The Journal of a Regency Lady 3
Dec 26. I have not been able to write for several days, because we have been so busy. Mama has been in such a frenzy over the Christmas dinner that I am sure it causes her more worry than pleasure. However, it is all over now and she is talking of it being a success and seems very pleased.
On Christmas Eve Harry Carrington came to dine. He really is very handsome and so generous. He gave Mama some sweetmeats in a pretty box from an exclusive emporium in London. For Papa there was French brandy and sweetmeats for Rosie, which she liked very well. My gift was wrapped in silver tissure and it made me gasp for I had seen nothing like it.
At first I thought it a walnut but then I saw it had a catch and when opened it revealed a pair of miniature scissors made of gold, a tiny gold thimble and a little case for pins. It was lined in blue silk and Mama told me it was called an etui. I thanked Harry several times for I was vastly pleased with it. He laughed and called it a trifle, but I shall treasure it forever. Mama, Papa and Rosie gave me presents but all I have been able to think of is Harry's gift.
I think he likes me very well. I like him as much as Paul, and my brother has always been my favourite person of all. Harry said he would stay with his friends for three days after Christmas and I hope he will call again before he leaves.
Dec 27; Harry has gone away without calling on us again, though he did send Mama a letter to thank us for our hospitality. He said nothing about writing to me and I fear I may not see him again for a long time. I am trying not to cry but I know I am very silly for he made me no promises. Perhaps we shall meet again in town in the spring.
Jan 15 1812: Now I think I really shall die for I have heard that Harry Carrington is to be married to a Miss May Chesterfield. I feel so very foolish for it appears that it was arranged some months ago - and yet no one told me. I want to weep but Mama keeps asking me to do things for her. I think she guessed that I was a little in love with him. If I am truthful I thought myself completely in love but I must not let anyone guess for I should feel so humiliated. If this is how it feels to fall in love I hope I shall not do so again.
Jan 18: I have decided that I must forget all that silly nonsense over Mr Carrington. Something far more important has happened. Paul has been wounded and is to return to us soon. Papa has gone to fetch him home and I am afraid that he is very ill. I shall pray for him every minute until he is with us again, and I shall put my childish heartache away.
Mama always says that we should behave with moderation and I have been justly punished for I lost my head and my heart to a man who did not care for me in return. I have given the etui to Rosie for her birthday. She is very pleased with it. I shall not let myself remember him. I must think only of my brother now.
I have been busy writing alll kinds of things recently. I hope my little story will amuse. It isn't meant to be a romance but about all kinds of everyday incidents. Love, Anne Herries