Perhaps some apology may be expected on behalf of a book about Jane Austen, having regard to the number which have already been put before the public in past years. My own membership of the family is my excuse for printing a book which contains little original matter, and which might be described as "a thing of shreds and patches," if that phrase were not already over-worked. To me it seems improbable that others will take a wholly adverse view of what is so much inwoven with all the traditions of my life. When I recollect my childhood, spent chiefly in the house of my grandfather, Sir Francis, and all the interests which accompanied those early days, I find myself once more amongst those deep and tender distances. Surrounded by reminiscences of the opening years of the century, the Admiral always cherished the most affectionate remembrance of the sister who had so soon passed away, leaving those six precious volumes to be a store of household words among the family.
nts; they were trusted to hired attendants; they were allowed a deal of air and exercise, were kept on plain food, forced to give way to the comfort of others, accustomed to be overlooked, slightly regarded, considered of trifling importance. No well-stocked libraries of varied lore to cheat them into learning awaited them; no scientific toys, no philosophie amusements enlarged their minds and wearied their attention." One wonders what would have been the verdict of this writer of fifty years ago on education in 1905. She goes on to tell us of the particular system pursued with the boys in order to harden them for their future work in life. It was not considered either necessary or agreeable for a woman to be very strong. "Little Francis was at the age of ten months removed from the parsonage to a cottage in the village, and placed under the care of a worthy couple, whose simple style of living, homely dwelling, and out-of-door habits (for in the country the poor seldom close the door by day, except in bad we
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