Friday, January 02, 2009

03Nov1863, The Servants' Ball

HAGLEY, Tuesday, November 3rd, 1863.
— Grim weather. A splendid servants' ball, to which came Stourbridge tradespeople and Hagley farmers, ended our week's doings ; and perhaps was the merriest and most spirited thing of all. The only drawback, but 0 dear, it was a great one, was dear old Elly knocking up this very day, and having to go to bed ; so that she missed the servants' ball for the 1st time. Charles had to go down the middle with Gielen, which was very flat. But great was the fun. I had Herbert ; Lavinia, Rowe ; May, Robson ; Edward, Shirtliffe ; Alfred, Jane Brown ; Johnny Mooreman ; Miss Merlet, Stephens ! In Sir Roger it was pretty to see Charles lift up Alfred that the couples might duck under his little arm. Before supper, Papa made them all a little speech, thanking them warmly for all their good feeling and heartiness. This seems to have delighted them all extremely : 3 cheers followed and another ("and a good one too") for Charles, and then the "Fine Old English Gentleman," Stephens solo, everybody chorus, and fiddle obbligato. Papa having incautiously said he hoped they wd stay as long as it suited them, we heard they kept it up till 6½ ! and many of our servants didn't go to bed at all. Great was the enthusiasm for Papa and Charles, as Newmany told us afterwards, and altogether it puts another warm bit of gratification into one's heart.

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