Consequences - Chapter 9
CHAPTER 9 – Charles’ Diary for March
March 1 TUESDAY
Sent a very angry letter to Mary last night more or less telling her to stop being so childish, and then I regretted doing it and wished I had never sent it. I do love her so, and want this situation to be quickly and quietly resolved in the best way for all of us.
Wrote back to Mary enclosing a chart of the various options available to us. I think if she sees it all down in black and white and argued out, she will understand what I am saying. She is now staying with Aunt Ann Mayfield, as her parents are so upset with her attitude & I wrote to her there.
Walked up to Jones' at breakfast hour, returned him Dumas' Three Musqueteers etc. & borrowed Dumas' George; in the evening Jones came to my rooms with me. Letter from Lindsay this morning, enclosing Schillers “Ideal” with details of his life as he is pursuing it & his daily occupations, how he is enjoying music – especially his piano & is very busy & very happy; but cannot look for coming to the wedding.
At Deighton's last night & at Morgan's got Five Arts Circular. Today Jones, Harry & I started in cab to ‘Holt Fleet’ by 10:30 a.m. & walked up to the Weir; beautiful scenery; pleasant day; pleasant companions. Tea at Mrs. Smiths in her splendid room with prospect of the country. Back by 7 o'clock after a happy day.
Tried to catch first train to Bredon, but missed it; back to breakfast & then started to walk; called at Wilson’s; on to Pershore eight miles & to Eckington four further; walked from one to the other by the Severn banks, very pretty; lunched at Eckington, then ascended the Hill; steeper & more romantic than Malvern; rather misty, the Severn running below adds much & the Hills have a less artificial look than Malvern; returned to Eckington & walked along the line to Defford to the Crown kept by Workman. As long as I keep busy I will not be able to dwell on my personal problems too much.
Letter back from Mary today, in much better frame of mind. She has agreed to my proposal for an early wedding, and then gave a counter proposal, suggested by Aunt Ann herself. She suggests that Mary tries to dress in such a way as to conceal the pregnancy & then when it comes to a few months before the birth, Mary will go with Aunt Ann to Scarborough & Mary will come home on her own; Aunt Ann, pretending the baby belongs to a relative who died in that area, takes it home to raise. I don’t really know what to think. Such a hair-brained scheme & yet it might just work & the best part is that we can have our wedding & living together arrangements just as we had originally planned. That part suits me much better. Mary says she in convinced that with Aunt Ann’s help & her mother’s too of course, she can bring off this deception. Wrote back to her & agreed that we should do as she wishes. Such a load off my mind.
Wrote last night to William Bacon – about his worries regarding his sister-in-law Martha. Children going well; expecting another soon. Mr. Needham begins to make progress with the Guano trade, which I am glad to see, as having entered upon it at my suggestion I should have been annoyed at his losing by it.
Received the London Book Circular from Saunders & Otley instead of Book & Book Societies which I had written for. Up to Boughton after breakfast, hearing what York news they had to tell me; tried the Galvanic Battery, rather a pleasant sensation than otherwise; reading L'pool paper etc. With Harry talking over family matters.
Letter from Father yesterday morning; With Jones at the Athenaeum “Literary & Scientific Institution” subscribed 3/6 for 1 Quarter from 1st March; reading Colburn & bought essays with critique on Mr. & Mrs. Browning’s poetry with extracts; had warm bath last night.
Letter from Uncle Cox. At Wilson’s this evening, talked more about our possible house to rent, Boughton topics & other matters. Agnes and Maria came after tea there, and I walked home with them; Maria opening a discussion on some hasty spoken but two sentences of mine, and wishing to know to what I alluded; told them it was to Adelaide & to Mr. Jones that my remarks applied & to the ill manner Maria spoke of the latter.
Letter from Charles George this morning, of the windy nature of the former one, he says he hopes to be able to see me for the wedding in May. I have asked him to be my attendant. He says he also has wedding plans & his intended is called Ann. Must invite her to the wedding too. He is happy in his work as a bank clerk in York. I miss his friendly company.
Letter from Mary this morning saying that her parents have agreed to our plan. Mary has moved back home with them & is reconciled again. Jones I met this evening, after having a short walk; brought him down to my lodgings for a glass of Bromley's ales; talk about Books & Book Clubs.
I am reading Dumas' George - Did not leave the office until 20 to 1. Mr. Taylor called in unfortunately this morning being very busy; a hasty violent tempered man and am not over-well disposed to him. Sending four wagons out to Leom. Quick letter to Mary.
After breakfast this morning went up to Boughton; had dinner there; reading Punch, Illustrated News, etc. walked up to Wilson’s to tea looking over stray Penny Magazines etc. Letter to Lindsay.
Letter from Mary this morning; she wonders if I can come up to York for Easter weekend – Friday to Monday. I will check if Mr. Needham feels he can allow me to go, although we only have a token staff working over Easter normally.
At the Athenaeum; took Fraser in for last month after having extracted Mrs. Browning’s beautiful poem “Cry of the Children!” Letter from James announcing the melancholy intelligence of the death of his little sister - the twin Eliza, a pretty, innocent, merry sprite, whose earthly sojourn has been short, rejoining her kindred sphere with no earthly contamination; her disease was water on the brain & it is to be feared Fanny the other twin is also liable to be similarly affected; how deeply she must feel the loss of her sister.
Letter from Lindsay this morning. Reading & talking with Harry & he & I read the Honey Moon through together. Borrowed volume 1 of ‘Household Words’ from him. Eliza came to my lodging at breakfast time bringing letter from William Dewse, on “filles-du jour” etc. he begins to be blasé now & professes to be ‘Used Up’, used up at 30!
At Silver St. Chapel & heard sermon on The Trinity from Mr. Crowe, revealing the harsh, unintellectual & bigoted doctrine of the Baptists in full truth. Fire on Tallow Hill. After dinner wrote long letter to Mary on general news, agreeing to Easter, wrote also to Uncle Charles.
At Wilson's last night to tea. Mr. Needham at B'ham yesterday. Cousin Eliza has conceived a violent affection for Harry & exhibits it in a most outrageous fashion threatening to kill him utterly; she looked gay & bright with a gay face & pretty dress.
Yesterday morning Mr. Needham on putting his key into his cash-drawer was astonished to find it open & though he could not miss anything not having counted in on the previous night, he felt certain it was in the habit of being opened, so this evening I marked all the silver he left, & counted it particularly leaving one crown, five half-crowns & three shillings.
Mr. Needham found his drawer open yesterday morning & two of the half-crowns missing; consequently unpleasant proceedings, consultation with Sergeant Chipp, & suspicions, chiefly laying on Charles Cale & Bishop, the watchman, examining, questioning all day.
Yesterday, the questioning etc. was renewed; suspicion lying heaviest on Mrs. Cale; Charles discharged & ordered to quit his house. Today began by Mrs. Cale coming to me on going down to the office & asserting her innocence & indignation at the charge. I began to think that none of our regular men have done it. Mrs. Cale on hearing Mr. N.'s accusation of her in the yard came to the office & talked, argued, protested with him from one until half past four & mastered him; ended by Charles being recalled to his place.
Jones came down to me at office last night. Letter from Mary telling me details of the meal planned for our wedding reception. She has put much thought into it, in order for it to be entirely suitable for vegetarians; expect I will be the only official one there, but Mary says she will follow my dictates on this matter when we are married. She is such a sweet girl. I have lately thought much of her; her fair face & the memory of our young pure days haunting me very often.
Got to York by 4.15. Father pleased to see me; passed on items to Mary Wilson from Aunt Elizabeth & family. Mary excited about the house I have found for us; will confirm the booking & pay the deposit when I return next week. She made me give her every tiny detail that I could remember from seeing the house only once for a very short time. Her face as full of expression as ever - a fine open-faced open-hearted girl.
27 EASTER SUNDAY
To church at All Saints today. Saw most of the friends & relatives who live nearby. Mary looks very well, better than she did in February & I still find it hard to believe she is increasing. She flutters around & chatters about all the wedding details; listed my relatives & friends that we intend to invite, she then required brief history of each. Will send her addresses of those she does not already know.
Train back to Worcester this morning on the 7.15 a.m. It will be good to have some time at home this afternoon for getting off the list to Mary of friends & relatives’ addresses.
Did not leave work until past 11 last night. Called at Mr. Turner's to correct a blunder I had made at the office yesterday; came on to rain, stayed a couple of hours with him talking on trade & protection which neither he nor any of the tenant farmers I know, either expect or hope to see; started & got soaked through before reaching work.
Yesterday up at Wilson’s & there joined by Jones with whom I returned into town.