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which nothing could have changed.
All her movements were vigorous, active, and usually graceful. When going round the Sand-walk with me, although I walked fast, yet she often used to go before, pirouetting in the most elegant way, her dear face bright all the time with the sweetest smiles. Occasionally she had a pretty coquettish manner towards me, the memory of which is charming. She often used exaggerated language, and when I quizzed her by exaggerating what she had said, how clearly can I now see the little toss of the head, and exclamation of 'Oh, papa what a shame of you!' In the last short illness her conduct in simple truth was angelic. She never once complained; never became fretful; was ever considerate of others, and was thankful in the most gentle, pathetic manner for everything done for her. When so exhausted that she could hardly speak, she praised everything that was given her, and said some tea 'was beautifully good.' When I gave her some water she said, 'I quite thank you;' and these, I believe, were the last precious words ever addressed by her dear lips to me.
"We have lost the joy of the household, and the solace of our old age. She must have known how we loved her. Oh, that she could now know how deeply, how tenderly, we do still and shall ever love her dear joyous face! Blessings on her!
“ April 30, 1851."
We his children all took especial pleasure in the games he played at with us, but I do not think he romped much with us; I suppose his health prevented any rough play. He used sometimes to tell us stories, which were considered especially delightful, partly on account of their rarity.
The way he brought us up is shown by a little story about my brother Leonard, which my father was fond of telling. He came into the drawing-room and found Leonard dancing about on the sofa, which was forbidden, for the sake of the springs, and said, "Oh, Lenny, Lenny, that's against all rules," and received for answer, “ Then I think you'd better go out of the room." I do not believe he ever spoke an angry word to any of his children in his life ; but I am certain that it never entered our heads to disobey him. I well remember one occasion when my father reproved me for a piece of carelessness; and I can still recall the feeling of depression which came over me, and the care which he took to disperse it by speaking to me soon afterwards with especial kindness. He kept up his delightful, affectionate manner towards us all his life. I sometimes wonder that he could do so, with such an undemonstrative race as we are ; but I hope he knew how much we delighted in his loving words and manner. How often, when a man, I have wished when my father was behind my chair, that he would pass his hand over my hair, as he used to do when I was a boy. He allowed his grown-up children to laugh with and at him, and was, generally speaking, on terms of perfect equality with us.
He was always full of interest about each one's plans or successes. We used to laugh at him, and say he would not believe in his sons, because, for instance, he would be a little doubtful about their taking some bit of work for which he did not feel sure that they had knowledge enough. On the other hand, he was only too much inclined to take a favourable view of our work. When I thought he had set too high a value on anything that I had done, he used to be indignant and inclined to explode in mock anger. His doubts were part of his humility concerning what was in any way connected with himself; his too favourable view of our work was due to his sympathetic nature, which made him lenient to every one.
He kept up towards his children his delightful manner of expressing his thanks; and I never wrote a letter, or read a page aloud to him, without receiving a few kind words of recognition. His love and goodness towards his little grandson Bernard were great ; and he often spoke of the pleasure it was to him to see his little face opposite to him" at lunch
He and Bernard used to compare their tastes; e. g., in liking brown sugar better than white, &c.; the result being, “We always agree, don't we?"
WITH HIS CHILDREN.
My sister writes :-
“My first remembrances of my father are of the delights of his playing with us. He was passionately attached to his own children, although he was not an indiscriminate child. lover. To all of us he was the most delightful play-fellow, and the most perfect sympathiser. Indeed it is impossible adequately to describe how delightful a relation his was to his family, whether as children or in their later life.
"It is a proof of the terms on which we were, and also of how much he was valued as a play-fellow, that one of his sons when about four years old tried to bribe him with sixpence to come and play in working hours. We all knew the sacredness of working-time, but that any one should resist sixpence seemed an impossibility. “He must have been the most patient and delightful of
I remember the haven of peace and comfort it seemed to me when I was unwell, to be tucked up on the study sofa, idly considering the old geological map hung on the wall. This must have been in his working hours, for I always picture him sitting in the horsehair arm-chair by the corner of the fire.
"Another mark of his unbounded patience was the way in which we were suffered to make raids into the study when we had an absolute need of sticking-plaster, string, pins, scissors, stamps, foot-rule, or hammer. These and other such necessaries were always to be found in the study, and it was the only place where this was a certainty. We used to feel it wrong to go in during work-time; still, when the necessity was great we did so. I remember his patient look when he said once, ‘Don't you think you could not come in again, I have been interrupted very often.' We used to dread going in for sticking-plaster, because he disliked to see that we had cut ourselves, both for our sakes and on account of his acute sensitiveness to the sight of blood. I well remember lurking about the passage till he was safe away, and then stealing in for the plaster.
“ Life seems to me, as I look back upon it, to have been very regular in those early days, and except relations (and a few intimate friends), I do not think any one came to the house. After lessons, we were always free to go where we would, and that was chiefly in the drawing-room and about the garden, so that we were very much with both my father and mother. We used to think it most delightful when he told us any stories about the Beagle, or about early Shrewsbury days—little bits about school-life and his boyish tastes. Sometimes too he read aloud to his children such books as Scott's novels, and I remember a few little lectures on the steam-engine.
“I was more or less ill during the five years between my thirteenth and eighteenth years, and for a long time (years it seems to me) he used to play a couple of games of backgammon with me every afternoon. He played them with the greatest spirit, and I remember we used at one time to keep account of the games, and as this record came out in favour of him, we kept a list of the doublets thrown by each, as I was convinced that he threw better than myself.
"His patience and sympathy were boundless during this weary illness, and sometimes when most miserable I felt his sympathy to be almost too keen. When at my worst, we went to my aunt's house at Hartfield, in Sussex, and as soon as we had made the move safely he went on to Moor Park for a fortnight's water-cure. I can recall now how on his return I could hardly bear to have him in the room, the expression of tender sympathy and emotion in his face was too agitating, coming fresh upon me after his little absence.
He cared for all our pursuits and interests, and lived our lives with us in a way that very few fathers do. But I am certain that none of us felt that this intimacy interfered the least with our respect or obedience. Whatever he said was absolute truth and law to us. He always put his whole mind into answering any of our questions. One trilling instance kes me feel how he cared for what we cared for. He had Decial taste for cats, though he admired the pretty ways
of a kitten. But yet he knew and remembered the individualities of my many cats, and would talk about the habits and characters of the more remarkable ones years after they had died.
Another characteristic of his treatment of his children was his respect for their liberty, and for their personality. Even as quite a girl, I remember rejoicing in this sense of freedom. Our father and mother would not even wish to know what we were doing or thinking unless we wished to tell. He always made us feel that we were each of us creatures whose opinions and thoughts were valuable to him, so that whatever there was best in us came out in the sunshine of his presence.
"I do not think his exaggerated sense of our good qualities, intellectual or moral, made us conceited, as might perhaps have been expected, but rather more humble and grateful to him. The reason being no doubt that the influence of his character, of his sincerity and greatness of nature, had a much deeper and more lasting effect than any small exaltation which his praises or admiration may have caused to our
As head of a household he was much loved and respected; he always spoke to servants with politeness, using the expression, “would you be so good," in asking for anything. He was hardly ever angry with his servants; it shows how seldom this occurred, that when, as a small boy, I overheard a servant being scolded, and my father speaking angrily, it impressed me as an appalling circumstance, and I remember running up stairs out of a general sense of awe. He did not trouble himself about the management of the garden, cows, &c. He considered the horses so little his concern, that he used to ask doubtfully whether he might have a horse and cart to send to Keston for Drosera, or to the Westerham nurseries for plants, or the like.
As a host my father had a peculiar charm : the presence of visitors excited him, and made him appear to his best