Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday, April 19, 1920

An early walk to Dicken’s old Curiosity Shop and Bleak House, then a visit to the Houses of Parliament. Saw the House of Lords in session, each wearing a powdered wig. We were shown through by an M.P. and in the library were given souvenirs in the form of writing cards with the crown, coat of arms etc. stamped upon. There is wonderful statuary and paintings. Went down into the crypt, which Cromwell once used as a stable. Saw shattered glass from a German bomb and many things.

Even street cars - or trams I should say - in London get “full.” When the prescribed number get on no more can enter. More than once it was a case of “one being taken, and the others left,” with members of our party. The English seem to have no curiosity. Are solemn and reserved and have an intense calm.

In the afternoon I addressed a Mother’s Meeting at Camden Road, Baptist Church. Had splendid audience. Near by stood the great gray walls of Holloway prison, where we were told as many as 300 women were imprisoned at one time for drunkenness.

In the evening we attended the reception given us by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at the Mansion House. Probably 500 men and women, chiefly the latter, were in attendance. Gorgeous flunkies with powdered hair, gold embroidered coats, knee breeches, white silk stockings and buckled shoes, ushered us out of the wet into a series of magnificent reception rooms, with paneled walls and embossed ceilings of white and gold, chandeliers glittering with crystal pendants, walls hung with tapestries and paintings, richly upholstered chairs, some of which were canopied and set apart for the exclusive use of royalty and seemed a species of small throne. From a palm screened corner an orchestra discoursed sweet music. We felt like the queen of Sheba, as we drank tea or strolled about and chatted.

The master of all this magnificence, by name Sir Edward E. Cooper, and only elected for one year, was a stout plain looking man in evening dress, garnished with a heavy gold collar and pendant. Even more imposing were the Chaplain and Sheriff. The Lady Mayoress wore a dull blue gown, with high neck and full, long though not trained skirt. She seemed a rather domestic type of woman, very pleasant and wrote her autograph for many of us on our invitations. This was followed by another reception at Leon College. We listened to Lady Horsley (wife of Sir Victor Horsley) Lady Howard, Lady Batter-Shea and others. Responses from representatives of several nations and music by a quartet of blinded soldiers. Delicious refreshments were served.

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