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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

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Mock Panegyric on a Young Friend

In measured verse I’ll now rehearse
The charms of lovely Anna:
And, first, her mind is unconfined
Like any vast savannah.

Ontario’s lake may fitly speak
Her fancy’s ample bound:
Its circuit may, on strict survey
Five hundred miles be found.

Her wit descends on foes and friends
Like famed Niagara’s fall;
And travellers gaze in wild amaze,
And listen, one and all.

Her judgment sound, thick, black, profound,
Like transatlantic groves,
Dispenses aid, and friendly shade
To all that in it roves.

If thus her mind to be defined
America exhausts,
And all that’s grand in that great land
In similes it costs —

Oh how can I her person try
To image and portray?
How paint the face, the form how trace,
In which those virtues lay?

Another world must be unfurled,
Another language known,
Ere tongue or sound can publish round
Her charms of flesh and bone.

~Jane Austen~

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A Collection of Letters

To Miss Cooper

Conscious of the Charming Character which in every Country, & every Clime in Christendom is Cried Concerning you, with Caution & Care I Commend to your Charitable Criticism this Clever Collection of Curious Comments, which have been Carefully Culled, Collected, & Classed by your Comical Cousin

The Author

Letter the first

From A Mother to her freind

My Children begin now to claim all my attention in a different Manner from that in which they have been used to receive it, as they are now arrived at that age when it is necessary for them in some measure to become conversant with the World. My Augusta is 17 & her Sister scarcely a twelve-month younger. I flatter myself that their education has been such as will not disgrace their appearance in the World, & that they will not disgrace their Education, I have every reason to beleive. Indeed, they are sweet Girls. — Sensible yet unaffected — Accomplished yet Easy. — Lively yet Gentle. — As their progress in every thing they have learnt has been always the same, I am willing to forget the difference of age, and to introduce them together into Public. This very Evening is fixed on as their first entrée into life, as we are to drink tea with Mrs. Cope & her Daughter. I am glad that we are to meet no one, for my Girls’ sake, as it would be awkward for them to enter too wide a Circle on the very first day. But we shall proceed by degrees. — Tomorrow, Mr. Stanly’s family will drink tea with us, and perhaps the Miss Phillips will meet them. On Tuesday we shall pay Morning-Visits. — On Wednesday we are to dine at Westbrook. On Thursday we have Company at home. On Friday we are to be at a private concert at Sir John Wynne’s — & on Saturday we expect Miss Dawson to call in the morning, — which will complete my Daughters’ Introduction into Life. How they will bear so much dissipation I cannot imagine; of their Spirits I have no fear, I only dread their health.

This mighty affair is now happily over, & my Girls are out. As the moment approached for our departure, you can have no idea how the sweet Creatures trembled with fear & expectation. Before the Carriage drove to the door, I called them into my dressing-room, & as soon as they were seated, thus addressed them. “My dear Girls, the moment is now arrived when I am to reap the rewards of all my Anxieties and Labours towards you during your Education. You are this Evening to enter a World in which you will meet with many wonderfull Things; Yet let me warn you against suffering yourselves to be meanly swayed by the Follies & Vices of others, for beleive me, my beloved Children, that if you do — I shall be very sorry for it.” They both assured me that they would ever remember my advice with Gratitude, & follow it with Attention; That they were prepared to find a World full of things to amaze & shock them: but that they trusted their behaviour would never give me reason to repent the Watchful Care with which I had presided over their infancy & formed their Minds. — “With such expectations & such intentions, (cried I) I can have nothing to fear from you — & can chearfully conduct you to Mrs. Cope’s without a fear of your being seduced by her Example or contaminated by her Follies. Come then, my Children, (added I) the Carriage is driving to the door, & I will not a moment delay the happiness you are so impatient to enjoy.” When we arrived at Warleigh, poor Augusta could hardly breathe, while Margaret was all Life & Rapture. “The long-expected Moment is now arrived, (said she) and we shall soon be in the World.” — In a few Moments we were in Mrs. Cope’s parlour, — where with her daughter she sat ready to receive us. I observed with delight the impression my Children made on them. — They were indeed two sweet, elegant-looking Girls, & tho’ somewhat abashed from the peculiarity of their Situation, Yet there was an ease in their Manners & Address which could not fail of pleasing. — Imagine, my dear Madam, how delighted I must have been in beholding, as I did, how attentively they observed every object they saw, how disgusted with some Things, how enchanted with others, how astonished at all! On the whole, however, they returned in raptures with the World, its Inhabitants, & Manners.

Yrs. Ever — A—- F—-

Letter the second

From a Young lady crossed in Love to her freind —

Why should this last disappointment hang so heavily on my Spirits? Why should I feel it more, why should it wound me deeper than those I have experienced before? Can it be that I have a greater affection for Willoughby than I had for his amiable predecessors? Or is it that our feelings become more acute from being often wounded? I must suppose, my dear Belle, that this is the Case, since I am not conscious of being more sincerely attached to Willoughby than I was to Neville, Fitzowen, or either of the Crawfords, for all of whom I once felt the most lasting affection that ever warmed a Woman’s heart. Tell me then, dear Belle, why I still sigh when I think of the faithless Edward, or why I weep when I behold his Bride, for too surely this is the case. — My Freinds are all alarmed for me; They fear my declining health; they lament my want of Spirits; they dread the effects of both. In hopes of releiving my Melancholy, by directing my thoughts to other objects, they have invited several of their freinds to spend the Christmas with us. Lady Bridget Dashwood & her Sister-in-Law Miss Jane are expected on Friday; & Colonel Seaton’s family will be with us next week. This is all most kindly meant by my Uncle & Cousins; but what can the presence of a dozen indifferent people do to me, but weary & distress me. — I will not finish my Letter till some of our Visitors are arrived.

Friday Evening —

Lady Bridget came this Morning, and with her, her sweet Sister, Miss Jane. — Although I have been acquainted with this charming Woman above fifteen years, Yet I never before observed how lovely she is. She is now about 35, & in spite of sickness, Sorrow, and Time, is more blooming than I ever saw a Girl of 17. I was delighted with her, the moment she entered the house, & she appeared equally pleased with me, attaching herself to me during the remainder of the day. There is something so sweet, so mild in her Countenance, that she seems more than Mortal. Her Conversation is as bewitching as her appearance; — I could not help telling her how much she engaged my Admiration. — “Oh! Miss Jane” (said I) — and stopped from an inability at the moment of expressing myself as I could wish — “Oh! Miss Jane” (I repeated) — I could not think of words to suit my feelings — She seemed waiting for my Speech. — I was confused — distressed. — My thoughts were bewildered — and I could only add “How do you do?” She saw & felt for my embarrassment & with admirable presence of mind releived me from it by saying — “My dear Sophia, be not uneasy at having exposed Yourself — I will turn the Conversation without appearing to notice it.” Oh! how I loved her for her kindness! “Do you ride as much as you used to do?” said she. — “I am advised to ride by my Physician, We have delightful Rides round us, I have a charming horse, am uncommonly fond of the Amusement,” replied I, quite recovered from my Confusion, “& in short, I ride a great deal.” “You are in the right my Love,” said She, Then repeating the following Line which was an extempore & equally adapted to recommend both Riding & Candour —

“Ride where you may, Be Candid where You can,”

She added, “I rode once, but it is many years ago” — She spoke this in so Low & tremulous a Voice, that I was silent — Struck with her Manner of Speaking, I could make no reply. “I have not ridden,” continued she, fixing her Eyes on my face, “since I was married.” I was never so surprised — “Married, Ma’am!” I repeated. “You may well wear that look of astonishment,” said she, “since what I have said must appear improbable to you — Yet nothing is more true than that I once was married.”

“Then why are you called “Miss Jane’?”

“I married, my Sophia, without the consent or knowledge of my father — the late Admiral Annesley. It was therefore necessary to keep the secret from him & from every one, till some fortunate opportunity might offer of revealing it. — Such an opportunity alas! was but too soon given in the death of my dear Capt. Dashwood — Pardon these tears,” continued Miss Jane, wiping her Eyes, “I owe them to my Husband’s Memory; He fell, my Sophia, while fighting for his Country in America after a most happy Union of seven years. — My Children, two sweet Boys & a Girl, who had constantly resided with my Father & me, passing with him & with every one as the Children of a Brother (tho’ I had ever been an only child) had as yet been the Comforts of my Life. But no sooner had I lossed my Henry, than these sweet Creatures fell sick & died. — Conceive, dear Sophia, what my feelings must have been when as an Aunt I attended my Children to their early Grave. — My Father did not survive them many weeks — He died, poor Good old Man, happily ignorant to his last hour of my Marriage.”

“But did you not own it, & assume his name at your husband’s death?”

“No; I could not bring myself to do it; more especially when in my Children, I lost all inducement for doing it. Lady Bridget and Yourself are the only persons who are in the knowledge of my having ever been either Wife or Mother. As I could not prevail on myself to take the name of Dashwood (a name which after my Henry’s death I could never hear without emotion), and as I was conscious of having no right to that of Annesley, I dropt all thoughts of either, & have made it a point of bearing only my Christian one since my Father’s death.” She paused — “Oh! my dear Miss Jane (said I) how infinitely am I obliged to you for so entertaining a Story! You cannot think how it has diverted me! But have you quite done?”

“I have only to add, my dear Sophia, that my Henry’s elder Brother dieing about the same time, Lady Bridget became a Widow like myself, and as we had always loved each other in idea from the high Character in which we had ever been spoken of, though we had never met, we determined to live together. We wrote to one another on the same subject by the same post, so exactly did our feelings & our Actions coincide: We both eagerly embraced the proposals we gave & received of becoming one family, and have from that time lived together in the greatest affection.”

“And is this all?” said I, “I hope you have not done.”

“Indeed I have; and did you ever hear a Story more pathetic?”

“I never did — and it is for that reason it pleases me so much, for when one is unhappy, nothing is so delightful to one’s sensations as to hear of equal Misery.”

“Ah! but my Sophia, why are you unhappy?”

“Have you not heard, Madam, of Willoughby’s Marriage?” “But my Love, why lament his perfidy, when you bore so well that of many young Men before?” “Ah! Madam, I was used to it then, but when Willoughby broke his Engagements, I had not been dissapointed for half a year.” “Poor Girl!” said Miss Jane.


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A Plan of a Novel

Once it became known to Jane Austen’s friends and relations that she was the author of the famous novels signed only, “By a Lady” is is obvious that helpful suggestions and Constructive Criticism abounded. Evidently, Jane was able to take it all with a grain of salt, while still providing a sample of the “perfect” novel. Fortunately for her readers, her now famous sense of humor is not lacking.

Scene to be in the Country, Heroine the Daughter of a [1] Clergyman, one who after having lived much in the World had retired from it, and settled on a Curacy, with a very small fortune of his own.–He, the most excellent Man that can be imagined, perfect in Character, Temper and Manners–without the smallest drawback or peculiarity to prevent his being the most delightful companion to his Daughter from one year’s end to the other.–Heroine a [2] faultless Character herself–, perfectly good, with much tenderness and sentiment, and not the least [3] Wit–very highly [4] accomplished, understanding modern Languages and (generally speaking) everything that the most accomplished young Women learn, but particularly excelling in Music–her favourite pursuit–and playing equally well on the Piano Forte and Harp–and singing in the first stile. Her Person, quite beautiful–[5] dark eyes and plump cheeks.–Book to open with the description of Father and Daughter–who are to converse in long speeches, elegant Language–and a tone of high, serious sentiment.–The Father to be induced, at his Daughter’s earnest request, to relate to her the past events of his Life. This Narrative will reach through the greatest part of the 1st vol.–as besides all the circumstances of his attachment to her Mother and their Marriage, it will comprehend his going to Sea as [6] Chaplain to a distinguished Naval Character about the Court, his going afterwards to Court himself, which introduced him to a great variety of Characters and involved him in many interesting situations, concluding with his opinion of the Benefits to result from Tythes being done away, and his having buried his own Mother (Heroine’s lamented Grandmother) in consequence of the High Priest of the Parish in which she died, refusing to pay her Remains the respect due to them. The Father to be of a very literary turn, an Enthusiast in Literature, nobody’s Enemy but his own–at the same time most zealous in the discharge of his Pastoral Duties, the model of an [7] exemplary Parish Priest.–The heroine’s friendship to be sought after by a young Woman in the same Neighbourhood, of [8] Talents and Shrewdness, with light eyes and a fair skin but having a considerable degree of Wit, Heroine shall shrink from the acquaintance.–From this outset, the Story will proceed, and contain a striking variety of adventures. Heroine and her Father never above a [9] fortnight together in one place, he being driven from his Curacy by the vile arts of some totally unprincipled and heart-less young Man, desperately in love with the Heroine, and pursuing her with unrelenting passion–no sooner settled in one Country of Europe than they are necessitated to quit it and retire to another–always making new acquaintance, and always obliged to leave them.–This will of course exhibit a wide variety of Characters–But there will be no mixture; the scene will be for ever shifting from one Set of People to another–but All the [10] Good will be unexceptionable in every respect–and there will be no foibles or weaknesses but with the Wicked, who will be completely depraved and infamous, hardly a resemblance of Humanity left in them.–Early in her career, in the progress of her first removals, Heroine must meet with the Hero–all [11] perfection of course–and only prevented from paying his addresses to her, by some excess of refinement.–Wherever she goes, somebody falls in love with her, and she receives repeated offers of Marriage–which she always refers wholly to her Father, exceedingly angry that [12] he should not be first applied to.–Often carried away by the anti-hero, but rescued either by her Father or the Hero–often reduced to support herself and her Father by her Talents, and work for her Bread;–continually cheated and defrauded of her hire, worn down to a Skeleton, and now and then starved to death–. At last, hunted out of civilized Society, denied the poor Shelter of the humblest Cottage, they are compelled to retreat into Kamschatka where the poor Father, quite worn down, finding his end approaching, throws himselfon the Ground, and after 4 or 5 hours of tender advice and parental Admonition to his miserable Child, expires in a fine burst of Literary Enthusiasm, intermingled with Invectives against Holder’s of Tythes.–Heroine inconsolable for some time–but afterwards crawls back towards her former Country–having at least 20 narrow escapes of falling into the hands of Anti-hero–and at last in the very nick of time, turning a corner to avoid him, runs into the arms of the Hero himself, who having just shaken off the scruples which fetter’d him before, was at the very moment setting off in pursuit of her.–The Tenderest and completest Eclaircissement takes place, and they are happily united. Throughout the whole work, Heroine to be in the most [13] elegant Society and living in high style. The name of the work not to be [14] Emma but of the same sort as [15] S & S. and P & P.

Various Quarters

1. Mr. Gifford
2. Fanny Knight
3. Mary Cooke
4. Fanny K.
5. Mary Cooke
6. Mr. Clarke
7. Mr. Sherer
8. Mary Cooke
9. Many Critics
10. Mary Cooke
11. Fanny Knight
12. Mrs. Pearse of Chilton-Lodge
13. Fanny Knight
14. Mrs. Craven
15. Mr. H. Sanford

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The Visit: A Comedy in Two Acts

To the Revd James Austen
The following Drama, which I humbly recommend to your Protection & Patronage, tho’ inferior to those celebrated Comedies called “The School for Jealousy” & “The Travelled Man”, will I hope afford some amusement to so respectable a Curate as yourself; which was the end in veiw when it was first composed by your Humble Servant the Author.


Dramatis Personae

Sir Arthur Hampton
Lord Fitzgerald
Sir Arthur’s nephew
Lady Hampton
Miss Fitzgerald
Sophy Hampton
Cloe Willoughby

The scenes are laid in Lord Fitzgerald’s House.


Act I Scene the first, a Parlour —
enter Lord Fitzgerald & Stanly

Stanly. Cousin, your servant.
Fitzgerald. Stanly, good morning to you. I hope you slept well last night.
Stanly. Remarkably well, I thank you.
Fitzgerald. I am afraid you found your Bed too short. It was bought in my Grandmother’s time, who was herself a very short woman & made a point of suiting all her Beds to her own length, as she never wished to have any company in the House, on account of an unfortunate impediment in her speech, which she was sensible of being very disagreable to her inmates.
Stanly. Make no more excuses, dear Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald. I will not distress you by too much civility — I only beg you will consider yourself as much at home as in your Father’s house. Remember, “The more free, the more Wellcome.”
exit Fitzgerald
Stanly. Amiable Youth! “Your virtues, could he imitate How happy would be Stanly’s fate!”
exit Stanly


Scene the 2d
Stanly & Miss Fitzgerald, discovered.

Stanly. What Company is it you expect to dine with you to Day, Cousin?
Miss F. Sir Arthur & Lady Hampton; their Daughter, Nephew & Neice.
Stanly. Miss Hampton & her Cousin are both Handsome, are they not?
Miss F. Miss Willoughby is extreamly so. Miss Hampton is a fine Girl, but not equal to her.
Stanly. Is not your Brother attached to the Latter?
Miss F. He admires her, I know, but I beleive nothing more. Indeed I have heard him say that she was the most beautifull, pleasing, & amiable Girl in the world, & that of all others he should prefer her for his Wife. But it never went any farther, I’m certain.
Stanly. And yet my Cousin never says a thing he does not mean.
Miss F. Never. From his Cradle he has always been a strict adherent to Truth
Exeunt Severally


End of the First Act.

Act 2

Scene the first. The Drawing Room.

Chairs set round in a row. Lord Fitzgerald, Miss Fitzgerald & Stanly seated.
Enter a Servant.

Servant. Sir Arthur & Lady Hampton. Miss Hampton, Mr. & Miss Willoughby.
Exit Servant
Enter the Company.

Miss F. I hope I have the pleasure of seeing your Ladyship well. Sir Arthur, your servant. Yrs., Mr. Willoughby. Dear Sophy, Dear Cloe, — They pay their Compliments alternately.Miss F. Pray be seated.
They sit Bless me! there ought to be 8 Chairs & there are but 6. However, if your Ladyship will but take Sir Arthur in your Lap, & Sophy my Brother in hers, I beleive we shall do pretty well.
Lady H. Oh! with pleasure….
Sophy. I beg his Lordship would be seated.
Miss F. I am really shocked at crouding you in such a manner, but my Grandmother (who bought all the furniture of this room) as she had never a very large Party, did not think it necessary to buy more Chairs than were sufficient for her own family and two of her particular freinds.
Sophy. I beg you will make no apologies. Your Brother is very light.
Stanly. aside What a cherub is Cloe!
Cloe. aside What a seraph is Stanly!
Enter a Servant.
Servant. Dinner is on table.
They all rise.
Miss F. Lady Hampton, Miss Hampton, Miss Willoughby.
Stanly hands Cloe; Lord Fitzgerald, Sophy; Willoughby, Miss Fitzgerald; and Sir Arthur, Lady Hampton


Scene the 2d
The Dining Parlour.

Miss Fitzgerald at top. Lord Fitzgerald at bottom.
Company ranged on each side. Servants waiting.

Cloe. I shall trouble Mr. Stanly for a Little of the fried Cow heel & Onion.
Stanly. Oh Madam, there is a secret pleasure in helping so amiable a Lady. —
Lady H. I assure you, my Lord, Sir Arthur never touches wine; but Sophy will toss off a bumper I am sure, to oblige your Lordship.
Lord F. Elder wine or Mead, Miss Hampton?
Sophy. If it is equal to you, Sir, I should prefer some warm ale with a toast and nutmeg.
Lord F. Two glasses of warmed ale with a toast and nutmeg.
Miss F. I am afraid, Mr. Willoughby, you take no care of yourself. I fear you don’t meet with any thing to your liking.
Willoughby. Oh! Madam, I can want for nothing while there are red herrings on table.
Lord F. Sir Arthur, taste that Tripe. I think you will not find it amiss.
Lady H. Sir Arthur never eats Tripe; tis too savoury for him, you know, my Lord.
Miss F. Take away the Liver & Crow, & bring in the suet pudding.
(a short Pause.)
Miss F. Sir Arthur, shan’t I send you a bit of pudding?
Lady H. Sir Arthur never eats suet pudding, Ma’am. It is too high a Dish for him.
Miss F. Will no one allow me the honour of helping them? Then John, take away the Pudding, & bring the Wine.
Servants take away the things and bring in the Bottles & Glasses.
Lord F. I wish we had any Desert to offer you. But my Grandmother in her Lifetime, destroyed the Hothouse in order to build a receptacle for the Turkies with its materials; & we have never been able to raise another tolerable one.
Lady H. I beg you will make no apologies, my Lord.
Willoughby. Come Girls, let us circulate the Bottle.
Sophy. A very good notion, Cousin; & I will second it with all my Heart. Stanly, you don’t drink.
Stanly. Madam, I am drinking draughts of Love from Cloe’s eyes.
Sophy. That’s poor nourishment truly. Come, drink to her better acquaintance.
Miss Fitzgerald goes to a Closet & brings out a bottle
Miss F. This, Ladies & Gentlemen, is some of my dear Grandmother’s own manufacture. She excelled in Gooseberry Wine. Pray taste it, Lady Hampton
Lady H. How refreshing it is!
Miss F. I should think, with your Ladyship’s permission, that Sir Arthur might taste a little of it.
Lady H. Not for Worlds. Sir Arthur never drinks any thing so high.
Lord F. And now my amiable Sophia, condescend to marry me.
He takes her hand & leads her to the front
Stanly. Oh! Cloe, could I but hope you would make me blessed —
Cloe. I will.
They advance.
Miss F. Since you, Willoughby, are the only one left, I cannot refuse your earnest solicitations — There is my Hand.
Lady H. And may you all be Happy!


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Oh! Mr Best You’re Very Bad

Jane Austen wrote this sprightly poem in 1806 when she was endeavoring to find a way for her friend Martha Lloyd to come and visit her. Apparently, Mr. Best could not be persuaded to set out on a journey and give Martha a ride. It is doubtful that he ever saw the work, though it was sure to have caused considerable amusement in the Austen family.

Oh! Mr. Best, you’re very bad
And all the world shall know it;
Your base behaviour shall be sung
By me, a tunefull Poet.–

You used to go to Harrowgate
Each summer as it came,
And why I pray should you refuse
To go this year the same?–

The way’s as plain, the road’s as smooth,
The Posting not increased;
You’re scarcely stouter than you were,
Not younger Sir at least.–

If e’er the waters were of use
Why now their use forego?
You may not live another year,
All’s mortal here below.–

It is your duty Mr Best
To give your health repair.
Vain else your Richard’s pills will be,
And vain your Consort’s care.

But yet a nobler Duty calls
You now towards the North.
Arise ennobled–as Escort
Of Martha Lloyd stand forth.

She wants your aid–she honours you
With a distinguished call.
Stand forth to be the friend of her
Who is the friend of all.–

Take her, and wonder at your luck,
In having such a Trust.
Her converse sensible and sweet
Will banish heat and dust.–

So short she’ll make the journey seem
You’ll bid the Chaise stand still.
T’will be like driving at full speed
From Newb’ry to Speen hill.–

Convey her safe to Morton’s wife
And I’ll forget the past,
And write some verses in your praise
As finely and as fast.

But if you still refuse to go
I’ll never let your rest,
Buy haunt you with reproachful song
Oh! wicked Mr. Best!–

Clifton 1806

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Instructions to Youth

To Miss Jane Anna Elizabeth Austen

My Dear Neice

Though you are at this period not many degrees removed from Infancy, Yet trusting that you will in time be older, and that through the care of your excellent Parents, You will one day or another be able to read written hand, I dedicate to You the following Miscellanious Morsels, convinced that if you seriously attend to them, You will derive from them very important Instructions, with regard to your Conduct in Life.–If such my hopes should hereafter be realized, never shall I regret the Days and Nights that have been spent in composing these Treatises for your Benefit. I am my dear Neice

Your very Affectionate Aunt.

The Author

June 2d 1793

A Fragment…

written to inculcate the practise of Virtue

(Erased from original manuscript)

We all know that many are unfortunate in their progress through the world, but we do not know all that are so. To seek them out to study their wants, & to leave them unsupplied is the duty, and ought to be the Business of Man. But few have time, fewer still have inclination, and no one has either the one or the other for such employments. Who amidst those that perspire away their Evenings in crouded assemblies can have leisure to bestow a thought on such as sweat under the fatigue of their daily Labour.

A beautiful description…

of the different effects of Sensibility on different Minds

I am but just returned from Melissa’s Bedside, and in my Life tho’ it has been a pretty long one, and I have during the course of it been at many Bedsides, I never saw so affecting an object as she exhibits. She lies wrapped in a book muslin bedgown, a chambray gauze shift, and a French net nightcap. Sir William is constantly at her bedside. The only repose he takes is on the Sopha in the Drawing room, where for five minutes every fortnight he remains in an imperfect Slumber, starting up every Moment and exclaiming ‘Oh! Melissa, Ah! Melissa,’ then sinking down again, raises his left arm and scratches his head. Poor Mrs Burnaby is beyond measure afflicted. She sighs every now and then, that is about once a week; while the melancholy Charles says every Moment ‘Melissa, how are you?’ The lovely Sisters are much to be pitied. Julia is ever lamenting the situation of her friend, while lying behind her pillow and supporting her head–Maria more mild in her greif talks of going to Town next week, and Anna is always recurring to the pleasures we once enjoyed when Melissa was well.–I am usually at the fire cooking some little delicacy for the unhappy invalid–Perhaps hashing up the remains of an old Duck, toasting some cheese or making a Curry which are the favourite Dishes of our poor friend.–In these situations we were this morning surprised by receiving a visit from Dr Dowkins ‘I am come to see Melissa,’ said he. ‘How is She?’ ‘Very weak indeed,’ said the fainting Melissa–‘Very weak,’ replied the punning Doctor, ‘aye indeed it is more than a very week since you have taken to your bed–How is your appetite!’ ‘Bad, very bad,’ said Julia. That is very bad’–replied he. ‘Are her spirits good, Madam!’ ‘So poorly, Sir, that we are obliged to strengthen her with cordials every Minute.’–‘Well then she receives Spirits from your being with her. Does she sleep?’ ‘Scarcely ever.’–‘And Ever Scarcely I suppose when she does. Poor thing! Does she think of dieing?’ ‘She has not strength to Think at all. ‘Nay then she cannot think to have Strength.’

The Generous Curate…
a moral Tale, setting forth the Advantages of being Generous and a Curate.

In a part little known of the County of Warwick, a very worthy Clergyman lately resided. The income of his living which amounted to about two hundred pound, and the interest of his Wife’s fortune which was nothing at all, was entirely sufficient for the Wants and Wishes of a Family who neither wanted or wished for anything beyond what their income afforded them. Mr Williams had been in possession of his living above twenty Years, when this history commences, and his Marriage which had taken place soon after his presentation to it, had made him the father of six very fine Children. The eldest had been placed at the Royal Academy for Seamen at Portsmouth when about thirteen years old, and from thence had been discharged on board of one of the Vessels of a small fleet destined for Newfoundland, where his promising and amiable disposition had procured him many friends among the Natives, and from whence he regularly sent home a large Newfoundland Dog every Month to his family. The second, who was also a Son, had been adopted by a neighbouring Clergyman with the intention of educating him at his own expence, which would have been a very desirable Circumstance had the Gentleman’s fortune been equal to his generosity, but as he had nothing to support himself and a very large family but a Curacy of fifty pound a year, Young Williams knew nothing more at the age of 18 than what a twopenny Dame’s School in the village could teach him. His Character however was perfectly amiable though his genius might be cramped, and he was addicted to no vice, or ever guilty of any fault beyond what his age and situation rendered perfectly excusable. He had indeed; sometimes been detected in flinging Stones at a Duck or putting brickbats into his Benefactor’s bed; but these innocent efforts of wit were considered by that good Man rather as the effects of a lively imagination, than of anything bad in his Nature, and if any punishment were decreed for the offence it was in general no greater than that the Culprit should pick up the Stones or take the brickbats away.–



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Ode to Pity

To Miss Austen,
the following Ode to Pity is dedicated, from a thorough knowledge of her pitiful Nature, by her obedt humle Servt

The Author



Ever musing I delight to tread

The Paths of honour and the Myrtle Grove

Whilst the pale Moon her beams doth shed

On disappointed Love.

While Philomel on airy hawthorn Bush

Sings sweet and Melancholy, And the thrush

Converses with the Dove.


Gently brawling down the turnpike road,

Sweetly noisy falls the Silent Stream–

The Moon emerges from behind a Cloud

And darts upon the Myrtle Grove her beam.

Ah! then what Lovely Scenes appear,

The hut, the Cot, the Grot, and Chapel queer,

And eke the Abbey too a mouldering heap,

Cnceal’d by aged pines her head doth rear

And quite invisible doth take a peep.


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End of the first volume

June 3d 1793