This file includes some further fragments of splendid nonsense from the Juvenilia (see also Love and Freindship, Frederic & Elfrida, Henry & Eliza, Lesley Castle, Sir William Mountague, Jack & Alice, and another site with e-texts of some of the Juvenilia ). I have also included the accompanying mock-grandiose dedications here (two of them are to her infant nieces).
Volume the First
A NOVEL IN TWELVE CHAPTERS
Dedicated by permission to Miss Austen.
You are a Phoenix. Your taste is refined, your Sentiments are noble, & your Virtues innumerable. Your Person is lovely, your Figure, elegant, & your Form, magestic. Your Manners are polished, your Conversation is rational & your appearance singular. If, therefore, the following Tale will afford one moment's amusement to you, every wish will be gratified of
Your most obedient
CHAPTER THE FIRST
CASSANDRA was the Daughter & the only Daughter of a celebrated Millener in Bond Street. Her father was of noble Birth, being the near relation of the Dutchess of ----'s Butler.
CHAPTER THE 2d
WHEN Cassandra had attained her 16th year, she was lovely & amiable, & chancing to fall in love with an elegant Bonnet her Mother had just compleated, bespoke by the Countess of ----, she placed it on her gentle Head & walked from her Mother's shop to make her Fortune.
CHAPTER THE 3d
THE first person she met, was the Viscount of ----, a young Man, no less celebrated for his Accomplishments & Virtues, than for his Elegance & Beauty. She curtseyed & walked on.
CHAPTER THE 4th
SHE then proceeded to a Pastry-cook's, where she devoured six ices, refused to pay for them, knocked down the Pastry Cook & walked away.
CHAPTER THE 5th
SHE next ascended a Hackney Coach & ordered it to Hampstead, where she was no sooner arrived than she ordered the Coachman to turn round & drive her back again.
CHAPTER THE 6th
BEING returned to the same spot of the same Street she had set out from, the Coachman demanded his Pay.
CHAPTER THE 7th
SHE searched her pockets over again & again; but every search was unsuccessfull. No money could she find. The man grew peremptory. She placed her bonnet on his head & ran away.
CHAPTER THE 8th
THRO' many a street she then proceeded & met in none the least Adventure, till on turning a Corner of Bloomsbury Square, she met Maria.
CHAPTER THE 9th
CASSANDRA started & Maria seemed surprised; they trembled, blushed, turned pale & passed each other in a mutual silence.
CHAPTER THE 10th
CASSANDRA was next accosted by her freind the Widow, who squeezing out her little Head thro' her less window, asked her how she did? Cassandra curtseyed & went on.
CHAPTER THE 11th
A QUARTER of a mile brought her to her paternal roof in Bond Street, from which she had now been absent nearly 7 hours.
CHAPTER THE 12th
SHE entered it & was pressed to her Mother's bosom by that worthy Woman. Cassandra smiled & whispered to herself "This is a day well spent."
an interesting & well written Tale
Letter the first
TO MISS WEBSTER
MY DEAR AMELIA
You will rejoice to hear of the return of my amiable Brother from abroad. He arrived on thursday, & never did I see a finer form, save that of your sincere freind
Letter the 2d.
TO H. BEVERLEY ESQre.
I arrived here last thursday & met with a hearty reception from my Father, Mother, & Sisters. The latter are both fine Girls -- particularly Maud, who I think would suit you as a Wife well enough. What say you to this? She will have two thousand Pounds & as much more as you can get. If you don't marry her you will mortally offend
Letter the 3d.
TO MISS HERVEY
Beleive me, I'm happy to hear of your Brother's arrival. I have a thousand things to tell you, but my paper will only permit me to add that I am yr. affect. Freind
Letter the 4th.
TO MISS S. HERVEY
I have found a very convenient old hollow oak to put our Letters in; for you know we have long maintained a private Correspondence. It is about a mile from my House & seven from yours. You may perhaps imagine that I might have made choice of a tree which would have divided the Distance more equally -- I was sensible of this at the time, but as I considered that the walk would be of benefit to you in your weak & uncertain state of Health, I preferred it to one nearer your House, & am yr. faithfull
Letter the 5th.
TO MISS HERVEY
I write now to inform you that I did not stop at your house in my way to Bath last Monday. -- I have many things to inform you of besides; but my Paper reminds me of concluding; & beleive me yrs. ever &c.
Letter the 6th.
TO MISS WEBSTER
An humble Admirer now addresses you -- I saw you, lovely Fair one, as you passed on Monday last, before our House in your way to Bath. I saw you thro' a telescope, & was so struck by your Charms that from that time to this I have not tasted human food.
Letter the 7th.
As I was this morning at Breakfast the Newspaper was brought me, & in the list of Marriages I read the following.
A COMEDY IN 2 ACTS
To the Revd. James Austen
The following Drama, which I humbly recommend to your Protection & Patronage, tho' inferior to those celebrated Comedies called "The School for Jealousy" & "The Travelled Man", will I hope afford some amusement to so respectable a Curate as yourself; which was the end in veiw when it was first composed by your Humble Servant the Author.
Sir Arthur Hampton Lady Hampton Lord Fitzgerald Miss Fitzgerald Stanly Sophy Hampton Willoughby, Sir Arthur's nephew Cloe Willoughby
The scenes are laid in Lord Fitzgerald's House.
ACT THE FIRST
Scene the first, a Parlour --
enter LORD FITZGERALD & STANLY
Scene the 2d.
STANLY & MISS FITZGERALD, discovered.
End of the First Act.
ACT THE SECOND
Scene the first. The Drawing Room.
Chairs set round in a row. LORD FITZGERALD, MISS FITZGERALD & STANLY seated.
Enter a Servant.
Enter the Company.
[They pay their Compliments alternately.
Enter a Servant.
[They all rise.
STANLY hands CLOE; LORD FITZGERALD, SOPHY; WILLOUGHBY, MISS FITZGERALD; and SIR ARTHUR, LADY HAMPTON
Scene the 2d.
The Dining Parlour.
MISS FITZGERALD at top. LORD FITZGERALD at bottom. Company ranged on each side. Servants waiting.
[SERVANTS take away the things and bring in the Bottles & Glasses.
[MISS FITZGERALD goes to a Closet & brings out a bottle
[He takes her hand & leads her to the front
A short, but interesting Tale, is with all imaginable Respect inscribed to Mr. Francis William Austen, Midshipman on board his Majesty's Ship the Perseverance by his Obedient Servant
MR. HARLEY was one of many Children. Destined by his father for the Church & by his Mother for the Sea, desirous of pleasing both, he prevailed on Sir John to obtain for him a Chaplaincy on board a Man of War. He accordingly cut his Hair and sailed.
In half a year he returned & set-off in the Stage Coach for Hogsworth Green, the seat of Emma. His fellow travellers were, A man without a Hat, Another with two, An old maid, & a young Wife.
This last appeared about 17, with fine dark Eyes & an elegant Shape; in short, Mr. Harley soon found out that she was his Emma & recollected he had married her a few weeks before he left England.
MY DEAR NEICE:
Though you are at this period not many degrees removed from Infancy, Yet trusting that you will in time be older, and that through the care of your excellent Parents, You will one day or another be able to read written hand, I dedicate to You the following Miscellanious Morsels, convinced that if you seriously attend to them, You will derive from them very important Instructions, with regard to your Conduct in Life. -- If such my hopes should hereafter be realized, never shall I regret the Days and Nights that have been spent in composing these Treatises for your Benefit. I am, my dear Neice
Your very Affectionate
A BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION OF THE DIFFERENT EFFECTS OF SENSIBILITY ON DIFFERENT MINDS.
I AM but just returned from Melissa's Bedside, & in my Life, tho' it has been a pretty long one, & I have during the course of it been at many Bedsides, I never saw so affecting an object as she exhibits. She lies wrapped in a book muslin bedgown, a chambray gauze shift, and a French net nightcap. Sir William is constantly at her bedside. The only repose he takes is on the Sopha in the Drawing room, where for five minutes every fortnight he remains in an imperfect Slumber, starting up every Moment & exclaiming "Oh! Melissa, Ah! Melissa," then sinking down again, raises his left arm and scratches his head. Poor Mrs. Burnaby is beyond measure afflicted. She sighs every now & then, that is about once a week; while the melancholy Charles says every Moment "Melissa how are you?" The lovely Sisters are much to be pitied. Julia is ever lamenting the situation of her friend, while lying behind her pillow & supporting her head -- Maria, more mild in her greif, talks of going to Town next week, & Anna is always recurring to the pleasures we once enjoyed when Melissa was well. -- I am usually at the fire cooking some little delicacy for the unhappy invalid -- Perhaps hashing up the remains of an old Duck, toasting some cheese or making a Curry, which are the favourite dishes of our poor friend. -- In these situations we were this morning surprised by receiving a visit from Dr. Dowkins; "I am come to see Melissa," said he. "How is She?" "Very weak indeed," said the fainting Melissa -- "Very weak," replied the punning Doctor, "aye indeed it is more than a very week since you have taken to your bed -- How is your appetite?" "Bad, very bad," said Julia. "That is very bad" -- replied he; "Are her spirits good, Madam?" "So poorly, Sir, that we are obliged to strengthen her with cordials every Minute." -- "Well then she receives Spirits from your being with her. Does she sleep?" "Scarcely ever." -- "And Ever Scarcely, I suppose, when she does. Poor thing! Does she think of dieing?" "She has not strength to think at all." "Nay, then she cannot think to have Strength."
Volume The Second
By a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian.
N.B. There will be very few Dates in this History.
Henry the 4th
HENRY the 4th ascended the throne of England much to his own satisfaction in the year 1399, after having prevailed on his cousin & predecessor Richard the 2d to resign it to him, & to retire for the rest of his Life to Pomfret Castle, where he happened to be murdered. It is to be supposed that Henry was married, since he had certainly four sons, but it is not in my power to inform the Reader who was his Wife. Be this as it may, he did not live for ever, but falling ill, his son the Prince of Wales came and took away the crown; whereupon the King made a long speech, for which I must refer the Reader to Shakespear's Plays, & the Prince made a still longer. Things being thus settled between them, the King died, & was succeeded by his son Henry who had previously beat Sir William Gascoigne.
Henry the 5th
THIS Prince, after he succeeded to the throne, grew quite reformed & Amiable, forsaking all his dissipated Companions, & never thrashing Sir William again. During his reign, Lord Cobham was burnt alive, but I forget what for. His Majesty then turned his thoughts to France, where he went & fought the famous Battle of Agincourt. He afterwards married the King's daughter Catherine, a very agreable Woman by Shakespear's account. In spite of all this, however, he died, and was succeeded by his son Henry.
[From this point on, only excerpts are given here; a complete version of the descriptions of the later Plantagenets and Henry VII is available elsewhere, and the full text of the History of England, including scans of the illustrations by Cassandra Austen in the original manuscript is at yet another site.]
Henry the 6th
I CANNOT say much for this Monarch's Sense -- Nor would I if I could, for he was a Lancastrian. I suppose you know all about the Wars between him and & The Duke of York, who was of the right side; If you do not, you had better read some other History, for I shall not be very diffuse in this, meaning by it only to vent my Spleen against, & shew my hatred to all those people whose parties or principles do not suit with mine, and not to give information. [...] There were several Battles between the Yorkists & Lancastrians, in which the former (as they ought) usually conquered. [...]
Edward the 4th
THIS Monarch was famous only for his Beauty & his Courage, of which the Picture we have here given of him, & his undaunted Behaviour in marrying one Woman while he was engaged to another, are sufficient proofs. [...] One of Edward's Mistresses was Jane Shore, who has had a play written about her, but it is a tragedy & therefore not worth reading. [...]
Henry the 7th
[...] His Majesty died, & was succeeded by his son Henry, whose only merit was his not being quite so bad as his daughter Elizabeth.
IT would be an affront to my Readers were I to suppose that they were not as well acquainted with the particulars of this King's reign as I am myself. It will therefore be saving them the task of reading again what they have read before, & myself the trouble of writing what I do not perfectly recollect, by giving only a slight sketch of the principal Events which marked his reign. Among these may be ranked Cardinal Wolsey's telling the father Abbott of Leicester Abbey that "he was come to lay his bones among them", the reformation in Religion, & the King's riding through the Streets of London with Anna Bullen. It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declare that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs, not to mention her solemn protestations of Innocence, the weakness of the Charges against her, and the king's Character; all of which add some confirmation, tho' perhaps but slight ones when in comparison with those before alledged in her favour. Tho' I do not profess giving many dates, yet as I think it proper to give some & shall of course make choice of those which it is most necessary for the Reader to know, I think it right to inform him that her letter to the King was dated on the 6th of May. The Crimes & Cruelties of this Prince were too numerous to be mentioned (as this history I trust has fully shown); & nothing can be said in his vindication, but that his abolishing Religious Houses & leaving them to the ruinous depredations of time has been of infinite use to the landscape of England in general, which probably was a principal motive for his doing it, since otherwise why should a Man who was of no Religion himself be at so much trouble to abolish one which had for Ages been established in the Kingdom? His Majesty's 5th wife was the Duke of Norfolk's Neice who, tho' universally acquitted of the crimes for which she was beheaded, has been by many people supposed to have led an abandoned Life before her Marriage -- of this, however, I have many doubts, since she was a relation of that noble Duke of Norfolk who was so warm in the Queen of Scotland's cause, & who at last fell a victim to it. The king's last wife contrived to survive him, but with difficulty effected it. He was succeeded by his only son Edward.
Edward the 6th
As this prince was only nine years old at the time of his Father's death, he was considered by many people as too young to govern, & the late King happening to be of the same opinion, his mother's Brother, the Duke of Somerset, was chosen Protector of the realm during his minority. [...] He was beheaded, of which he might with reason have been proud, had he known that such was [to be] the death of Mary Queen of Scotland; but as it was impossible that He should be conscious of what had never happened, it does not appear that he felt particularly delighted with the manner of it. [...]
[...] His Majesty was of that amiable disposition which inclines to Freindships, & in such points was possessed of a keener perception in Discovering Merit than many other people. I once heard an excellent Sharade on a Carpet, of which the subject I am now on reminds me, and as I think it may afford my Readers some Amusement to find it out, I shall here take the liberty of presenting it to them.
My first is what my second was to King James the 1st, and you tread on my whole.
The principal favourites of his Majesty were Car, who was afterwards created Earl of Somerset and whose name may have some share in the above mentioned Sharade, & George Villiers, afterwards Duke of Buckingham. On his Majesty's death he was succeeded by his son Charles.
Charles the 1st
[...] The Events of this Monarch's reign are too numerous for my pen, and indeed the recital of any Events (except what I make myself) is uninteresting to me; my principal reason for undertaking the History of England being to prove the innocence of the Queen of Scotland, which I flatter myself with having effectually done, and to abuse Elizabeth, tho' I am rather fearful of having fallen short in the latter part of my Scheme. -- As therefore it is not my intention to give any particular account of the distresses into which this King was involved through the misconduct & Cruelty of his Parliament, I shall satisfy myself with vindicating him from the Reproach of Arbitrary & tyrannical Government with which he has often been Charged. This, I feel, is not difficult to be done, for with one argument I am certain of satisfying every sensible & well disposed person whose opinions have been properly guided by a good Education -- & this Argument is that he was a Stuart.
Saturday Nov: 26th 1791
To Miss Cooper
Conscious of the Charming Character which in every Country, & every Clime in Christendom is Cried Concerning you, with Caution & Care I Commend to your Charitable Criticism this Clever Collection of Curious Comments, which have been Carefully Culled, Collected, & Classed by your Comical Cousin
A Collection of Letters
MY Children begin now to claim all my attention in a different Manner from that in which they have been used to receive it, as they are now arrived at that age when it is necessary for them in some measure to become conversant with the World. My Augusta is 17 & her Sister scarcely a twelve-month younger. I flatter myself that their education has been such as will not disgrace their appearance in the World, & that they will not disgrace their Education, I have every reason to beleive. Indeed, they are sweet Girls. -- Sensible yet unaffected -- Accomplished yet Easy. -- Lively yet Gentle. -- As their progress in every thing they have learnt has been always the same, I am willing to forget the difference of age, and to introduce them together into Public. This very Evening is fixed on as their first entrée into life, as we are to drink tea with Mrs. Cope & her Daughter. I am glad that we are to meet no one, for my Girls' sake, as it would be awkward for them to enter too wide a Circle on the very first day. But we shall proceed by degrees. -- Tomorrow, Mr. Stanly's family will drink tea with us, and perhaps the Miss Phillips will meet them. On Tuesday we shall pay Morning-Visits. -- On Wednesday we are to dine at Westbrook. On Thursday we have Company at home. On Friday we are to be at a private concert at Sir John Wynne's -- & on Saturday we expect Miss Dawson to call in the morning, -- which will complete my Daughters' Introduction into Life. How they will bear so much dissipation I cannot imagine; of their Spirits I have no fear, I only dread their health.
This mighty affair is now happily over, & my Girls are out. As the moment approached for our departure, you can have no idea how the sweet Creatures trembled with fear & expectation. Before the Carriage drove to the door, I called them into my dressing-room, & as soon as they were seated, thus addressed them. "My dear Girls, the moment is now arrived when I am to reap the rewards of all my Anxieties and Labours towards you during your Education. You are this Evening to enter a World in which you will meet with many wonderfull Things; Yet let me warn you against suffering yourselves to be meanly swayed by the Follies & Vices of others, for beleive me, my beloved Children, that if you do -- I shall be very sorry for it." They both assured me that they would ever remember my advice with Gratitude, & follow it with Attention; That they were prepared to find a World full of things to amaze & shock them: but that they trusted their behaviour would never give me reason to repent the Watchful Care with which I had presided over their infancy & formed their Minds. -- "With such expectations & such intentions, (cried I) I can have nothing to fear from you -- & can chearfully conduct you to Mrs. Cope's without a fear of your being seduced by her Example or contaminated by her Follies. Come then, my Children, (added I) the Carriage is driving to the door, & I will not a moment delay the happiness you are so impatient to enjoy." When we arrived at Warleigh, poor Augusta could hardly breathe, while Margaret was all Life & Rapture. "The long-expected Moment is now arrived, (said she) and we shall soon be in the World." -- In a few Moments we were in Mrs. Cope's parlour, -- where with her daughter she sat ready to receive us. I observed with delight the impression my Children made on them. -- They were indeed two sweet, elegant-looking Girls, & tho' somewhat abashed from the peculiarity of their Situation, Yet there was an ease in their Manners & Address which could not fail of pleasing. -- Imagine, my dear Madam, how delighted I must have been in beholding, as I did, how attentively they observed every object they saw, how disgusted with some Things, how enchanted with others, how astonished at all! On the whole, however, they returned in raptures with the World, its Inhabitants, & Manners.
Yrs. Ever -- A---- F----
WHY should this last disappointment hang so heavily on my Spirits? Why should I feel it more, why should it wound me deeper than those I have experienced before? Can it be that I have a greater affection for Willoughby than I had for his amiable predecessors? Or is it that our feelings become more acute from being often wounded? I must suppose, my dear Belle, that this is the Case, since I am not conscious of being more sincerely attached to Willoughby than I was to Neville, Fitzowen, or either of the Crawfords, for all of whom I once felt the most lasting affection that ever warmed a Woman's heart. Tell me then, dear Belle, why I still sigh when I think of the faithless Edward, or why I weep when I behold his Bride, for too surely this is the case. -- My Freinds are all alarmed for me; They fear my declining health; they lament my want of Spirits; they dread the effects of both. In hopes of releiving my Melancholy, by directing my thoughts to other objects, they have invited several of their freinds to spend the Christmas with us. Lady Bridget Dashwood & her Sister-in-Law Miss Jane are expected on Friday; & Colonel Seaton's family will be with us next week. This is all most kindly meant by my Uncle & Cousins; but what can the presence of a dozen indifferent people do to me, but weary & distress me. -- I will not finish my Letter till some of our Visitors are arrived.
Friday Evening --
Lady Bridget came this Morning, and with her, her sweet Sister, Miss Jane. -- Although I have been acquainted with this charming Woman above fifteen years, Yet I never before observed how lovely she is. She is now about 35, & in spite of sickness, Sorrow, and Time, is more blooming than I ever saw a Girl of 17. I was delighted with her, the moment she entered the house, & she appeared equally pleased with me, attaching herself to me during the remainder of the day. There is something so sweet, so mild in her Countenance, that she seems more than Mortal. Her Conversation is as bewitching as her appearance; -- I could not help telling her how much she engaged my Admiration. -- "Oh! Miss Jane" (said I) -- and stopped from an inability at the moment of expressing myself as I could wish -- "Oh! Miss Jane" (I repeated) -- I could not think of words to suit my feelings -- She seemed waiting for my Speech. -- I was confused -- distressed. -- My thoughts were bewildered -- and I could only add "How do you do?" She saw & felt for my embarrassment & with admirable presence of mind releived me from it by saying -- "My dear Sophia, be not uneasy at having exposed Yourself -- I will turn the Conversation without appearing to notice it." Oh! how I loved her for her kindness! "Do you ride as much as you used to do?" said she. -- "I am advised to ride by my Physician, We have delightful Rides round us, I have a charming horse, am uncommonly fond of the Amusement," replied I, quite recovered from my Confusion, "& in short, I ride a great deal." "You are in the right my Love," said She, Then repeating the following Line which was an extempore & equally adapted to recommend both Riding & Candour --
She added, "I rode once, but it is many years ago" -- She spoke this in so Low & tremulous a Voice, that I was silent -- Struck with her Manner of Speaking, I could make no reply. "I have not ridden," continued she, fixing her Eyes on my face, "since I was married." I was never so surprised -- "Married, Ma'am!" I repeated. "You may well wear that look of astonishment," said she, "since what I have said must appear improbable to you -- Yet nothing is more true than that I once was married."
"Then why are you called ``Miss Jane''?"
"I married, my Sophia, without the consent or knowledge of my father -- the late Admiral Annesley. It was therefore necessary to keep the secret from him & from every one, till some fortunate opportunity might offer of revealing it. -- Such an opportunity alas! was but too soon given in the death of my dear Capt. Dashwood -- Pardon these tears," continued Miss Jane, wiping her Eyes, "I owe them to my Husband's Memory; He fell, my Sophia, while fighting for his Country in America after a most happy Union of seven years. -- My Children, two sweet Boys & a Girl, who had constantly resided with my Father & me, passing with him & with every one as the Children of a Brother (tho' I had ever been an only child) had as yet been the Comforts of my Life. But no sooner had I lossed my Henry, than these sweet Creatures fell sick & died. -- Conceive, dear Sophia, what my feelings must have been when as an Aunt I attended my Children to their early Grave. -- My Father did not survive them many weeks -- He died, poor Good old Man, happily ignorant to his last hour of my Marriage."
"But did you not own it, & assume his name at your husband's death?"
"No; I could not bring myself to do it; more especially when in my Children, I lost all inducement for doing it. Lady Bridget and Yourself are the only persons who are in the knowledge of my having ever been either Wife or Mother. As I could not prevail on myself to take the name of Dashwood (a name which after my Henry's death I could never hear without emotion), and as I was conscious of having no right to that of Annesley, I dropt all thoughts of either, & have made it a point of bearing only my Christian one since my Father's death." She paused -- "Oh! my dear Miss Jane (said I) how infinitely am I obliged to you for so entertaining a Story! You cannot think how it has diverted me! But have you quite done?"
"I have only to add, my dear Sophia, that my Henry's elder Brother dieing about the same time, Lady Bridget became a Widow like myself, and as we had always loved each other in idea from the high Character in which we had ever been spoken of, though we had never met, we determined to live together. We wrote to one another on the same subject by the same post, so exactly did our feelings & our Actions coincide: We both eagerly embraced the proposals we gave & received of becoming one family, and have from that time lived together in the greatest affection."
"And is this all?" said I, "I hope you have not done."
"Indeed I have; and did you ever hear a Story more pathetic?"
"I never did -- and it is for that reason it pleases me so much, for when one is unhappy, nothing is so delightful to one's sensations as to hear of equal Misery."
"Ah! but my Sophia, why are you unhappy?"
"Have you not heard, Madam, of Willoughby's Marriage?" "But my Love, why lament his perfidy, when you bore so well that of many young Men before?" "Ah! Madam, I was used to it then, but when Willoughby broke his Engagements, I had not been dissapointed for half a year." "Poor Girl!" said Miss Jane.
MY DEAR NEICE
As I am prevented by the great distance between Rowling and Steventon from superintending Your Education Myself, the care of which will probably on that account devolve on your Father & Mother, I think it it my particular Duty to prevent your feeling as much as possible the want of my personal instructions, by addressing to You on paper my Opinions & Admonitions on the conduct of Young Women, which you will find expressed in the following pages. --
I am my dear Neice
MY DEAR LOUISA
Your friend Mr. Millar called upon us yesterday in his way to Bath, whither he is going for his health; two of his daughters were with him, but the oldest & the three Boys are with their Mother in Sussex. Though you have often told me that Miss Millar was remarkably handsome, you never mentioned anything of her Sisters' beauty; yet they are certainly extremely pretty. I'll give you their description. -- Julia is eighteen; with a countenance in which Modesty, Sense, & Dignity are happily blended, she has a form which at once presents you with Grace, Elegance, & Symmetry. Charlotte, who is just Sixteen, is shorter than her Sister, and though her figure cannot boast the easy dignity of Julia's, yet it has a pleasing plumpness which is in a different way as estimable. She is fair & her face is expressive sometimes of softness the most bewitching, and at others of Vivacity the most striking. She appears to have infinite wit and a good humour unalterable; her conversation during the half hour they set with us, was replete with humorous Sallies, Bonmots & repartees; while the sensible, the amiable Julia uttered Sentiments of Morality worthy of a heart like her own. Mr. Millar appeared to answer the character I had always received of him. My Father met him with that look of Love, that social Shake, & cordial kiss which marked his gladness at beholding an old & valued friend from whom thro' various circumstances he had been separated nearly twenty Years. Mr. Millar observed (and very justly too) that many events had befallen each during that interval of time, which gave occasion to the lovely Julia for making most sensible reflections on the many changes in their situation which so long a period had occasioned, on the advantages of some, & the disadvantages of others. From this subject she made a short digression to the instability of human pleasures & the uncertainty of their duration, which led her to observe that all earthly Joys must be imperfect. She was proceeding to illustrate this doctrine by examples from the Lives of great Men, when the Carriage came to the Door and the amiable Moralist with her Father & Sister was obliged to depart; but not without a promise of spending five or six months with us on their return. We of course mentioned you, and I assure you that ample Justice was done to your Merits by all. "Louisa Clarke (said I) is in general a very pleasant Girl, yet sometimes her good humour is clouded by Peevishness, Envy, & Spite. She neither wants Understanding nor is without some pretensions to Beauty, but these are so very trifling, that the value she sets on her personal charms, & the adoration she expects them to be offered, are at once a striking example of her vanity, her pride, & her folly." So said I, & to my opinion everyone added weight by the concurrence of their own.
A Letter from a Young Lady, whose feeling being too Strong for her Judgement, led her into the commission of Errors which her Heart disapproved. --
MANY have been the cares & vicissitudes of my past life, my beloved Ellinor, & the only consolation I feel for their bitterness is that on a close examination of my conduct, I am convinced that I have strictly deserved them. I murdered my father at a very early period of my Life, I have since murdered my Mother, and I am now going to murder my Sister. I have changed my religion so often that at present I have not an idea of any left. I have been a perjured witness in every public tryal for these past twelve Years; and I have forged my own will. In short, there is scarcely a crime that I have not committed. -- But I am now going to reform. Colonel Martin of the Horse guards has paid his Addresses to me, & we are to be married in a few days. As there is something singular in our Courtship, I will give you an account of it. Col. Martin is the second son of the late Sir John Martin, who died immensely rich, but bequeathing only one hundred thousand pound a piece to his three younger Children, left the bulk of his fortune, about eight Million, to the present Sir Thomas. Upon his small pittance the Colonel lived tolerably contented for nearly four months, when he took it into his head to determine on getting the whole of his eldest Brother's Estate. A new will was forged & the Colonel produced it in Court -- but nobody would swear to it's being the right Will except himself, & he had sworn so much that nobody beleived him. At that moment, I happened to be passing by the door of the Court, and was beckoned in by the Judge, who told the Colonel that I was a Lady ready to witness anything for the cause of Justice, & advised him to apply to me. In short, the Affair was soon adjusted. The Colonel & I Swore to its' being the right will, & Sir Thomas has been obliged to resign all his illgotten Wealth. The Colonel in gratitude waited on me the next day with an offer of his hand. -- I am now going to murder my Sister.
MY DEAR CLARA
I HAVE been so long on the ramble that I have not till now had it in my power to thank you for your Letter. -- We left our dear home on last Monday month; and proceeded on our tour through Wales, which is a principality contiguous to England and gives the title to the Prince of Wales. We travelled on horseback by preference. My Mother rode upon our little pony, & Fanny & I walked by her side or rather ran, for my Mother is so fond of riding fast that She galloped all the way. You may be sure that we were in a fine perspiration when we came to our place of resting. Fanny has taken a great many Drawings of the Country, which are very beautiful, tho' perhaps not such exact resemblances as might be wished, from their being taken as she ran along. It would astonish you to see all the Shoes we wore out in our Tour. We determined to take a good Stock with us & therefore each took a pair of our own besides those we set off in. However we were obliged to have them both capped & heelpeiced at Carmarthen, & at last when they were quite gone, Mama was so kind as to lend us a pair of blue Sattin Slippers, of which we each took one and hopped home from Hereford delightfully --
I am your ever affectionate
Volume the Third
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