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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