Consequences - Chapter 19
CHAPTER 19 – Charles’ Diary for June
June 1 WEDNESDAY
Mary busy finding her way around the town. Pleased to get calling cards. Have told her to have her own made & plan an At Home day for herself. Yesterday morning saw Uncle Henry Walker pass on the way up to the Railway Station & walked up with him, Harry and old Mr. Powell his decrepit father-in-law. Uncle had converted into his porter, though Harry had carried nothing & because the poor old man was not so rapid in his movements as they wished, both reviled him, tho not to his face, in a manner contrary to all feelings of respect, which should be his portion.
Went to service at St. Martin’s today. New rector seems very pleasant Took Mary on a trip to Bredon Hills by way of Theinksey Common & Crowle, wetting feet in the Avon; pretty, rustic scenery; took Government train home & were in by 20 past 8 for tea.
At garden in evening; watering asparagus & onion beds etc. & Jones hoeing potatoes. Harry called in. Mary writing to Aunt Ann to confirm details of plans for August.
Got Parlour Mag, Douglas Jerrold & Family Friend from Deightons, also the Attaché to read. Received Yorkshireman. Saw Harry giving me one or two rebukes in my going to Boughton so rarely, which if he does so often must compel me to state the real cause; my unconquerable aversion to their many gigantic faults, still unrepented.
Rain last night refreshing garden; much in want of moisture. Letter of four lines from Uncle Clephan with thanks for the wedding. Says he is very busy & has sent a paper to keep me quiet, by which I see he has carried off a prize for Rhubarb at a horticultural show at Middlesbro!
Jones at garden last night weeding; heavy rain after a very long dry season of two months. John planted lettuce out & then Jones at house until half past eleven; Mary looking daggers at us. Wrote for pens to J.D. Barton enclosing 24 stamps. Mary busy with writing in her journal of which she says nothing. I have suggested she try writing poetry.
Heard from Mrs. Griffin today that her son Joshua & wife Ellen have just had their first child – a son called Ernest. She wishes they were closer than Gloucester so she could go to see him. Must ask Mary to buy a present for us to send.
Pens from J.D. Burton this morning. In town Deightons for London News etc. Excitement in the political world. I will summarise what the paper has to say about it. The Liberal Party was formed on 6 June when Whigs, Peelites & Radicals meet at Willis’ Rooms in St. James Street, London to unite in opposition to the Conservatives. In the general election held in April & May the Conservatives, led by Lord Derby, were re-elected as a minority government, only gaining a few seats. Then Lord John Russell & Palmerston called a meeting of opposition MPs. There it was agreed that Whigs, Liberals, Radicals & Peelites should join together to form a new Liberal Party. Although they come from diverse backgrounds & do not all share the same priorities, they are brought together by their common support for Italian unification & by their urgent desire to get rid of Derby's government. The new party became heavyweight when Gladstone, the most eminent Peelite, decided to join, even though he is known to disapprove of Palmerston's foreign policy & personal life. (Rumour has it that he made too freely with ladies on several occasions.) Because the new party now constitutes a majority in Parliament, the Conservative government resigned. The first Liberal government is led by Palmerston as Prime Minister, Russell as foreign secretary & Gladstone as Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am happy with this result.
Jones came down to supper; at garden this morning for asparagus, disappointed in the quantity, fear some one has been in before me. Saw Adelaide; she was just off for Church; she does not look well & is much altered since I saw her last; her face as full of expression as ever though.
Letter from Charley Cox this morning breathing the old confidence & affection; throwing new light & redeeming feature in Uncle Edward's character & truly his troubles at heart must be heavy. He & Eliza are happily married & expecting their third. Reminds me of my hopes for having her as my wife, some eight years ago. I now have my own & very wonderful wife. To look on Mary’s beauty alone is exalting, it partakes of the nature of the angels; God preserve it long that I may look at her & feel the better for it.
Mr. Needham gave a dinner to all the men this afternoon, at Bromleys; had half-an-hour with them, which I found sufficient, felt dull all the evening;. At garden before work this morning, cutting asparagus; John put me a good trench of celery in yesterday morning, but the long continued rain prevents my doing much work. Mary full of excitement at her first house guest from the neighbor ladies.
Not everyone likes having Palmerston as PM. Peace loving free trader John Bright complained that 50,000 men died to make Palmerston PM. Letter from Father. He has curiously found a knife I lost in York last October; he saw it in a man's hand on the Cricket field & has offered him 5/ - to trade it; Jones and I playing chess in evening.
Mary & I took tickets to Birmingham for her to meet another cousin, Mrs. Elizabeth Silver. Reached there by 7 on Saturday; walked up to Edgebaston; they live at the confectioners shop which she runs; with Mrs. Silvers to the Town Hall & heard a splendid 3d concert, organ included; stayed at Mrs. Silvers all night; Mr. S in Dudley at his glass engraving business so we did not see him.
Mary is beginning to feel part of the family & enjoys so much playing with young Eliza, Harry’s two year old daughter. She also seems to have an affinity to Aunt Walker & has received housekeeping tips from her.
Wrote to Lindsay on Sunday. Mary had letter back from Aunt Ann, confirming plans for August. It all sounds very complicated, but Mary is happy, confident & excited with it all.
Mary reports another visitor, this time one closer to her in age. She has great hopes for a friendship & as Mrs. Brown has a young daughter, she should be particularly good for Mary. Told Mary about our invitation to an Open House Party at the Mayor’s House. She could hardly contain her excitement and rushed to write home about it.
On Tuesday night Mary & I were at Boughton; walked to Powick Bridge & back. Uncle Henry arrived off his journey while we were there looking vastly improved. We were indoors last night talking over general topics.
Last evening all at Jones' to tea; Mary enjoyed meeting his mother & sisters. She thinks it high time he was married. I wonder if a closer friendship might develop between him and Eliza. They seemed thick at the party before the wedding.
Read today about the Battle of Salferio. Sardinia & Napoleon III of France armies defeat Franz Josef I of Austral in northern Italy. Mary, Harry and I at Albert Smith's Entertainment on Friday night; as well given as previously but his looks marred it for he wore am abominably large beard & moustache; there was a pretty effective picture of Folkston Harbour by Moonlight added to the views.
This morning we were up early & got 9.50 train round by North Malvern; sketching the quarries & well tower there; had lunch in Great Malvern, back along the hills, tasting all the water ‘taps’ & then on to the hills in the beautiful air, along the range of the Hills to the Wyche; refreshed there; then on to the Encampment, showers; beautiful views of the coming storms; cleared up, returned to the Wyche to tea; down into Malvern & so on to Worcester arriving home at 5.05.
After work I called to see Mrs. Hilbourne, then to Mrs. Davis & saw Adelaide. Adelaide & I had a walk by Perry Wood & back for a cup of coffee; late home. Mary not pleased.
Mary reports more success in getting to know our neighbours. She intimated that I should also become acquainted with their husbands. I have told her I must keep my old friends & not ignore them just because I am now a married man. She is taking an interest in finding new receipts for vegetarians. Mrs. Griffin used to do well with sorting out both my needs & those of the rest of her family & her meals were never dull. Mary is not an exciting cook, but she is making a valiant effort to improve.
Last night after work Mary met me & we had stroll through the town. Walked by Pitchcroft to Bevere back to dinner with Jones & then all up to the garden.