As she got out of bed, her maid Anne, walked in bearing a tray of coffee and wished her good morning. She replied rather distantly, her mind already on the various things she had to prepare for this week. Amelia, her youngest daughter, really needed a governess. She needed to learn a little discipline and decorum. After all what was overlooked in India wouldn't do here. She was only eight it was true, but London society was very different. The child had been allowed to run a little wild in India what with her ayah and the various servants around. I'll talk to Susan today and see what she recommends, she thought , as she was helped into her corset by Anne. The maid laid out her morning dress on the bed as Mrs. Bentham got into her stockings and donned the various layers of petticoats that would hold up her skirts.
Walking downstairs she ran a slightly critical fingertip over the statuary in the niche on the landing and frowned at the light layer of dust that covered it. Downstairs she found her housekeeper, Mrs. Lovell waiting for her to discuss the weeks menus.
"I've spoken to Charles ma'am and I think it would be better to order the fish from another man. I don't think the man's to be trusted at all these days. I had to return the plaice today; it wasn't fresh at all." The housekeeper said.
She continued into the dining room, where...
She continued into the dining room, where she found her husband already at breakfast. She sighed as he folded his newspaper and smiled at her. He was a man who was used to activity and enjoyed solving problems. The years in India as a district judge had suited him. Now, upon his return to London, he was more than a little lost in the life expected of a man of his class. He was a regular in his club where he enjoyed long discussions on politics and science, but she knew that he secretly longed for a far more challenging practice of law than his genteel clientele of upper - middle class personages allowed. Lately, he had been hinting of his wish to handle some rather disreputable cases from the lower classes of London.
"Well, I've finally got my hands on it," he said waving a book at her.
"Darwin's treatise on the origin of species. Heard so much about it, that I thought I should order it from Jones. Now perhaps I can argue with that old fool Samuels."
"I really wish you wouldn't dear", she replied, perturbed. "After all, he's as much right to believe in God as anyone does. And I heard that this is really preposterous, claiming we arose from animals and so on."
"Good morning, Papa, Mamma.", chimed a voice from the door. The couple looked up to their eldest daughter Lydia, tripping in , in a pretty pink-sprigged dress. She was nineteen and pretty and had been a great success in London's society since they had returned six months ago. As Mrs. Bentham looked at her, her thoughts went to the problem of getting her married well. It was high time, now that there was so much interest in her. The girl needed a new opera gown and then there was the