It was on the liner coming back,
just off (I remember) the Eddystone lighthouse,
that I met my dear wife.
She was the daughter of a retired Government official. now enjoying a leisurely and happy old age.
We had long been catching each other's eyes. The time was ripe. When I at last proposed, she gave me both hands impulsively.
Ours was a romantic engagement,
but we decided to cut it very short, and were married directly the village church could be made ready.
We had some very novel wedding presents.
My best man was Lord Wagglecleek.
Almost my oldest friend, I had first met him in the bath.
It was a pretty service, and the villagers, whose hearts are wholly ours,
gave us a cordial send-off.
We were idyllically happy at Frisby Towers, in spite of its outward air of gloom.
We both had rural tastes. My wife was very fond of whipping the stream,
and I was, of course, an ardent golfer.
One day we took the motor;
on the next I ordered out the roan.
When it rained we knew what to do.
We were so simple that we often did not dress for dinner.
In the evening after a small but recherché meal, for the cuisine at Frisby Towers left nothing to be desired,
we had music. Melba's divine notes floated into the liquid air,
or I would perform a solo on my favourite instrument, which I flatter myself I play with a certain amount of delicacy and feeling;
my wife occasionally accompanying me on the harp.
We entertained freely. Like my father I am a most hospitable man.
No sooner is a guest inside my doors, than I pass the refreshments.
In other ways also I kept them amused and happy.
By day we often made up parties of six for the fishing.
I had my hobbies too. In 1904 I succeeded, after many failures, in obtaining a cross between a tortoise and a porcupine, and the training of the hybrid gives me infinite pleasure.
I was also the foremost conchologist of the country, and the arranging of my collection of 14,000 varieties of winkles, now in the Natural History Museum, occupied many otherwise tedious evenings.
Life also had its exciting incidents. Now and then I would add to my unique collection of Sèvres;
or a new hat would come from London for my wife.
Sometimes a guest revoked;
while an occasional fracas with the plumber also enlivened the routine, as when on one memorable occasion I drew his attention to the inadequacy of the bath.
Now and then my wife and I may even have had a tiff, during which we were not on speaking terms; but it soon blew over.
On Sunday we naturally went to church, to which, in my capacity of Squire, I presented a new organ,
and where I frequently had the pleasure of hearing the choir render my favourite hymns.