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fortunes of the toy we chose, which was a drummer, maimed in his own service, and whom he loves to lament, under the name of “the poor man that has lost his face.” But all my pathos and all his own ever-ready pity were ineffectual to detain his attention when he felt his arm grasped by Mr. Ansel; he repulsed Betty, the soldier, and his mamma, and turned about with a quickness that disengaged him from Mr. Ansel, who now desired me to hold his arm. This he resisted ; yet held it out himself, with unconscious intrepidity, in full sight of the lancet, which he saw hovering over it, without the most remote suspicion of its slaughtering design, and with a rather amused look of curiosity to see what was intended. When the incision was made he gave a little scream, but it was momentary, and ended in a look of astonishment at such an unprovoked infliction, that exceeds all description, all painting-and in turning an appealing eye to me, as if demanding at once explanation and protection.
My fondest praises now made him understand that non-resistance was an act of virtue, and again he held out his little arm, at our joint entreaty, but resolutely refused to have it held by any one. Mr. Ansel pressed out the blood with his lancet again and again, and wiped the instrument upon the wound for two or three minutes, fearing, from the excessive strictness of his whole life's regimen, he might still escape the venom. The dear child coloured at sight of the blood, and seemed almost petrified with amazement, fixing his wondering eyes upon Mr. Ansel with an expression that sought to dive into his purpose, and then upon me, as if inquiring how I could
approve of it.
When this was over, Mr. Ansel owned himself still apprehensive it might not take, and asked if I should object to his inoculating the other arm. I told him I com
mitted the whole to his judgment, as M. d'Arblay was not at home. And now, indeed, his absence from this scene, which he would have enjoyed with the proudest forebodings of future courage, became doubly regretted ; for my little hero, though probably aware of what would follow, suffered me to bare his other arm, and held it out immediately, while looking at the lancet; nor would he again have it supported or tightened ; and he saw and felt the incision without shrinking, and without any marks of displeasure.
But though he appeared convinced by my caresses that the thing was right, and that his submission was good, he evidently thought the deed was unaccountable as it was singular; and all his faculties seemed absorbed in profound surprise. I shall never cease being sorry
his father did not witness this, to clear my character from having adulterated the chivalric spirit and courage of his
Mr. Ansel confessed he had never seen a similar instance in one so very young, and, kissing his forehead when he had done, said, “Indeed, little Sir, I am in love
1." Since this, however, my stars have indulged me in the satisfaction of exhibiting his native bravery where it gives most pride as well as pleasure; for his father was in the room when, the other day, Mr. Ansel begged leave to take some matter from his arm for some future experiments. And the same scene was repeated. He presented the little creature with a bonbon, and then showed his lancet: he let his arm be bared unresistingly, and suffered him to make four successive cuts, to take matter for four lancets, never crying, nor being either angry or frightened; but only looking inquisitively at us all in turn, with eyes you would never have forgotten had you beheld, that seemed disturbed by a curiosity they could
not satisfy, to find some motive for our extraordinary proceedings.
Immediately before the inoculation, the faculty of speech seemed most opportunely accorded him, and that with a sudden facility that reminds me of your account of his mother's first, though so late, reading. At noon he repeated after me, when I least expected it,
“ How do do ?” and the next morning, as soon as he awoke, he called out, “How do, mamma? How do, papa ?" I give you leave to guess if the question was inharmonious. From that time he has repeated readily whatever we have desired ; and yesterday, while he was eating his dry toast, perceiving the cat, he threw her a bit, calling out, “Eat it, Buff !” Just now, taking the string that fastens his gown round the neck, he said, “ Ett's [Let's] tie it on, mamma." And when, to try him, I bid him say, Naughty papa, he repeated, “Naughty papa,” as if mechanically; but the instant after, springing from mine to his arms, he kissed him, and said, “ Dood papa,” in a voice so tender it seemed meant as an apology.
Madame d'Arblay to Mrs. Burney
April 3, '97, LAUNCELOT GOBBO-or Gobbo Launcelot-was never more cruelly tormented by the struggles between his conscience and the fiend than I between mine and the pen. Says my conscience, “ Tell dear Etty you have conquered one of your worst fears for your little pet.” Says my pen, “She will have heard it at Chelsea." Says my conscience, “She knows what you must have suffered, call, therefore, for her congratulations.” Says my pen,
“I am certain of her sympathy; and the call will be only a trouble to her.” Says my conscience, " Are you sure this is not a delicate device to spare yourself?” Says my pen, “Mr. Conscience, you are a terrible bore. I have thought so all my life, for one odd quirk or another that you are always giving people when once you get possession of them, never letting them have their own way, unless it happens to be just to your liking, but pinching and grating, and snarling, and causing bad dreams, for every little private indulgence they presume to take without consulting you. There is not a more troublesome inmate to be found. Always meddling and making, and poking your nose into everybody's concerns. Here's me, for example; I can 't be four or five months without answering a letter, but what you give me as many twitches as if I had committed murder; and often and often
you have consumed me more time in apologies, and cost me more plague in repentance, than would have sufficed for the most exact punctuality. So that either one must lead the life of a slave in studying all your humours, or be used worse than a dog for following one's own. I tell you, Mr. Conscience, you are an inconceivable bore."
Thus they go on, wrangling and jangling, at so indecent a rate I can get no rest for them-one urging you would like to hear from myself something of an event so deeply interesting to my happiness; the other assuring me of the pardon of perfect coincidence in my aversion to epistolary exertion. And, hitherto, I have listened, , whether I would or not, to one, and yielded, whether I would or not, to the other. And how long the contest might yet have endured I know not, if Mrs. Lock had not told me, yesterday, she should have an opportunity of forwarding some letters to town to-morrow.
“I wish you were further!" I hear you cry; so now you get out of your difficulties just to make me get into them.
“But consider, my dear Esther, the small-pox"
“ I have considered it at least six times, in all its stages, Heaven help me!"
“ But then so sweet a bantling!
“ I have half a dozen, every one of which would make three of him."
I was interrupted in this my pathetic appeal, and now I must finish off-hand, or lose my conveyance. · I entreat, whenever you see Mrs. Chapone, you will present my affectionate respects to her, and ask if she received a long letter I directed to her in Francis Street.
Madame d'Arblay to Mrs.
June, 1797. It was a very sweet thought to make my little namesake write to me, and I beg her dear mamma to thank her for me, and to tell her how pleased I should have been at the sight of her early progress, had it not proved the vehicle of anxious intelligence.
It is but lately I have thought my little boy entirely recovered, for his appetite had never returned since the eruptive fever till this last fortnight. Thank Heaven ! he is now completely restored to all his strength and good looks, and to all my wishes, for 'tis the gayest and most companionable little soul I ever saw.
And now, what shall I tell you? You ask me “ what information any of my late letters have given you, except of my health and affection ?" None, I confess !-Yet