Morning meeting – fear I shall not be able to overcome the obstacles to the forming of a Female Club (place?)



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8: Morning meeting – fear I shall not be able to overcome the obstacles to the forming of a Female Club (place?)
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9th July

The time for separation approaches. The expectation clouds easy pleasure – what an intermixture of enjoyment and suffering is the present life, well calculated no doubt as preparatory to a perfect existence where sorrow shall be dissolved into perpetual joy.
11: Travelled in the Blue Coach from Ipswich to Romford accompanied by a young naval officer whose unhappiness at the displeasure of a kind father whom a clandestine marriage had offended and his fond attachment sundered. So interesting as to weaken the impression of my recent (?)
12: Bulman spend the morning with us – his conversation excites reflection and calls (?) reciprocity of exertion.
13: Returned home. Shocked to hear that T Masterman is ruined by his unprincipled brother.
14: Dined at my fathers against my inclination to oblige EW.
15: Morning meeting have refused seeing W Critch (?) and D Dent but have not resolution to make an open avowal of my sentiments.
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15th contd: on the subject of private ministry which I think exposes our society to the machinations of priestcraft and instead of one Pope raises the tribunal of hundreds of infallible judges.
17: E W staid down – another day without literary labour. Johnson (has been arrested?)..... an account of Wakefield's pamphlet. How this will affect my interest I know not.
18: Starching – When shall I be completely settled to resume my writing – no prospect this week. No Dan, where can he be?
19: Find myself much embarrassed for refusing the visit of W Critch and D Dent. The doctrine of inspiration is one that lies beyond the reach of human reason and gives opportunity for misapprehension.
20: My sweet Catherine is an engaging companion. I begin to be solicitous for a regular place for her education.
21: Mrs Fawcett employed with me the whole morning in forming a plan for a Club.
22: A party of Captains everything passed with sobriety and peace. W. Critch and D Dent took leave. I wanted resolution to speak to them after meeting. How pusillanimous – an independence of opinion is certainly the right of every rational being but few are qualified to assert this right or dare lay claim to it.
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23rd July Brother Gurney, his seven daughters and son John spent the day among us. An intermixture of interesting pleasure and pensive regret impressed my mind – How would their dear mother have delighted to see them so amiable and pleasing.
25: Concluded the Club rules – my mind anxious on many important concerns that I dare not commit to paper – fixed principles of action are the only (sword?) for peace of mind and the only support through the vicissitudes of life.
27: Read Tales of the Castle – interrupted by visitors walked through the green lanes.
30: School accounts. Drank tea with Mrs Bushman rather from the (? ) of good neighbourhood than from inclination. The conversation produced no ideas worth recording.
31: A day of disappointment expected Sister Chapman – who never came – Sister Bell and Mrs Crouch to tea. EH walked down and related an anecdote that convinces me that a secret can hardly be intrusted to any man.
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2nd August: School meeting. EW junior came in the afternoon and took away my dear Kitty – whose innocent prattle endeared her company to me. Walked to the Hill in evening.
3: Spent an agreable day with Mrs Gray whose every luxury combines to charm the senses – hurried away by the sudden appearance of a thunderstorm. Low, from increase of erisypelas.
4: EW down and Dan down in afternoon. Mrs. Bell to tea.
7: Once more returned to the Travellers but without spirit or interest fear I shall never succeed. Dined with my brothers and their wives at the Hill – many things in that quarter not agreable. Conversation.... relative to the children painful.
8: Hear intelligence relative to dear Dan's pecuniary affairs which disturbs but does not surprize me.
9: Meeting – found a letter from Joshua at my return which made me truly anxious for my dear Bell's health – on what slender ties does one's happiness depend.
10: Summoned before 5 to Woodford on a false alarm.
11: My sister (fairly?) enjoyed her company and got (?) released at night – returned at night to my peaceful habitation.
12: Passed a loitering afternoon amongst the children.
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13th August: Roused early again by a summons from Woodford found my sister confined with a boy with thankfulness. I add she seemed in a fair way of recovery when I left. Received a good account of dear Bell.
14: Dan came down and opened some new prospects for himself that gave a gleam of hope for something more profitable.
16: Did not do much writing. Cannot attain a style sufficiently easy to satisfy myself. Shocked by the dangerous situation of Benjamin Head.
18: Wrote tolerably – am concerned that Mme de Longchamps has neither the resolution or habits of exertion to serve herself. What will be her resource in age if she does not secure some friend to shelter her in advanced life.
20: Poor B Head still dangerously ill. Wedgewoods elegant and amusing. Farrington's hospitable and (...ly?) pleased to return former friendship.
21: Spent a charming evening at Mount Pleasant with the Cooke (?) family, walking, moonlight music, harmless and soothing – these innocent pleasures may be perverted.
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24th August: (?) on the Club business – called at Woodford heard a mystery unravelled not much to the advantage of Miss Bush, dined at Walthamstow – evening a large party at my brother's.
27: Taking charge of little Edward and recommending the Club. Alas for (?) so multifarious are the small concerns of life.
28: Attended the child, wrote letters – fear I have many difficulties before the Club is established – explanation with Miss Creech (?) - hysterics in consequence.
30: Round Scotland(Street?) (?) about the Club – tea at the Williams one of those flat evenings – disagreable but consistent with my expectations.
September 1st: B Head is no more – what an awful instance of the uncertainty of all our pursuits and enjoyments. Dan down – his conversation far more rational than of young men in general.
2: My mind overshadowed with melancholy reflections which are heightened by the solemnity of T. Scattergood's address. Dined at my father's with J Head, Charlotte – the latter remains a victim to ill health and low spirits.
3: Obstacle to employment invincible. Went to Woodford found Sister Chapman involved in many cases, that of a sick infant predominant. Read in the evening. My Daniel fell from his horse.

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4th September: Susan and Kitty spent the day with me. D dined – several callers. Susan's good sense renders her company very agreable.
5: Bell and Joshua came to breakfast preparatory to their following the remains of their deceased brother. The meeting large and solemn – too long for the sensibility of the mourners.
6: School and interruptions, read the review – my time is entirely broken (taken?) by the affairs of others (?) - literary pursuits appear to be at an end – A day to myself is a phenomenon!
9: My father and M Bevan dined with us – The charms of superior sense and polished manners heighten the excellence of her character which in a religious and moral point of view may be deemed exemplary.
12: Bell and I went to London to dine with the afflicted widow. She bears the heavy stroke with dignified propriety.
14: Dined at Jasper Cappers a large family distinguished for abilities and well instructed but deficient in grace and manners. Drank tea with Mr Brown (?) - the conversation animated and interesting.
15: Bell took her leave and set off uncomfortably from a mistake as to the chaise (?) I endeavoured to chase away the melancholy impression of parting with her by employment but was not able to succeed with my pen to my own satisfaction. Dan down.
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16th September: Dan and Raithley (?) dined with us – to the Hill in the evening.
17: A virtuous (?) face (?) excited many (?) reflections – there are as many orders of (??) and virtue as of man tho' the nature of the one and of the other is immutable.
18: School – gardening – a call from Mr Williams took up my morning till 12. Wrote tolerably afterwards – meeting with Dan in my afternoon walk frustrated my plans – we passed the evening together.
23: Morning meeting, dined with my father. Enjoyed a solitary walk in the garden by the light of the moon which shone with more than usual beauty – the solemn scene excited reflections serious but not melancholy.
26: A fatiguing ride to Clapham. Spent an agreable day there in the midst of a fine family who tho' deprived of a mother learn in excellent order under the kind protection of Miss Hodgson, a truly respectable Jersey woman and whose good conduct would honour any station.
28: Obliged to have a fire in the parlour – an uninterrupted day but the headache prevented my employing it to advantage. Conducted my travellers from Es...? to Fa...?
30: Morning meeting – dined at home walked up the hill to meet sister Hankin which answered tolerably.
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1st October: Enjoyed the company of Susan and all the dear children lovely indeed in the eyes of their grandmother. Dan spent the evening with me, received a comfortable letter from Bell – thus I had communications with each of my children.
2: Accounts – returned to my own apartments wrote very little. Mrs Dickenson and Mrs Beachcroft call and finished the money.
3: Wrote slowly – dined solus. Called upon Mrs Hobson. Time will open the eyes of the public to the advantages of a benefit club for women -how slow the progress of human reason.
4: Mr W has a touch of the gout. Meeting. EW got out to dinner.
5: Spent the day at Mrs Dickenson's – my indignation rose at the uncharitable remarks of a fine lady upon the hospitality shown to the French emigrants.
7: Morning meeting – yielded to Dan's importunities in the afternoon. Walked to the hill- Mr Forde (?) intending to amend my club plan, substitutes a very different one in its place.
11: Meeting. Spent time in preparing my dress for a visit at Mrs Smith's – a good deal of company but not much conversation – chat politeness and good humour wore away the evening agreably.
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13th October: Mending my chintz gown dined at my father's – a little reading, both ex(?)ing every effort how little can be effected.
14: Mr W being out thus without a companion but the society of the illustrious Milton made me ample amends for the chit chat that generally constitutes conversation.
15: The whole day cast away upon mantua making – thus one necessary work presses on another and leaves scarcely any time for writing – how happy that I have some other dependence.
16: Morning with Maria Head – she threw out some hints relative to the mills which I wish could be prudently attended to.
18: A day I know not how to characterise. Mrs Fawcett and I settled the plan of the club as I hope for the last time.
22: At last have gained my point with respect to the club – a general meeting began with more than 70 names. Every prospect of success, rejoice in the view of (?) good to my neighbours.
23: Attempted to write – but continual interruptions chiefly relative to the club – dined at Uncle Springalls – tea at my fathers with Charlotte Hanbury who is returned very poorly.
24: Dined at the Hill. Dan'l met me. He has written to his brother on the subject of the Old Jewry – but I fear he will meet with no success.
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26th October: A Wyband (??) dined with me – tea at Mrs Johnsons – the room pretty well filled with a silent circle – who either had no talents for conversation or no inclination to exert them.
28: Tea at D. Bell where I was amused with the prints of Ceremonies Religieuses – affording many proofs of the insufficiency of human reason to ascertain what is due from man to his Creator.
30: Began to get the club books in order, according to my new office as treasurer and secretary – wrote letters etc.
31: Club books till time to dress for dining at my brother's with Mr and Mrs Thompson of Dublin. Rather a flat day – the accounts of the insurrection in Ireland horrible. What dreadful effects the wicked passions of men produce.
November 1: School meeting. Club books etc finished the day. How I regret being separated from my children and grandchildren, my Kitty in particular to whom I think I could be serviceable.
4: Morning meeting. The Galtons (?) called in the most tantalizing manner interrupting me without giving me any opportunity for enjoying their company.
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5th November: Not being well I attended the meeting of the Howardesses (?) with difficulty – was charmed with the order and readiness with which the poor people brought their contributions.
6: Innumerable applications for the Lying-in and the Club prevented all study. Dan arrived, all hope for him in the Old Jewry frustrated.
7: A regular day – my spirit for writing damped by hearing that the British Critic has treated my Reflections with slight if not with contempt suggesting that it refers to female education only.
8: Reading the review in the early part of the day, the evening devoted to my favourite friends the illustrious dead known now only in their works.
9: Mr Wakefield staid down, finished the Review, wrote strictures on that and some other things. Mr W leaving me about noon I paid a visit to Mrs Mansfield (?) - afternoon study.
11: Morning meeting. Mme de Longchamps dined with us by invitation. She is an interesting companion and has improved my ability to converse in French.
14: School, study, some writing. Evening a party at Mrs Roberts. Society a pleasing gratification to me.
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16th November

Walked to see Betsey, found her encumbered as usual. Dined at my brother's with my two sons who slept at our house. There is likely to be much trouble in adjusting the dispute with T. Green.
18: Morning meeting – Darton drank tea with me – his report of the progress of my works and reputation satisfactory. Brought a specimen of the Travellers for inspection. DW and I passed the evening in fruitless consultation to discern a means of establishing him in some pursuit sufficiently productive for him to marry and have an honorable domestic life – few of his friends feel the necessity for this.
20: My minds full of the impression of the difficulty not to say improbability of discovering the means for procuring my dear Dan the opportunity of exerting his abilities to procure a subsistence.
21: Called at my brothers and had an alarm sounded in my ears of the approach of a storm I have expected for some time – the love of wealth prevails too powerfully even over natural affection – made one at a very agreable party at Mrs Dickensons. (?)
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22nd November: Meeting and Stamford Hill to dinner – my thoughts occupied in meeting the Evil my brother hinted yesterday which may never come – should the worst happen I hope to be endued with patience believing whatever happens is permitted and is right.
23: Went to London – was pleased with the encouragement D and E give to my several talents - hearkening(?) to the project of my travels . Dined at E Leadbeaters – much hospitality, good fare – without a consistent style of servants etc.
24: a little working – many oddments in order to preserve everything in its place and ready for examination should they unexpectedly fall into the hands of others. Miss Roberts and Miss Browning came to see Farrington's views.
27: A long close day for application in which my world seems bounded by the parlour walls and my society, books and my own reflections – such a day now and then seems a feast.
28: Writing and school in morning. Drank tea and supped at my brothers with Mr and Mrs Lee, Mrs Burkman etc – my dear Dan of the party. Easy chat with some strictures on education amused me.
29: A general thanksgiving for victories – how contrary is war to the spirit of that religion which claims its descent from Heaven.
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30th November: A day wasted in preparation for a party of neighbours whom I could not collect. Mrs Bushman and Sister Bell only attended. The card table was w..ing(?) to secure us from unkind reflections on our neighbours.
December 1: Headache. Wrote a little notwithstanding and my usual employments.
2: EW poorly with a cold, drank tea at the Hill wh. Did not answer – R Phillips recommends me to write on Animal Instinct – I approve the design.
3: Club meeting prosperous beyond my expectation – spent the remainder of the day at Mrs Dickenson's.
6: Day after day passes in miscellaneous employments – my mind impressed with regret at being unnecessarily separated from my family at Romford.
7: A long writing day which proved uncommonly productive, my thoughts being engaged with the subject I have little to note down.
8: Remarks upon my reading occupied me – Dan came down to dinner, went over the way to tea – an uninteresting evening.
11: Much distress amongst the aged poor whom my situation as governess of the lying-in charity gives me the consolation of relieving – much concerned at an affecting account of the loss of Capt Wakefield's ship.
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12th December: E Hanbury sat with me sometime and left Kitty to drink tea with me and hear my travels which pleased me much.
13: School meeting – Maria Scott married.
14: A day spent in the usual course – not very productive in the writing way for want of being in the humour. Conducted the travellers on their way to Genoa – visited the school – one mistress has not enthusiasm in the cause.
16: Morning meeting. H ..? lent me Edgeworth's Education and fully filled the remainder of the day in deed and in thought.
17: Dan came down warmly interested in a scheme for establishing himself – may he succeed.
18: Finished my mending. Read and made remarks all day, charmed with the eloquence and judgement of the work.
19: Another tiresome interruption starching – resumed my book eagerly. My faculties fatigued by the pressure of a strong impression – relieved by a pleasant hour at my brother's.
22: Corrected my work, dined at my father's - Dan down. Hanbury seized with a fit of apoplexy – what a prospect for my sister with such a family.
23: Capt Walker dined with me. Drank tea with my father.
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24thDecember: My day engaged by the arrival of Susan and my dear Catherine whom she left with me to pass a few weeks.
25: Mr Wakefield down, dined on a Christmas dinner at my brother's – Haslet(?) has withdrawn his correspondence and once more clouded our prospects. Up and down like a see-saw – a steady mind remains impossible.(?)
26: Walked with Kitty to the Hill. Spent most of my day in amusing her – Read Henry (?)
27: Within doors all day from the severity of the weather. If surrounded with comforts I cannot restrain my complaints what must be the situation of those who want almost every necessary.
28: Severe weather (?) every species of business and with the addition of my dear Kitty's company prevents everything but needlework and a little reading, part of the morning spent with the Gurneys.
30: Attended Sister Bell all day she was confined with a fine boy in the evening.
31: At home with little Kitty. A Wyband (?) and the little Bells took tea – communication with servants and want of judicious management are but too apparent in these dear children.
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1798.

This year is concluded – the most striking events are the establishment of Mr Wakefield in a new business and Dan in the Navy Pay Office – the first has but a poor prospect of yielding a profit which will make us independent – the second is wholly inadequate to enable my son to marry and lead a domestic life. The fluctuations of hope and fear have alternately possessed my mind on the subject of support – but the preponderance has been on the bright side, a confidence in that Power which has preserved us and our family circle in the general enjoyment of health and happiness and many comforts which demand our thankful acknowledgements in a disposition of humble resignation.
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1799

Upon reviewing the transactions of last year I find that I have enjoyed 8 weeks and 4 days of my daughter's company, have devoted considerable time to my father whilst confined on account of his eyes. I have published my Reflections on the Present Condition of the Female Sex and the 2nd volume of the Juvenile Anecdotes. But the undertaking which affords most pleasure in the retrospection is the successful establishment of a Female Benefit Club, a work that has engrossed a considerable portion of my time, which I do not lament as I trust that many will reap the benefit of it when I am no longer remembered. As time elapses, it is pleasant to look back and see what has been produced – may it stimulate to fresh diligence – that not even an hour wasted but that every day should be spent in usefulness and innocent pleasures.


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