The Sussex Diarists. 47
my brother and Mr. Tomlin lodged at my house "—a funny arrangement this, but with the same consequences to both parties, for "not one of us went to bed sober, which folly of mine makes me very uneasy. Oh, that I cannot be a person of more resolution." And immediately upon this we have the following: —
" July 27. Very bad all the even. Oh, my heavy and troubled mind! Oh, my imprudence pays me with trouble ! "
"July 28th. I am intollerable bad: my conscience tears me in pieces!"
"Aug. 5th. Almost distracted with trouble: how do I hourly find the loss I have sustained in the death of my dear wife! What can equal the value of a virtuous wife ? I hardly know which way to turn, or what way of life to pursue. I am left as a beacon on a rock, or an ensign on a hill."
In his "grief and melancholy" Mr. Turner takes to "sawing of wood" in his leisure hours—trade being dull and time hanging heavily on his hands. It was, he says, "a melancholy time in trade " throughout the County, and he has "no friend—no, not one—with whom I can spend an hour to condole and sympathise with me in my affliction." In this frame of mind he goes and dines with " my father Slater," and came home—"I cannot say thoroughly sober— I think it almost impossible to be otherwise [than drunk?] with the quantity of liquor I drank." " But," he proceeds, " however much in liquor I was, my reason was not so far lost but I could see a sufficient difference at my arrival at my own house between the present time and that of my wife's life, highly to the advantage of the latter. Everything then was serene and in order; now, one or both servants out and everything noise and confusion. Oh! it will not do. No, no! it never will do."
Clearly Mr. Turner was thinking about the wisdom of taking unto himself another wife! "If," he says, a little further on, " if ever I do marry again, I am sure of this that I will never have a more virtuous and prudent wife than I have been already possessed of; may it be the will of Providence for me to have as good an one; I ask no better."