Barford Abbey
Susannah Minific Gunning

Part 4 out of 4

indeed, I was sat down as sober sedate as could be.--Quite fit for a
Dean's Lady?--Yes;--quite fit, indeed.--Now comes Lady Elizabeth and
Lady Sophia.--Well, it is impossible, I find, to be dutiful in this

Thursday, twelve o'clock at noon.

Bless my soul! one would think I was the bride by my shaking and
quaking! Miss Powis is--Lady Darcey.--Down drops my letter:--Yes, dear
Madam, I see you drop it to run and tell my father.

I may write on _now_;--I may do what I will;--Lord and Lady Darcey are
_every_ thing with _every_ body Well as I love them, I was not present
at the ceremony:--I don't know why neither.--Not a soul but attended,
except your poor foolish girl--At the window I stood to see them go, and
never stirr'd a step 'till they return'd.--Mr. Molesworth gave her
away.--I vow I thought near as handsome as the bridegroom.--But what
signifies my thinking him handsome?--I'll ask Lady Elizabeth by and bye
what she thinks.--Now for a little about it, before I ature myself with
implements of destruction.--The Dean is not quite dead yet; but if he
live out this day,--I say, he is invulnerable.

Let us hear no more of yourself:--tell us of Lord and Lady Darcey

Have patience, Madam, and I will,

Well, _their_ dress?--Why _their_ faces were dress'd in smiles of
love:--Nature's charms should always take place of art.--You see with
what order I proceed.

Lord Darcey was dress'd in white richly lac'd with gold;--Lady Darcey in
a white lutestring negligee nounc'd deep with a silver net;--no cap, a
diamond sprig; her hair without powder; a diamond necklace and
sleeve-knots;--bracelets set round with diamonds; and let me tell you,
her jewels are a present from my first Adorable;--on the knowledge of
which I discarded him.--No, no, Mr. Morgan; you are not a _jewel_ of
yourself neither.--Lady Darcey would have wore quite a morning
dishabille, if the vain old Gentleman had not requested the
contrary:--so forsooth, to humour him, we must be all put out of our

There they are on the lawn, as I hope to live, going to invite in
Caesar.--Only an old dog, Madam, that lives betwixt this house and the

Lady Elizabeth and Mr. Molesworth, Lady Sophia and Captain Risby,--Oh, I
long to be with you!--throw no more gravel to my window.--I _will_ be
dutiful;--in spite of your allurements, I _will_.

I left them in the library, inspecting a very charming piece, just
brought from Brandon Lodge, done by the hand of Lady Mary Sutton.--Upon
my word, they have soon conn'd it over:--but I have not told you it is
the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Powis;--my dear Dean too joining their

God defend me! there he is, hopping out.--I wish he had kept
within.--Why, Sir, I should have been down in a moment: then we might
have had the most comfortable tete-a-tete.

Seriously, Madam--now I am _really_ serious--can you believe, after
beholding Lord and Lady Darcey, I will ever be content with a moderate
share of happiness?--No, I will die first.--To see them at this instant
would be an antidote for indifference.--Not any thing of foolish
fondness:--no; that will never be seen in Lord and Lady Darcey.--Their
happiness is not confin'd:--we are all refreshed by it:--it pours forth
from their homes like streams flowing from a pure terrain.--I think I
said I could not go to church:--no, not for the world would I have
gone:--I expected Miss Powis would be crying, fainting, and I know not
what.--Instead of all this fuss, not a tear was shed.--I thought every
body cried when they were married:--those that _had_, or had _not_
cause.--Well, I am determin'd to appear satisfied, however, if the yoke
is a little galling.

How charming look'd Miss Powis, when she smil'd on Lord Darcey!--On Lord
Darcey? On every body I mean.--And for him--But I must forget his
air,--his words,--his looks, if ever I intend to say love, honour, and
obey.--Once I am brought to say love,--honour and obey will slide off
glibly enough. I must go down amongst them. Believe me, Madam, I shut
myself up to write against intreaties,--against the most persuasive

This is the day when the Powis family are crown'd with felicity.--I
think on it with rapture.--I will set it down on the heart of your
dutiful and affectionate

E. Delves.


Miss Delves to the same.

_Barford Abbey_

Surely I must smell of venison,--roast beef, and plumb-puddings.--Yes, I
smell of the Old English hospitality.--_You_, Madam, have no tenants to
regale so;--are safe from such troubles on my account.--Will you believe
me, Madam, I had rather see their honest old faces than go to the finest
opera ever exhibited.--What think you of a hundred-and-seven chearful
farmers sitting at long tables spread with every thing the season can
afford;--two hogsheads of wine at their elbows;--the servants waiting on
them with assiduous respect:--Their songs still echo in my ears.

I thought the roof would have come down, when Lord and Lady Darcey made
their appearance.--Some sung one tune,--some another;--some paid
extempore congratulations;--others that had not a genius, made use of
ballads compos'd on the marriage of the King and Queen.--One poor old
soul cried to the Butler, because he could neither sing or repeat a
verse.--Seeing his distress, I went to him, and repeated a few lines
applicable to the occasion, which he caught in a moment, and tun'd away
with the best of them.

Lord and Lady Hampstead are so delighted with the honest rustics, that
they declare every Christmas their tenants shall be regal'd at Hallum

What can one feel equal to the satisfaction which arises on looking out
in the park?--Three hundred poor are there feasting under a shed erected
for the purpose;--cloath'd by Sir James and Lady Powis;--_so_
clean,--_so_ warm,--_so_ comfortable, that to see them at this moment,
one would suppose they had never tasted of poverty.

Lord Darcey has order'd two hundred guineas to be given amongst
them,--that to-morrow might not be less welcome to them than this day.

For my part, I have only two to provide for out of the number;--a pretty
little boy and girl, that pick'd me up before I came to the shed.--The
parents of those children were very good, and gave them to me on my
first application.

Here comes Mrs. Jenkings.--_Well_, what pleasing thing have you to tell
me, Mrs. Jenkings?

Five hundred pounds, as I live, to be given to the poor to-morrow from
Lady Mary Sutton.--

What blessings will follow us on our journey! I believe I have not told
you, Madam, we set out for Faulcum Park on Monday.--_Not_ to stay:--no,
I thank God we are _not_ to stay.--If Lord and Lady Darcey were to
inhabit Faulcum Park, yet it would not be to _me_ like Barford
Abbey,--Barford Abbey is to be their home whilst Sir James and Lady
Powis live.

Lord Hallum wants me to walk with him.--Not I, indeed:--I hate a
_tete-a-tete_ with heartless men.--On second thoughts, I will go.

Oh Madam! out of breath with astonishment!--What think you:--I am the
confidante of Lord Hallum's passion;--with permission too of the earl
and countess.--Heavens! and can you guess, Madam, who it is he
loves?--Adieu, my _dear,--dear_ Dean!--Need I say more?--Will you not
spare the blushes of your happy daughter,




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