[Letter to niece Fanny Knight]
I am very much obliged to you my dearest Fanny for sending me Mr Wildman’s conversation, I had great amusement in reading it, & I hope I am not affronted & do not think the worse of him for having a Brain so very different from mine, but my strongest sensation of all is astonishment at your being able to press him on the subject so perseveringly–and I agree with your Papa, that it was not fair. When he knows the truth he will be uncomfortable.–You are the oddest Creature!–Nervous enough in some respects, but in others perfectly without nerves!– Quite unrepulsible, hardened & impudent. Do not oblige him to read any more.– Have mercy on him, tell him the truth & make him an apology.– He & I should not in the least agree of course, in our ideas of Novels & Heroines;– pictures of perfection as you know make me sick & wicked–but there is some very good sense in what he says, & I particularly respect him for wishing to think well of all your Ladies; it shews an amiable & a delicate Mind.– And he deserves better treatment than to be obliged to read any more of my Works.–
Do not be surprised at finding Uncle Henry acquainted with my having another ready for publication. I could not say No when he asked me, but he knows nothing more of it.– You will not like it, so you need not be impatient. You may perhaps like the Heroine, as she is almost too good for me.–
Many thanks for your kind care for my health; I certainly have not been well for many weeks, & about a week ago I was very poorly, I have had a good deal of fever at times & indifferent nights, but am considerably better now, & recovering my Looks a little, which have been bad enough, black & white & every wrong colour. I must not depend upon being ever very blooming again. Sickness is a dangerous Indulgence at my time of Life.–
Thank you for everything you tell me;– I do not feel worthy of it by anything I can say in return, but I assure You my pleasure in your Letters is quite as great as ever, & I am interested & amused just as you could wish me. If there is a Miss Marsden, I perceive whom she will marry.
Eveng.– I was languid & dull & very bad company when I wrote the above; I am better now–to my own feelings at least–& wish I may be more agreable.– We are going to have Rain, & after that, very pleasant genial weather, which will exactly do for me, as my Saddle will then be completed–and air & exercise is what I want.– Indeed I shall be very glad when the Event at Scarlets is over, the expectation of it keeps us in a worry, your Grandmama especially;– She sits brooding over Evils which cannot be remedied & Conduct impossible to be understood.– Now, the reports from Keppel St are rather better; Little Harriet’s headaches are abated, & Sir Ev:d is satisfied with the effect of the Mercury, & does not despair of a Cure. The Complaint I find is not considered Incurable nowadays, provided the Patient be young enough not to have the Head hardened. The Water in that case may be drawn off by Mercury.– But though this is a new idea to us, perhaps it may have been long familiar to you, through your friend Mr Scud:– I hope his high renown is maintained by driving away William’s cough. Tell William that Triggs is as beautiful & condescending as ever, & was so good as to dine with us today, & tell him that I often play at Nines & think of him.–
Anna has not a chance of escape; her husband called here the other day, & said she was pretty well but not equal to so long a walk; she must come in her Donkey Carriage.— Poor Animal, she will be worn out before she is thirty.– I am very sorry for her.– Mrs Clement too is in that way again. I am quite tired of so many Children.– Mrs Benn has a 13th—
The Papillons came back on friday night, but I have not seen them yet, as I do not venture to Church. I cannot hear however, but that they are same Mr P. & his sister they used to be. She has engaged a new Maidservant in Mrs Calker’s room, whom she means to make also Housekeeper under herself.– Old Philmore was buried yesterday, & I, by way of saying something to Triggs, observed that it had been a very handsome Funeral, but his manner of reply made me suppose that it was not generally esteemed so. I can only be sure of one part being very handsome, Triggs himself, walking behind in his Green Coat.– Mrs Philmore attended as cheif Mourner, in Bombasin, made very short, and flounced with Crape.
[left off here, and continued again on Tuesday, 25th]