36 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
thanks be to God, we received no hurt). My wife was obliged to go in to Hastingford House, to clean herself. My wife and I spent the even at my father Slater's. We dined off some ratios [rashersj of pork and green sallard."
Mr. Turner often particularises the dishes off which he dined, and certainly they were not epicures in those days. This is a Sunday's meal:—" Sept. 18th. My whole family at church—myself, wife, maid and the two boys. We dined off a piece of boiled beef and carrots, and currant suet pudding."
It will be observed that the whole household—boys, maids and all, dined together—a custom long disused.
Up to this point—that is, some three or four years after
marriage—the domestic happiness of the Turners had not
been much disturbed, except by Mrs. Slater's tongue and her
daughter's frequent illness. But now we come to a very tragic
"This day how are my most sanguine hopes of happiness frustrated ! —I mean the happiness between myself and wife, which hath now continued for some time ; but, oh ! this day it has become the contra ! I think I have tryed all experiments to make our life's happy, but they have all failed. The opposition seems to be naturally in our tempers—not arising from spitefulness ; but an opposition that seems indicated by our very make and constitution."
John Milton himself could have set down no stronger reason for that right of divorce for which he pleaded so eloquently, and, in his days, ineffectually! And from this time there is a continual recurrence of these doleful entries. " Oh !" Mr. Turner breaks out on Nov. 3, " how transient is all mundane bliss! I who on Sunday last was all calm and serenity in my breast, am now nought but slorm and tempest. Well might the wise man say, ' It were better to dwell in a corner of the house-top than with a contentious woman in a wide house.'"
He had, however, his intervals of calm, and seems to have enjoyed them. Thus, "1751, Jan. 9, Mr. Elless(his successor in the school), Marchant, myself and wife sat down to whist about seven o'clock and played all night; very pleasant, and, I think I may say, innocent mirth, there being no oaths nor