Tuesday, February 10 1756

In the morning I wrote to Mr Russell of Godstone (for Mr James Hutson) to acquaint him that he has about 100 carp that will meet at 14 inches, and 100 that will meet at 16 inches…

My wife went down to Mrs Atkins’s about 5 o’clock. Oh, what have I here to say– the old story again repeated–more words again between me and my wife! Sure it is a most terrible and unhappy circumstance we cannot live agreeable together. Where the fault is I cannot be a competent judge, for as I am a party concerned, prejudice in my own favor may make me partial. But this I know, that my whole desire and aim is to make my wife, self and progeny happy. I am further assured that I ever had, and now have a boundless respect for her; therefore what can be the occasion of so many words I am at loss to say. I can only say this, she is a woman, but why, if she be, must we be forever unhappy? Oh! could I think of an expedient to prevent it and make us happy! For it is impossible for pen or painter to express or draw so unhappy a representation as it is to live in a continual scene of disquietude with one that is so infinitely dear to me. But oh, let me drop a subject that is too tender for me to touch any longer! But, why, let me recall the resolution of a man and proceed–a man, did I say? Oh, how the sound of that word makes me start! I know not scarce what I am! All that I know is I am happy in having that person, who of all the sex I ever had the greatest respect for–my wife. But again how unhappy to have that only one in whom all my earthly felicity was centered to be of such an unhappy temper as not only to make me, but herself also miserable. How delightful and serene was it once to look forward and to think, “Such a day will all my earthly trouble be at an end and be crowned with a following scene of happiness and pleasure by being made one with the charmer of my soul!” But from that day may I date the era of my trouble.

“For her I’ve lost, alas, what have I not, For her my duty to my friends forgot.”

But why do I accuse her? Maybe it is I am all in fault. It cannot be she; can the wife of my bosom be this person? No! She must be, she is all charms, and I am the ungrateful man.

Dame Vinal a-washing for us today. Paid her 9d for the half-day yesterday and today. Master Piper came in about 7 o’clock and stayed until about 9 o’clock; so on that account I could not go down to Mrs Atkins’s, it being too late at that time of night. My wife came home about 1 o’clock. She gave the maid 12d and won at cards 2d.

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