in the Works of
Bernard Shaw: The
Diaries 1885 - 1897. Volume I
University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1986
[Dec] 24....Go for a walk with Sidney Web.
Brought Mrs. Besant´s letters down to Fleet St., but she had gone. Called at Webb´s and started with him for a walk. On our way I left the letters at Avenue Road, Mrs. B. was out. Then we walked to Wildwood Farm....We dined there....On my return I found that JP had been there and read my letters to Mrs. B. which I incautiously [left] on my table.
Dinner 1/1 Xmas box to waitress 2/6 to staff 1/-
At two in the morning --it was by then Christmas Day--Jenny confessed to Shaw in a hasty note which would precede her to Fitzroy Square, "I make no excuse for taking the letters....When I read her letters I felt that she must have had great encouragement....I am ill and numb....To flatter your own vanity and this woman´s you have humiliated me....I know that a woman who places herself in the position I have with a man has no claims on him. I have paid dearly for my folly."
[Dec] 25 Sunday
Was awakened by JP knocking at my door. She came about the letters. I at last got those she had taken and destroyed them....
Mrs. Adams Xmas box 5/- Maidwell (Barton´s man) Xmas box
[Dec] 26 JP´s in the evening
Finished writing up diary and wrote up my opus book, which was much in arrear. JP in the evening.
Emma (at JP´s) Xmas box 10/-
When I got to Halstead it was raining hard and Oliver and I got thoroughly wet....Oliver is spending the holidays with his father-in-law. All the family were there....I changed my clothes for a suit of Oliver´s and sent my own to the kitchen to dry. We dined and afterwards there was a snapdragon. They wanted me to stay but I insisted on going back to London by the 21.22 train. Oliver came with me to the station....
....Snapdragon is an old-fashioned Christmas game of picking raisins from a dish of flaming brandy and eating them while they are still alite....
[Dec] 25 Braekstad
Did not get up until between 11 and 12....Wrote a letter on the Abolition of Christmas for The Star…
Writing as "William Watkins Smyth" of the "Christmas
Day Abolition Society...." Shaw in The Star, 27 December 1888...pressed
for the abolition of Christmas cards, with their artificial sentiments,
and the end of Christmas drunkenness....
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