'Tis most exceeding agreeable to be woke the morn by the chocolate party levée and in particular my sweet wakefull wombatt Flora. 'Tis also agreeable to enjoy a nice little breakfast in the company of my darling wild girl that is already about her business – for I am a sad slugabed C- - and talk of a deal of matters.
Has dispatcht Mrs L- about sounding out the matter of Frau P- and little Wolfgang’s fretfullness, but waits upon report.
As I finish my coffee, I mind that I must indite a little note to Lord N- that he may consider himself happy in the affections of an excellent young woman, and should proceed to opening negotiations with her papa.
As I am at my traveling desk about this very delightfull task, comes a footman that says, was sent from O- House, has been told at Lady B-'s house that she at present stays here? (I confide he is somewhat resentfull of this extra exertion.) Has a note for her from Lady N-.
I take this at once, for I take some concern that perchance Hester takes some turn for the worse; but when I open it and read it 'tis that she would desire convoke with me privately upon a matter that she will not write down, as soon as maybe, tho’ she dares say I have a deal of matters upon hand.
I turn back to the fellow and say, will come to O- House this very afternoon. ('Twill mean I must cut the orphanage ladies, but I confide that Lady D- now has 'em well under hand.)
I wonder what can be, says I to Eliza. Sure I am like to suppose that was it some concern about the baby, 'twould not be me she apply’d to. Mayhap Lord N- has open’d to her his thoughts upon marriage.
Such an excellent young fellow, remarks Eliza.
Indeed so, says I.
I then say, should go earlyer in the afternoon rather than later, for I confide that Docket will wish me to lye down with cowcumber slices upon my eyes &C so that I will entire ravish the company at the Bavarians’ ball.
As if my darling would not do so anyway, says Eliza.
O, mayhap and perchance!
So I go call at O- House, and am shown to Hester’s parlour, where I discover her in a considerable state of agitation, looking exceeding flusht, I hope she does not take a fever.
My dear, says I, leaning over and kissing her cheek, what’s ado? (I wonder whether turns out 'twas a false report of the Earl’s death.)
O, dearest C-, she cries, clasping my hand, 'tis Sir C- F-.
I sit down beside her couch and Selina comes make civil to me.
What, says I, already come to Town?
Indeed, says Hester, and when I apprehend 'tis a busy time on his estate. 'Tis indeed most exceeding good of him to come advize N-, 'tis surely more than most godfathers would do. But, dear C- - o, I can hardly tell it – came see me yesterday and desires that I may make him the happyest of men.
(Why, thinks I, he does not let the grass grow beneath his feet.)
Why, says I, has his heart not been give to you these many years?
She dabs at her eyes with a handkerchief and says sure she does not deserve such devotion. And, she continues, he does not see why we should wait out the mourning period before we ty’d the knot –
La, says I, shows very impetuous for a sober middle-ag’d fellow.
Says he would desire to have the right to cherish me as soon as maybe.
And very pretty-spoken, I remark. But, dear Hester, do you incline to him?
O!, she cries, have I not made comparisons these many years? Have I not oft thought what a foolishly meek and obedient daughter I was to concede to my parents’ urging to marry Lord U-, as then was? But, she goes on, making a gesture at her person, now I am a wreck of a woman, a helpless cripple, how could I make him happy?
I squeeze her hand and say, indeed you are not helpless, does any take a little time to consider how matters may be made easy for you, as I confide he would do. And you are by no means a wreck, you are still a handsome woman –
But - she says, and then falls silent while blushing greatly. But, how might I be a proper wife to him?
I look at her very fond and say, I am sure Sir C- F- would consider you an entire proper wife, and that there would be mutual aid and comfort, but I daresay you think upon conjugal duties?
She nods but says nothing.
(Sure I know not whether 'tis her physical state and the condition of her bodyly parts might preclude the usual intimacies, or whether 'tis that her associations with the matter are very unhappy and she goes find herself flinching at the prospect even with one she has such warm feelings towards.)
(Perchance 'twould not be proper to mention that I can entire truthfully testify to his great competence in the arts of Aphrodite.)
La, says I, cannot suppose he would force you to any matter you lik’d not whilst prating of wifely obedience.
O, indeed not! she cries. But, sure, men have their needs and I would not deprive him of his lawfull pleasures: only –
I pat her hand and say, do not trouble yourself overmuch in the matter. I will go think upon it, but indeed, I am like to think you are favourably dispos’d to his offer. If 'tis so, then I confide 'twill all come right somehow.
She gives me a somewhat tearfull smile and says, o, I am indeed.
I kiss her and say, sure I should like to remain longer and talk over how matters do, but Docket has decree’d that I must go rest to be fresh for the Bavarians’ ball.
And indeed, when I contemplate myself in the fine pier-glass in my dressing-room at R- House, I am in considerable looks thanks to Docket’s carefull tending of 'em.
'Tis a most exceeding fine occasion and the Freiherr von D- makes exceeding civil, desires me to save the supper-dance for him, &C. I concede this, and proceed into the throng.
Somewhat to my astonishment, I perceive Sir C- F- is of the company. He observes me and comes over at once to make a leg. La, says I, did not expect to find you in this company.
Indeed did not anticipate to be here, he says, but met at my club the Ritter von T-, that is a not’d proponent of agrickultural improvements that I have visit’d several times and has also come see how we go about matters in Herefordshire, and was most insistent that I should attend. And, he says with somewhat of a sigh, 'tis a distraction to my mind.
I take and squeeze his hand and say, I apprehend something of the matter, call’d at O- House this very day.
Let us, he says, go step out onto a balcony so we may discourse more private of the matter.
We do so, having acquir’d glasses of wine upon the way, and I say, I confide that the lady of his heart entirely inclines to him, but –
He says, 'tis quite entirely with him as in the words of the song concerning endearing young charms - and indeed she is not yet a dear ruin, is she?
Sure she is not, says I, 'tis quite remarkable how making her life more agreeable has restor’d her looks. But, says I, looking about to assure myself that we are indeed alone and unobserv’d, you must mind that she was marry’d to one that I am like to suppose consider’d conjugal embraces in the light of a husband’s right and a wife’s duty -
I hope, he says, I may contrive to alter her mind a little upon that. He adds, with a little smile, sure I have been well-tutor’d as to the very many ways in which one may please a lady.
O, fie! says I, tapping him with my fan. You had a deal of natural talent in the matter. But 'twill require, I confide, a deal of patience.
He smiles and says, sure he has been school’d in that these many years.
I say, but sure we must not linger here too long or there will be gossip. I am at present to be found at R- House while my cook lyes in with twins - Twins! – do you need communicate with me.
I go out and am quite immediate solicit’d to dance by some several Bavarian fellows. As I confide that any rumours that I am in a decline are quite squasht, I then spend a little time recovering in the musick room, where I observe Herr H-, that has his flute with him.
But I must go undertake my promist supper-dance with the Freiherr, that I discover in converse with some fellow of his own nation. O, he says, sure Lady B- has an extensive acquaintance, perchance she knows of the fellow?
I raise my eyebrows. Perchance, says I.
Herr M- here, says the Freiherr, reports that his business partner in Frankfurt has been approacht by one Herr P- that does business in London, but I know naught of the fellow, has not left his card at this Embassy. One wonders, he goes on, is he some connexion of the wild revolutionary fellow of that name, that was reput’d fled to the American wilderness, but that the state continues have concerns about, should like discover what he does.
I make a considering face and say, let me go think upon this, may be those of my acquaintance have some knowledge of him.
I am then oblig’d to waltz with the Freiherr, and go take supper, and flirt, altho’ my mind whirls quite furious as to what I may do about this.
Most exceeding fortunate, when I next enter the musick room, Herr H- is delighting the audience with some Mozart. After he has done, I wave at him and pat the seat next to me.
When, says I, does Herr P- leave for Boston?
Not for a se’ennight yet, says Herr H-.
I open to him the very pressing reason why Herr P- should leave most immediate for Liverpool.
Herr H- nods, and says, will go home at once to be about the matter. The singer looks exceeding affront’d as he departs without waiting for the song to be over, tho’ he is not the only one does so.