At the tea table

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Lord C's bedroom

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July 7th, 1763

I should have thought, that I couldn't hide anything from Harriet no matter how hard I tried. She knew immediately that something had happened in the garden. When Lord C left me at the Sweet William bushes, I was completely overwhelmed by his words. All Harriet had predicted was true. But I couldn't make sense of it. I went back to the house and run into my friend. She took me into my sitting room upstairs. There I retold her his words and Harriet smiled knowingly. We went to our rooms to change and met again to go to the dining parlour (since the second day the Osbertons stayed at Leyland, we decided that the dining room on the first floor was too formal for our small party and we then had our meals in the small parlour downstairs, where Lord c and I usually had breakfast.) the gentlemen weren't yet there and I got more and more nervous to see the man again, who nearly confessed his love to me. Harriet had no advice for me though; the hint to trust on 'what my feelings told me was right' was not really constructive. Then they came, Clive smiling affectionately at Harriet and courtly kissing her hand. Lord C doing the same, but holding my hand a bit longer and tighter than usual; as if to corroborate his words from/of (?) this afternoon.
Mr O took my hand and Lord C took Harriet's and the gentlemen lead us to our seats at the table. It was a very quiet dinner, as only the men spoke and the conversation mostly circulated around crop prices, land holders etc etc. Harriet flashed glances at me once in a while, but how could I have interjected anything into our husbands dialogue!? - After dinner I took refuge at the harp, my friend had no other choice as to continue her needlework and the men were either listening or talking to each other...
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July 6th, 1763

All of a sudden, Lord C decided to make my life with him more uneasy than before. I was in the garden with Harriet, for once not having to think or talk of this messed up alliance. Harriet was asked to see Mr O in the library and went away, while I kept tending to the flowers we actually wanted to gather for the dinner table. She wasn't gone for a moment when he came around a corner clearing his throat. Though it was very low I startled. He immediately apologised, but still came forward to stand close to me. Too close for my taste anyway...

"My lady, don't think me inhospitably, when I tell you that I am a little overstrained with your friends visit. Of course I won't send them away. I even like them very much and look forward to see them again any time." < I tried to interject something, which instantaneous slipped my mind, when came even closer and said > "But please, do not misunderstand me! I am very fond of them. < pause > "As I am of you and your being here... with me. Watching the Osbertons and seeing my friend Littledale enter such a happy union, is making me furious with me not to be able to give you the same; as I respect and esteem you so very much. < pause > "I am at a loss what I did wrong and what I should do to make your life with me more agreeable to you. I am here to ask you for your help, because I am desperate for you."

His pleading eyes nearly tore my heart apart, but at the same moment, that I wanted to give him everything he needed to be happier, I couldn't bring myself to speak a syllable. He knelt down and kissed my hand, lingered very long in that position, not giving it free. - I don't know if it was sort of salvation for me, but before I even could find anything to respond, someone called for Lord C to come somewhere. While my face was deep red and hot, my hands were cold as ice and he squeezed it in his hand before he stood and walked away - not looking at me.
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July 5th, 1763

Harriet is the most wonderful person I can imagine. She was in love with Miss Bentham from the first minute. Though I told her in my letters about her and she pledged she already knew her like a sister, the got along like they've known each other for years. I know Harriet to be someone finding friends very easily, but surely it is also Miss Bentham who cannot but be liked by everyone who meets her.
Miss Bentham came to call upon us and was determined to see another lady today as well, but we imprisoned her with us, making the sudden rain a very profitable excuse to keep her with us.
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July 4th, 1763

Harriets first week at Leyland is already over and I began to fear her taking leave for Wortham. The wedding at Littledale was a very fine one and impressing to both of us. Harriet had a very small wedding and of mine I won't like to think of. We didn't talk about any of it in the carriage on our way home yesterday. But when we were alone in my room to change and rest a bit, she immediately came upon the topic. Of course the Littledales wanted to show off. But what got on my nerves was the all over satisfaction; one both sides. It reminded me on my parents oh so urgent wish to see me tied to Lord C and gone.
Harriet told me to open up to him, to accept the fact that I am married after all and that, no matter what I think about it, Lord C seems to feel something for me.
- I couldn't argue with that. It is a fact nonetheless. I am just not getting why. Is he sort of masochistic in getting hurt by his wife all the time!?
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July 3rd, 1763

Today was the wedding at Littledale and I was more than surprised to see, that Lord C would be the groom's man of honour. I didn't expect this, though I should have had... The wedding breakfast was as fine as anyone could expect it to be, for the Littledales are very very wealthy. I didn't press any information of how much, but I daresay, they have about 15,000 a year...
The bride was more than lovely, the young Littledale even seemed to have cried a little. Their respective parents were very moved, her mother really crying as my mother did at my wedding. (Though I cannot imagine why! I should have been the one sobbing.) Lord C, next to the bridegroom, looked very handsome and maybe a little moved himself. - He didn't look at me for the whole event and only took my hand, when we went to the meal and later to our carriages. We haven't talked a single word since we're home.
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July 2nd, 1763

Today we had a picnic in the park. Only the young people. It was a welcome distraction of Mrs. Littledales babbling about the difficulty in finding trustworthy servants, how perplexing and time consuming a task it would be and that she was worrying about her future daughter-in-laws capacity in having her servants' appearance, behaviour and language reflect the image of her family for which she needed years to establish. For my part, I was wondering that this woman, though kind and amiable she was towards us guests, was doing anything else than what the usual genteel lady was supposed to do: arranging flowers, doing fancy needlework (we had quite a show the first evening we stayed here), distilling flower essences and making special confections.

She seemed to have given up all housewifely duties to her housekeeper. I could only perceive that competent woman running about and directing every body to their task and not Mrs. L, who had never even rose a finger since we're here. Not that I'm the picture of a wife, but I have no son to marry off...
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July 1st, 1763

Today was a day full of activity. The Littledales buzzing like bees to get everything done for the wedding. The bride busy with being nervous, the groom even more of that. Harriet and I stole ourselves away into the park to talk and have a little peace. The other men went riding and some I think fishing... The bride's father priding himself to have his last daughter married so well and the groom's father wishing all the trouble to be over with.

I stayed in my room all morning, not wishing to see anyone, neither Harriet nor her Clive. I am sort of sick of all this love around me. It's not even my friend, but also Lord C's friends and the newly-weds to-be. All this happiness about the wedding. It makes me envious on one hand, because I didn't feel that way when I got married, and furious with myself on the other hand, because I am not the wife my husband deserves. I could see him eyeing his friends at last nights ball and how contented the young Littledale seemed to be.
Still the whole time he was very gracious and not a soul would think him unhappy. Nor me. As it is usually uncommon to show marital felicity, we are not supposed to radiate happiness.
For the young couple here it is a love match, their families very modern and not opposed to see them flirting and though Harriet and Clive don't show their mutual love for each other like the bride and groom do, it is plainly visible how they feel. I wonder if Lord Cs friends asked him about how he likes to be married. (Harriet told me, that one is not truly married after all, when there wasn't a wedding night... - So THIS is still to come.)
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A wonderful Christmas to all!

Happy Christmas to all you readers of this diary
and to all who stumbled upon it...!

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July 1st, 1763, morning part 3

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July 1st, 1763, morning part 2

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July 1st, 1763, morning part 1

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June 30th, 1763, night part 2

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June 30th, 1763, night part 1

Today we went to attend a ball at a more distant manor house. We drove 2 hours to get to Littledale, a picturesque setting right out of a book.The younger son, Lieutenant Flynn Littledale, a close friend of Lord C's, and just recently back from Quebec, marries his long-time fiancée, a Miss Brightwen. The Littledales are very wealthy people and now, that their son arrived back home (alive), they can afford to give him a generous living.
With the lucky man came also his friend Harbottle Shaughnessy; also an old friend of Lord C. I begin to wonder how many people that man knows and where from... - I very well know that he doesn't know them from Quebec, as he didn't come from the colonies after his brothers death - he was already in the country when it happened... Or he came back earlier than his friends, for the capitulation was already three years ago; only the peace treaty was signed this year in February... - I realize, I don't know the man I'm married to at all...

Well, we arrived here at Littledale and met the family and Lord C's friends. Mr O fascinated by their stories and Harriet and I were immediately shoved into the brides room... How I detest nuptials...

When the ball began, Lord C had nothing better to do, than asking for my hand in the first two dances. What else could I do than accept. Harriet danced of course with her Clive, but had filled her dancing booklet in no time and was not available for help. I also danced with Shaughnessy, who was very amiable; a distinctive trait among these friends I suppose. Mr. Littledale also asked for a dance and was very eager to have all informations about how his friend got such a wife... What!? I think I turned red as a strawberry and he just smiled, thinking me adorable and shy... Men!
The rest of the night was very pleasant, as the music was wonderful and the Littledales had hired a couple of professional dancers to entertain.

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June 30th, 1763, morning

-What I read last night, while I couldn't sleep.

Dr. Nathaniel Cotton: Visions in Verse for Entertainment of Young Minds (1751)
Real happiness can be found in the home.
Life's journey could best be met through marriage, which, rightly understood, gives to the tender and the good, a paradise below.
The family circle ist the source of comfort; the home and fireside the location and symbol of warmth.

-So what does that tell me about my domestic happiness?

Now I have to go, we're leaving for Littledale now and will stay there until Sunday - thank the Lord, Harriet will be with me.
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June 29th, 1763

Lord C and Mr. O all day in his study. What are they talking about? - Harriet in my closet this morning. We were talking about her honeymoon while I was dressing... Somehow I realize, that my marriage is totally different from hers. How I had wished for a love match! I escaped Frederick and got his brother. When I look back now I can't remember to have respired from one fiancé's death to another's proposal. It was all so fast and at the same time the days passed by in slow motion with my hands tied together...
I watched my best friend and her husband today at dinner and I could see in their eyes what they mean to each other. How I long to... but what for!? Harriets words still ring in my ears...
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June 28th, 1763

Our guests arose around 8am today. We had breakfast together at 9, although Lord C already had a light breakfast very early around 7 (Mrs. Lewis told me). He took Mr O out to show him the green house and the trout stream as well as to talk about his own home in Gloucestershire – I think they'll become friends, there's a natural amity between them, that excites Harriet in particular. I only see the opportunity in seeing more of my friend when our husbands are very close...
I took her to the library and then for a walk in the garden. Luncheon was a light repast of bread, cold meats, cider and chocolate. We went to dress at about three and joined again about 4 for dinner. Today we had boiled meats and vegetables in the first course and ragout and fish for the second. After tea and coffee, the men amused themselves with books and talked of their respective new volumes. I took my needlework and had Harriet watch me and talk to me about the fashions of Bath.
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June 27th, 1763

Today I confessed to Harriet all the drama about my marriage. And as I was telling her everything anyway, I also enclosed informations about last Friday's night. I couldn't write anything about it before. I was just so confused and also angry... frustrated... ashamed... It's just not working. I can see, that it probably, well, most certainly works with Harriet and Mr O. But it doesn't with HIM and me! I don't feel anything warm or comfortable when he comes near me; a slight tickling in my stomach, my heart beats, but... nothing that Harriet told me would happen within me, that happens within her. - I just can't feel him in my heart and let him come closer...

Harriet told me, that the richer and more well-born the family, the greater is their power to be exercised by parents to bring a certain match about and eldest sons are particularly exposed to parental pressure. Well, I know, that Frederick didn't want to marry me, as I didn't want to marry him. But while the most free are the younger sons, why did Lord C feel obliged to marry his brothers fianceè!? He cannot love me, can he!?
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June 26th, 1763

After church, our guests went back to the house with Lord C and I prepared myself for my Sunday school lesson. Today I played a geographical jigsaw with the girls.

My task in teaching them in handicrafts is seriously not my favourite, '...the intention of [a woman] being taught needlework, knitting and such like is not on account of the intrinsic value of all [she] can do with [her] hands, which is trifling, but to enable [her]... to fill up, in a tolerably agreeable way, some of the many solitary hours [she] must necessarily pass at home.
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June 25th, 1763

After the arrival of Harriet and her husband we had tea in the drawing room and when my dearest friend went to rest a while I joined her in her room. We talked about Bath and their journey to Leyland, which took them almost four days. When it was time for dinner I went to my own chamber, got dressed and presented myself in the drawing room. We had some tea again and Lord C joined us immediately engaging my friends husband in conversation and jokes – amicable as always and very sociable (curiously only in daylight...). We went upstairs, Lord C and Harriet and Mr O and myself – we two leading the way to the Dining Room. We had soup, fish and sweet pudding for the first course and roasted meats, fricassees and custards for the second. The dessert was completed with a fruit pie. Harriet and I left the table to prepare the coffee and tea table in the Drawing Room below. After the gentlemen joined us, we talked about their house and estate; Lord C very interested in Mr O's business and landed affairs. We had a light supper around 10pm and then went to bed; Harriet and Mr O clearly very tired after their long journey.
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June 24th, 1763

I know not how I could pass my days without my friendship towards Miss B. I love her like I should love my sisters. I can't remember when I last looked forward to seeing my sisters. (I rather prefer Violet to Patsy though; Patsy is always so pious and expostulating, like an old maid or annoying teacher...)
I'm looking forward to see Harriet and next week I'll introduce her to Miss B. They might become friends as well. Who couldn't fall for Miss B!?

Tomorrow my dearest Harriet will arrive, her husband towed along. I'm curious to see whether Lord C will like them. It all depends on that, so I will be able to see more of my friend in the future. In Town for instance, or travel into Gloucestershire or to Bath... They are to stay for two weeks after which they will proceed to meet her parents. I'm relieved to hear from Lord C that we won't have time to join them. - I can't imagine many worse things than visiting my family.

later that night...
I've read in the Bible, that 'if a married man dies, his brother must marry his sister-in-law.' - Does that count for only engaged couples as well? I mean, we've seen it didn't become Catherine of Aragon so well to have been the wife of her brother-in-law...

Whenever Lord C and I get along quite well and I'm not accidentally hurting his feelings, he supposedly sees a need in destroying this kind of harmony between us!
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June 23rd, 1763

Today I went to see Miss Bentham and the other ladies at the parsonage.
We talked a great deal of all things not concerning the orphans or the sunday school, then the discussion came upon the need of new books for the circulation library.
Miss Bentham and I sat on a small sofa near the window and we agreed on meeting together tomorrow at Mrs. Higgenbotham's to discuss the books for the girls... Dear Miss B is really an angel. She lives for those little creatures and their welfare. It was ridiculous to see that nothing came about that afternoon and that the ladies kept idle conversation than doing anything useful...
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June 22nd, 1763

Mrs. Lewis showed the house to some visitors from Hampshire. The gentleman seemed to be a man of fashion and rejoiced in the simplicity and modernity of our rooms in whites, creams and stone colours and the gilding. Lord C just recently had the saloons supplied with new hangings and rearranged the fine paintings in the drawing room and the hunting pictures in the dining room.
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June 21st, 1763

Jenna made new bouquets of sweet smelling herbs for the coffer chests to keep my gowns fresh.
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June 20th, 1763

Today I received a letter from Wortham, from my mother in particular, in which she announced exuberantly that Mrs P is with child again. An explanation for her temper before and after my wedding...
Timothy was inoculated against smallpox and rickets like Patsy's and Violet's children and also some servants were inoculated too. Father turned down an application by a manservant who wasn't inoculated. They are seriously worried about the first heir in their house.
Miss Bentham asked me if I were interested in a membership of the local circulation subscription library, which I approved and now I am to get new novels and essays and also to talk about them with her and some of the other ladies. Harriet will be happy not to be the only person any more who has to listen to my critics.
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Horrible Histories

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June 19th, 1763

Last night was a torture. The humid air wouldn't let anyone find sleep. I finally got up at about 5a.m., got dressed (as lightly as possible) and walked down to the lake. When I came back, I saw Lord C by the window. (I think he didn't like the idea of me walking the park at this hour - but the breeze at the water was refreshing...)

We went to church after I got dressed more properly. Miss Bentham was happy to see me and told me the girls are eager to learn and will be very attentive and obedient pupils to me.
The first lesson was a very chaotic one, for I had no idea how much they already were capable of. In the end I had to find out, that some of those girls were more accomplished in bringing textile pictures to fabric than I could ever wish for myself. We then decided to start a small luxurious project. They lead a very penurious life and will probably never be able to purchase something beautiful like the ladies of the village or me. So I will offer coloured threads and we will embroider pockets. Some little extravagance nobody will see and therefore scold them for. Some little secret.

I wrote my letters after dinner today and then retreated to my withdrawing chamber to read Clarissa by Samuel Richardson - probably the longest story I've ever encountered (or will). As I was done with Pamela and went on to other kinds of books, I found a copy of Clarissa and her personal tragedy in the drawing rooms library. Let's see how much effort I will cost me to finish it. The library is quite large and Lord C. likes to enlarge it every time he comes to Town. There are about three hundred volumes, poems and plays. All bound in quarter calf with marbled borders. But I see it's master very rarely taking out books, than I see him add some... Lord C. is reading his morning papers during breakfast, which are always already on the table when he enters. So I presume he is so besieged by his work and estate businesses to find time reading his acquirements.
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June 18th, 1763

It seems to me that time is passing even slower when waiting for a dear friend to arrive.
It is hot, too. The rain last night didn't cool the air in the slightest way. I'm in my room, with opened windows here and in the closet. So I sit between the doors and hope to catch fresh air. I'm not in the mood to write. I neglected the letters this morning as well.

Let's hope for a cooler night.
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June 17th, 1763

Tonight we went to the local assembly, to which we have been invited by Sir Atherfold. I had to promise we would attend. And so we went, although Lord C wasn't that excited to spend his friday night at the assembly rooms drinking tea. The dancing, too, is not very great there. So it was: Some were playing cards and drinking tea, others just walked around talking and flirting. As there wouldn't be a supper later, people came late because they had taken refreshments at home or at the inn down the lane. It was quite an informal event tonight, though there were some parties already outlining and keeping by themselves. Lord C. and I were guided to one of them by Sir Atherfold himself. We made up a group of 18 people. Lord C and I took a seat at the tea table with Mr. Barrett, his young wife, mother, sister and her husband. Others amused themselves closeby at one of the card tables, where Sir A. won again the game. His younger brother, sister, mother and her lady were sitting next to us at a different table watching the card group and the dancers in the next room, whom they could see very easily trough the huge open double door. It was a calm evening. The usual chatter. The usual music. Nothing really exciting. But better than staying home all day. I talked with Miss Bentham again and for most of the evening. She went home early, so did we. Lord C talked a great deal to young Barrett and his brother-in-law. I can't tell if he enjoyed his time, but he wasn't in a bad mood when we went home. - Unfortunately.
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June 16th, 1763

Today I found my other needlework accessories in my closet and I will continue working on that stomacher I started before the wedding. What will become of my current project I know not...
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Letter to Harriet

Leyland Manor, June 15th 1763

My darling Harriet, how delighted I was receiving your letter. It diverted me exceedingly. You must have great fun. Your sparkling eyes and your dimples when you smile your sweet smile must charm every gentleman in your party at Clarington and in Bath. I heard that all fashionable women are wearing pink. Yes, indeed my dear Harriet, the news were also spreading towards us. What is this about black trimmings in Bath?

Summer in the country is very tedious. I can´t recall any summer so hot and I miss the coast. I miss you very much, too. You have to write to me very often in the future, telling me all details of your guests and what you do all day for entertainment. I spend my days very dull. After breakfast I walk a bit in the garden, then writing my letters and later play the harp or read. The time between luncheon and dinner I usually keep to my room, which is cooler than those facing the garden.
But you will see for yourself, when you finally come and be MY guest. I'm craving for your presence and think about the hours we used to spend back home at Wortham.
I will send this letter right to Clarington, for I don't expect the post to reach you while you're still so far away in Bath. Enjoy your time and take care of yourself on the roads north.

ever affectionate

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Letter from Harriet

'Bath, June 13th, 1763

Dearest Emy,
your darling Harriet sends you her and her husband's most heartfelt love from Bath. We stay here until the 17th and visit some old acquaintance of Mr. O. After that we will just stop by at home for one or two days and then continue our journey to Leyland. I'm looking forward to see you again my dear. It has been a very long time. We have so much to talk about. I sincerely hope your Lord and Master will take Mr. O to long rides and off to go fishing. I am determined to have as much time as possible with you.

Bath is very fashionable this time of year. Something you would expect to see during the season in town. But here it's on Queen Square. We also strolled down to the Circus. The houses are very glamourous. It's all about lace, quillings and flounce. Some ladies are very venturous and spize their attire with a lot of black accessories and trimmings. The old 'King of Bath's' time is still tangible. Also the countryside around the spa town is very worth seeing. You'll see, my dear, I'm already persuading you to join me here sometime. Maybe next year? What do you think?

There are also balls, musical evenings, plays and we had dinners every night with friends over at their houses or here. Mr. O let me drive the carriage this afternoon and we had tea at Prior Park. - Our home is still under reconstruction. We found some more minor leaks in the roof and it will take some time to repair that. My dear husband ordered some new furniture at the local craftsman and new wallpapers for our private rooms upstairs from a tradesman here in Bath. Oh so much to talk about, that my letter got even longer than I intended. Mr. O is waiting for me to take it to the post...

I can't await the 25th and seeing you, my dearest friend, in your new home.

Until then,
I remain,
your affectionate

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June 10th, 1763

This morning I received very disturbing news from Wortham. In fact, I just got letters from my family. Mother wrote in her eagerness for news about our marriage and how I liked the neighbourhood. Patsy wrote, too, giving me detailed instructions how to become a loyal wife. Even Mrs. P picked herself up and wrote a note accompanying my mother's letter. They were all implying that I must be very happy and, by now, a true married woman.
How audacious! They constrained me into a marriage I didn't wanted, thought themselves to be very clever in arranging this coup and now they want all the details, which should be of no interest to them. Most of all Patsy was inquiring after 'that night'. Patsy! I was so taken aback when I read these letters, that Lord C, sitting across from me at the breakfast table, peered around his newspaper and seeing my blank white face... I know not how long I stared at the sheets, but somehow I managed to retreat to my chamber and there I sit now. I have not the slightest notion in, first, how to answer, second, what to think and third, what to do with my status as a 'not-true married woman'...
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June 9th, 1763

Last night was a success. Lord C told me so this morning. So did Mrs. Lewis, our housekeeper. I am quite satisfied myself. Not that I had time to enjoy the music, but once in a while I could talk to Miss Bentham and Miss Higgenbotham. Unless I wasn't required to fulfil my duties as hostess, I used those moments to retreat to my chamber, freshen up and rest a bit.

I have quite a headache today. Probably an aftermath of last night's exhausting joy and good cheer.
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June 8th, 1763

Three days we were planning and managing a little musical party at Leyland. It was the first larger gathering we had here since the marriage. Lord C. invited his closest friends of the neighbourhood and the most important families, which is not always the same thing. Our little assembly contained 27 people. The Great Parlour served as the stage for the musicians, the Music Room and our little Parlour, that we use to dine in, were opened as sitting and refreshing rooms. The Great Dining Room upstairs also was opened up for our guests and the people were strolling up and down. I was already exhausted before the evening even began. Lord C. was quite nervous, for he didn't know how I would deal with all the people and the pressure to play the perfect hostess. I was nervous myself. Neither Mother nor Mrs. P. ever liked to have many people at home. There were only a couple of guests and never a ball or the like. Although Leyland is a modern building, it is smaller a house than Wortham. Still, it seems grander now and then. It did especially tonight.

I think, in Miss Bentham I have found a dear friend. She supported me throughout the evening. Also Mrs. Higgenbotham and her daughter came and congratulated his Lordship for the wonderful evening they had.

He smiled at me very approvingly and I am afraid I want to see 'that' smile again. Something wholly depending upon my behaviour towards him. What am I to do!?
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June 5th, 1763

Miss Bentham, who called today at Leyland after church asked me for my assistance in helping the local sunday school. For I already help at the orphanage supported by charitable ladies of the neighbourhood, I thought it no bad idea to promise her my assisstance.
At dinner I talked to Lord C about it. First, he was almost surprised when I actually spoke to him, for we haven't talked since we were driving back from the ball and also not this morning... or anytime today. I was surprised at myself too, for I ususally am silent and count the minutes when he goes to his study for a half hour and I'm in the drawing room, ringing for tea and reading or already playing the harp in the next room... His steward requires this time in the evenings from time to time, especially when we dont have guests, which is a very seldom thing to occur anyway I believe.
So he allowed me assisting the charitable circle of the village and I'm going to take part at the meetings every fortnight at the parsonage.
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June 4th, 1763

Tonight we went to the Humberdross's little gathering. Lady Humberdross greeted us very warmly in the hall and we saw Sir H in deep conversation with Mr. Walker.
The night started with a meal, enlivened with music. After dinner the company retired to the drawing room, we passed an hour with tea, cards and more music - which enabled me not to listen to Lady H. After the gentlemen joined us the conversation turned to politics. Tired of too much to think about Lady H urged her husband to return to the dining room, which was now empty for the dancing part of the evening. The ball was made up with seven couples dancing, including Lord C. and myself. I haven't danced with him yet and it was quite an remarkable event.

We didn't talk, we just looked at each other and danced the dance. I was so struck by his smile and his touch. I couldn't but think what a handsome husband I have and how kind he always is towards me. We danced two dances for we are married after all. But it was already slightly scandalous. But in the country it was excused. So Mr. Walker told me when we were dancing. Lord C. had the 'pleasure' in dancing one with Lady H. I pitied him for the conversation she kept boring him with... After that I danced with Sir H and his Lordship with Miss Bentham which I liked. She is a fairy tale creature and so shy that it was her first and only dance tonight.

We had refreshments later and then went home.
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June 2nd, 1763

My needlework is waiting for me to continue. But I knew why I never liked that type of whiling away my time. The progress is not at least fast enough for me. But I'm determined to finish it. Some day.

It is me of all people to teach needlework to some of the orphanage girls every Tuesday. At least the music lessons are also a duty I got imposed on myself. The children divert me and little Betty is very gifted at the piano. She learns very fast. Mrs. Higgenbotham told me, that usually the most gifted or educated girls there get a post in one of the gentry's houses. So maybe Betty will one day become a lady's maid for an elderly woman hereabouts... At least a bit of a future for her...
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June 1st, 1763

By now I congratulate myself to have learnt all the names of our servants. Lord C. employs 36 servants at Leyland, 21 men and 15 women. His steward hired a new valet for him, because old Mr. Pankhurst retired and his Lordship gave him a pension and free accommodation on his estate. The steward, Mr. Wolstenholme is also very unsatisfied with the clerk-of-the-kitchen, who came half a year back to Leyland. I think his menus and meal times are quite acceptable, but I hear from Jenna, that he's not very kind to the lower servants and treats them very badly which already got him in trouble with our butler Mr. Elliott. Both, Mr. W and Mr. E are now resolved to have him replaced or dismissed off his post at all.
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May 31st, 1763

Today I sat over a new started needlework, a template I got from Mrs. Higgenbotham. I answered her kind call and met her daughter again. Miss Bentham wanted to call later that day and I made my excuses for I had an appointment with his Lordship.
My music lesson started at 2 and I continued to play the new piano forte until dinner was ready.

We are invited to a Ball at the Humberdross's on the 4th. Lord C. is an old friend of Sir H. He is not to my liking nor is his wife. Her character is much too close to Mrs. P's for my taste and I can't find anything pleasant about her. But I'm looking forward to see Miss B. again.
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May 29th, 1763

My dearest Harriet,

how are you? - I miss you very much. How do you do with your new neighbours? Is your husband already planning your summer trip? I can't wait to see you again! We have so much to talk about. How are the improvements going on? Are you satisfied with the architects work? Does the roof still leak?
By now I usually find my ways about the house. It is not that large to get lost in it. So far I'm quite well. Lord C. and I get along calmly and I'm very comfortable here, reading, playing the harp and the new piano. But still, I'm bored sometimes and miss our talks and our roaming the countryside. Especially Warton Meadow it is that I miss. What about you? But you of course have new surroundings to enjoy. Did you already go to the coast? Tell me all about it. It must be different in the south!

I'm sitting in my small parlour and enjoy the early summer sun. Later I'll go to see some new flowers in the garden and I might start again sketching. But I won't promise anything, my dear!
I befriended some neighbours and the ladies are very much to my liking. I'll see if I can help them with the Sunday school.

I have nothing much to write about and don't want to keep you from your work.
I send you a kiss and look forward to your coming to Leyland.

ever affectionate,

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May 28th, 1763

Back in my closet again. The whole day it seemed. But Jenna got so excited about looking through all my things, that we forgot about the time... And we decided that I have more dresses to like than to dislike... Which means I don't have to change so much or buy new things... Unfortunately I can't occupy my time solely in my closet...

I need something useful to do!
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May 27th, 1763

The Little Parlour is always so fresh and sunny in the morning and comfortably warm and glowing golden in the candlelight at night. I can understand why Lord C. likes to have his meals in there than in the formal dining room upstairs.

It seems, he wants to become more familiar with me and tries to persuade me in that way to open up to him. He tries so very hard; it is almost ridiculous to see the effort he invests in me liking him better. It seems so hopeless a case. I think I'm very stubborn and often provoke his temperament. He's passionate and wants me to be his true wife. But I can't see him as my husband!
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May 26th, 1763

One of the very practical matters about being newly married, and a very time-absorbing task it is as well, is looking through one's trousseau. Before the marriage had taken place I wasn't that interested in what was done to bring it about. But now, as a married woman - a quite bored married woman - I use my time in finding out what exactly is to be found in my wardrobe. Well, in the country one need not always be fashionably dressed, but I don't want to go about in out-dated clothes. I'm afraid my sister Patsy had her hands quite deep into the decisions of my wedded raiment. Let's see what I can find...

After I called for Jenna we started to categorize my wardrobe into those I really like, those I should wear for propriety's sake, those I don't really like but will wear when Patsy comes to visit and those which are seriously distasteful and will be changed into something... well, into some thing...
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May 25th, 1763

Today Mrs. Higgenbotham, her daughter and Ms. Bentham came to pay me the visit they had promised me last sunday after service. I had quite forgotten it, because my head was anywhere but there. But I was happy to have guests who would divert me from brooding. They seemed to be quite charming ladies and it will be nice to have them as neighbours and regular visitors. I am happy to have a new acquaintance. And the two girls, Ms. Higgenbotham and Ms. Bentham are my age, so I think we will become friends in no time. His Lordship seems to approve of them and my acquaintance with them is acceptable, he said.
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May 24th, 1763

Last night he came to my room again. I had heard him on the stairs, then the slightly creaking door. Still, when I felt his weight on the bed, I kept my back turned to him, pretending to be asleep. 'My Lady.' he said, touching my shoulder (bare it was, fool that I am not to cover myself properly!). I tried to look very tired, when he turned me towards him, stroking my chin. It was unbearable feeling his touch. So I opened my eyes, slowly, facing my husband´s tender look resting on my face. It´s true, it made my spine shiver and my fingers tremble and my heart ache. But I do not want him. Especially not so close to me. He must have seen this rejection written on my face, for he cupped my cheek with his left hand; very warm, stroking it with his thumb. I´m sure I stared at him. How cold it was I can´t recall, but he let go off me and left me for good that night; only mumbling 'Good night, my Lady.', before he closed the door. I shall thank him for that, I suppose.
When I came down for breakfast, the parlour was again empty and the table only prepared for me. His Lordship was out riding, he had left a couple of hours ago, I was told. And it was just half past eight when I came down.
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May 23rd, 1763

After having ordered me to dine with him, Lord C. preferred not to join me for our first shared dinner. I entered the Little Parlour opposite his study, but the table was only supplied with one set. HE wasn´t even at home.
I had some soup, a bit of mutton and wine and went upstairs to my room. - I don´t know why, but I felt neglected. Am I such a spoiled creature? To miss something only in the moment when it´s not at hand? That this should be my husband? Dear me!
Today we had our breakfast together. The room was very bright and friendly this morning. We have uncommon good weather for this time of year and the part of the country. I should be happy, I presume. As far as my family is concerned, they think me the most fortunate girl ever. The sunny morning was soon tainted by my mothers letter, then my sister Patsy´s and finally, because all good things come in threes, Violet!
'My darling child, how happy you must be. What a wonderful house you have now. I´m delighted to know you shall be so well cared for. Your father sends his regards and hopes you´re well. But of course you´re well. You made the best match of my beloved daughters and you will truly find felicity with your kind Lord.'

- 'Dear sister, I´m sure you´re well and happily settled by now and enjoy your new life as mistress of your own home. If you´ll exercise your inward obedience and keep with self-effacing conversation, I´m sure your husband will find you a most virtuous wife.'

- 'Dearest sister, Sir Tilbrington and I send you our best wishes and we´re sure, you´re going to be a dutiful wife to his Lordship. We expect you two of course in Town this season and I´m looking forward to presenting my charming sister to our circles. By the way, did you get the locket I´ve sent you? And how does the dressing robe become you?'

And so they babbled on and on. Where is my Harriet!?

His Lordship took me out in the phaeton today, for it was sunny and quite warm. His estate is very large and the park very romantically laid out; or so would Harriet think. I do like the small lake and the bridge and the view one has looking at the house. I think I should have shared this with Lord C. It would make him happy to know that I approve of my new home. And it is true. I do. I really do. But I couldn´t mouth a word in his presence. He pointed out this and that and asked questions. I was so impertinent as to answer them all with silence. I guess by the time we came back to the house, he was very disappointed with me and the outing in general. So I went to my room again, crying over my stupid behaviour. And leaving my innocent husband in confusion.
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May 22nd, 1763

Today I had to break my fast with my husband. He got tired and annoyed of me keeping to my room and crying and behaving like a little child. Or so he told me. He ordered me to be ready and presentable to take me to church, for it was already a week since our coming to Leyland as husband and wife. One week of marriage. One week of total sorrow. I put on my yellow-striped silk dress with the embroidered fichu around my neck, a black trimmed straw-hat and my black silk neckband with the cross. I had no prayer book with me; it must still be in the boxes in my other room. My cabinet which I haven´t seen until today after church. The service was hardly worth remembering, the vicar being very old and speaking monotonously. I stared across the tiled floor, only mouthing when it came to the singing.
When we came back to the house, I made my excuses, headed for the stairs - thank God, they´re in the Hall and not at the end of the house like at home - but Lord C. called me back; or hissed. I´m not quite sure. His countenance didn´t betray a thing, though I think he´s very angry with me. I shouldn't be so self-centred; he`s perhaps angry with my parents, marrying me off to him as an amiable, charming young lady that I am obviously not. I think I like this variation better... So he took me on something like a tour of the house: showing me the Little Parlour, where we will have our breakfasts and dinners (where I HAVE to join him, he ordered), the Ladies' Withdrawing Chamber next to the Great Parlour.
(It was his mother´s, now it is mine and also the Music Room, though the harpsichord is in the grander chamber.) He left me there, explaining, that the little saloon across my bedchamber is my private one, my Cabinet. His study is on the Ground Floor, where he was going then; estate matters. So I was ordered by the Master of the house to accompany him at least twice a day. And still, I´m grateful he allowed me my privacy and my own apartment; right on the opposite end of the house where he´s going to spend most of his day, when not riding over the estate or being at the stables...
I went straight to this Cabinet, a delightful room, which I had not expected. It was still in the style of his mother. But her taste was very refined indeed. I must admit, I like the room and find it a comfortable retreat for my days. Some oil and gouache paintings are displayed on the crimson walls; Lord C.s parents or at least his father must have commissioned them after his Grand Tour or bought them right there in Italy; places I will never even dream of being able to visit myself. How delightful it is, being kept in a golden cage with a view! The ceiling´s plaster work is very elaborate, the leaves and flowers and grapes again displayed in the carpet, the upholstered chairs and the Ottoman at the window. They're facing the garden and overlooking the small lake with its bridge. All in all, Leyland is a very beautiful place. The only thing not matching this scenery is me. I'm a black spot on this idyllic painting. An unintended scrape by the artist, one he forgot to paint over; now the oil is dry and the picture not to be revised?
As I write this, I can review an eventful day: I unpacked my things. My books, my sheets for the harp and the harpsichord, which I already have brought downstairs to the respective instruments; hearing Lord C. talking to his steward (whose name I have not the slightest idea of). I found writing paper with my new name on it in the desk drawer in my cabinet. How strange it looks and worse, it feels, to be now Lady Emmeline Cartwright. I went on with composing a letter to Harriet. I had one from her two days ago from Bath and have not yet answered, the selfish wretch that I am. A bad friend indeed. I must make amends!
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Leyland, May 17th, 1763

I went to bed last night at about twelve. The storm hadn´t ceased at all, howling in the trees close to the house. I heard the rain lashing the windows behind the inner shutters and drawn curtains. It was impossible to fall asleep, although I was terribly tired. I lay awake for half an hour, when the door opened and in came his Lordship. He saw me looking at him incredulously and instantly froze on the spot. I heard him taking a deep breath and he came towards the bed stopping at the bedpost, still holding my gaze; or stare. I do not know which. He frowned at it, sat down on the edge of the bed, not leaving my face and reaching for my hand. 'I will respect it, my Lady, if you do not wish me to stay... tonight.' I couldn´t breath. I only recall me removing my left hand from his and turning away. He got up the bed and quietly left the chamber.
I think I cried myself into sleep. When I woke up this morning, my head ached worse than ever. Jenna had stirred the fire, brought me tea and some scones. The shutters were open, the curtains only partly withdrawn from the windows, so the light was bearable enough. I felt sick, still do. I haven´t eaten anything and only drunk a cup of tea that was already grown cold by then.
Unfortunately I cannot lock my door. There are no keys for any door in my apartment. But Jenna came in only twice the whole day. Each time bringing and removing the meal I didn´t touch and the master's concern for my well-being.
It is dark again already and the only thing I feel myself being able to do is writing this and telling my sole confidante in this house, this diary, how unhappy I am, and sad. I feel like I´m eight years old and am forbidden to play outside because its too cold, muddy, too hot, too windy or whatsoever my nurse made up to keep me at my needlework or the harp lesson. And it is night again, the time of day I think I will dread the most, for only God knows how long. I had a bath earlier to lessen my headache, to rest a bit and most of all to becalm my eyes. I cried all day. I don´t know how to stop this misery and this self-pity. I embraced it too willingly...
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May 17th, 1763

Today is Lord C's birthday. I was told by Mrs. Lewis, who also informed me, that his Lordship is not celebrating either birthday or name day, but giving some money and food to the servants of Leyland and the poor in the neighbourhood.

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Leyland, May 16th, 1763

My mother and Patsy told me, that HE would come to my chamber in our wedding night, sharing the bed with me. And that I should encourage him in every way. Whatever that means! He did not, however, even knock on my door last night. I wasn´t unhappy about it. Why should I want him to sleep next to me. He might snore. Or touch me; and I´m not wearing gloves or long sleeves like in the carriage or at the wedding... I had some breakfast in my room, when Jenna, my new maid, came and dressed me for the last day of our journey to Leyland. It was stormy and I had hopes we might have to stay on the road another night. It scares me almost to death to imagine arriving at the Great House, which is to be my new home. I scarcely can recollect what I feel about my old one. When we passed the crossroad, where Wilcox Lane leads to *** the sky got darker by the minute, getting more frightening with every mile we covered. Jolting up the drive of Leyland Manor, it was pouring down mercilessly, leaving us no chance to get out of the carriage sooner than the footmen came with umbrellas to escort us inside. It was then, that he took my hand. And I, stupidly, looked at him, seeing his warm, encouraging smile, welcoming me at his - now our - home. Of course, the tears flooded my eyes. So fast, I couldn´t quickly enough turn away and his Lordship embraced me, murmuring something I didn´t understand so overwhelmed was I by his scent. I never have smelled anything like that. How weak I am! He could have told me anything, I would have believed it right away. And again, God saved me and the door was pulled open and he released me. I wasn´t able to flee very far however. And now I´m in my bedchamber and though its mid May I´m sitting at the fire, in nightgown and dressing robe - writing this.
It is ironic that this attire should suit this room so perfectly. Violet purchased my new dressing robe in London, already last year, when my family intended me for the late Lord C. It is of turquoise silk, embroidered with exotic flowers and little birds, golden trimmed long narrow sleeves. And here I sit in a room with exquisite hand-painted Oriental wallpaper at a Chinese escritoire, perfectly handsome and so lady-like, Jenna informed me. The desk had come just a day before our arrival, Lord C. having purchased it especially for me. A wedding gift! That´s the last thing I needed!*
I didn´t touch the soup, Jenna brought me, which earned some quizzical looks from her, but other than that she left me alone. For that is what I want most. Being alone and left in peace. And there´s the dilemma. Remembering my mother's words of him coming to my room and his not coming last night, I fear it will be now. It is his house, he´s the master, and I´m at his every whim. And what if he decides to come here tonight!?

*Auch das noch!
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Wortham, May 15th, 1763

My wedding day.

After the wedding breakfast, I bade my family farewell. My father took aside Lord C.; mother came to the carriage door once more and patted my hand. 'I´m very proud of you, my darling girl.' said she, tears in her eyes. I felt pity for her. For all of them. And I was angry. Unbelievably angry. I will not write to them for some time. 'And write to me as often as you can, my dear. You will need some time to get to used to the house and you will have quite a different schedule as a married woman. Don´t forget to be kind, modest and to keep your voice down. You will make your husband a fine, respectable and proper wife, I´m sure of it.' - She wanted to kiss my cheek, but I leaned back against the cushions, averting my eyes. (An exercise I had refined by the time his Lordship and I arrived at an Inn shortly before nightfall.) I had them cast down already when he climbed in the carriage. But I saw him waving his hand towards my parents, who were standing right next to my window. 'We can invite them for a couple of weeks in the summer or for the shooting in autumn. Your father will be happy to rid me of some of my birds or go stag hunting, I daresay' he said; I could hear the smile in his voice. 'Don´t be too sad, my dear. Your family is not that far away. Two days with a carriage. You will see them as often as you please.' And he wanted to take my hand in his, but I withdrew it by brushing a curl, that wasn´t there, behind my ear and kept looking down and then out of the window. On the other hand I´m glad to get away. Now I know what Harriet meant of freeing herself from her family. They neither understood her, nor wanted to. And now, I did not care about them back at Wortham.

Lord C. tried to coax me into some conversation a couple of times, but ceased after noticing that I was set on stubbornness not talking to him, or anybody. I felt rude. But I couldn´t bring myself to admit that I´m his now, until the day I die. I still cannot. It is past midnight, I´m still writing this, the candle left on my table barely letting me see what I am writing. I want to cry, but dare not, because he could hear me. His room is right next to mine. I can see the light still in his chamber beneath the door. I´m tired, my head aches and breathing isn´t an easy task, for I keep the tears back. Oh please, let him go to sleep, so I can find it as well!
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May 14th, 1763

Tomorrow is my wedding day...
How delighted my mother was this morning. She had an angel's smile on her lips, my sister Patsy joined her. Both coming to my chamber, wanting to talk to me about something serious.

They left me alone for the rest of the day, but secured all comfort for me and the servants coming and going and leaving treats around me like I'm a child to be spoiled before she gets her tooth pulled out.

I was looking out of my window all day long, rather like a prisoner consoled by my solitude.

Lord C. came the day before. He's with my father all the time in the library, only occasionally joined by my brother. Last night we had a big family dinner and music and cards afterwards. He was very polite and kind I think. I didn't so much as speak a word to him.

Now I am in my room again, it's very late and I have not the slightest idea how to find some sleep. For some reason it seems as if the clock is running towards tomorrow. The time is flowing so fast, that I'm seriously frightened I won't have any left.
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Letter to Fitzwilliam Cartwright

Bath, May 11th 1763
My dear Nephew,
I am very happy to wish you all the best and happiness to your upcoming marriage. I am sure the young lady will be a good wife to you as you described her virtues to me so expressively. Your cousin is not able to attend. He is a very sensitive boy not to leave his aunt when she is ill. We arrived at our accommodation in Bath last week and already the waters do me good. I thank you for your kind letter. You are a good boy! And you will be a very good husband indeed, as was your father to your mother, may they rest in peace.
It is your legacy now to care for Leyland, our beloved home and its inhabitants, and soon with a mistress too. Be kind and understanding. Many a young lady today is very drawn into romances and novels but aren't properly prepared for their role as wife and mistress of a house. I hope to meet your lady soon and wish you all my heart can wish you for your happiness!

Yours, affectionate aunt
S. C.
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May 10th, 1763

I'm seriously getting more and more nervous.
Not only Mother and Mrs. P are getting on my nerves and bustling around me all the time, but also J is not himself.
Somehow I think they're looking forward to get rid of me.
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May 6th, 1763

Mother is asking me every time the post came if I had a letter from Lord C.
She annoys me. Seriously.
I had no letter. Not since the small package arrived weeks ago.
But I do know, that he wrote to my father. So why is Mother so keen on having me getting a letter? I wouldn't know what to answer him anyway.
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May 5th, 1763

The wedding preparations have their claws on me again.
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April 30th, 1763

I visited Mr. Walker today. I waited for half an hour in the Parlour, went in search for him through the Hall, then into the Court and over to the kitchen, only to find out he is still in the Chapel; so I made my way back, found the entryway locked and had to go back through all the rooms again and out onto the main lawn and over to the Chapel. There he was, completely unaware that he had visitors. His staff must have forgotten to inform him about my presence he supposed. Then, ages later and back in the Parlour, his footman found us, out of breath and informed him that he tried to find him in order to tell him about his visitor; who, by the way, had found the master of the house herself.
When the poor man had left, Mr. Walker started grumbling a while over the footmen taxes he had to pay and didn't see why one Guinea per head and year still doesn't keep his estate up in perfect shape.
By that time and when the housekeeper herself brought the long anticipated tea, I had quite forgotten why I was there anyway. - When I made my farewells I fortunately thanked him for the wonderful evening we all had at his house and he was very happy to accentuate that sometime his staff does work as they are supposed to.
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April 29th, 1763

This morning we had bad timing for our outing. We went riding right after breakfast and intended a picnic at Parker's Lodge. But out of a sudden we were almost drowned by the heavy rain no one had expected. We lost our way, sunk into the deep mud, Mrs. P had - of course - to tumble off her mount and J had problems getting her up again and on the horse. But in the end we safely negotiated through the flood and made our way home.
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April 26th, 1763

The dinner was superb. I can't recall any evening lately when I had so much fun.
We also had a practical charade with a curtain, some costumes to cover our evening dresses and to be appropriately dressed in our roles. There were also some card games, J was battling poor Mr. Walker in a chess game and later we all battled at the refreshment table for tea and sweets and some cold meat.
Came home late at about eleven thirty.
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April 25th, 1763

Our gentlemen had invited some friends for cricket and refreshments this afternoon. They stayed for dinner and we had quite an interesting evening. It was very informal though, but we danced a bit later that night. We were four couples, not counting my parents who refused to join, but watched us from the salon. Mrs. Drawing's daughter Emanuelle played the piano and we had a few very charming country dances.

Tomorrow we are invited for dinner at Mr.Walker's, who is positively lonely so far from the village. He invited half the neighbourhood I presume and his poor housekeeper who is not used to so many visitors will have to murder all their unwanted spider lodger below the curtains to leave a mark of her priceless housekeeping abilities.
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April 23rd, 1763

Today we three had a donkey race.
Mrs. P's donkey against J's horse Raider and me on my old mare Carolynne.
Mrs. P and I were watching J later leaping a ditch, which he did forbid us to do. So we had to go all the way to the bridge and cross the small stream. Well, Mrs. P would never even dream of doing anything so outrageous, but I was tempted...
Raider did spook Mrs. P's donkey later on our outing and she was tumbling a great deal, then it run off with her, J racing after his wife, who still had problems controlling the beast. It slowed down and coming to a halt eventually and Mrs. P rolled off her donkey. J rescued her skirt by picking her up very gentlemanly.
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April 21st, 1763

J harnessed two donkeys, he had lately bought, to a small carriage. He said, that because of their size, they are more suitable for us ladies to handle and ride them. I still prefer the horses, but Mrs. P was never happier and enjoys her outing in the park every sunny morning from now on.

But as these creatures are notoriously obstinate she was a mess after her first riding out this afternoon. She tried to get her donkey across a stream, which it didn't want to obviously and J had to combine his efforts with those of Peter to lead the creature back to the stables.

But Mrs. P is not to be trifled with, she will ride out tomorrow again.
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April 20th, 1763

Today I went fishing with Jeremiah. We were talking about our summers before his marriage and tried to catch a carp or a gudgeon. Though I had only a long twig and a line made of horse hair, I got two more fish than my brother.
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April 15th, 1763

One month left.
With a short note accompanying it, I received a little package today with the morning post from Leyland. It was from Lord C. who requested me to wear this necklace formerly owned by his mother. It is a fair and very beautiful golden necklace with a small cross adorned by tiny rubies. I didn´t show it anyone, primarily not to Mrs. P who was in a mood today. The baby is better and also Jeremiah has gotten back to his jovial disposition. What darkens her humour is unfathomable. She was still in a temper after dinner and having to stay in the saloon with her, until the gentlemen joined, us was galling.
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April 13th, 1763

The preparations for the wedding were carried on today. The dressmaker came for some fitting and Mrs. P is her old self again, making good advices as not look better than herself. She is still envious of the lace I´ll wear at the ceremony. It is actually amusing how fretfully she grudges me this piece of fabric.
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Letter to Lord C.

Wortham Hall, April 10th, 1763

Dear Sir,

in writing you this, my family thanks you for your sympathy. Let me assure you that Mr. Porter´s son is on the mend and will soon be at his best again. We had additional prayers today at the service.

My father wishes me to tell you that we all are indeed indebted to your kindness and solicitousness and sends you his best wishes.

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Leyland Manor, April 4th, 1763

J received a letter from home, urging him and Mrs. P to return, as their infant son had caught cold and was very weak. Mother was desolate and begged my father to go home as well. As sorry I am for the little boy, the more thankful I am for his perfect timing. Lord C. was worried about the baby and helped arranging everything for our departure. We set out this afternoon, reaching the -Inn at ten to stay the night.
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April 7th, 1763

His Lordship sent a letter to my father, inquiring after the baby´s health and his concern for it´s well-being. Father eyed me while reading it aloud to the others at the breakfast table. 'He´s a very fine young man, Emmeline. He´ll be an amicable, congenial and solicitous husband to you, my child.' - I do not doubt that. I only doubt that I ever could be such a wife for him.
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Wortham Hall, April 6th, 1763

Back home the condition of little Timothy was alarming and the parents distressed. Mrs. P was around and about the nursery the whole night, while J sat gravely in the corridor next to it. The apothecary was here twice already and my father sent for a doctor immediately when we arrived yesterday. The fever has lessend through the night and we all are hopeful the baby will be on the mend soon.
As Mrs. P forbid any noise in the house I coudln´t play the harp or anything. Reading was not possible as father occupied the library in a frantic search for diversion. Mother was in the nursery, being as helpful at the best. So I walked around the park at least three times today. Dinner was quite, only father as my company. J wasn´t hungry, Mrs. P stayed in the nursery and mother was so fatigued giving advices to everybody around that she went to bed very early.
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Leyland Manor, April 3rd, 1763

I must have been in ebullient a mood, for I have entertained the party at Leyland with playing the harp. Oh so beautifully! 'What a charming, accomplished young lady she is, Sir! A stunning performance, indeed.' - Well, thank you, my Lord. I´m most obliged to your extraordinary good taste. The first words he spoke to me, oh hang it, about me. For he told my father that he liked my playing, not to me; for I think I was present at that time, for I still felt the strings oscillate against my fingertips. There I sat, facing my future husband and my parents, but no-one taking any notice of me really being there. What has happened? Did this indifference took lodgings in our family over night like an unwelcome relative, one has no polite chance to turn down? They didn´t urge me to play again, so I kept my seat at the instrument and looked out of the window; none of them actually cared if I took part in their conversation.
The same procedure was very helpful at church this morning. We all went to service at the local parish church that is a 15 minute walk away from the house and located at the end of the main street of Leyland Village. While my parents took the carriage, J and Mrs. P were walking with us as chaperones. Coming up the lane and being visible to all in the churches vicinity, we were the talk of the day. His Lordship with his rumoured fiancée. We were greeted warmly by all and the vicar in particular. Lord C. enjoyed the trouble and nodded amiably to his acquaintances. - Service itself was as often a very tiresome event. I had to share the prayer book with his Lordship, because Mama forbid me to take mine with me. For exactly this purpose, I´m sure. She had a great time this morning...
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Leyland Manor, April 2nd, 1763

Today we were shown the garden, the orchard and after luncheon, the park. His Lordship took us around his estate in a new open carriage of his; my brother J marvelling at it´s suspension, the clearance of the axles (whatsoever...) and its´smart bending. Men!
Lord C. was very affable and talked a great deal about the upcoming improvements at the stables and the almost finished enhancement of the green house. There they went afterwards, J excited to be acquainted with all details of the drainage. - Mother and Mrs. P were skirling at every view they found beautiful enough to congratulate his Lordship in having such an estate and so perfectly situated.
I had to suppress the violent urge to yawn with excitement...
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Leyland Manor, April 1st, 1763

I´m the fool of the family, the black sheep, the rebellious daughter, though I´m trying hard to oblige everyone and everybody. But they´re not to be trifled with, it seems. My mood must be utterly devastating, my manners cold and only bordering to be civil. The ride in the carriage to Leyland was exhausting. Advices, scolding, soothing words, persuasions.

Finally we arrived for dinner, sunset dousing the scenery in treacherously idyllic light. A symmetrical two-storey house, with a hall in it´s centre and leading to a great parlour. I didn´t saw much of the house, which will be mine too, very soon. We had dinner in the Great Dining Chamber on the first floor, climbing a two-flight staircase surveying the Hall with windows out onto the lawn and the drive. The Dining Room, right above the Great Parlour, had wide windows facing the Garden. A single handsome block with a hipped roof, as I found out the next morning, when walking through the garden. Dinner was tedious, my father talking of estate business with Lord C., my mother marvelling at the interior decorations. J intervening with highly intelligent remarks on the ingenious idea of removing the servants hall into the basement; a plan he won´t be able to put in practice at Wortham. While I kept my eyes on my plate, I felt his on me once in a while. I´m absolutely at a loss why he chose to submit to a union, well aware of his bride´s resistance to marry into his family. - But there again, I´m ignorant of the world. As far as I know, his brother was not prodigious enough to gamble away neither estate nor fortune. His losses must have been less than presumed by the ton. Still, His Lordship will be in need of my fortune in any case; to keep up the place, repair the roof, enlarge the property. Whatsoever he might want, he will get it; keeping my pin-money as low as possible. Shall I care? No,indeed, I shan´t. If he´ll be busy spending my money, I shall have my independence.
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March 21st, 1763

Patsy and her swarm of children arrived yesterday for a week to stay at Wortham. Thoughtful as she is, she left her husband behind at Richfield, where he will enjoy a week off. Mrs. P. and Patsy are currently fighting which of their children is the most beautiful, most amiable and most accomplished for it´s age. At the same time they´re praising the other mother´s respective squaller.
The weather is exceptionally warm for this time of year and I use it as an excuse to walk the garden as often as possible. But I´m not allowed to ride or take a drive in the carriage alone, means, with a footman. What do they think I´m doing!? I won´t run away with nothing except my clothes on or on a horse! Where should I go anyway? The only person I can think of is Harriet and they would assume this at first too. She wouldn´t betray me of course and had actually asked my parents if I could stay with her until the wedding. But they declined. I could very well meet her literary friends and run off with one of them. Mother is less persuaded of Mr. Osberton´s worth than Harriet´s own mother, who was just happy to have her married to anyone, bluestocking that she is - well, to them. Only because she reads books and can distinguish between good and bad prose and has the unfortunate habit of thinking for herself doesn´t make her a bluestocking. The more I value Mr. O!
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London, Novemer 3rd 1762

Finally, I am freed of the Mercury and arrived in London today. My brother's house is empty, but Topper vowed his Master is in town, just staying at different, more remote lodgings... Well, it is Frederick after all.
I took my chamber like there haven't been years since I slept here. I am so tired. Nothing remarkable can be said or done right now, but that I am home; at last.
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Letter to Harriet Osberton

Wortham Hall, March 18th, 1763

Dearest Harriet,

thank you for your charming letter and the book. I already started reading it and thought at first you are trying to tease me with it. But it turns out, Pamela is quite agreeable and pious, whereas I loath Mr. B and his schemes. He just imprisoned her with this odious housekeeper. I think you like these dramatic stories, Harriet, but I can´t find anything rewarding in reading this, than be more encouraged in my opinion that this marriage can´t be a good one.
How happy I am for you, that your neighbourhood is so pleasing. I so wish to visit you, but won´t be able till after the wedding. My parents surely won´t allow me to go anywhere before it and I daresay, that it will be very difficult once I am married. So we have to wait to see us again when we´re both in London next season. Lord C. has a very fine town house and it will be exceedingly comfortable not to have to rent one. There again, you would enjoy watching Mrs. P. being overly envious. - She keeps a friendly countenance when we´re together, but I guess she´s literally pining for my departure to Leyland.
We are actually going there at the beginning of April. I don´t know exactly for how long, but probably for a week or so. I´ll send you word when I know more, but Mother is quite secretive about it. But the wedding date is still set for mid-May. How I wish you could be there. I long to see you and talk to you in person.
How happy it makes me, that your dear Mr. Osberton loves and esteems you so much! It gives me great pleasure to know, that your love and confidence for each other will surely carry you two even through the heaviest hours. - How far are you with getting rid of the dust? I always thought you liked this romantic and picturesque idea of an old house full of books and timber worms!? Please tell me all of your new home, the garden, the small park you were marvelling at in your last note. I´m craving for your next message and remain

yours affectionately

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March 17th, 1763

This morning I received a gift from my fiancé.
It is a wonderfully ornamented lace veil, he desires me to wear at our wedding. It was his mother´s, I´m to understand. - Mrs. P. was ghastly envious about it.
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March 15th, 1763

Today the dressmaker came and mother, Mrs. P. and unfortunately me too, were choosing fabrics, ribbons, buttons, bows, silk-flowers etc. - Mother also purchased Persian yarn for me to embroider some things of my trousseau myself. I think she wants to keep me busy and it works; I don´t think so much of my upcoming marriage, but concentrate on the pattern I try to stitch.
After dinner I have my usual position at the harp or the harpsichord to entertain my family and be occupied. They do not talk very much about it, when I´m present, but Mama is exuberantly happy, as if she is going to be married...
Mrs. P. is busy with her little one, that is crying more than any other of my nephews or nieces. He will be the most spoiled child ever. Fat and effete, when he´s grown up.
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March 13th, 1763

Started reading Pamela.
Harriet told me in her letter, that accompanied the package, that it is a bestseller book and she was quite surprised, that I didn´t have it. Nor my father.
I don´t like the story. Not yet. It is very outrageous having this maid pursued by her master.

The service today was tiresome. The vicar was endlessly reporting on female virtues. After church my mother had her share and read me a sermon on exactly the same topic. I was relieved when her friend came to pay a call and I could hide myself at the harpsichord.
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March 12th, 1763

I practised all day at the harp.
Violet sent me new sheets from London and Harriet a package from Bristol, containing Samuel Richardson´s 'Pamela'. I don´t know what to think of it. I need to ask her, what she aimed to achieve with it.
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March 10th, 1763

My dearest friend Harriet finally sent me word from Clarington. Keen as she was to get away from home, she really seems to be happy. But thank you, my dear, for not troubling me with any remarks of my own marriage-to-be. You were the only one not scolding this wretched chit that I am. There I go, selfish, ignorant Emy. What do I know of the world? - That my friend is far away. And self-absorbed as I am these days, I care not a smidgeon about Mrs. P´s remarks on marital felicity.

'Clarington House, March 6th, 1763

My dearest Emy,

at last I am able to write this letter worthy in length to my best friend.
I wish you to be well and happy as I am and hope your family is treating you better, now that you agreed to their wishes. Please, tell me you´re well, for I feel very bad indeed having left you at this time.
We are quite busy removing the dust here and make the house presentable to all our friends. You have to promise, to come and stay a long time as soon as you can. You are always very welcome. Clive, too, said as much and is happy to oblige every whim his little wife has.
Gloucestershire is really at the end of the world, but I will not complain, for the neighbourhood is very nice and close-by lives a very charming young family my Clive is befriended with for ages... We already dined there two times and they came yesterday to dine with us. We are a merry party.

Yours affectionately,
Harriet Osberton

How well that sounds!'
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February 15th, 1763

Today I was given a letter to Lord C., accepting his hand. I had to copy and sign it, while my mother was watching me. I didn´t cry, nor did I beg not to have to write it. I just did. My mothers mien was so atrocious, it made my heart flinch and I signed the note, as reads like that:

'Wortham Hall, February 15th, 1763

Dear Sir,

I feel honoured by your proposal and gladly accept it.
My parents reckon mid - May as a proper time to have the wedding date set. Please inform me of your approval,


It was done and I´m condemned to a life-sentence.
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February 14th, 1763

I´m locked in my room.
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February 11th, 1763, night

Still, I´m in my room sitting over an empty sheet of paper.
My mother came up five times to check on my progress, every time getting more and more frustrated not to see a word on the page before me. Mrs. P. came and scolded me, whereas I literally threw her out on her ears.*
I wasn´t allowed to come down to dinner, unless I had finished the letter. How old am I? Twelve? I know, I´m not yet of age, but still, I´m not a little child - I might behave like one as to their lack of understanding - but all my sisters and also Jeremiah chose their spouses freely. I do not comprehend that there should be a scandal of me losing a fiancé, no matter how, and not marrying his brother, for God´s sake!

* In the north of England we get thrown out on our ears!
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February 11th, 1763

This mornings post brought me a letter from my fiancé, formally asking me to accept his hand. My mother, present at the table and endlessly inquiring from whom this letter is, that makes me turning pale as marble, finally snatched it from my hand, reading it to my brother and Mrs. P. At length they discussed the handwriting, each reading the note again and again, praising the style (which style?) and so on. When my father entered mother showed it to him, he only nodding his approval. She made me go up to my room to write a reply.
And there I sit now, writing this instead, trying to get a clear head and to find words suitable of an assent to send someone I know not, met only once before and whose brother I loathed.
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