'Tis quite high time for me to convoke with Mr Q- concerning my affairs, and he comes call upon me one forenoon with a deal of documents.
Sure all goes exceeding well, I am very far from being brought to ruin. He also tells me that he is in some confidence that Chancery begin bestir about the matter of T-.
Why, says I, 'tis an agreeable thing to hear. I daresay Lady B- mention’d how prepossesst we were with the agent, should be entire happy to put any improvements into his hands, tho’ I have took a thought that Mr S- might go take a look at the place.
Why, says Mr Q-, do you have interest with Mr S- 'twould serve exceeding well. One hears he has quite brought round that fine Hampshire property that Admiral K- inherit’d, that had been a little neglect’d and not brought into the best modern ways of doing things.
'Tis so, says I. But, dear Mr Q-, I wisht ask your advice upon a matter – o, 'tis quite a little thing – but I am sure you would know how I might go about it.
He pats my hand and says he hopes that he will.
So, I open to him the matter of the livery stable and the prospect of its changing hands.
For, says I, at present 'tis exceeding well-manag’d, in good cleanly ways, 'tis a great consideration when one is on the same mews, for one does not desire stinks and flies - he nods – And furthermore, says I, altho’ the fellows that work there are somewhat boisterous in their habits, they are fine hard-working fellows and do not go behave undue coarse towards women – and having several young women in my household, 'tis a concern to me to protect 'em – and I do not hear that there is any hugger-mugger business goes on there – so indeed I find myself in some anxiety that 'twill be sold, and Mr Jupp, that has kept it so well these years, will be out of his place –
I see Mr Q- admiring my fine womanly sensibility over the matter.
Hmm, he says, steepling his fingers and looking at me over 'em. Sure one would need look at the books of the place, but I cannot suppose that a livery stable so very convenient to the Park does not make a very good thing out of it. 'Twould be a prudent investment, I confide.
He hmmms in silence for a little while and says, he dares say he may go discover whether the present owner purposes to sell as 'tis, and how much he expects to get for it. He may intend put it up for auction, but does he have a guarantee’d buyer, may conclude privately.
Why, says I, 'twould be an ideal thing.
He smiles and says he will put one on to the matter quite immediate, gathers up his papers, bows over my hand and says 'tis ever a pleasure to do business with Lady B-.
I have a pleasing consciousness of my affairs being in good hands and that I go about to resolve the problem of the livery stable and what may come to the Jupps.
I go up to the reception room, where my dear musickal friends have been rehearsing for my purpos’d soirée, and are now at a pleasing little nuncheon together. They greet me very effusive, remark upon how fine an occasion was Titus’s wedding, what an excellent young woman is Tibby and must be of the greatest advantage to him that she has such interest.
I say 'tis exceeding pleasing to see 'em unit’d at last for he has had a notion to her since first clappt eyes upon her when he join’d the household.
I can see that this is consider’d most extreme pretty and romantick.
I say to Herr H- that I hear that his sister, Frau P-, has bore a fine son?
Indeed, he says, is nam’d Wolfgang - but 'tis after some late comrade of Herr P-‘s, rather than Mozart.
And that Herr P- takes well to business and is greatly valu’d by Mr K-?
'Tis so, says Herr H- with the hint of a sigh.
Miss McK- snorts and says, what Franz does not say is that Herr P- starts showing very proud and desires rule over the household, thinks they should move to some place more befitting a fellow of his state –
Herr H- sighs and says, 'tis extreme distressing to Mutti, that has grown so fond of our little house. Also he goes treat her as if she were a housekeeper. And is not so kind to Gretchen as should be.
They all look at me, as tho’ I was some strega that might go wave a wand and turn Herr P- into a better husband and son-in-law.
La, says I, while may be better than lying on a sopha pretending to be at death’s door and eating up the household, for I confide he must be bringing in some tidy sum, 'tis sure not ideal conduct, and I will go think upon how one might bring him to some sense of better ways.
Herr H- looks embarrasst, and says he must be going, has a lesson to give, takes up his flute-case and musick-case, and departs.
What he does not say, says Mr G- D-, is that Herr P- thinks he should get a good steady position as a clerk, and doubts not that he has interest to procure him one. For he considers that Franz pursues a career that is both precarious and frivolous.
Fie, says I, he was keeping the family by his flute – well, and his sister’s going out giving German lessons &C – when Herr P- was doing naught but lye around being wait’d upon hand and foot.
Entirely so, says Miss L-. 'Tis not as tho’ he is playing on street-corners with a hat out for coins, is much in demand as a soloist, has a fine connexion for lessons, is a very sober hard-working fellow.
Well, says I, I will go think upon the matter. Sure 'twould have been better had Herr P- gone to the American wilderness and been scalpt by Indians, or perchance eat by bears.
They sigh, and start packing up their musick.
I sigh myself after they have depart’d, for altho’ 'twas entire proper that he marry’d Gretchen H- after beguiling her with his seductions, I could never suppose that he would of a sudden become an ideal husband.
But I must go dress to receive callers, for 'tis my afternoon when I may expect 'em.
When I at last confide that there will be no more, I desire Sophy to put me into my riding habit, and I will go take Jezzie a turn or two about the Park.
There is a deal of company about, for 'tis a fine sunny day even is there somewhat of a chill breeze. Comes trotting up to me the Freiherr von D-, that declares very fulsome that 'tis most delightfull to see Lady B- return’d to Town.
I say I see he still remains in Town and does not return to Bavaria. He laughs somewhat formal and says, why, there are very much worser places one may be sent in the service of one’s king, and sure 'tis a fine city here, tho’, he adds with a sigh, as I surely know, there are those come from Bavaria to reside here in order to plot sedition -
Why, says I with a smile, sure I apprehend that ‘tis so, even do I not store any of 'em in my own cellar.
He gives another bark of laughter, and continues, indeed he has no such suspicions, and the Graf von M- is said to still languish upon his estates very much out of favour (I should most greatly wish to hear what is come to Herr F-, but would not go interrogate direct on the matter).
He then goes on say somewhat of some ball that he and his compatriots go hold, and will send me a card, to which I respond with an amiable smile that I shall be entire delight’d, am I not already bidden elsewhere for the e’en.
(But meanwhile I confide I feel the stirrings of a contrivance.)
In the e’en I have been invit’d to a little supper party that the V-s go hold, at which I confide I shall see Jacob S-, that is in Town about various matters but that I have not yet had a chance to convoke with.
'Tis agreeable to be among this scientifick set, and there is a gentleman goes quiz me quite particular about Vesuvius. La, says I, I do not go bother volcanoes in hopes that they will return the favour and not bother me with some eruption, but a few years since when Lord R- and Mr MacD- came help me with the matter of my late husband’s collection of antiquities - 'tis now in the British Museum - Mr MacD- went climb Vesuvius as one may do – but o, I cry, I see Mr S- and I am exceeding anxious to hear how Mrs S- does.
So I go over and greet Jacob S- very hearty, and desire to know at once how Martha does, and does Deborah flourish? – and he smiles and says, dear Matty is exceeding well, considering, and indeed Deborah goes flourish.
We exchange some news of family and friends – the Admiral has writ most exceeding civil about this matter of his sister’s boy that desires a naval career, can offer him a berth - and then I give a little frown and say, you might know perchance whether there are any of Herr P-'s set from Munich – or am I mistook and was’t Nuremburg? – about Town at present?
Jacob says that tho’ he is not in that set himself, there are certain connexions, by way of family or common interests, and he confides that there are at present some several in exile in this land.
Only, says I, do they desire to go set up their ideal community in the American wilderness I apprehend that Reynaldo di S- does not go advance their purpose – I hear is consider’d a romantick revolutionary hero about Boston and is quite the lion that all desire see, and much admir’d by the young ladies of the place.
Jacob S- laughs and says, 'tis little surprize. But he dares say he may put the word about so that they do not raise their hopes too high.
And then Mrs V- comes solicit us to take a little supper.