I am determined

Brunswick Square February 10th 1851

I have heard from home that the Girl and her poor mite are getting along famously. I had hoped she would want to return to live with her own mother but Villiers says there is no room for them there. At present no-one in the village knows we are housing the bastard child of one of the staff but we cannot keep them hidden for long. I shall be forced to decide soon whether to keep her in employment. I have been too kind already and would dispense with her tomorrow, but Josiah is adamant that we should be charitable. I admire his sense of duty towards one who has served us well, but I do not share his view that we should allow the child to grow up at Blindingham. I should be the talk of the County for my softness and that does not sit well when trying to manage the household. Villiers says that all the serving girls behave as if the child is jointly mothered – thus allowing the Girl to undertake some light duties in return for her keep. It is a rum situation, though, and I cannot let it continue once I am Lady of the house again. The servants would be too busy laughing behind their hands to get much work done. I shall speak to Josiah. He is more approachable now his gout is a little dispersed.

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