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and laughs immoderately; the Queen looks up too; the Princesses look; the maids of honour look. Fanny puts up her fan, and sits back for the rest of the night. Popular applause-and that midnight "bell" when she returns to the palace!
We have read the 'Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay,' with a real feeling of pity for her in those Miss Burney days at Windsor, and Kew, and Buckingham Palace. Never was a flattered and petted lady-the most successful writer of fiction in an age when authoresses were fewsubjected to such bitter mortifications, as in those two or three years of her imprisonment in that waiting-maid life. We see her restless shadow as she enters, with the royal cortège, an unbidden guest, into the halls of Nuneham; no servant to show her to her room-no welcome-no offered refreshment. Plain Mrs. Schwellenberg gives her a premonition when, with her own pretensions as Miss Burney, she tells the German lady that she had been introduced to Lord Harcourt at Sir Joshua Reynolds's: "O! it is the samethat is nothing—when you go with the Queen, it is enough; they might be civil to you for that sake. You might go quite without no, what you call, fuss; you might take no gown but what you go in; that is enough-you might have no servant-for what? You might keep on your ridingdress. There is no need you might be seen. shall do everything I can to assist you to appear
for nobody." Literary merits, and personal manners!-put them up in lavender, Miss Burney; they will not wear well here with the new gown that the Queen gives you.
It is the 1st of January, 1787, and Fanny Burney is entering a wise resolve in her diary: "I opened the new year with what composure I could acquire. I considered it as the first year of my being settled in a permanent situation, and made anew the best resolutions I was equal to forming, that I would do what I could to curb all spirit of repining, and to content myself calmly, unresistingly at least, with my destiny." She has mistaken the real nature of the "permanent situation." It is no fault of hers that she is unfitted for it; it is no fault of her royal benefactors-for they wished to be so that her promotion is degradation. Her destiny is an unnatural one, and she must repine. The habitués of a court have their own exclusive associations of rank and ambition, of fashion and parade, to console them for the inconveniences of the "honour" in which they live. But the literary lady's-maid—what sympathy has she? The Queen is condescending, but reserved; the King has his what? what? as he has with every one; the Princesses are affable; the Equerries are polite; celebrities, though of a somewhat heavy character, come sometimes to the tea-room -Mr. De Luc the geologist, Mr. Bryant the mythologist, and Dr. Herschel the astronomer. But she meets Thomas Warton, the poet, in a hasty
walk, and she must turn a deaf ear to his raptures, for she dare not ask him to her room. No man must come there; no lady, not in the permitted list. Her correspondence with Madame de Genlis is forbidden. She is allowed to attend one day at the trial of Warren Hastings. Edmund Burkea name that then stank in the court nostrilsespies her, and places himself by her side. Oh, Fanny, there are eyes upon you. You stammer as your old friend - the greatest man of his time— looks in your unaccustomed face with a familiar look of sincere affection. The tie is broken. He is the same; but you must wear a mask.
We see the shadow of Fanny Burney as illness gradually steals upon her. It must come. If she does not send that letter of resignation so often proposed, there will be a tear or two in the Lodge at Windsor, for the little woman that was so clever and so pleasant, and yet so fidgetty and unhappy. What could have ailed her? She had "two new gowns and everything handsome" about her. The letter was sent; and Fanny soon grew well at Norbury park, and wrote 'Camilla,' and married a pleasant emigré, and had a cottage of her own in the lovely valley of the Mole, and died at near ninety. We hope she was more at home in a foreign land than in that ugly Lodge at Windsor, of which, most happily, not a brick is left.
THE FARMER'S KITCHEN.
DOES any one now read 'The Farmer's Boy,' by Robert Bloomfield? I have before me the edition of 1803, at which time it is recorded that twentysix thousand copies had been sold since the first publication of the poem in 1800. Byron has left a contemptuous notice of Bloomfield in the 'English Bards.' But 'The Farmer's Boy,' for all that, will not be wholly forgotten. It is a truthful poem, founded upon accurate observation of common things, and describing the most familiar incidents and feelings with a rare fidelity—rare, amidst the conventional generalities of the verse-making of that day. At a very early age I had means of testing the truth of its descriptions. Let me give from my own recollections, a picture of a farmer's household, not long after the time when Bloomfield's poem was first published.
On one of the roads from Windsor to Binfield, in the parish of Warfield, stands, or stood, a small farm-house, with gabled roof and latticed windows. A rude woodbine-covered porch led into a broad passage, which would have been dark had not the great oaken door generally stood open. To the right of the passage was a large kitchen, beyond which loomed a sacred room-the parlour-unopened except on rare occasions of festivity. To this
grange I travelled in a jolting cart, on a spring afternoon, seated by the side of the good wife, who had carried her butter and eggs and fowls to market, and was now returning home, proud of her gains, from whose accumulations she boasted that she well nigh paid the rent of the little farm. I was in feeble health; and a summer's run was decreed for me, out of the way of school and books. My life for six months was very like playing at Farmer's Boy.
That small bed-room where I slept, with its worm-eaten floor and undraperied lattices, was, I suspect, not very perfect in its arrangements for ventilation; but then neither door nor window shut close, and the free air, redolent of heath and furze, found its way in, and did its purifying offices after an imperfect fashion. The first morning began my new country life—and a very novel life it was. It was Sunday. The house was quiet; and when I crept down into the kitchen, I found my friend the farmer's wife preparing breakfast. On one side of that family room was a large oaken table covered with huge basins, and a mighty loaf; over a turf fire hung an enormous skillet, full to the brim with simmering milk. One by one three or four young men dropped in, jauntily dressed in the cleanest smock-frocks-the son of the house had a smart Sunday coat, with an expansive nosegay of daffodils and wallflowers. They sat quietly down at the oak table, and their portions of milk were distributed to each. Now entered the