Thinking of my determination to be cautious, [I was] gravish this morning at first which repelled her – or she seemed going to be affectionate and fond as yesterday. However, just before her dinner (I had been dictating her letter to her aunt and cousin Atkinson), we somehow got more at ease again – for she said she understood me to mean that all was over now and no more answer required – I explained how sorry I was, would have been the last to have intruded on her feelings etc on such circumstances of such recent grief, but my being hopeless now no reason that I should be always so and we would leave things as they were – so far that I would not let her give her answer now but wait the six months as agreed. She thought that she could not feel regard enough for me and it would not be fair to me – still thought her answer would be no. I said my expectations were very moderate – I should be satisfied if she could always be to me as she was now. She had not expected my coming, but it was very good of me – did not think I should run the risk of being more with her – not fair to myself. I said the mischief was done and I was reckless of all that could come – sufficient till the day was the evil thereof. I had resolution enough and durst brave all.
We then got much as yesterday – but for her bad back and she very languid as she lay on the sofa on my arm, I might have done what I liked. She gave me her mumbling kisses again and I seemed impassioned, but still said I had no hope. I said, at all rates, I should never seek her pity or bother her with my regard – perhaps the next thing would be her thinking I did not care at all for her – oh no, that she never should think, she knew my manner was all put on – I then got quite cheerful and said how much better I was.
I got up to go before four, but she asked me to stay – and I loitered and said how little resolution I had. She said Catherine Rawson would suit me better – I said ‘no’, and afterwards explained that I could not sufficiently respect her common sense.
On before wishing her to have Doctor Belcombe’s opinion, she said he would only laugh – all would say ‘what was the matter with her?’ (meaning, she wanted a good husband). I of course denied it, but thought it near enough the truth. She thinks me over head and ears with her – she is mistaken – her mumbling kisses have cured me of that.
She was talking of Crabbe’s poems – Catherine maintained they were not fit to be read – Miss Walker was not so particular – not fit for young girls, but very well for herself and Catherine. Oh, oh, thought I, this is a new light to me – likely enough from your manner. She casually said the other day, she should now know better how to flirt than she used to do – it has struck me more than once, she is a deepish hand. She took me up to her room – I kissed her, and she pushed herself so to me, I rather felt and might have done it as much as I pleased. She is man-keen enough – if I stay all night, it will be my own fault if I do not have all of her I can – I really [think] she wishes to try the metal I am made of and I begin to fear not being able to do enough – and doubt whether fun will even be amusing or safe.
She told me not to go to Lightcliffe tomorrow as the Priestleys got to Harrogate on Tuesday and not to [go] again to her before then for fear they should see me there – so, as she is going next week into the Sowerby Valley, I proposed her going that day and calling for me, and laughed and said I would go to her that day week – she laughed but made no remark. My real and romantic care for her is set at rest and all I shall now feel for her will not get the better of me. Shall I or shall I not give in to fun with her? Stay all night and do my best without caring for the result.
She let out today that there is some[one] who would now be glad of her and taker her into a very different rank of life from her present one (some poor Scotch baronet?). At all rates, I may handle her as I like if I choose to venture it. How changed my mind – respect so staggered yesterday is gone today – I care not for her, tho’ her money would suit. She said she should have regretted all being off between us now, tho’ she expected it. She is so man-keen she reminds me of Miss Alexander – have she and Catherine been playing tricks? – but the latter is in the wane with her now. I am cured.
Said I thought the thing would go off for it seemed as if she could not give up Cliff Hill and I could [not] leave Shibden – said how I was cooled about the thing, but still that I would wait the six months for the answer – if it was no, I would not grieve much – and if it was yes and I wanted to be off, I was sure of some excuse. Putting all on Shibden made my aunt take all right.