Book: "Diary from the French Court", A historic drama from the old European one percent and the French Revolution. Written by Fanny Burney.

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This is the first book in the real life-based series of books depicting the personal diary of Fannys own life and experience at the French Court, the madness of kings and the life and death, agony and pain, joy and wonders of the French Revolution.

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To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

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to live

[young or old


matters not

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fully live

your truth]

“Evelina" 1778

This year was ushered in by a grand and most important event! At the latter end of January, the literary world was favoured with the first publication of the ingenious, learned, and most profound Fanny Burney! I doubt not but this memorable affair will, in future times, mark the period whence chronologers will date the zenith of the polite arts in this island!
This admirable authoress has named her most elaborate performance, “Evelina; or, a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World.”

Perhaps this may seem a rather bold attempt and title, for a female whose knowledge of the world is very confined, and whose inclinations, as well as situation, incline her to a private and domestic life. All I can urge is, that I have only presumed to trace the accidents and adventures to which a “young woman” is liable; I have not pretended to show the world what it actually is, but what it appears to a girl of seventeen, and so far as that, surely any girl who is past seventeen may safely do? The motto of my excuse shall be taken from Pope’s “Temple of Fame “:
In every work regard the writer’s end None e’er can compass more than they intend.
About the middle of January, my cousin Edward brought me a parcel, under the name of Grafton. I had, some little time before, acquainted both my aunts of my frolic. They will, I am sure, be discreet; indeed, I exacted a vow from them Of strict secrecy; and they love me with such partial kindness, that I have a pleasure in reposing much confidence in them. I immediately conjectured what the parcel was, and found the following letter.

Fleet-street, Jan. 7, 1778.
I take the liberty to send you a novel, which a gentleman, your acquaintance, said you would hand to him. I beg with expedition, as ’tis time it should be published, and ’tis requisite he first revise it, or the reviewers may find a flaw.—I am, sir, your obedient servant, Thomas Lowndes.
To Mr. Grafton,
To be left at the Orange Coffee-house.

My aunts, now, would take no denial to my reading it to them, in order to mark errata; and to cut the matter short, I was compelled to communicate the affair to my cousin Edward, and then to obey their commands.
Of course, they were all prodigiously charmed with it. My cousin now became my agent, as deputy to Charles, with Mr. Lowndes, and when I had made the errata, carried it to him.
The book, however, was not published till the latter end of the month. A thousand little odd incidents happened about this time, but I am not in a humour to recollect them; however, they were none of them productive of a discovery either to my father or mother.
My little book, I am told, is now at all the circulating libraries. I have an exceeding odd sensation, when I consider that it is now in the power of any and every body to read what I so carefully hoarded even from my best friends, till this last month or two; and that a work which was so lately lodged, in all privacy, in my bureau, may now be seen by every butcher and baker, cobbler and tinker, throughout the three kingdoms, for the small tribute of threepence.
My aunt Anne and Miss Humphries being settled at this time at Brompton, I was going thither with Susan to tea, when Charlotte acquainted me that they were then employed in reading “Evelina” to the invalid, my cousin Richard. My sister had recommended it to Miss Humphries, and my aunts and Edward agreed that they would read it, but without mentioning anything of the author.

This intelligence gave me the utmost uneasiness—I foresaw a thousand dangers of a discovery—I dreaded the indiscreet warmth of all my confidants. In truth, I was quite sick with apprehension, and was too uncomfortable to go to Brompton, and Susan carried my excuses.
Upon her return, I was somewhat tranquillised, for she assured me that there was not the smallest suspicion of the author, and that they had concluded it to be the work of a man! and Miss Humphries, who read it aloud to Richard said several things in its commendation, and concluded them by exclaiming, “It’s a thousand pities the author should lie concealed!”
Finding myself more safe than I had apprehended, I ventured to go to Brompton next day. In my way up-stairs, I heard Miss Humphries in the midst of Mr. Villars’ letter of consolation upon Sir John Belmont’s rejection of his daughter; and just as I entered the room, she cried out, “How pretty that is!”
How much in luck would she have thought herself, had she known who heard her!

In a private confabulation which I had with my aunt Anne, she told me a thousand things that had been said in its praise, and assured me they had not for a moment doubted that the work was a man’s.
Comforted and made easy by these assurances, I longed for the diversion of hearing their observations, and therefore (though rather mal à propos) after I had been near two hours in the room, I told Miss Humphries that I was afraid I had interrupted her, and begged she would go on with what she was reading.
“Why,” cried she, taking up the book, “we have been prodigiously entertained;” and very readily she continued.
I must own I suffered great difficulty in refraining from laughing upon several occasions, and several times, when they praised what they read, I was upon the point of saying, “You are very good!” and so forth, and I could scarcely keep myself from making acknowledgments, and bowing my head involuntarily. However, I got off perfectly safe.

Monday.—Susan and I went to tea at Brompton. We met Miss Humphries coming to town. She told us she had just finished “Evelina,” and gave us to understand that she could not get away till she had done it. We heard afterwards from my aunt the most flattering praises; and Richard could talk Of nothing else. His encomiums gave me double pleasure, from being wholly unexpected: for I had prepared myself to hear that he held it extremely cheap.
It seems, to my utter amazement, Miss Humphries has guessed the author to be Anstey, who wrote the “Bath Guide”! How improbable and how extraordinary a supposition! But they have both of them done it so much honour that, but for Richard’s anger at Evelina’s bashfulness, I never Could believe they did not suspect me. I never went to Brompton without finding the third volume in Richard’s hands; he speaks of all the characters as if they were his acquaintance, and Praises different parts perpetually: both he and Miss Humphries seem to have it by heart, for it is always à propos to Whatever is the subject of discourse, and their whole conversation almost consists of quotations from it.
Chesington, June 18.—I came hither the first week in May. My recovery from that time to this, has been slow and sure; but as I could walk hardly three yards in a day at first, I found so much time to spare, that I could not resist treating myself with a little private sport with “Evelina,” a young lady whom I think I have some right to make free with. I had promised Hetty that she should read it to Mr. Crisp, at her own particular request; but I wrote my excuses, and introduced it myself.
I told him it was a book which Hetty had taken to Brompton, to divert my cousin Richard during his confinement. He was so indifferent about it, that I thought he would not give himself the trouble to read it, and often embarrassed me by unlucky questions, such as, “If it was reckoned clever?” and “What I thought of it?” and “Whether folks laughed at it?” I always evaded any direct or satisfactory answer; but he was so totally free from any idea of suspicion, that my perplexity escaped his notice.
At length, he desired me to begin reading to him. I dared not trust my voice with the little introductory ode, for as that is no romance, but the sincere effusion of my heart, I could as soon read aloud my own letters, written in my own name and character: I therefore skipped it, and have so kept the book out of his sight, that, to this day, he knows not it is there. Indeed, I have, since, heartily repented that I read any of the book to him, for I found it a much more awkward thing than I had expected: my voice quite faltered when I began it, which, however, I passed off for the effect of remaining weakness of lungs; and, in short, from an invincible embarrassment, which I could not for a page together repress, the book, by my reading, lost all manner of spirit.

Nevertheless, though he has by no means treated it with the praise so lavishly bestowed upon it from other quarters, I had the satisfaction to observe that he was even greedily eager to go on with it; so that I flatter myself the story caught his attention: and, indeed, allowing for my mauling reading, he gave it quite as much credit as I had any reason to expect. But, now that I was sensible of my error in being ‘my own mistress of the ceremonies, I determined to leave to Hetty the third volume, and therefore pretended I had not brought it. He was in a delightful ill humour about it, and I enjoyed his impatience far more than I should have done his forbearance. Hetty, therefore, when she comes, has undertaken to bring it.

Beloved Susy

I have had a visit from my beloved Susy, who, with my mother1 and little Sally,2 spent a day here, to my no small satisfaction; and yet I was put into an embarrassment, of which I even yet know not what will be the end, during their short stay: for Mr. Crisp, before my mother, very innocently said, “O! Susan, pray Susette, do send me the third volume of “Evelina”; Fanny brought me the two first on purpose, I believe, to tantalize me.”
I felt myself in a ferment; and Susan, too, looked foolish, and knew not what to answer. As I sat on the same sofa with him, I gave him a gentle shove, as a token, which he could not but understand, that he had said something wrong—though I believe he could not imagine what. Indeed, how should he?
My mother instantly darted forward, and repeated “Evelina,—what’s that, pray?”
Again I jolted Mr. Crisp, who, very much perplexed, said, in a boggling manner, that it was a novel—he supposed from the circulating library—only a “trumpery novel.”
Ah, my dear daddy! thought I, you would have devised some other sort of speech, if you knew all! But he was really, as he well might be, quite at a loss for what I wanted him to say.
“You have had it here, then, have you?” continued my mother.
“Yes—two of the volumes,” said Mr. Crisp.
“What, had you them from the library?” asked my mother.
“No, ma’am,” answered I, horribly frightened, “from my sister.”

The truth is, the books are Susan’s, who bought them the first day of publication; but I did not dare own that, as it would have been almost an acknowledgment of all the rest.
She asked some further questions, to which we made the same sort of answers, and then the matter dropped. Whether it rests upon her mind, or not, I cannot tell.
Two days after, I received from Charlotte a letter the most interesting that could be written to me, for it acquainted me that My dear father was, at length, reading my book, which has now been published six months. How this has come to pass, I am yet in the dark; but, it seems, that the very Moment almost that my mother and Susan and Sally left the house, he desired Charlotte to bring him the “Monthly Review;” she contrived to look over his shoulder as he opened it, which he did at the account of “Evelina; Or, a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World.” He read it with great earnestness, then put it down; and presently after snatched it up, and read it again. Doubtless, his paternal heart felt some agitation for his girl, in reading a review of her publication!3—how he got at the name, I cannot imagine.
Soon after he turned to Charlotte, and bidding her come close to him, he put his finger on the word “Evelina,” and saying, she knew what it was, bade her—write down the name, and send the man to Lowndes, as if for herself. This she did, and away went William.
He then told Charlotte, that he had never known the name of it till the day before. ’Tis strange how he got at it! He added that I had come off vastly well in this review, except for “the Captain.” Charlotte told him it had also been in “Kenrick’s review,”4 and he desired her to copy out for him what was said in both of them. He asked her, too, whether I had mentioned the work was by a lady?
When William returned, he took the books from him, and the moment he was gone, opened the first volume—and opened it upon the Ode! How great must have been his astonishment, at seeing himself so addressed!5 Indeed, Charlotte says he looked all amazement, read a line or two with great eagerness, and then, stopping short, he seemed quite affected, and the tears started into his eyes: dear soul! I am sure they did into mine, nay, I even sobbed, as I read the account.

I believe he was obliged to go out before he advanced much further. But the next day I had a letter from Susan, in which I heard that he had begun reading it with Lady Hales, and Miss Coussmaker, and that they liked it vastly!6 Lady Hales spoke of it very innocently, in the highest terms, declaring she was sure it was written by somebody in high life, And that it had all the marks of real genius! She added, “he must be a man of great abilities!”

How ridiculous!
but Miss Coussmaker was a little nearer the truth, for she gave it as her opinion, that the writer was a woman, for she said there was such a remarkable delicacy in the conversations and descriptions, notwithstanding the grossness and vulgarity of some of the characters, and that all oaths and indelicate words were so carefully, yet naturally avoided, that she could not but suspect the writer was a female; but, she added, notwithstanding the preface declared that the writer never would be known, she hoped, if the book circulated as she expected it would, he or she would be tempted to make a discovery.
Ha! ha! ha!-that’s my answer. They little think how well they are already acquainted with the writer they so much honour! Susan begged to have, then, my father’s real and final opinion;—and it is such that I almost blush to write, even for my own private reading; but yet is such as I can by no means suffer to pass unrecorded, as my whole journal contains nothing so grateful to me. I will copy his own words, according to Susan’s solemn declaration of their authenticity.
“Upon my word I think it the best novel I know, except Fielding’s, and, in some respects, better than his! I have been excessively pleased with it; there are, perhaps a few things that might have been otherwise. Mirvan’s trick upon Lovel is, I think, carried too far,—there is something even disgusting in it: however, this instance excepted, I protest I think it will scarce bear an improvement. The language is as good as anybody need write—I declare, as good as I would wish to read. Lord Orville’s character is just what it should be—perfectly benevolent and upright; and there is a boldness in it that struck me mightily, for he is a man not ashamed of being better than the rest of mankind. Evelina is in a new style too, so perfectly innocent and natural; and the scene between her and her father, Sir John Belmont, is a scene for a tragedy! I blubbered at it, and Lady Hales and Miss Coussmaker are not yet recovered from hearing it, it made them quite ill: indeed, it is wrought up in a most extraordinary manner.”
This account delighted me more than I—can express. How little did I dream of ever being so much honoured! But the approbation of all the world put together, would not bear any competition, in my estimation, with that of my beloved father.
July 25.—Mrs. Cholmondeley has been reading and praising “Evelina,” and my father Is quite delighted at her approbation, and told Susan that I could not have had a greater compliment than making two such women my friends as Mrs. Thrale7 and Mrs. Cholmondeley, for they were severe and knowing, and afraid of praising a tort et a travers, as their opinions are liable to be quoted.
Mrs. Thrale said she had only to complain it was too short. She recommended it to my mother to read!—how droll!—and she told her she would be much entertained with it, for there was a great deal of human life in it, and of the manners of the present times, and added that it was written “by somebody who knows the top and the bottom, the highest and the lowest of mankind.” She has even lent her set to my mother, who brought it home with her!
By the way, I have again resumed my correspondence with my friend Mr. Lowndes. When I sent the errata I desired to have a set directed to Mr. Grafton, at the Orange Coffee-house, for I had no copy but the one he sent me to make the errata from, which Was incomplete and unbound. However, I heard nothing at all from him; and therefore, after some consideration, and much demure I determined to make an attempt once more; for my father told me it was a shame that I, the author, should not have even one set of my own work; I ought, he said, to have had six: and indeed, he is often enraged that Lowndes gave no more for the MS.—but I was satisfied,—and that sufficed.8
I therefore wrote him word, that I supposed, in the hurry of his business, and variety of his concerns, he had forgotten my request, which I now repeated. I also added, that if ever the book went through another edition, I should be glad to have timely notice, as I had some corrections and alterations to propose.
I received an immediate answer, and intelligence from my sisters, that he had sent a set of “Evelina” most elegantly bound. The answer I will copy.

Fleet-street, July 2, 1778.

Sir,—I bound up a set for you the first day I had them, and hoped by some means to hear from you. The Great World send hereto buy “Evelina.” A polite lady said, Do, Mr. Lowndes, give me “Evelina,” I am treated as unfashionable for not having read it. I think the impression will be sold by Christmas. If meantime, or about that time, you favour me with any commands, I shall be proud to observe them. Your obliged servant, J. Lowndes.
To Mr. Grafton.



July 6]

Your letter, my dearest Susan, and the inclosed one from Lovirrides, have flung me into such a vehement perturbation, that I hardly can tell whether I wake or dream, and it is even with difficulty that I can fetch my breath. I have been strolling round the garden three or four times, in hopes of regaining a little quietness. However, I am not very angry at my inward disturbance, though it even exceeds what I experienced from the “Monthly Review.”

My dear Susy, what a wonderful affair has this been, and how extraordinary is this torrent of success, which sweeps down all before it! I often think it too much, nay, almost wish it would happen to some other person, who had more ambition, whose hopes were more sanguine, and who could less have borne to be buried in the oblivion which I even sought. But though it might have been better bestowed, it could by no one be more gratefully received.
Indeed I can’t help being grave upon the subject; for a success so really unexpected almost overpowers me. I wonder at myself that my spirits are not more elated. I believe half the flattery I have had would have made me madly merry; but all serves only to almost depress me by the fullness of heart it occasions. I have been serving Daddy Crisp a pretty trick this morning How he would rail if he found it all out! I had a fancy to dive pretty deeply into the real rank in which he held my book; so I told him that your last letter acquainted me who was reported to be the author of “Evelina.” I added that it was a profound secret, and he must by no means mention it to a human being. He bid me tell him directly, according to his usual style of command—but I insisted upon his guessing.
“I can’t guess,” said he——“may be it is you.”
Odd so! thought I, what do you mean by that?
“Pooh, nonsense!” cried I, “what should make you think of me?”
“Why, you look guilty,” answered he.

This was a horrible home stroke. Deuce take my looks! thought I—I shall owe them a grudge for this! however I found it was a mere random shot, and, without much difficulty, I laughed it to scorn.
And who do you think he guessed next?—My father!—there’s for you!—and several questions he asked me, whether he had lately been shut up much-and so on. And this was not all—for he afterwards guessed Mrs. Thrale and Mrs. Greville.9
There’s honour and glory for you!—I assure you I grinned prodigiously.
July 20.—I have had a letter from Susan. She informs me that my father, when he took the books back to Streatham, actually acquainted Mrs. Thrale with my secret. He took an opportunity, when they were alone together, of saying that Upon her recommendation, he had himself, as well as my mother; been reading “Evelina.”
“Well!” cried she, “and is it not a very pretty book? and a Very clever book? and a very comical book?
“Why,” answered he, “’tis well enough; but I have something to tell you about it.”
“Well? what?” cried she; “has Mrs. Cholmondeley found out the author?”
“No,” returned he, “not that I know of, but I believe I have, though but very lately.”
“Well, pray let’s hear!” cried she, eagerly, “I want to know him of all things.”

How my father must laugh at the him!—He then, however, undeceived her in regard to that particular, by telling her it was “our Fanny!” for she knows all about our family, as my father talks to her of his domestic concerns without any reserve.
A hundred handsome things, of course, followed; and she afterwards read some of the comic parts to Dr. Johnson, Mr. Thrale, and whoever came near her. How I should have quivered had I been there! but they tell me that Dr. Johnson laughed as heartily as my father himself did.
Nothing can be more ridiculous than the scenes in which I am almost perpetually engaged. Mr. Crisp, who is totally without suspicion, says, almost daily, something that has double the meaning he intends to convey; for, as I am often writing, either letters, Italian, or some of my own vagaries, he commonly calls me the scribe, and the authoress; asks when I shall print; says he will have all my works on royal paper, etc.; and the other day, Mrs. Gast, who frequently lectures me about studying too hard, and injuring my health, said—
“Pray, Miss Burney, now you write so much, when do you intend to publish?”
“Publish?” cried Mr. Crisp, “why, she has published; she brought out a book the other day that has made a great noise ‘Evelina’—and she bribed the reviewers to speak well of it, and set it a going.”

I was almost ready to run out of the room; but, though the hit was so palpable in regard to the book, what he said of the reviewers was so much the contrary that it checked my alarm: indeed, had he the most remote idea of the truth, he would be the last man to have hinted at it before a room full of people.
“Oh!” cried I, as composedly as I could, “that is but a small part of my authorship—I shall give you a list of my folios soon.”
They had all some jocularity upon the occasion, but I found I was perfectly safe; indeed my best security is, that my daddy concludes the author to be a man, and all the rest follow as he leads.
Mr. Burney,10 yesterday, after dinner, said—“Gentlemen and ladies, I’ll propose a toast”; then filling his glass, he drank “to The author of ‘Evelina’!”
Had they known the author was present, they could not have more civilly accepted the toast; it was a bold kind of drollery in Mr. Burney, for I was fain to drink my own health in a bumper, which he filled for me, laughing heartily himself.

August 3—I have an immensity to write. Susan has copied me a letter which Mrs. Thrale has written to my father, upon the occasion of returning my mother two novels by Madame Riccoboni.11 It is so honourable to me, and so sweet in her, that I must COPY it for my faithful journal.
Streatham, July 22.
Dear Sir,
I forgot to give you the novels in your carriage, which I now send. “Evelina” certainly excels them far enough, both in probability of story, elegance of sentiment, and general power over the mind, whether exerted in humour or pathos; add to this, that Riccoboni is a veteran author, and all she ever can be; but I cannot tell what might not be expected from “Evelina,” were she to try her genius at comedy.
So far had I written of my letter, when Mr. Johnson returned home, full of the praises of the book I had lent him, and protesting there Were passages in it which Might do honour to Richardson. We talk of it for ever, and he feels ardent after the d’enouement; hee “could not get rid of the rogue,” he said. I lent him the second volume, and he is now busy with the other.
You must be more a philosopher, and less a father, than I wish you, not to be pleased with this letter; and the giving such pleasure yields to nothing but receiving it. Long, my dear sir, may you live to enjoy the just praises of your children! and long may they live to deserve and delight such a parent! These are things that you would say in verse——but poetry implies fiction, and all this is naked truth.
My compliments to Mrs. Burney, and kindest wishes to all your flock, etc.

Her desire

How, sweet, how amiable in this charming woman is her desire of making my dear father satisfied with his scribbler’s attempt! I do, indeed, feel the most grateful love for her. But Dr. Johnson’s approbation!—It almost crazed me with agreeable surprise—it gave me such a flight of spirits that I danced a jig to Mr. Crisp, Without any preparation, music, or explanation;—to his no small amazement and diversion. I left him, however, to make his own comments upon my friskiness without affording him the smallest assistance.
Susan also writes me word, that when my father went last to Streatham, Dr. Johnson was not there, but Mrs. Thrale told him, that when he gave her the first volume of “Evelina,” which she had lent him, he said, “Why, madam, why, what a charming book you lent me!” and eagerly inquired for the rest. He was particularly pleased with the Snow-hill scenes, and said that Mr. Smith’s vulgar gentility was admirably portrayed; and when Sir Clement joins them, he said there was a shade of character prodigiously well marked. Well may it be said, that the greatest winds are ever the most candid to the inferior set! I think I should love Dr. Johnson for such lenity to a poor mere worm in literature, even if I were not myself the identical grub he has obliged.
I now come to last Saturday evening, when my beloved father came to Chesington, in full health, charming spirits, and all kindness, openness, and entertainment. In his way hither he had stopped at Streatham, and he settled with Mrs. Thrale that he would call on her again in his way to town, and carry me with him! and Mrs. Thrale said, “We all long to know her.”
I have been in a kind of twitter ever since, for there seems something very formidable in the idea of appearing as an authoress! I ever dreaded it, as it is a title which must raise more expectations than I have any chance of answering. Yet I am highly flattered by her invitation, and highly delighted in the prospect of being introduced to the Streatham society.
She sent me some very serious advice to write for the theatre, as, she says, I so naturally run into conversations, that “Evelina” absolutely and plainly points out that path to me; and she hinted how much she should be pleased to be “honoured with my confidence.”
My dear father communicated this intelligence, and a great deal more, with a pleasure that almost surpassed that with which I heard it, and he seems quite eager for me to make another attempt. He desired to take upon himself the communication to my daddy Crisp, and as it is now in so many hands that it is possible accident might discover it to him, I readily consented.

Sunday evening, as I was going into my father’s room, I heard him say, “The variety of characters—the variety of scenes—and the language—why, she has had very little education but what she has given herself,-less than any of the others!” and Mr. Crisp exclaimed, “Wonderful!—it’s wonderful!”
I now found what was going forward, and therefore deemed it most fitting to decamp. About an hour after, as I was passing through the hall, I met my daddy (Crisp). His face was all animation and archness; he doubled his fist at me, and would have stopped me, but I ran past him into the parlour.
Before supper, however, I again met him, and he would not suffer me to escape; he caught both my hands, and looked as if he would have looked me through, and then exclaimed, “Why you little hussy,—you young devil!—an’t you ashamed to look me in the face, you Evelina, you! Why, what a dance have you led me about it! Young friend, indeed! O you little hussy, what tricks have you served me!”
I was obliged to allow of his running on with these gentle appellations for I know not how long, ere he could sufficiently compose himself after his great surprise, to ask or hear any particulars—and then, he broke out every three instants with exclamations of astonishment at how I had found time to write so much unsuspected, and how and where I had picked up such various materials; and not a few times did he, with me, as he had with my father, exclaim, “wonderful!”
He has, since, made me read him all my letters upon this subject. He said Lowndes would have made an estate had he given me one thousand pounds for it, and that he ought not to have given me less. “You have nothing to do now,” continued he, “but to take your pen in hand, for your fame and reputation are made, and any bookseller will snap at what you write.”
I then told him that I could not but really and unaffectedly regret that the affair was spread to Mrs. Williams and her friends.12

“Pho,” said he, “if those who are proper judges think it right, that it should be known, why should you trouble yourself about it? You have not spread it, there can be no imputation of vanity fall to your share, and it cannot come out more to your honour than through such a channel as Mrs. Thrale.”



of all


[An introduction to Mrs. Thrale was practically an introduction into the most brilliant literary circle of the day. Literary lions of all sizes, from the monarch Johnson downwards, were wont to resort to Streatham, to eat Thrale’s dinners, and to enjoy the conversation of his lively wife. At Streatham Dr. Burney had been a welcome guest since 1776, when he commenced his intimacy with the family by giving music lessons to the eldest daughter, Hester Thrale (Johnson’s “Queenie”). The head of the house, Henry Thrale, the wealthy brewer and member of Parliament for Southwark, was a sensible, unassuming man, whom Johnson loved and esteemed, and who returned Johnson’s attachment with the sincerest regard. His acquirements, in Johnson’s opinion were of a far more solid character than those Of his wife, whose wit and vivacity, however, gave her more distinction in those brilliant assemblies to which Fanny is now, for the first time, to be introduced. Mrs. Thrale was in her thirty-eighth year at the date of Fanny’s first visit.—ED.]

—I have now to write an account of the most consequential day I have spent since my birth: namely, my visit.

Our journey to Streatham, was the least pleasant part of the day, for the roads were dreadfully dusty, and I was really in the fidgets from thinking what my reception might be, and from fearing they would expect a less awkward and backward kind of person than I was sure they would find.
Mr. Thrale’s house is white, and very pleasantly situated, in a fine paddock. Mrs. Thrale was strolling about, and came to us as we got out of the chaise.
“Ah,” cried she, “I hear Dr. Burney’s voice! and you have brought your daughter?—well, now you are good!”

She then received me, taking both my hands, and with mixed politeness and cordiality welcoming me to Streatham. She led me into the house, and addressed herself almost wholly for a few minutes to my father, as if to give me an assurance she did not mean to regard me as a show, or to distress or frighten me by drawing me out. Afterwards she took me upstairs, and showed me the house, and said she had very much wished to see me at Streatham, and should always think herself much obliged to Dr. Burney for his goodness in bringing me, which she looked upon as a very great favour.
But though we were some time together, and though she was so very civil, she did not hint at my book, and I love her much more than ever for her delicacy in avoiding a subject which she could not but see would have greatly embarrassed me.
When we returned to the music-room, we found Miss Thrale was with my father. Miss Thrale is a very fine girl, about fourteen years of age, but cold and reserved, though full of knowledge and intelligence.
Soon after, Mrs. Thrale took me to the library; she talked a little while upon common topics, and then, at last, she mentioned “Evelina.”
“Yesterday at supper,” said she, “we talked it all over, and discussed all your characters—but Dr. Johnson’s favourite is Mr. Smith. He declares the fine gentleman manqué was never better drawn; and he acted him all the evening, saying he was ‘all for the ladies!’ He repeated whole scenes by heart. I declare I was astonished at him. O, you can’t imagine how much he is pleased with the book; he ‘could not get rid of the rogue,’ he told me. But was it not droll,” said she, “that I should recommend it to Dr. Burney? and tease him, so innocently, to read it?”
I now prevailed upon Mrs. Thrale to let me amuse myself, and she went to dress. I then prowled about to choose some book and I saw upon the reading-table, “Evelina.”—I had just fixed upon a new translation of Cicero’s “Laelius,” when the library-door was opened, and Mr. Seward13 entered. I instantly put away my book, because I dreaded being thought studious and affected. He offered his service to find anything for me, and then, in the same breath, ran on to speak of the work with which I had myself ‘favoured the world!’

The exact words he began with I cannot recollect, for I was actually confounded by the attack; and his abrupt manner of letting me know he was au fait equally astonished and provoked me. How different from the delicacy of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale.
When we were summoned to dinner, Mrs. Thrale made my father and me sit on each side of her. I said that I hoped I did not take Dr. Johnson’s place;—for he had not yet appeared.
“No,” answered Mrs. Thrale, “he will sit by you, which I am sure will give him great pleasure.”
Soon after we were seated, this great man entered. I have so true a veneration for him, that the very sight of him inspires me with delight and reverence, notwithstanding the cruel infirmities to which he is subject; for he has almost perpetual convulsive movements, either of his hands, lips, feet, or knees, and sometimes of all together.
Mrs. Thrale introduced me to him, and he took his place. We had a noble dinner, and a most elegant dessert. Dr. Johnson, in the middle of dinner, asked Mrs. Thrale what were some little pies that were near him.
“Mutton,” answered she, “so I don’t ask you to eat any, because I know you despise it.”
“No, madam, no,” cried he, “I despise nothing that is so good of its sort; but I am too proud now to eat of it. Sitting by Miss Burney makes me very proud today!”

“Miss Burney,” said Mrs. Thrale, laughing, “you must take care of your heart if Dr. Johnson attacks it for I assure you he is not often successless.”
“What’s that you say, madam?” cried he; “are you making mischief between the young lady and me already?”
A little while after he drank Miss Thrale’s health and mine, and then added: “Tis a terrible thing that we cannot wish young ladies well, without wishing them to become old women!”
“But some people,” said Mr. Seward, “are old and young at the same time, for they wear so well that they never look old.”
“No, sir, no,” cried the doctor, laughing; “that never yet was; you might as well say they are at the same time tall and short. I remember an epitaph to that purpose, which is in-”

(I have quite forgot what,—and also the name it was made upon, but the rest I recollect exactly:)
“——lies buried here; So early wise, so lasting fair, That none, unless her years you told, Thought her a child, or thought her old.”
We left Streatham at about eight o’clock, and Mr. Seward, who handed me into the chaise, added his interest to the rest, that my father would not fail to bring me next week. In short I was loaded with civilities from them all. And my ride home was equally happy with the rest of the day, for my kind and most beloved father was so happy in my happiness, and congratulated me so sweetly, that he could, like myself, think on no other subject: and he told me that, after passing through such a house as that, I could have nothing to fear—meaning for my book, my honoured book.
Yet my honours stopped not here; for Hetty, who, with her sposo, was here to receive us, told me she had lately met Mrs. Reynolds,14 sister of Sir Joshua; and that she talked very much and very highly of a new novel called “Evelina”; though without a shadow of suspicion as to the scribbler; and not contented with her own praise, she said that Sir Joshua, who began it one day when he was too much engaged to go on with it, was so much caught, that he could think of nothing else, and was quite absent all the day, not knowing a word that was said to him: and, when he took it up again, found himself so much interested in it, that he sat up all night to finish it! Sir Joshua, it seems, vows he would give fifty pounds to know the author! I have also heard, by the means of Charles,15 that other persons have declared they will find him out!

Mr. Lowndes

[I write

I edit

you cut

My soul]

This intelligence determined me upon going myself to Mr. Lowndes, and discovering what sort of answers he made to such curious inquirers as I found were likely to address him. But as I did not dare trust myself to speak, for I felt that I should not be able to act my part well, I asked my mother to accompany me. We introduced ourselves by buying the book, for which I had a commission from Mrs. G——. Fortunately Mr. Lowndes himself was in the shop; as we found by his air of consequence and authority, as well as his age; for I never saw him before.

The moment he had given my mother the book, she asked him if he could tell her who wrote it.
“No,” he answered; “I don’t know myself.”
“Pho, pho,” said she, “you mayn’t choose to tell, but you must know.”
“I don’t indeed, ma’am,” answered he “I have no honour in keeping the secret, for I have never been trusted. All I know of the matter is, that it is a gentleman of the other end of the town.”
MY mother made a thousand other inquiries, to which his answers were to the following effect: that for a great while, he did not know if it was a man or a woman; but now, he knew that much, and that he was a master of his subject, and well versed in the manners of the times.

“For some time,” continued he, “I thought it had been Horace Walpole’s; for he once published a book in this snug manner; but I don’t think it is now. I have often people come to inquire of me who it is; but I suppose he will come Out soon, and then when the rest of the world knows it, I shall. Servants often come for it from the other end of the town, and I have asked them divers questions myself, to see if I could get at the author but I never got any satisfaction.”
Just before we came away, upon my mother’s still further pressing him, he said, with a most important face,
“Why, to tell you the truth, madam, I have been informed that it is a piece of real secret history; and, in that case, it will never be known.”
This was too much for me——I grinned irresistibly, and was obliged to look out at the shop-door till we came away.
How many ridiculous things have I heard upon this subject! I hope that next, some particular family will be fixed upon, to whom this secret history must belong! However, I am delighted to find myself so safe.

Conversations with Mrs. Thrale and Dr. Johnson.
Streatham, Sunday, Aug. 23—I know not how to express the fullness of my contentment at this sweet place. All my best expectations are exceeded, and you know they were not very moderate. If, when my dear father comes, Susan and Mr. Crisp were to come too, I believe it would require at least a day’s pondering to enable me to form another wish.
Our journey was charming. The kind Mrs. Thrale would give courage to the most timid. She did not ask me questions, or catechise me upon what I knew, or use any means to draw me out, but made it her business to draw herself out, that is, to start subjects, to support them herself, and to take all the weight of the conversation, as if it behoved her to find me entertainment. But I am so much in love with her, that I shall be obliged to run away from the subject, or shall write of nothing else.
When we arrived here, Mrs. Thrale showed me my room, which is an exceedingly pleasant one, and then conducted me to the library, there to divert myself while she dressed.
Miss Thrale soon joined me: and I begin to like her. Mr. Thrale was neither well nor in spirits all day. Indeed, he seems not to be a happy man, though he has every means of happiness in his power. But I think I have rarely seen a very rich man with a light heart and light spirits.
Dr. Johnson was in the utmost good humour.
There was no other company at the house all day.
After dinner, I had a delightful stroll with Mrs. Thrale, and she gave me a list of all her “good neighbours” in the town of Streatham, and said she was determined to take me to see Mr. T—, the clergyman, who was a character I could not but be diverted with, for he had so furious and so absurd a rage for building, that in his garden he had as many temples, and summer-houses, and statues as in the gardens of Stow, though he had so little room for them that they all seemed tumbling one upon another.
In short, she was all unaffected drollery and sweet good humour. At tea we all met again, and Dr. Johnson was gaily sociable. He gave a very droll account of the children of Mr. Langton.16 “Who,” he said, “might be very good children if they were let alone; but the father is never easy when he is not making them do something which they cannot do; they must repeat a fable, or a speech, or the Hebrew alphabet; and they might as well count twenty, for what they know of the matter: however, the father says half, for he prompts every other word. But he could not have chosen a man who would have been less entertained by such means.”

“I believe not!” cried Mrs. Thrale: “nothing is more ridiculous than parents cramming their children’s nonsense down other people’s throats. I keep mine as much out of the way as I can.”
“Yours, madam,” answered he, “are in nobody’s way—no children can be better managed or less troublesome; but your fault is, a too great perverseness in not allowing anybody to give them anything. Why should they not have a cherry, or a gooseberry, as well as bigger children?”
“Because they are sure to return such gifts by wiping their hands upon the giver’s gown or coat, and nothing makes children more offensive. People only make the offer to please the parents, and they wish the poor children at Jericho when they accept it.”
“But, madam, it is a great deal more offensive to refuse them. Let those who make the offer look to their own gowns and coats, for when you interfere, they only wish you at Jericho.”
“It is difficult,” said Mrs. Thrale, “to please everybody.” She then asked whether—Mr. Langton took any better care of his affairs than formerly?
“No, madam,” cried the doctor, “and never will; he complains of the ill effects of habit, and rests contentedly upon a confessed indolence. He told his father himself that he had ‘no turn to economy;’ but a thief might as well plead that he had ‘no turn to honesty.’”
Was not that excellent? At night, Mrs. Thrale asked if I would have anything? I answered, “No,” but Dr. Johnson said,
“Yes: she is used, madam, to suppers; she would like an egg or two, and a few slices of ham, or a rasher—a rasher, I believe, would please her better.”
How ridiculous! However, nothing could persuade Mrs. Thrale not to have the cloth laid: and Dr. Johnson was so facetious, that he challenged Mr. Thrale to get drunk!
“I wish,” said he, “my master17 would say to me, Johnson, if you will oblige me, you will call for a bottle of Toulon, and then we will set to it, glass for glass, till it is done; and after that, I will say, Thrale, if you will oblige me, you will call for another bottle of Toulon, and then we will set to it, glass for glass, till that is done: and by the time we should have drunk the two bottles, we should be so happy, and such good friends, that we should fly into each other’s arms, and both together call for the third!”

Now for this morning’s breakfast.
Dr. Johnson, as usual, came last into the library; he was in high spirits, and full of mirth and sport. I had the honour of sitting next to him: and now, all at once, he flung aside his reserve, thinking, perhaps, that it was time I should fling aside mine.
Mrs. Thrale told him that she intended taking me to Mr. T—‘s.
“So you ought, madam,” cried he; “’tis your business to be Cicerone to her.”
Then suddenly he snatched my hand, and kissing it, “Ah!” he added, “they will little think what a tartar you carry to them!”
“No, that they won’t!” cried Mrs. Thrale; “Miss Burney looks so meek and so quiet, nobody would suspect what a comical girl she is——but I believe she has a great deal of malice at heart.”
“Oh, she’s a toad!” cried the doctor, laughing—“a sly young rogue! with her Smiths and her Branghtons!”
“Why, Dr. Johnson,” said Mrs. Thrale, “I hope you are well this morning! if one may judge by your spirits and good humour, the fever you threatened us with is gone off.”
He had complained that he was going to be ill last night.

“Why no, madam, no,” answered he, “I am not yet well. I could not sleep at all; there I lay, restless and uneasy, and thinking all the time of Miss Burney. Perhaps I have offended her, thought I; perhaps she is angry—I have seen her but once and I talked to her of a rasher!—Were you angry?”
I think I need not tell you my answer.
“I have been endeavouring to find some excuse,” continued he, “and, as I could not sleep, I got up, and looked for some authority for the word; and I find, madam, it is used by Dryden: in one of his prologues, he says—‘And snatch a homely rasher from the coals.’ So you must not mind me, madam; I say strange things, but I mean no harm.”

I was almost afraid he thought I was really idiot enough to have taken him seriously; but, a few minutes after, he put his hand on my arm, and shaking his head, exclaimed, “Oh, you are a sly little rogue!—what a Holborn beau have you drawn!”
“Ay, Miss Burney,” said Mrs. Thrale, “the Holborn beau is Dr Johnson’s favourite; and we have all your characters by heart, from Mr. Smith up to Lady Louisa.”
“Oh, Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith is the man!” cried he, laughing violently. “Harry Fielding never drew so good a character!—such a fine varnish of low politeness!—such a struggle to appear a gentleman! Madam, there is no character better drawn anywhere—in any book or by any author.”

I almost poked myself under the table. Never did I feel so delicious a confusion since I was born! But he added a great deal more, only I cannot recollect his exact words, and I do not choose to give him mine.
About noon when I went into the library, book hunting, Mrs. Thrale came to me. We had a very nice confab about various books, and exchanged opinions and imitations of Baretti; she told me many excellent tales of him, and I, in return, related my stories.
She gave me a long and very entertaining account of Dr. Goldsmith, who was intimately known here; but in speaking of “The Good-natured Man,” when I extolled my favourite Croaker, I found that admirable character was a downright theft from Dr. Johnson. Look at “The Rambler,” and you will find Suspirius is the man, and that not merely the idea, but the particulars of the character, are all stolen thence!18
While we were yet reading this “Rambler,” Dr. Johnson came in: we told him what we were about.
“Ah, madam,” cried he, “Goldsmith was not scrupulous but he would have been a great man had he known the real value of his own internal resources.”
“Miss Burney,” said Mrs. Thrale, “is fond of his ‘Vicar of Wakefield.’ and so am I;—don’t you like it, sir?”
“No, madam, it is very faulty; there is nothing of real life in it, and very little of nature. It is a mere fanciful performance.”
He then seated himself upon a sofa, and calling to me, said “Come,—Evelina,—come and sit by me.”

through the wild and the snow

I obeyed; and he took me almost in his arms,—that is, one of his arms, for one would go three times, at least, round me,—and, half laughing, half serious, he charged me to “be a good girl!”
“But, my dear,” continued he with a very droll look, “what makes you so fond of the Scotch? I don’t like you for that;—I hate these Scotch, and so must you. I wish Branghton had sent the dog to jail! That Scotch dog Macartney.”
“Why, sir,” said Mrs. Thrale, “don’t you remember he says he would, but that he should get nothing by it?”
“Why, ay, true,” cried the doctor, see-sawing very solemnly, “that, indeed, is some palliation for his forbearance. But I must not have you so fond of the Scotch, my little Burney; make your hero what you will but a Scotchman. Besides, you write Scotch—you say ‘the one’—my dear, that’s not English, never use that phrase again.”
“Perhaps,” said Mrs. Thrale, “it may be used in Macartney’s letter, and then it will be a propriety.”
“No, madam, no!” cried he; “you can’t make a beauty of it—it is in the third volume; put it in Macartney’s letter, and welcome—that, or any thing that is nonsense.”
“Why, surely,” cried I, “the poor man is used ill enough by the Branghtons.”
“But Branghton,” said he, “only hates him because of his wretchedness—poor fellow!—But, my dear love, how should he ever have eaten a good dinner before he came to England? And then he laughed violently at young Branghton’s idea.
“Well,” said Mrs. Thrale, “I always liked Macartney; he is a very pretty character, and I took to him, as the folks say.”

“Why, madam,” answered he, “I like Macartney myself. Yes, poor fellow, I liked the man, but I love not the nation.” And then he proceeded, in a dry manner, to make at once sarcastic reflections on the Scotch, and flattering speeches to me.19

The dressing down




and clothes]


—Dr. Johnson was again all himself; and so civil to me!—even admiring how I dressed myself! Indeed, it is well I have so much of his favour—for it seems he always speaks his mind concerning the dress of ladies, and all ladies who are here obey his injunctions implicitly, and alter whatever he disapproves. This is a part of his character that much surprises me: but notwithstanding he is sometimes so absent, and always so near sighted, he scrutinizes into every part of almost everybody’s appearance. They tell me of a Miss Brown, who often visits here, and who has a slovenly way of dressing. “And when she comes down in a morning,” says Mrs. Thrale, “her hair will be all loose, and her cap half off; and then Dr. Johnson, who sees something is wrong, and does not know where the fault is, concludes it is in the cap, and says, “My dear, what do you wear such a vile cap for?” “I’ll change it, Sir!” cries the poor girl, “if you don’t like it.” “Ay, do,” he says; and away runs poor Miss Brown; but when she gets on another, it’s the same thing, for the cap has nothing to do with the fault. And then she wonders Dr. Johnson should not like the cap, for she thinks it very pretty. And so on with her gown, which he also makes her change; but if the poor girl were to change through all her wardrobe, unless she could put her things on better, he would still find fault.”
When Dr. Johnson was gone, she told me of my mother’s20 being obliged to change her dress.

“Now,” said she “Mrs. Burney had on a very pretty linen jacket and coat, and was going to church; but Dr. Johnson, who, I suppose, did not like her in a jacket, saw something was the matter, and so found fault with the linen: and he looked and peered, and then said, ‘Why, madam, this won’t do! you must not go to church so!’ So away went poor Mrs. Burney, and changed her gown! And when she had done so, he did not like it, but he did not know why, so he told her she should not wear a black hat and cloak in summer! How he did bother poor Mrs. Burney! and himself too, for if the things had been put on to his mind, he would have taken no notice of them.”
“Why,” said Mr. Thrale, very drily, “I don’t think Mrs. Burney a very good dresser.”
“Last time she came,” said Mrs. Thrale, “she was in a white cloak, and she told Dr. Johnson she had got her old white cloak scoured on purpose to oblige him! ‘Scoured!’ says he; ‘ay, have you, madam?’—so he see-sawed, for he could not for shame find fault, but he did not seem to like the scouring.”
And now let me try to recollect an account he gave of certain celebrated ladies of his acquaintance: an account in which, had you heard it from himself, would have made you die with laughing, his manner is so peculiar, and enforces his humour so originally. It was begun by Mrs. Thrale’s apologising to him for troubling him with some question she thought trifling—O, I remember! We had been talking of colours, and of the fantastic names given to them, and why the palest lilac should b called a soupir etouffe; and when Dr. Johnson came in, she applied to him.

“Why, madam,” said he, with wonderful readiness, “it is called a stifled sigh because it is checked in its progress, and only half a colour.”
I could not help expressing my amazement at his universal readiness upon all subjects, and Mrs. Thrale said to him, “Sir, Miss Burney wonders at your patience with such stuff, but I tell her you are used to me, for I believe I torment you with more foolish questions than anybody else dares do.”
“No, madam,” said he; “you don’t torment me;—you teaze me, indeed, sometimes.”
“Ay, so I do, Dr. Johnson, and I wonder you bear with my nonsense.”
“No, madam, you never talk nonsense; you have as much sense and more wit, than any woman I know.”
“Oh,” cried Mrs. Thrale, blushing, “it is my turn to go under the table this morning, Miss Burney!”
“And yet,” continued the doctor, with the most comical look, “I have known all the wits, from Mrs. Montagu down to Bet Flint.”
“Bet Flint cried Mrs. Thrale—pray, who is she?”
“Such a fine character, madam! She was habitually a slut and a drunkard, and occasionally a thief and a harlot.”
“And, for heaven’s sake, how came you to know her?”
“Why, madam, she figured in the literary world, too! Bet Flint wrote her own life, and called herself Cassandra, and it was in verse;—it began:
‘When Nature first ordained my birth, A diminutive I was born on earth: And then I came from a dark abode, Into a gay and gaudy world.’21

So Bet brought me her verses to correct; but I gave her half-a-crown, and she liked it as well. Bet had a fine spirit;—she advertised for a husband, but she had no success, for she told me no man aspired to her! Then she hired very handsome lodgings and a footboy; and she got a harpsichord, but Bet could not play; however, she put herself in fine attitudes, and drummed.”
Then he gave an account of another of these geniuses, who called herself by some fine name, I have forgotten what.
“She had not quite the same stock of virtue,” continued he, “nor the same stock of honesty as Bet Flint; but I suppose she envied her accomplishments, for she was so little moved by the power of harmony, that while Bet Flint thought she was drumming very divinely, the other jade had her indicted for a nuisance!”
“And pray what became of her, sir?
“Why, madam, she stole a quilt from the man of the house, and he had her taken up: but Bet Flint had a spirit not to be subdued; so when she found herself obliged to go to jail, she ordered a sedan chair, and bid her footboy walk before her. However, the boy proved refractory, for he was ashamed, though his mistress was not.”
“And did she ever get out of jail again, sir?”
“Yes, madam; when she came to her trial the judge acquitted her. ‘So now,’ she said to me, ‘the quilt is MY own, and now I’ll make a petticoat of it.’ Oh, I loved Bet Flint!”22

Oh, how we all laughed! Then he gave an account of another lady, who called herself Laurinda, and who also wrote verses and stole furniture; but he had not the same affection for her, he said, though she too “was a lady who had high notions of honour.”
Then followed the history of another, who called herself Hortensia, and who walked up and down the park repeating a book of Virgil. “But,” said he, “though I know her story, I never had the good fortune to see her.”
After this he gave us an account of the famous Mrs. Pinkethman: “And she,” he said, “told me she owed all her misfortunes to her wit; for she was so unhappy as to marry a man who thought himself also a wit, though I believe she gave him not implicit credit for it, but it occasioned much contradiction and ill-will.”
“Bless me, sir,” cried Mrs. Thrale, “how can all these vagabonds contrive to get at you, of all people?”
“O the dear creatures!” cried he, laughing heartily, “I can’t but be glad to see them.”
“Why, I wonder, sir, you never went to see Mrs. Rudd,23 among the rest.”
“Why, madam, I believe I should,” said he, “if it was not for the newspapers; but I am prevented many frolics that I should like very well, since I am become such a theme for the papers.”

Now, would you ever have imagined this? Bet Flint, it seems, took Kitty Fisher24 to see him, but to his no little regret he was not at home. “And Mrs. Williams,”25 he added, “did not love Bet Flint, but Bet Flint made herself very easy about that.”

They speak

[about me

my writing

and soul

Mad mens tongue]

When we were dressed for dinner, and went into the parlour, we had the agreeable surprise of seeing Mr. Seward. There was also Mr. Lort,26 who is reckoned one of the most learned men alive, and is also a collector of curiosities, alike in literature and natural history. His manners are somewhat blunt and odd, and he is altogether out of the common road, without having chosen a better path.
The day was passed most agreeably. In the evening we had, as usual, a literary conversation. Mr. Lort produced several curious MSS. of the famous Bristol Chatterton; among others, his will, and divers verses written against Dr. Johnson, as a placeman and pensioner; all of which he read aloud, with a steady voice and unmoved countenance.
I was astonished at him; Mrs. Thrale not much pleased; Mr. Thrale silent and attentive; and Mr. Seward was slily laughing. Dr. Johnson himself listened profoundly and laughed openly. Indeed, I believe he wishes his abusers no other thing than a good dinner, like Pope.27

Just as we had got our biscuits and toast-and-water, which make the Streatham supper, and which, indeed, is all there is any chance of eating after our late and great dinners, Mr. Lort suddenly said,
“Pray, ma’am, have you heard anything of a novel that runs about a good deal, called ‘Evelina’?”
What a ferment did this question, before such a set, put me in! I did not know whether he spoke to me, or Mrs. Thrale, and Mrs. Thrale was in the same doubt, and as she owned, felt herself in a little palpitation for me, not knowing what might come next, Between us both, therefore, he had no answer.
“It has been recommended to me,” continued he; “but I have no great desire to see it, because it has such a foolish name. Yet I have heard a great deal of it, too.”

He then repeated “Evelina”—in a very languishing and ridiculous tone.
My heart beat so quick against my stays that I almost panted with extreme agitation, from the dread either of hearing some horrible criticism, or of being betrayed: and I munched my biscuit as if I had not eaten for a fortnight.
I believe the whole party were in some little consternation Dr. Johnson began see-sawing; Mr. Thrale awoke; Mr. E—— who I fear has picked up some notion of the affair from being so much in the house, grinned amazingly; and Mr. Seward, biting his nails and flinging himself back in his chair, I am sure had wickedness enough to enjoy the whole scene.
Mrs. Thrale was really a little fluttered, but without looking at me, said, “And pray what, Mr. Lort, what have you heard of it?”
“Why they say,” answered he, “that it’s an account of a young lady’s first entrance into company, and of the scrapes she gets into; and they say there’s a great deal of character in it, but I have not cared to look in it, because the name is so foolish—‘Evelina’!”
“Why foolish, sir?” cried Dr. Johnson. “Where’s the folly of it?”
“Why, I won’t say much for the name myself,” said Mrs. Thrale, “to those who don’t know the reason of it, which I found out, but which nobody else seems to know.” She then explained the name from Evelyn, according to my own meaning.
“Well,” said Dr. Johnson, “if that was the reason, it is a very good one.”
“Why, have you had the book here?” cried Mr. Lort, staring.
“Ay, indeed, have we,” said Mrs. Thrale; “I read it when I was last confined, and I laughed over it, and I cried over it!”
“O ho!” said Mr. Lort, “this is another thing! If you have had it here, I will certainly read it.”
“Had it? ay,” returned she; “and Dr. Johnson, who would not look at it at first, was so caught by it when I put it in the coach with him, that he has sung its praises ever since,—and he says Richardson would have been proud to have written it.”
“O ho! this is a good hearing,” cried Mr. Lort; “if Dr. Johnson can read it, I shall get it with all speed.”
“You need not go far for it,” said Mrs. Thrale, “for it’s now upon yonder table.”

I could sit still no longer; there was something so awkward, so uncommon, so strange in my then situation, that I wished myself a hundred miles off, and indeed, I had almost choked myself with the biscuit, for I could not for my life swallow it: and so I got up, and, as Mr. Lort went to the table to look for “Evelina,” I left the room, and was forced to call for water to wash down the biscuit, which literally stuck in my throat.
I heartily wished Mr. Lort at Jerusalem. I did not much like going back, but the moment I recovered breath, I resolved not to make bad worse by staying longer away: but at the door of the room, I met Mrs. Thrale, who, asking me if I would have some water, took me into a back room, and burst into a hearty fit of laughter.
“This is very good sport,” cried she; “the man is as innocent about the matter as a child, and we shall hear what he says about it tomorrow morning at breakfast. I made a sign to Dr. Johnson and Seward not to tell him.”

She found I was not in a humour to think it such good sport as she did, she grew more serious, and taking my hand kindly said, “May you never, Miss Burney, know any other pain than that of hearing yourself praised! and I am sure that you must often feel.”
When I told her how much I dreaded being discovered, and begged her not to betray me any further, she again began laughing, and openly declared she should not consult me about the matter. But she told me that, as soon as I had left the room, when Mr. Lort took up “Evelina,” he exclaimed contemptuously “Why, it’s printed for Lowndes!” and that Dr. Johnson then told him there were things and characters in it more than worthy of Fielding. “Oh ho!” cried Mr. Lort; “what, is it better than Fielding?” “Harry Fielding,” answered Dr. Johnson, “knew nothing but the shell of life.”
“So you, ma’am,” added the flattering Mrs. Thrale, “have found the kernel.”
Are they all mad? or do they only want to make me so

surreal spring, and life so wild and beautiful



my ways


they dream]

Streatham, Sept.

—Our Monday’s intended great party was very small, for people are so dispersed at present in various quarters: we had, therefore, only Sir Joshua Reynolds, two Miss Palmers, Dr. Calvert, Mr. Rose Fuller, and Lady Ladd.28 Dr. Johnson did not return.
Sir Joshua I am much pleased with: I like his countenance, and I like his manners; the former I think expressive, and sensible; the latter gentle, unassuming, and engaging.
The dinner, in quantity as well as quality, would have sufficed for forty people. Sir Joshua said, when the dessert appeared, “Now if all the company should take a fancy to the same dish, there would be sufficient for all the company from any one.”

After dinner, as usual, we strolled out: I ran first into the hall for my cloak, and Mrs. Thrale, running after me, said in a low voice,
“If you are taxed with ‘Evelina,’ don’t own it; I intend to say it is mine, for sport’s sake.”
You may think how much I was surprised, and how readily I agreed not to own it; but I could ask no questions, for the two Miss Palmers followed close, saying,
“Now pray, ma’am, tell us who it is?”
“No, no,” cried Mrs. Thrale, “who it is, you must find out. I have told you that you dined with the author; but the rest you must make out as you can.”

Miss Thrale began tittering violently, but I entreated her not to betray me; and, as soon as I could, I got Mrs. Thrale to tell me what all this meant. She then acquainted me, that, when she first came into the parlour, she found them all busy in talking of “Evelina,” and heard that Sir Joshua had declared he would give fifty pounds to know the author!
“Well,” said Mrs. Thrale, “thus much, then, I will tell you; the author will dine with you today.”
They were then all distracted to know the party.
“Why,” said she, “we shall have Dr. Calvert, Lady Ladd, Rose Fuller, and Miss Burney.”
“Miss Burney?” quoth they, “which Miss Burney?”
“Why, the eldest, Miss Fanny Burney; and so out of this list you must make out the author.”

I shook my head at her, but begged her, at least, to go no further.
“No, no,” cried she, laughing, “leave me alone; the fun will be to make them think it me.”
However, as I learnt at night, when they were gone, Sir Joshua was so very importunate with Mr. Thrale, and attacked him with such eagerness, that he made him confess who it was, as soon as the ladies retired.
Well, to return to our walk. The Miss Palmers grew more and more urgent.
“Did we indeed,” said the eldest, “dine with the author of ‘Evelina?’”
“Yes, in good truth did you.”
“Why then, ma’am, it was yourself.”
“I shan’t tell you whether it was or not; but were there not other people at dinner besides me? What think you of Dr. Calvert?”
“Dr. Calvert? no! no; I am sure it was not he: besides, they say it was certainly written by a woman.”
“By a woman? nay, then, is not here Lady Ladd, and Miss Burney, and Hester?”29
“Lady Ladd I am sure it was not, nor could it be Miss Thrale’s. O maam! I begin to think it was really yours! Now, was it not, Mrs. Thrale?”

Mrs. Thrale only laughed.
“A lady of our acquaintance,” said Miss Palmer, “Mrs. Cholmondeley, went herself to the printer, but he would not tell.”
“Would he not?” cried Mrs. Thrale, “why, then, he’s an honest man.”
“Oh, is he so?—nay, then, it is certainly Mrs. Thrale’s.”
“Well, well, I told you before I should not deny it.”
“Miss Burney,” said she, “pray do you deny it?” in a voice that seemed to say,—I must ask round, though rather from civility than suspicion.
“Me?” cried I, “well no: if nobody else will deny it, why should I? It does not seem the fashion to deny it.”
“No, in truth,” cried she; “I believe nobody would think of denying it that could claim it, for it is the sweetest book in the world. My uncle could not go to bed till he had finished it, and he says he is sure he shall make love to the author, if ever he meets with her, and it should really be a woman!”
“Dear madam,” cried Miss Offy, “I am sure it was you but why will you not own it at once?”
“I shall neither own nor deny anything about it.”
“A gentleman whom we know very well,” said Miss Palmer, “when he could learn nothing at the printer’s, took the trouble to go all about Snow Hill, to see if he could find any silversmith’s.”
“Well, he was a cunning creature!” said Mrs. Thrale; “but Dr. Johnson’s favourite is Mr. Smith.”
“So he is of everybody,” answered she: “he and all that family; everybody says such a family never was drawn before. But Mrs. Cholmondeley’s favourite is Madame Duval; she acts her from morning to night, and ma-foi’s everybody she sees. But though we all want so much to know the author, both Mrs. Cholmondeley and my uncle himself say they should be frightened to death to be in her company, because she must be such a very nice observer, that there would be no escaping her with safety.”

What strange ideas are taken from mere book-reading! But what follows gave me the highest delight I can feel.
“Mr. Burke,”30 she continued, “doats on it: he began it one morning at seven o’clock, and could not leave it a moment; he sat up all night reading it. He says he has not seen such a book he can’t tell when.”
Mrs. Thrale gave me involuntarily a look of congratulation, and could not forbear exclaiming, “How glad she was Mr. Burke approved it!” This served to confirm the Palmers in their mistake, and they now, without further questioning, quietly and unaffectedly concluded the book to be really Mrs. Thrale’s and Miss Palmer said,—“Indeed, ma’am, you ought to write a novel every year: nobody can write like you!”
I was both delighted and diverted at this mistake, and they grew so easy and so satisfied under it, that the conversation dropped, and off we went to the harpsichord.
Not long after, the party broke up, and they took leave. I had no conversation with Sir Joshua all day; but I found myself more an object of attention to him than I wished; and he several times spoke to me, though he did not make love!
When they rose to take leave, Miss Palmer, with the air of asking the greatest of favours, hoped to see me when I returned to town; and Sir Joshua, approaching me with the most profound respect, inquired how long I should remain at Streatham? A week, I believed: and then he hoped, when I left it, they should have the honour of seeing me in Leicester Square.31
In short, the joke is, the people speak as if they were afraid of me, instead of my being afraid of them. It seems, when they got to the door, Miss Palmer said to Mrs. Thrale,
“Ma’am, so it’s Miss Burney after all!”
“Ay, sure,” answered she, “who should it be?”
“Ah! why did not you tell us sooner?” said Offy, “that we might have had a little talk about it?”
Here, therefore, end all my hopes of secrecy!

The secrecy

[my hope

for privacy


to death]

At tea-time the subject turned upon the domestic economy of Dr. Johnson’s household. Mrs. Thrale has often acquainted me that his house is quite filled and overrun with all sorts of strange creatures, whom he admits for mere charity, and because nobody else will admit them,—for his charity is unbounded; or, rather, bounded only by his circumstances.
The account he gave of the adventures and absurdities of the set, was highly diverting, but too diffused for writing—though one or two speeches I must give. I think I shall occasionally theatricalise my dialogues.
Mrs. Thrale—Pray, Sir, how does Mrs. Williams like all this tribe?
Johnson—Madam, she does not like them at all: but their fondness for her is not greater. She and De Mullin32 quarrel incessantly; but as they can both be occasionally of service to each other, and as neither of them have a place to go to, their animosity does not force them to separate.
Mrs. T.—And pray, sir, what is Mr. Macbean?33
Dr. J.—Madam, he is a Scotchman: he is a man of great learning, and for his learning I respect him, and I wish to serve him. He knows many languages, and knows them well; but he knows nothing of life. I advised him to write a geographical dictionary; but I have lost all hopes of his doing anything properly, since I found he gave as much labour to Capua as to Rome.
Mr. T.—And pray who is clerk of your kitchen, sir?
Dr. J.—Why, sir, I am afraid there is none; a general anarchy prevails in my kitchen, as I am told by Mr. Levat,34 who says it is not now what it used to be!
Mrs. T.—Mr. Levat, I suppose, sir, has the office of keeping the hospital in health? for he is an apothecary.
Dr. J.—Levat, madam, is a brutal fellow, but I have a good regard for him; for his brutality is in his manners, not his mind.
Mr. T.—But how do you get your dinners drest?

Dr. J.—Why De Mullin has the chief management of the kitchen; but our roasting is not magnificent, for we have no jack.
Mr. T.—No jack? Why, how do they manage without?
Dr. J.—Small joints, I believe, they manage with a string, larger are done at the tavern. I have some thoughts (with profound gravity) of buying a jack, because I think a jack is some credit to a house.
Mr. T.—Well, but you’ll have a spit, too?
Dr. J.—No, sir, no; that would be superfluous; for we shall never use it; and if a jack is seen, a spit will be presumed!
Mrs. T.—But pray, sir, who is the Poll you talk of? She that you used to abet in her quarrels with Mrs. Williams, and call out, “At her again, Poll! Never flinch, Poll.”35
Dr. J.—Why, I took to Poll very well at first, but she won’t do upon a nearer examination.
Mrs. T.—How came she among you, sir?

Dr. J.—Why I don’t rightly remember, but we could spare her very well from us. Poll is a stupid slut; I had some hopes of her at first; but when I talked to her tightly and closely, I could make nothing of her; she was wiggle waggle, and I could never persuade her to be categorical, I wish Miss Burney would come among us; if she would only give us a week, we should furnish her with ample materials for a new scene in her next work.

in each heart beat there is silence and fiery fire

The secrecy

[my hope

for privacy


to death]

[“The great Mrs. Montagu” deserves a somewhat longer notice than can be conveniently compressed within the limits of a footnote. She was as indisputably, in public estimation, the leading literary lady of the time, as Johnson was the leading man of letters. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Robinson. She was born at York in the year 1720, and married, in 1742, Edward Montagu, grandson of the first Earl of Sandwich. Her husband’s death, in 1775, left her in the possession of a handsome fortune. Mrs. Montagu’s literary celebrity was by no means dearly bought, for it rested, almost exclusively, on her “Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear,” published by Dodsley in 1769. Indeed, the only other writings which she committed to the press were three “Dialogues of the Dead,” appended to the Well-known “Dialogues” of her friend, Lord Lyttelton. The “Essay” is an elegantly written little work, superficial when regarded in the light of modern criticism, but marked by good sense and discrimination. One of the chief objects of the authoress was to defend Shakespeare against the strictures of Voltaire, and in this not very difficult task she has undoubtedly succeeded. Johnson’s opinion of the “Essay” was unfavourable. To Sir Joshua Reynolds’s remark, that it did honour to its authoress, he replied: “Yes Sir: it does her honour, but it would do nobody else honour;” and he goes on to observe that “there is not one sentence of true criticism in the book.” But if the general applause which the book had excited was out of all proportion to its merits, Johnson’s unqualified condemnation was more than equally disproportionate to its defects.
Of Mrs. Montagu’s conversational abilities Johnson entertained a higher opinion. “Sir,” he would say, “that lady exerts more mind in conversation than any person I ever met with” (Miss Reynolds’s Recollections). It was probably, indeed, to the fame of her conversation, and of the has been parties which assembled at her house, that she owed the greater part of her reputation. She was the acknowledged “Queen of the Blue Stockings” although the epithet originated with a rival giver of literary parties, Mrs. Vesey, who, replying to the apology of a gentleman who declined an invitation to one of her meetings on the plea of want of dress, exclaimed, “Pho, pho! don’t mind dress! Come in your blue stockings!” The term “Blue Stocking” (bas bleu) was thenceforward applied to the set which met at Mrs. Vesey’s, and was gradually extended to other coteries of similar character.
The charitable and beneficient disposition of Mrs. Montagu was as notorious as her intellectual superiority. It may be interesting here to observe that after her husband’s death, in 1775, she doubled the income of poor Anna Williams, the blind poetess who resided with Dr. Johnson, by settling upon her an annuity of ten pounds. The publication of Johnson’s “Lives of the Poets,” in 1781, occasioned a coolness between the doctor and Mrs. Montagu, on account of the severity with which, in that work, he had handled the character of Lord Lyttelton. In September, 1783, however, Dr. Johnson wrote to the lady to announce the death of her pensioner, Miss Williams; and shortly afterwards he informs Mrs. Thrale that he has received a reply “not only civil but tender; so I hope peace is proclaimed.” Mrs. Montagu died at her house in Portman Square, in the year 1800.—ED.]

I was looking over the “Life of Cowley,” 36which Dr. Johnson had himself given me to read, at the same time that he gave to Mrs. Thrale that of Waller. But he bade me put it away.
“Do,” cried he, “put away that now, and prattle with us; I can’t make this little Burney prattle, and I am sure she prattles well; but I shall teach her another lesson than to sit thus silent before I have done with her.”
“To talk,” cried I, “is the only lesson I shall be backward to learn from you, sir.”
“You shall give me,” cried he, “a discourse upon the passions: come, begin! Tell us the necessity of regulating them Watching over and curbing them! Did you ever read Norris’s “Theory of Love?”37
“No, sir,” said I, laughing, yet staring a little.

Dr. J.—It is well worth your reading. He will make you see that inordinate love is the root of all evil, inordinate love of wealth brings on avarice; of wine, brings on intemperance; of power, brings on cruelty; and so on. He deduces from inordinate love all human frailty.”
Mrs. T.—To-morrow, sir, Mrs. Montagu dines here, and then you will have talk enough.
Dr. Johnson began to see-saw, with a countenance strongly expressive of inward fun, and after enjoying it some time in silence, he suddenly, and with great animation, turned to me and cried,
“Down with her, Burney!—down with her!—spare her not!—attack her, fight her, and down with her at once! You are a rising wit, and she is at the top; and when I was beginning the world, and was nothing and nobody, the joy of my life was to fire at all the established wits! and then everybody loved to halloo me on. But there is no game now; every body would be glad to see me conquered: but then, when I was new, to vanquish the great ones was all the delight of my poor little dear soul! So at her, Burney—at her, and down with her!”

Oh, how we were all amused! By the way I must tell you that Mrs. Montagu is in very great estimation here, even with Dr. Johnson himself, when others do not praise her improperly. Mrs. Thrale ranks her as the first of women in the literary way. I should have told you that Miss Gregory, daughter of the Gregory who wrote the “Letters,” or, “Legacy of Advice,” lives with Mrs. Montagu, and was invited to accompany her.38
“Mark now,” said Dr. Johnson, “if I contradict her tomorrow. I am determined, let her say what she will, that I will not contradict her.”
Mrs. T.—Why, to be sure, sir, you did put her a little out Of countenance the last time she came. Yet you were neither rough, nor cruel, nor ill-natured, but still, when a lady changes colour, we imagine her feelings are not quite composed.
Dr. J.—Why, madam, I won’t answer that I shan’t contradict her again, if she provokes me as she did then; but a less provocation I will withstand. I believe I am not high in her good graces already; and I begin, added he, laughing heartily, to tremble for my admission into her new house. I doubt I shall never see the inside of it.
(Mrs. Montagu is building a most superb house.)39
Mrs. T.—Oh, I warrant you, she fears you, indeed; but that, you know, is nothing uncommon: and dearly I love to hear your disquisitions; for certainly she is the first woman for literary knowledge in England, and if in England, I hope I may say in the world.
Dr. J.—I believe you may, madam. She diffuses more knowledge in her conversation than any woman I know, or, indeed, almost any man.
Mrs. T.—I declare I know no man equal to her, take away yourself and Burke, for that art. And you who love magnificence, won’t quarrel with her, as everybody else does, for her love of finery.

Dr. J.—No, I shall not quarrel with her upon that topic.

the shades of many views, how we see, think, breath and live

I tremble

[for which

strange places


will take us]


—We could not prevail with Dr. Johnson to stay till Mrs. Montagu arrived, though, by appointment, she came very early. She and Miss Gregory came by one o’clock.
There was no party to meet her. She is middle-sized, very thin, and looks infirm; she has a sensible and penetrating countenance, and the air and manner of a woman accustomed to being distinguished, and of great parts. Dr. Johnson, who agrees in this, told us that a Mrs. Hervey, of his acquaintance, says she can remember Mrs. Montagu trying for this same air and manner. Mr. Crisp has said the same: however, nobody can now impartially see her, and not confess that she has extremely well succeeded.
My expectations, which were compounded of the praise of Mrs. Thrale, and the abuse of Mr. Crisp, were most exactly, answered, for I thought her in a medium way.
Miss Gregory is a fine young woman, and seems gentle and well-bred.

A bustle with the dog Presto—Mrs. Thrale’s favourite—at the entrance of these ladies into the library, prevented any formal reception; but as soon as Mrs. Montagu heard my name, she inquired very civilly after my father, and made many speeches concerning a volume of “Linguet,”40 which she has lost; but she hopes soon to be able to replace it. I am sure he is very high in her favour, because she did me the honour of addressing herself to me three or four times.
But my ease and tranquillity were soon disturbed: for she had not been in the room more than ten minutes, ere, turning to Mrs. Thrale, she said,
“Oh, ma’am-but your ‘Evelina’—I have not yet got it. I sent for it, but the bookseller had it not. However, I will certainly have it.”
“Ay, I hope so,” answered Mrs. Thrale, “and I hope you will like it too; for ’tis a book to be liked.”
I began now a vehement nose-blowing, for the benefit of handkerchiefing my face.
“I hope though,” said Mrs. Montagu, drily, “it is not in verse? I can read anything in prose, but I have a great dread of a long story in verse.”
“No, ma’am, no; ’tis all in prose, I assure you. ’Tis a novel; and an exceeding—but it does nothing good to be praised too much, so I will say nothing more about it: only this, that Mr. Burke sat up all night to read it.”
“Indeed? Well, I propose myself great pleasure from it and I am gratified by hearing it is written by a woman.”
“And Sir Joshua Reynolds,” continued Mrs. Thrale, “has been offering fifty pounds to know the author.”
“Well, I will have it to read on my journey; I am going to Berkshire, and it shall be my travelling book.”
“No, ma’am if you please you shall have it now. Queeny, do look it for Mrs. Montagu, and let it be put in her carriage, and go to town with her.”

Miss Thrale rose to look for it, and involuntarily I rose too, intending to walk off, for my situation was inexpressibly awkward; but then I recollected that if I went away, it might seem like giving Mrs. Thrale leave and opportunity to tell my tale, and therefore I stopped at a distant window, where I busied myself in contemplating the poultry.
“And Dr. Johnson, ma’am,” added my kind puffer, “says Fielding never wrote so well—never wrote equal to this book; he says it is a better picture of life and manners than is to be found anywhere in Fielding.”
“Indeed?” cried Mrs. Montagu, surprised; “that I did not expect, for I have been informed it is the work of a young lady and therefore, though I expected a very pretty book, I supposed it to be a work of mere imagination, and the name I thought attractive; but life and manners I never dreamt of finding.”
“Well, ma’am, what I tell you is literally true; and for my part, I am never better pleased than when good girls write clever books—and that this is clever—But all this time we are killing Miss Burney, who wrote the book herself.”

What a clap of thunder was this!—the last thing in the world I should have expected before my face? I know not what bewitched Mrs. Thrale, but this was carrying the jest further than ever. All retenu being now at an end, I fairly and abruptly took to my heels, and ran out of the room with the utmost trepidation, amidst astonished exclamations from Mrs. Montagu and Miss Gregory.
I was horribly disconcerted, but I am now so irrecoverably in for it, that I begin to leave off reproaches and expostulations; indeed, they have very little availed me while they might have been of service, but now they would pass for mere parade and affectation; and therefore since they can do no good, I gulp them down. I find them, indeed, somewhat hard of digestion, but they must make their own way as well as they can.
I determined not to make my appearance again till dinner was upon table; yet I could neither read nor write, nor indeed do any thing but consider the new situation in life into which I am thus hurried—I had almost said forced—and if I had, methinks it would be no untruth.
Miss Thrale came laughing up after me, and tried to persuade me to return. She was mightily diverted all the morning, and came to me with repeated messages of summons to attend the company, but I could not brave it again into the roon, and therefore entreated her to say I was finishing a letter. Yet I was sorry to lose so much of Mrs. Montagu.
When dinner was upon table, I followed the procession, in a tragedy step, as Mr. Thrale will have it, into the dining parlour. Dr. Johnson was returned.
The conversation was not brilliant, nor do I remember much of it; but Mrs. Montagu behaved to me just as I could have wished, since she spoke to me very little, but spoke that little with the utmost politeness. But Miss Gregory, though herself a modest girl, quite stared me out of countenance, and never took her eyes off my face.

When Mrs. Montagu’s new house was talked of, Dr. Johnson, in a jocose manner, desired to know if he should be invited to see it.
“Ay, sure,” cried Mrs. Montagu, looking well pleased; “or I shan’t like it: but I invite you all to a house warming; I shall hope for the honour of seeing all this company at my new house next Easter day: I fix the day now that it may be remembered.”
Everybody bowed and accepted the invite but me, and I thought fitting not to hear it; for I have no notion of snapping at invites from the eminent. But Dr. Johnson, who sat next to me, was determined I should be of the party, for he suddenly clapped his hand on my shoulder, and called out aloud,
“Little Burney, you and I will go together?”
“Yes, surely,” cried Mrs. Montagu, “I shall hope for the pleasure of seeing ‘Evelina.’”
“‘Evelina’” repeated he; “has Mrs. Montagu then found out ‘Evelina?’”
“Yes,” cried she, “and I am proud of it: I am proud that a work so commended should be a woman’s.”

How my face burnt!
“Has Mrs. Montagu,” asked Dr. Johnson, “read ‘Evelina?’”
“No, sir, not yet; but I shall immediately, for I feel the greatest eagerness to read it.”
“I am very sorry, madam,” replied he, “that you have not already, read it, because you cannot speak of it with a full conviction of its merit: which, I believe, when you have read it, you will have great pleasure in acknowledging.”

Some other things were said, but I remember them not, for I could hardly keep my place: but my sweet, naughty Mrs. Thrale looked delighted for me. . . .
When they were gone, how did Dr. Johnson astonish me by asking if I had observed what an ugly cap Miss Gregory had on? Then taking both my hands, and looking at me with an expression of much kindness, he said,
“Well, Miss Burney, Mrs. Montagu now will read ‘Evelina’”. . . .
Mrs. Thrale then told me such civil things. Mrs. Montagu, it seems, during my retreat, inquired very particularly what kind of book it was?
“And I told her,” continued Mrs. Thrale, “that it was a picture of life, manners, and characters. ‘But won’t she go on,’ says she; ‘surely she won’t stop here?’
“‘Why,’ said I, ‘I want her to go on in a new path—I want her to write a comedy.’
“‘But,’ said Mrs. Montagu, ‘one thing must be considered; Fielding, who was so admirable in novel writing, never succeeded when he wrote for the stage.’”
“Very well said,” cried Dr. Johnson “that was an answer which showed she considered her subject.”

Mrs. Thrale continued:
“‘Well, but à propos,’ said Mrs. Montagu, ‘if Miss Burney does write a play, I beg I may know of it; or, if she thinks proper, see it; and all my influence is at her service. We shall all be glad to assist in spreading the fame of Miss Burney.’”
I tremble for what all this will end in. I verily think I had best stop where I am, and never again attempt writing: for after so much honour, so much success—how shall I bear a downfall?

speak to me, sweet wilderness, hear my song spread through cloud and trees


[just another



are they

ever the same]

Monday, Sept. 21.

—I have had a thousand delightful conversations with Dr. Johnson, who, whether he loves me or not, I am sure seems to have some opinion of my discretion, for he speaks of all this house to me with unbounded confidence, neither diminishing faults, nor exaggerating praise.
Whenever he is below stairs he keeps me a prisoner, for he does not like I should quit the room a moment; if I rise he constantly calls out, “Don’t you go, little Burney!”
Last night, when we were talking of compliments and of gross speeches, Mrs. Thrale most justly said, that nobody could make either like Dr. Johnson. “Your compliments, sir, are made seldom, but when they are made they have an elegance unequalled; but then when you are angry! who dares make speeches so bitter and so cruel?”
Dr. J.—Madam, I am always sorry when I make bitter speeches, and I never do it, but when I am insufferably vexed.
Mrs. T-Yes, Sir; but you suffer things to vex you, that nobody else would vex at. I am sure I have had my share of scoldings from you!

Dr. J.—It is true, you have; but you have borne it like an angel, and you have been the better for it.
Mrs. T.—That I believe, sir: for I have received more instruction from you than from any man, or any book: and the vanity that you should think me worth instructing, always overcame the vanity41 of being found fault with. And so you had the scolding, and I the improvement.
F.B.—And I am sure both make for the honour of both!
Dr J.—I think so too. But Mrs. Thrale is a sweet creature, and never angry; she has a temper the most delightful of any woman I ever knew.
Mrs. T.—This I can tell you, sir, and without any flattery—I not only bear your reproofs when present, but in almost everything I do in your absence, I ask myself whether you would like it, and what you would say to it. Yet I believe there is nobody you dispute with oftener than me.
F.B.—But you two are so well established with one another, that you can bear a rebuff that would kill a stranger.
Dr. J.—Yes; but we disputed the same before we were so well established with one another.
Mrs. T.—Oh, sometimes I think I shall die no other death than hearing the bitter things he says to others. What he says to myself I can bear, because I know how sincerely he is my friend, and that he means to mend me; but to others it is cruel.

Dr. J.—Why, madam, you often provoke me to say severe things, by unreasonable commendation. If you would not call for my praise, I would not give you my censure; but it constantly moves my indignation to be applied to, to speak well of a thing which I think contemptible.
F.B.—Well, this I know, whoever I may hear complain of Dr. Johnson’s severity, I shall always vouch for his kindness, as far as regards myself, and his indulgence.
Mrs. T.—Ay, but I hope he will trim you yet, too!
Dr. J.—I hope not: I should be very sorry to say anything that should vex my dear little Burney.
F.B.—If you did, sir, it would vex me more than you can imagine. I should sink in a minute.
Mrs. T.—I remember, sir, when we were travelling in Wales, how you called me to account for my civility to the people. ‘Madam,’ you said, ‘let me have no more of this idle commendation of nothing. Why is it, that whatever you see, and whoever you see, you are to be so indiscriminately lavish of praise?’ ‘Why! I’ll tell you, sir,’ said I, ‘when I am with you and Mr. Thrale, and Queeny, I am obliged to be civil for four!’

A cutter for you!.

There was a cutter for you! But this I must say, for the honour of both—Mrs. Thrale speaks to Dr. Johnson with as much sincerity, (though with greater softness,) as he does to her.

and Earth answered me, with tears of rain and the strength of windswept storms

My daily dose


is all

each day


daily everything]

Sept. 26

—The present chief sport with Mrs. Thrale is disposing of me in the holy state of matrimony, and she offers me whoever comes to the house. This was begun by Mrs. Montagu, who, it seems, proposed a match for me in my absence, with Sir Joshua Reynolds!—no less a man, I assure you!
When I was dressing for dinner, Mrs. Thrale told me that Mr. Crutchley was expected.
“Who’s he?” quoth I.
“A young man of very large fortune, who was a ward of Mr. Thrale. Queeny, what do you say of him for Miss Burney?”
“Him?” cried she; “no, indeed; what has Miss Burney done to have him?”
“Nay, believe me, a man of his fortune may offer himself anywhere. However, I won’t recommend him.”
“Why then, ma’am,” cried I, with dignity, “I reject him!”

This Mr. Crutchley stayed till after breakfast the next morning. I can’t tell you anything, of him, because I neither like nor dislike him. Mr. Crutchley was scarce gone, ere Mr. Smith arrived. Mr. Smith is a second cousin to Mr. Thrale, and a modest pretty sort of young man. He stayed till Friday morning. When he was gone.
“What say you to him, Miss Burney?” cried Mrs. Thrale; “I’m sure I offer you variety.”
“Why I like him better than Mr. Crutchley, but I don’t think I shall pine for either of them.”
“Dr. Johnson,” said Mrs. Thrale, “don’t you think Jerry Crutchley very much improved?”
Dr. J.—Yes, madam, I think he is.
Mrs. T.—Shall he have Miss Burney?
Dr. J.—Why, I think not; at least I must know more about him; I Must inquire into his connections, his recreations, his employments, and his character, from his intimates, before I trust Miss Burney with him. And he must come down very handsomely with a settlement. I will not have him left to his generosity; for as he will marry her for her wit, and she him for his fortune, he ought to bid well, and let him come down with what he will, his price will never be equal to her worth.
Mrs. T.—She says she likes Mr. Smith better.

Dr. J.—Yes, but I won’t have her like Mr. Smith without money, better than Mr. Crutchley with it. Besides, if she has Crutchley, he will use her well, to vindicate his choice. The world, madam, has a reasonable claim upon all mankind to account for their conduct; therefore, if with his great wealth, he marries a woman who has but little, he will be more attentive to display her merit, than if she was equally rich,—in order to show that the woman he has chosen deserves from the world all the respect and admiration it can bestow, or that else she would not have been his choice.
Mrs. T.—I believe young Smith is the better man.
F.B.—Well, I won’t be rash in thinking of either; I will take some time for consideration before I fix.
Dr. J.—Why, I don’t hold it to be delicate to offer marriage to ladies, even in jest, nor do I approve such sort of jocularity; yet for once I must break through the rules of decorum, and Propose a match myself for Miss Burney. I therefore nominate Sir J—— L——.42
Mrs. T.—I’ll give you my word, sir, you are not the first to say that, for my master the other morning, when we were alone, said ‘What would I give that Sir J—— L—— was married to Miss Burney; it might restore him to our family.’ So spoke his Uncle and guardian.
F.B.—He, he! Ha, ha! He, he! Ha, ha!
Dr. J.—That was elegantly said of my master, and nobly said, and not in the vulgar way we have been saying it. And madam, where will you find another man in trade who will make such a speech—who will be capable of making such a speech? Well, I am glad my master takes so to Miss Burney; I would have everybody take to Miss Burney, so as they allow me to take to her most! Yet I don’t know whether Sir J—— L—— should have her, neither; I should be afraid for her; I don’t think I would hand her to him.
F.B.—Why, now, what a fine match is here broken off!

Some time after, when we were in the library, he asked me very gravely if I loved reading?
“Yes,” quoth I.
“Why do you doubt it, sir?” cried Mrs. Thrale.
“Because,” answered he, “I never see her with a book in her hand. I have taken notice that she never has been reading whenever I have come into the room.”
“Sir,” quoth I, courageously, “I’m always afraid of being caught reading, lest I should pass for being studious or affected, and therefore instead of making a display of books, I always try to hide them, as is the case at this very time, for I have now your ‘Life of Waller’ under my gloves behind me. However, since I am piqued to it, I’ll boldly produce my voucher.”

And so saying, I put the book on the table, and opened it with a flourishing air. And then the laugh was on my side, for he could not help making a droll face; and if he had known Kitty Cooke, I would have called out, “There I had you, my lad!”
A Streatham Dinner Party.
Monday was the day for our great party; and the Doctor came home, at Mrs. Thrale’s request, to meet them. The party consisted of Mr. C—, who was formerly a timber-merchant, but having amassed a fortune of one million of pounds, he has left off business. He is a good-natured busy sort of man.
Mrs. C—, his lady, a sort of Mrs. Nobody.
Mr. N—, another rich business leaver-off.
Mrs. N—, his lady; a pretty sort of woman, who was formerly a pupil of Dr. Hawkesworth. I had a great deal of talk with her about him, and about my favourite miss Kinnaird, whom she knew very well.
Mr. George and Mr. Thomas N—, her sons-in-law.
Mr. R——, of whom I know nothing but that he married into Mr. Thrale’s family.

Lady Ladd; I ought to have begun with her. I beg her ladyship a thousand pardons—though if she knew my offence, I am sure I should not obtain one. She is own sister to Mr. Thrale. She is a tall and stout woman, has an air of mingled dignity and haughtiness, both of which wear off in conversation. She dresses very youthful and gaily, and attends to her person with no little complacency. She appears to me uncultivated in knowledge, though an adept in the manners of the world, and all that. She chooses to be much more lively than her brother; but liveliness sits as awkwardly upon her as her pink ribbons. In talking her over with Mrs. Thrale who has a very proper regard for her, but who, I am sure, cannot be blind to her faults, she gave me another proof to those I have already of the uncontrolled freedom of speech which Dr. Johnson exercised to everybody, and which everybody receives quietly from him. Lady Ladd has been very handsome, but is now, I think, quite ugly—at least she has the sort of face I like not. She was a little while ago dressed in so showy a manner as to attract the doctor’s notice, and when he had looked at her some time, he broke out aloud into this quotation:
“With patches, paint, and jewels on, Sure Phillis is not twenty-one But if at night you Phillis see, The dame at least is forty-three!”
I don’t recollect the verses exactly, but such was their purport.
“However,” said Mrs. Thrale, “Lady Ladd took it very good-naturedly, and only said, ‘I know enough of that forty-three—I don’t desire to hear any more of it.’”
Miss Moss, a pretty girl, who played and sung, to the great fatigue of Mrs. Thrale; Mr. Rose Fuller, Mr. Embry, Mr. Seward, Dr. Johnson, the three Thrales, and myself, close the party.
In the evening the company divided pretty much into parties, and almost everybody walked upon the gravel-walk before the windows. I was going to have joined some of them, when Dr. Johnson stopped me, and asked how I did.

“I was afraid, sir,” cried I “you did not intend to know me again, for you have not spoken to me before since your return from town.”
“My dear,” cried he, taking both my hands, “I was not of you, I am so near sighted, and I apprehended making some Mistake.” Then drawing me very unexpectedly towards him, he actually kissed me!
To be sure, I was a little surprised, having no idea of such facetiousness from him, However, I was glad nobody was in the room but Mrs. Thrale, who stood close to us, and Mr. Embry, who was lounging on a sofa at the furthest end of the room. Mrs. Thrale laughed heartily, and said she hoped I was contented with his amends for not knowing me sooner.
A little after she said she would go and walk with the rest, if she did not fear for my reputation in being “left with the doctor.”

“However, as Mr. Embry is yonder, I think he’ll take some care of you,” she added.
“Ay, madam,” said the doctor, “we shall do very well; but I assure you I sha’n’t part with Miss Burney!”
And he held me by both hands; and when Mrs. Thrale went, he drew me a chair himself facing the window, close to his own; and thus tête-à-tête we continued almost all the evening. I say tête-à-tête, because Mr, Embry kept at an humble distance, and offered us no interruption And though Mr. Seward soon after came in, he also seated himself at a distant corner, not presuming, he said, to break in upon us! Everybody, he added, gave way to the doctor.
Our conversation chiefly was upon the Hebrides, for he always talks to me of Scotland, out of sport; and he wished I had been of that tour—quite gravely, I assure you!
The P— family came in to tea. When they were gone Mrs. Thrale complained that she was quite worn out with that tiresome silly woman Mrs. P—, who had talked of her family and affairs till she was sick to death of hearing her.

“Madam,” said Dr. Johnson, “why do you blame the woman for the only sensible thing she could do—talking of her family and her affairs? For how should a woman who is as empty as a drum, talk upon any other subject? If you speak to her of the sun, she does not know it rises in the east;—if you speak to her of the moon, she does not know it changes at the full;—if you speak to her of the queen, she does not know she is the king’s wife.—how, then, can you blame her for talking of her family and affairs?”

“Oh, Author of my being!—far more dear
To me than light, than nourishment, or rest,
Hygeia’s blessings, Rapture’s burning tear,
Or the life-blood that mantles in my breast!
If in my heart the love of Virtue glows,
’Twas planted there by an unerring rule
From thy example the pure flame arose,
Thy life, my precept,—thy good works, my school.
Could my weak pow’rs thy num’rous virtues trace,
By filial love each fear should be repress’d;
The blush of Incapacity I’d chace,
And stand, Recorder of thy worth, confess’d
But since my niggard stars that gift refuse,
Concealment is the only boon I claim
Obscure be still the unsuccessful Muse,
Who cannot raise, but would not sink, thy fame,
Oh! of my life at once the source and joy!
If e’er thy eyes these feeble lines survey,
Let not their folly their intent destroy;
Accept the tribute-but forget the lay.”]

a Norse View Imaging and Publishing

established 2013

Copyright 2017
a Norse View, Mike Koontz

'French Court', This was the thrilling first part of fanny´s own life in the sinful and overly complicated European one% of yesteryears as it happened during the era of the French revolution.

Thank you for reading.

Fanny Burney.
Mike Koontz
To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

   My livingroom art
   Author page, Mike Koontz

Last Few Published Books and Articles

  • Över skog och mark, järn & gym, och mylla. Den biologiska mångfaldens dag 2021.

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes

    A sustainable society makes for healthier & happier nature, and people.
    What is the science based outcome of your daily life choices?.

    Pressmeddelande 2021-05-12
    Den biologiska mångfaldens dag firas i Höga Kusten.

    En av Sveriges största naturhögtider går in på sitt femte år. Det blir återigen ett annorlunda firande av Biologiska mångfaldens dag 22 maj i år på grund av coronapandemin. Med anpassningar och digitala aktiviteter skapar Sveriges naturföreningar ett späckat program med allt från uppvisningar av vackra naturområden till tips om hur du gynnar biologisk mångfald i din trädgård. I Örnsköldvik, Höga Kusten arrangerar återigen ett bmfdag evenemang, för året så blir det i form av ett lokalt mini Styrka Camp på gym och i natur den 22 Maj.

    – Det är femte året i rad som Natursverige satsar på att uppmärksamma Biologiska mångfaldens dag och det tredje året som deltar.
    Återigen visas det prov på stor entusiasm och kreativitet. Det ordnas allt från träning i naturen och tipsrundor till omfattande inventeringar av arter och webbinarier. Det finns också goda möjligheter att fira dagen på egen hand eller med sina närmaste, säger Erik Hansson, projektledare för Biologiska mångfaldens dag-initiativet.

  • Fitness school, question 53: Let us talk about nonalcoholic fatty liver & cancer risk..

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    A daily 20 minute walk outside essentially showers you in health promoting daylight.
    What is the science based outcome of your daily life choices?.

    Question number 53 in our School.
    And today it's time for a short, and to-the-point, and focused Fitness school question.
    Just because, sometimes, all that we need is something short & wickedly sweet :).

    Drum roll, the lifestyle-based nonalcoholic fatty liver is pretty much as bad for us homo sapiens as its name suggests. But will it also increase your cancer risk?

  • Fitness school, question 52: The female menstrual cycle is a white water raft of hormonal changes over many days. But which ones jump up and down and what correlation might there be with stress?.

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes

    Enjoy a daily 20 minute walk and shower yourself in essential, health promoting daylight.
    What is the science based outcome of your daily life choices?.

    Question number 52 in our School.
    Health & fitness is created and maintained together. Feeding each other in this enduring, lifelong symbiosis no matter if our focus is our muscles strength, our heart health, cellular health, biological age, or the amount and size of our skeletal muscle mass,. Joint health and bone mass, hormonal functions, cardiovascular health, body fat levels, gut health, and even our brain are all intricately linked together.

    Fitness & health, body, and mind remain a perpetual cause and consequence system, where each individual aspect within our bodies affects and in turn, gets affected by all of the others in various degrees.

    In truth, a myriad of functions, which, individually, and as a whole, in turn, are shaped through our daily choices. Our surroundings, the type of food we eat, its nutrients, and the amount of those nutrients and their combined total.

    Environmental pollution, physical activity, sleep, relations, job, society, stress, et cetera.

    All combined, this is what determines the trajectory of our health and our fitness.

    And the menstrual cycle is, of course, no exception to this at all.
    Its impact on the female body and our highly influential hormonal system are in fact, very big. And as such, it is a highly relevant topic for any female that is aspiring to live a fact-based healthy fit life.

    But which hormones get affected the most during the menstrual cycle?. And how might stress tie into it?. If at all.

    Read on beyond the break for fitness school question number 52.

  • Fitness school, question 51: Potatoes versus rice. Two healthy food staples in any healthy fit lifestyle. But, what more is there beyond their nutritional makeup, and why should you care?

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes

    We are choosing the direction of our fitness and health through our daily choices.
    What is the science based outcome of your daily life choices?.

    Question number 51 in our School.
    Real Fitness progression requires, as well as creates injury free progression in health, especially, long term speaking.
    Likewise, making healthy food choices is just as important for health as it is for our fitness progression.

    But is healthy food habits really just about the nutrition our food constitutes and the health & fitness impact that nutrition carries with it?

    Some will say that this is all there is to our food choices, and plenty of good nutritional coaches do treat food and nutrition just like that. And that is an ok choice to do. Ok, but also lackluster in its view on the scientific ecosystem that is food and health, people and planet. Yes, as a personal trainer, and nutritional coach and Styrka Master coach mysef, I can not agree at all with that narrow, and incomplete view on health, nutrition and fitness.

    You see, eating healthy food is a staple in our personal fitness, and health, that is a given.
    The nutritional make up of our food choices is a major pillar in human health and fitness, just as important as the amount of food which we are consuming. But a truly healthy fit life also account for the scientific impact of our choices on our planets health.

    After all, if our personal food and lifestyle choices contribute to breaking the health of our entire planet, then we are unavoidably going to harm the health of ourselves since a healthy, sustainable society and planet is essential to the life long health and fitness progression of us all. As individuals, and a society.

    Hence todays question pitting good ol potatoes vs rice and the amount of water, and climate, and planetary impact these 2 healthy food staples causes. And just why 'small' stuff like this should matter to you.

    So read on beyond the break for the complete question and the correct answer.

  • Fitness school, question 50: Can we see some sort of health impact betweeen obesity and corona?. Updated May 2021

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    The direction of your fitness capacity is made through your daily choices.
    What is the science based outcome of your daily life choices?.

    Question number 50 in our School here at 'a Norse View'.
    An abundance of body fat sadly does not help with improving many health and fitness metrics in life for us mere mortals.
    But, how about Corona?

    Will bigger levels of body fat lower your risk of dying from Corona, or will it increase your health risk?

    Well, we can not scientifically deduct every little thing with 100% certainty as far as Covid-19 goes right now. It is still a situation that is too recent, and adaptive to conclude some things with absolute certainty.

    We can however start to see some clear trajectories emerging when it comes down to higher body fat levels, and Corona.

    So read on beyond the break and let us take a look at corona and the probable correlation with our body fat levels.

  • Fitness school, question 49: Is a reduction of inflammation in our bodies one aspect of the many wonderful health improving outcomes of regular fitness?

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes

    Health is shaped and molded through your daily choices.
    Do you know the scientific outcome of your daily life?.

    Question number 49 in our School here at 'a Norse View'.
    Physical activity & fitness exercise of various levels, intensity, and volume improve many aspects of our human health. Including a highly beneficial effect on musculoskeletal health no matter gender or age.
    Other factors include improving our metabolic and cognitive health & functions.

    As a result, regular life long fitness.....
    Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.. Diabetes, and several types of cancer.

    Greatly reduced osteoporosis as well as depression and improved volume and capacity of our physical gray matter mass, are other areas of our life long health that benefit substantially from daily physical activity and regular fitness.
    But, will intense regular fitness exercise also reduce inflammation throughout our bodies?....
    Because if so, that would provide huge health benefits all by itself. Simply put, less inflammation in our bodies reduces heart health risk and the onset of cognitive decline and biological aging amongst other things.

    So read on beyond the break and let us take a look at how intense fitness might reduce inflammation too.

  • Fitness school, question 48.. Smoking kills millions of people every year, and harm hundreds of millions more.. But can the body recover from damaged lungs if you stop smoking?..

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes

    Health is shaped and molded through your daily choices.
    Do you know the scientific outcome of your daily life?.

    Question number 48 in School of Fitness here at 'a Norse View'.
    Most of the time our fitness school questions revolve around the scientific impact of your fitness and or food choices.
    But every now and then we dip our toes into the wider ecosystem of things that carry with them a huge impact on our individual health, such as air pollution. Because a truly healthy life has to consider all aspects of our lifestyles.
    One area of "air pollution" is smoking. Not only do non smokers hurt their health due to others unhealthy smoking habits. But the smokers themselves harm their own health in even greater strides.

    So much so that Tobacco smoking is perhaps the biggest single influencer on a human beings mutational burden, usually adding anywhere between 1,000 to 10,000 mutations per cell inside of the human body. In the end, being a major driver of various cancer forms and fatally damaged lungs. But, the human body is amazing at recovering from almost all forms of injuries and health issues once we start making healthier choices a regular thing.

    And now, a brand new 2020 study is shining light on just how well a typical smokers damaged lungs will recover once that smoker chooses to stop their unhealthy smoking habits.

    So read on beyond the break and let us dig deeper into the health impact of smoking and just how good our human lungs might recover once a person decides to end their self harming habit.

  • Fitness school, question 47.. Can we still make the fact based claim that the core temperature of the modern day human body is 37c on average?... Or has this well established scientific fact actually changed in the last 100 years?.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Health is made from your daily choices.
    Do you know the answer to our question?.

    Question number 47 in our School of Fitness.
    Interestingly enough we actually uncover new scientific facts about the human body every single day.
    Things we thought we knew sometimes become nothing more than the incorrect truth of yesterday. All while we continually prove that life and nature, and biology itself is endlessly progressive and changing.
    So for today, I would like to know if we can still make the fact-based claim that the core temperature of the modern-day human body is still 37c on average?...
    Or has this well established scientific fact actually changed in the last 100 years?.

    Read on beyond the break and dig deeper into our fitness school question before you pony up the right answer.

  • The scientific correlation between our food choices environmental impact and bad human health.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Fitness is a science driven journey.
    And so is sustainability.

    So let us get it out of the way right away.
    Poor food choices remain a leading worldwide cause of mortality and bad health. But, poor food choices doesn't just harm our own health and longevity, bad food choices and the production that is needed to create the lackluster food that so many bases their entire food life on causes huge, unnecessary environmental degradation as well.

    So much so that the much needed (read essential to do) UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement is virtually impossible to fulfill unless we, as a global species make the switch to healthier, plant-based food choices.
    This article will display how different food groups directly connect 5 health outcomes and 5 aspects of environmental degradation with each other.

  • Fitness school, question 46.. Can we make the fact based claim that visceral adipose mass is associated with increased risk of hypertension, heart attack/angina, type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia? Yes or no?.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Health is made from your daily choices.
    Do you know the answer to our question?.

    Question number 46 in our School of Fitness.
    Is it true that visceral adipose mass is associated with increased risk of hypertension, heart attack/angina, type 2 diabetes, and hyperlipidemia?.
    And just exactly what is visceral adipose mass?

    Read on beyond the break and dig deeper into our fitness school question before you pony up the right answer.

  • Fitness school, question 45: Will increased or maintained fitness rejuvenate & improve hippocampal activity beyond 60 years of age?

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Health is made from your daily choices.
    Do you know the answer to our question?.

    Question number 45 in our School of Fitness.
    Most people know by now that healthy fit choices in the gym and the forest trail, at home and in daily life are nothing but a ticket towards increased health and life span, in body and mind.
    But, the health of our biological system is made up of near-endless processes and aspects. And that certainly applies to the state of our brain. Hence today's focus on our brains hippocampal capacity and health.

    Read on beyond the break and dig deep down in our fitness school question.

  • Available Fine Art & Lifestyle products. Art, design and photography by M & M. Our products are produced and sold by #Society6.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Your life is your on going art and history
    Contemporary art & products for a healthy fit life and planet.

    Each of us is the mere sum of our unique life choices, our thoughts, and way.
    Be it in person, or through the way we shape life around us. This uniqueness is evident even in our own persona, our style and life choices that takes place on this endless every day path that we call life.It is as such, ever-present in the way we build and shape the castle and life which we call our home.
    You can feel and see it, in the choices of your clothes, and other peoples fitness regime.
    It is persistent through our art choices and the way we train and live our very own healthy fit life.

    It is forever present inside our deeply individual thoughts, and it is perpetually stamped in the essence of our unique nature. Read on beyond the break and step into our lifestyle store where you can buy clothes and fine art and other lifestyle products, with art, design and photography by M & M.

  • Fitness school, question 44: What is the actual weight of one cm3 lean muscle mass, and will that weight per cm3 be able to also differ ever so minuscule between fit people and out of shape people (generally speaking that is).

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    A healthy life is a daily process created by making healthy science based choices.
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 44 in our School of Fitness.
    Time for a short and sweet little one.
    As stated in the subject line, lean muscle mass has another weight/density ratio than fat, so a body mass that is made up of more fat and less lean muscle mass will display a bigger mass at a lower body weight, while a body that has a greater amount of lean muscle mass will actually have a higher body weight compared to what its body mass might make you believe.

    Read on beyond the break and dwell deeper down into today's fitness school question.

  • Pressmeddelande: Biologiska mångfaldens dag 2019 tar en tur i naturen för en stund med naturfoto och fitness prat i Höga Kusten.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    a Norse View &
    Biologiska mångfaldens dag 2019, Höga Kusten, Sverige.

    Humlesafari, fladdermuslyssning, fjärilsbingo, krypletning och fågelvandring – den 22 maj uppmärksammas den internationella FN-dagen Biologiska mångfaldens dag med en mängd olika evenemang runt om i Sverige.

    Den årligen återkommande bmf dagen är numera en av Sveriges största naturhögtider och 2019 arrangerar naturorganisationer, kommuner, skolor, myndigheter,företag och privatpersoner över 200 aktiviteter runt om i landet, från Kiruna i norr till Ystad i söder. Det görs både för att visa upp vår artrika natur och för att uppmärksamma en av vår tids stora ödesfrågor – den oroväckande snabba förlusten av biologisk mångfald.

    I Höga Kusten arrangerar Mike från a Norse View och en dagstur ut i naturen där vi blandar naturfoto i en vacker insjömiljö och faktabaserat prat om kost, träning och hälsa.

  • Fitness school, question 42: Will maintained fitness reduce menstrual pain for the majority of women?

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Fitness is built upon the science of you.
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 42 in our School of Fitness.
    Fitness has been established in scientific studies in the last few years as a health-improving daily life painkiller.
    Making it even better is the fact that it comes completely free of cost and nerve-wracking & time-consuming doctors appointment and unhealthy side-effects. Lowering pain and debilitating health issues such as arthritis while fortifying your lifespan and health.

    But is that tremendous gratis painkiller effect applicable to menstrual pain too?.

  • Wildlife Facts: Camelopardalis, 'The camel that could have been a leopard'.. What animal am I talking about right now?

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes




     Arctic Sunrise - Year 4.5 Billion
    The camel that could have been a leopard.


    One of planet Earth´s most unique land-living animals still roaming about in the wild also happens to be one of the cutest and most enchanting, and gentle colossuses that have ever existed. Yet, somehow, despite the towering size and unique characteristics of these majestic critters they are also one of the lesser talked about wildlife stars. And so it happens that by now they are like so many other species highly endangered without anyone really paying attention.

    But perhaps that is the reward that life gave these majestic beings that float across the land they call home as if they are majestic land dwelling whales. A backseat in the human consciousness as we proceeded to decimate their global population with 40 or so % in less than 30 years.

  • Fitness school, question 41: The science of our human fitness anatomy. Scalenus Anterior, medius and posterior.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Fitness is built upon your own anatomy.
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 41 in our School of Fitness.
    Beneath the tasty, delicious joy and sexiness of a life built on plant-based food and fitness, the weights you lift, the miles you walk and run. The mountains you climb, and the sandbags you punch and kick there is not just a burning passion and increased life quality. Nor is it just a question of the enhanced health and joy you can touch and feel deep inside both body & mind.
    No, there is also this marvelously progressive thing called science. Because all the physical fitness things, the sweat and healthy living discipline that others see are ultimately powered by the all-encompassing facts of biological life.

  • Fitness school, question 40: The science of sugar and intestine tumors... In both mice & men.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Yet another study on food & health.

    Looking at the impact of sugar in food and beverages.

    Sugar is a much beloved sweetener. Craved like a lovers touch by most biological beings that dare to ever look into the abyss and allow its tastebuds to grace this natural force of addiction.

    But as much as all things living seemingly enjoy the taste of sugar and more modern artificial sweeteners. Scientifically speaking the bad health impact of sugar ( from obesity to diabetes and cancer risk, poor dental health and non existing nutritional value ) and other sweeteners have thankfully turned countless of humans into die hard "no sugar" please sentinels. So let us take a brief look at a brand new 2019 study and let us find out if this study too will add even more reasons to say no to sugar and other sweeteners in your food and beverages.

  • Fitness school, question 39: Telomeres, the fancy sounding tail that connects healthy fit aging with fitness activities. Dive right in as we take a look at recent studies.

    Quality time needed: 13 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 39 in our School of Fitness.
    I have talked about telomeres in years past, and fitness too obviously :).
    But such is the world of fitness, science, and health, it often revisits old "truths" and sometimes upends them because our knowledge has deepened, while new studies at other times will simply fortify and acknowledge what we already knew to be true.
    So what will happen today as we travel back to the world of that peachy sounding telomeres thingy that keeps wiggling its cute little tail inside of us? Let us find out.
    My Question:.
    For this particular study, published in European Heart Journal, Nov 2018, we´ll uncover what happens to the length of our telomeres when we do long distance endurance training, high-intensity sprint intervals, nothing at all or lift weights in a so-so way in the gym ( yeah, color me unimpressed by the strength plan in this study, but hold on to that thought as you read on because I will get back to the fairly inadequate strength training and why that too matters. ).
    The question, which option is the best for maintaining the length of our telomeres and what is the worst?.

  • Anthropocene & the survival of our brilliant but simpleminded species. Just another morning.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Breakfast stuff and morning thoughts.

    climate inaction is an existential threat.

    Nothing fancy or big worded to say today, I am just drinking some tasty fresh black coffee while various death metal songs keep pumping through my livingroom gear.
    Yes, what a glorious morning :).
    But while I am enjoying my morning routine, getting ready for the gym and my own workouts as well as the health and fitness regimes of today's PT clients I am also reading up on science and sustainability from around the world. And one of the pieces that stand out is a tonally laid-back piece by Swedish outlet DN. They spent the better part of a month or so following Swedish sustainability advocate Greta as she continues her quest to bring much-needed awareness to the sad state of the world and the essential, deep-rooted changes we as a species and global civilization urgently need to undertake.

  • Fitness school, question 38. Is obesity itself tied to diabetes type 2 and coronary artery disease?. Yes or no?.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 38 in our School of Fitness.
    Time for a short one.
    Obesity is no friend of the bettering of our health and longevity.
    Just as how the old school act of serious bulking never did anyone's health and fitness levels any favors. And pointing this scientific reality out is not about fat shaming. It´s about helping the world and its individuals turn the tide toward better health, and better fitness. And doing so does not remove peoples individual right to pick whatever body size and fat percentage that they so prefer.
    My Question:.
    We already know that obesity ( and a fat powered high BMI ) increases unhealthy factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And it often increases depression, drowsiness and general sedentary choices. Which indirectly leads to worse health in numerous ways. But if a person with a high fat powered BMI is deemed healthy as far as those traditional markers are concerned is excess fat itself still bad?
    Put in another way, will a higher amount of excess body fat still lead to worse health even if your bloodwork turns out ok and you do not feel depressed and drowsy and you do hit the gym?.

  • Fitness school, question 37: Can something as simple as a reduction of daily walking decrease our lean muscle mass in a noticeable way in just 2 weeks time?

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 37 in our School of Fitness.
    Yes, it is once again time for you to put your thinking cap on before you proceed without hesitation through the hallway of healthy fit wonders and science :).
    You already know that keeping fit and lifting your weekly weights and doing your daily cardio is nothing but a rejuvenating choice. It's good for your strength, duh.. It is wondrously good for your harty heart health, and it aids your cognitive and creative processes. It scientifically speaking lowers depression and tardy drowsiness. And if you have been keeping up with me over the years, you also know that keeping fit on a regular weekly basis also lowers your physical age by quite a noticeable margin too.
    But even small ordinary things like taking a daily walk carries with it a huge life long health and fitness impact.

    My Question:.
    What happens with our skeletal lean muscle mass for people above 70 years of age if they take a few thousand steps more or less per day for 2 weeks time?.
    Read on to reveal just how big the impact of that tiny change can be below the break.

  • Fitness School, Question 36, Will lifting weights 1-3 days per week be enough to lower cardiovascular related mortality?.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 36 in our School of Fitness.
    All forms of fitness activity is a tiny little pill of good health no matter who you are.
    But is the simple act of lifting weights one to three days per week enough to substantially lower the risk of cardiovascular related mortality?.
    Yup, that is how easy and straightforward question number 36 turned out to be. And why? Because we have a brand new study to lean back on when it comes down to the (obvious) answer.
    Read on to reveal the complete Q and A below the break.

  • Going beyond 1.5C. Our world and daily life behind the IPCC report.

    Quality time needed: 27 minutes

    Cause & Consequence.

    Life on Earth laid bare by the IPCC report.

    But before we head on over to the meaty real life data of our reckless modern day life, which the 2018 IPCC report painfully laid bare, walk with me as I step out on frosty cold northern shores for my morning walk.

    Just a Thursday, spent on northern shores.
    And this is the way I started this gorgeous little Autumn day.

  • Roundabouts in the milky way galaxy. The duality of a sustainable earth, and interplanetary living.

    Quality time needed: 14 minutes

    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    We see a brand new dawn.

    Life itself is this majestic mirror world of brilliance and incompetence. Eternally merging and reflected, individually disengaged yet perfectly synchronized and attached to each other and everything else.

    Like the leaf that finds itself stranded on the wayward peaks of a stormy ocean. They are each others counterpart, yet entirely different. Individual objects, entwined and interconnected. Disengaged and perfectly unique.

  • Into Autumn, the spider´s lullaby. Random thoughts on life from another gorgeous day.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    Together with a tiny little spider.

    And today, there´s officially a full-blown Autumn song playing out there in nature. Gorgeous and sunny, on a Sunday =). Wind free, except for the tiniest of breeze that you can almost not see or feel as it slowly makes it way through the crown of leaves that towers above.

    But it is, none the less, Autumn.
    The colors of the trees reveal it. The pale blue September moon that hangs high up in the middle of the day is another telltale.

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