M. R. D. Foot and H. C. G. Matthew (eds), The Gladstone Diaries, Vol. 4: 1848–1854
Sat. December One 1849.
Wrote to H. Tayleur—S.R. Glynne—Parkinson4—J.E. Denison—J.G. Hubbard. Latin lesson to Willy. Worked on SRG's matters. Also on trade information from London. At 3 went to Farmers' Club dinner & spoke.5 They received it kindly—I had to present Macinroy's Plate: & then went on their general prospects. Left at . Whist with Sir J.G.—Read Abp Parker—Guerrazzi.
2. Advent Sunday.
Chapel at 11 A.M. (Holy Communn.) & PM. Sermon aloud to Sir J.G.—C.G. laid up from yesterday's mistakes—Wrote to Lyttelton—J. Griffiths—Mr Irvine. Read Parker—Bagshawe's Argt.6—Danger to Ch. E. (1690)7—Newman's S.8
pg 1703. M.
Wrote to T. G—J. Calvert—Godley—Hampton—Coutts—Lonsdale—Fagan—Northcote—Dowbiggin—Phillimore1—Guthrie—Macinroy. Also wrote four letters for Sir J.G. Read La Battaglia di Benevento (finished)—Hallam & Russell in illustrn.2—Parker—Buxton's Memoirs—Went to the ploughing match—Saw Fergusson on Falconer's case3—Whist with Sir J.G.
Wrote to H. Maitland—Rn. G—G. & Co—Panizzi. Latin lesson to Willy—Working for my Father—Read Parker—Buxton's Mem.—Mauri &c. Opere Burksche4—At PM we went to Kinnaird to dine & sleep—We found Sir J. & Lady C.K.5 most kind.
Read Buxton—Parker—Walk with C.G—Off at 11 to Fasque. My Father better: but a Free Trade Lecture rather excited him in evg. Whist in evg—Worked on Ps[alm]s Index.
Wrote to Rn. G—J.N.G—H. Maitland—Lockhart—E. Manning—Parkinson6—Adderley—W. Forbes. Latin lesson to Willy. Read Buxton—Parker—Worked for my Father. Whist in evg. Arranging papers.
Chapel 11 AM. (Mr Teed) Wrote to Paterson7—Walker—Geo. Talbot jun—F. Temple.8 Read Parker—Buxton's Mem.—Ariosto (recommenced—& began an 'Argument' of the Poem).9 Confined by Rain. Music with the children. Worked for my Father on Schedules of his Appropriation.
Wrote to Hampton—Lonsdale—Northcote—Barker—Carter10—Maitland—Griffiths. Latin lesson to Willy. Read Parker—Buxton—Ariosto (making pg 171argument). Singing at F[ettercairn] House. Worked on Index to Psalms. Finished Schedules for my Father. Whist with Sir J.G: who is by no means right yet.
9. 2 S. Advent.
Chapel 11 & . Sermon aloud to Sir J.G. Conv. with Willy. Also with E. Wardell about his attending the Holy Communion. Worked on Psalm music. Wrote to Bp of Brechin—A.M. Paterson—T.G. Read Parker—Buxton's Memoirs (finished).
Wrote to Hampton—Bunsen—Coutts—Dowbiggin—Freshfield—R. Barker—Hubbard—Carnegie—Frewen. H.S. with W. & A. Also conv. with W. who said Papa we ought not to be certain that we are right in religion & those who differ from us wrong, ought we? Worked for Sir J.G. Whist & walk (hall) with him. Read Parker—Ariosto (with arg)—E.P. & D.RR.1 P.O. Correspondence.2 Worked on Index to Psalms.
Wrote to Paterson—Rn. G. Latin lesson to Willy. Worked & wrote for my Father most of the day.
He is now 85. His prospects of life might be & may be excellent: but from particular causes they are more precarious. May both life & death be peace to him in Christ.
Worked on Will Memoranda. Read Parker—Ariosto (making arg.) Chess with Mr Teed.
Chapel 11 A.M. Latin lesson to Willy. Wrote to Lincoln—Herbert—H. Maitland—Bp of Brechin—Read Parker—Ariosto—Spencer—Worked on Index to Pss—my Notes have stagnated from want of energy. Walk &c. with Sir J.G. & settling about Mrs Croall.3—Chess with Mr Teed.
Wrote to Godley—Mr Eyre—G. Glyn—Rev. H. Venn—H. Maitland. Latin lesson to Willy. Read Ariosto—Parker—Mr Eyre's pamphlet Letter4—Spencer—Worked on Psalm Index—Work with Sir JG—& walk.
pg 17214. Fr.
Chapel 11 A.M. Wrote to H. Maitland—Capt6. Barclay—JNG. With Guthrie about my Father: whose hours are to be changed. Whist with him—& walk. Read Parker—Ariosto—and Miss Martineau. Latin lesson to Willy.
Wrote to J. Griffiths. Latin lesson to Willy. Worked for my Father –2. In the evening walk—& whist. Dining at 4 commenced: but he was unsettled & annoyed by the change. Read Parker—Ariosto—Monro on Rents & Profits1—Ross's answer to Ld Kinnaird 2—Spencer.
16. 3S Adv.
Chapel 11 AM & 3 PM—Sermon aloud to Sir J.G. in evg—I had to precent the organ being disabled. Read Parker (finished)—Jackson's Sermon—M. Leopardi—Newman's Sermons—Divers tracts. My Father well after the change of hours but very uneasy.
Wrote (dft & fair copy) to Montr. Standard in reply to Barclay3—to Ed. Standard—R. Barker—& Rn. G. Latin lesson to Willy.
My Father attacked me about Free Trade in a morning conv. but I think was a little mollified by my representation that even for Protectionists Protection is not the question of this moment. Read Ariosto (with arg.)—Caird's,4 Ld Kinnaird's,5 Mr Whitmore's pamphlets.6 Whist & walk with Sir J.G.
Wrote to Scotts—Wm. Gladstone—Robt. Gladstone—G.L. Falconer—Rn. G—Latin lesson to Willy. Walk with him & a history lecture. He is such good company. Also with C. & 'Bicketer'.7 Jotted down some music. Read Ariosto—Spencer—Chalmers's Life.8 Whist walk &c. with Sir J.G.
pg 17319. Wed.
Chapel 11 AM. Wrote to G. Burnett (2)—G.C. Glyn—G. Talbot jun—F. Calvert (with corrected proof of Speech—Rev. F. Harris—Macinroy. Latin lesson to Willy. Drove C. to Lkirk to see the Goalens &c. Read Ariosto—Chalmers's Life—Hoskins Hist. of Agriculture1—My Father sat talking for 3 h. at night—somewhat confused—but it acted as exercise & he slept well.
Wrote to Hampton—Lockhart—Bunsen—W.W. Clark2—Joyce—James—H. Maitland. Latin lesson to Willy. Read Ariosto (much)—Chalmers. Whist with Sir J.G. Went to see the Falconers & arrangements for them.
Chapel 11 AM. Wrote to Ld J. Russell—& a letter for my Father to sign to Mr Arnott W.S.3—Practising with Ly H. F[orbes]—Latin lesson to Willy—Read Ariosto—Hoskins—Chalmers. Visited.
Wrote to Adderley—Sir W. Farquhar—S. Herbert—J. Walker—T.G. Latin lesson to Willy. Busy abt wine & Xmas arrangements. Read Ariosto—Chalmers—Hoskyns (finished)—Walk with CG—Whist with Sir JG.
23. S. Advent 4.
Chapel 11 & . Arranging Ps[alm]s—My Father was in an uneasy way & wd not let me read a Sermon to him: but got over it late in evg. Visited. Read Chalmers's Life—Chalmers on Necessity.4 Busy about the two delinquents who cut the ashtree.
24. M. Xmas Eve.
Wrote to J.N.G—Capt. Barclay—W.B. Collis—J.G. Lockhart—J. Arnott—and wrote (for Sir J.G. to sign) to Mr Tindal5—Duthie & Co. Latin lesson to Willy. Worked on papers for Sir J.G. & on Falconer's matter & that of the tree purloined. Whist. Read Ariosto—Leopardi's M[oschus]—Letters to Bunsen &c6—Spenser. This birthday never can be forgotten: though she [Anne] whom it recalls has had better birthdays since.
pg 174Tues. Xmas Day 49.
Chapel A.M and 3 P.M. 38 communicants of 48 congr. Edward [Wardell] was there to my great joy.1 I had indeed two griefs—my own sins, and my Father's absence from the Holy Table which he has been the means of spreading for others. Read Manning's Sermons—Chalmers's Life (finished Vol I)—and Ariosto. Wrote to Bp of Brechin. Visited. My Father cleared up in the evg.
26. St Stephen.
Chapel 11 AM. Wrote to Uncle Divie—Scotts—Hampton—J.P. Larkins. Latin lesson to Willy. Visited. Walk to C.s ride. Read Manning—Ariosto—Spenser. Whist with Sir J.G. Worked for him & tried to explain the case of John's allotment.
27. St John.
28. H. Innocents.
Chapel 11 AM. Latin lesson to Willy. Worked & wrote out new account of distribution for Sir J.G. He finally fixed on adding 10 F. & Clyde Shares to J.N.G. acc to my suggestion.4 Read Ariosto—Spenser—Elements of Geology. Whist with Sir JG. Singing with Willy.
Wrote to T.G. (with Memorandum)—G. Burnet (2)—R. Barker—Clowes. Latin lesson to Willy. Read Ariosto—Spenser (Shepherd's Cal.)
Whist with Sir J.G.—& conv. on his affairs & arrangements of them: with wh I hope he is now done—the responsibility of being near him & advising him on any question between the interests of different members of his family in his present stage of old age is great, & increasing.
And this day I am forty years old. Forty years long hath God been grieved with me—hath with much long suffering endured me! Alas I cannot say better of myself. The retrospect of my inward life is dark. Not such is my common mood: it ought probably to be darker than it is. The best sign I could name of myself is that I think the noted desire of my heart at every moment—whether excited or suppressed—is, 'Even so come Lord Jesus'. But every faithful Christian secures for himself the answer to this prayer by opening the door of his own heart pg 175whither the Lord is ever ready to come. This I cannot testify. In some things I may seem to improve a little: but the flesh and the devil if not the world still have fearful hold upon me. Again my soul seems to be still set on doing at some time special things for God: but I utterly fail in preparing myself for them by the things not special, the duties which lie near my hand. How every day teaches me of the manner in which Satan profits by repulses: forthwith making his silent entry at some point left without guard. O that I may profit by them too! in at length sincerely casting myself upon Christ and holding back none of my heart from Him, for insincerity and holding back are I fear yet my bane. But it is not my outward so much as my inward life that grieves me.
There are family petitions with which I ought to be importunate: but only one personal that I venture to indicate in conditional prayer: it is for the lightening of the load of pecuniary cares & anxieties upon me.
In my public life my heart does not condemn me of failure in integrity of purpose: as a son I hope I may have a little improved: as husband & father I am very unworthy of my office—my heart is not large with love to all Christian men, does not rightly see Christ in them: but the worst is that it is still entangled by selfwoven sophistries in the meshes of impurity ever shifting its forms to evade detection.
'Lead me O Lord in thy righteousness because of mine enemies: make thy way plain before my face '1—this seems appointed to be my continual prayer. Yet not only before my face but within my conscience. If I could get back or rather get the spirit of a child, the way would be plain. It may be obtained: whether it will I know not[;] in the meantime seeing the want of it let me at least be humble, & from day to day more & more humble.
These decade birthdays are greater even than the annual ones. How blessed would it be if this should be the point from whence is to spring a lowlier & better life.
30. S. after Xmas.
Chapel 11 A.M. and P.M. Tried in vain to get my Father to let me read [him a sermon]. Wrote to Manning2—Bp of Brechin—Williams & Co (Chester)—M. Wilson. Read Manning—Leopardi (M[oschus])3—Life of a Daughter at home.4
Wrote to Miss Brown—Guthrie5—J.R. Hope—H. Maitland—J.E. Fitzgerald. Latin lesson to Willy. Read Ariosto—Spenser. Began to write on Ariosto; as well as the Argument & Notes which I am writing. Whist with Sir J.G.