A debutante’s diary: Alice accepts an invitation

WEEK 7: Saturday 11th July, 1868

As both Augustus and Mr West have been worrying me to, I went to luncheon at the latter and sat to them afterwards. I was introduced to Miss Nina and Florence West, very nice and rather goodlooking girls both of them. What a jolly time of it they must have to be sure, leading this bachelor life with their brother, who is perfectly devoted to them, and would no more dream of contradicting them than he would dream of contradicting me.

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They have a most beautiful house, and his painting room is a perfect bijou, situated away from the other apartments, and with a public and private entrée, all quite correct.

I should not the least mind sitting to Mr West, for instead of scolding me every time I move, as Augustus does, he praised me as much as my hard-hearted cousin abuses me, let me move whenever I felt inclined, and had the most delicious little repast for me at five thirty composed of genuine French coffee, strawberries and cream, peaches, grapes, cake and all sorts of other little delicacies: still truth forces me to confess that though he looked at me quite as intently as does Augustus, somehow or other his sketch didn’t seem to advance.

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