|July 21st, 2004 05:14 pm - How did the Captain come to fall down the hatchway?|
In the "Alien Encyclopedia" I bought at Goodwill t'other day, I have discovered another great mystery of the unknown: Why, for its illustration of the "Mulder" entry, does it have a drawing of Scully in a very short bathrobe and Mulder wearing only a towel??
Oh, hi. Mom and I have been home for over a week now, I just haven't got around to writing in my journal 'til now. If you want an account of our trip, you'll have to ask stellar_dust
, I sent her half-a-dozen letters from 1804 while we were in Ohio, and once I've copied something to external storage I clear it from the primary drive. (I *am* working on an account of our trip home through Kentucky, to be entitled "Highway L-8", which will go up on e2 if I ever actually finish writing it.)
Were I still writing my sister letters, an account of the past week would go something like this: ( 21st July, 1804. Dearest Sister, )
Okay, my regency-speak is getting quite a bit off. Having exhausted Jane Austen last week, in an attempt to stay in-period I've resorted to re-reading the scattered Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin novels lying about the house. And oh, how I feel for poor Lieutenant Hornblower, every time he tries to respectfully suggest a course of action to Lieutenant Buckland and Lieutenant Bush and has to explain in great detail to his superiors a plan he thought self-evident--- VBS is coming up, and I've had to sit through some really excruciating meetings where I suggest something obvious and then ten minutes later the grown-ups work out the point after discussing it endlessly.
Oh, and speaking of VBS, poll!
Whee! I just bought a copy of the Kalevala in Latin!
Current Mood:: hot
Current Music:: animaniacs theme song
|July 11th, 2004 06:36 pm - letters from 1804|
11th July, 1804
We have, since the past Friday, been engaged in sorting out some boxes of old correspondence of my Grandmother S------'s, which ought to have commended me to my own duties of letter-writing; but you will forgive my neglect, knowing me as you do, and that I have oft been far more dilatory in my sororal duties!
Of course, the most-anticipated event of this visit has been our Aunt L----'s ball yestereve, but I believe I shall save that account for last (not that anything of very great consequence occurred --)
Friday we called at our Uncle David S------'s house, and had the opportunity to visit with young Mr. Philip S------, and Miss Nikki, and Mrs. R------ and little Miss R------. (And I am obliged to leave their news for later as Aunt and Uncle L---- have arrived, with Cousin Norton who continues as fat and ill-tempered as ever, and the tidings that she expects the rest of our relations to arrive shortly, though I don’t believe our Uncle Paul, in town for the morning on business, is aware of the invitations.)
-- Well, they are all gone away again. Aunt and Uncle L----, Aunt and Uncle B---, Uncle John, Uncle Richard, Uncle Michael, and Cousin Julie – I suppose we shall not see them again 'til Christmas.
As to the tidings from our Uncle David's, young Mr. Phillip is said to be much improved with his studies. Cousin Nikki graced us with her presence only for a few minutes, before going out again with an intimate friend of hers. She reminds me greatly of Miss Lydia Bennet of Miss Austen's novel in her mind and habits. Miss Julie's young man has, at last, procured a divorce from his most ill-suited wife and we have hopes for an entirely respectable settlement in that quarter, at last. As for Mrs. R------ -- we were among the first to hear the news that she is expecting again, and hopes to present little Erica with a brother or sister by the spring. We dined that evening again with Aunt and Uncle B---, and a school friend of Uncle Paul's, a Mr. L------ and his wife, with whom I had not previously been acquainted.
Saturday morning, having heard intelligence that there was to be a fair in the village, Mother and I walked it, and marveled happily at the rusticities of the country people. Meeting Aunt and Uncle B--- there, we soon came up on our O-------- cousins –- while I know that many of our relations would consider it most improper of them to take part in such festivities, I still find them a most merry and pleasant acquaintance, and took the opportunity to purchase some embroidery silks and a most marvelous contraption for the making of decorative cording and braid.
And being in the neighborhood, we took it up on ourselves to call upon our Uncle Michael S------ at the old manor house. I was later given to understand by Uncle Richard that we were shown great favor even to be permitted into the house, much less allowed the library! I think our Uncle Michael S------ would make a most -->
Suitable hero fo a gothic novel, do you not, secluded as he is in that ancient crumbling house with only his books and his studies for consolation, and that spooky dog for company.
The rest of the day was to be spent in preparation for the long-awaited ball, but, having perhaps exerted ourselves too much in the morning, and quite undone by the oppressive heat, our entire household succumbed to the lure of sleep, and awakened with alarms only to hurry to the ball fashionably late: we were neither the earliest nor by any means the latest. As to the ball itself, nothing scandalous or particularly noteworthy occurred to my knowledge; I would follow custom and regale you with a detailed account of the young ladies' dresses and who danced every dance, but I imagine you would be quite as bored by it as I. At any
rate, it is difficult to et excited by romantic prospects at a dance where all of the young men are one's cousins, whom one has known since infancy, or else the established conquests of one's lady cousins! I was only occasionally without a partner, however, and had a most pleasant evening; it was a credit in every way to our Aunt L----'s hospitality. Quite forgetting my station and the proprieties due a young lady, I flattered a second cousin of ours into engaging in a round of billiards with me; he tried, most assiduously and in commendably gentlemanly manner, to let me win, but unfortunately my skill was not equal to the compliment. Later, as the dancing began to quiet, I attempted to raise interest in getting up a rubber of whist; but finding the others even less excited by the prospect than I, passed the remainder of the evening instead in animated conversation with our Cousin O--------, partly, I believe, out of regard for our father. Oh –- and I also had the opportunity to converse with our cousin Katrina's intended, Mr. M----, and found him an altogether upstanding and amiable young man, if perhaps too ruled by his mother. I also had the honor of gaining the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. R---, whom I had often heard spoken of as intimate friends of our aunts and uncles, but had not before had the pleasure to know, I found them amiable, animated and polite, and am most glad to have made the connection at last.
Well! This has become a prodigiously long letter! Do not expect such assiduity of me regularly! Today we have been largely engaged in preparation for the journey, as we leave after our early breakfast tomorrow. We are not to visit Mr. and Mrs. M----, having had a letter from Aunt C----- that she continues ill with this child, but Mother intends to take the journey slow regardless, and see as much of the country as possibly – certainly a fifty miles' journey can be more comfortably accomplished in several days than one!
Mother has come in now with a lot of family portraits she found stacked carelessly in a closet, they being duplicates of better quality likenesses already hanging in the gallery, and has determined it to be our duty to sort and dispose of them, our Uncle lacking a lady of his own to do such things -– I do not think we shall show much progress in one night, work as we shall. But Adieu! I am called away. Love & etc,
|July 8th, 2004 06:35 pm - Letters from 1804|
8th July, 1804
Society in the country is not at all like that in town, as I have been continually reminded since our arrival here. We have spent the past week in an incessant round of visits and parties. On Monday we were asked to an assembly at Mr. and Mrs. McM----'s house, and I passed the afternoon in pleasant conversation with Miss McM---- and several young ladies of her acquaintance. Young Mr. McM---- is certainly thriving in the country air! The B------s were in attendance as well (such a romantic story, that such dear friends should marry sisters!)
On Tuesday, being not otherwise engaged, Mother and I took the carriage into town for some shopping; I bought new inks at the stationers' although this is my first opportunity to make use of them. We also were invited to see a great house situated in a park very near town, which was as always a most stimulating experience. Mother had such stories of her girlhood and being permitted to use old Mrs. H-----'s library. There was also an entirely enchanting sunroom with a marble fountain.
And who should we see in town but our Uncle David! He was taking young Miss R------ and his mother-in-law, also visiting, for air and shopping.
In the country ladies think nothing of riding ten or even twenty miles merely for the pleasure of shopping at a certain place of which they had heard; on Wednesday our Aunt B--- led us on a largely successful expedition in search of spices, sweets, and wine. Earlier in the day our Uncle Raymond had called, to share tidings of his still-increasing family, so today we visited around the S------es and their young ones, among several visits.
Uncle Paul has been teaching me to cut my own quills, from the feathers of his very birds -– what do you think? Not a terribly fine line.
Love & etc, your affectionate sister, Sara
|July 4th, 2004 06:29 pm - Letters from 1804|
4th July, 1804
This afternoon Mother and I were At Home to callers. The news had spread of our belated arrival , and half of our aunts and uncles called today. Uncle John brought with him a hound puppy, only two months old, which was born with one blue eye and so is being raised for the house. It was greatly infuriated by the hem of my gown and attacked with much ferocity and intrepidity. Our uncle Michael is yet devoted to his avocation as a dilettante of literature; he has, of late, been occupied in the cataloguing of his extensive library, which, he declares, now fills an entire wing of his house. Some
dayweek I must accept his offer to sample its glories!
Our Uncle Richard had with him a newly acquired kalydoscope, a clever contrivance of mirrors and glass which used a revolving display of pressed flowers to make patterns brilliant as fireworks.
Mrs. B--- reminded us that this is the date which the Americans celebrate with fireworks, much as we do fifth November, in remembrance of their Independence Day. There was much speculation as to whether the Colonies' experiment had quite finished its course –- that backcountry, radical Republican demagogue will almost certainly be elected their President again, despite that he was never properly elected the first time, & he seems yet determined to run the fledgling nation & its high ideals into the ground in the name of freedom, security, & sovereignty. He is attempting to have even his own vice-president hung for treason -– can you imagine? I understand that that bombastic little Corsican who has usurped the French republic has us all worried, but I cannot but fear that the Americans bid fair to go the same way.
But I am informed that it is improper and unattractive for a young lady to show an active interest in politics, so I will conclude by offering my fondest thoughts to you. Our Uncle Paul has gifted me with a fleece of finest Angora wool from his own prize animals in hopes that I might make use of it to improve my needlecraft. Uncle Richard has invited us to visit his park, where he continues to establish an elaborate wilderness in the French fashion. If we are free for an afternoon perhaps we shall walk there.
Love & etc,
Your affectionate sister,
|July 3rd, 2004 06:26 pm - Letters from 1804|
3rd July, 1804
We have had a most amusing and diverting morning. The innkeeper, upon being advised that we intended on continuing in the same route today, regaled us with an entirely romantic story of the region. It seems that, no more than fifteen years ago, two intrepid young gentlemen by the names of G---- and M-----------, hearing that there was in the area an extensive and unexplored underground cavern, resolved to spend a morning in deciphering it. But, being supplied with only a single candle, they found upon the extinguishment of their flame by an errant breeze that they could proceed neither forward nor backward, having no light nor any other method of finding their way, and could merely huddle in the heavy dark to await their deplorable and premature fate. They were discovered only two days later by a search party of local farmers, lying pitiably in each others' arms, in a hopeless stupor of resignation, and it is said that the younger of the two had lost his capacity for speech.
Finding ourselves in that same country as we rested for luncheon, we discovered a local rustic who admitted to knowing the entrance and pathways of that very cavern, and would for the mere sum of half-a-crown each, bring us to the location of the near-tragedy. I prevailed on Mother to permit us to attempt the adventure, which led us a mile off the mail road on farm passages; but when I stood in the vestibule of the cavern, my miniature candle lighting the pendulously draped folds of rock suspended precariously above me, I felt weight and breath of the earth over my head. (I fear, however, that I shall never get the mud out of my petticoat.)
This expedition delayed our arrival at our Uncle's, but we arrived in good time for dinner which we took tonight with Mr. and Mrs. B---, who had driven in from town for the occasion. We were greeted on arrival by our Uncle's peacock, who has grown quite an impressive display of feathers this season, and struts about the park as if he is the master, and there are two orphaned chickens being kept in the carriage house, whose chirps and childish antics are quite endearing.
I have heard little of the family news as yet, for Mrs. B--- has only recently returned from London herself, and the conversation at table quickly turned to sport – our Uncle has had little luck with pheasants of late, it seems – and I confess I did not attend overmuch to the discussion. The gentlemen excused themselves to walk the grounds, but were soon interrupted by prognostication of a thunderstorm, which indeed were fulfilled shortly upon their departure. The lightning and thunder are quite extravagant, and I find it pleasant to sit by a window and write to you by lamplight, inside this snug house. I do hope the storm does not damage the corn as this is a bad time of year for it!
I hope that you continue well & content in all things & find your days pleasant.
Love & etc,
your affectionate sister,
|July 2nd, 2004 06:21 pm - letters from 1804|
2nd July, 1804
I do most sincerely hope that your stay with Mrs. S------ and her husband continues as pleasant and as beneficial as it has been, that the weather remains enjoyable and the society amiable, and your accomplishments still increase.
There has been no small excitement at home, of late. Yestereve, I permitted Mr. S---- to attend me at the theater (on the strict understanding that it was not to be taken as encouragement of his suit). The performance was most excellent, although the show I had seen previously. There was a most terrifying and cleverly construed werewolf at the finish which caused some of the sillier girls to play at fainting!
The greatest excitement occurred after the performance. I had sent my escort on his way and was riding home when one of the carriage horses stumbled and began to limp. The coachman insisted that we must not drive any farther, so there we were, the coachman, the carriage, the horses, and I, stopped in the road in the middle of London! You cannot possibly imagine how stupid I felt. I must have looked quite the picture of feminine helplessness, for quite a number of gentlemen insisted upon stopping to enquire after my condition and welfare. It was all quite flattering, once I had overlooked the mortification of being stopped in such a manner, and I was able to send a message to Mother to come with help, and she arrived soon thereafter by the old coach, leading the way for a groom who had brought spare horses, and so the entire procession returned home without further incident. -->
After such a perilous adventure, I was, of course, most overcome with nervous exhaustion, and retired early full of worry for the horses and the journey which we had planned for the morrow -- you recall, the visit at our Uncle's country house.
Fortunately, we were able to depart this afternoon regardless -- Mr. F------- came by to check the horses, and he determined that they were in perfect condition. He considered that perhaps it was merely having a bad day. Therefore we were able to depart somewhat late in the afternoon.
The weather has been excellent for travel, and we made a good distance today, although at times the roads were rather more rough than I had expected. We were making very little headway, and we passed an overturned carriage!
I had occupied the time -- and I hope improved my accomplishment in elocution -- by reading aloud to Mother from Miss Austen's most recent offering, and I believe we were both entertained.
We are resting for tonight in a most pleasant little inn, and hope still to arrive at the house by mid-day tomorrow, and remain until Mr. & Mrs. L----'s ball. Mother is considering, before we return home, making a diversion to visit Mr. & Mrs. M---- and their son, if our cousin is feeling well enough (although we are not to mention it to her until we are certain, for the sake of her constitution.)
I hope to continue writing whenever the opportunity presents. May you continue well & happy.
Love, etc. Your affectionate