Am discomposed with Octavius, who grows very rude and troublesome. Holidays too long. What uneasiness do children give one from the very first. Miss Stephens came before we had finished dinner. In the evening, Bowyer again but read with no pleasure. Harassed, out of spirits. Make no progress, do nothing. How difficult it is to be regular in any thing one wishes!
That’s from the diary of the Reverend William Johnstone Temple, friend of Boswell and Thomas Gray, acquaintance of Samuel Johnson but no admirer, and pastor to Bishop Keppel. It’s easy to look back to the good old days and think how easy and calm everything was, it is for me anyway, but I see that the Reverend Temple might disagree, put out as he is by his children and frustrated in his study. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.