The aim of these stories is not historical exactitude nor unbending accuracy in dates or juxtaposition. They are rather an attempt to re-create the personalities of a succession of charming women, ranging from Elizabeth Pepys, wife of the Diarist, to Fanny Burney and her experiences at the Court of Queen Charlotte. As I have imagined them, so I have set them forth, and if what is written can at all revive their perished grace and the unfading delight of days that now belong to the ages, and to men no more, I shall not have failed.
d, but what is very fitting for a woman. Was instant with the olde Gentleman that he should speake of my Lessons to none, the more so (I did say) that my father would not have these papers known to any, great matters hanging on it. Which indeed is true though not as he takes it.
So I home and with Sam'l to the Play, where my Lady Castlemaine, which indeed is a great Beauty, nor can I deny it, but sure it is not hard to be a beauty in Clothes and jewels that do dazzle the Eyes of all that Gaze upon her. But, Lord! to see how bold and unmannerly in staring upon strangers and the men on the stage, and in fine do not please me with her Freedoms. This Sam'l disputing very hotly after we had supt upon a Jowl of Salmon, I to speake my mind, asking if he would have his Wife casting oranges to the actors and blowing Kisses all about the house, and he not knowing what to answer, I do say, "Then prayse it not in others, for, if you will have me a bold Slut, no doubt but I will do my endeavours to please you," and
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