Sunday, February 22 1756

At church in the morning; the text in Matthew 7:14: “Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” An excellent sermon. Halland gardener came home with me and dined with us. I gave John Cayley a susi handkerchief, value 2/-, as a present for his sister for a twelve-month’s use of Mrs Browne’s seat in the church for my wife and me, they refusing to receive the rent (as I may call it) that I agreed with them for.

After dinner the gardener and I set out for to see Buxted Place and gardens [property of George Medley Esq]. We called at my mother’s as we went and stayed there about 25 minutes. I found there Miss Fanny Smith (which, I think, seems to be the lady my brother Moses’ affections are settled on, or settling upon). Whether just or imaginary I cannot, no, I will not say, but I think I was received very coldly, not only by my mother but all the family, Miss Smith only excepted. After a stay of about 25 minutes as before mentioned, we set out for Buxted. My brother and Ed Rowles went with us.

We saw the gardens and the out-side of the place, neither of which is any ways near completed, but I think when they are both finished they will both be very curious in their kind. Gave Ed Rowles 6d for going with us and showing us the gardens. We came back to Framfield about 4 o’clock. Found Miss Smith there, and she and we drank tea there. After tea Mr Edward Rowles sent for us over to his house, and the gardener and I went; we stayed and drank 1 mug of beer and smoked 1 pipe, then went again to my mother’s; Miss Smith and my brother not there. My mother and I had a great many words, or at least my mother had with me. What my friends would have with me I know not; I have always done to the utmost of my power to serve them. I can with justice to myself and all mankind say I have their interest entirely at heart and never think myself more happy than in serving them. Were I assured I was to blame, I should even despise myself, and even think myself not worthy to be ranked among the rest of mankind were I to be cruel and undutiful to a mother, and one who is a widow, though doubtless I am not exempt from faults. No, I am mortal, but still how happy I could be, would my friends let but a free and sincere communication of friendship once more be opened between us, which has of late been shut up, but upon what account I cannot tell. I am, I think, quite uneasy, driven almost to distress for want of money, and my mother has at this time £40 of mine on book debts which I never did ask for, no, nor hope I ever shall. Only do I sincerely wish I could spare them £500 were it to serve them, but still why should they estrange themselves from me? But oh, let me stop my pen and say, “May they all be ever happy, and may the Supreme Being crown them all with his blessings in this transitory state and forever make them happy in the divine regions of eternal bliss.” We came home about 8 o’clock.

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