Maria's Diary 12
When shall mortal man be crowned,
Crowned with immortality?
Shadows here our path surround;
Nothing is reality.
April 1, 1831
I must admit that now that William doesn't come to see us any more, I
have rather lost interest in my diary. I will try to put in the most important things that are happening in our lives.
William sent Father his new address. His brother John found an office for him
which is: Attorney William Holt, 3 Cable Street, Liverpool and he is now living with his father at 37 Hope Street. I expect he and Mary will get married soon
and have a house of their own.
August 15, 1831
Mother told me that she is going to have another baby. I rather rudely
said, “Do you not have enough children already? Why do you keep
So she sat me down and told me about the birds and the bees. She said
that when a man and woman are together in love, they have no idea whether they will make a baby or not. And it is God’s wish for children to be born from the act of love. So I guess if she doesn’t mind, why should I?
Since she was in a talking mood, I asked her about how she and Father met.
“It was in 1813, when he came to our house for supper. He knew Father and
my brothers. Anyway, he brought his flute along and after we ate, he played and I accompanied him on the piano. We were very struck with each other but his work meant he had to travel abroad a lot, so I didn’t see him again for another year.
In 1814 he came to see usagain, and it seemed as if he was keen on me. I had had advances from two other potential suitors, but I turned them down.
“We were married in Liverpool because my uncle was minister of the Unitarian church there, and my sisters were both living in Sheffield, so it was easy for them to get to Liverpool and be there for our wedding. We honeymooned in Exeter where we stayed for awhile with your grandfather.”
“And what was life like when I was born?”
“We had a difficult life as your father’s income was not constant, but my parents were very happy to support us when needed. Your father enjoyed the social life, having dinner parties, so that he could enjoy telling everyone about his accomplishments.”
Father came in the room at this stage, and added “and in seeing the looks of admiration for my wife’s young looks and her modesty and simplicity.”
“Do you remember that poem you wrote about me, John?”
“No, which one do you mean?”
I have a plaguey wife
Cold and Proud and Prudish
And she harasses my life
Makes me rough and rudish.
“Did your mother tell you how much work it was for her to give you birth?
Well she survived when I was sure she wouldn’t after three long days and nights. I know those days were rough, as there were heavy responsibilities and uncertain income, but your mother coped very well.”
My mother came back into the room showing me a piece of paper.
“Your father wrote this poem about you,” she said,
When I am good, I’m glad and gay
And then my mother smiles at me
And then I hear my father say
Come, come and dance upon my knee
But when Maria does what’s wrong
Her mother has no smiles to give
And from her father’s silent tongue
Maria will no praise receive.