August 30th, 1847 (Monday)

August 30, 2009

Having seen Mr Grimaldi (Mr Bowyer’s solicitor) in Church yesterday, and understood that he was stopping at the Vicarage, Sewell and I called. He seems a pleasing, gentlemanlike person. We must clearly cultivate friendly relations with him, which he seems well-disposed to reciprocate.

When we were waiting at the door we heard the Vicar’s voice, and just as we went in, the foolish man popped out. What on earth he has to be afraid of I am sure I can’t imagine. However, he returned, and after some little conversation, complained, in no conciliating language of four of the workmen having taken lodgings in the house of a young, unmarried woman, close to the Vicarage, – who had taken to the unlicensed sale of beer, – and through whose chamber they were obliged to pass at night to get to their own. Moreover that these fellows were accustomed to sit up at night playing at cards. We said that it was a bad case, and should be inquired into.

I am a little afraid that he will make it a ‘casus belli’,1 unless he be wholly gratified. On mentioning it to Johnson, he said that the four men in question were painters of bad character, whom he had discharged, and that their successors were carpenters whom he had in constant employment, and knew to be most respectable men, – and incapable of any impropriety complained of or suspected. This we must communicate to Mr Ratcliffe.

1: “reason for war”

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