I go ride out early of the morn so that my sweet Jezzie-girl may kick up her heels a little in healthfull exercize, for do I venture out at the fashionable hour will ever be stopping and standing by those that wish discourse a little, or, at the least, be seen in converse with the fascinating Lady B-, and I confide 'tis not very agreeable for her.
So we take a fine brisk canter about the Park, on a fine spring morn, and I feel the better of it myself.
And in due course, I bring her back to a sober walk to cool her, for tho’ Ajax would not chide me, he can give very speaking looks does he have some adverse opinion of my handling of my lovely mare.
As I tell her what an excellent fine Jezzie-girl she is, and I daresay she feels a deal the better for this little excursion, I see one clad in black upon a steed I recognize as Orion, and wave my whip in salutation. Comes trotting up to me Lord N-, as he must now be styl’d.
We make civil to one another, and then he says, he knows 'tis an entire imposition, but would be most exceeding glad to have an occasion to convoke with me upon a delicate matter.
La, says I, you are entire welcome to come take breakfast with me, tho’ may not be quite as sumptuous a feast as usual as my cook lyes in with twins, but has brought on the kitchen-maid to manage simple matters.
He says that 'tis my prudent counsel he hungers for.
So we return in company to my pretty house, and indeed matters are a little disorder’d, for 'tis Timothy comes answer the bell and takes my message to Celeste. But very shortly comes Nell with coffee and muffins and manages the matter entire handyly, sure one sees that she quite entire gets into good practices. She says there is more to come.
After we have eat sufficient and linger over our coffee, I proceed to ask Lord N- what’s ado.
Why, he says, are a deal of matters on hand and is oblig’d to spend more time than would like closet’d with men of law and business, but has been able defer certain matters by saying he waits upon the counsel of his godfather, for Sir C- F- has most kindly said he will come to Town once he has put a few matters in order.
He is an excellent fine fellow, says I.
Indeed, says Lord N-. The Marquess my brother-in-law is a support and a stay, but because he was so long out of the country and did not anticipate to inherit knows less of the ways in which things should be done.
But, he says, it was not such matters of business that he wisht open to me – tho’ all speak of Lady B- as a lady that has a deal of skill in managing her affairs –
O, poo, says I, I am well-adviz’d by my friends.
- 'tis a matter of the heart.
I put on my listening face.
Sure, he says, I have two brothers in quite the heartyest health, there is no urgency over the matter of marrying and begetting an heir, and yet –
Yet? says I.
He sighs and says, has been most greatly inclining to Miss G-, that is a very fine young woman indeed and has a deal of apprehension along with those charms that make her consider’d one of the belles of the present season: but was in some concern that, for all her merits, and what is anticipat’d to be an exceeding generous portion, was alas unlike to gain his late father’s approval. But now that need not be a consideration.
He pauses and then goes on, but, of course, 'twould be consider’d in somewhat poor ton to go marry until the family mourning be up. However, I should indeed not care to leave the matter over until then, because she is such a fine matrimonial prize that I confide will be a deal of offers -
Why, says I, I cannot see that there could be any harm in discovering whether Miss G- might incline herself to your suit (I am greatly of the opinion that she already does) – for I would confide that you are not a fellow that would proceed without some apprehension that the lady felt she could happyly look upon you in the light of a husband –
Indeed, he says, cannot expect that matters usually fall out as well as they did for Nan.
- but was you assur’d of that, I think 'twould be entire in order to write to her father asking permission to pay your addresses, once your mourning period is over.
But, says he, since I shall not be going about in Society, how may I come at ascertaining Miss G-'s sentiments in the matter?
La, says, I daresay ‘tis a matter I may sound out on your behalf.
Oh, Lady B-, he cries, could you but do so!
Why, says I, Her Grace purposes a jaunt to Vauxhall now 'tis come its season, and the e’ens are so mild, and 'twill, I confide, provide some opportunity to have discourse with Miss G-.
'Tis most exceeding good of you, he says.
I am silent for a moment and say, sure I apprehend that he has already promist not to advance any of those elderly suitors favour’d by his late father to Lady Emily’s favour, but I know that in his station, daughters and sisters are consider’d as pawns that may be put into play to advance the interests of the head of the house -
He sighs and says, he quite sees why 'tis so, but has promist Em and Lou – tho’ will be some time afore Lou is upon the marriage market – that he will not marry 'em against their inclinations.
'Tis exceeding good in you, says I.
Why, he says, do I desire marry where my heart leads rather than where the custom of society would compel me (I take this as meaning, that little b---h Lady Rosamund), 'tis only fitting that my sisters might do likewise.
I smile upon him and say, 'tis a very pleasing sentiment and does him great credit. He blushes, and says, must be about his business, but has greatly reliev’d his mind talking to me.
After breakfast has been clear’d away, I go address myself to my correspondence. There is a letter from dear Belinda, that conveys that Mrs D- K- is safe arriv’d with 'em. Why did I not mention what a very fine horsewoman she is? Has been conveying to her a little understanding about schooling so that she may be of great assistance to Captain C-'s enterprize, but indeed she already shows off a fine mount very pleasing.
'Tis excellent good news to have.
I am considering up this when Timothy comes with a note from R- House, saying that the footman stays for a reply.
'Tis my darling Eliza’s hand, and I open it very expeditious, in considerable anxiety that may be some ill news concerning Flora or one of the others. But 'tis her thought that, as matters must be a sixes and sevens with Euphemia lying in and Hector doubtless distract’d by the newness of fatherhood, perchance I might come stay a little while with 'em? Sure 'tis an excellent fine notion, for indeed I can see that matters go a little awry until Hector and Euphemia have become more us’d to being parents.
I therefore scribble a few lines saying I shall be entire delight’d, and will come as soon as I may get my bags packt – and sure, is there aught I may need, may always send for it.
I go ring, and 'tis Timothy comes again, so I say I should be oblig’d for a word with Hector.
And in due course comes Hector, that holds in his arms one of the infants, I know not which.
How now, Hector, says I, what is this?
He looks unwont’d distract’d and says, he walks up and down with Patience, so that she may not cry and disturb Euphemia, that needs her sleep. He looks down and says with a worry’d frown, they are very small.
La, says I, 'tis the common habit of babies, and Mrs Black convey’d that twins are like to be a little smaller than single births. But, anyhow, I have been invit’d go pass a little while at R- House while the household is in disarray, and purpose go as soon as maybe.
Hector looks extreme reliev’d. 'Tis an excellent notion, says he, just until we get us’d to these new circumstances and establish the necessary good practices.
Quite so, says I. And you may send Timothy each day about any messages and to bring letters. So I go now to instruct Docket and Sophy in the matter.
I go up to my dressing-room, where Docket and Sophy are about various matters of mending and tidying &C, and say what I purpose, and Docket gives a little sniff and say, 'twill be a deal more answerable. Sophy looks a little regretfull and I daresay would wish stay about these fascinating infants.
We convoke as to what will be needfull to take for this short stay with a view to such engagements as I am like to have.
I am a-waiting for my trunks to be loaded on the carriage and moving around my pretty parlour in somewhat of a fidget until I may be gone, when comes Timothy with a card upon a tray. 'Tis Captain C-'s, that has PPC writ in one corner.
La, says I, show him in that I may wish him well in this new venture he embarks upon.
Comes in Captain C- and I say, as you can see, we are in upheaval here, I go make a little visit while my cook goes lye in with twins –
Twins! exclaims Captain C-, indeed that must bring about some upheaval in the household. But I came to thank you quite exceedingly for your good offices in this business of ours; I have now got a licence in hand and propose marry my dear Barbara as soon as maybe, Captain P- has offer’d stand up my groomsman, says their parson will undertake it.
I wish him well in his marriage, and in his endeavours in Nova Scotia. He says do I ever find myself in those parts I should be exceeding welcome. (But I think this an unlikely event.)