Anne's diaries
"My wife is rather a fan of Miss Lister"

December 1831 - Hastings

"F44° outside my window at 9 ½ & fine mild morning - breakfast at 10 ½ Thinking last thing and first of Miss H[obart]: annoyed, out of sorts and patience. Shall I hate her? for love rashly formed etc, etc. breakfast at 10:25 in 25 minutes the latter 10 minutes reading the paper - hurried over what I did eat & did not eat much - feel weakened after my dozing & lying in bed yesterday - walked on the marine parade from 11 ¼ to 11 ½ then came in for Miss H- & walked up & down the parade with her from 11 ¾ to 12:55 then on coming to my room felt so tired lay down for an hour from 1 to 2 - then went out again at 2 ¼ - some time talking to Baker the druggist - he recommended quinine (bark) as a tonic - this too astringent for me - got some tincture of gentian of which took a teaspoonful in the shop in a wine glass aparatus - walked at the average rate of a mile in 18 minutes to the 3 mile stone on the London road & back - bought and ate a penny bun in returning and came in at 4:40 went to Miss H for five minutes. She asked me to stay or go down again but I found she only wanted me for a little while while she played on the piano so I de[c]lined civilly. She came with me to the door and putting on a droll countenance. I could not help smiling and she said 'Well, I have made you smile.' However, I made no reply but came away saying to myself 'Zam[sic] her, she thinks and feels only for herself.' I thought of her during my walk with far too much annoyance and mortification. Surely I shall be indifferent enough by and by. dressed - read from page 496 to 526 and all but 9 pages of index of 'A Geological manual by Henry J. de la Beche, F.R.S., F.G.S. member Geological Society of France etc. London Treuttel & Würtz, Treuttel junior & Richter.[1] Paris & Strasb[o]urg: Treuttel & Würtz. 1831.' 1 volume 8vo[octavo] pages 535. 'London printed by Richard Taylor, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street' an excellent little work. Dinner at 7:05 in 40 minutes - then a little music I reading the bons mots & stories Miss H- is copying for me from her journals into a neat little 12mo[duodecimo] volume - coffee at 8 ½ - played & won 1 hit at backgammon - from 10 to 10 ¾ read aloud from page 168 to 204 (first ½ chapter 19) volume 3 Gibbon - came to my room at 11:10 - I grave this evening but talked latterly of her money matters, she reading me Mrs, now Lady, Foster's[2] letter and Mr Sullivan's of yesterday, and I feeling more indifferent and comfortable - Very fine autumnal day - F[ahrenheit] (out of my window) 46° now at 11:25 p.m. reading the first 12 pages of De la Beche's geology till 12:05" (1-Dec-1831).

"fine morning - F44½° now at 8:10 - niceish, little, darkish, small-cylindered, easy motion - out at 8 ½ - walked gently to the 3 mile stone on the London road & back at 10:35 - breakfast at 10:50 in 0:35 hour and came upstairs to my room - finding it not ready for me went down again for ½ hour & stood reading the paper - On entering said Miss H: 'What an unusual favour.' 'My room is not ready for me but is it not rather quizzical and satyrical on your part to talk of favours?' She made no reply. She had tried to be smiling at breakfast but the very civil gravity of my countenance never relaxed. I have been properly talkative, gravely but pointedly civil, and am satisfied with myself this morning. The fact is I care less and less about her. Heaven be praised - had just put down the above of today at 12 - then at my private accounts till 1 ½ - out from 1 ¾ to 2:10 with Miss H- walked by the back of the square & the parsonage & St. Mary's terrace along the fields to the large 4 stor[e]y house & thence into the road leading out by the castle - left Miss H- at the door & was going into High Street when met Miss Percival of Acomb[3] & 1 of her sisters coming to call on me - said all that was civil & that I would call on them & then walked to Payne's in High Street for a bun - on returning in ¼ hour went into the drawing room - Mrs Courtenay called for ten minutes - staid down till 4 then came to my room - Had talked a good deal but rather gravely in walking and afterwards at home and Miss H very smiling. She put her feet upon the sofa. I always used to go and sit by her, perhaps she half expected it or tried whether I would or not. Of course I kept aloof, but seeing her laughing asked why. She made no answer and I came away saying to myself perhaps she thinks I shall come round: she is mistaken and zam her. I shall get up my conversation with my indifference. All heart and prompting to tenderness are, I trust, fast in the wane as far as she is concerned. I told her about the Percivals and said we must ask them to tea, said the oldest was an old school-fellow of mine. Poor souls! I should not have been sorry had they never found me out: they are far too vulgar. Said they had a thousand a year each - an hour dawdling (looking for 1 thing or other) in dressing - at my desk at 5 - wrote the last 14 lines & then till 7 at my private accounts - dinner at 7:50 in 40 minutes - a little music - coffee at 8:35 - lost one & won one hit at backgammon - from 10 ¼ to 11 read aloud from page 204, to 238, end of chapter 19 volume iii Gibbon - came to my room at 11 ¼ - Having been out this morning before breakfast took the opportunity of again proposing breakfasting in my own room if I returned late - she said she should never see me. She put on a droll countenance and we both smiled, but I merely said she could come and sit with me if she liked. On my getting up, a few minutes after eleven, for my candle 'How punctual' said she, 'you are become and how steady.' I quietly said 'Is it no better for our health' and came away. I really can smile again and care nothing about her. Perhaps she little guesses what passes in my mind and may, by and by, take still more pains to bring me round, but may I be cured of my 'unaccountable frenzy' and never again overwhelm her with unreturned regard. wrote the last 10 lines - fine day - F46° out of my window (in the balcony) now at 11 ½ p.m." (2-Dec-1831).

"fine morning & F46° now at 8 - out at 8 ½ - ordered buns - some time at Mr Wooll's the bookseller's - in returning inquired for good mutton & then hunting after woodcocks 7/. a brace - walked to the 3 mile stone on the London road & back at 11 - breakfast at 11 ¼ - first time in my own room till 12 ½ during which time read the paper in comfort - more of the trial of Bishop, Williams & May for burking[4] the poor Italian boy[5] & others - more information against them from Mr Pilcher[6] colleague of Mr Grainger[7] who keeps an anatomical theatre[8] in Webb-street, Borough, London - Well! Now I have got to breakfasting in my own room we go on beautifully, in the way of not being much pothered with each other's society. She was coming to me but I went down to say the fire was only just lighted and she would find the room cold and had better not come - which I dare say pleased her well enough as she would only have come [f]rom civility. I wonder if I shall not positively dislike her by and by. Why waft our sighs in vain from Indus to the Pole? Why breathe the prayer? - there's none to hear. Devotion's self grows weary of the gods that never listen.[9] Wrote the above of today till 12:50 - read a few pages of Beechey volume 2 - went out with Miss H- at 1 ¾ - walked to St. Leonards & back - in returning came up with near our own door Lady Ann & Lady Margaret Scott who I suppose had been calling on us - passed & spoke to the Courtenays - took one turn on the parade & came in at 3:10 - then went & called on Miss Miller & the 4 Miss Percivals next door to us - Miss Miller & the 2 sick Percivals at home - staid 10 minutes when a Mrs Wright came in & I came away - then 20 minutes in the drawing room with Miss H- & came upstairs at 4 - sat musing im my great chair - 'Zam her,' said I, she makes me low and unhappy. Oh! that perfect indifference or hatred were come. It is a week today since the uncomfortableness began; the three weeks before were happy. Now I know not what to do on leaving here. The continent may be closed against us for cholera morbus; a pretty winter I have cut out for myself. How should I get on with Lady Gordon, could not do worse than now? Well, I am unhappy enough and in fact solitary enough; how little people guess it. The heart knoweth its own bitterness[10] - have just written the last 11 lines now at 5:10 - then till 6 ½ read from page 89 to 150 volume 2 Beechey - better for turning my mind to anything but Miss H - dressed - dinner at 7:10 in 35 minutes - then music coffee at 8:40 - then won a gammon & lost a hit at backgammon & from 10:40 to 11:20 read aloud from page 238 to 276 chapter 20 volume 3 Gibbon & came up to my room at 11:25 - We now get to talk very sufficiently, I abstaining as perfectly as ever from all more than civilly necessary notice of her. I think she is resolved not [t]o notice aloud my altered manner and I now think or hope we shall go on as at present forever. She has neither heart to appreciate nor head to understand me - fine day - F46° out in my balcony now at 11:40 p.m." (3-Dec-1831).

"fine mild morning & F46° at 8 ¾ - from then to 9:40 read from page 164 to 202 Beechey volume 2 - finished dressing - down at 10 - breakfast at 10:20 in 25 minutes - Miss H- & I went to the Pelham Crescent church - the same affected boyish looking preacher as last Sunday & at St. Leonards - dull 32 minutes charity sermon for the benefit of the society for propagating the gospel from Mark xvi.15 - commanded to spread the gospel among the gentiles - then took a turn on the parade, but a little small rain sent us in at 1:35 after about 20 minutes walk - sat quietly in the drawing room reading the paper till came up to my room at 2:50 - wrote the above of today - mended my pen & was just beginning to write to Lady S[tuart] de R[othesay] about 3 ¼ when Miss H- came to me to say she had a letter thro' Mr Courtenay from Lady S[tuart] & staid till 5:10  We talked and I agreeableized with sufficiently dignified cheerfulness and kindness, making my conversation sensible yet interesting on physiological, partly anatomical and political and general subjects. She stood sometime on going away and gave me the idea once that she would have kissed me, but when it came to the point could not make up her mind. I [s]tood on the landing to light her down, saying I was much flattered by her visit. In walking today she asked if she might take my arm, 'Yes, certainly,' said I gravely, and we walked arm-in-arm all the time. I think she would now be glad to come round. I shall maintain my dignity of manner and studiously as ever avoid all tenderness. Well, it will be better to keep up the friendship enough for appearances, and enough for her understanding and my comfort, observing that most things might be said if properly wrapt up. 'Yes,' said she, 'you do that beautifully in so many folds of silver paper but I like it very much.' Oh, oh! thought I, I can go on in this way and humour all your latent sentimentality and perhaps after all I could get all if I thought it worth the trouble. But no, I have got comfortably into my present sedate way and I will not pother myself again - wrote the last 15 lines till 5 ½ - from 5 ½ to 6 ½ read from page 204 to 243 Beechey volume 2 making at the same time some little notes - dressed - dinner at 7 ¼ in 40 minutes - then a little music - coffee at 8 ½ - a little more music I read from page 243 to 321 Beechey volume 2. A little conversation, she evidently wishing to be agreeable: told me of Lady Gooderich's stinginess; read anecdotes from her journal  no Gibbon tonight because Miss H- could not work & would therefore have to sit with her hands before her while I read - she preferred writing out extracts of good stories for me from her journal - would there have been sin against Sunday & the second commandment in a needle then a pen? Came to my room at 11:25 - fine day tho' dampish with a slight threatening of small rain sent us in at 2:10 - F50½° now at 11:40 p.m. Miss H- had a letter this morning from Breadalbane McL[ean][11] with message to me asking if I remembered what passed at Esholt Hall[12] about poor Sibbella's[13] seal the Highlander (she promised it me) if I did Breadalbane would send it to me - very good of her - but no! I had a great deal of poor Sibbella's & will not take the seal - her watch shall go to Breadalbane if not to Miss H- Very handsome in the letter about a friend indeed and my kindness in coming to Hastings, and how pleased poor Sibbella would be could she be sensible of my kindness to her child. I decidedly think she is wishing to come round: she slightly pressed my hand after dinner on my giving her her gloves, but I took no notice. Talking of the poet Campbell[14] and his vulgar attempt at agreeableness with Lady Stuart, I said poets, not gentlemen, were sometimes and mentioned Mr Henry Ingram's grossness to Mariana and my resenting it, but did not explain. Never talk of myself" (4-Dec-1831).

"Bowels right yesterday - all wrong again this morning & feeling stuffed up & not comfortable - damp mild small rainy morning - F50° out of my window at 8:20 - went out at 8:40 - walked to the 4 mile stone on the London road for the small rain went off & tho' damp morning yet fine for this time of year - bought ½ pound green portugal[?] grapes in returning for my breakfast (first time) to see if that would do any good to my bowels which are again getting bad as ever - came in at 11:20 - 5 minutes in the drawing room with Miss H- then dressed - breakfast in my own room at 11 ¾ in ½ hour - then quarter or more on the pot doing three little lumps; did about as many on getting up this morning - Went out with Miss H- at 1:35 - went to Pelham baths & took 2 sittings in the gallery of the church for 4 months - the woman not very civil - walked to the end of High Street then down All Saints Street - took a turn on the parade (windy & disagreeable) & came in at 2 ¾ - staid downstairs mending pens for Miss H- & came to my room at 3:25 - From four to five pothering over one half sheet note page to Lady S[tuart] de R[othesay] then had just written another in about half hour when Miss H- came to me about 5 ½ & staid till 6 ¾ - dressed - dinner at 7:25 in 40 minutes - 20 minutes music - coffee at 7:40 - then talked till 10 ½ from which time to 11:35 read aloud from page 276 to 329 volume 3 Gibbon i.e. to the end of chapter 20 & part of chapter 21 - Our talk before and after dinner was led to by her bringing me back my book-knife with thanks but saying that if she had a card she would not have troubled me for the knife. I gently remarked that after what had passed at Saint Leonard's when she was rather cross about this said knife her speech now seemed ungracious. Then we got to good humour, heart, feelings, etc., and lastly romance, sentiment and Charles Stuart.[15] She says nothing could excuse her marrying him but 'unaccountable frenzy' which she does not feel, but does not perhaps at heart relish his getting over his fancy which she thinks he will have done if he does not come before the first of April would convince her she was romantic on the subject of a husband's fidelity to his fife[sic]wife?. Before dinner she had somehow occasion to say she thought some people (myself) had better think less of those whose deserts were so small, but she saw no symptom of their doing so. I quietly answered perhaps some people did use their best endeavours and might perhaps succeed better than she thought - she said afterward she had heard and observed this reply of mine. We have got to talk cheerfully and comfortably, 'tis enough. I still keep to all my distance: no look of mine nor near approach, not sign of tenderness to annoy her or give her leave to find the smallest fault. Said casually tonight how I had always had my own way, went in and out from fifteen, and spent my time as I liked. But shus[h] these long conversings! Damp small rainy morning for about ¾ or ½ hour on first going out this morning then fair and tho' dampish & afterwards windy yet finish day - F44° in my balcony now at 12:10 tonight - God be thanked I really think I care less and less about her, if I could but think less about her I should do" (5-Dec-1831).

"very rainy windy morning F48° at 8 ½ a.m. determined to wait for the chance of better weather - at my desk at 7:40 - an hour at my foolish letter to Lady S[tuart] de Rothesay then reading Dr Harwood on the Climate of the town of Hastings - Letter from M[ariana] (Lawton) 3 pages & ends & 2 first pages crossed - dated Thursday the first inst. - How singular to be so long on the road! much better account of herself - Mr L[awton] had got her a horse - can[']t tell exactly the consumption of meat,[16] as they kill their own mutton & pork, 'but certainly nothing like your consumption takes place. . . . . without waste or extravagance, bad management will be expensive' - downstairs at 10:10 - breakfast at 10:20 in 40 minutes & staid down afterwards till 11:25 - Miss H gave me her letter from Lady Northland[17] to read - very nice affectionate well written letter - and speaking of my kindness and how glad she should be ever to meet me, and said Miss H: 'I hope you will be kind and civil to her. I shall give you a letter to take about with you; you will see her in your travels.' She read me parts from Lady S's letter and Charles's and we got on very well. She said of herself how ill she looked and she had not slept well, and I fancied she had been thinking of all I said to her yesterday. Surely we shall now get on comfortably enough - out at 11:35 walker to the 3 mile stone on the London road & back at 1:35 - a shower as I went & then small rain but finer in return - Changed my dress - out with Miss H- at 2:05 - walked on the parade (damp & windy & disagreeable) & came in at 2 ¾ - came to my room immediately - about 20 minutes nap - wrote the last 14 lines - From four to six and three quarters wrote one half sheet note paper full and two pages of another to Lady S de R keeping very little of what I wrote yesterday. How stupid I have been about it. dressed - dinner at 7 ¼ in 35 minutes - music - coffee at 8 ½ - played & lost one hit at backgammon - from 9:50 to 11 read aloud from page 328 to 371 chapter 21 volume iii Gibbon - came to my room at 11:25  After wishing Miss H goodnight for a minute or two in her own room, not having done so before since last Friday week, we are now comfortable again, but I still keep up my utter refraining from all tenderness, tho' I now do it with ease and it is more as if I had never shewn any at all than as if I had left it off. This is all right - Rainy windy morning till between 10 & 11 - rain & small rain for some time while I was out & damp & a little small rain & windy & disagreeable while Miss H- & I were out - She changed her dress on coming in to avoid cold from the damp of it, & really seems to bear the strong winds (south & south west) very well - F51° now at 11:40 p.m. the sea roaring as usual - but the night fairer tho' windy - till 12:40 read from page 320 to end of page 330 end of the work itself & then to page 356 appendix - raining fast now at 12:50 tonight with high wind" (6-Dec-1831).

"No motion. fair morning - high boisterous wind F52° at 7 ½ & 8 ½ a.m. - out at 8:35 having staid 5 minutes to eat a bun - walked to the 3 mile stone on the London road & back at 10:35 - stormy walk - high boisterous south westerly wind - could some time scarce stand & run - changed my dress - at breakfast with Miss H- at 10:50 - breakfast in ½ hour - staid down till 12 - then came up to my room & read the newspaper all thro' till 1 - went down for a minute or 2 to pay Miss H- for the last 2 weeks - at my desk at 1 ¼ - We are now very good friends and I thought less of her in my walk this morning than I have done in any walk for long - from about one and a half to four and three-quarters wrote a second ½ sheet full to Lady S- de R- chit chat - * * * 'our days pass on in one unvaried tenor of quiet comfort, a calm which contrasts agreeably with the constant & perhaps feverish excitement of perpetual change of place - we have plenty of employment & amusement - our Globe in a morning & German, & walking, & letter-writing, & in an evening, musid & reading aloud - I really think Vere better - the bad cold she had at first, seems to have done no harm beyond the moment; but that Hastings is the place to make a complete cure in one winter, is, at least, problematic - Mr Duke, the apothecary here, thinks what was mischief there is, is confined to the trachea - he makes us walk instead of taking carriage exercise which he says, would not do ½ the good; & we have not been kept in house by bad weather, more than 3 or 4 days since our being here - yet it is surely the most windy place I ever was in - Our smooth-cut, perpendicular cliff, 160 feet high, close behind us, is no shelter against the south & south west winds, said to prevail here from October to January; &, indeed, they have prevailed, & do prevail most determinedly, both out of doors & in, for the houses here are anything but exclusive - 'tis well for us, these winds are the most innocent of their kind - Our mean temperature (in our low sheltered situation) is said to be 4 degrees warmer than that of the environs of London, & two degrees warmer than that of the city, during the coldest months - we are told, however, not to regret Nice - Vere had a long letter yesterday morning from Lady Northland who does not like it at all, - says the mistral is terrible, & there is no society, & the Fosters have done quite right to go to Genoa - the Turin correspondence is just now rather business-like - tho', from all I hear of it, I cannot help being struck at the little acquaintance each one seems to have with the history of her own affairs - It was a great disappointment that the copies of the correspondence with Lady B[uckingham], did not arrive at the Lodge while you were there - but the casual observation in their letter to Vere, that she had best let her solicitor settle the matter for her, did a world of good - you can hardly imagine the difficulty it had been to persuade her to this, even tho' first suggested in no very gentle terms by my Lord himself - I really thought she would have been worried into giving the thing up; & even now their letter to Mr Frampton still remains to be written - She could tell you, there would be sixteen years interest due in March on £2400, making altogether £4320, a sum I feel quite sure of their thinking too large to be neglected - On the subject of other money matters, she has had two very kind letters from Mr Sullivan who, on giving up the guardianship, seems to have inadvertently omitted transferring the property into Vere's name, and giving in any accounts, so that no legal release to her would, or could be executed - the transfer is to be done as soon as possible; & Mr Jones will send the release here for her signature; but in answer to Vere's suggestion that Mr Jones will, of course, send the accounts at the same time, Mr Sullivan thinks this out of the question, & gives so little information on this subject, or on that of the Branston Estate,[18] that Vere is no wiser than she was before - Perhaps Lady Stuart knows how the Hobart half of their estate was settled - whether on all the children of Vere's father equally or not, & whether other branches of the family were sharers with them or not - From a letter of 2 or 3 years ago, it seems, Lady Foster then fancied, there must be some deficit, which, for some reason or other, she rated at £12,000, as the B[ranston] estate sold for £96,000, and Mr Jones accounted for little more than £43,000' - the remaining 1 ⅔ pages of the second half sheet were chit chat - spoke of the wind as tremendous today - 'I was glad to be at East Highcliff - But you are to furnish it completely' alluding to furniture live & dead - My love to the dear girls and believe me my dear Lady Stuart, always very truly yours A Lister - the first ½ sheet tho' written yesterday dated today - This letter has been a great pother to me but I think it will very well at last  from 4:55 to 5 ¾ wrote all but the first 6 lines of today sealed & enclosed my letter to 'The Lady Stuart de Rothesay' under cover to 'Lord Stuart de Rothesay, 3 St James's Square, London' from 5 ¾ to 7:10 wrote 3 pages & ends & first page crossed to 'Mrs Lawton Lawton hall Lawton Cheshire' & sent it to the post at 7:10 along with the letter to Lady S-  chit chat to M- in answer to her last - asked again for Eustace if she could spare her, but not to mind saying she had rather keep her at home as I could get him much under the published price - In reply to 'Cameron has all to learn' in housekeeping answered yes! & 'I much fear she will never astonish either M- or me by any unheard of proficiency even in time to come - nous verronswe shall see' - kind letter - very anxious about her - sadly so when too long in hearing from her, & glad to return to our old regular plan of once a fortnight - dressed - dinner at 7:35 in 25 minutes - music - coffee at 8 ¾ - played & won one hit at backgammon - from 10 ¼ to 11 read aloud from page 370 to page 412 of chapter 12 volume iii Gibbon - came upstairs at 11 ½ - She ten minutes in my room - very good friends - laughed and said how she had scolded me three times but that I hoped she would have no opportunity of doing it again - speaking of the Percivals before coffee and their having a thousand a year each, Miss H somehow said they could afford to be three hundred a year less agreeable than she could and I could afford to be six times less agreeable as I had six thousand a year. I took no notice apparently of this but it shews me for the first time what they seem to rate me at - Stormy day - boisterously high wind - very high surf - & repeated showers pelting against the window - stormy & rainy tonight at 12 at which hour F[ahrenheit] (in my balcony) 51° - 'The Miss Percivals, 14 Pelham Crescent' called this morning about 2 & left their card - George in his for-ever stupidity about callers, tho', I had told him a day or 2 ago to say when anyone asked for me I was not at home, kept the Miss P-s waiting downstairs till he had come up to see if I was at home - I was busy & had not got my hair dressed - I fear they would think me not very civil" (7-Dec-1831).

"rainy soft, windy morning - F52° at 8 ¾ - but rain in the night & recently & threatening morning - skimmed over the paper till 9:40 for the rain made me determined to breakfast before walking - Bowels all wrong and lumps this morning just as before taking the calomel overnight this day week - make a little extract from Gibbon volume 3 - breakfast downstairs at 10 in ½ hour & came to my room in ¾ hour - out at 10:55 walked to the 4 mile stone on the London [road] - in returning bought little almond paste pot & plated nutcrackers & came in at 1:50 - the two things are to give Miss H, she asked me for the latter. Dressed - windy & rainy more or less all the time I was out - asked Cameron to make me some lemonade - she could not! so cooked it myself - dressing & cooking till 2:50 then till 4 making extract from volume iii Gibbon - Miss H- came soon after & staid about an hour till after 5 - then till 6 ¼ making extract from Beechey's voyage to the Pacific & Beerings Straits volume ii - then before & just after dinner (at 7:10 in 40 minutes) read from page 357 to 452 volume ii Beechey - a little music - coffee at 8 ½ - played & lost 1 hit at backgammon - from 10 ¼ to 11 ¼ read the first 45 pages Gibbon volume iv. Came to my room at 11 ½ - Very good, I being cheerful and natural but never bordering on tenderness. I really never think or care about it now and feel very comfortably coolly. Windy rainy day - F65° in my room now at 11 ¾ p.m. and 53½° in the balcony now at 12:35 tonight & rainy night" (8-Dec-1831).

"Incurred a cross last night thinking of Miss H. great deal of rain in the night - fair or almost fair at 7 ½ - F in my room 61° at 8, and 58° in the balcony at 8 ½ - skimmed over the newspaper - Letter from my aunt (Shibden) 3 pages & ends, dated Tuesday the 6th inst. - theirs I can have in 3 days from Shibden, & it takes 5 from Lawton about 30 miles nearer London than Shibden is! - my father & Marian well - my aunt's limbs seem to get gradually worse but she writes in pretty good spirits? There is a subscription afloat for the communion plate (to cost about £40 to £50) for St James's church - what will I give? shall I think £5 too much? no! certainly not - Marian wishes my aunt to speak to me about Benjamin Bottomley[19] whose life will be shortened by quitting the farm '& she had been told by a person (whom she did not choose to name) that it was not so ill farmed' - went out at 9:20 walked to the 3 mile stone on the London road & back at 11:20 - ten or 12 minutes with Miss H- Changed my dress - breakfast at 11:55 in 20 minutes - then looking over map of France I have long thought of going to Paris by Auvergne to Grenoble to mineralogize & ramble about the mountains all thereabouts till time for Italy - went out at 12:50 with Miss H- 2 turns in High Street - the rain hurried us back Miss H- left her card in returning for Lady Baroness Howe[20] wife to Sir Wathin Waller[21] - came in at 1:40 - from 1:50 to 2 ¼ Miss H- in my room, gave me a lesson, the first, in German from Dr de Prati's German fables with English literal translation à la Hamilton - then wrote the above of today - windy & rainy - fair all the while I was out - from 2 ¾ to 5:20 (had Miss H- for a little while) wrote 3 pages & ends & under the seal to my aunt - Kind chit chat in answer to hers - on the 2 main points wrote as follows - 'Do give my love to Marian, & tell her, I am very sorry for what you tell me about poor old Benjamin, as I really hoped he was wise enough to be persuaded that, at his age (nearer ninety, I presume, than eighty) it was time to give up farming, as much for his own sake, as that of anybody else - Marian has told me of his being obliged to go to bed after returning with his milk cans from Halifax; & considering this strong symptom of decrepitude, & how unaided he is by anybody in whom one can place any confidence, I should suppose Marian herself must, on reflection, be of opinion that, if he has no money, he is unfit for the farm; & if he has money, the farm is unfit for him, being a concern much greater than he is able to manage, & consequently, far more likely to impoverish than enrich him - I should be very sorry to be even the innocent means of shortening anybody's life by the shortest time possible; but I understood from Marian, that poor Benjamin was hardly expected to get over last winter:- perhaps, therefore, if he should even be worse this, his illness might fairly be attributed to nature as much as anything else - with respect to Marian's authority in favour of his good or not bad farming, I can only say, that that authority being anonymous, it is not, perhaps, necessary to pay it more deference than one usually does pay in such cases - Do exactly as you like, & think best, my dear aunt, about the subscription to the 'outfit' for St James's church - but it strikes me, that, if I give five pounds, it will be enough for us both - However, put it in your name or mine - If the people get the money, they will care little about the name - but perhaps you will be no loser by avoiding the gift of your name, when there is no good reason why you should not keep it to yours, if you choose - I left a hundred pounds, as I told you at the time, in Rawsons hands, so that you not feel at all at a loss - you were quite right to subscribe to the map' (of the parish for 36/. in a case); & I am glad of it - 'that is a kind of thing that ought to be in the house' . . . . . . . I[sabella]N[orcliffe] has not written to me since I left Shibden nor Mrs N[orcliffe] these 6 or 7 weeks 'I trust however, there can be no danger of sending Joseph Booth[22] to Scott's - Fumigation, & whitewashing, & all that could be done would be done, to get rid of infection as soon as possible - what frightens me is the boy's inflamed knee - this does not look well - I fear, poor fellow! his constitution is not good - but we must hope the best' - my aunt has got the gig back - Percy was not to blame about it - it was never Briggs's mistake - Say I like Hastings better than I did at first - but it will be time to be off by the end of April 'the air is too damp & relaxing - too rheumatic - warm as it is. I have been obliged to put on a second pair (I now wear two pair) of woollen sleeves, & to smother myself up in bed at nights, by which means I have just got rid of rheumatism from my left arm' - had just written so far at 5:50 - sent off at 5, my letter to 'Mrs Lister Shibden hall, Halifax, Yorkshire' - dressed - read a few pages De Beche's geology - dinner at 7:05 in 40 minutes - Miss H- read aloud German to me - another lesson - a little music before & after coffee at 8 ½ - from 10:20 to 11:20 read aloud from page 44 to 91 end of chapter 22 & about 30 pages of chapter 23 volume iv Gibbon - came to my room at 11 ½ - thickish & damp & windy, but pretty fair while I was out & till 1 ½ from when rainy stormy (high wind) after & evening - F64° now at 11 ¾ in my room with a fire from morning till night, & for the last 2 or 3 nights smothered up & kept in all night - F51½&geg; in the balcony at 12:20 - Miss H- had a note this afternoon very kind & civil from Lady Ann Scott excusing her not calling on account of Lady Margaret's going to be married to Lord Marsham[23] - till 12:20 writing out declensions of German articles & pronouns & adjectives to take out with me & learn in walking" (9-Dec-1831).

"Up at 7:10 with bowel complaint as if having taken strong medicine - then went to bed again for an hour - dressed leisurely feeling uncomfortableness amounting to slight pain in my bowels, unusual with me on any occasion - F62° in my room and fine now at 9:50 - fine mild morning - rain in the night & between 7 & 8 this morning - went downstairs at 9:55 - breakfast - took only a mouthful of brown bread & 2 cups of tea, feeling not inclined for anything - Miss H rather kinder in her manner than usu(s)al. On my begging for a little law at breakfast this morning she really did seem to feel it and said that seemed like scolding her. In a kind manner disclaimed all such intention. She said she did not see much of me - I quietly observed people might think it very dull for her and that she was terribly left alone, but that I did it because I knew she liked it better, otherwis[e] I certainly should not leave her quite so much. She then said, but kindly enough, well she would not say anything to make her have fewer hours to herself. I was a perfect model now, I had done enough: she did not wish me to do any more to get over my fancy for her. I merely said in answer a civil 'Oh, no.' Perhaps after all she may care the more of the two by and by. I hope (it) I am much cured at heart. Came to my room at 10 ¾ resolving to remain there quietly all day - an hour reading the paper - then wrote the above of today till 12 ¼ - then till 6:25 (excluding walking about my room every now & then & downstairs with Miss H- from 3 ½ to 4) at my private accounts & much time spent turning to my journal - at 1 took 2 table-spoonfuls of Miss H-'s castor oil, feeling my bowels still uncomfortable - and at one and fifty minutes had a largeish, very loose motion, shewing that the oil had gone thro' me, seeing the grease floating on the motion. At 6 ½ dressed - down at 7 - dinner at 7 ¼ - music - I lay on the sofa ½ asleep till 10 - from then to 11:05 won one hit at backgammon & lost another - came upstairs at 11:25 - tolerably fine day, tho' occasional showers & raining now & some time ago tonight - F63° in my room (fire all day) at 11 ½ p.m. & F54° out in the balcony now at 12 tonight" (10-Dec-1831).

"F54° at 9 ½ at which hour breakfast and rainy morning - came upstairs at 10 - read the whole of the newspaper - went down to Miss H- at 12:20 for nearly 10 minutes mentioned that we ought to have read prayer. Oh, no, she did not need give me that trouble as she should go to church in the afternoon. She was reading a sermon and not wishing to interrupt her I came away. We are very good friends and I am now pretty comfortably careless. It was a fortnight last night since my last and I hope final change towards her began - wrote the avove of today & from 12 ¾ to 2 ½ at my private accounts - then meaning to go to church went downstairs for a little while & altogether interrupted ½ hour - feeling a little uncomfortableness in my bowels, & seeing it raining determined me to stay at home - from 3 to 5 at my private accounts again & looking over my letter to Miss McL[ean] returned on her death - not one letter from 1829! She had, of course, destroyed the letters of that year! Miss H- came to me for a minute or two on returning from church (she did not go in the morning) - ate ½ a bun & drank a little water and then walked about my room ¼ hour - I feel feverish today - read the lessons & psalms for morning & evening & the collected epistle & gospel & some of the prayers, & went down to Miss H- at 6 for 35 minutes - dressed - dinner at 7:05 in 40 minutes - a very little music - coffee at 8 ½ - afterwards a German lesson Miss H- reading a little aloud to me to give me the pronunciation - came upstairs at 11:35 - near 20 minutes in Miss H-'s room - windy showery day - F59° in my room (no fire today or tonight) at 12 tonight - windy rainy evening & now at 12 at night - at German till 12 ¾ - F54° in the balcony at 1:05 tonight" (11-Dec-1831).

"windy but fair & finish & F59° in my room, at 8 - F53° at 8 ¾ in the balcony & then & for a few minutes before raining - went down at 9:10 - sat reading Miss H-'s German grammar till she came down at 9 ½ - then in ¼ hour breakfast (½ cup cold milk & 2 cups of tea in ¾ hour (did not hurry for not inclined for breakfast & only ate about ½ my usual quantity) & came upstairs at 10 ¾ - Miss H- had mentioned her London German master - Said if she would like to have him here, I could have German & pay half the expense - thought he might come for a pound a day & travelling expenses paid especially as he might sleep & breakfast in the house into the bargain - Miss H- to write & name the thing to Lady S- we might have him for a month or six weeks during this dead time in London for about £25 each? On coming up found my cousin come; half hour arranging for him then looking over maps of Germany etc. till near one - if I now pick up German enough shall I go to Paris by Treves, Coblentz, Cassel to Gottingen, Berlin, Dresden, Buda Vienna, Belgrade? & return by Trieste into Italy for the winter? Then ¼ hour or 20 minutes trying to learn the German written characters till Miss H- came to me at 1:10 & staid an hour, saying she meant it a great compliment to say I nailed her as I always did, so that she could not get away - we looked over maps of France Switzerland & Italy - talked of the London German master & Dr de Prati here who seems little likely to teach Miss H- much more German than she knows already - very windy - the rain continued till between 1 & 2 & then blew off so that I might have gone out had I felt inclined - wrote the above of today till 2 ½ - from then to 6:25 at my private & travelling day books - from 10:05 to 11:05 read aloud from page 91 to 139 end of chapter 23. volume vi Gibbon - came upstairs at 11 ¼ - A minute or two in Miss H's room and she the same in mine, very good friends. Speaking this morning of the good of going to bed at ten and getting up at four or five she said 'You won't get me to do that,' and this evening on my alluding to going to Paris she said 'I shall not believe you will go till I know you are there,' and this morning looking over the maps she asked me to point out Salona and then immediately put her finger on Spalatra[sic], saying that is it. I merely said yes. Does she like me and think of being more with me? I suspect it but now I care less and less about it - for the weather vide the first lines of today & line 8 of this page. Rain again before 3 & afterwards very rainy, windy afternoon & evening & very boisterous wet night now at 11 ½ - the sky light making a terrible rattle from the high wind, which almost blew us away in the sitting room tonight, & blown into my room at a fine rate - F now at 11 ½ in my room with good fire 62° - till 12:25 writing out the verb werden - F54½° in the balcony at 12 ¾ tonight" (12-Dec-1831).

"very stormy windy - fair but wind very high this morning - F60° at 8 in my room & 54° in the balcony at 8 ¾ - downstairs at 9:10 - read the whole of the paper - Miss H- came at 9 ¾ - breakfast at 10 in 40 minutes - came to my room at 10:50 - went out with Miss H- at 11 ¼ - we bought toated cheese at 8d, & butter at ½, & I ordered her a woodcock price 3/6 - then walked up & down High Street - went to the bank Messrs. Tilling & Smith & got £50 on my letter of credit from Hammersley[24] for £500 - ½ in their notes & half in cash - then ordered Noehden's German & English dictionary[25] at Mr Wooll's - & came in at 12:40 - came to my room at 12 ¾ & put on my boots meaning to go out again but sat down in my great chair & slept till Miss H- came to me at 2:25 to see if I was out in the storm it had been raining like a water spout for some time - she staid till 3 ¼ - we counted over my money - I scented her some pocket handkerchiefs & we talked & dawdled away the time very good friends - wrote the above of today - still raining & very stormy, very high wind now at 3:35 - repaid Miss H- the half sovereign I found in doing my travelling book yesterday she had paid me too much on settling the bill at St. Leonards - so that it being entered as if she had paid me right at first I made no entry in my accounts of the 10/. paid today. Settled with Cameron her long account from 27 August up to today inclusive - I had let her have on account £10 by letter to York 8 September £1 at Chichester 12 October and 10/. here at Hastings 30 November so that tho' hers came to £17.15.5 including £5 paid by her to Mrs Belco[mbe] (vide M[ariana]'s account) I had only to pay her £6.4.5 - had just settled all this when Miss H- came to me at 3 ¼, & staid till 5:10 - staying with me in my own room is her own fault and surely she can have no dislike to my company, or she would not so unnecessarily come into my way - dressed - looking over Cameron's housekeeping accounts - went down at 7 - dinner at 7:20 in 35 minutes - Miss H- sat down to the piano, but we began talking & so had no music - how she never forgave Captain Yorke for the kiss he gave, she sixteen, he twenty - Coffee at 8 ½ - German - from 10 ½ to 11:25 read aloud from page 139 to 191 chapter 24. volume iv Gibbon - came upstairs at 11 ½ & a second or 2 in Miss H-'s room, came to my own immediately - till 12:50 read the first 66 pages volume 1. Memoirs of Count Lavalette[26] - tolerably fine morning till between 9 & 10 - drizzling while we were out - very heavy rain between 1 & 2 & afterwards rainy stormy afternoon & evening - F62° in my room at 12 - & 52° in the balcony now at 1 ½ tonight" (13-Dec-1831).

"Pretty good motion: that is one longish, natural, moderate-sized roll, then forty minutes washing night shemise[sic] - finish soft morning F65° im my room at 9 ½ & 53° at 9:50 in the balcony - went down at 9:50 - breakfast & skimmed over the paper & came upstairs at 10:55 - out at 11 ½ - ordered a pint gravy soup at Paine's to be eighteen pence - walked to the second mile stone on the London road walking very slowly reading (first time here) & getting by heart as I went along the German verb werden & the German articles - back at 1 - 5 or 10 minutes with Miss H- - changed my dress - out with her at 1 ¾ - met Lady Ann Scott coming to call on us - she would not let us return but walked with us on the parade ¾ hour - Lady Margaret [Scott]'s marriage to be in February - both the brothers the duke[27] & Lord John[28] here at present - Lord Marsham aet. 23[29] the bridegroom elect was at school[30] with them - both families Lord Romney & the Scotts delighted at the match - then went into High Street - we staid some time at the shop beyond the bank, eating shortbread etc. - came in at 3 ½ - a little while (a few minutes) downstairs - from 3 ½ to 6 ½ read from 67 to 317 Memoirs of Lavallette - dressed - dinner at 7 - had chestnuts (first time) & did not leave the dining room till 8:10 - Miss H- sleepy & tired & lay on the sofa till coffee at 8 ½ - afterwards German - then from 10 ¼ in 32 minutes read aloud from page 191 to 226 end of chapter 24 volume iv. Gibbon - came upstairs at 11:20 Miss H- ¼ hour in my room - then wrote the above of today - Fire in my room & F64½ now at 11:50 - finish morning but a smartish shower in returning began as I got to the middle of George Street - afterwards fine afternoon & evening - F46 in the balcony now at 12:50 till which hour reading the 2 first chapters (pages 18) of the history of Greece published by the society for promoting useful knowledge" (14-Dec-1831).

"Even rather better? motion than yesterday. F61° in my room at 9 & 44° in the balcony at 9:20 & very fine morning - felt billious when dressing - downstairs at 9 ½ - tho' giddy skimmed over the paper - Miss H- came at 10 - took my breakfastslowly & a cup of tea, & came to my room at 10 ¾ very bilious - had another cup of hot tea - sat expecting to be sick - at the giddiness being gone off & only headache read till [time missing] from page 322 to 412 end of 'Memoirs of Count Lavalette written by himself. In 2 volumes. Volume 1. London: Henry Coburn & Richard Bentley[31] New Burlington Street 1831.' volume 1. pages 412. volume 2. pages 459 8vo [octavo] - 'London printed By Samuel Bently, Dorset Street, Fleet Street.' At twelve a very nice, goo[d] motion - Soon after 12 very sick (to action[?]) & then about 12 ½ lay down & slept & did not get up till when Miss H- came in, & awakened me - she had been in twice before without my knowing it - downstairs from about 4 ½ to 5 ¾ latterly reading Miss H-'s German grammar on substantives, while she wrote to Lady S- then read a little more upstairs - dressed - dinner at 7 in 50 minutes - music - coffee at 8 ½ - a German lesson in pronunciation till 9 ½ - then till 10:50 won 2 hits and then lost one at backgammon - then wrote the last 5 lines - Viscountess Bury[32] called on Miss H this morning, she did not know so would not see her and sent word she was not well enough to see anyone, saying to me she would write and ask [her] aunt who she was. I see she is at all rates particular enough about making acquaintances - no reading aloud tonight - did not feel quite up to it - very fine day till dinner - afterwards rain & high wind - came to my room at 11 ½ at which hour F63½° in my room & 46½° now as 12 ½ in the balcony - fine right now - reading German grammar & writing out the auxilary verbs seyn [sein?] & haben till 1" (15-Dec-1831).

"very fine rather frostyish morning F61° at 8 in my room & 42° at 8 ¾ in the balcony - down at 9 ¼ - read the paper - Miss H- came at 10 - upstairs again at 11 - went out with Miss H- at 11 ¼ - walked along High Street to Mr North's then turned left up the hill & came out at the turnpike on the London Road & returned by the London road (the 1st time she had even been ½ so far on the London road) & came in & up to my room at 12:50 - asleep in my chair from then to 2 - went out at 2 ½ - stopt at Rouse's High Street to buy some liquorice lozenges & it then began to rain - waited a little - then went to Wooll's & waited till it was fair (till after 3) paid for my Geman dictionary that came yesterday & ordered Bernay's German grammar & exercises & inquiries to be made about some work on mythology for ladies - walked slowly to the turnpike - turned up the the hill (to the west) & came back along that road to the 1st windmill,[33] then turned left (East) & came out into high Street - home at 4 - with Miss H- till 5 - Very good friends lastly got on the subject of Arundel Bouverie and came away she begging to talk no more of it and then arrived her German master. She shews more interest about me than before, perhaps because I shew less for her." (16-Dec-1831).

< October/November 1831

[1] Publishers and booksellers founded in Strasbourg by Jean Georges Treuttel; Würtz was his partner from c.1785. Adolphus Richter opened a London branch in 1817.
[2] Vere's half-sister, Lady Albinia Jane Foster (Hobart) (d.1867). In 1815 Albinia married Augustus John Foster (1780-1848), who was created 1st Baronet Foster on 30 September 1831 - so Albinia was a Lady both by marriage and by birth (she and her sisters were granted "the style and precedence of the daughter of an Earl" by Royal Warrant in 1832).
[3] In 1831 Acomb was a village outside York. It's a suburb now. I think there may have been six Percival sisters. The family lived at Acomb Hall (later a hospital & now demolished) & is interesting in that the misses Percivals' father, Rev. Charles Miller (1760-1818), assumed his wife Harriet's surname at some point.
[4] Burking: "The crime of murdering a person, ordinarily by smothering, for the purpose of selling the corpse. The term derives its name from the method William Burke and William Hare, the Scottish murder team of the 19th century, used to kill their victims during the West Port murders"
[5] The "Italian Boy" murder: In November 1831 Bishop & May delivered the fresh & apparently unburied corpse of a 14-year-old boy to the King's College School of Anatomy in London. The police were called and the gang of body-snatchers arrested. Bishop and Williams were hanged on December 5; May was exonerated of the murder but transported to Tasmania, where he died in 1834.
[6] George Pilcher (1801-1855).
[7] Richard Dugard Grainger FRCS FRS (1801-1865); surgeon, anatomist and physiologist. He was George Pilcher's brother-in-law.
[8] The Webb Street School of Medicine, Snow's Fields, Borough.
[9] Anne is paraphrasing quotes from Alexander Pope's poem Eloisa to Abelard.
[10] From Proverbs 14.10: "The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy" (King James Bible).
[11] Breadalbane & Sibella MacLean were Vere's maternal aunts.
[12] Esholt Hall is near Bradford, and was then was owned by the Crompton-Stansfield family.
[13] Sibella was another of Anne's lovers, and had died the previous year.
[14] Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)?
[15] Vere's second cousin, Lady Stuart's grandson.
[16] Anne was concerned about their meat bill, and had asked Mariana's advice the previous month.
[17] Mary Juliana Stuart (d.1866), Lady Stuart's husband's niece. She married Thomas Knox in 1815. Knox became Viscount Northland in 1831.
[18] The Lincolnshire Branston Estate was inherited by Vere's paternal grandmother, Albinia Bertie (d.1816). The estate was sold in or shortly after 1829 to Alexander Leslie Melville (1800-1881).
[19] This must be the Bottomley who Ann evicts in GJ episode 1.
[20] Sophia-Charlotte Howe (d.1836).
[21] Sir Jonathan Wathen Waller, 1st Baronet of Braywick Lodge (1769-1853), oculist to King George 3rd.
[22] Son of John Booth, Shibden servant. (In GJ Joseph is portrayed as John's brother.)
[23] Lady Margaret married Charles Marsham, 3rd Earl of Romney (1808-1874), the following February.
[24] Anne's London banker.
[25] Rabenhorst's Pocket dictionary of the German and English languages by Georg Heinrich Noehden (1770-1826), published in 1814.
[26] Memoirs of Count Lavalette by Comte Antoine-Marie Chamans de Lavalette (1769-1830).
[27] Lord Walter Francis Montagu-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch, 7th Duke of Queensberry (1806-1884).
[28] Lord John Douglas Montagu-Scott MP (1809-1860).
[29] Charles Marsham, 3rd Earl of Romney, born on July 30, 1808.
[30] Eton College.
[31] Bently & Coburn were briefly (3 years from 1829) in partnership at 8 New Burlington Street.
[32] Frances Steer (d.1869), who married Augustus Frederick Keppel, Viscount Bury in 1816. Keppel (1794-1851) fought at Waterloo and was an MP. He became the 5th Earl of Albemarle in 1849, but was declared insane and never took his seat in the House of Lords. This would not be a barrier today. After Keppel's death, Frances went on to marry Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable Peregrine Francis Cust (1791-1873) - who had previously been married to Lady Anne Montagu-Scott's sister, Lady Isabella Mary Montagu-Scott (1800-1829).
[33] At the time there was a group of 3, possibly 4, windmills on West Hill. I think Anne is referring to one of these.
Page updated 26-Jul-2021
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