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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Wednesday, 19 December 2012
A story told to me today reminded me of a confidence of my Aunt's, made some years ago, concerning my maternal grandfather. It was given in the horrified tones of a daughter whose Puritan susceptibilities had been lacerated. My grandfather, it appears, at the age of seventy and odd, and after having been a long time a widower, began to pursue servant girls upon the outskirts of Burslem; and not all the shocked remonstrances of his daughters could bring him back to the narrow path. He never succeeded in enchanting any of these girls, but the intention was, I was told, only too obvious. It is curious that at such a time of life, the long-repressed instincts of a man who had lived as a strict Wesleyan-Methodist, should at last have become unmanageable. Shortly after the episodes of the servant girls he married a buxom woman forty years his junior, a plump-faced pleasant woman who had the greatest difficulty not to call me "Mr. Arnold."