as to compensate for any loneliness I might have experienced when away.
To our great perturbation, and Mr. and Mrs. Hartog's great grief, they received a telegram saying one of their children was ill, and the doctor had pronounced the ailment to be typhoid fever.
In great sorrow the Hartogs left for Paris, and by telegrams informed us of the condition of their son Gaston, who hovered between life and death for many days, but fortunately ; eventually began to recover. We looked forward with pleasure to the Hartogs' return, when to our sorrow we received news of the illness of another of their children.
This sad circumstance prevented our seeing the Hartogs again until we returned to Paris, which had a great effect on our spirits, as we, knowing their great friendship for us, felt in our hearts for them in their trouble.
My business engagements obliged me to return to London in the beginning of April, and as the cold had gone, and spring was near at hand, we reluctantly
left this beautiful place for our home. We had the usual pleasant trip to Paris, and found Mr. Hartog awaiting us there. We proceeded to the Hotel de l'Athénée, where we remained some ten days, and where we were joined by our friends the Campbells. Amongst ourselves we had a few little dinner and theatre parties in the evenings, and excursions in the Bois, Zoological Gardens, Louvre, Cirque d'Hiver and other places with the children in the day time.
My friend Campbell and I took "Tito," Emile and Lilita on a trip to Versailles, where they admired the pictures and other historical treasures. Here "Tito" was much displeased to know that the French ever gained a victory over the English, as the large painting of our defeat at Fontenoy shewed. We had a guide who caused my boys great amusement, as he would invariably reply, "Yes, sir," to all questions ; and on my asking him if he were a great friend of the deceased Napoleon he replied, "Yes, sir," as well as to many other equally improbable queries. We returned to London to find the buds breaking and the primroses in bloom, when my dear boys resumed their schooling for a few days, so as to leave at Easter for our holidays at Dundridge.
Previous to our departure for Cap Martin I had arranged with a firm of electricians to light Dundridge throughout, as the darkness and the work of cleaning lamps were a continual trouble, as well as a source of annoyance, to my wife.
On signing the contract for the work I took my
children into my confidence, and hid them say nothing, so as to give their mother a pleasant surprise when we returned to Dundridge My children frequently consulted me in private at Cap Martin about the progress of this work, and revelled with me in the idea of such a novelty as a pleasing surprise to their mother.
The work was completed shortly before Easter, so that on our way down we had many whispered conversations about it. So well was the secret kept, that we arrived at Dundridge and my wife even got in the morning room before she noticed the brilliant light which welcomed us. The joy and the laughter of the children were most delightful. On her going to the dining-room their happy laughter became louder, and on her reaching the drawing-room, and there expressing her further surprise at such a beautiful illumination, the dear children's hilarity became so boisterous, that my wife and I had no alternative but to join with them in a hearty laugh at this surprise so ably planned and carried out.
'We remained at Dundridge until we returned to London at the end of May, when my boys again went to school, and Lilita continued her studies with her governess, Miss Gegg, who generally accompanied us to Dundridge, and included "Tito" and Emile in her classes during their absence from school. In June of this year, 1894, we all went to Southsea for a few days' change. At the invitation of our friend Fleet-Surgeon Alfred Corrie, R.N., who accompanied us we went to the Isle of Wight and back, as well as on board
Nelson's "Victory," and the modern warships "Crescent" and "Ajax," and saw the mechanism and heard the explanations of working the heavy and machine guns. We also visited Whale Island and had luncheon at the officers' mess-room which the children thoroughly enjoyed. About this time both boys expressed impatience about waiting so long for their Fonthill school-days, and to satisfy them, I took them to East Grinstead one Saturday afternoon, where we looked around the house and at the happy boys at play, and this strengthened my boys in their wish to leave Kensington Grammar School and go to Fonthill. A vacancy occurring in the school we thought of putting "Tito" there, but on reflection my wife and I determined not to separate our dear boys, as "Tito" being of such a gentle nature always looked to Emile for protection and guidance in games and bodily exercise.
As soon as the boys' autumn holidays commenced we all went for a tour through Scotland, and on July 15th left London for Glasgow. We remained in Glasgow one day only, and proceeded to Hunter's Quay, where we remained at the hotel for some days. We took a driving tour to Loch Eck, and here for the first time my children had a perfect view of a Scotch lake. Some four years previous to this, my wife and I with Lilita took a rapid run to Edinburgh, when my wife's brother accompanied us, and we went through the Trossachs, which Lilita thought she recollected, but as she was so young at the time I much doubt if she remembered more than going in the steam-boats.
From Hunter's Quay we went to Oban, through the Kyles of Bule and Crinan Canal, and as the weather was beautiful and the sea smooth, we all had a most pleasant trip.
We remained some days at Oban, where my children were much amused at the strong Scotch pronunciation of the town-crier, who, with bell and stentorian voice, announced the many attractions of the excursions to be made in the neighbourhood.
During our stay here we visited Loch Awe by train, and crossed by boat. Whilst traversing it commenced raining heavily, which obliged us to remain in the cabin. On our arrival at the other end of the Loch a coach awaited us and we did as best we could in the heavy and incessant down-pour. We had a drive of about twenty miles to return at Oban, and my children were fast getting wet through. A gentleman passenger, to whom I shall ever be grateful, lent us a large plaid with which we managed to keep the children dry, and we ourselves arrived at Oban very wet, but none the worse for our long trip. We also took a trip to Iona and Fingals' Cave, which we all enjoyed very much. We left here by boat for Banavie, which we reached after a pleasant journey, and where we had a good view of Ben Nevis. From Banavie we drove to the MacDonalds to see the monument erected to the memory of the young Pretender, where, it is said, his banner was first unfolded. Here we purchased a small history of the life of Rob Roy, which "Tito" soon mastered, and as we proceeded he would recite to us some of the scenes of this daring chief's adventures. After three days at Banavie, we left for Inverness via the Caledonian Canal, and we all admired the beauties of nature through which
we passed, as well as the works of man, who by this canal has made the traversing of Scotland a delightful trip, instead of, as formerly, a long and dangerous journey.
At the Falls of Foyers, "Tito" was much impressed by the grandeur of the scenery and we shared his admiration, although my wife and I had been around and under the majestic falls of Niagara.
We arrived on a Saturday evening at Inverness, and were pleased to get to our comfortable rooms at the hotel, and to have a quiet rest on the Sunday. We, however, walked to the Castle, and to the Square, and through the streets of this capital of the North.
On the Monday we drove to the Field of Culloden, and mounted the large stone on which the Duke of Cumberland stood, when the English soldiers so thoroughly routed Prince Charley's adherents, and thus terminated all further armed resistance to English authority. "Tito" was much impressed at the fact of the Duke being called "the butcher Cumberland," and also expressed his regret at Rob Roy's failure to join the Pretender's forces in time, so as to have prevented the discomfiture of the Scotch, for whom, in common with all lovers of bravery, he had much sympathy. Here, at Inverness, we purchased the stags, bulls, and rams'-heads which now are at Dundridge, and which my boys admired exceedingly.
From Inverness we proceeded by train to Aberdeen, the granite city, where again we had excellent rooms in the best hotel, and where we met our friends and
London neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. Petrie and their daughters. At Aberdeen we took our usual drives and walks, and our strolls amongst the docks, and ship building yards. "Tito" being ever interested in ships paid great attention to the construction of large vessels which he saw here in their many phases.
From Aberbeen we made an excursion to Balmoral, and to that end, proceeded to Ballater by train, and from Ballater to Balmoral by carriage.
By a strange coincidence, we again met the Petries who were on a driving tour, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Keiller, whom we had met at Cap Martin in the winter previous. We were not impressed by Balmoral, as it was not like the drawings which induce one to think it is situated on an eminence. "Tito" especially was displeased at our not being able to get admission, through our being unprovided with a pass.
We returned again to Aberdeen, whence we went to Perth, where we were joined by Freddy Pendavis. We had some pleasant drives around Perth and its neighbourhood, and proceeded to St. Andrews, Russack's Hotel. After settling my family here, I left on August 11th for Brechin, to join my friend Inglis at grouse-shooting as usual, in the Grampian Hills. After shooting for three days, I became very tired of being away from my family, who also had become tired of being at St. Andrews, and agreed to meet me at Edinburgh. On the 16th August I left for Edinburgh, and found all well, and comfortably settled at the Royal Hotel, where they had arrived two hours previously.
The next morning being Sunday, my wife and Lilita went to a Roman Catholic Church, but I took "Tito" and Emile to the Carlton Hill, and there shewed them the monuments made in imitation of the Athenian Parthenon. This caused "Tito" to express a wish to go to Athens to see the wonderful relics of ancient monuments there. I promised him I would take him there when older. In the afternoon we drove to Leith, where I shewed them the pier, and repeated some of Burns's lines,
"The boat rocks at the pier of Leith, etc., etc."
The "pint of wine" was considered by my children to be extravagant and excessive.
On the following days we visited Edinburgh Castle, the Art Gallery, the Museum, Holyrood, and other places.
On the Friday morning, August 22nd, we all, with the exception of the baby and nurse, left for a trip to the Trossachs.
All the children enjoyed the train trip to the Bridge of Doon, whence we drove on a nice coach to Callander. En route we had a dispute with a very fat man who wished to squeeze into our seat, which by dint of protestation we prevented. From Callander to Loch Katrine, "Tito" and the others were much impressed, as I had read them Scott's combat between Fitz James and Roderick Dhu.
On taking steamer on Loch Katrine we were all delighted, but could by no stretch of imagination, reconcile the little grey beach to the "Silvery Strand" of Scott in his "Lady of the Lake." At the end of the Lake we had another delightful drive to Loch Lomond, where we had tea previously to leaving on the steamer, and crossed Loch Lomond, which we all enjoyed, to Balloch. At Balloch we took train to Glasgow. At the first station from Balloch "Tito" and Emile were much concerned at seeing a man, to whom an accident had occurred, being carried from the train to the station. We never discovered the nature of the accident, although we enquired and looked out in the following day's papers.
Through so many people being in the train, we were delayed, and we were assured we should arrive at Glasgow too late to catch the last train for Edinburgh. We were sorry for this, as we were not prepared with our toilet necessaries, but made up our minds to pass the night at Glasgow.
It was raining fast on our arrival at Glasgow, where I secured a porter to carry our rugs, and to shew us the way to the last Edinburgh train. By running, and calling to stop a moment, we just caught the train to our great delight, and were no sooner in the compartment than we started for Edinburgh, where we arrived at about 10 p.m., none the worse for our outing. On the next day we left Edinburgh for London, where we arrived on the Saturday evening.
RETURN TO LONDON AND DUNDRIDGE.
My Sundays were usually my holidays with my children, especially my boys, who frequently accompanied me to my club, the Junior Carlton, where they were well known by the waiters and hall-porter there, and they enjoyed their biscuits and lemon squash.
Nearly every Sunday they accompanied me on a visit to my friend Walter Harris and his mother at my old residence in Kensington Gore, where Mrs. Harris would entertain them with sweets and fruit which she always kept for their especial delectation,
We remained in London about a week only, when to the delight of all our children we came to Dundridge, the ever-attractive resort of our clear "Tito," who with Emile and Lilita spoke of it as "five D's," being "Dear, Darling, Delicious, Delightful, Dundridge." Seldom did they speak of Dundridge in any other way than as "five D's," pronounced "five-dees."
Here we celebrated "Tito's " tenth birthday on the clay before by a pic-nic on Dartmoor, and on the actual day, August 31st, we launched his little boat, which I had had built for him, with his name "Tito" painted on the stern. In launching the boat, Lilita broke a small bottle of wine against her, and repeated the following lines.
"This little boat, we send afloat
Though small as a mosquito,
We baptize now from stern to bow
Our birthday gift to ' Tito.' "
The gardener Niven and his helper Pugsly assisted to launch the boat in the pond, and joined us in three cheers.
Our friend Parsoné, our Alfred's godfather, came as usual to our partridge-shooting, as well as our friends Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair.
"Tito" invariably enjoyed the partridge-shooting, and he and Emile were always ready with their india-rubber boots and mackintoshes to go with us of a morning.
Daily my dear boys took their rides on their Shetland ponies, Tinker and Ginger, and were admired by all passers and neighbours, and known in all the country-side as the Dundridge boys. Frequently they met with the hounds, and were greeted with pleasure and kindness.
During October our good friends Admiral and Mrs. Fenwick visited us, but they came too late for Totnes races, which my children always enjoyed. At this time "Tito" was exceptionally muscular and strong for his age, so much so, that in playing firemen, after the manner of the London Fire Brigade, which I shewed him exercising, he could take Emile (who feigned being overcome by the flames), easily on his shoulders and carry him to a supposed place of safety.
He and Emile also performed Buffalo Bill and the wild Indians to the admiration of all who saw then. "Tito" had an exquisite Indian dress made by Miss Josephine Syers Jones, which was prettily decorated with feathers, and in which he sallied out to attack, and was repulsed by Emile, who, in a red shirt, acted Buffalo Bill to great perfection. Lilita frequently assisted by acting as Miss Annie Oakley, and Jack Campbell as another wild Indian. The remembrance of these happy days seems like a sweet dream which with the principal actor, is gone in the dim vista of the bright past.
As the children had seen such good shows and exhibitions in London, they enjoyed the race penny-shows all the more for their absurdity. It was admirable to
hear "Tito" imitate the showman describing the "wonderful dwarf whose back was as straight as a gun barrel."
We returned to London on the last day of October, so as to visit our Alfred Charles's grave at Brompton on All Soul's Day, which we slid, and each planted a little flower on his grave, but unfortunately the London climate soon kills all flowers, although the aucubas on the grave grow moderately well.
Our dear boys again went to their school, and made fair progress there. One afternoon I was walking to meet them as it was a little foggy, and was much affected to find them comfortably walking along and chatting, with their arms around each other's necks, quite oblivious of any thing but their own innocent conversation.
As I stood back and admired them with my heart yearning towards them, my eyes filled with tears of joy and gratitude to God for giving me two such dear boys, who were so engrossed in their fraternal love.
I awoke them from their self-concentration by my usual whistle, which agreeably surprised them and made their bright eyes sparkle with delight.
My wife always took a pride in dressing our boys alike, which caused many people to think they were twins, and others to call them as well matched as a "pair of little cobs," as whenever they ran they kept step as if they were harnessed.
As the winter grew on, we decided to go to Dundridge for Christmas, and as soon as the boys'
holidays commenced, about the middle of December, we again returned to Dundridge where we passed a most happy and merry Christmas.
The winter of 1894-95 had all the appearances and promises of a very rigid one, and the heavy snow at Christmas was most unusual for the mild climate of South Devon.
As it was decided that the boys should go to Fonthill school after the following Easter term, my wife and I, with our children's full approbation, decided to take them to Spain for two months, so as to enable them to re-acquire their native Spanish, and at the same time, give them a good view of Southern Europe. Just at Christmas we were more than pleased by the receipt of a prize from school for each of the boys.
"Tito" was especially proud of his, as Emile had taken a higher place in some classes at school, which although a source of pride to "Tito," made him believe he would not get a prize. I shall ever be proud of his book as that, with his toys, is nearly all that we have left to remind us now of our sweet son.
Mr. Joscelyne also wrote a nice letter, expressing great satisfaction at the progress my boys had made. "Tito's" prize was "Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare," and Emile's was "Sketches of Animal Life and Habits." Both books were beautifully bound in calf, and bore the school arms and crest.
About the 15th January we returned to London, when the boys again went to their school, and continued there until the 13th February.
My children were pleased with the snow and frost for a little while, but as it was unusually cold and excessively severe weather, they began to wish for warmth. I shall never forget dear "Tito's " loss of patience one morning at breakfast, when he had to face the cold for school. He said, "Oh, I have had enough of this weather ; I hate this weather, come on ' Bit,' let's go abroad."
As soon as my business would permit, and after making all arrangements for the re-decoration of our house, we left London for Paris on February 13th.
ANOTHER EXPEDITION TO THE "SUNNY SOUTH."
Our passage across the Channel was not rough, but excessively cold. "Tito" and Emile passed most of the time while crossing with me, near the warmth of the engines. We took train for Paris in a severe snow-storm.
About half-an-hour out of Boulogne our engine broke down, and we were obliged to wait over an hour in the snow until the engine was repaired. We were only concerned for the baby as it became dark, but the others did not dislike the idea of having to pass a night in our reserved compartment. As the French trains are well heated, we felt very little cold.
At about 9.30 p.m. we reached Paris where our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hartog, were awaiting us, and after passing our luggage through the customs, we went to the Hotel de 1'Athénée, where we always receive good attention.
It was arranged that I should here await Mr. and Mrs. Waite, who had agreed to accompany us on our winter tour.
The weather in Paris at this time was as cold as that of London, so that we went out very little during our stay, although we drove twice to the Louvre, where "Tito" was always fond of going, and never tired of looking at the pictures and ancient sculpture.
As Madrid is in the centre of Spain, and 3,000 feet above the sea level we feared it might be even colder there, and before venturing on I caused a telegram to be sent to Cook's Office enquiring about the temperature. The reply was that the mean temperature was 50° Far. which was indeed a great improvement on the 25° at Paris.
On the 18th February we started by the Sud-Express for Madrid, and from that moment felt no more cold. The restaurant-car and sleeping-car were, as usual, a source of delight to my children. With Mr. and Mrs. Waite we made a party of ten, and so had plenty of attention as well as room.
As we proceeded on our journey the weather became warmer, and on our arrival at the Spanish frontier of Hundaya the weather was bright and the morning as balmy as an English spring.
We transferred from the French to the Spanish train, after making the usual declarations, and we arrived at Madrid on the night of the 10th, remaining there until the 26th. At the Hotel de la Paix, we were well received, as here all the servants we had seen three years before were still at the hotel. They were pleased to see us all again, and remarked on the great change and growth of our children. During our stay here my wife and I, with Mr. and Mrs. Waite, made an excursion to Toledo, but our children preferred to remain at the hotel playing with a little dog belonging to the proprietress, and looking out from our windows on the motley and lazy throng at the Puerta del Sol.
Our children were exceedingly fond of the Picture-Gallery here, as well as the Royal Armoury, both of which are classed as the best in Europe. "Tito" and Emile would never tire of gazing at the figures of the young princes in armour, as well as the ancient arms and lances of the jousting and tilting period. On two occasions we went to the Royal Palace to see the changing of the guard, and on each occasion saw the young King at his window. My boys were much taken with the young King, and spoke frequently of his having noticed them, as doubtless two English boys of about his own age attracted his attention.
We all made an excursion to the Escorial, and were much pleased with the magnificent buildings dedicated to the remains of the deceased monarchs of Spain. "Tito" was especially impressed with the
grandeur of the many sarcophagi, little dreaming that in a few short months I should be having a marble sarcophagus made in which his dear remains might rest, and by the side of which I hope my and my wife's remains may be deposited as soon as God calls us away.
We also drove in the park and enjoyed the Carnival procession as well as we could under the depressing conditions of incessant rain, which although disagreeable, was far preferable to the cold we so recently left at Paris.
A grand Carnival was given at the Royal Theatre, to which we all went, Alfred included. It was indeed a pleasing sight to see several hundreds of Spanish children enjoying the dance, and I believe that ours were the only English children present.
On Wednesday, February 27th, we left Madrid for Seville, by sleeping and restaurant-car as usual, and arrived at Seville after a most delightful journey, on Thursday morning, the 28th.
All the banks of the Guadalquivir were covered with water, and all the vicinity of Seville was inundated. We proceeded to the Hotel de Paris, but as soon as we had breakfasted, we left that hotel, as we did not like the rooms assigned to us, and went to the succursal, or annex of the Grand Hotel de Madrid, where we had excellent rooms, which we retained for nearly two months, until April 23rd.
Through the Marchioness of Sauturce, Sir Henry Isaacs, and my friend Dawson, we were provided with
letters of introduction to several of the nobility and merchants of Seville, and by this means at once made a circle of acquaintances, and with Mr. Waite had the entree to the two best clubs, the Casino and Circulo de Labradores.
The delightful climate of Seville was grateful to us, and the novel sight of the many storks on the church towers was most entertaining to our children.
As we intended to winter here, we settled ourselves down comfortably, and were allotted a table to ourselves in the dining-room by Don Pedro, the owner of the hotel, who on seeing us visited by the Marquess of Alventos and other nobility, as well as Mr. Dunipe, one of the principal merchants, Mr. Bishop, the banker, and others, considered us clients worth cultivating.
At this hotel my children were quite at home, and as they speak French well, and a little Spanish, they soon became friends with many of the people at the hotel, as well as with the manager, book-keeper, hall-porter and others.
Our excursions in the neighbourhood of Seville were many, and our walks to the Delicias, and the cataract of the Guadalete were almost of daily occurrence. My being so conversant with Spanish enabled me to become well acquainted with the gardeners of the parks, the park-keepers, and police, whom I frequently propitiated with a couple of pesetas. By this means we could get in to the park during the morning when the public were not admitted, and could get flowers and orange blossom when others could not enjoy this privilege.
As I was always with my wife and children, and most of my time with "Tito" and Emile, who preferred to join me in my walks, we became well-known to all the police and cabmen of Seville, so that on the two or three occasions when I walked out alone, the police and park-keepers would ask me where the ninos (boys) were, and why I was out without them.
A cabman named Malagueno, attached himself to us, and considered he had a right to us whenever we drove, which was satisfactory to us, and preferable to a strange driver each time we went out. Rafael, one of the guides at the Cathedral, and keeper of the Giralda, also forced himself on us as a sort of retainer, and was most useful in telling us where and how to see the sights of Seville and the neighbourhood.
We had an excursion to Italica, where we saw the remains of the ancient Roman city in which the Emperor Trajan was born, and we purchased a few coins which the peasants said were found amongst the ruins. We very nearly had an accident which might have been serious on our way to Italica, as one of the horses kicked over the splinter-bar and could not extricate his leg from that uncomfortable position, which caused both horses to reverse and back into a deep ditch. Fortunately the carriage did not upset, and we experienced a shaking only, and ultimately succeeded in extricating the horse.
The boys and I also had an excursion with Mr. and Mrs. Waite to Alcala, and went over the ruins of the Moorish Castle there. "Tito" and Emile were much
diverted by an old draw-well in the courtyard of the hotel and passed over an hour in play by drawing up buckets of water and throwing it away. Here "Tito" took an admirable sketch of the Castle so as to enable his mother to form an idea of the place. The sketch was shewn to her at the dinner-table at our hotel that evening, and very much admired. We all wished to keep the sketch as it was so neatly and cleverly drawn, but unfortunately we lost it before leaving Seville Now we often express our grief at the loss as, were we in possession of this little work of love, we should have a memento of dear "Tito" of more recent date than any other, with the exception of a letter he wrote from school.
We frequently ascended the well-known Giralda tower of Seville, and looked at the men ringing the different parish bells. On one of these occasions dear "Tito" cut his initials on the wall. I hope on some future time to go as on a pilgrimage to see the hand-work of my sweet beloved son.
At the Alcazar and its gardens we also made several visits, and "Tito" became well versed in the history of Peter the Cruel and Maria Padilla. "Tito" said that he would have liked the fun of seeing the ladies' fright at the sight of the water falling on them from the secret fountain jets placed in the garden walks by that eccentric monarch.
Rafael, the keeper of the tower, frequently advised me to take my boys to a cock-fight, so with Mr. Waite we set out to the cock-pit. We were all
amused very much at the noise and betting, and as the cocks fought without spurs, the fight was fair, and not so brutal as one who had not seen it would imagine. My boys liked it so much that they induced me to take them a second time. As I arrived a little late on that occasion, the door keeper said, "You must pay for yourself ; but the dear little boys shall go in for nothing, as I feel quite proud in having the honour of two such pretty boys, ninos bonitos, at my cock-pit."
My boys, and Lilita also, had much amusement with a tortoise which they made swim in the fountain well in the hotel patio, and other innocent pleasures which made their sojourn very happy.
For a long time I had wished to go to Tangier in Morocco, and my boys also were most anxious to go to Africa, which being so near did not appear to be much of a journey, and was one which offered to be easily performed, as well as interesting and instructive to them. My wife would not undertake the journey with the baby, and I did not like the idea of her leaving him alone at the hotel with only our servants Lilita also objected to crossing the sea in order to get to Africa, so it was ultimately decided that Mr. and Mrs. Waite, "Tito," Emile and I should go.
We left on Thursday, March 14th, so as to be back to Seville for the religious processions, the Easter Sunday bull-fight, and the following fair, which is considered by "Sevillanos " to be the best and most magnificent in the world.
My wife, Lilita, and Alfred came to the station to see us off.
Our first day took us to Cadiz, "the white pearl of the sea," as the Spanish term it.
As we arrived at about 2 pm., we were enabled to have a long drive around the city and its famous ramparted walls. We took tickets for Tangier and back by the S.S. Pelago, which is a good steamer, and which would return in three days. This arrangement we thought would give us ample time to see Tangier and its neighbourhood, and enable us to return to Seville on Monday evening the 28th.
Man proposes, but God disposes, and our wishes were not to be realised. About this time the Spanish war ship, Reina Regente, had been sent to Tangier with the Moorish Ambassador and suite, under orders to return at once so as to witness the launch of another large ship of war, the Reina Christina, from the Cadiz dock-yard.
The Reina Regente arrived at Tangier all well, and landed the Ambassador and suite. A storm arose in which she put to sea, and, with her crew of over 400 officers and men, was never heard of more. Not even a vestige of wreckage was found. Some English steamers reported that they saw a large ship of war labouring in a heavy sea off Tarifa Point, and then suddenly she disappeared. As they could barely keep themselves afloat in the face of the terrible storm, they could render no assistance to the ill-fated Reina Regente which took so many to their watery grave.
We dined early at the hotel, and went early to bed, as we had to be on board at half-past six the next morning.
On our arrival at the wharf we found the tender on which we embarked with our luggage, when the Captain called out that we could not go across in the Pelago as the Government had taken her to go to sea in search of the Regina Regente. At this time it was hoped that she was not lost, as she was only over-due one day. Instead of the Pelago we were put on board a small steamer, and as she looked a fair sea boat, Mr. Waite and I decided we would go across in her, and await the Pelago to return.
We had a fair passage across, and my boys enjoyed themselves in pulling the ropes and climbing about the ship. "Tito" would not eat the stewed octopus we had for lunch, neither would Emile, but they did ample justice to the other food. On nearing Trafalgar Point we all became interested, "Tito" especially taking great interest in my recounting the incidents of the great victory of Nelson in October 1805, which quite banished the power of France from the sea. Emile, being younger, and not so studious, did not pay so much attention, but later on I heard "Tito" explaining to Emile the movements of the allied French and Spanish fleets against ours.
"Tito" was always proud of the history of our army and navy, and here, as well as when passing through Salamanca, Badajoz, and other places where our army was victorious, he expressed his pride at being English.
I have ever noticed that the children of Englishmen born abroad are more English than their fathers, and "Tito" was emphatically one of these.
After six hours' fair passage we arrived eff Tangier, and cast anchor in the bay. Before the boats could come off to us, a brisk wind had sprung up, and high seas were rolling. Here I found my Spanish most valuable, as most of the Moorish boatmen understood a few words of Spanish. A boat took off a full load of passengers in which I would not disembark, as with our party and luggage we should be too heavy. A Moorish Jew came near us in another boat, as well as some four or five other boats. I told the Jew in both Spanish and English, and in French as well as I could, that I would give him 50 pesetas to take all of us ashore, i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Waite, "Tito," Emile and me. This I said should be paid, provided that no other passengers or luggage were taken. After a long harangue, we struck the bargain, and started for shore amidst the howls of other boatmen who probably thought their rival had taken an unfair advantage over them by making a special bargain.
In rowing to the landing quay the waves were running very high, but as the boat was a good sea boat, with high bulwarks, she rode the waves and eventually arrived at the miserable pile of stones called the "Mole."
Here our troubles commenced, as we no sooner touched the Mole, than our boat was literally
swarmed with half naked and frantic Moors who dashed at our luggage like maniacs.
By dint of shouting and pushing I managed to jump ashore, and haul up "Tito" and Emile by my side, who helped to keep the howling crowd from taking away our luggage and wraps.
By a great effort I clambered on to the steps, and drew "Tito" after me, who stood by whilst I drew Emile up.
The boat was rising and falling several feet with each wave, and on taking Mrs. Waite by the arm I was almost falling into the sea, as the boat drifted away leaving Mrs. Waite hanging over the sea with all her weight suspended by the arm I was holding. Fortunately the boat drifted back, and rose with the next swell, which enabled me to land her in safety with the assistance of Mr. Waite who also was enabled to get out of the boat. I refused to pay the boatmen unless they took charge of the luggage and placed it in safety in the hotel. This they did after some noisy struggles in rescuing packages which the Moors had already appropriated, and passing the custom house officer with a profound bow, I with "Tito" and Emile, and Mr. and Mrs. Waite, followed our sturdy boatmen who had shouldered our things and were rapidly running up the narrow dirty street towards the International Hotel. In a few minutes we arrived there, but before entering we had to run the gauntlet of another lot of howling Moors who were demanding money for not bringing our possessions. By a few
coppers I pacified them, and proceeded with gratitude to our rooms in the hotel, where we refreshed ourselves with a bath and a very good dinner.
My two boys and I thanked God that we had arrived safely at Tangier, and after seeing them in bed, I strolled out with Mr. Waite and a native guide to visit a Moorish Café chantant. We found the noise hideous, and the smell insupportable, so we returned to the hotel and to bed. After a good night's rest we arose betimes, took our baths, and walked out to the Market place. This curious place, with its motley crowd of Negroes, Arabs, Jews and Spaniards, jostling each other, howling and gesticulating, was most entertaining to my boys who were delighted with the novelty of the situation, and remembering that they were in Africa made their amusement still greater.
We returned to lunch, and were much entertained the whole of the afternoon in watching the boys scramble over the cactus-thorns and flat house-tops under the hotel windows for coppers thrown by people from the hotel. These boys were almost naked, having only a loose gown and a cap, under which was twisted the long single lock of hair by which their prophet Mahomed was to draw them to Heaven.
Such was their poverty, that in order to get a few coppers they fell and scrambled in a most atrocious manner, and severely cut their feet, legs and arms over the pieces of broken bottles placed on the walls as a guard against trespassers. In fact, so many people were bleeding during our stay at Tangier, both in
the streets and on the houses, that "Tito" said he thought it looked more like a battle-field than anything else.
In the evening we took a second walk around the city, but owing to the foul smells and unmentionable filth through which we had to thread our way, we were glad to return to the clean and comfortable hotel.
After seeing my dear boys comfortably in bed, Mr. Waite and I went out to see a native dance house, but we found the dances so superlatively absurd that we soon returned again to the hotel.
The following evening was to have been our day of departure, but we were informed that all the available steamboats were still searching for the Reina Regente, and we might possibly have to remain at Tangier a week longer. I cabled this news to my wife at Seville, and at the same time told her we were all well, so as to relieve her of any anxiety on our behalf.
We took a guide, with a donkey, for Mrs. Waite, and a donkey each for "Tito" and Emile, as well as a mule each for Mr. Waite and myself, and started for a ride in the country. After struggling up the ill-paved and dirty and slippery streets, we arrived in the clean country, and were much delighted at the beauty of the scene as well as the fertility of the country, which reminded me more of Pica, in Chili, than any other place I ever saw.
My boys were very pleased at seeing such large bull-frogs and hearing the extraordinary noise they
were making as we passed the wells and streams in which they abounded.
"Tito" and Emile, who were good riders, had enough to occupy them in making their lazy and miserable donkeys go, whilst my mule was tottering and swaying through sheer weakness.
We returned to the hotel by another route, well pleased with our ride, which might have been more pleasant had our animals been good, but we had acquired a little knowledge of the comparatively unknown land of Morocco, and at the same time agreed that we had had quite enough of it, and would gladly return to Spain again.
On our arrival at the hotel I was informed that a cattle steamer named Hercules would be in during the afternoon to load cattle for the garrison at Gibraltar, and would take 20 passengers. On being assured that we might probably have to remain in Tangier a week if we did not leave by the Hercules, and that although she had no saloon or cabins she was a good sea boat, we resolved to take passages on her for Gibraltar, as that was our only chance of getting back to Europe.
We had lunch, and then took a walk through the gardens of the German Embassy, and found them most delightful, fertile and cool, we then returned to the hotel and packed up our luggage. The Hercules had arrived, and was taking off cattle in launches from the beach ; she was to sail at four on that afternoon.
After sending a cablegram to my wife of our movements, we left the hotel with our luggage packed on a
donkey's back. A curious and motley crowed followed us howling and begging most energetically. On nearing the Custom house gates the miserable donkey fell, and the luggage and parcels shot off its back. Then began a scramble amongst our followers who all tried to secure pieces of our luggage, but by dint of pushing and fighting Mr. Waite and I managed to retain possession of our effects until our boatmen appeared, when they carried the large pieces, and we the rugs, bags, etc., to the boat. As the sea was comparatively smooth we had no trouble in embarking and were soon alongside the Hercules.
On getting on board the Captain spoke to me, and told me that we might go to the quarter-deck and make ourselves as comfortable as we could, and that the boys might play with the ropes as much as they "mint to." On the Captain making use of this expression I enquired from which part of Cornwall he came, when he said he came from Penzance, and was called Dusting. On being told I also was a Cornishman from Truro, we at once became on friendly terms The cattle were literally crammed in the hold of the boat, and were so closely packed that they could not possibly lie down. "Tito" and Emile were much concerned about the suffering of the cattle through being hoisted on board by the horns, but after seeing some dozens still crowded in with the already over-packed beasts, they became tired of sympathising with them and amused themselves by climbing the ropes and turning the steering wheel.
At four o'clock we started for Gibraltar, with over 30 passengers, although only 20 tickets had been taken. The extra ten came on board without tickets, as they also were tired of waiting for the usual Cadiz steamer.
Captain Dusting told me that we should get across in four hours if we had fine weather, but unfortunately the weather was threatening, and as so soon as we got out of the shelter of the African coast we had a strong gale blowing from the Mediterranean right across our bows.
Through so much space being left for cargo when this boat was constructed, her engines were necessarily small and she could only make about six or seven knots an hour in this cross sea. A crew of three on deck, including the Captain, worked the ship, whilst below there was one engineer with one fireman.
The sea now became rather rough, and as we dipped we frequently shipped a wave. Captain Dusting himself stood at the wheel, whilst his small crew were busy in keeping the scuppers clear, and in disentangling the horns of the suffering cattle from each other and from the sides of the bulwarks. I took the wheel tor a time whilst Captain Dusting rigged up a tarpauling on the weather side of the ship, against which we safely ensconced "Tito," Emile and Mrs. Waite, and wrapped them in their respective rugs
Mrs. Waite became ill, as well as most of the other passengers, and as the boat was rolling excessively, Mr. Waite and I had hard work to keep on our legs and at the same time minister to the comfort of our
suffering little charges. My boys, being healthy and strong, soon got over their sickness, and, after about two hours, were talking with me about the ways and customs of the Moors, and the noise of the guns firing at sunrise, which as it was their Lent, or feast of the Ramadan, they had, at the sound of the morning gun, to commence a fast lasting until 10 at night.
As we were near the wheel the Captain joined in our conversation, and occasionally told us to stoop so as to dodge the seas which were breaking over the bows, and from which we were sheltered by the tarpauling which he had rigged up. "Tito" and Emile were much amused at the stoical indifference of a Moorish passenger, who sat on the windward side of the boat and appeared to be quite oblivious to the seas breaking over him and the thorough drenching he was receiving. Some German passengers on board were also very sick, which made "Tito" remark that the English were the best sailors. Mrs. Waite became quite prostrated and excessively pale, which caused "Tito" great concern, as the dear boy was always sympathetic, and especially so with Mrs. Waite who was ever kind to him.
As the day-light faded away the lights of Gibraltar became apparent, but owing to the heavy weather we made but very poor progress.
By 9 p.m. we looked as if we were only a couple of miles from Gibraltar, but it was haft-past ten before we got in and cast anchor.
My boys said their feet were cold, when I put them to stand over the boiler, where in a few minutes they became comfortable and quite warm. On going to Mrs. Waite I found Mr. Waite much concerned, as
she was cold and unable to move. Mr. Waite and I almost carried her to the place where my boys were, when in a few minutes she also revived, and became much better than before, although still much prostrated.
The Captain expressed a fear that no boats would come off to us at that hour, and intimated that it was probable we should have to remain on the deck until the morning He also expressed regret at his inability to offer us his cabin, as it was impossible to open the door because the cattle were crowded in front of it.
Fortunately, however, a boat did come off, when a general rush was made for it. and as the sea was still running high, Mr. Waite and I refused to go in the overladen boat, but we promised the boatmen £2 if they would come off for us immediately they had landed their other passengers. This they accepted with alacrity, as £2 for such a short trip was probably better pay than they would again earn for many a day. In about half an hour the boat returned, "Tito" was looking at the gigantic rock and remarked its similarity to a great lion with its head and paws towards Spain. This is a well known effect, but I do not think the boy had ever read or heard of it, although the figure was so plainly depicted in the semi-darkness that it could be discerned without a great stretch of imagination. Emile also was pleased to hear the bugles sounding from ashore, and to see the hundreds of lights from the barrack windows over the water.
Just before we left the Hercules a North German Lloyds large steamer passed outward-bound very near us. "Tito" said "Oh, ' Bit,' she is like a floating palace, I should like to have a trip in a big steamer like that."
The beautiful white steamer, with her electric lights shining from every port-hole, passing gracefully through the darkness, did indeed look like a palace of light gliding through the waters. We embarked in our boat, with all our luggage, taking with us the Captain who was most thankful, as well as we, to get ashore. In stepping off the steamer I stumbled over a sack, and on taking it off the deck asked the Captain if it might not be some one's luggage. "No," he replied, "throw it in the boat ; it is Her Majesty's mails for England from Tangier, and I am glad you stumbled over it, or the chances are it would have been lost!"
At a few minutes after eleven, we safely arrived at the landing-stage, where an English soldier on guard allowed us to pass on our declaring we were English subjects.
Here we felt happy and at home. To see British soldiers on guard, to hear English spoken, and to know we were in a British possession created both a comfortable and a novel sensation in all of us.
We proceeded in a cab to the Royal Hotel, which was crowded with people awaiting the arrival of steamers in search of the ill-fated Reina Regente (which alas, never returned), and with passengers who were awaiting the repairs of the Algeciras railway which
had been seriously damaged by the recent heavy floods. As the hotel was so full, we feared we should have to go out again in search of accommodation, but fortunately the son of the proprietor interceded on our behalf, and secured his mother's room for Mr. and Mrs Waite, and made up three beds for us in a sitting-room, where we were fairly comfortable. Indeed, so much so, that we preferred remaining in that room to exchanging it for a bedroom the following day.
Although it was past midnight when we retired for the night, we all had sound sleep, and did not awake until past eight the next morning, when after our tea and a refreshing bath each, we walked out to see the strange and impressing sights of Gibraltar.
After a stroll through the streets, and admiring their cleanliness, with the traffic well-ordered by the English police, we returned to our breakfast, which is in the same style here as in Spain, i.e., noon breakfast, and seven o'clock dinner. We found the table well supplied with good things, and my boys were delighted to have English ginger-beer with their meals, a beverage they could not get in Spain or in Tangier.
Mr. Waite and I secured an order for our party to view the fortifications on the rock, and after lunch started to the ramparts. A sergeant of artillery was sent to shew us through the galleries, which far exceed in size and strength any idea of them one can possibly have formed. As the enormous work and fortifications of this impregnable station are so well known, and are written of in so many works, I will
not attempt to describe them here more than by saying that we were astonished at their magnitude, and felt proud of belonging to a nation holding this position, which is unique in commanding the Mediterranean as well as the Spanish mainland, and most of the Northern ports of Africa. "Tito" was delighted and surprised at the great guns in the miles and miles of galleries hewn out of the living rock, whilst Emile was taken by the size of the cannon-balls and shells, which he tried to move, and actually started one cannon-hall rolling, much to the sergeant's consternation. We also had some trouble in keeping Emile back from the port-holes, which were over a thousand feet above the sea. "Tito," however, was, as usual, quieter and more reflective, and listened to and joined in the conversation between the sergeant and ourselves.
The sergeant, however, fell in "Tito's" estimation when he pointed out the ruins of a village on the Spanish hills as the site of ancient Carthage. '' Tito" knew better, as he knew of Hannibal and Carthage, and knew it was in Africa that ancient Carthage was situated. On telling the sergeant this, he was convinced that he was wrong, and that the ruins were probably of buildings made whilst that part of Europe was under Carthagenian dominion.
We remained wondering and admiring until the time came for us to leave, as visitors must quit the fortifications at 4 p.m. We then drove to Europa Point, and were awed and entranced by one of the grandest sights in the world.
The sea was rough, and dashed and surged against the huge cliffs, making the spray fly for hundreds of yards up the face of the rock. The grand and awful sight convinced us of the great improbability of a single soul being saved from the Reina Regente, which was now given up as lost, much to the grief and consternation of foreigners as well as Spaniards.
In good time for dinner we drove back to the hotel, and intended to devote the following day to sight-seeing at Gibraltar, and to leave the day after by the Algeciras Railway for Seville. This, however, was not to be, as just before dinner some passengers arrived in a most deplorable state of wet and mud, owing to their having had to walk some miles over the site of a washed-down embankment, some forty miles inland from Algeciras.
By this we were able to judge it would be at least a week before the railway would be again in communication with Seville, and to this effect I telegraphed my wife, and said we would proceed to Malaga by sea by first opportunity and return by rail from there rid Granada.
Her reply requested me to await patiently until the lines were repaired, and not make another sea-voyage.
After consulting my boys we agreed to do this, and the next morning we took a walk through the Alameda to Europa Point, where again we remained some two hours in contemplation of the glorious scenery. We also, after lunch, took a drive to Linea, the Spanish frontier town adjoining the British lines On our arrival here, with Mr. and Mrs. Waite, we found the
smells so oppressive, the hordes of beggars so objectionable and the dirty streets in such great contrast to the neatness and order of Gibraltar, that we abandoned our intention of proceeding further in the Spanish lines, and were glad to return again to the Rock.
We passed another comfortable night here, and arose in the morning with the intention of making another tour up the fortifications.
Before starting, however, I went to Cook's Office, and was there informed it might he three weeks before the Algeciras railway would be running, and that a large Messagerie Maritime French steamer was due that afternoon, and would take a few passengers (if any disembarked at Gibraltar) for Malaga. I immediately consulted Mr. Waite and we decided to secure passages in this steamer for Malaga and so return via Granada to Seville by rail, which was preferable to a long detention at Gibraltar.
Cook's Office gave us tickets, but could not insure us cabins, as those could be obtained only if any were vacated at Gibraltar. Here I was advised to go on board as soon as the boat arrived, as by that means I could secure the cabins if any were disposable. My boys were delighted with the prospect of going to Malaga, and as the sea was comparatively calm, they had quite forgotten their hard experience on crossing from Tangier.
MALAGA, GRANADA AND SEVILLE.
At about 5 p.m. the boat was announced as coining in, and we were told she would leave at 9 p.m., and would arrive at Malaga at 6 a.m. the following day.
At 6 p.m. we took a boat with all our luggage alongside the steamer which had just dropped anchor. On going on board the chief steward informed me that there were only three unoccupied cabins, and his orders were to retain these.
By a generous tip I induced him to recognize our party as those for whom he was to retain the cabins, and he at once put me in a small cabin with one bed, and gave my boys an adjoining cabin with two beds, and installed Mr. and Mrs. Waite in another cabin the opposite side of the ship.
After speaking to the stewardess about my boys, she made them comfortable, when we all locked our cabins and went on deck.
In a few minutes dinner was announced, which we were informed was four francs each extra, as it was not included in the passage-money. This amount did not alter our intention of dining, although the stewards doubtless considered that the four francs each would frighten us, as no places were laid for us. In a few minutes our places were laid, and we enjoyed a very good dinner.
At about 8 p.m., scores of passengers came on board, who all had to accommodate themselves as best they could on the seats of the saloon, and who, much to the amusement of my boys, began to half undress and prepare for the night. Men, women and children all together, each trying to find a comfortable cushion or corner in order to pass the night before them with as little inconvenience as possible.
After my boys had amused themselves on deck by climbing the ropes, etc., etc., as usual, we decided to go to bed, so as to be asleep before the ship put to sea, and so avoid sea-sickness.
At nine we were all in bed. In a few minutes both my boys were fast asleep, as I looked in at them over the partition of my cabin, and I fell asleep soon after the vessel put to sea, which was at about ten o'clock.
I have forgotten the name of the steamer, so has Emile, therefore I cannot give it here, but as she was a
large boat, she rolled very little, although she pitched considerably, yet my boys slept peacefully until we dropped anchor at Malaga at 6 in the morning.
We all arose, packed our luggage, and took tea and coffee which the stewardess procured for us. Before seven we had disembarked and passed the custom house, as my knowledge of Spanish, and of how to deal with the officers enabled me to overcome the usual luggage searching with rapidity and facility. At eight we were comfortably installed in the Hotel de Roma, where I had telegraphed for rooms from Gibraltar. Here my dear boys were happy in the extreme, as, to their delight, there was a fountain in the patio with many beautiful little fish swimming about in the basin, which they delighted to feed with bread crumbs and bits of biscuit. We all enjoyed a good bath here, and after partaking of midday breakfast took a carriage for a drive round the city. As usual, we drove to the post-office and wired our safe arrival co my wife, who told me on our arrival at Seville of her great relief at its receipt, as she dreaded the idea of our making the sea-voyage to Malaga.
We then drove to a large wine-maker's establishment, where the boys were pleased to see the wine being pumped in large tanks of many thousand gallons' capacity, just as water would be pumped in a water-works or other factory at home. We were also shewn through the enormous cellars, where we underwent the usual process of tasting wines from one year to a hundred years old. We also had a gift of a beauti-
ful little bottle of wine each, which the boys subsequently presented to their mother on our arrival at Seville. We ordered a barrel of Orange wine, some of which we drink daily even now at the time of my writing this, and I cannot drink it at any time without thinking of my beloved "Tito."
We returned to the hotel through the principal streets, and after a little rest we agreed to go out to see the Cathedral. As it was a little windy in the evening, I put on my overcoat, and told my boys to put on theirs. Emile, as usual, being most energetic, put his coat on without assistance, whilst "Tito" asked me to assist him in putting on his. Never shall I forget my sweet boy's saying,
"' Bitty,' will you help me on with my coat, please ?" I replied, "Yes ; my sonny boy, I will help you in this and in everything, as long as I live."
He turned his beautiful eyes towards me, sparkling with love, and replied.
"Yes, I know that, Papa ; You need not tell me that, as I know that already, ' Bit.' "
Little did he or I then think that God would so soon part us, and that now, not much more than three months after, I should be writing of his sweet life and dropping gentle tears to his beloved memory.
After seeing the cathedral, we returned to the hotel and dined, and there made the acquaintance of two young undergraduates from Oxford, who became very pleasant companions to us, and amused themselves by talking to my boys of the pleasures of Eton, where
they told them they were going as soon as they were old enough. The account they gave of Eton and its games and pastimes pleased my boys excessively, who, knowing this to be their last long holiday, enjoyed it all the more. We all went to a dancing saloon, but as we did not think it entertaining, we returned to the hotel and to bed. On the following day we drove in the country to some grandee's seat, and admired the beautiful semi-tropical gardens very much. We also played and ran about the grounds until it was time to return to lunch. After lunch we made a few purchases and sent them home by steamer, and took another drive about the city. At dinner time and after, we had some more pleasant conversation with the two young Oxford men, whose names I have forgotten, and retired all well and happy to bed. At noon the next day we started by train for Granada, and admired the delightful and rocky scenery en route. We made the usual stoppages on the way, as well as some pleasant acquaintances, who as usual, all admired my boys, and their self-possession in travelling, and their so easily adapting themselves to the surrounding customs and circumstances.
We arrived at Granada at about 8 p.m., and were as usual besieged by the ragged army of beggars who hang round railway stations. We drove in a sort of rickety omnibus drawn by four mules to the Hotel de Roma on the Alhambra Hill, and adjoining the grounds of the far-famed historical Palace.
As it was nearly 9 o'clock by the time we arrived at
the hotel, we dined, and went to bed in nice comfort-able adjoining rooms. My boys slept well as usual, and did not awake until 8 in the morning, when we took our usual bath, then our coffee and roll, and all went out, full of expectation, under the direction of a guide, to see the wonders of the Alhambra.
It is usual to be in ecstasies over the Alhambra, but I regret to say that my boys and I were disappointed with it. The late fire had destroyed a large part of it, and the original halls, Court of Lions, etc., are not nearly so impressive as the drawings and photographs lead one to expect.
At Seville, when visiting the Alcazar, we were continually being told that it was not nearly as grand as the Alhambra. This is true in point of size, but the preservation of the Alcazar is much better, and the architecture equally good. However, the Alhambra is very fine, but then its situation is grand in the extreme.
From its walls one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world is to be seen in perfection. The Sierra Nevada glistening with crystal snow in the background, and the green fertile Vega in the foreground and the distance, dotted at intervals with white gem-looking farm-houses, is a scene ever to be remembered, and well worth the inconvenience of a journey to Granada under any circumstances.
After a cursory look round the ruins, and a long admiration of the never-to-be-forgotten and impressive panorama, we returned to lunch, after which we all
took a drive through the city of Granada, and to the cathedral, where we saw the tombs of Fernando and Isabella, the most Catholic monarchs of Leon and Castile, as well as the tombs of Felipe el Hermoso, and Juana la Loca, their son-in-law and daughter. Here, as usual, we were pestered with the hungry army of mendicants, the pest of all Spain, which in a great measure mars the pleasure one would have in contemplating those historical monuments and remains which are so impressive of Spanish past greatness and grandeur.
We also saw a Carthusian Hospicio, where there was a collection of fine pictures, as well as a chapel of most rich and beautiful architecture. One of the pictures was explained to us as depicting "Oliver Cromwell executing Christians in the Forest of Smithfield." Cromwell was giving directions to the executioner, who, with a black mask, was wielding a large axe, and around him were many decapitated bodies lying in streams of blood. Large mountains were in the background, and grand Swiss or Alpine pines crowned their distant tops, whilst cataracts dashed down their rugged steeps. On explaining to the priest that the subject of the picture could not refer to Cromwell or to England, as no religious persecution or execution had taken place after Mary's reign, who died in 1558, and that Cromwell was Protector exactly one century after that date, and that in England there was no scenery nearly so grand as that surrounding the Forest of Smithfield as shewn in the picture, I was
told by this reverend Carthusian that I was wrong, and it was to be regretted that having two such fine and promising boys, I was not more conversant with the history of my own country. My boys were also much amused at this, and Mr. and Mrs. Waite were convulsed with laughter. Our hilarity did not much please our priestly guide, but we managed to appease him by listening attentively to his vivid description of the other pictures.
On our return to the hotel to dinner we were told that to see and appreciate the Alhambra properly we should "Visit it by pale moonlight," like Melrose. As we should have to wait some ten days for a full moon, we decided to view it again by daylight the next day instead.
Another good night's rest, and our usual chat and fun whilst dressing in the morning, and a talk of the Cromwellian picture with my boys brought us again to the Alhambra, through which we wandered again for over two hours. We also went to the towers where the lovers twanged the guitar and stole away the beautiful ladies from the Moors, as so poetically told by Washington Irving. If one wishes to retain the glamour of Washington Irving's beautiful stories, one should not visit the Alhambra. The gate, where the ill-starred Boabdil passed out, and Fernando's victorious soldiers entered, must be imagined, as so many entrances and exits exist, that the veritable gate is a matter of conjecture.
However, it is not difficult to imagine with what
heroism the Christians must have fought to have gained an entrance into such a stronghold, situated at such a height over the rising ground, below where the Christian army must have encamped, over the elm trees planted through the generosity of the great Duke of Wellington, who sent English elms to be planted in this then treeless district. After lunch we took another drive to the city and back, when we made preparations for our early departure the next day.
We met our two young Oxford friends in the Washington Hotel, opposite ours, and again enjoyed a little conversation, my boys explaining to them the situation of the Carthusian Hospicio where they might see the famous Cromwellian picture.
After dinner we went early to bed, as we had to rise at five the next morning, which we did, and after our coffee and roll, started in the wheezy omnibus for Granada station, where we left at 6.30 a.m. for Seville.
About half-way between Granada and Seville, Mr. and Mrs. Waite left us for a trip to Cordova, as they wished to see the famous cathedral there before returning to Seville.
My boys and I had a pleasant railway trip to Seville, accompanied by a London pearl-merchant, whose name I forget, but who was kind and amusing to the boys, and whose conjuring tricks and conundrums pleasantly beguiled the time on the journey. We arrived safely at Seville station on Saturday, March 24th, at about 3 in the afternoon, and were delighted at seeing my wife,
Lilita and Alfred, with Lizzie, his nurse, on the plat-form awaiting our arrival.
Although we had only been absent eleven days, it seemed as if we had been away a month, and my wife was delighted at the fresh and bright appearance of the boys, after their journey.
We returned to our hotel in the large 'bus which awaited us, and there my boys entertained their mother and Lilita with imitations of the snake-charmers, and descriptions of the other wonders they saw at Morocco. They were great travellers and had returned from Africa, and had much to say descriptive of their happy and eventful journey.
We were all glad to be back again in the Hotel de Madrid at Seville, as there we were at home, and the boys were cared for and beloved by all the servants and waiters with whom they came in contact.
The following day was Palm-Sunday, when from our balcony we saw the religious processions, which were exceedingly orderly and most impressive.
As this was Holy Week, there were great preparations going on for the great religious processions of Good Friday and the day after, as well as Easter Sunday.
The Plaza was full of activity, and the construction of platforms and boxes outside the Municipal Hall was progressing rapidly. The Waites and ourselves engaged a box adjoining that of the Municipality, where we could have a splendid view of the processions.
AN EASTER BULL-FIGHT.
We also engaged a large box for the Easter Sunday bull-fight, at which the renowned Guerrita, and the brave Faico, two bull-fighters, were to kill three bulls each.
My boys with all the others were again content and happy, occupying much of their time in drawing the Baby around the hotel marble balcony in a clothes' basket, to which they harnessed themselves, whilst Alfred drove them from his improvised carriage.
Lilita was learning the Spanish dances, which she mastered with amazing rapidity, whilst "Tito" and Emile took afternoon lessons in Spanish. "Tito" was not quick at mastering his native language, but Emile understood all that was said to him, and also spoke with fair facility.
With Good Friday's services and processions we were all much impressed. I took my two boys to the pro-Cathedral to see the Rending of the Veil of the Temple, which was a ceremony lacking the dignity one would wish in association with such a subject. From our balcony we saw the processions pass from several parishes, when we proceeded to our box in the Plaza, whence we saw the whole of the processions pass in their gorgeous and yet impressive state, conducted in a spirit of quiet and meekness which convinced all that it was not mere ceremony, but that the hearts of the people realized that the Son of God had been crucified by and for mankind.
As these processions have been described so many times, I will only say here that they took over three hours in passing our box, and that some five thousand persons took part in this great religious pageant, whilst the onlookers must have numbered some thirty or forty thousand people, all orderly, quiet and reverent.
The Saturday brought more processions, which we also saw, and Easter Sunday the elaborate services which we attended in the morning. At two in the afternoon we went in the private carriage we had engaged for the coming week, to the Bull Ring, so as to take our seat in good time. In a few minutes the vast building was crowded with all sorts and conditions of men, from the Duke of Alva and Berwick to the street water-seller, and from the English noble-men, whose yachts were lying in the Guadalquivir, to
the semi-paralysed beggars of the Cathedral and Church porches. All were there; all well-behaved; all sober, and anxious to see the dexterity of the men who, unfortunately for Spain, are more venerated and admired than Generals, Statesmen, Cardinals, or even Royalty itself. The "Toreador," the "Diestro Espada" is everything to the Spaniard, who by his hard earned reales, pays the Toreador some £900 on each occasion he appears before the public, while the latter, if he escapes a violent death, becomes an arch-millionaire (in pesetas) and retires more respected and venerated than the hero of a hundred military fights or than the great Emilio Castelar, the most brilliant orator and statesman of the Iberian Peninsula.
Lilita would not go with us to the bull-fight, as her recollections of the Madrid bull-fight kept her from wishing to see its repetition. My wife's Spanish blood naturally took her to the great sport of her maternal ancestors, whilst I wished to see the renowned Guerrita, and my boys as usual said, "Where you go, we will go."
The bull-fight has been described so well and so often, that I will not attempt it here, but I will say only that, excepting the horrid mutilation of the horses, we enjoyed the scene, and admired and marvelled at the agility and bravery displayed by the Banderillos as well as the Toreadors. The excitement is however, too much for young children, and even I was glad when it was over. At the fall of the first bull before the trenchant blade of the indomitable Guerrita, the scene
was indescribable. Ladies waved their fans, gentlemen cheered, nobles applauded, and the ten thousand people generally were frantic in their efforts to cheer their hero. Some threw their hats in the ring as a gift of admiration, and many others actually took off their boots and threw them at the feet of the victorious Guerrita, who with truly regal bows and acknowledgements directed his attendants to return them to their admiring owners. The Duke of Orleans, who was present, sent him a handsome diamond pin which he took as a matter of every day occurrence, and bowed and smiled his stately acknowledgements with all the air of a Grandee of Spain.
Faico was not so renowned as Guerrita, and did not meet with such applause, as his sword did not penetrate straight from the shoulder blade to the heart like that of Guerrita, and with his second bull, he slightly wounded his hand, when Guerrita with dumb show of magnanimity induced him to retire, wiped his own shining sword in his velvet cloak, and with a small red cloth sallied out to meet the infuriated bull. With a roar the bull looked at Guerrita and dashed at him, making the inexperienced fear that Guerrita would be a heap of mangled remains in a moment from then, and closed their eyes in the expectation of hearing the thud of his body falling back from the horns of the enraged beast. This, however, did not happen, as Guerrita, agile, strong and brave, stepped lightly aside, leaving the hull to turn back in wonder at the non-annihilation of his enemy. Again and again
the bull dashed at Guerrita, missing him by apparently hair's breadths, until at last the beast faced him and pawed the earth in impotent rage, when Guerrita lifted his flashing blade and met the bull with its sharp point plunging to the hilt between the shoulders, splitting the brave bull's heart in twain, and making the vanquished beast kneel gently at his feet and roll over dead in the presence of the multitude.
The six bulls being killed, we awaited the exit of the delighted crowd so that we might leave without being crushed. We managed to enter our carriage easily, and drove back to the hotel; had an early dinner, and went to our box in the Plaza to see the best and last of the religious processions.
The night was clear, the air was still and warm, the processions gorgeous, and the scene one never to be forgotten.
We retired to our hotel, pleased with all we saw, and with thankful hearts for all the good gifts of health and pleasure we were then enjoying.
Seville should be left by all English visitors at the end of Easter, as the world-renowned fair, so anxiously looked forward to and so regretfully looked back at by Spaniards, is, to English people, tawdry, unsatisfactory and frivolous.
However, as we did not know this, and hearing so much of the fair, on Easter Monday, the 15th April, I telegraphed to London, asking if it were possible for me to remain away from business until the 23rd, as my wife and children were anxious to see the fair during that week.
The reply was in the affirmative, and we decided to remain until Tuesday the 23rd, and to go straight to London.
There was another hull-fight on Easter Monday, to which I went alone, as "Tito" said he was a little unwell, and Emile did not .care to go without "Tito."
LAST DAYS IN ANDALUSIA.
The next morning, Tuesday, was the commencement of the fair, which "Tito" could not see, as I found his temperature was 102°.
On Wednesday, all but "Tito" went to the fair, he remaining at home, although out of bed. On Thursday we all went out as usual, "Tito" apparently none the worse for his temporary indisposition, and although my wife said he was not so lively as previously, I personally noticed no difference in his deportment.
On Friday we all went to the fair again, and we all became tired of seeing nothing but cattle, heaps of toys and sweet-stalls, diversified by a little castanet-dancing in the booths, where the hilarity appeared to be forced and artificial.
At night Mr. and Mrs. Waite, with my wife and myself, drove amongst the booths at the fair, and went to the tents of the different clubs of which Mr. Waite and I were temporary members, but we failed to see the fun and amusement we were led to expect by all the Sevillanos.
On Saturday we all went up the Giralda tower for the last time (we had been there twice before) to say farewell to fascinating Seville, and to take a last look at the winding Guadalquivir and surrounding country. I well remember our beloved "Tito" calling out to the figure of the winged angel on the top, "Good-bye, Mrs. Giralda, some day I will call to see you again." I hope to go there again and keep my dear boy's promise for him.
On Sunday morning I took a walk with my boys along the quays of the Guadalquivir, and they stopped to talk to the sailors on hoard the Duke of Hamilton's yacht, with whom they had formed some acquaintance during their walks with the baby and nurse. The yacht was then preparing to go to sea, as the Duke was ill and could not remain at Seville. In a few days the Duke of Hamilton died.
I mention this because the illustrated papers published the Duke of Hamilton's portrait on May 2nd, and I remember my children looking at it and reading his obituary notice, and wondering where the yacht and sailors were at that time, little thinking that in such a short time their own dear brother's obituary notice would be published also, and would bring grief to the hearts of all who knew him.
After lunch, my wife and I with Mr. and Mrs. Waite drove to the race-course and took our seats on the grand stand, and tried to be amused, but the serious, sedate deportment of the Spaniards entirely precluded this.
During an interval of the races, a champêtre lunch was supposed to be partaken of by the box occupants. We were invited to the box of an English acquaintance, resident in Seville, but as we were so weary of this toiling to be pleased, we excused ourselves and left. A few moments previous to leaving we heard the pop of a cork from a bottle, when my wife, much to our amusement, said :
"That is the first sound of a drawn-cork I have heard in Spain."
The abstemiousness of the Spaniard is perhaps unknown to the English generally, but it is nevertheless quite true. During our three months visit we only saw one drunken man, although I must confess that we heard singing and guitar playing up to four in the morning. There is a saying in Spanish, "En el pais del vino, no hai borrachos," or, "In the country of wine there are no drunkards," which, if not quite true, is well founded.
We returned to dine, and after dinner to drive again in the fair, where we remained until midnight, and although we visited some booths of our acquaintances, and saw the (lancing in both the club marquees, yet we were unanimous in saying that the fair did not come up to our expectations, and was not been worth waiting for.
Monday the 22nd of April was devoted to packing, and saying good-bye to our friends, of whom we had many in Seville, and from two of whom, the Dunipe and Bishop families, we received great kindness and attention.
On Tuesday the 23rd, we left by the sleeping car for Madrid, after a most propitious, pleasant, and entertaining sojourn in the delightful province of Andalusia, and arrived at Madrid on the morning of the 24th.
We again went to the Hotel de la Paix, where the manager and waiters received us with their usual kindness, and remarked on the robust appearance of of our children.
En route from Madrid to Paris "Tito" lost his cap by the wind as he was looking out of the window, which appeared to frighten him, as he turned pale and cried a little. We did not notice this at the time, but it has since led us to believe that he was not then so robust as he looked.
We remained at Madrid until the following day, when we left by the "Sud Express" for Paris. The sleeping and restaurant-cars were, as usual, a source of pleasure and amusement to our children. We arrived at Hunday, the frontier, the next morning, and changed trains without any especial incident, and after an agreeable day's journey from there, arrived at about 8 p.m. at Paris.
Here my dear "Tito" was a little concerned because he had to wear my cap to the hotel, although I explained to him that in the darkness no one would
notice it, neither did they, and my dear boy was pleased when we all told him he looked very well in my cap. Much to my regret I lost that cap by leaving it in the railway carriage not long ago, as I should like to have kept it with the few other things we have in memory of my dear boy.
We went to the Hotel de 1'Athénée where, as usual, we were made very comfortable. It was decided at Madrid that my wife, who had much shopping to do in Paris, should not go to London with all the others and stay at the hotel as previously arranged, but should remain in Paris with all the children and the two servants until I had been to London and finished my pressing business, as well as established the servants, etc., etc., at Palace Gate, so as to return again to Paris as soon as possible, and bring them back to our house, which should be ready for them.
Accordingly I left for London on Saturday morning the 27th, and went direct to the Royal Palace Hotel. As soon as I had dined I went to 1, Palace Gate, and there found a letter from Fonthill School, saying that the term would commence on Thursday, May 2nd, and that we should have the boys at school by noon on that day.
I immediately wrote this to my wife, telling her to do her purchases as quickly as possible, and that I would attend to my London meetings, and be with her on May 1st. That we would all return on May the 2nd, and the boys would go to school on Friday, May 3rd.
I attended to my business engagements on Monday and Tuesday, the 29th and 30th April, presiding at a General Meeting of the Nitrate Provisions Company on the Monday, and a General Meeting of the Tarapaca Water Works Company on Tuesday, April 1st.
On Wednesday, May 1st, I started for Paris, and arrived at the Hotel de 1'Athénée at about 7 p.m. I found my wife and all the children with slight colds, all were a little hoarse, which I attributed to local hygienic defects, as I have frequently noticed a similar effect on myself as well as on others when returning from a warm climate to Paris.
We dined all together, and then packed up the luggage ready for the morning.
On Thursday morning we all left for London, where we arrived in good time, after a very comfortable journey, and a smooth trip across the channel.
On arriving at Palace Gate we found all in order, and our new staff of servants in readiness for us. My boys were in good spirits, and most anxious for the morrow, so that they might go to their school. My wife wished them to remain at home a little longer so as to allow them to get better from the colds and and coughs which they took in Paris, but I told her that many of my friends had assured me it would be prejudicial to them if they were late in their term at school, as that would keep them at the bottom of their class, as well as give them the worst rooms, on the principle of "first come first served."
I made such a strong point of this that my wife yielded to my wish, and arose early so as to make the necessary purchases in order to finish our dear boys' school outfit.
All Friday morning and some of the afternoon was busily occupied in getting their clothes, hats, portmanteaus, books, etc., and my wife, Miss Gegg, and I, were all busily occupied in those matters.
Notwithstanding our hurry, we managed to catch a train from Victoria to East Grinstead at about 3 p.m. In the train I eagerly noticed both my boys, as my heart was full of pain at the thought of leaving them at school, although I kept a cheerful face and conversation. "Tito" was playing with a mechanical frog he had brought from Paris, which amused an old gentleman who was the only occupant of our compartment besides my wife, my boys, and I.
My wife also was thoughtful and sad, but we were both afraid to shew our feelings. I noticed that Emile's cold was a little worse than "Tito's," and as the weather was then so remarkably hot for that time of the year, I hoped and believed that the high, dry position of Fonthill would soon have the bracing effect of quite curing their colds.
At East Grinstead we found the carriage I had ordered awaiting us, and arrived with the boys at Fonthill school at about half-past four o'clock.
My wife and I had some tea, and our boys also had some cold meat and other refreshments.
Mr. Radcliffe with his sister, Mrs. Turner, took
charge of our boys, who, with my wife, went to see their bed-room, with which she was much pleased, as it was not large, and was to be occupied by our dear boys, who had always shared the same room at home.
At about 5.45 we had to leave to catch our train, and after explaining to Mr. Radcliffe and Mrs. Turner that "Tito's" gentle disposition required more care, attention and protection than Emile's, with a hearty embrace and a loving kiss to our dear children we left them and drove away.
I looked at the surroundings with affection, and admired the bright sunshine, which I prayed inwardly would gently shine on our sweet boys, and tried to be cheerful to my wife, as I could see also that her dear heart was too full for words, and that one word of tenderness would cause us both to burst into tears.
Ah, fatal Fonthill ! Little did I dream then of the irreparable loss we should have to bear.
Mr. Radcliffe told us that visitors' days were once a month, and he would rather the parents would not visit except on the days so set apart by the school rules.
On our way to the station we passed several tutors with some forty of the Fonthill boys in their flannel jackets and caps, all looking happy and joyful, and were pleased to think that our dear ones would be amongst such a nice lot of bright gentlemanly boys, and would have them for their fellow-students and play-fellows.
We arrived back at Palace Gate in time for dinner,
and dined for the first time for many months without our two dear sons.
We told Lilita and Miss Gegg, who awaited us, how well and happy the boys would be at school, and really believed all we said, as the surroundings and school were to all appearances all that could possibly be desired by the most loving parent or the most exacting guardian.
On the Saturday I purchased Bibles and prayer-books for the boys, and sent them on. My wife also made sundry purchases for them she had not time to do before.
On the Sunday I accompanied my wife and Lilita to the Carmelites' Church, as my dear sons, my friends, my sweet companions, were not with me to join in my usual Sunday morning's walk.
On Monday, the 6th, we were all delighted at receiving a note from each of the dear boys, beginning with "My dear Mother and Father." Never had they addressed us so before, and we realised slightly that their surroundings prompted them to write as little men, and not as children from the nursery.
Twice through the week we received letters from Emile, but only once from "Tito," who said he was a little bilious. The letters all told us they were happy and liked their school, although, we subsequently found from Emile, that our sweet "Tito" did not like it so much as he anticipated; and in his quiet conversations with Emile at night said he was disappointed with the school-life, as it was not so nice as he thought it would be.
On Friday my wife asked me to go to the school and see the boys, when I explained how unfair it would be for me to do this, especially after Mr. Radcliffe had so particularly expressed his wish on this subject. I, however, said that if she were to go with Lilita, it would be more pardonable, as a mother's natural love would be sufficient excuse for ignoring, for once, the visiting rule of the school.
On Saturday my wife with Lilita visited the school, arriving there before 2 p.m., where they spent over an hour with our dear boys. My wife found them delighted to see her, happy and contented, but still a little unwell from their colds. This was the 11th, and was most unusually warm for the time of the year, as also was the preceding week. On my wife's return she explained that the boys were a little pale, but she thought a little better than when we left them at school.
All who know my wife are aware of her devoted affection for her children, and her excessive care on their behalf, thinking a small indisposition very serious, and a trivial symptom the sure sign of a severe illness. This being so, she would, in spite of schoolmaster or any one else, have taken away the boys at once, had she had the faintest idea of either of them being sickening for any serious illness.
On Sunday the 12th a cold wave came over England, more especially in the home counties, causing great trouble to the weak and delicate, and obliging most of us to relight our fires, which we had given up
through the previous excessive heat. The wind blew severely from the North East, and continued very cold until the 21st. Many visitors came to see us on this day, some remaining to dine, when we were all happy in talking over the advantages of the school, and I especially in the great good the boys would derive by being away from us, who were too indulgent for the children to learn properly, and the benefits they would gain from associating with other little gentlemen whom they would be with until after they left Eton.
All too vain were my hopes and futile my surmises.
On Monday morning we had a letter from Emile requesting us to send on "Tito's " spectacles (some two years ago I took him to an oculist as he had a peculiar trick of blinking. The oculist said he should have spectacles which we procured for him. After wearing the spectacles a few days he left them off as he had entirely overcome the blinking trick he had acquired). As the letters on his books looked like spots, we sent the spectacles, although we knew by these signs that he was suffering from a bilious attack.
On this day, the 13th, Dr. Hocking, the medical attendant of the school, examined him, and pronounced his case as bilious from a sluggish liver, and gave him some medicine, at the same time separating Emile from him, relieving him from school duties, and instructing the matron to keep him quiet and to himself. We did not know of our clear son's having to sleep alone until after this.
On Tuesday afternoon I wired to Mr. Radcliffe, asking how "Tito" was, and requesting him to reply immediately.
From the middle of January until this time, the 14th May, I had not seen my father who was then not in such good health as he usually enjoyed, and who in his letters expressed a strong wish for me to visit him.
My wife, however, wished me to visit our boys, and between my filial and paternal affection I hardly knew which to do, although I shall ever regret not having done as my wife wished me in this, and more so the having sent my boys to school whilst they had colds.
My love for my dear children would at any time make me give up most important engagements, or cause me to make any sacrifice, as all who know me can attest, but on this occasion I was callous and wished to see my father, feeling sure that my sweet boy's indisposition was merely temporary. It seems as if it were predestined that our dear son was to be taken from us, as all my actions, although conscientiously before God, were by me done for the best, yet I can see now that they were wrong all too late.
On Wednesday morning we received a letter from Mr. Radcliffe saying "Tito" was much better, and we were not to be concerned, as in case of the least probability of an illness he would immediately wire. This rejoiced my heart, and gave my wife the courage to consent to my visiting my father. As I had some important business I could not leave until the
5 p.m. train from Paddington, which brought me to Dundridge at midnight.
I intended to remain at Dundridge the Thursday and go to Truro on Friday morning.
At Dundridge I was occupied in the morning with my wife, my agent and friend, Nicholls, and in the afternoon I inspected some work and shot several young rooks.
SIGNS OF DANGER.
At about 6 in the evening, when on the point of leaving for Brook to dine with my friends, the Watsons, I received the following telegram from our friend and family medical attendant, Dr. Walker :
"'Tito' seriously, but not dangerously ill with pneumonia; wife at school, where she went with me this morning, Temperature 104°. I advise you to return."
On the receipt of this telegram I was overcome by consternation and fear, and felt so paralysed that I did not know what to do. I cried aloud to God for mercy on me and on my dear son, and wept sorrowful and bitter tears. I immediately wired my wife at Fonthill :
"I will leave by nine o'clock mail-train, and will be with you to-morrow morning."
I drove to the Watsons, and was as one distracted. They in their kindness obliged me to remain some time and take some dinner, lent me a rug for travelling with, as it was still very cold, and tried by their cheering words to revive my drooping spirits.
Subsequently I ascertained that on Thursday morning at about 10 a.m., my wife received a telegram from Mr. Radcliffe, saying "Tito" had pneumonia, that his temperature was 104°, and that he would wire later on.
My dear wife was overcome with grief and fright and knew not what to do. She sent for our friend Dr. Walker, who immediately volunteered to accompany her to East Grinstead. My wife, through Dr. Walker, telegraphed to Fonthill for further news, but receiving no reply they both started from Victoria Station by the 11.45 train for East Grinstead, and arrived at about 1 o'clock, when Dr Walker found Dr. Hosking there, and had a consultation which resulted in the telegram being sent to me.
A Sister of Charity from a nursing institution was attending to our dear boy, as well as to a little schoolfellow named Dunning, who came from 46, Hyde Park Gate, which adjoins my house, and who also was suffering from pneumonia. Dr. Hosking did not think "Tito's" case serious, but Dr. Walker, who knew his constitution well, thought him to be seriously ill, though he then had no idea of the illness having such a rapid and fatal termination; but said it was impossible to remove him in that cold weather.
Mrs. Turner, Mr. Radcliffe's sister, was then ill, and
all the care of the boys was left to the matron, who at that time had one of her own children in an hospital to undergo a serious surgical operation.
I mention this, as I believe these unfortunate circumstances were instrumental in preventing our dear "Tito's" illness from being diagnosed at an earlier date.
I drove in perturbed spirit from Brook to Totnes station where my friend Nicholls awaited me and tried to cheer me. On the arrival of the train I went to a sleeping compartment which the guard promised should be retained for me alone. I said good-night to my friend, and the train started.
Then, and all through the night I implored the Almighty to take pity on my sweet boy and not to lay the cold hand of death on him, and begged for strength for him to live under Christ's banner, and implored, begged, prayed and cried with a breaking heart.
The anguish of that night I shall ever remember, as that was the beginning of the sad affliction which has humbled me in the dust, and which has destroyed my pride and for ever curtailed my paternal ambition.
My wife could not have felt such terrible anguish, for which I thank God, as she was with our dear son and could adminster to his comfort, could cool his fevered brow, and could whisper gentle words of love to him, which I longed to do.
At last we arrived at Paddington, and I at once went to 1, Palace Gate, arriving there a little after
five on Friday morning. The door was opened by Miss Gegg, who had expected me, as Mrs. Nicholls wired to say I should arrive in the morning.
I immediately went to Lilita's bedroom and wept by her side. She said I should not be distressed as she had prayed for "Tito," and her heart told her he would soon be well. This comforted me, as I have long believed that God grants more to innocent than to sinful hearts. Embracing her, and begging her to pray for "Tito," I drove to Dr. Walker's, who expected me and was soon at the door on my ringing the bell.
Seeing my state of agitation he tried to calm me, and assured me there was no cause for my state of mind, that if "Tito's " respiration were to slow a little, he would soon get well, that the temperature was really 101°, but that boys frequently recovered from even 103°. He, however, said he shewed one had symptom before his arrival at the school, as the nurse said he turned sick and became green for a while. He advised me to wire Dr. Barlow to hold himself in readiness to come to East Grinstead.
I went to Victoria Station, wired Dr. Barlow, as suggested, and left for East Grinstead by the 7 a.m. train.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END.
Another tedious journey brought me to East Grinstead, when I at once drove to Fonthill, arriving there at nine o'clock.
Mr. Radcliffe met me, and assured me that "Tito" was much better, and that there was no cause for anxiety on his behalf, but that little Dunning was much worse, and he feared he would not recover.
In a few minutes I was taken to a room adjoining "Tito's," when my dear wife came to me, looking hopeful, and smiling me a gentle welcome as she always does.
I was so overcome with emotion that I could scarcely ask for dear "Tito." She calmed me, and made me be quiet, and not visit our dear son in my then state
of agitation. She also said he was a little better, which had the effect of calming my spirits.
In a few moments I was by the side of my gentle boy, and kissed his sweet face. He smiled at me and said : "Hullo, ' Bit ! '
I said, "How are you, sonny boy?"
He replied, "All right ; better."
He put his hand in mine and I sat by his side and felt his pulse which was very rapid.
He looked beautiful, absolutely perfect ! His face was rosy ; his hair glistened in brightness, and as he smiled his beautiful perfect teeth shone white as ivory.
He said, "' Bit,' tell me all about Dundridge. How is it looking. How is Sport (our dog), and our ponies ?" I replied that I had killed over twenty rooks the day before ; that all was well at Dundridge, and that we would soon go there. This appeared to please my dear boy, whilst the nurse told me not to talk to him too much.
In a few minutes Dr. Harrison (an old friend of mine, practising at East Grinstead, and to whom I wired from Victoria Station) arrived. He took the temperature of our beloved boy, who held the thermometer in his mouth whilst smiling lovingly at his mother and me. The temperature was 104°, the respiration 65, and the pulse 120°. He had progressive pneumonia in the right lung.
I wired this to Dr. Barlow and asked him to come immediately.
Dr. Harrison meanwhile said there was no cause
for such anxiety as my wife and I displayed, as it was an ordinary case of pneumonia, of which almost every case recovered after a few days illness.
After a little more conversation with my dear boy, who had some difficulty in speaking, owing to his rapid respiration and a short dry cough, I and his mother left his room for a little while.
We prayed for his recovery and consoled each other, although I felt sore at heart.
My wife had to accommodate herself as best she could in "Tito's" room, occasionally resting in the Matron's room.
I was informed that there was no accommodation for me at the school, so I drove to the Dorset Arms Hotel, and wired to Palace Gate for the few things I required for what I considered a few clays' stay.
At four in the afternoon. Dr. Barlow arrived, when he told me he had also been sent by Mrs. Dunning to see her boy, and that she was ill in London. At half-past four I was at Foothill with Dr. Barlow, when Dr. Hosking arrived.
They thoroughly examined our dear boy, pronounced his left hung quite free, and expressed confident hopes of his recovery. Dr. Barlow noticed that "Tito's " liver was not acting as it should, and that he was suffering from a severe bilious attack as well as pneumonia. The temperature had subsided a little, but the breathing and the pulse were the same.
In the adjoining room I could hear little Dunning screaming and calling in his delirium, so much so,
that my wife and I were sorely grieved to know that the dear lad was worse than our boy, and that his father was not in England, whilst his mother was far too ill to leave her room.
However, "God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb," for little Dunning recovered.
I went to the station with Dr. Barlow, who had ordered two nurses, one for night and one for day, for our dear "Tito." I had a hurried dinner at the hotel, and returned to the school, where I remained with my dear "Tito" until 11 o'clock.
He was pleased for his mother and me to be with him, and whenever he could not see me in the room he would say :
"Mama, where's ' Bitty' ?"
He liked my sitting by his side and holding his hand, and occasionally answering his questions.
He said he wished to be taken to Dundridge as soon as possible, at the same time telling my wife that he did not want any lessons whilst there, not even from Mr. Blight, the schoolmaster of Harberton, who sometimes gave my boys lessons there. He said, "How long shall I be before I can leave here?"
I replied, "Two or three days, I hope."
He said, "That's all right."
In giving him his beef-tea I placed my arm under his neck and lifted him gently up.
He said : "Papa, is that your arm under me?" I replied, "Yes, sonny."
He said: "I like your arm under me as I can rest on it better than on the pillow."
He told me he had no pain, only a little near the teat on his right side; no headache, and was not uncomfortable.
His diet was beef-tea, and milk and soda, with a spoonful of brandy every two hours.
At 11 o'clock my dear wife and I prayed together, and I left for the hotel, whilst she remained like a faithful loving mother to keep her second vigil at her dear son's bedside.
At 7 in the morning I was again at the school, and found that he had passed a fair night, hut had been a little delirious at about one in the morning.
My heart fell at this news, although I knew that even when delirium sets in, patients frequently recover.
I kissed my dear boy, and asked him how he felt.
He said, "Oh, better."
After enquiring for and seeing Emile, who was a little thinner than formerly, and very pale, I took him to "Tito's " room for a moment, when he kissed his dear brother, and at the nurse's request I sent him away. The wind was still N.E. and very cold.
I took my dear boy's temperature and found it 102°, which gave me great hope, especially as he looked so well.
My wife, who had come quite unprovided with clothing or toilet necessaries, said she wished to run up to London for a few hours in order to get a few articles so as to make her stay at Fonthill more
bearable, as her being unable to undress and take a little rest was most trying to her.
I went to the hotel to breakfast, and returned at half-past nine. My wife left at 10 a.m. for London. When she kissed her beloved son previous to leaving he said :
"Mama; well, Mama, give my love to Lilita and Baby."
His affection for all of the others was very great, and even just before leaving for school he said to his sister :
"Lilita, there are lots of primroses at East Grinstead, and I will pick them and send them to you."
I sat with him the whole of that day, leaving him for a few minutes only to eat my lunch in Mr. Radcliffe's dining-room. I also sent a telegram to Buckfastleigh Abbey for the Fathers to pray for our beloved "Tito," and one to my friend and Vicar, Mr. Bartholomew, request him to ask for the prayers of Harberton Church Congregation for him on the morrow. My wife during her brief visit to London also made arrangements with the Carmelite Fathers to have mass for our dear son's recovery with them, and Lilita with Miss Gegg had done the same at the Pro-Cathedral. My wife also brought some Holy Water and an amulet for dear "Tito," which she gave him ; but alas! alas! all was of no avail here.
At 3 p.m. one of the nurses, Elmore, arrived. After noticing him well she said she had known far worse cases to recover.
At 4 o'clock my wife returned from London, and dear "Tito" was pleased to know that Lilita and Baby were well and had sent their love to him.
At five Dr. Hosking came again with Dr. Harrison, and pronounced his case progressing fairly, and said if his strength kept up all would be well, I laid great stress on the "if;" but they said I need not be alarmed.
At six I went to the hotel and wired my coachman to go to the secretary of my club and get two bottles of the very best brandy, as although that being used might be good, I should be sure of the best Junior Carlton Club brandy.
I also dined at the hotel and returned to Fonthill, which is nearly two miles, at half-past eight.
In order to move rapidly I engaged a brougham to wait on me the whole time I was to be there, whilst at the hotel the horse rested, and whilst at Fonthill, the horse was in the stables.
During my absence at dinner "Tito" told his mother he wanted to go into another room or another bed, and to take him to Dundridge on a stretcher with two men, and if two were not sufficient, to get four.
I lifted him again for his milk which he took well, he then laid on his side looking towards me, his left side. After talking a little, I said I would sleep on Emile's bed, still in his room, on which my tired-out wife occasionally rested, if he would go to sleep.
He said, "All right ; I will sleep now ; good night, Bit.'"
At half-past ten I again prayed with my dear wife, and left her for her third night with our boy.
On "Tito's" being awakened for his beef-tea at about eleven, he asked his mother for me, she explained that having no room at the school I had to go to the hotel. He again expressed a wish to go to Dundridge as soon as possible.
In the silence of the night I grieved at my action in sending the boys to school at all, as I could well afford to have a private tutor, and I knew then that the strict regime of the school, the early rising, the cold baths, and the great difference in the food must be very trying to my dear boys who were nurtured with such care, and to whom my wife and I were even foolishly indulgent. Whilst considering the present training and preparing-school system very good, I felt that my boys were not prepared for it, and resolved on "Tito's" recovery to privately make them ready for Eton, as there they could always be under the supervision of an anxious and loving mother.
I was awake early, and at the school at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the 19th, and noticed that "Tito's" temperature was 103°, his respiration 60, and his pulse 120. This grieved me, although he said he was better, and my wife told me he had not passed a very bad night, but he was very delirious, saying he could speak either French or Spanish, as well as English, and speaking a little in each language, also calling the baby to play with him, saying, "Jimmy, take my stick, Jimmy ; come on, Jimmy."
I immediately returned to East Grinstead and wired Dr. Walker to come down and to bring Dr. Barlow with him, I took my breakfast and returned to the school, so as to enable my wife to go to mass at a Catholic Church some two miles away, to which she went in my brougham.
Whilst my wife was away, another nurse arrived, nurse Fear, from the same Bond Street Nurse Institution. I did not like the name, but thought superstition absurd, and tried to banish fear, but could not. I sat all the morning with my dear boy, with his hand in mine, which position he liked better than any other. I noticed the veins and nerves of the neck on the left side working excessively, his nostrils much distended in breathing, and much difficulty in speaking, I spoke to him little, so as not to disturb his erratic and broken moments of slumber.
He asked for his mother, who, I said, was at Church. In moving from one side of the room to the other, I walked on tip-toe, so as not to make a noise, as my boots were creaky. "Tito" saw me and said :
"Papa, what is the matter with you, why can't you walk straight !"
I explained why I walked so, but as he tried to look at my feet, I took off my boots to shew him they were all right.
At 1 o'clock my wife returned from her church, much comforted by her prayer, and pleased because she had met some little Catholic children to whom she gave a trifle, and who promised to pray for her little son.
I went to the hotel for my lunch, and to send a carriage for Drs. Barlow and Walker, who arrived at 2 o'clock and went with me to the school, where Dr. Hosking was awaiting them.
They then took the temperature which was 102°, although the breathing had increased to 65, and the pulse was 120.
On seeing the doctors after their consultation they told me he was no better, but that he was no worse. I became agitated and tears stood in my eyes, when Dr. Hosking said, "Don't he down-hearted about it ; I have never yet lost a case of pneumonia in a child."
1 took Drs. Barlow and Walker back to the hotel to lunch, when Dr. Barlow spoke very hopefully, but Dr. Walker said little.
When leaving them at the station Dr. Walker, in his usual quiet and gentle way, said "If you want me again you can wire, and I will come at any moment." Dr. Barlow also said he was always ready to come if I wished ; but that it would be useless for him to come again, as nature had to do its work, and he could do nothing more than approve of the treatment and keep it on ; that the action of the liver was bad, and was giving my dear boy a harder recovery than he would otherwise have. He also said, "I wish poor little Dunning were as well as ' Tito,' as I fear he will die."
Neither of the doctors then told me aught of their suspecting anything wrong with the drainage or sanitary arrangements at Fonthill, although I was subsequently informed that Dr. Barlow held the opinion
that both boys' pneumonia was in all probability occasioned by sewer-gas emanation from defective drainage.
Dr. Barlow's letter to this effect is in my possession, and it appears that a similar outbreak of pneumonia occurred at Fonthill some years previously. If there was no sanitary short-coming, why should Messrs. Dent and Hellyer have been called in, subsequent to my dear son's death, to thoroughly repair and improve the existing system of drainage? I only hope my misfortune will induce other parents to exercise the greatest vigilance on this all-important subject.
As I feared that our dear "Tito" was worse, I went to the mistress of the Board-school, who lives only about 200 yards from Fonthill, and explained my unfortunate situation, and begged her to allow me a room in her house, however small.
A gentleman who was there said (on looking at my card)—"I know you by reputation; I also am from Cornwall, and I am sure this lady, to whom I am engaged, will give you her spare room for a few nights."
I thanked them very much, and ran back to my wife to tell her the good news, as she was always very nervous and anxious at my being so far away from dear "Tito," who would always ask for me when he noticed 1 was not there,
I went to the hotel and had my dinner, and brought away a few necessaries for the night, taking care to bring my slippers so as to walk quietly in dear "Tito's " room.
With my wife I remained in his room until eleven o'clock, and whilst he was in a slumber, I left for my school bed-room, where I slept fairly well. Before I went there I groped my way in the dark to Fonthill Chapel, where the boys go to service. The door was open, and I went to the altar steps and with supplicating tears begged the Almighty to grant health to my dear boy. I felt no response to my prayers, and went to my room with a sad and weary heart.
In the morning I arose at six, and making my toilet quickly, I went at once to "Tito," who was with my dear wife, and who had been resting for a little in the Matron's room and bed, which was now given up to her.
In looking at the chart kept by the nurse I found that the temperature had gone to 101°, but I took his pulse myself and found it to be still 120, although the respiration was easier, and had diminished to 58.
"Tito" told me, as he had told the doctors the day before, that he was better, but I could not think so. I asked him if I might go to the hotel to breakfast, and also buy a pair of tennis-shoes so as not to make a noise in his room.
He said, "Yes; they will do for Dundridge."
To my grief, I noticed that he was then picking at his fingers, but I said nothing to my dear wife, as I
could see her cup of grief was already full. I have been told, and have noticed in many associations with accidents and illness, that picking at the bedclothes or at the fingers is one of the premonitory signs of death.
I went at once to Dr. Harrison and told him my fears.
He said, "No; many do that and recover, and by you chart of temperature, etc., etc., your boy is going on well." He promised to pass the night at Fonthill if I thought it necessary.
On my return at 10 o'clock dear "Tito" took my hand as usual, and in his love and his pain he held it to his mouth and kissed my finger, as he usually did I found Emile in the passage and brought him to "Tito," when he kissed him. My dear Emile then took his last kiss from his elder and beloved brother. I was also concerned to see Emile looking so pale, but the dear boy assured me he was very well.
At about 11 "Tito" began to be delirious, this being the first time whilst I was with him. He spoke incoherently in French for a long time, after which the slept a little, and when he awoke he held out his hand as usual for mine As he took his milk and beef-tea so regularly I had still hopes of his recovery.
I lunched with my dear wife in the matron's room, although it was more form than eating, as we were both too full of grief to think of eating.
At 2 Dr. Hosking came and said he was doing well as his skin was a little moist, and that the crisis would come soon, when doubtless he would rapidly recover.
Each time I left the room he would ask for me, so I resolved not to sleep away that night, but to sit with him; and I thank God I did so, or my grief would he even greater than it is now.
Dr. Hosking said he would be pleased for Dr. Harrison to remain there that night, although he saw no reason for it, and as he was so busy and had a patient in labour, he would not come until the following morning.
My dear boy would, at intervals, speak of Dundridge and sport, and say, "Here, Tinker; here, Ginger," speaking in imagination to the Shetland ponies.
I was whispering to my wife, when "Tito" said, "What are you whispering for?"
We remained quiet a while, when we again whispered our hopes and fears, when he said : "Don't whisper ; No whispering, please," and on our being quiet he again fell into a dose.
He also said, "Emile, take me away from here ; why don't you take me away?"
Then recovering consciousness he said, "Papa, will you lift me over into that other bed ? "
I explained that I was afraid he would catch cold in his then delicate state.
He said, "All right; then take me in to-morrow."
At about 5 o'clock, he said, with great difficulty, as his breathing was so rapid, "Papa, do you think I shall get well of this bad sickness very soon?"
I replied, "Yes, my sweet sonny boy," when he spoke as if repeating what I said, "Sonny boy, sonny boy."
Whilst he was dosing at about six I went to the hotel to dinner.
During my temporary absence my wife sat with our dear boy, who was delirious. He did not recognize his mother, but noticed her bracelet on her wrist. He caught hold of the bracelet, and said, "Give this to me; it is not yours, it is my mater's; you have been stealing; take it off, as it is my mater's." My wife took off the bracelet when dear "Tito" took it and smiling placed it on his own wrist and fondled it, saying, "It is my mater's, my mater's."
At half-past seven I went for Dr. Harrison, who could not leave until eight, when I brought him with me to "Tito."
Dr. Harrison said he was doing well, as he was perspiring a little. At half-past nine "Tito" said, whilst I was standing over him, "Papa, what time is it?"
I looked at my watch and said, "Half-past nine, my dear sonny."
He said, "In the night?"
I said, "Yes; sonny boy."
At this he appeared quiet, and I left him with his mother, so as to accompany Dr. Harrison to one of the schoolmaster's rooms where he would sleep that night. I also had a man awaiting me in a room near me to call the doctor in the night if necessary.
On returning from the schoolmaster's room after leaving the doctor, who assured me there was no immediate danger, and that the crisis on the morrow
would doubtless bring joy to us all, I again passed the chapel, and went in the darkness and crawled in supplication again to the Altar steps, and begged the great Almighty to restore my son to us and to health.
With a sad heart I returned to "Tito's" room, and at 11 o'clock prevailed on my worn-out and weary wife to retire to the adjoining room and rest a little. At midnight my dear boy began to perspire profusely, and yet said he was cold. He occasionally talked French incoherently, but after taking his beef-tea again complained of cold. I took his temperature and found that it was only 100°, the lowest it had been since his illness.
He said, "Give me a cap, Papa, as I am cold."
1 could not find a cap; hut gave him my soft felt hat, which he quickly pulled over his head. I said, "There, dear boy, will that do?"
He replied, "Yes ; it is better than nothing."
He then said, "Put your face against mine, 'Bit' to warm me, as I am very cold." He also shivered as he spoke, and said, "Oh, let me get into my cabin out of the cold." As he was never in but one cabin of his own since he could remember, he must have thought of the cabin of the French steamer which took us from Gibraltar to Malaga.
I placed my face to his for a few minutes, when he apparently dosed, whilst the nurse took his pulse, and told me to get the doctor, as his pulse were "stringy" and running one into the other.
I immediately sent for the doctor, and at the same
time told my wife, who was reposing herself tired and weary, to come in, as 1 feared our beloved was worse. She came at once, and our dear boy again spoke incoherently, and was breathing more irregularly. Even now, when some kind office was performed by his nurse, he said, "Excuse, please excuse," thus shewing even to his last moments his ever greater consideration for others than for himself.
At a few minutes to one Dr. Harrison came and administered a little milk and brandy. I helped to hold up my dear boy, who grasped my wrist and tried to take the cup, and I remarked that he had great muscular strength for one so ill.
I whispered to Dr. Harrison, and asked him what he thought, when he replied, "I fear he is paissng away."
Thus, at last, what I all along feared was come to pass, and God was taking my eldest and beloved son to Himself.
My wife and I knelt at his bedside and in silent prayer begged God to restore him, and if not, to receive his gentle spirit.
As he still perspired, and became visibly weaker, the doctor at about 3 o'clock administered an enema of beef-tea and brandy.
Whilst doing this "Tito" said, "Ah, I think it will hurt me."
I said, "Gentle boy, it will make you better," and held his hand and kissed his face.
Soon after this he appeared to lose all consciousness,
and to breathe slower and slower. I placed his hands by his sides, his eyes were open and his teeth chewing in a gentle smile, and gently and gradually he breathed his celestial spirit out, and with a gentle sigh ceased to live at half-past three on Tuesday morning, May 21st, 1895, at the age of 10 years, 8 months, and 20 days.
After a few moments of silent prayer, we drew up the blinds, and heard the birds singing their joyous morning carol, and in a short time the sun shone bright and warm, and the wind had changed to the S. W. enabling us to open the window, which we had not been able to do before all the time we were there.
After kissing our dead beloved son we retired to the matron's room, and there my broken-hearted wife and I mingled our tears, and poured out the troubles of our weary hearts to God in the agony of our grief and overwhelming sorrow.
The nurses laid out our sweet "Tito," and crossed his hands, and when we went to him he had a placid smile on his sweet face, and looked even as beautiful in death as he did in life.
At 9 o'clock I sent for our dear Emile, and he was brought to the library to me. The dear boy looked anxious and pale. I tried to tell him gently that his sweet brother was now a bright Angel, but I gasped and sobbed so that my dear boy said : "Oh, ' Tito' is dead."
I took him to his mother, and we all wept our bitter tears together.
Dear Emile said, "Take me to him ; I want to see Tito.'"
We took him to him, when the dear boy kissed his sweet brother and wept his sorrowful tears over hint.
I went to the hotel, and sent telegrams of the sad event to my aged and anxious father, as well as to my brother and sister, and to many of our friends who took a kindly interest in our trouble, and in the life of our dear "Tito."
I got the undertaker to make a white shell-coffin lined with silk.
Mrs. Turner, who appeared now for the first time since I had been at the school, decked my sweet boy's room with flowers, and my wife lit candles round his bed, where he lay calm, sweet and tranquil, looking as if in a beautiful healthful sleep.
I went with Dr. Harrison to the Registrar's and registered his death, and by the time I had returned to Fonthill I found my good friend Walter Harris there, who had come from Tunbridge Wells to help us in our trouble.
The sight of my good friend Walter Harris made me feel grateful to God for his help, as he assisted me in making all the necessary arrangements for the removal of our dear son, which, personally, in my then confused and prostrated condition, I could not possibly do.
He also took our dear Emile to the town for lunch, and away from the scene of our sorrows.
At 3 o'clock we placed our dear son in his white coffin, where he looked the veritable angel he really was, and took him to the hearse, whilst we followed mournfully in carriages behind to East Grinstead railway station, where Mr. Harris had prepared all for our reception : a double saloon-carriage, one half for our sweet " Tito," whose white coffin was covered with white flowers sent by his schoolfellows and Mrs. Turner, as well as by one of his tutors, who came and shed a tear over him and kissed his sweet face when in the coffin.
Our dear Emile was by this time very feverish and ill, so we covered him with rugs and laid him on the sofa of the carriage. We had a sorrowful journey to
London, but arrived at five in the evening at Victoria Station, where our carriage was awaiting us. We noticed Mark, our coachman, on the box, in tears, when he saw the coffin containing the sweet boy whom he had played with and amused from early childhood being placed in the hearse.
The London undertakers were awaiting us, and we proceeded in sad procession to 1, Palace Gate, with the remains of our beloved son.
On our arrival there, our hearts were again grateful at seeing our old friend Mrs. Taylor who had come to us in our trouble, and had been comforting our dear Lilita, who was weeping for her brother.
Mrs. Taylor, my good friend, is always ever ready to aid the distressed, and to comfort the troubled by her kind heart and genial assistance.
We placed our clear "Tito" in the newly-decorated drawing-room, and all the wreaths which were coming continually from his many friends, around him.
The Wednesday was a day of weeping and sorrow, and many of dear "Tito's" friends came to see him in his last sleep ; all remarking how beautifully and serenely happy he looked.
In the afternoon of Wednesday my dear friend Maurice Hartog came to us from Paris, to be with us in our trouble, and to see the last of the dear boy he had helped me to nurse and take care of during our long sea-voyage in 1886, and whom he had played with and visited in London and Dundridge so many times since. My only brother also came to me that
evening and remained with us for many days. My friend and agent, Nicholls, also came up from Totnes, and with the undertaker arranged all the necessary details for our dear boy's funeral at Harberton on the following Saturday. Whilst even the remains of our dear "Tito" were with us, we did not fully realize that we had lost him, and the many hundreds of letters and telegrams of condolence brought some slight relief to our sorrow.
The photographer came and took a view of the drawing-room where our dear boy lay, surrounded by his loads of wreaths of beautiful flowers, sent by hundreds, one especially from his old schoolfellows at Kensington Grammar School, as well as a beautiful crown from his little fellow-sufferer Dunning, whom God blessed with recovery.
The Thursday passed rapidly with the few necessary preparations we had to make.
We took the little gold chain, cross, and charm from "Tito's" neck, where it had been placed, when he was two years old, by his great-aunt Forestier, and I placed it and fastened it on my dear wife's neck, who will henceforth wear it until taken from her in death. We cut some of our sweet boy's beautiful hair, and all took a last long look and a farewell of him in this world, as he was then placed in his oak and silver-bound coffin, and the lid screwed down.
Emile now had become very ill, Dr. Walker found his temperature to be 104°, and thought he might he sickening for some serious illness. I, to pacify him, lay
down by his side, and weary with grief, I fell asleep, when I was awoke by Emile, who said, "Papa, papa, I think I am going to die."
I pacified my dear boy, and by the aid of Dr. Walker's medicine somewhat improved his condition.
Mrs. Taylor, with her usual self-abnegation, offered to remain in London if he were too unwell to go to the funeral, and my friend Hartog also promised to do this were it necessary.
My brother slept by his side that night, and passed a very sorrowful and anxious night with him.
On Friday, in all our trouble, we had to leave with our precious burden for Dundridge. Then I was sustained by the cheering words of Mrs. Petrie, as well as of my dear brother who bade me remember Him who said, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest," and who also said, "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow."
We left Palace Gate in mournful procession. The hearse with our dear boy, its sides and roof literally loaded with wreaths.
Then my wife, Lilita, Emile and I ; then Mrs. Taylor, my brother, and Mr. Hartog; then Miss Gegg, the Baby, and his nurse, and finally several of our servants.
We went to Paddington station to take the 11.45 train, where my friend Hart, the Divisional Superintendent of the line was awaiting us with a double saloon-carriage, one half of which was for the remains of our dear "Tito,"
Many of our friends were awaiting us there, amongst whom I noticed the two Campbells and Depledge, all looking sad and depressed.
Before we arrived at Swindon Emile, became again worse, and I was so alarmed that I wired Dr. Gibson of Totnes to be at Dundridge awaiting our arrival, so as to attend to him.
Tito 's little cousin, Freddy Pendavis, had come on to Dundridge the night before. At Bristol we were joined by my sister Emma, with her husband Matthew Tyack, and their little girl. Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Hartog kept us from being more depressed than we should have been without their kindly ministrations, and by 5.30 we arrived at Totnes, where my friend Nicholls awaited us with hearse, bearers, my carriage, my new 'bus (which dear "Tito" anticipated enjoying in his holidays with so much pleasure), and several mourning carriages.
By half-past six we arrived at Dundridge, the beloved Dundridge of our dear "Tito," where he told his mother he wished to be carried by four men on a stretcher, and which was the scene of his innocent pleasures and his playful joys.
We took him through the house, and over the steps to my wife's chapel. He remained that night before the altar, where many a time he had worshipped in the bright angelic baptismal innocence in which he lived and died.
The Friday night passed, and on the Saturday morning at nine o'clock my wife had a High Mass sung
by Father Benedict, Father Hamilton, Father Denys, Father Boniface, and four other priests from Buckfast Abbey, attended by sixteen of the Brothers. This service was most impressive and elaborate, and conducted with all the pomp and ceremony of the Roman Church.
At eleven the funeral procession left Dundridge for Harberton Church, John, from the Seymour, driving the hearse, and thus giving my boy his last drive. John had driven him many times in his short happy life to Dartmoor and other places, and it was fit that he should be the last to drive our dear boy.
Twelve of my tenants followed as bearers, and I followed with my brother. Hartog followed with my brother-in-law Tyack, as Emile was ill and could not leave his bed. Freddy Pendavis followed with "Tito's" play-fellow, Frank Nicholls, then came my old friend and neighbour Watson, with my friend Nicholls, and then many of my friends, and my coachman, gardener, groom and workmen, with neighbours and tenants from Totnes and the neighbourhood.
Considering that it was Saturday, market-day at Totnes, the number of professional men, business men, and clergymen from the neighbourhood was far more than I expected to see, and was in some measure a relief to my sorrow.
We were met at the Church by my Vicar and friend, the Rev. R. Bartholomew, and my friend the Vicar of Totnes, the Rev. Mr. Elliot, who most impressively read the service. The choir sang "Brief
life is here our portion," and most eyes were wet with tears in our Parish Church, which was almost full of people, nearly all of whom knew and loved "Tito."
After the Church service he was taken by my tenants to the brick grave made for him by Mr. Tollit, the architect, and my good friend Philip Browne, who so many tunes had mended dear "Tito's" toys and little sailing ships, and now helped to take the young Squire of Dundridge from the tenants and lowered him into his grave.
This was on Saturday, May 25th, and five months later, as I terminate this brief record of my beloved eldest son's life, my heart is as full of sorrow as it was then, although I constantly strive to find some consolation in recollecting the spotless innocence of his brief but joyous existence; in thinking of the worldly troubles and vexations he has been spared, and in trying to realize, however imperfectly, the hope expressed in Cardinal Newman's matchless lines:
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Should lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on
I loved the garish day, and spite or fears
Pride ruled my will, remember not past years.