'Tis so very agreeable to be with all my dearest ones at R- House, but sure, I know cannot be a permanency, and indeed I am very fond of my pretty house and my good people. I am in so happy a case that I should not complain that 'tis not entire perfection.
Even so, I sigh a little.
And one morn as I sit in the small parlour with my traveling desk, 'tis Hector comes with my letters &C rather than Timothy, and says that he confides that they have now establisht good practices about the new members of the household, for sure, there is that gaggle of girls that consider it an entire delight to be desir’d mind the twins, and walk up and down with 'em do they cry, and 'tis present’d to 'em in the light of a reward for doing their proper work well and without dillydally.
La, says I, could not have contriv’d better myself. And how does Euphemia?
Entire thriving, says Hector, and in somewhat of a fret to be up and about once more: but she will go mind Aunty Black in the matter.
Why, says I, I hope once she is upon her feet she will take matters a little easy, and not try over-do: but sure, 'tis coming upon the end of the Season and company will shortly be going out of Town, and I am in no pressing necessity to go give any dinner-parties or hold a soirée the while.
Hector nods and says, he confides she will be as a giant refresht by the time company returns to Town.
I tell him that I will be coming home within a few days, tho’ I anticipate that all is in such order that I might come at once.
Hector looks somewhat offend’d that I might even imagine that matters could be otherwise.
I go address myself to my correspondence, and there are notes from Hester and Sir C- F- that quite bubble with their mutual happyness: have determin’d to marry very quiet as soon as maybe, and go rustickate in Herefordshire; and Miss Millick goes as Hester’s companion. And while little Lou is nearly out of the schoolroom, Hester wonders whether she might not come share in Bess F-'s lessons, for otherwise 'tis a sad dull time for her. She also adds, desir’d Her Grace to bring Miss G- to come call upon her, and what a very delightfull young woman she is, she has entire confidence in the wisdom of Lord N-'s choice.
There is a letter from Miss A-, that also quite bubbles - o the exceeding gracious kindness! she writes, was entire invit’d go call upon her dearest Lady J- while she lyes in, it entire set her worry’d heart at ease to see her, sure she was very done-up from her ordeal but otherwise quite entire in health, and such a fine lusty babe, that has a considerable look of the good Admiral. She goes on to say that she has been grant’d the entire entrée to go call, when she may – for, she continues, there are a deal of plays in rehearsal for their purpos’d season at Harrogate during the summer months – and o, Lady J- was so entire prepossesst with the place after her previous sojourn there, purposes go recruit there with little Horatio once the lying-in period is done, summers in Town being so unhealthful for infants. Will that not be entire delightfull?
Indeed, thinks I, quite entire delightfull, I am exceeding happy for 'em, and the dear Admiral will be quite ecstatick at the news, the dear good fellow.
There is a letter from Viola conveying an invitation to come to their house-party at Q-. And, she adds, she dares say I have seen the announcement that the Duke of H- is to wed Julia P-? She made occasion to convoke with her to ensure that she was not being forc’d, but indeed she has a pretty desire to gratify her papa by such making a remarkable fine match, and allows that he would permit her to refuse did she have a real distaste, but sure the Duke is a kindly old fellow. Sure 'tis not the most romantick matter, but as she imply’d that her own mother had been purchas’d - tho’ there grew great affection – and he is not the like of that dreadfull fellow that made suit to herself – may well turn out an agreeable prudential union.
I think to myself that, as the proverb goes, better an old man’s darling, most particular is the old man – tho’ indeed the Duke is not that old, not yet sixty I hazard – able to make one a Duchess.
A footman comes and says, Mr S- wonders if Lady B- be at liberty for a few words?
Indeed, says I, show him in.
In comes Jacob S- beaming mightyly, and says, dear Matty is safe deliver’d of a fine if somewhat small boy, that we shall call Jonathan, 'twas quite entirely less of an ordeal than when she bore Deborah.
Why, says I, that is most excellent news and I shall come call at M- House very shortly to see her and also Lady J-.
But, he says, understand that there is some matter concerning the late Marquess’s estate at T-?
I open the matter to him and say that there is a quite excellent agent to the place but has had his hands ty’d: but now it would seem that Chancery may be prepar’d authorize taking the place in hand before entire tumbles to rack and ruin and all the tenants – that are give out excellent fine tenants – leave. And took the thought that would be entirely desirable did one that has such a fine reputation in the business as himself take a look over the place and advize the agent on what might be the best way of going about matters.
Why, he says, sounds a most agreeable task. For 'twas once give out a very fine property indeed, and I am like to think may be brought round once more to something of what it was.
So after he has gone, conveying my very hearty congratulations to Martha, I go write little notes concerning the matter to Mr Q- and Belinda, and writing to her mind that shortly will come Derby Day, that will be an agreeable rencontre. And surely Euphemia will be about and able contrive somewhat in the nature of a nice little dinner while they are in Town.
I return to my correspondence and find a letter from the Countess of I-, that extends an invitation to their house-party during the summer. I look at it and raise my eyebrows somewhat. Perchance the Earl of I- has not yet give up hopes that he might recruit me to his forces, tho’ I thought I had shown him quite entire clear that I am no friend to tyranny: but I daresay he does not think of what he does as tyranny but as a necessary matter in the defence of the state.
Mayhap I should start some new embroidery – for the piece I have been working these many years is like unto Penelope’s web and I doubt will ever be finisht – that will be a sampler that bears the motto Confusion to Tyranny workt very elegant in the finest silks and stitches, with revolutionary symbols about the corners.
I am mind’d to think however that I should accept the invitation, if only that I might discover what he is about.
I sigh and determine that I will go walk up and down upon the terrace for a little, to clear my mind.
’Tis an exceeding fine day and the nursery-set goes romp upon the lawn, 'tis a most delightfull agreeable sight. And there is Milord, goes instruct Quintus along with Essie and Julius and Bobbie W- in the rudiments of cricket, that my sweet jewel also desires learn.
And I observe upon the terrace of the west wing, Sandy, that leans upon the balustrade and smoaks a cigar.
I go over to him and say, what, idle, Mr MacD-? as I lean on the balustrade myself observing the pretty sight upon the lawn.
He snorts and says, does not need to stay indoors chain’d to a desk, has instruct’d the clerks he now has at his disposal as to the letters they should write, and comes out enjoy this very fine day.
And, says I, admire the view.
There is a slight appearance of dour Calvinistickal glare and then he smiles and says, 'tis a very fine one.
But, says I, my dear, as I find you here and not in the midst of more important business, mayhap I might open to you this little puzzle I just have.
So I go tell him about the invitation to Lord I-'s house-party, and he frowns. Perchance, he says, he has not give up any hopes of turning you to his purposes –
'Tis a notion crosst my own mind, says I. But, I go on, has come to me that I might turn that back upon him, by going see whether I might discover somewhat about his own doings –
C-, says Sandy with a very worry’d expression, Lord I- by no means considers you a silly mad Englishwoman, I beg you, do not be reckless.
Hmm, says I, I was in some mind that Matt Johnson might put one in the way of some fellow that could teach lock-picking -
No, my dear, says I to Sandy’s expression of entire horror, sure Mr J- might take it as a model for Hamlet upon perceiving his father’s ghost, I fancy that would be entire too much of a risque. But I may keep my eyes and ears open.
He sighs and says, indeed might be usefull. But do you not have contrivances enough upon hand?
La, says I, I find myself in a most unwont’d state where I do not. There are a deal of matters have come about very happyly without I even lay a finger upon 'em: for one observes that Herr P- was like to be hoist with his own petard, tho’ I hope I may have preserv’d the H-s from taking any hurt by it. So, am I able to bring a little confusion to tyranny -
At this moment my precious Flora observes me and beckons me to come over join in their game.
Sandy begins laugh. O, he says, dearest and wisest of silly creatures, you will cry confusion to tyranny until it comes to that little tyrant.
You have the right of it, says I, as I step down onto the lawn where my dearest jewel comes running towards me.