27 December 1839

[A-] all in tears and low – said I left her so much – said this on my telling her I was going to Princess R[adzivill]. A sort of scene and talk as usual on these occasions – she promised to try to exert herself, but what melancholy miserable work it is.

Seven examinations by three different accoucheurs who all agreed there was no organic disease.

The Emperor had behaved beautifully. He and the Empress and she being all together – he owned that much as he preferred the Empress to all other woman. Yet, that had Princess R[adzivill] made any effort to win him, he was homme and could not have answered for himself – but she had not – and in short, there was a scene and they all three cried – wept. And all was beautiful but still the Empress had at times been jealous and then got over it. R- went to Odessa because the Empress wanted her to promise if she could not go, to remain at Saint Petersburg the eight months till the court returned. No, R- would return home and stay there if she was not well enough to go to Odessa, but she did go – she consulted nobody but her physician – as a friend did not even tell her sister at Saint P[etersburg] for fear of her writing to her parents and distressing them. The physician told her to go, saying it was kill or cure, but in such a case to go honour – reputation at stake. It was envy – all scandalized her but she believed the people here now did her justice. She had many offers, but she knew it was that they wanted favour – all told R- such stories to prevent his marrying her but she herself explained and he relived her perfect innocence. So much chagrin had been too much for her. Poor thing, I expressed my own belief and admiration and she kissed me affectionately on my coming away.

Meant to write but A- came. Long talk till after twelve – what miserable work. How shall I endure it? I must manage her better or we cannot go on together – I feel as if it would be heaven to be without her.

Copies of letters to Mr’s Grey, Harper and Mackean.

26 December 1839

I am getting dead tired of this place and long to be off.

[With Princess Radzivill] A complaint in the navel began at nine years old. Never such good friends. I said if she durst trust me, I would do all I could – yes, she believed all I said – liked me from the first, scarce knowing why. Used to fear I should be off – ended at sending for me every night but could not help it – should not have done so in another case nor, said I, should I have gone every night to anyone else. A mutual profession of amity. Sometimes she thought she would and then that she would not write her case for me to send to Doctor B[elcombe], she had no faith in Doctor S-. Never expected to be cured. I bade her not despair but hope and try once again if Doctor B- thought he could be of use to her – agreed that I am to go to her at one tomorrow.

23 December 1839

I finished the rough draft of my letter to Mr Mackean. A- has taken a thorough dislike to Count P[anin] since Wednesday last – vide – she stayed in the room but never uttered.

She has her règle – her cousin – said the old lady Madame Apraxine. I said to favour Mr Meyer the music master – I said nothing, but it struck me last night that she looked sweet as she sat over the piano while he played.

21 December 1839

Then A- seeming not quite satisfied with her letter to Mr Adam – having ordered all her rents after paying expenses to be paid over to the York Share District Bank to my account – both this Christmas and next midsummer. If she did not, in the meantime, order otherwise. We had another talk. I said I had made up my mind – she should leave me for I really could not manage her. She got frightened, I think, at the thought of being without me and promised to do better and go do all I wished. In fact, I had hardly slept last night – my mind being seriously intent on helping her to get rid of me as well as I could. Advised her lying down, which she did at twelve and a quarter – I wrapped her up and then [wrote till 1240]. I had given up the thought of our journey and meant to go home. Now all this is reversed, and we are really to go onwards. What ups and downs. How will it all end? She will never resolve to leave me?

20 December 1839

Incurred a cross last night thinking of M-.

[A-] terrible. At last I calmly planned her leaving me on her aunt’s death, but to stay a year or so till we had replaced the eleven hundred navigation money. Showed her she could not do well without me but said I would help her – she said she was miserable between the thought of not doing enough for the estate and parting with me. Poor thing, when she saw me so calmly advising her how to get rid of me, she roused up – said she really would exert herself and did, in fact, look quite cheerful and right at dinner.

They pay a hundred and fifty thousand roubles a year law and agency expenses. It seems the estate is fettered by mortgages and they cannot get it freed. And they take one hundred thousand to spend and when apart, she takes five thousand a month and he four, ditto. I said she could live for a hundred and fifty pounds a month – two thousand five hundred roubles – at York, but twice that too little for London. It appears they are not too well off at present and these proceedings are not likely to terminate.

About twenty minutes in bed with A-. She promised this afternoon to exert herself – she will never keep her promise. How terrible it is – I am almost at my wit’s end.

19 December 1839

Tiresome nonsense about her leaving me – what she would do – Jane Chapman and go to Paris etc – Barèges [all] over again. Then, with her rousing and cheering her half hour longer.

18 December 1839

Poor A- said nothing but we had [a] scene the moment he was gone, such as at Barèges, about being styled as my niece – not acknowledged etc. I said what melancholy folly it was that I really could not stand it – I would not leave her, but she might leave me, and we had best go home. She cried her eyes up, but at last was sorry – saying she would rather die on the road than be left here and could never bear to see Count P[anin] again but be glad to leave here tomorrow if she could. These things are now become too common to have the force of novelty. I must do as well as I can – the best I can – but what that will be, time alone can tell.

In bed with her, quiet.

17 December 1839

Calculated for her, she being frightened at first of asking so much – made some little additions to her letter to Mr Adam and completed her copy of letter to Booth till about [3].

She is taking sarsaparilla and seems better for it.

16 December 1839

[A-] low about writing the letter I have copied for her to Mr Adam – afraid of our going wrong spending too much etc – undecided. She ought to have nothing to do with affairs and decisions. I must try to manage this – decide all, order all – as much as I can without consulting her more than can possibly be avoided.

15 December 1839

I wore the second bought cap.

I did not much like the company when Countess P[anin] was gone. It is said she, do you know, [is] a gymnast and he is the director, and I suppose the scholar’s act – somehow, I did not much like the style.