Consequences - Chapter 11
CHAPTER 11 – Charles’ Diary for April
1 April FRIDAY
Signed forms today so Rainbow Cottage will be ours to rent from 1 May. Great relief at having this settled. Having my own home has given an importance to my life so as to make me look a permanent fixture; I am strong enough to revolve on my own axis & I draw others into my sphere of action. I so much miss Mother's influence which was always quiet & gentle; I pray her past care for me may exercise a good influence over me; years ago we spoke in allusions indistinct, about the home in the future which I should mark out and now that time has come.
Letter from Uncle Clephan this morning saying he accompanies his sister to Leicester Friday & must see me either there or in Worcester as if there could be any doubt which; wrote to ask him to come next Saturday so as to have a quiet talk in the evening undisturbed by fears of early rising.
Jones & I started for Malvern about 10 & reached the Hills by 1; ascending them by St. Anne's Well; resting here & there by the way, reading Mr. Hoods descriptive & intense poem, ‘The Haunted House’, on the top met Harry & John; all hungry, found a woman on the hills with basket of Malvern Cakes & consumed a quantity; In North Malvern, which was a new portion to me & is far the best of the hills because the wildest, we walked back together. We got home by 6, had tea & then I walked up to Wilson’s & found Eliza & Emily & George there; Aunt & Uncle up at St. Johns.
In General Election, Conservatives, led by Lord Derby, re-elected as a minority government, only gaining a few seats. Changes must take place to make situation more tenable. Read in the paper that only one man in seven has the right to vote as the criterion is those who pay more than £10 per annum in rent or rates. I only just qualify. Sir George Cornewall Lewis elected MP for Herefordshire.
Letter from Mary saying she had finished with the wedding list & enclosing same for my perusal. Might think of a few more to add to the list before sending back. Dreadful weather.
Letter from Father this morning, Mary’s letter of yesterday wrote querying the music for the wedding service. She favours Pascerbel’s Canon in D for the entry march, but I think it slow & insipid. I prefer something more rousing & suggested Handel’s Firework Music. I told her that she could pick her favourite hymns for during the service & I will concur. She is very firm in her wish to emulate the Queen’s daughter in her choice of recessional. Will go along with her wishes on that too. Letter from Uncle Clephan written from his brother's at Leicester wishing to know what day to regulate his visit; wrote to him to say when & to wish him to come on next Saturday.
On Thursday, Mr. Needham & Frank Flinn had a slight quarrel on some small matter & yesterday FF gave him notice that he should leave. In town this afternoon; saw Cooke's Equestrian boy enter, looking brighter than such people usually do.
Father & Uncle hearty; all safe with a loss of only a basket of eggs, which slipped away to London in the surprise of Father meeting Uncle at Derby having come up from Leicester & joined them there.
Today with Uncle & Father in the town; over Chamberlain's China Factory; the general treatment & execution of flower pieces & designs of pattern & shape were exquisite, but those of the human figure were all very faulty, being too raw in colour & bad in anatomy, with the exception of those done by the late Mr. Chamberlain which were equally as good. An Adam & Eve was beautiful; after tea up to Boughton, meeting Harry.
I got Mr. Needham off to Birmingham & arranged everything for a day free from hard work. Wrote to Uncle Charles last night & Father had a letter from him this morning to report progress of business as he is managing all.
Uncle Henry & Jane & Uncle Wilson with us last night; Father, Uncle & I in the town. Uncle Clephan & I up until 3 in the morning talking over our private matters & clearing up misunderstandings, arriving at a perfect comprehension of one another's view & finding after all we were both in the right, Uncle C putting the case in a new light.
At College (all of us) & then to the Locks & back in early evening. Father, Uncles Clephan & Wilson, Jones (who called & got his introduction) & back by 8 to tea, talking out the evening.
Sent seven newspapers to Trinity Lane to different persons. Walked with Uncle Clephan up the Hill at breakfast time & at 1/2 past 1 he left us for Leicester, resisting all inducements to stop longer; he is a noble man & I feel proud of his friendship.
Last night up to Wilson’s, to tea; Mary Mayfield there. Wrote to the London “lost” Dept. last night as to the missing basket of eggs. With Father in the town a little. Had a quiet evening in my rooms. We had a nice quartet for whist; Mary has written asking me to let her know what I plan to wear for the wedding. Perhaps she thinks I might let her down. But for me it is dark grey trousers with a morning coat, with a white waistcoat. An iris in the lapel to match Mary’s bouquet & I have ordered a cravat to match the colour of her dress. I think we shall be quite smart. I have my new shiny boots & Uncle Richard has promised me a pair of lavender gloves which will match well & of course my top hat.
Invitation from Mr. & Mrs. Flinn for Sunday - declined with thanks. In-doors in evening, talking, teaing, writing, reading, playing cards etc. Letter from Uncle Clephan; he leaves Leicester tomorrow for home, too early for Father to meet him; who will not leave until Tuesday, now, wrote to tell him so, also to Uncle Chas to meet him etc. Father & I started in cab to Holt Fleet by 10:30 a.m. & walked up to the Weir; beautiful scenery; summery day; pleasant companions. Tea at Mrs. Smith's in her splendid room with prospect of the country. Back by 7 o'clock after a happy day.
Father & I walked up the Tolladine Road, crossing the fields to Crowle Road & on to Perry Wood, getting glimpses over Worcester; To Wilson’s, surprising them by a fearful inroad to dinner and tea; Mary Ann Brooks called to see Aunt; She had to dispose of her scientifically, without me or Father seeing her; she looks more “wandering” than ever. Chacky-fiddling.
Letter from Uncle Clephan from Leicester; he is staying longer from home than he expected, having had an extension of his parole from Aunt; he is sorry now that he did not stay longer with me; but complains about our shameful treatment of him ‘being stingy about a few coals’ - continuing too his good precepts & advice.
Father left this morning for home after the longest stay from there I ever remember his making; he would appear to have enjoyed himself too, which is a gratification. He still misses Mother so much & so of course do I. Busy day at the office, in to tea; Aunt Wilson with us. Much in the papers about the final solution of the Indian problem. The resistance fighter Taya Tope hanged at dawn on the 18th. While thousands of Muslims had marched under banners of their faith, he had led rioters who ransacked & burned houses, looting shops, showing disrespect for whites.
Letter from Father announcing his safe arrival at home, finding everything in trim. Uncle Henry in last night. Lazy day at the office. Harry, Jones & I at Theatre to see some of the Old York Players: Reynolds, & his two daughters, Mr. & Mrs. Poynter, Lewis Ball etc. Macbeth & the Village Lawyer, the pieces; Miss Agnes Kemble playing Lady Macbeth, she is a member of the great Kemble family but nothing more than ordinary; her features are noble & expressive but her acting is very tame & insipid; the whole play wretchedly “put on”.
After leaving work, walked on the Ketch tea-gardens with Miss Griffin, Mrs. Jones & the Wilson's who were there; by the river to Wilson’s to tea & home by 11.
This morning Jones & I walked to Malvern & got to St. Anne's Well just as the first thunder storm of the season broke out. We kept on to the Wyche & lunched at a little shop there; shower while there; back into Village; returned to Worcester by 4 o'clock coach; refuge in Birley's, rest having umbrellas went on; bought hair-brush, envelopes etc. Harry called.
Dull morning, shutting out all prospect of a country walk; went St. Martin's Church where I was christened & perhaps our child will be one day; wrote to Mary in this vein.
Austrian sent ultimatum to Piedmont, demanding demobilisation. Now Austria is seen as aggressor & leads to French intervention. Letter from Mary. All is well with wedding plans.
Busy day at the office; managed to get away by 10 o'clock however & so avoided the yawning scene of yesterday; Came on dull & cold in evening.
Indoors all the evening. Heavy showers of hail & sleet. Austrian troops begin to cross Ricino River to Piedmont. Another piece of news; British colony of Queensland has been created by devolving part of the territory of New South Wales. Our Queen has her name remembered those thousands of miles away & so should it be. Wrote to Mary and Father with latest.