While our father is fluttering about the streets of London, gay, dissipated, and Thoughtless at the age of 57, Matilda and I continue secluded from Mankind in our old and Mouldering Castle.
[But…] We are neither dull nor unhappy; on the contrary there never were two more lively, more agreeable or more witty girls, than we are; not an hour in the Day hangs heavy on our Hands. We read, we work, we walk, and when fatigued with these Employments releive our spirits, either by a lively song, a graceful Dance, or by some smart bon-mot, and witty repartee.
We are handsome my dear Charlotte, very handsome and the greatest of our Perfections is, that we are entirely insensible of them ourselves.
uhhh…. yes. i see.
so. this passage is from jane austen’s “Lesley Castle – an unfinished novel in letters,” a little easter-egg i found hidden in the back of the penguin 60s classics edition of austen’s “The History of England.” i love the way the character is developed here. (as for typos, i actually copied everything exactly as it is printed, such as the switched ei / ie and the at times counter-intuitive punctuation. the text dates itself. though there of course is another tool that can be used in developing character and setting, with register, word choice, grammatical and orthographic accuracay / inaccuracy, etc etc) i just stumbled across this little (very short) story last night and will finish reading it today but thought it deserved mentioning. i had never heard of it and i DO like my stories short and my poems even shorter… this is probably the shortest austen novel you will ever get a chance to read, so get cracking. 🙂