It's done now. The school presentation went well and the girls seemed interested (Don't take that wrong, it was all girls). We did not have time to learn a dance, but judging by the age and shyness factor of the girls, that may have been for the best in a school environment. So we read "The Visit", a play from Jane Austen’s Juvenile works. I will add it below. I made a few changes for smoother reading, but it’s basically the same. They laughed and thought it was fun. I also showed them an example of one of Jane’s ‘crossed letters’ and encouraged then to try and write one and see if their friends could read it.
I don’t know why I was so nervous about going into the school. I need to either quit doing things like this or do them more often!
A funny story- the night before, I told Jon “Whatever you do, don’t leave for work without buttoning my into my dress” (I cannot button my Jane Austen dress on my own). Well, in the morning I was buttoned up, did the presentation, and came home ready to rejoice by collapsing on the couch in a tee shirt and pajama pants……. until I realized I couldn’t get out of my dress until the kids came home from school.
Where are the servants when you need them!
A COMEDY IN 2 ACTS
To the Revd. James Austen
(adapted for performance by Lynnae Pulsipher)
The following Drama, which I humbly recommend to your Protection & Patronage, tho' inferior to those celebrated Comedies called "The School for Jealousy" & "The Travelled Man", will I hope afford some amusement to so respectable a Curate as yourself; which was the end in veiw when it was first composed by your Humble Servant the Author.
Sir Arthur Hampton Lady HamptonLord
Fitzgerald Miss Fitzgerald
Stanly Sophy Hampton
Willoughby, Sir Arthur's nephew
Cloe Willoughby Servant
The scenes are laid in Lord Fitzgerald's House.
ACT THE FIRST
Scene the first, a Parlour --
enter LORD FITZGERALD & STANLY
Cousin, I am your servant.
Stanly, good morning to you. I hope you slept well last night.
Remarkably well, I thank you.
I am afraid you found your Bed too short. It was bought in my Grandmother's time, who was herself a very short woman & made a point of suiting all her Beds to her own length, as she never wished to have any company in the House, on account of an unfortunate impediment in her speech, which she was sensible of being very disagreable to her inmates.
Make no more excuses, dear Fitzgerald.
I will not distress you by too much civility -- I only beg you will consider yourself as much at home as in your Father's house. Remember, "The more free, the more Wellcome."
"Your virtues, could he imitate
How happy would be Stanly's fate!"
Scene the 2d.
STANLY & MISS FITZGERALD, discovered.
What Company is it you expect to dine with you to Day, Cousin?
Sir Arthur & Lady Hampton; their Daughter, Nephew & Niece.
Miss Hampton & her Cousin are both Handsome, are they not?
Miss Willoughby is extremely so. Miss Hampton is a fine Girl, but not equal to her.
Is not your Brother attached to the Latter?
He admires her, I know, but I believe nothing more. Indeed I have heard him say that she was the most beautiful, pleasing, & amiable Girl in the world, & that of all others he should prefer her for his Wife. But it never went any farther, I'm certain.
And yet my Cousin never says a thing he does not mean.
Never. From his Cradle he has always been a strict adherent to Truth
End of the First Act.
ACT THE SECOND
Scene the first. The Drawing Room.
Chairs set round in a row. LORD FITZGERALD, MISS FITZGERALD & STANLY seated.
Enter a Servant.
Sir Arthur & Lady Hampton. Miss Hampton, Mr. & Miss Willoughby.
Enter the Company.
I hope I have the pleasure of seeing your Ladyship well. Sir Arthur, your servant. Yrs., Mr. Willoughby. Dear Sophy, Dear Cloe, --
Hello. [They pay their Compliments alternately.
The Dining Parlour.
Pray be seated. [They sit
Bless me! there ought to be 8 Chairs & there are but 6. However, if your Ladyship will but take Sir Arthur in your Lap, & Sophy my Brother in hers, I beleive we shall do pretty well.
Oh! with pleasure....
I beg his Lordship would be seated.
I am really shocked at crouding you in such a manner, but my Grandmother (who bought all the furniture of this room) as she had never a very large Party, did not think it necessary to buy more Chairs than were sufficient for her own family and two of her particular freinds.
I beg you will make no apologies. Your Brother is very light.
What a cherub is Cloe!
CLOE WILLOUGHBY, aside)
What a seraph is Stanly!
Enter a Servant.
Dinner is on table.
I shall trouble Mr. Stanly for a Little of the fried Cow heel & Onion.
Oh Madam, there is a secret pleasure in helping so amiable a Lady. --
I assure you, my Lord, Sir Arthur never touches wine; but Sophy will toss off a bumper I am sure, to oblige your Lordship.
Elder wine or Mead, Miss Hampton?
If it is equal to you, Sir, I should prefer some warm ale with a toast and nutmeg.
Two glasses of warmed ale with a toast and nutmeg.
I am afraid, Mr. Willoughby, you take no care of yourself. I fear you don't meet with any thing to your liking.
Oh! Madam, I can want for nothing while there are red herrings on table.
Sir Arthur, taste that Tripe. I think you will not find it amiss.
Sir Arthur never eats Tripe; tis too savoury for him, you know, my Lord.
Take away the Liver & Crow, & bring in the suet pudding.
Sir Arthur, shan't I send you a bit of pudding?
Sir Arthur never eats suet pudding, Ma'am. It is too high a Dish for him.
Will no one allow me the honour of helping them? Then John, take away the Pudding, & bring the Wine.
[SERVANTS take away the things and bring in the Bottles & Glasses.
I wish we had any Desert to offer you. But my Grandmother in her Lifetime, destroyed the Hothouse in order to build a receptacle for the Turkies with its materials; & we have never been able to raise another tolerable one.
I beg you will make no apologies, my Lord.
Come Girls, let us circulate the Bottle.
A very good notion, Cousin; & I will second it with all my Heart. Stanly, you don't drink.
Madam, I am drinking draughts of Love from Cloe's eyes.
That's poor nourishment truly. Come, drink to her better acquaintance.
And now my amiable Sophia, condescend to marry me.
[He takes her hand ]
I certainly shall!
Oh! Cloe, could I but hope you would make me blessed --
Since you, Willoughby, are the only one left, I cannot refuse your earnest solicitations -- There is my Hand.
And may you all be Happy!