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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