Sure I know not how to advize Mrs D- K-. For 'tis entirely true that Lady T- holds her in great dislike, that indeed she did much to deserve; tho’ one may suppose that a deal of her bad behaviour was due to her dreadfull husband. I wish that I had brought myself to interrogate Mrs O’C- concerning the nature of Lord K-'s special pleasures: tho’ sure she is ever discreet and follows a line of conduct like unto that laid out for physicians in the Hippocratick oath. 'Tis indeed an entire necessity in her trade.
But I daresay I shall have no occasion to convoke with her before Society is return’d to Town, does she go frolick along the sands at Margate with her son.
Was I in Mrs D- K-'s position, sure 'twould be a very great temptation to accept Lord K-‘s offer afore any goes endeavour argue him out of it, for as matters are, will be an exceeding modest portion comes to her from her late husband’s estate, that might sustain some kind of living in simple circumstances of great oeconomy. 'Tis not merely that I would suppose such not to her liking, but that I greatly doubt she has ever acquir’d those habits that would enable her lead such a life without going into debt and further troubles. And after the ill conduct and downright brutality of her late husband, one that shows gentle and respectfull and manifests that chivalry that we are told the knights of old were wont to practice, must sure be very appealing.
I sigh as I walk up and down in the garden, and wonder that I go puzzle so greatly over her dilemma when I am greatly like to suppose that I have troubles of my own over pokings and pryings into matters in Mr G-'s parish. I daresay may be some business of entire indifference to my own concerns, for perchance he was engag’d in some nefarious activity unsuit’d to his cloth that is only now being brought to light, and 'tis some ecclesiastickal matter. But I think of what would I do, was I in Mr R- O-'s situation, and sure, I daresay I would go see whether the present Marquess of B- knew aught concerning the Dowager Marchioness – for 'tis entire possible that Mr R- O- and his fellows have some knowledge of where my own dear husband’s sympathies lay - and indeed I might well go suppose that tho’ 'tis madness, yet there’s method in’t in his babblings and ravings over the sea-captain’s wife, and go delve further.
I do not like to feel that I bear any likeness to such a fellow, and yet…
But sure, there is not much I may do without he makes some approach to me. As I shall not be entire surpriz’d I may meditate upon courses of action, but I would wish to know what cards he supposes he holds in his hand, and how he intends play 'em.
But, indeed, I fear he goes discover my precious Flora’s birth. And does he go threaten her, tho’ he supposes me soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible according to the purport'd wont of my sex, he will find that I am sure a tiger’s heart wrappt in a woman’s hide.
I have walkt the entire length of the garden to that point at which one may overlook the town, go look down upon it, and compose myself. 'Twill do no good to go fret upon this matter, and I must set it aside for the present.
I walk back down the garden and discover Josh, that has brought the badger out for a romp. I remark upon what an excellent fine badger 'tis, and how much has grown. Josh scratches it upon the poll, a thing it likes exceedingly, and says that he is in some concern that he should let it go and live as badgers are wont, digging tunnels &C, that he is not permitt’d to let it do here or at R- House. But then he worries that may be took up by those that intend badger-baiting, that would be most exceeding sad.
Indeed 'twould, says I. And sure the badger seems extreme attacht to you.
To turn the subject I say that Belinda was asking after him and convey the regard that she and Captain P- have for him, indeed they should have been delight’d might he go visit 'em.
Josh looks thoughtfull and says, sure 'twould have been entire prime but he should not have lik’d to miss Harry’s visit, for 'tis a deal of a while that he has been away.
Indeed, says I, has gone out into the world make his fortune.
Josh sighs, and then says, has been give a deal of holiday tasks by Mr McN-, so that he will not forget all his classickal learning over the summer. And he practises his drawing, and still has lessons with Miss N-.
'Tis an excellent thing, says I, for did you go be entire idle I daresay you would be getting into mischief.
At this moment comes Harry upon us, and says to Josh has just been looking for him, what does he say to going a tramp in the countryside?
O, prime! cries Josh, I will just go see the badger safe bestow’d.
After he has gone Harry says, 'tis a fine thing to see how in health he is, when I mind on how pale and weakly he was last summer. 'Twas very good of your friends to take him in; will still ever be telling me tales of Aunty Belinda and Captain P- and their fine horses.
Indeed they became exceeding fond of him.
And she cannot get free of her scoundrel mad husband? 'Tis a shocking world if so.
Indeed 'tis so, says I.
He shakes his head. Josh comes running back, says he is entire ready to depart, and they set off. 'Tis very pretty to see Harry’s elder-brotherly affection and care.
I wander back towards the house, where I can hear that Meg is about her piano-practice. I observe Miss N- sitting on a bench beneath a spreading tree, reading. I go sit down next to her, and observe that she reads The Vengefull Spirit, and other poems by A. M..
I say that I would not interrupt her reading of such a fine work –
O, she says, 'tis by no means the first time that I read these poems, but there are lines I should like commit to memory.
They are indeed excellent fine, says I, but I take a consideration that you would greatly like to hear the very fine things that Mrs T- writ of your sister in the letter I lately receiv’d from New South Wales –
Oh, she cries, clasping her hands, I should like it of all things.
So I take out the letter, and read Abby’s praise of dear Ellie that is such a fine assistant in their endeavours, and her very excellent thought of offering to indite letters for those that were unable write themselves, that is most greatly appreciat’d, for there are those that mayhap may contrive to sign their names rather than make their mark, but are daunt’d by the thought of writing a letter. And her pupils come on very well, also she begins little C- and Tommie upon the rudiments of learning.
Miss N- sighs very happyly and says, sure Ellie makes little of it in her own letters, will write a deal more about the place, and what excellent people the T-s are, but not so much about herself.
I then go mention the very good work Mrs R- goes about with her dame-school at my mine, and how very prepossesst she was to hear of the little rhymes &C Miss N- made up to begin infant minds upon matters of letters and numbers –
Miss N- blushes exceedingly and says, would they be of any utility to Mrs R- she would be entirely glad to convey 'em to her, what a very fine enterprize 'tis she is about.
She then gives a little sigh and says, must be greatly agreeable to her to think that she does not sit and eat the bread of idleness while her husband is about the dispensary. For indeed, is’t but a small household they maintain, housekeeping cannot take up all of her time. And sure has she been us’d to teach -
She swallows and looks down at her hands and says, Lady B-, indeed I long to marry Mr L-, that thinks that matters come round with the paper that we might go wed very soon, 'tis indeed gratifying, and I cannot like it that he must live in lodgings until we do –
- but, she goes on, I shall be exceeding sad to give up this place, O, I shall greatly miss 'em all –
Why, says I, I do not suppose you will go be strangers, I confide the F-s will ever stand your friends –
- indeed, says she, I cannot think otherwise. Of course the girls will soon be out of the schoolroom and gone into Society - but then I think of Josh, and Quintus, and in particular dear Flora, all such fine clever young creatures, that are a delight to instruct – and Seraphine’s dear children that are nigh on ready to begin their education – o, 'tis entire foolish of me, but I worry that there will be some other governess comes that will not love 'em as I do, and will force 'em on, or hold 'em back, or give 'em a distaste for learning –
Why, says I, I daresay one may trust the F-s to chuse one that might fitly walk in your footsteps.
Oh indeed, but – 'tis almost a jealousy I feel, is’t not strange?
Sure, says I, they are very appealing young people, and must be entire delightfull to one that instructs them that they are so forward and apt at learning –
Indeed, when I think of what Ellie had to put up with with the D-s’ brats! And such agreeable civil well-conduct’d children –
There is a sound from the house of doors banging and rais’d girlish voices as Bess and Meg go brangle -
O, says Miss N- with a smile, ‘twas entire the like with Ellie and me at their years.