18 October 1832

It must seem to them all as if I had the ordering of the thing and as if my influence was paramount. She said she should like the greenhouse as it was the first thing we had a common interest in – talked of Shibden and Cliff Hill – and exactly as if all was settled. She was now convinced I loved her – thought at first liked, but not loved – and mere liking was not enough – something more required for living together – she owned she loved me. I made strong love – and really felt it. She said she should not mind her cousin coming on while we were away – should not mind being ill if I was with her. I had right middle finger moderately and gently, she making no resistance – but say[ing] how kind and gentle I was with her – she lay on my arm on the sofa as usual. No objection to my going tomorrow – in fact, surely, she has no thought but of taking me.

[Talking to my aunt] of Miss W-; told of her present to her cousin Atkinson and that it would have been double, that is a thousand, but for me.

15 October 1832

Washing and mending my stays till eight.

Had Cordingley help take trimming off old French silk petticoat.

I undressed in half hour and then went to her room – had her on my knee a few minutes and then got into bed, she making no objection – and stayed with her till twelve and three quarters grubbling gently – right middle finger up almost all the time – made two or three attempts to get myself quite near her but somehow could not manage it – and she seemed so tender and able to bear so little (I think she was more intact and innocent and virgin than I had latterly surmised) that I contented myself with handling her gently and lovemaking – she feared she should never be able to satisfy me. On leaving her, my night things so wet [I was] obliged to take them off and sleep in my dressing gown – she whispered to me in bed how gentle and kind I was to her and faintly said she loved me – or else, how can you think, said she, that I should let you do as you do. In fact, tho’ I never allow that I have hope, surely I ought not to despair – she cannot surely go on as she does meaning to say no – nothing passes that is not encouraging.

11 October 1832

Miss W- came down in two or three minutes – about an hour at breakfast. She then showed me the letter from her cousin Mr Edwards Atkinson thanking her for her offer of lending him five hundred, but asking the loan of three thousand – wrote her a copy of answer, which she wrote verbatim, saying she had meant to give him the five hundred but could do no more, straitened by her late purchases etc for the present – the magnitude of her expenses uncertain for the future and she would not anticipate her resources by borrowing. Confidential conversation – she influenced by all I said – Mrs Hartley tipples brandy and water, advised her by no means visiting her at Bingley.

Got on very well – kissing as usual…afterwards lovemaking and kissing – she lying on my arm. Told her, as we got to talking more and more as if we should be together, that I thought of taking down the kitchen part, castellating the new part and the lodge from the Godley Road, and changing the name to Shibden Castle – that if I could, I would give Saint James’s Church a painted window with the likeness of my uncle – that not my sister, but the Listers in Wales would be my heirs according to my uncle’s wish – that as soon as we had been settled together I would settle Shibden on her for life. We talked of the Ainsworths coming to Cliff Hill and getting Lightcliffe chapel for him – she might be able to get the archbishop’s interest with our vicar – I feared that might be refused but I could, perhaps, apply to the vicar through the next best channel (meaning, but not saying so, Lord Wharncliffe).

As it became dusk, we crept closer and I, without any resistance, got (for the first time) right middle finger up her queer at three separate times, she nothing loth but evidently excited – she liking it and wet – and taking it altogether as if she had learnt her lesson before in this way too, as well as in kissing – she whispered that she loved me then. Afterwards said that her mind was quite unmade up and bade me not be sanguine – the name of Cliff Hill escaped from me and she burst into tears – and said if she could regret it at that moment, what should she do afterwards. How can I tell what to make of her? She had casually said Catherine Rawson did often said she should like to live with her – they had long ago talked of it, but now and of late she had thought it would not answer and was getting off. Thought then my surmise was probably true, when I fancied that Catherine’s classics might have taught her the trick of debauching Miss W-. Yes, Miss W- has been taught by someone.

We agreed that we could not be quite common friends again and yet, her cool advice to me just before leaving her – not to hope too much – sickened me at heart and I said to myself as I walked along – damn her, she is an old hand and has nor shame nor anything – she certainly takes all very much like one of the initiated.

08 October 1832

Mrs Clarke took off with her a fortune of five and twenty thousand pounds – Christopher Rawson was told by her just before the sale of the Walker navigation shares, she would not marry. He might count upon it of seven or eight years or else John Rawson would have bought the shares – Doctor better informed. Jeremiah Rawson commission Mr R- to tell me he should be glad to steward for me – said we should have got on very well together, but he was too late – and laughed and said Miss Walker had proved me so that I had never seemed to be without steward. Joked and told her to take care of Frank Rawson against Kennys and Clarkes – as I meant to take the best I could of my sister.

On getting up this morning saw that my cousin was come very gently but put nothing on and determined to put off breakfasting with my friend for two or three days – agreed on Thursday which will do well enough. She thinks me over head and ears in love with her, as indeed my manner indicates – she is evidently pleased by my attentions – excited and gives me all possible encouragement short of legitimate hope. But I think she is in for it – and if I can only do moderately enough for her, her answer may perhaps be yes after all – however, I shall, in reality, take it composedly anyway. I [am] now inclined to risk trusting myself and doing my best for her the first night I have an opportunity – it is evident she will throw no obstacle my way.

We had a good deal of talk – I said happiness was, in well-bred minds, more metal than in others – if such was, or could be, her feelings and she could give up the thought of having children, perhaps she might be happy with me etc. Talked a little of the odd things abroad – said I had been a good deal humbugged by French Countess and let her understand that I had come in twenty-eight and been a year away from my aunt to get out of the way. Talked of there being no chance of my marrying but I saw she did not quite enter into this in spite of all the hints it seemed safe to give. Kissing and pressing her as usual – she put the blind down – lucky – James had come in on trivial errands twice.

And Mrs Priestley came at four – I had jumped in time and was standing by the fire – but Ann looked red and pale, and Mrs P- must see we were not particularly expecting or desiring company. She looked vexed, jealous and annoyed and asked (in bitter satire) if I had [been] where I was ever since she left me there – no, said I, I only ought to have been. My aunt had been quite in a host of miseries. Mrs P- said, as if turning it all on this, yes, she was quite vexed with me. I laughed and said I really did not intend doing so again. ‘Yes’, she replied angrily, ‘you will do the same the very next time the temptation occurs’. Plain proof, thought I, of what you think and that you smoke a little. I parried all with good humour – saying that I really must stay all night. She only stayed a few minutes and went off in a suppressed rage – probably giving me far more credit than deserved for plotting the visit of yesterday and being there all today and having refused breakfasting with her, not to go to Stoney Royde, but be with Miss W-. Mrs P- now probably believes her confidence insecure, me insincere, and the lord knows what.

Miss W- laughed and said we were well matched – we soon got to kissing again on the sofa. She said I looked ill – I denied, then said if I did look so, I knew what would cure me – she would know what – said I really would not, could not, tell her. At last I got my right hand up her petticoats and, after much fumbling, got through the opening of her drawers and touched, first time, the hair and skin of queer – she never offered the least resistance in any way and certainly showed no sign of its being disagreeable. However, having not uttered before I now fell upon her neck – seemed sickish – just whispered that I could not stand it and stood leaning my head on my hand off her shoulder till apparently composed. Then entreated her forgiveness in general terms – saying she behaved beautifully – no, she said, she knew she led me on – I would deny this, tho’ owning that I was of course sure she cared for me – why yes, said she, or should we go on as we do – in fact, she likes my attentions and the first night of my being there will give me all I am able to take.

When dusk, she asked (I had said I was at no time likely to marry – how far she understood me I could not quite make out) – ‘if you never had any attachment, who taught you how to kiss?’ – I laughed and said how nicely that was said, then answered that nature taught me. I could have replied – and who taught you? She told me, as she had done yesterday, that she had always a fancy for me and thought how much she should like to know me better. She seems to relax a little on the subject of my having no hope – said she would think – and afterwards said, tho’ I seemed to take no notice, it would depend upon whether the Ainsworths would come to Cliff Hill.

Told my aunt how cross Mrs William Priestley looked and that I really thought Miss W- was veering about a little and might, perhaps after all, give up Cliff Hill.

Sat up preparing my cousin and washing out stains done since dinner.

17 November 1838

A- came to me at seven and we had a kiss and a slumber.

Then grubbled and dozed till nine and a half. Then sat up, A- mending my things and I reading or dawdling till eleven and a half, then undressed and got into her bed about twelve and had a kiss and a slumber and got into my own bed.

14 November 1838

In the meantime A- and I had begun grubbling and ended in a kiss on my bed! She had made the amende honourable this morning at Rue Saint Victor. Said she was very sorry and promised more earnestly than ever before to do better in future. Poor thing, she really seemed sorry and we made it up.

27 August 1838

Went to A-.

Had A- one-hour last night – the last half in bed, she nothing loth, and had a kiss – pretty good one – till ten and three quarters, then washed.

26 August 1838

A- came to me last night – easily persuaded her to get into my bed after a little previous play and then in quarter hour had a pretty good kiss.