Togetherness and Persuasion

B’Grave Square
April 16th 1852

I have been thinking for some time of a ruse to persuade Josiah to take a little time away from his business, and on Monday evening I happened upon the perfect plan! I waited until he had taken off his outdoor shoes and settled by the fire with his usual glass of wine before dinner and then I laid my trap. I shall report it here to remind myself of how cleverly I bent him to my will….

Me: Josiah my darling you are working so hard these days, I am quite worried for your health.

Josiah: Nonsense, Eff! A man needs to be busy. I am working hard for us both, you know that.

Me: Of course you are and I love you for it. But could they spare you from the factory for half a day?

Josiah: Half a day is a long time in business, Eff. Have some sense!

Me: Oh, well of course I can see that, it’s just…..

J: Just what?

Me: I want us to have some time together, Josiah.

J: Time together? What in Heaven’s name are you talking about? I have told you already I am a businessman. Time is something women have, not entrepreneurs like me!

Me:Oh, Josiah I should so like us to take a picnic to Hyde Park or some such place.

J: Picnic?

Me: Yes. You remember what lovely times we have had on picnics, don’t you?

J: I do, Eff, I do….

Me: Do you remember that time at Hangerworth when Mama made sandwiches and lemonade for us and we set off to find the lake? When Papa was out walking and he found us….

J: ….stop it, Eff!

I sat at his feet and took gentle hold of his heels to rub them at this point – Josiah has a weakness where his heels are concerned – and after a short while I played my final card.

Me: So, do you think they will allow it, Josiah, at the factory?

J: It is not for them to ‘allow’ me anything! I make the decisions there you must not think otherwise. And if I want half a day to take my wife on a picnic I shall jolly well take half a day!

Me: Oh, sweetheart you are so lovely to your lucky wife. I shall instruct the staff to make up a hamper first thing tomorrow morning!

We then enjoyed a most agreeable dinner together and retired early in preparation for a sumptuous outdoor feast the next day. I am royally pleased with myself and my cunning! I must report for future reference that a man is more open to persuasion after he has removed his shoes….

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