Knowing this, I don’t indeed aim at what I am sensible I cannot attain; and so, I hope, am less exposed to censure than I should be if I did. For, I have heard Mr. B. observe with regard to gentlemen who build fine houses, make fine gardens, and open fine prospects, that art should never take place of, but be subservient to, nature; and a gentleman, if confined to a situation, had better conform his designs to that, than to do as at Chatsworth, level a mountain at a monstrous expense; which, had it been suffered to remain, in so wild and romantic a scene as Chatsworth affords, might have been made one of the greatest beauties of the place.
So I think I had better endeavour to make the best of those natural defects I cannot master, than, by assuming airs and dignities in appearance, to which I was not born, act neither part tolerably. By this means, instead of being thought neither gentlewoman nor rustic, as Sir Jacob hinted (linsey-wolsey, I think was his term too), I may be looked upon as an original in my way; and all originals pass well enough, you know, Madam, even with judges.
Now I am upon this subject, I can form to myself, if your ladyship will excuse me, two such polite gentlemen as my lawyers mentioned in my former, who, with a true London magnanimity and penetration (for, Madam, I fancy your London critics will be the severest upon the country girl), will put on mighty significant looks, forgetting, it may be, that they have any faults themselves, and apprehending that they have nothing to do, but to sit in judgment upon others, one of them expressing himself after this manner—“Why, truly, Jack, the girl is well enough—considering—I can’t say—” (then a pinch of snuff, perhaps, adds importance to his air)—“but a man might love her for a month or two.” (These sparks talked thus of other ladies before me.) “She behaves better than I expected from her—considering—” again will follow.
“So I think,” cries the other, and tosses his tie behind him, with an air partly of contempt, and partly of rakery.
“As you say. Jemmy, I expected to find an awkward country girl, but she tops her part, I’ll assure you!—Nay, for that matter, behaves very tolerably for what she was—And is right, not to seem desirous to drown the remembrance of her original in her elevation—And, I can’t but say” (for something like it he did say), “is mighty pretty, and passably genteel.” And thus with their poor praise of Mr. B.’s girl, they think they have made a fine compliment to his judgment.
But for his sake (for as to my own, I am not solicitous about such gentlemen’s good opinions), I owe them a spite; and believe, I shall find an opportunity to come out of their debt. For I have the vanity to think, now you have made me proud by your kind encouragements and approbation, that the country girl will make ’em look about them, with all their genteel contempts, which they miscall praise.