Description

In these witty, personal letters, Frances Burney writes to Samuel Crisp (1707‒1783), the struggling playwright and family friend who became her second ‘daddy’. The letters raise thorny questions about marriage and independence, social performance and genuine feeling, which Burney explored in her fiction. In some places, Burney has scribbled through or crossed out large sections; elsewhere she has over-written the words to make them more legible. This reveals the extent to which she monitored and edited her own ideas and image.

A defence of the single life

In the first letter, Burney defends her choice to reject a marriage proposal and argues for the value of women’s liberty.

Burney met Thomas Barlow, when she was 22 and he was 24, at a family party on 1 May 1775. Four days later, he wrote to declare his love, admiring her ‘Affability, Sweetness & Sensibility’.[1] But Burney resisted Barlow’s attempts to idealise and pursue her. In this letter she says she has ‘no idea why the single Life may not be happy. Liberty is not without its value – with women as well as with men’. She would rather continue in her work as a scribe for her musicologist father than marry without affection. It was not until she was 41 that Burney married Alexandre D’Arblay and they had a son the next year.

‘Our Concert proved to be very much the thing’

Later in the letter, Frances describes a concert held by Dr Burney for a distinguished audience including the Danish ambassador. She offers witty portraits of the different characters: Charlotte Ord is ‘inanimate & insipid’ and Mary Lake is an ‘agreeable old maid. I … wish to imitate her’.

Samuel Johnson

In the second letter, Burney gives an irreverent description of Samuel Johnson, the famous writer and lexicographer.

On 27‒28 March 1777, Burney describes a ‘Thursday morning party’ at her father’s home, attended by Johnson, Hester Thrale and other members of their literary circle. These are Burney’s first impressions of the influential people who would help her achieve success after Evelina  was published in 1778.

Burney paints a compelling picture of the 67-year-old Johnson, ‘shockingly near sighted’, his ‘mouth ... almost constantly opening & shutting’ and his body ‘see sawing up & down’. He largely ignores the company, pouring over Burney’s books and ‘almost touching … them, with his Eye lashes’. Even when he joins the conversation, over chocolate in the dining room, he ‘never speaks at all, but when spoken to’.

David Garrick

Later, talk turns to the celebrity actor and playwright David Garrick, who has recently performed his own play Lethe, before the royal family. Garrick was reportedly ‘hurt at the coolness of the King’s applause’, and they discuss whether he’s guilty of ‘vanity’ and ‘avarice’.

[1] Barlow’s letter is in the British Library, Egerton MS 3698, ff. 19r‒20v.

Transcript

  1. Transcript

    My dear Daddy,

    I was extremely happy at the Receipt of your last
    Letter, because you assure me you are not angry with me,
    though, believe me, I cannot with unconcern Read your cautions
    & prognostics. I am not triumphant – but I am not desponding;
    & I must again repeat what I have so often had the hardiesse
    to say, that I have no idea why the a single Life may not be
    happy. Liberty is not without its value – with women as well
    as with men, though it has not equal recommendations for
    both, – & I hope never without a prospect brighter to myself
    to lose mine: & I have no such prospect in view.
    Had I ever hesitated about Mr Barlow, your advice, my
    dear sir, would have turned the Balance on his side; but I
    never did or could. So now to other matters.
    Our Concert proved to be very much the Thing: The
    Company consisted of
    The Baron Deiden, the Danish Ambassadour.
    The Baronness, his Lady. She is young, pretty, well made,
    polite & amiable. We were all charmed with her.
    Miss Phipps, sister of the famous Capt. Phipps. & Daughter
    of Lord Mulgrave. She is a very sweet Girl. Her Face is not
    handsome, but full of Expression & intelligence. She is arch,
    clever, & Engaging.
    Sir James & Lady Lake. You have already had my opinion
    of this Couple, which is not at all altered.
    Miss Lake, sister of Sir James. A very agreeable old maid.
    I respect & admire – & wish to imitate her.
    Sir Thomas Clarges. He is just returned from Italy, whither
    he was sent by his Relations, upon account of a violent
    passion which he had for Miss Linley, now Mrs Sheridan; he is
    a very Tall youth, & has not by his Travels lost his native

  2. Transcript

    bashfulness & shyness.
    Mr Harris of Salisbury, author of 3 Treatises, on Happiness,
    music, &c & of some other Books, particularly one just pub-
    -lished, called Philosophical arrangements. He is a Charming
    old man, – well bred even to humility, gentle in his manner,
    & communicative & agreeable in his Conversation.
    Mrs Harris, his wife. A so, so, sort of woman.
    Miss ˄Louisa Harris, his Daughter. She has a bad figure, & is not
    handsome. She is reserved, modest & sensible. She has Acquired
    a name as a lady singer, & is a scholar of Sacchini's.
    Mr Earl. A very musical man.
    Mrs Ord, a very musical woman.
    Miss Ord, a fine Girl, but totally inanimate & insipid.
    Mr Merlin, the very ingenious mechanic, who is also a very xxxxx
    entertaining character. There is a simplicity so unaffected & so
    uncommon, in his manners & Conversation that his Company
    always gives me xxxxxx amusement. He ˄ utters xxxxx his opinion upon all
    subjects, & about all persons without the least disguise; he
    is humbly grateful for all civility that ˄ he receives xxxxxxxxxxxxxx,
    but at the same Time, he shews and honest & warm resent-
    -ment if he meets with any slight. He pronounces English
    very comically, for though he is never at a loss for a
    word, he almost always puts the accent emphasis on the wrong syllable.
    Mr Jones, a Welch Harper. A silly young man.
    Miss Harrison. Daughter of the late Commodore Harrison.
    She is rather pretty, very young, proud, I believe, & uninteresting.
    Mr Burney, Hetty, & our Noble Selves bring up the Rear.
    The Company in general came early, & there was a
    great deal of Conversation before any music; but as the
    party was too large for a general Chatterment, we were obliged
    to make parties with our next Neighbours. I had the satisfac-
    =tion of having Mr Harris for mine till the Concert began.

  3. Transcript

    As we had no violins, we were obliged to be contented
    without any overture; & the Concert was opened by Mr Buirney
    at the desire of the Baroness Deiden. He Fired away, with
    his usual successful velocity, to the amazement & delight
    of all present, particularly of the Baroness, who is
    a very celebrated lade performer; – it was to her that
    Boccherini & Eichner, whose Lessons you have so very
    much admired, Dedicated their music, as have many other
    Composers of less merit.
    Mr Burney played a Concerto of Schobert, & one
    of my Father’s , & a great deal of Extemporary Preluding.
    When he rose, my Father partitioned the Baroness to take
    his seat – o no! she would not hear of it – she said it
    would be like a Figurante’s Dancing after Mlle Heinel! –
    Miss Phipps joined violently in intreating her, & the Baron
    seemed to wish her to comply – & she was at length prevailed
    with. She played a Lesson of Schobert. I think her the best
    lady player I ever heard. She is a good musician, – does not
    blunder or make false steps, – has a remarkable strong left
    Hand – & plays with much meaning, as well as Execution.
    She is, at the same Time, so modest & unassuming,
    & so pretty, that she was the general object of admiration.
    When my Father went to Thank her, she said she had
    never been so frightened before in her life.
    My Father begged her to favour us with something else.
    She was going to play again – but the Baron, looking at
    my sister Hetty, said – “après, ma chere.” “Eh bein, cried Miss
    Phipps, who is her intimated friend, après Madame Burney.”
    She immediately, & very gracefully rose, & gave her place to
    Hetty, who, to avoid the appearance of emulation, with great
    propriety chose to begin with a slow movement, as the
    Baroness had ˄been Exerting all her Execution.

  4. Transcript

    She played your bit of Echard. & I may safely say that
    I never heard her play it better, if so well; Merlin’s Harpsi-
    -chord made it divine – & the Expression, feeling & Taste with
    which she performed it raised a general murmur of applause
    & satisfaction from all. Mr Harris enquired eagerly whose
    it was? Every body seemed to feel & to be enchanted with
    it. If a Pin had dropt, it would have made a Universal
    start! Every one was silent, attentive, & pleased.
    After this, she played a very difficult Lesson of my
    Father's; but she was flurried, & niether did that or herself
    Justice.
    At my Father's request, Miss Harris then consented to sing.
    Her Father accompanied her on the Piano Forte. She
    sung a most beautiful slow song of Sacchini's, which has
    never been printed but which we remembered having
    formerly heard him sing. She has very little voice,
    scarce any, indeed, – having niether power, compass, or sweetness,
    and yet – which is wonderful – her singing gave us all
    pleasure! She is extremely well taught, & makes up for the
    deficiencies of Nature by the acquirements of Art; for she
    sings with great Taste & feeling, & in an excellent style.
    She protested she was more frightened at singing to such
    an audience, than she should have been in a Theatre.
    She consented, however, to sing another Air, when somewhat
    recovered: & she gave us a new & favourite Rondeau of
    Rauzzini's, which he sings in the New opera of Piramo & Tisbè.
    After this, followed the great Gun of the Concert, namely
    a Harpsichord Duet between Mr Burney & my sister. 68
    It is the Noblest Composition that was ever made I do think.
    They came off with flying Colours – Nothing could exceed the
    general applause. Mr Harris was in extacy; Sr James Lake

  5. Transcript

    who is silent & xxx broke forth into the warmest expressions
    of delight – Lady Lake, more prone to be pleased, was quite in
    raptures – the charming Baroness repeatedly declared she had
    never been at so agreeable a Concert before; & many said
    They had never heard music till then.
    What would I give that you could hear it? It is not
    possible for Instrumental music to be more finished.
    The Baroness was then again Called upon – but she
    excused herself from playing any more – &, with the Baron
    & Miss Phipps, soon after took her leave.
    I quite forgot to speak of Mr Jones, who played upon
    a Harp with new pedals constructed by Mr Merlin:
    it is a sweet Instrument. He plays very well, he is
    precisely neat, & has a good deal of Execution: but the
    poor young man has no soul to spare for his playing.
    The Concert concluded by another song from Miss Harris,
    it was a Bravura, a MS. of Sacchini's. A fine song, &
    very well sung.
    The Company XXXXXXX went away to all appearances
    extremely well pleased; & we who remained at Home were
    in all reality the same. We kept Mr Merlin to supper, & we had much amusement in hearing his Comments.
    So much for our Concert.

    I was truly sorry to hear of your Illness. My father does not remember how the fixed (air) was managed & confined, but he has written to Mr Bewley, since I asked the Question, & has enquired the particulars of him; whenever an answer arrives, I will immediately acquaint you with it. Whether it is to be bought, & all that, my Father cannot, of his own Head, tell. I hope it will not be long ere we hear from Mr Bewley.

  6. Transcript

    My Father desires his kind Love to you but fears it will be impossible as he must go to sea Bathing & as he cannot leave Town at all till his Book is published. However, he very much wishes to see you, & says that if he possibly can get to you for one Day or so, he will spare no Pains to procure himself that satisfaction.
    As to my mother she talks of certainly going to Chesington for a few Days during the summer.
    The Rishtons were in Town only a week. They are very well & very comfortable. They are gone to make a Tour to Wales & will return through Town in about a month.
    Poor Barsanti is still a bit indifferent, though much better she has been. Her Benefit proved a very good one, though inferior to her 2 former ones which I attribute to her not acting. She goes next week to Bristol, where she is engaged in Reddish's Company of comedians.
    Mr. Twiss has never Entered the House, in spite of repeated endeavours. His Travels proved to be very dull & dry, he was so fearful of his natural flightiness being perceived, that he has cut out every thing that could have been entertaining, & left nothing but tame description.
    Dr. Johnson, with much less materials, has built a Book worth a million of Mr. Twiss's.

    Thursday. May
    And now, my dear Mr Crisp, I am going to ask your
    advice, for I am in some perplexity. – all concerning this Mr Barlow.
    My Grandmother, 2 aunts & sister spent the Day acquaint you with us last
    Wednesday. They told me that my Cold was very well swallowed at 
    XXXXXX & that Mr Barlow was immensely shocked, & all that. –
    My Aunt Beckey teized me to Dink Tea with her the next Day –

  7. Transcript

    I was engaged, & could not, but said I would on Saturday.
    Accordingly I went. I ran up stairs, as usual – but when I
    opened the Door, the first object I saw was Mr Barlow. I
    was much surprised, & rather provoked, fearing that my aunt
    Beckey, whose Temper is much superior to her Understanding,
    had purposely led me to this meeting. You will believe I was
    tolerably shy & forbidding, at first, but afterwards I tried to
    behave as if I had never received his Letter, & it was not
    difficult to me to appear quite unconcerned, & as usual.
    I made my visit XXXXX very short, & was hurrying away as soon as Tea was over
    when I found that I should not be allowed to go
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXX had I slipt out, he would have followed me. I therefore sat down
    again determined to wait till he went, or till I was sent for by the Mama.

    I have since XXXX wished that I had let him have
    his way ˄& speak to me – & ˄had answered him, – to End the affair
    for ever. But at the Time, I really had not sufficient
    presence of mind: – he appeared so humbly at my service, that
    I dreaded lest, in the fear of being impertinent, I should be
    involved in some scrape from being civil; – in short, I much
    wished to avoid a private Conversation in which I could hear
    nothing that would be agreeable to me, & could say nothing
    that would not be highly disagreeable to him. – I am heartily
    sorry his Letter was not answered at once. It is now too late
    to take any Notice of it. He was excessively urgent with
    my Grandmother to fix a Day for another visit to ˄Mrs O’Connors XXXXX
    with me; & he entreated me not to have a Cold then!
    I laughed the Cold off as well as I could, but would by no
    means promise to be of the Party – niether, indeed, would I do
    any single thing that he requested, lest he should construe

  8. Transcript

    even common complaisance into a wish of obliging him.
    I should be quite sorry for the apparent seriousness of
    this young man's attachment, but that I am pretty persuaded
    what so easily came, will without difficulty depart.
    I hope – as I endeavoured – that my general manner has
    convinced him of his having chosen ill. Nevertheless, – I
    beg you to advise me what to do whether to go to ˄ Mrs O’Connor XXXXXX
    & force myself to say (as Lord Ogleby Expresses it) shocking
    things to Him – or whether to avoid him totally & hope
    the affair will stop as it is? I don’t care to say any
    thing more to my Father about it. – I could not resist him.

    [vertically in the centre of the paper]

    Saml. Crisp Esqr
    At Mrs Hamilton’s
    Chesington near
    Kingston
    Surrey<

    [horizontally to the right of the address]

    May 5th. 8th. 12th

    [the body of the letter continued]

    I certainly ought not to keep ˄Mr. B. XXXX in suspense, if it
    is possible he can think himself so. Pray Instruct me only
    remember that I am fixed.
    Adieu my dear sir, I am now and ever
    Most faithfully & truly yours,
    Frances Burney.

  9. Transcript

    28 March 1777

    My dear Daddy,

    I might still have (remained) at Chesington, for any thing that concerns my Uncle, for he is not yet arrived, niether have we heard a Word about or from him since I came. I am abominably provoked at having been cheated of so much Time, & so much comfort. We both (have), & do, expect Daily to see him, yet I have lost a Week (about it), come when he will-besides, I am in a most (vexing) uncertainty in regard to my Journey, Nothing has been said of it here, so that I know not, yet, whether I shall (be a Worsted Stocking, or not.

    My dear Father XXXXXX seemed well pleased at
    my returning to my Time: & that is no small consola-
    tion & pleasure to me. So now to our Thursday morning
    Party.
    Mrs & Miss Thrale, Miss Owen & Mr. Seward came
    long before Lexaphanes; – Mrs. Thrale is a very pretty
    woman still, – she is extremely lively and chatty, – has no
    supercilious or pedantic airs, & is really gay and agreeable.
    Her Daughter is about 12 years old, &, ˄ stiff & proper I believe, ˄ or else shy & reserved: I don’t yet know which. not all together so amiable as her mother. Miss Owen, who
    is a Relation, is good humoured & sensible enough;
    she is a sort of Butt, & as such general favourite:
    for those sort of characters are prodigiously useful
    in drawing out the Wit & pleasantry of others: Mr.
    Seward is a very polite, agreeable young man:
    My sister ˄ Burney was invited to meet & play, to them.
    The Conversation was supported with a good deal
    of vivacity – (N.B. my Father being at Home) for about
    half an Hour, & then Hetty & Suzette, for the first Time in
    public, played Duet & in the midst of this performance,
    Dr. Johnson was announced.

  10. Transcript

    He is indeed, very ill favoured, – he is tall & stout, but
    stoops terribly: – he is almost bent double. His mouth is almost
    in perpetual motion, ˄ constantly opening & shutting as if he was chewing; – he has a strange
    method of frequently twirling his Fingers, & twisting his
    Hands; –nhis Body is in continual agitation, see sawing
    up & down; his Feet are never a moment quiet, – &, in short,
    his whole person is in perpetual motion:
    His Dress, too, considering the Times, & that he had
    meant to put on his best becomes, being engaged to
    Dine in a large Company, was as much out of the
    common Road as his Figure: he had a large Wig,
    snuff colour coat, & Gold Buttons; but no Ruffles to his
    Wrist, & Black Worsted Stockings – so, you see, there is another Worsted
    ˄ doughty fists and black worsted stockings. Stocking Knave, besides me, that's my comfort.
    He is shockingly near sighted, & did not, till she held
    out her Hand to him, even know Mrs. Thrale. He poked his
    Nose over the keys of the Harpsichord, till the Duet was
    finished, & then, my Father introduced Hetty to him, as
    an old acquaintance, & he ˄ cordially instantly kissed her! When
    she was a little girl, he had made her a present of the Idler
    His attention, however, was not to be diverted five
    minutes from the Books, as we were in the Library;
    he poured over them ˄ shelf by shelf, almost brushing the Backs of them, with
    his Eye lashes, as he read their Titles; at last, having fixed
    upon one, he began, without further ceremony, to Read,
    ˄ to himself all the time standing at a distance from the Company.
    We were ˄ all very much provoked, as we perfectly languished
    to hear him talk; but, it seems, he is the most silent
    creature, when not particularly drawn out, in the World.
    My sister then played another Duet, with my Father:
    but Dr. Johnson was so deep in the Encyclopedie, that, as he
    is very deaf, I question if he even knew what was going
    forward. When this was over, Mrs. Thrale, in a laughing
    manner, said “Pray, Dr. Burney, can you tell me what that
    song was, & whose, which Savoi sung last night at Bach's
    Concert, & which you did not hear?” My Father confessed

  11. Transcript

    himself by means so good a Diviner, not having
    had Time to consult the stars, though in the House of
    Sir Isaac Newton. However wishing to draw Dr. Johnson
    into some Conversation, he told him the Question. The
    Doctor, seeing his drift, good naturedly put away his
    Book, & said very drolly “And pray, Sir – Who is Bach? –
    is he a Piper?” – Many exclamations of surprise,
    you will believe, followed this Question. “Why you have
    Read his name often in the papers,” said Mrs. Thrale;
    & then ˄ she gave him some account of his Concert, & the
    number of fine performances she had heard at it.
    “Pray,” said he ˄ gravely, “Madam, what is the Expence?"
    “O,” answered she, “much trouble & solicitation to get
    a subscriber's Ticket; – or else half a Guinea.”
    “Trouble & solicitation,” said he, “I will have nothing
    to do with; – but I would be willing to give Eighteen Pence."
    Ha! Ha!
    Chocolate being then brought, we adjourned to
    the Drawing Room. And here, Dr. Johnson, being taken
    from the Books, entered freely & most cleverly into con-
    =versation: though it is remarkable, that he never
    speaks at all, but when spoken to; nor does he
    ever start, though he so admirably supports any
    subject.
    The whole party was engaged to Dine at Mrs. Mon-
    -tague's: Dr. Johnson said he had received the most
    flattering note he had ever read, or ˄ that any body else
    had ever Read, by way of invitation. “Well, so have
    I, too,” cried Mrs. Thrale, “so if a note from Mrs. Montague
    is to be boasted of, I beg mine may not be forgot.”
    Your note,” cried Dr. Johnson, “can bear no comparison
    with mine: – I am at the Head of Philosophers; she says.”
    “And I,” cried Mrs. Thrale, “have all the muses in
    my Train!”
    “A fair Battle,” said my Father; “come, Compliment

  12. Transcript

    for Compliment, & see who will hold out longest.”
    “O, I am afraid for Mrs. Thrale!” cried Mr. Seward,
    “for I know Mrs. Montague exerts all her forces when
    she attacks Dr. Johnson.”
    “O yes,” said Mrs. Thrale, “she has often, I know, flattered
    him till he has been ready to Faint.”
    “Well, Ladies,” said my Father, “You must get him
    between you to Day, & see which can lay on the paint
    thickest, Mrs. Thrale or Mrs. Montague.”
    “I had rather,” cried the Doctor ˄ drily, “go to Bach's Concert!”
    After this, they talked of Mr. Garrick, & his late
    Exhibition XX before the King, to whom, & ˄ to the Queen & Royal
    Family, he read Lethe, in character, c'est à dire, in different
    Voices, & Theatrically. Mr. Seward gave us an account
    of a Fable, which Mr. Garrick had written, by way of
    Prologue, or Introduction, upon the occasion: In this, he
    says, that a Black Bird, grown old & feeble, droops his
    Wings, &c, &c, & gives up singing; but, being called upon
    by the Eagle, his Voice recovers its powers, his spirits revive,
    he sets age at defiance, & sings better than ever. The
    application is obvious.
    “There is not,” said Dr. Johnson, “much of the spirit
    of Fabulosity in this Fable; for the call of an Eagle
    never yet had much tendency to restore the voice of a
    Black Bird! 'Tis true, the Fabulists frequently make the
    Wolves converse with the Lambs, – but, when the conversa-
    -tion is over, the Lambs are sure to be Eaten! – & so,
    the Eagle may entertain the Black Bird, – but the En-
    -tertainment always ends in a Feast for the Eagles!'
    “They say,” cried Mrs. Thrale, “that Garrick was
    extremely hurt at the coolness of the King’s applause,
    & did not find his reception such as he expected.”
    “He has been so long accustomed,” said Mr. Seward,
    “to the Thundering approbation of the Theatre, that a

  13. Transcript

    mere very well, must necessarily & naturally disappoint
    him.”
    “Sir,” said Dr. Johnson, “he should not, in a Royal ap-
    -artment, expect the hallowing & clamour of the one shil-
    -ling gallery. The King, I doubt not, gave him as much
    applause as was rationally his due: &, indeed, great &
    uncommon as is the merit of Mr. Garrick, no man will
    be bold enough to assert that he has not had his
    just proportion both of Fame & Profit: he has long
    reigned the unequaled favourite of the public, – &
    therefore, nobody will mourn his hard fate, if the King,
    & the Royal Family, were not transported into rap-
    -ture, upon hearing him Read Lethe. Yet, Mr. Garrick
    will complain to his Friends, & his Friends will lament
    the King's want of feeling & taste; – & then, Mr. Garrick
    will ˄ kindly excuse the King! he will say that ˄ his majesty he might be
    thinking of something else; – that the affairs of Ameri-
    -ca might occur to him, – or some subject of more impor-
    -tance than Lethe; – but though he will say this him this himself,
    he will not forgive his Friends, if they do not contradict
    him!”
    But now, that I have written this satire, it is
    but just both to Mr. Garrick, & to Dr. Johnson, to tell
    you what he said of him afterwards, when he discriminated
    his character with equal candour & humour.
    “Garrick,” said he, “is accused of vanity; – but few men
    would have borne such unremitting prosperity with
    greater, if with equal moderation: he is accused, too,
    of avarice, – but, were he not, he would be accused of just
    the contrary, for he now Les rather as a prince, than as
    an Actor: but the frugality he practiced when he first
    appeared in the World, & which, even then, was perhaps
    ˄ was not beyond his necessity, has marked his character ever
    since; & now, though his Table, his Equipage, & manner
    of Living, are all the most expensive, and equal

  14. Transcript

    to those of a Nobleman, yet the original stain still
    blots his name, – though yet had he not fixed upon himself
    the charge of Avarice, he would, long since, have been
    reproached with ˄ that of luxury, & with living beyond his
    station in magnificence & splendour.”
    Another Time, he said of him “Garrick never en-
    -ters a Room, but he regards himself as the object of
    general attention, & from whom the Entertainment
    of the Company is expected, – & true it is, that he seldom d
    isappoints them; for he has infinite humour, a very just
    proportion of Wit, & more convivial pleasantry than almost
    any other man ˄ living. But then, off, as well as on the stage, he
    is always an Actor! for he thinks it so incumbent upon him
    to be sportive, that his gaity becomes mechanical, ˄ from being as it is
    habitual, & ˄ he can exert his spirits at all Times alike, with-
    -out consulting his real Disposition to hilarity.”

    -------------

    Friday

    I am very sorry that I cannot possibly finish
    this account, ˄ but for I am Bothered to Death – my Uncle is
    just come, – ˄ & Cousins James & Becky are with him – & all ˄ are bent upon my returning with them.
    I intended a very long Letter, but have not any Time.
    A thousand thanks for yours, which I have just recd.
    I wish to Heaven I could answer it as I ought – but I
    foresee I shall have no leisure this Age.

    Your letter diverted me highly for 'tis the most honest & un
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Your kindness is more grateful to me, than I can
    Express, – I am monstrous glad you missed me XXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Adieu my dearest Sir, – a thousand loves & compliments
    To Mrs. H. & Kitty, & believe me, with all affection & gratitude
    Yours ever Frances Burney