Kitty Maltravers to the Editor

Miss Vardill

Dovedale, Derbyshire, May 30th

Mr Headeater,

I am deputated by my Lady Belle Bluemantle to give you a narrowthief of what has happened here, as Mr Sectary Scratch has got a scutcheon in his bones. So, Sir, I shall begin in the middle of things like your great Lephic poets Humber and Harry Ostow. You must know our learned lady Miss Botherem is very fond of walking in Dovedale to study peterfashions and mineraddlegees. And as I was following her one morning last week, she met a fine young he-question (which as you know, means a man on horseback) and he said “Ma’am, if you belong to that there housefull of ould ladies, I should be very glad to see the rest of the furniture!” So, looking very magnanimouse, as I should have done, she said “Sir, you see a sample in me.” Whereupon, turning his horse about, “Faith then,” says he, “by St Patrick I don’t desire to see any more!” And away he rode, which I thought a very in-deck-our-house thing. However, he went no farther than the park-gate where he met Mons-Pirouette and asked as many questions as there is in the new grammar. So, Mr Headytur, at night there came a fine gentleman on horseback with a little basket for Miss Botherem. No indiafiddle else was to see it; but I peeped into the develope, and found this note which I copied for My Lady and Miss Squib.

“Sir Patrick McSinister lays a thousand respects at the feet of Miss Botherem, and hearing she goes roundabout looking for out of the way things, he sends he a comical fish which is the same dead or alive; and he would have sent her a piece of Noah’s cable but he could not find the end of it, having been cut off. Sir Patrick hopes Miss Botherem will not show this letter to the other ould ladies, for fear they should be jalous

Was this not a comical Billy-do, Mr Headeater? But Miss Barbara seem’d quite lilly-vated, and said the thing in the basket was a naughty-lasses’ shell. “Kitty,” says she, “when the groom has put a period to his provender tell him he shall carry my new Flog-its-no-matter to his master as a nick-evil-lent for his present.” Well, Mr Headeater, not knowing what to do, I asked Dr Cardamom who knows all sorts of gabble-istical words, what Miss Botherem means by putting a period to provender, and all that. “Why,” says the Dr, “you must show Sir Patrick’s groom the nearest way out, and give him this cane, which is Miss Botherem’s new-invented Flogitsnomatter, with her compliments for his master.” So the groom said it was an odd sort of nick-evil-lent for a present; but he went away very quietly, and never came again tho’ I walked three times in the verandrew to see him.

Now, Sir, what I have to instigate to you is this. It would be very kind if you would dissuade our ladies to discharge Dr Cardamom and Dr Julep; for as my lady says, they only castigate our lovers and hinder my business. And it was very hetteraginhouse in Dr Cardamom to frighten away Sir Patrick, after he had almost killed her other share a me with his aunty skepticks and die-afore-eight-tricks. Indeed, sir, I do think poor Matthew Mitre will never get the better of his hebdomal confusion, for when he left Tabby Hall, he looked, Miss Botherem said, like a rat hydrostatified. Not that I think he had much love in him for he was quite a corpuscle of a man, but they say corpullence is a sign of love, and you know Professor Cowgate took lodgings in a steeple to evitate a pair of fine eyes, till he grew too globular to stay there. As for Dr Cardamom, he minds his bottle more than his Farma-cross-of-ye, and says wine is the true he-licks-her-fight-ye, but tho’ he is so flagitious with other people’s love-matters, I can tell how he looks when some people look at him, and Mr Headeater, I send you these heathenish rhymes which we found in Miss Murmur’s hermitage to dumbonstrate that other ladies have their mamorattoes. Mr Julep knows who left the memorandums in Miss Croaker’s room which I send you coppice of, being, Sir,

Your servant and correspondent, pro ten per

Kitty Maltravers

Postgrip. Such another strange thing has happened. but My Lady’s bell rings and the Dr is going to town.