January 22

As pleasant a morning as I ever saw. Lieut. D. G. Hill started for Vermont this forenoon; have made out the final statements of Corporals C. W. Beal, C. B. Lee and Private A. S. Parkhurst, but Lee is dangerously ill in the hospital and not able to receive his discharge papers. Private J. W. Sawyer, a recruit in B Company has been in hospital but is gaining fast; received a letter from home this evening. Lieut. Ezra Stetson has not come yet; fear he will find trouble when he does come.

Friday, January 22nd.—We didn't get in to B. till midnight, too late to get mails, and left early this morning. At Calais it was discovered that the kitchen had been left behind, in shunting a store waggon, so we have been hung up all day waiting for it at St Omer. Went for a walk. It is a most interesting place to walk about in, swarming with every kind of war material, and the grey towers of the two Cathedrals looked lovely in a blue sky. Such a dazzling day: we were able to get on with painting the train, which is breaking out into the most marvellous labelling, the orderlies competing with each other. But when at 6 p.m. it seemed the day would never end, No.— A.T. steamed up with our kitchen tacked on, and in the kitchen was the mail-bag—joy of joys!

We have just got to Bailleul, 10.30 p.m.: a few guns banging. We are wondering if we shall clear the Cl. hospitals to-night or wait till morning: depends if they are expecting convoys in to-night and are full.

11 p.m.—P. and I, fully rigged for night duty, have just been gloomily exploring the perfectly silent and empty station and street, wondering when the motor ambulances would begin to roll up, when B—— hailed us from the train with "8 o'clock to-morrow morning, you two sillies, and the Major's in bed!" so now we can turn in, and load up happily by daylight, and it's my turn for the lying down, thank goodness, or rather the Liers, as they are called.

January 22, 1864

Friday. Was up early, for at night, or before, we were to reach New York. I saw that Henry was ready to grab his little bundle, and then kept an eye out ahead. The first I saw was Sandy Hook, and soon we were in sight of land and numberless other vessels. At 2 p. m. the Creole tied up at pier 13, North River, and not long after, Henry and I were in an express wagon bound for the 26th Street depot. I had to call at 197 Mulberry street to deliver a message for John Mathers, and his people urged me to stay all night and tell them about John and the war. From there we went to Brook Brothers to do an errand for Colonel Bostwick and then on for the station. A man jumped on the wagon and wanted to hire Henry for a cook in a restaurant, but Henry had all the job he wanted, and refused. He offered him $25 a month and board, but Henry said no. At 26th Street we found the train would soon start and I hustled for tickets. I had given Henry a dollar, telling him to get something to eat at a place opposite the station and looked all around for him after I had my ticket and trunk check. I went to the restaurant and hunted all about until the cry "All aboard" came, and then giving his ticket to a policeman, to send him along on the next train, got on board, and at 8.20 p. m. landed at Millerton. No one knew of my coming, and the people gazed at me as if I had risen from the dead. I was still five miles from home, and as the roads were it might as well have been fifty. There was no one in the place from our way, and as I had to be there when the train came next day to look for Henry, there was no other way but to stay all night. This I did, at Sweet's Hotel.

January Twenty-Second

Wherein, then, lay his strength, and what was the secret of his influence over all this land? I answer in one word—character. And what is meant by character? Courage? Yes; courage of his opinions, and physical courage as well; for he had a Briton's faith in pluck. Pride of race? In a limited sense, yes. Honesty? The question is almost an insult. Love of truth? Yes, undying love of it.

George W. Bagby
(“The Old Virginia Gentleman ”)

 

 

La Madeleine Jan. 22, 1885

Of course I know very well that we shall not make our Bishop of London; and ever since I wrote to you I have been seeking points of consolation, and magnifying to myself my own sources of misgiving. Yesterday I chanced to see, at Mentone, the best of the Anglican clergy that I have ever known, a Mr. Sidebotham. He told me of a luncheon at Bishop Hamilton's, where he sat, a young clergyman, between Liddon and Tait. Liddon, after a few words, shut up like an oyster; and Tait took a good deal of pains to please his neighbour and to draw him out. From which experience, my friend, himself a truly Catholic Anglican, thinks that Liddon, whom he deems the greatest preacher living, would not make a good Bishop of London. This testimony, from a personal admirer and theological adherent, was rather welcome to me. When I asked him whether there was any dark horse, any candidate not obvious to outsiders, he said "No"; but seemed to think that Bedford [249 ] would be the sort of strong-backed prelate you mean. He fully expected Temple's appointment. Thank you so much for speaking of Morier. You know that for all people not private friends of his own —— is disappointing. He is a bad listener, easily bored, and distrustful of energetic men who make work for themselves and for the Foreign Office. Morier, in particular, has force without tact, and stands ill with a chief who has tact without force. He feels that he is unsupported and not much appreciated. A few friendly words from above would set him up wonderfully.

Although Chamberlain is not the only source of weakness in the Government, he will be the cause of dissolution if your threat is executed at Easter! I really must come over and make myself very disagreeable if that goes on. It is time to play the last card in one's hand, for one year more of office and power, for the sake of the indefinite future. But perhaps the Vyner Cottage[250 ] may give me the desired opportunity.

For this is a very central part of Europe. I have had Dilke and Ripon; I saw Salisbury yesterday; and Scherer dines here on Saturday.

Cross is coming with his book[251 ] next week.


[249 ] Walsham How, then Suffragan Bishop of Bedford.

[250 ] At Cannes.

[251 ] "The Life of George Eliot."

January 22

January 22, 1875. (Hyères ).--The French mind, according to Gioberti, apprehends only the outward form of truth, and exaggerates it by isolating it, so that it acts as a solvent upon the realities with which it works. It takes the shadow for the substance, the word for the thing, appearance for reality, and abstract formula for truth. It lives in a world of intellectual assignats. If you talk to a Frenchman of art, of language, of religion, of the state, of duty, of the family, you feel in his way of speaking that his thought remains outside the subject, that he never penetrates into its substance, its inmost core. He is not striving to understand it in its essence, but only to say something plausible about it. On his lips the noblest words become thin and empty; for example--mind, idea, religion. The French mind is superficial and yet not comprehensive; it has an extraordinarily fine edge, and yet no penetrating power. Its desire is to enjoy its own resources by the help of things, but it has none of the respect, the disinterestedness, the patience, and the self-forgetfulness, which, are indispensable if we wish to see things as they are. Far from being the philosophic mind, it is a mere counterfeit of it, for it does not enable a man to solve any problem whatever, and remains incapable of understanding all that is living, complex, and concrete. Abstraction is its original sin, presumption its incurable defect, and plausibility its fatal limit.

The French language has no power of expressing truths of birth and germination; it paints effects, results, the caput mortuum, but not the cause, the motive power, the native force the development of any phenomenon whatever. It is analytic and descriptive, but it explains nothing, for it avoids all beginnings and processes of formation. With it crystallization is not the mysterious act itself by which a substance passes from the fluid state to the solid state. It is the product of that act.

The thirst for truth is not a French passion. In everything appearance is preferred to reality, the outside to the inside, the fashion to the material, that which shines to that which profits, opinion to conscience. That is to say, the Frenchman's center of gravity is always outside him--he is always thinking of others, playing to the gallery. To him individuals are so many zeros; the unit which turns them into a number must be added from outside; it may be royalty, the writer of the day, the favorite newspaper, or any other temporary master of fashion. All this is probably the result of an exaggerated sociability, which weakens the soul's forces of resistance, destroys its capacity for investigation and personal conviction, and kills in it the worship of the ideal.