Sir Jacob and Mr. B. afterwards fell into a family discourse; and Sir Jacob told us of two or three courtships by his three sons, and to his two daughters, and his reasons for disallowing them: and I could observe, he is an absolute tyrant in his family, though they are all men and women grown, and he seemed to please himself how much they stood in awe of him.
I would not have been so tediously trifling, but for the sake of my dear parents; and there is so much self-praise, as it may seem, from a person on repeating the fine things said of herself, that I am half of opinion I should send them to Kent only, and to think you should be obliged to me for saving you so much trouble and impertinence.
Do, dear Miss, be so free as to forbid me to send you any more long journals, but common letters only, of how you do? and who and who’s together, and of respects to one another, and so forth—letters that one might dispatch, as Sir Jacob says, in a twinkling, and perhaps be more to the purpose than the tedious scrawl which kisses your hands, from yours most sincerely, P.B.
Do, dear good Sir Simon, let Miss Polly add to our delights, by her charming company. Mr. Murray, and the new affair will divert you, in her absence.—So pray, since my good Lady Darnford has consented, and she is willing, and her sister can spare her; don’t be so cross as to deny me.
* * * * *
From Miss Damford to Mrs. B.
MY DEAR MRS. B.,
You have given us great pleasure in your accounts of your conversations, and of the verses put so wickedly under your seat; and in your just observations on the lines, and occasions.
I am quite shocked, when I think of Lady Davers’s passionate intentions at the hall, but have let nobody into the worst of the matter, in compliance with your desire. We are delighted with the account of your family management, and your Sunday’s service. What an excellent lady you are! And how happy and good you make all who know you, is seen by the ladies joining in your evening service, as well as their domestics.
We go on here swimmingly with our courtship. Never was there a fonder couple than Mr. Murray and Miss Nancy. The modest girl is quite alive, easy, and pleased, except now-and-then with me. We had a sad falling out t’other day. Thus it was:—She had the assurance, on my saying, they were so fond and free before-hand, that they would leave nothing for improvement afterwards, to tell me, she had long perceived, that my envy was very disquieting to me. This she said before Mr. Murray, who had the good manners to retire, seeing a storm rising between us. “Poor foolish girl!” cried I, when he was gone, provoked to great contempt by her expression before him, “thou wilt make me despise thee in spite of my heart. But, pr’ythee,