His letters are full of playful affection.
He would fain be father and mother both to the children who were now his all. Under the austere exterior lay a tenderness which perhaps they hardly comprehended at the time.
It was in fact this very anguish of solicitude, this passionate wish that they should not only have, but be
everything desirable and lovely, that made him outwardly so stern.
This sterner note impressed itself so deeply upon the minds of his children that the anecdotes familiar to our own generation echo it. We see the little Julia
, weary with long riding in the family coach, suffering her knees to drop apart childwise, and we hear Mr. Ward
say: “My daughter, if you cannot sit like a lady, we will stop at the next tailor's and have you measured for a pair of pantaloons!”
Or we hear the child at table, remarking innocently that the cheese is strong; and the deep voice replying, “It is no more so than the expression, Miss
The family was still at 16 Bond Street, when all the children had whooping-cough severely, and were confined to the house for many weeks.
writes of this time:--
“I remember the screened-off corner of the diningroom, which was called the Bower, where we each retired when the spasms came on, and the promises which we vainly gave each other each morning to choke rather than cough whilst Uncle Doctor made his visit to the nursery; for the slightest sound from one of us provoked the general order
of a dose all round.”