Life And Letters Of Maria Edgeworth/Volume 1/Letter 12
To MRS. RUXTON.
EDGEWORTHSTOWN, May 8, 1794.
My father is perfectly well, and very busy out of doors and indoors. He brought back certain books from Black Castle, amongst which I was glad to see the Fairy Tales; and he has related, with various embellishments suited to the occasion, the story of Fortunatus, to the great delight of young and old, especially of Sneyd, whose eyes and cheeks expressed strong approbation, and who repeated it afterwards in a style of dramatic oratory, which you would have known how to admire.
We are reading a new book for children, Evenings at Home, which we admire extremely. Has Sophy seen them? And has she seen the fine Aurora Borealis which was to be seen last week, and which my father and Lovell saw with ecstasies? The candles were all put out in the library, and a wonderful bustle made, before I rightly comprehended what was going on.
I will look for the volume of the Tableau de Paris which you think I have; and if it is in the land of the living, it shall be coming forth at your call. Do you remember our reading in it of the garçon perruquier who dresses in black on a Sunday, and leaves his everyday clothes, white and heavy with powder, in the middle of the room, which he dares not peep into after his metamorphosis? I like to read as well as to talk with you, my dear aunt, because you mix the grave and gay together, and put your long finger upon the very passages which my short, stumpy one was just starting forward to point out, if it could point.
You are very good indeed to wish for "Toys and Tasks," but I think it would be most unreasonable to send them to you now. We are a very small party, now that my father, Anna, and Lovell are gone; but I hope we shall be better when you come.