Scraps

To Miss Fanny Catherine Austen My Dear Niece As I am prevented by the great distance between Rowling and Steventon from superintending Your Education Myself, the care of which will probably on that account devolve on your Father & Mother, I think it it my particular Duty to prevent your feeling as much as possible the want of my personal instructions, by addressing to You on paper my Opinions & Admonitions on the conduct of Young Women, which you will find expressed in the following pages. -- I am my dear Neice Your affectionate Aunt The Author   The Female Philosopher -- A Letter   My Dear Louisa Your friend Mr. Millar called upon us yesterday in his way to Bath, whither he is going for his health; two of his daughters were with him, but the oldest & the three Boys are with their Mother in Sussex. Though you have often told me that Miss Millar was remarkably handsome, you never mentioned anything of her Sisters' beauty; yet they are certainly extremely pretty. I'll give you their description. -- Julia is eighteen; with a countenance in which Modesty, Sense, & Dignity are happily blended, she has a form which at once presents you with Grace, Elegance, & Symmetry. Charlotte, who is just Sixteen, is shorter than her Sister, and though her figure cannot boast the easy dignity of Julia's, yet it has a pleasing plumpness which is in a different way as estimable. She is fair & her face is expressive sometimes of softness the most bewitching, and at others of Vivacity the most striking. She appears to have infinite wit and a good humour unalterable; her conversation during the half hour they set with us, was replete with humorous Sallies, Bonmots & repartees; while the sensible, the amiable Julia uttered Sentiments of Morality worthy of a heart like her own. Mr. Millar appeared to answer the character I had always received of him. My Father met him with that look of Love, that social Shake, & cordial kiss which marked his gladness at beholding an old & valued friend from whom thro' various circumstances he had been separated nearly twenty Years. Mr. Millar observed (and very justly too) that many events had befallen each during that interval of time, which gave occasion to the lovely Julia for making most sensible reflections on the many changes in their situation which so long a period had occasioned, on the advantages of some, & the disadvantages of others. From this subject she made a short digression to the instability of human pleasures & the uncertainty of their duration, which led her to observe that all earthly Joys must be imperfect. She was proceeding to illustrate this doctrine by examples from the Lives of great Men, when the Carriage came to the Door and the amiable Moralist with her Father & Sister was obliged to depart; but not without a promise of spending five or six months with us on their return. We of course mentioned you, and I assure you that ample Justice was done to your Merits by all. "Louisa Clarke (said I) is in general a very pleasant Girl, yet sometimes her good humour is clouded by Peevishness, Envy, & Spite. She neither wants Understanding nor is without some pretensions to Beauty, but these are so very trifling, that the value she sets on her personal charms, & the adoration she expects them to be offered, are at once a striking example of her vanity, her pride, & her folly." So said I, & to my opinion everyone added weight by the concurrence of their own. your affectionate Arabella Smythe
A Letter from a Young Lady, whose feeling being too Strong for her Judgement, led her into the commission of Errors which her Heart disapproved. -- Many have been the cares & vicissitudes of my past life, my beloved Ellinor, & the only consolation I feel for their bitterness is that on a close examination of my conduct, I am convinced that I have strictly deserved them. I murdered my father at a very early period of my Life, I have since murdered my Mother, and I am now going to murder my Sister. I have changed my religion so often that at present I have not an idea of any left. I have been a perjured witness in every public tryal for these past twelve Years; and I have forged my own will. In short, there is scarcely a crime that I have not committed. -- But I am now going to reform. Colonel Martin of the Horse guards has paid his Addresses to me, & we are to be married in a few days. As there is something singular in our Courtship, I will give you an account of it. Col. Martin is the second son of the late Sir John Martin, who died immensely rich, but bequeathing only one hundred thousand pound a piece to his three younger Children, left the bulk of his fortune, about eight Million, to the present Sir Thomas. Upon his small pittance the Colonel lived tolerably contented for nearly four months, when he took it into his head to determine on getting the whole of his eldest Brother's Estate. A new will was forged & the Colonel produced it in Court -- but nobody would swear to it's being the right Will except himself, & he had sworn so much that nobody beleived him. At that moment, I happened to be passing by the door of the Court, and was beckoned in by the Judge, who told the Colonel that I was a Lady ready to witness anything for the cause of Justice, & advised him to apply to me. In short, the Affair was soon adjusted. The Colonel & I Swore to its' being the right will, & Sir Thomas has been obliged to resign all his illgotten Wealth. The Colonel in gratitude waited on me the next day with an offer of his hand. -- I am now going to murder my Sister. Yours Ever. Anna Parker
A Tour through Wales -- in a Letter from a young Lady --   My Dear Clara I have been so long on the ramble that I have not till now had it in my power to thank you for your Letter. -- We left our dear home on last Monday month; and proceeded on our tour through Wales, which is a principality contiguous to England and gives the title to the Prince of Wales. We travelled on horseback by preference. My Mother rode upon our little pony, & Fanny & I walked by her side or rather ran, for my Mother is so fond of riding fast that She galloped all the way. You may be sure that we were in a fine perspiration when we came to our place of resting. Fanny has taken a great many Drawings of the Country, which are very beautiful, tho' perhaps not such exact resemblances as might be wished, from their being taken as she ran along. It would astonish you to see all the Shoes we wore out in our Tour. We determined to take a good Stock with us & therefore each took a pair of our own besides those we set off in. However we were obliged to have them both capped & heelpeiced at Carmarthen, & at last when they were quite gone, Mama was so kind as to lend us a pair of blue Sattin Slippers, of which we each took one and hopped home from Hereford delightfully -- I am your ever affectionate Elizabeth Johnson Enjoyed this article? Browse our book shop at janeaustengiftshop.co.uk

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