I mind what my belov’d Eliza said about not liking to be surpriz’d by some matter I have been about, and also I take a concern that Mr R- O- may make approaches to my darlings, try see Flora &C, and that they should be forewarn’d. Also, tho’ we may not have swore the business in church, I should greatly desire the aid and comfort of my dearest ones in the matter and not endeavour bear it alone.
So one night, after we have already undertaken some exceeding agreeable triangular matters, I say to 'em that there is a heavy matter I find needfull to disclose to 'em: perchance I am a foolish C- that gets into the frets over chimerickal worries.
'Tis a longer tale than I thought, for I need to mention what the Contessa told me, and what came about over Mr W- Y-, in order to show why I take some concern that one may be prying about in my Surrey business.
Josiah growls and says, sure punching on the nose is too good for 'em, and he confides 'twould not be an answerable course of action. But indeed 'tis an entire foolish phantasm. While there are indeed times one wishes one might blow up the Houses of Parliament, convey the Royal Family into some comfortable place of confinement, and set up some fine republick of free and equal citizens, one soon sees that that would bring its own troubles and brangles, and 'tis entirely only a matter that one might go muse of in company over port and cigars: 'tis no practickable plan, and afterwards, go we back to the tiresome work of mending matters as they are.
Eliza puts her arms around me and says 'tis a wick’d, wick’d thing. But, she goes on, while our set are entirely constitutional reformers and not wild revolutionaries, I take a thought that there is at least one of our number does move in circles in which more desperate remedies may be discusst and even plann’d.
Oh! I cry, am I but a sprat to lure a bigger fish to their nets? For indeed, does one go consider the matter, Mr MacD- does have a deal of connexions among radickal circles and would be quite the prize for these scoundrels.
We look about at one another. We do not say, but I confide that we all think, that there is a particular danger hangs over Sandy. While I daresay he might scorn any threat to himself alone, have I not seen that these wretches go threaten those close to one’s heart, that is a matter that would make any reluctant to strike a defiant pose and cry silence to the death!.
We all sigh. Eliza strokes my hair and says, indeed, 'tis as well our most belov’d of C-s does not endeavour bear this alone. For 'tis a sad naughty habit of hers to pretend she may take all upon her own lovely shoulders – she presses a kiss upon one of 'em – and keep all lockt up in her exquisite bosom.
Josiah comes embrace us both and says, o that the fellow would come visit the ironworks, so that one might tip him into the furnace: but he dares says is a fellow goes take very good care of himself not to be in such a position that one might contrive some accident.
Nasty sneaking creature, says Eliza. O that there was a giant mongoose might attack such a serpent.
Sure these are foolish threats: but heartens me that my darlings do not quite immediate try to tell me, o, 'tis one of the foolishest of C-‘s frets, but take the matter in all seriousness.
I love them so very much.
Comes the usual levée party the morn, and I observe that Bess and Meg are back upon most amiable terms with one another. I am in very great desire to go hug my precious jewel Flora, that comes be a wakefull wombat, very tightly indeed, but that I think 'twould frighten her. She remains when the others go to the schoolroom or to visit the works, and I think has come to quite entire doat upon Sophy, that indeed displays very kind to her.
She comes down with me to the family room, where my darling is already about business, and offers assist me in consuming the breakfast that is brought, for sure I must find it entire too much.
My darling and I look after her very fond when Patty comes take her to the nursery, and I confide that we both blink away tears.
Dearest and most diplomatick of C-s, says Eliza, as we both straighten our faces and endeavour look sober and serious, I see that you have brought about an accord 'twixt Bess and Meg, that is an entire relief to the whole household.
La, says I, ‘twas no doing of mine, I daresay they both came round to realizing their sisterly affection for one another and to consider how foolish is to brangle – tho’ I am in supposition that they will go brangle again.
And they go set about some matter of the toy theatre, instead of moping about, 'tis entire more pleasant that they are occupy’d about that.
I laugh and say, do they not go entire display the temperament of actors in the green room as the time for performance approaches?
Eliza also laughs and says, 'tis so. But, my dearest, now that you have finisht your breakfast, I will give you this packet of letters that has been sent on for you, that I thought was better not droppt into the butter &C.
I go open it at once, and find that there is a letter from Sandy, that I go read immediate: but there is no troubling news. He goes once more upon an peripatetick philosophickal excursion. Is most amuzing concerning some discussions these fellows have had on women - sure one might imagine that the other sex was like unto the antipodean platypus, that may have been heard of as a curiosity, but has not been seen in the life.
I smile a little over this, and put the letter into the compartment of my traveling desk where I keep such letters as I desire reply to, and turn to the next matter. 'Tis a fine packet from the Marquess of O-, that encloses some preliminary essays concerning his travels for my perusal.
There is also enclos’d a letter from Hester, that continues to find D- Chase extreme agreeable. Dear U- has gone very dutyfull to see how matters go at Monks G-, now that he must take the business of the estate in hand; but altho’ he must be then be going to C- Castle, where has been invit’d along with Tony and Nan and Em, after that they will both go a little visit to Sir C- F-, so that U- may have the benefit of his advice in the matter. She adds that she no longer anticipates any journey with trepidation now that she may go in a fine well-sprung carriage.
There is a note from Viola, that says she thinks she has come at some way of looking over the two young ladies that have been commend’d to her interest. Papa, she writes, is now going about more in company, and she has no doubt may be some occasion when he would take great pleasure in showing off his daughter, the Duchess at which these young women are like to be present. Biffle, she adds, goes hold a bachelor shooting-party at N-, to which has invit’d Selim Pasha, that remains in England this while.
Hmm, thinks I, I wonder if 'tis somewhat to do with Sir Vernon’s interest in what the Pasha was about.
But indeed I think Viola’s plan to observe the two young ladies falls out very happyly. I was not prepossesst with Lady Rosamund, but one must consider that her rank goes some way to commend her; and may be that she will show more agreeable to Viola than did to me. Lady G- has invit’d me to a small house-party they give at which I may make the acquaintance of her god-daughter whose interest she has preferr’d to me.
Eliza gets up and comes give me a kiss and says she must be about kitchen matters, but supposes that I may contrive to entertain myself the while.
Indeed, says I, showing her the pages I have receiv’d from the Marquess, this is excellent fine reading concerning his travels.
Comes in Harry, that I had suppos’d gone to the works, but he says that Papa has promis’d take Josh and himself ferreting for rabbits, once he has finisht with some matter he has upon hand to do with the works.
I say that I am sure that 'tis an excellent prime thing to see, but will not Josh be distresst for the rabbits?
Harry says that Josh can come about to bear with the natural ways of animals, that hunt for their food and not for entertainment –
- sure he cannot have seen a cat that has a mouse 'twixt its paws! –
- 'tis not the same thing at all when mankind torments 'em for recreation.
'Tis very sensible, says I. But do you have a moment to spare, mayhap you might look this over? 'Tis an account of exploration in Brazil.
I hand the pages to Harry that sits down to read 'em and is soon extreme absorb’d, barely glances up when Josh comes into the room. When he comes to the end he says, well, that is fine stuff, quite makes a fellow want to go there. He hands it to Josh, saying he might find it most interesting.
Josh is still reading when Josiah comes in, dresst for ferreting. I say to him that I will keep his place and he may come back to it after their excursion. Somewhat reluctant he hands it back to me and says, sure 'twould be a fine thing to go to Brazil.
I say, I confide that the Marquess has hit off the knack of writing about his travels.
Josiah looks at me very affectionate and says, your Aunty C- is consider’d a most acute literary advizer.
O, poo, says I, sure I am an uneducat’d creature; but can I comprehend the matter and not go fall asleep, I confide that Lord O- writes in a fashion that will appeal to the publick.
O, says Josh, will it be a book? What a bang-up thing.
Josiah tousles his hair and says, we might even stretch to buying it when 'tis in print.