Stevens 1885-07-09

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Ordered a wheel chair with adjustible back for Rosa from Leveson and Sons  90, 92 New Oxford Street, London W.C. If it does not suit I may return it within a month and pay £2.2 for hire which may be deducted from the price £21 if I keep it.

Attended Board of Guardians meeting at Banbury. Webb and Frank went. Brought out Edith Brooks who has come on a visit. She left Dublin at 7 o’clock last night, and arrived at L. & N. W. Station Banbury about 10.15 this morning. The weather is delightful, but our thirsty soil already begins to need rain.

The pond at Sibford Gower is now finished and considerably improved; but I fear it is done in such a manner that the improvement will not be very permanent, though Adkins has done all he undertook to do for £9. I think that if the first plan had been carried out, the estimate for which was £16 it would have been better, would have looked better, and would have been a great and permanent improvement. The area appears too large for the supply of water which leaks away all round the pond.

Visited Hannah Keene and Mr Woolgrove.

Bell and I being out for a walk this evening met Austin Gardner. He spoke to me about R. Walker the blacksmith of Sibford Ferris and his apprentice, Jarvis. He said that a few days ago Walker was the worse for drink and was trying in vain to “?shirt?” the blades of a raping machine which he had to repair. The boy laughed at his clumsiness whereupon he attacked him with the hot blade so that the boy screamed murder. The neighbours cried “shame” of Walker. I told him the boy had made no complaint to me, though I had told him always to come to me if he needed protection and I had also asked him several times whether his master was kind to him and he had always, since I spoke to Walker about his behaviour to the boy, said he had no complaint to make against him. But I told Gardner I would make further enquiries.

Gardner then asked me, while Mrs S. walked on, whether I had heard the dreadful scandal there was in the village. “I hear almost everything that goes on,” I replied, “and of a great number of things I would prefer not to know, as I like to think better of my people, whether Church people or not ??? I can ??? if what I hear is true. But I do not know what particular scandal you are alluding to.”

“Well, sir, it is talked about in every public house in the neighbourhood that filiam secundam Domini Viri quae e domo ab sit infantem habere, et incertum esse utrum doctoris aut ferratae viae ad Hook Norton architecti sit.”

“I should think there can not be a particle of truth in the scandal,” was my reply, “and those who started it as well as those who spread it abroad are very much to blame and would find themselves in very hot water if they were prosecuted for defamation of character.”

“But there have been two letters sent.”

“By whom and to whom, and what did the letters say?”

“O they spoke about the matter, and it has got about.”

“Well, it does not seem at all likely that any woman would publish her shame in that way. And even if such were written as you say it is not at all likely that those to whom they were written would make the contents known. I should not like to find persons tampering with any letters that might be addressed to me. I should say that there is not a word of truth in the matter. Neque doctorem neque architectum iam stultimi, ut minimum dicam, esse posse.”

“They have been seen out together at all hours almost of the day and night and there have been strange doings and you know, sir, there are some people who are always watching about.”

“Well I think they might find something better to do and I have too high an opinion of the parties to believe a word of it.”

filiam secundam Domini Viri quae e domo ab sit infantem habere, et incertum esse utrum doctoris aut ferratae viae ad Hook Norton architecti sit – the second daughter of Mr Mann has left the house to have a baby, and it is uncertain whether it is the doctor’s or of the architect of the railway to Hook Norton.

Neque doctorem neque architectum iam stultimi, ut minimum dicam, esse posse – Neither the doctor nor the architect could be so stupid, to say the least.