28 January 1836

No kiss.

A- right again, better at breakfast – kissed me affectionately on my going in just now but I still keep up my dignified gravity I must keep her under. I have given way too much – can I still get the proper mastery? Or is she worth the trouble it will cost me?

A- in good humour – my calm dignified gravity does best.

27 January 1836

No kiss – A- poorly. She was rather out of sorts last night – queer temper because, as I fancied, I had heard first from Washington about Sir Joseph Redcliffe’s estate. I had best have told her merely that W- said he had made a bid for it.

Not well written letter but she was not in good spirits, so I said nothing – silent all dinnertime and afterwards the annoyance of her temper brought [all the blood in my head].

A- right again now – my silence seems to bring her round best, giving way to her will not do.

18 January 1836

No kiss.

A- had Mary lacing her stays – her blister place not looked [at], but I did it up last night and, luckily, it is well. She smile[d] at breakfast and said she was better, but tho’ I talked a good deal and as if not much had happened, yet my gravity was there, I never kissed [her] till she came to me to pay toll on going to the water closet.

Poor thing, she was almost in tears – bade her come and sit on my knee. Explained she at first said I had done to her (about the carriage) as she would not have done to me, but I gently reasoned her out [of] this and all was set right again and she told me her plans of this morning for leaving me – talking lodgings in London and having masters – would have asked me to let her write in my name to Mrs Hawkins to take the lodging, thought of Crowthers, the librarian’s daughter, for a maid and to get a man as well as she could – might have asked Jane Chapman to be with her but not certain. Poor thing, thought I, what plans. [I] was kind to her – said I would have helped her at any rate and done what I could for her etc. Without kindness and great good management, I really think she would go wrongish in her upper works.

17 January 1836

No kiss – A- in good spirits.

Then dress[ed] and after waiting a few minutes went to see if A- was ready – all wrong about going to church in the yellow carriage, would not go at all. Said I was very sorry but really, she had consented to it – no, she knew nothing about it, and I had promised never to ask her again to go to church in [the] yellow carriage. Why, said I, you know I explained the necessity of using it sometimes now that we took no journeys and I mentioned using it every third Sunday and thought she agreed to this and was satisfied. No, she understood we were to make the next call in this carriage, yet she could not deny what I had said about the once in three weeks. Very well, said I, I am sorry I have been so mistaken shall I order the horses to be put to the other carriage – no, said she, ‘I can order for myself, the yellow carriage used to stand much longer unused’. True, I replied, but then it was when it had been knocked up so as to want repairing and I put these off till June before I should want the carriage again – but will you go to any other church – ‘no, I will order for myself, I can go somewhere’. I replied calmly – no, you cannot very well order for yourself – well but, said she, ‘I used to go’. Yes, I answered, but that was when you were by yourself – however I have been very anxious only for your happiness and you may very easily get rid of me, but I will keep up appearances – I will not go without you (she had at first said I had better go by myself), I will send the horses back. On this she said nothing but began to get ready to go. I wanted her to put on my woollen boots to keep her feet warm but this she would not do. I am sorry, I said, you will not do what I ask – and came away. Not a word passed in the carriage till after waiting at the school door twenty minutes reading – she re-joined me and put out her hand, saying, ‘will it be accepted’. Yes, certainly, but we will not talk about it now as we are going to church. My mind had been full of her and getting rid of her – thought of her buying Home House, Mr Armitage’s, and then she might go there during her aunt’s life. I will pay her her thousand pounds and have done with her. Why should such a temper bother me? I felt the blood in my head and felt unwell and uncomfortable. If the growing affection I had for her did not give way, I should be miserable.

Very civil with A- but I had kept up my gravity. On leaving the dining room she gave me a kiss which I returned kindly but said nothing – she thinks, perhaps, she has done enough. It is my turn to make the advance. No, no, this work is too frequent and tiresome. I have no hold of her for long – I have seen from a thousand trifles that she feels no indissoluble tie – I have for months joked about me um and tum. She shall have her way – I will keep up appearances as well as I can, but I will help her to get rid of me as well as I can.

16 January 1836

No kiss but she is in pretty good spirits.

A- not quite in sorts at this, so after finding her not in talking humour I shut up and said not another word and she left me without speaking. I must get the better [of her] or it will never do – we shall have a try for it – her temper is a desperately disagreeable one, but I shall master it or get happily rid of her.

15 January 1836

No kiss.

[A-‘s back more well] but she is not in good sorts. I shall be glad to get of her by and by. If my aunt recovers so as to live some years what I shall or can do is uncertain, but I think A- will not be with me forever.

Just saw A-. She said she was better but had been very poorly in head and neck – she is still not in the best sorts. Perhaps she wants more of my company and devotion – how can such a person retain either? I care not much. If I did, she would make me miserable.