Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Diarists.                      35
and moralist in theory; in practice he isóbut we will leave him to name himself:ó
" Aug. 22nd. I sett off for Piltdown, where I saw Charles Diggens and James Fowle run twenty rod for one guinea each. I got never a bet, but very drunk."
" Tuesday, 23rd. Came home in the forenoon, not quite sober; at home all day, and I know I behaved more like an ass than any human beingó doubtless not like one who calls himself a Christian. Oh! how unworthy am I of that name ! "
The reader, perhaps, has had enough of these lapses from sobriety and self-criminations. Let us turn to another page in Mr. Turner's diary, in which, with a frankness very unusual in our Sussex diarists, he introduces us into his family interior and imparts to us his domestic troubles. He had taken to himself a wife soon after his arrival at East Hothly, and we presume that she was a native of that place, for he refers to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Slater, as a ** very Xantippe," with a " great volubility of tongue," " especially if I am the subject." This lady was one of the stirrers-up of dissension between Mr. and Mrs. Turner. Another cause of conjugal irritation was Mrs.T.'s inclination to visit her friends at Lewes on occasions when her absence from home was inconvenient to Mr. T. " I have," he writes on one occasion, " several journeys to go next week, which I must postpone on account of her absence. But, alas! what can be said of a woman's temper and thought ? Business and family advantage must submit to their pride and pleasure. But tho' I mention this of women, it may perhaps be as justly applyed to men; but most people are blind to their own follies."
The way in which these journeys were made by Mr. Turner's better-half would astonish ladies of the present day. In the first place a horse had to be borrowed, and then both man and woman had to mount it, the latter riding on a pillion behind her lord. And sometimes Master Dobbin was indisposed to bear the double load and behaved accordingly:ó
" My wife having hired a horse of John Watford, about four o'clock we set out on our journey to Hartfield, and as we were riding along near to Hastingford, no more than a foot's pace, the horse stood still, and continued kicking-up until we was both off, in a very dirty hole (but,
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