September 7th 1853
My diversion around the grounds with Jennet has left me in a state of apprehension. He seems saddened, more weary and dejected than when I last spent time with him on gardening matters – I did not feel it right to question him about his marriage to that ridiculous woman but I cannot help feeling that he has not been made happier for it. He was reticent when speaking about anything other than the grounds – which is right and proper, of course, but a little frustrating – and said nothing at all when I mentioned how heavy the loss of Villiers sat with me.
We have planned a beautiful shrubbery and lawns, though, so I must not mind his quietude too much. He did mention some talk in the village that they wish to view me now that I am back. I do have some letters which it would not kill me to take to the post office myself, I suppose. It may seem wrong for someone of my rank to line up with everyone else, but it will give me a chance to find out what the Italian plans to do and where he intends to set up his studio. Oh! How stupid of me! Of course I must allow him to work in the Orangery now it is restored – perfect light, plenty of room and naturally I will be able to help him choose his sitters and their poses. Josiah can not possibly object to my spending so much time with a true artist – especially in a room whose interior can be seen from all angles and at some considerable distance. I shall gather my correspondence and make my way to the village without delay.