Diary from the French Court, Book VII




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This is book 7 from the personal diary of Fannys own life and experience at the time of the French Revolution

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The Queen’s Summons.

Queen’s Lodge, Windsor, Monday, July 17

With what hurry of mind and body did I rise this morning! Everything had already been arranged for Mrs. Ord’s carrying us to Windsor, and my father’s carriage was merely to go as baggage-waggon for my clothes. But I wept not then. I left no one behind me to regret; my dear father accompanied me, and all my dear sisters had already taken their flight, never more to return. Even poor little Sarah.1 whom I love very dearly, was at Chesington.


Between nine and ten o’clock we set off. We changed carriage in Queen Ann-street, and Mrs. Ord conveyed us thence to Windsor. With a struggling heart, I kept myself tolerably tranquil during the little journey. My dear father was quite happy, and Mrs. Ord felt the joy of a mother in relinquishing me to the protection of a queen so universally reverenced. Had I been in better spirits, their ecstasy would have been unbounded; but alas!—what I was approaching was not in my mind—what I was leaving had taken Possession of it solely.






Miss Port flew out to us as the carriage stopped—the youthful blush of pleasure heightening her complexion, and every feature shewing her kind happiness. Mrs. Delany, she said, was gone out with the queen. I took leave of my good Mrs. Ord, whose eyes overflowed with maternal feelings—chiefly of contentment. Mrs. Delany came home in about an hour. A chastened satisfaction was hers; she rejoiced in the prospect before me; she was happy we should now be so much united, but she felt for my deprivations, she saw the hard conflict within me, and the tenderest pity checked her delight.

It was now debated whether I was immediately to go to the Lodge, or wait for orders. The accustomed method for those who have their majesties’ commands to come to them is, to present themselves to the people in waiting, and by them to be announced. My heart, however, was already sinking, and my spirits every moment were growing more agitated, and my sweet Mrs. Delany determined to spare me the additional task of passing through such awe-striking formalities. She therefore employed my dear father—delighted with the employment—to write a note, in her name.
“Mrs. Delany presents her most humble duty to the queen; she found Dr. Burney and his daughter at her house. Miss Burney waits the honour of her majesty’s commands.”

This, though unceremonious and unusual, she was sure the queen would pardon. A verbal answer came that I was to go to the Lodge immediately.
















O, my dear Susan! in what an agony of mind did I obey the summons! I was still in my travelling dress, but could not stay to change it. My father accompanied me. Mrs. Delany, anxiously and full of mixed sensations, gave me her blessing. We walked; the queen’s Lodge is not fifty yards from Mrs. Delany’s door. My dear father’s own courage all failed him in this little step; for as I was now on the point of entering—probably for ever—into an entire new way of life, and of foregoing by it all my most favourite schemes, and every dear expectation my fancy had ever indulged of happiness adapted to its taste—as now all was to be given up—I could disguise my trepidation no longer—indeed I never had disguised, I had only forborne proclaiming it. But my dear father now, sweet soul! felt it all, as I held by his arm, without power to say one word, but that if he did not hurry along I should drop by the way. I heard in his kind voice that he was now really alarmed; he would have slackened his pace, or have made me stop to breathe; but I could not; my breath seemed gone, and I could only hasten with all my might, lest my strength should go too.









To Compose

my spirits.




A page was in waiting at the gate, who shewed us into Mrs. Haggerdorn’s room, which was empty. My dear father endeavoured here to compose my spirits; I could have no other command over them than to forbear letting him know the afflicted state of all within, and to suffer him to keep to his own conclusions, that my emotion was all from fear of the approaching audience.
The page came in a minute or two to summon me to the queen. The queen was in her dressing-room. Mrs. Schwellenberg was standing behind her: nobody else present.

She received me with a most gracious bow of the head, and a smile that was all sweetness. She saw me much agitated, and attributed it, no doubt, to the awe of her presence. O, she little knew my mind had no room in it for feelings of that sort! She talked to me of my journey, my father, my sisters, and my brothers; the weather, the roads, and Mrs. Delany, any, every thing she could suggest, that could best tend to compose and to make me easy; and when I had been with her about a quarter of an hour, she desired Mrs. Schwellenberg to shew me my apartment, and, with another graceful bow, motioned my retiring.

Not only to the sweet queen, but to myself let me here do justice, in declaring that though I entered her presence with a heart filled with everything but herself, I quitted it with sensations much softened. The condescension of her efforts to quiet me, and the elegance of her receiving me, thus, as a visitor, without naming to me a single direction, without even the most distant hint of business, struck me to shew so much delicacy, as well as graciousness, that I quitted her with a very deep sense of her goodness, and a very strong conviction that she merited every exertion on my part to deserve it.
Mrs. Schwellenberg left me,—at the room door, where my dear father was still waiting for me, too anxious to depart till he again saw me.














We spent a short time together, in which I assured him I would from that moment take all the happiness in my power, and banish all the regret. I told him how gratifying had been my reception, and I omitted nothing I could think of to remove the uneasiness that this day seemed first to awaken in him, thank God! I had the fullest success; his hopes and gay expectations were all within call, and they ran back at the first beckoning.
This settled, and his dear countenance all fresh illumined with returning content, we went together to Mrs. Schwellenherg, where we made a visit of about an hour, in which I had the pleasure of seeing them upon very amicable terms; and then we had one more tête-à-tête all in the same cheering style, and he left me to drest, and went to dine with Mrs. Delany.

Left to myself, I did not dare stop to think, nor look round upon my new abode, nor consider for how long I was taking possession; I rang for my new maid, and immediately dressed for dinner. I now took the most vigorous resolutions to observe the promise I had made my dear father. Now all was filially settled, to borrow my own words, I needed no monitor to tell me it would be foolish, useless, even wicked, not to reconcile myself to my destiny.




The many now wishing for just the same—O! could they look within me. I am married, my dearest Susan—I look upon it in that light—I was averse to forming the union, and I endeavoured to escape it; but my friends interfered—they prevailed—and the knot is tied. What then now remains but to make the best wife in my power? I am bound to it in duty, and I will strain every nerve to succeed.
















A Military Gourmand.

When summoned to dinner, I found Mrs. Schwellenberg and a German officer, Colonel Polier, who is now an attendant of Prince Charles of Mecklenburg, the queen’s brother, who is on a visit to their majesties. I was introduced to him and we took our places. I was offered the seat of Mrs. Haggerdorn, which was at the head of the table; but that was an undertaking I could not bear. I begged leave to decline it; and as Mrs. Schwellenberg left me at my own choice, I planted myself quietly at one side.

Colonel Polier, though a German officer, is of a Swiss family.

He is a fat, good-humoured man, excessively fond Of eating and drinking. His enjoyment of some of the fare, and especially of the dessert, was really laughable; he could never finish a speech he had begun, if a new dish made its appearance, without stopping to feast his eyes upon it, exclaim something in German, and suck the inside of his mouth; but all so openly, and with such perfect good-humour, that it was diverting without anything distasteful.
After dinner we went upstairs into Mrs. Schwellenberg’s room, to drink coffee. This is a daily practice. Her rooms are exactly over mine; they are the same size, and have the same prospect, but they are much more sumptuously fitted up.




A Succession of Visitors. Colonel Polier soon left us, to attend Prince Charles. Mrs. Schwellenberg and I had then a long tête-à-tête, in which I found her a woman of understanding, and fond of conversation. I was called down afterwards to Miss Port, who was eager to see me in my new dwelling, and dying with impatience to know, hear, and examine everything about me. She ran about to make all the inquiries and discoveries she could for me, and was so highly delighted with my situation, it was impossible not to receive some pleasure even from looking at her. She helped me to unpack, to arrange, to do everything that came in the way.
In a short time Madame de la Fite entered, nearly as impatient as herself to be my first visitor. She was quite fanciful and entertaining about my succeeding to Mrs. Haggerdorn, and repeatedly turned round to look at me fresh and fresh, to see if it was really me, and me in that so long differently appropriated apartment.
She had but just left me, when who should enter but my dear Mrs. Delany herself. This was indeed a sweet regale to me. She came to welcome me in my own apartment, and I am sure to teach me to love it. What place could I see her in and hate? I could hardly do anything but kiss her soft cheeks, and dear venerable hands, with gratitude for her kindness, while she stayed with me, which was till the royal family came home from the Terrace, which they walk upon every fine evening. She had already been invited to the king’s concert, which she then attended.

Miss Port and I now planned that we would drink together. It was, indeed, my dearest Mrs. Locke’s injunctions that determined me upon making that trial; for I knew nothing could more contribute to my future chance of some happy hours than securing this time and this repast to myself. Mrs. Delany had the same wish, and encouraged me in the attempt.

As I knew not to whom to speak, nor how to give a positive order, in my ignorance whether the measure I desired to take was practicable or not, Miss Port undertook to be my agent. She therefore ran out, and scampered up and down the stairs and passages in search of some one to whom she could apply. She met at last Mrs. Schwellenberg’s man, and boldly bid him “bring Miss Burney’s tea.” “It is ready,” he answered, “in the dining parlour.” And then he came to me, with his mistress’s compliments, and that she was come down to tea, and waited for me.
To refuse to go was impossible it would have been an opening so offensive, with a person destined for my principal companion, and who had herself begun very civilly and attentively, that I could not even hesitate. I only felt heavy-hearted, and Miss Port made a thousand faces, and together we went to the eating-room.


















Under

the Blanket of night and dream is where tomorrows amber day field is born



















Mrs. Schwellenberg had already made the tea; and four gentlemen were seated at the table. The Bishop of Salisbury, as I afterwards found he was, came up to congratulate me, and spoke very kindly of my father, whom he said he had just seen on the Terrace. This is a brother of Lord Barrington’s: I had never met him before.

Next him sat a young clergyman, Mr. Fisher, whom I did not recollect, but who said he had seen me once at Mrs. Ord’s, and spoke to me of her, and of Mrs. Thrale, whom he had lately left in Italy, where he has been travelling.
And next was Major Price, the equerry of the king at present in waiting. He is the same that all the Barborne family so adored when a captain. He mentioned them all to me, with high praise and great good-breeding. I am very much pleased with him, and happy he should be the equerry in waiting on my first arrival. Colonel Polier was also of the party.

I find it has always belonged to Mrs. Schwellenberg and Mrs. Haggerdorn to receive at tea whatever company the king or queen invite to the Lodge, as it is only a very select few of them that can eat with their majesties, and those few are only ladies; no men, of what rank soever, being permitted to sit in the queen’s presence. I mean and hope to leave this business wholly to Mrs. Schwellenberg, and only to succeed Mrs. Haggerdorn in personal attendance upon the queen.





A Panic.

During tea the door opened, and a young lady entered, upon whose appearance all the company rose, and retreated a few paces backward, with looks of high respect. She advanced to Mrs. Schwellenberg, and desired her to send a basin of tea into the music-room for Mrs. Delany: then walking up to me, with a countenance of great sweetness, she said, “I hope you are very well, Miss Burney?” I only curtseyed, and knew not till she left the room, which was as soon as she had spoken a few words to Major Price, that this was the Princess Elizabeth.

Immediately after the concert began; the band being very full, and the performance on the ground-floor, as is the eating-room. I heard it perhaps better, because softer, than if I had been in the music-room. I was very glad of this circumstance. Nothing was played but Handel; but I was pleased to hear any music, so much had I persuaded myself I should hear no more.


Evening Ceremonial in the Queen’s Dressing Room. At night I was summoned to the queen’s apartment. Mrs. Schwellenberg was there, waiting. We sat together some time. The queen then arrived, handed into her dressing-room by the king, and followed by the princess royal and Princess Augusta. None other of the princesses slept in the queen’s Lodge. The lower Lodge, which is at the further end of the garden, is the dwelling-place of the four younger princesses.
The king, with a marked appearance of feeling for the—no doubt evident—embarrassment of my situation, on their entrance, with a mild good-breeding inquired of me how I had found Mrs. Delany: and then, kissing both his daughters, left the room. The two princesses each took the queen’s hand, which they respectfully kissed, and wishing her good night, curtseyed condescendingly to her new attendant, and retired.
The queen spoke to me a little of my father, my journey, and Mrs. Delany, and then entered into easy conversation, in German, with Mrs. Schwellenberg, who never speaks English but by necessity. I had no sort of employment given me. The queen was only waited upon by Mrs. Schwellenberg and Mrs. Thielky, her wardrobe woman; and when she had put on her night dishabille, she wished me good night.

This consideration to the perturbed state of my mind, that led her majesty to permit my presence merely as a spectatress, by way of taking a lesson of my future employment for my own use, though to her, doubtless, disagreeable, was extremely gratifying to me, and sent me to bed with as much ease as I now could hope to find.
















Monday, July 8.

I rose at six, and was called to the queen soon after seven. Only Mrs. Schwellenberg was with her, and again she made me a mere looker-on; and the obligation I felt to her sent me somewhat lighter hearted from her presence.
When she was dressed, in a simple morning gown, she had her hat and cloak put on, to go to prayers at eight o’clock, at the king’s chapel in the Castle; and I returned to my room.
At noon came my dear father, and spent an hour or two with me—so happy! so contented! so big with every pleasant expectation!—I rejoice to recollect that I did nothing, said nothing this morning to check his satisfaction; it was now, suddenly and at once, all my care to increase his delight. And so henceforward it must invariably continue.

We parted cheerfully on both sides; yet I saw a little pang in his last embrace, and felt it in his dear hands:—but I kept myself well up, and he left me, I really believe, without a wish ungratified.
At dressing-time the same quiet conduct was still observed by the queen—fixed in her benign determination to permit me to recover breath and ease, ere she gave me any other trial than merely standing in her presence.
At dinner we—I mean Mrs. Schwellenberg and myself—had Miss Planta and Colonel Polier; and I was happy to be again diverted with the excess of his satisfaction at sight of turtle upon the table.








The Queen’s

Toilettes.





In the evening I had a visit from Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave, who brought her sister, Lady Caroline Waldegrave, both to pay congratulatory compliments. Lady Elizabeth is lady of the bedchamber to the princess royal, and lives in this Lodge.

Her sister, by the queen’s, goodness, is permitted to spend some months of every year with her. They were left orphans at about sixteen: the queen instantly took them both under her protection. They are gentle and well bred, and seem very amiable. They stayed with me till it was time for them to go into waiting for the princess royal, whom they attend to the Terrace.
My dearest Mrs. Delany came again, to visit me wholly, and drink tea with me. We had a thousand things to discuss, but were scarce a moment together before we were interrupted by Madame de la Fite, who, however, only stayed to give and receive from Mrs. Delany congratulations on meeting in my room at Windsor, and then she pretty soon took leave.
We had but again arranged ourselves to a little comfort, when a tat-tat at my door followed, and a lady entered whom I had never seen before, with a very courteous air and demeanour, saying, “I could not defer paying my compliments to Miss Burney, and wishing her much joy, which we must all feel in such an accession to our society: I must get my daughter to introduce me.” And then advanced Mrs. Fielding, and I found this was Lady Charlotte Finch.

Mrs. Fielding is one of the women of the bedchamber. She lives with her mother, Lady Charlotte, and her three daughters, girls from ten to fifteen years of age.
When she also wished me joy, I saw in her face a strong mark of still remaining astonishment at my appointment. Indeed all the people in office here are so evidently amazed that one so unthought of amongst them should so unexpectedly fill a place to which they had all privately appropriated some acquaintance, that I see them with difficulty forbear exclaiming, “How odd it is to see you here!”
















Lady Charlotte’s visit was short and very civil; she was obliged to hasten to the Castle, to attend the younger princesses till they went to the Terrace. They are sent to wait in an apartment of the Castle, till the king and queen and the elders walk out, and then they are called to join them, when the crowd is not great, and when the weather is fine.
My Windsor apartment is extremely comfortable. I have a large drawing-room, as they call it, which is on the ground floor, as are all the queen’s rooms, and which faces the Castle and the venerable round tower, and opens at the further side, from the windows, to the little park. It is airy, pleasant, clean, and healthy, My bed-room is small, but neat and comfortable; its entrance is only from the drawing-room, and it looks to the garden. These two rooms are delightfully independent of all the rest of the house, and contain everything I can desire for my convenience and comfort.
In her way to my room, Mrs. Delany had met the king; she was a little shocked, and feared she came at an improper hour, or ought to have come in the back way. I know not if he had perceived her distress; but he soon removed It, for when he went out to go to the Terrace he looked towards my windows, and seeing her there, advanced a few steps to ask her how she did. The queen turned round and curtseyed to her, and the Princess Augusta ran up to speak to her.




I had retired behind her; but when they moved on, Miss Goldsworthy, the sub-governess, stole from her charges, and came to the window to desire Mrs. Delany to introduce’ her to me.
Sweet Mrs. Delany, thwarted in her kind private views of an interesting confabulation, grew fatigued, and went home; and then Mrs. Fielding rose to accompany her. Miss Port made a second attempt for tea, but received for answer that Mrs. Schwellenberg would come down and make it as soon as the king and queen came from the Terrace.


The ceremony of waiting tea till the royal family return from the Terrace, is in order to make it for any company they may invite to it. . . .
To-night, like the rest of my attendance, I was merely treated as if an accidental visitor. Sweet queen—she seems as fearful of employing me as I am myself of being employed.
















Inopportune Visitors.

July 20.

This morning the queen enquired of me if I loved walking? I answered yes; and she then told me I had better not leave off that exercise, but walk out every morning.
I called at my dear Mrs. Delany’s, and took Miss Port with me. We went together to Lady Louisa Clayton. We next went to Lady Charlotte Finch, who is one of her sisters, and governess to the princesses.
I called also at Madame de la Fite’s; but she was so urgent with me to prolong my stay, that I returned too late to dress for my noon attendance, and just as I was in the midst of my hair dishevelling, I was summoned.
I was obliged to slip on my morning gown, and a large morning cap, and run away as fast as possible. The queen, who was only preparing for her own hair-dresser, was already en peignoir: she sat down, the man was called in, and then, looking at me with a smile, she said “Now, Miss Burney, you may go and finish your dress.”

Away I gallopped as fast as possible, to be ready against her hair-dresser departed: but when I came pretty near my own apartment, I was stopped in the gallery by a lady, who coming up to me, said “Miss Burney?”




I started and looked at her; but finding her a perfect stranger to me, I only said “Ma’am!”—and my accent of surprise made her beg my pardon and walk on. I was too much in haste to desire any explanation, and was only quickening my pace, when I was again stopped by a gentleman with a star and red ribbon, who, bowing very civilly, said “Miss Burney, I presume?”
“Sir!—” was again all my answer and again, like the lady, he begged my pardon, and retreated and I was too seriously earnest to pursue my business to dare lose a moment. On, therefore, I again hurried; but, at the very door of my room, which is three steps down and three up place out of the even line of the gallery, I was once more stopped, by a very fat lady: who, coming up to me, also said “Miss Burney, I believe?”
“Yes, ma’am.”

“We have just,” cried she, “been to wait upon you,—but I could find nobody to introduce me; I believe I must introduce myself,—Lady Effingham.”
I thanked her for the honour she did me,—but when she proposed returning with me to my room, in order to finish her visit, I was quite disconcerted; and hesitated so much that she said “Perhaps it is not convenient to you?—”

“Ma’am-I—I was just going to dress—” cried I; I meant to add, and ought to have added, to “wait upon the queen,” but I was so unused to such a plea, that it sounded as a liberty to my mind’s voice, and I could not get it out.
She desired she might be no impediment to me,—and we parted I was forced to let her go and to run into my own room, and fly—to my toilette Not quite the sort of flight I have been used to making. However, all is so new here that it makes but a part in the general change of system.
The lady who had met me first was her daughter, Lady Frances Howard; and the gentleman, her second husband, Sir George Howard.

I afterwards saw her ladyship in the queen’s dressing-room, where her majesty sent for her as soon as she was dressed, and very graciously kept me some time, addressing me frequently while I stayed, in the conversation that took place, as if with a sweet view to point out to this first lady of her bedchamber I have yet seen, the favourable light in which she considers me.
















The Duke de Saxe–Gotha, first cousin to the king, came to Windsor today, to spend some time. Major Price, who had the honours to do to his chief attendant, Baron ——, missed us therefore at coffee; but at tea we had them both, and my dear Mrs. Delany, as well as the jovial gourmand colonel, with whom I became prodigiously well acquainted, by making him ‘teach me a few German phrases, which he always contrives, let me ask what question I may, to turn into some expression relating to eating and drinking.

When all were gone, except the Duke de Saxe–Gotha’s baron and Major Price, I had a very long conversation with the major, while Mrs. Schwellenberg was entertaining the baron in German. I find, my dearest Susan, he has seen you often at Lady Clarges’s; Sir Thomas2 was his first cousin. He knows my dearest Mrs. Locke, also, by another cousin, Lady Templetown; and he knows me my own self by my cousins of Worcester. These mutual acquaintances have brought us into almost an intimacy at once, and I was quite glad of this opportunity of a little easy and natural conversation.




Sunday, July 23

Charles Wesley played the organ; and after the service was over he performed six or seven pieces by the king’s order. They were all of Handel, and so well suited to the organ, and so well performed on a remarkably good instrument, that it was a great regale to me to hear them. The pleasure I received from the performance led me into being too late for the queen. I found I had already been enquired for to attend at the queen’s toilette.


When I came back the tea-party were all assembled in the eating-parlour. Colonel Polier was in the highest spirits: the king had just bestowed some appointment upon him in Hanover. He was as happy as if just casting his eyes upon pine-apple, melon, and grapes. I made Mrs. Schwellenberg teach me how to wish him joy in German: which is the only phrase I have yet got that has no reference to eating or drinking.
















Daily Routine at Windsor.


Monday, July 24

Having now journalized for one complete week, let me endeavour to give you, more connectedly, a concise abstract of the general method of passing the day, that then I may only write what varies, and occurs occasionally.

I rise at six o’clock, dress in a morning gown and cap, and wait my first summons, which is at all times from seven to near eight, but commonly in the exact half hour between them.
The queen never sends for me till her hair is dressed. This, in a morning, is always done by her wardrobe-woman, Mrs. Thielky, a German, but who speaks English perfectly well.

Mrs. Schwellenberg, since the first week, has never come down in a morning at all. The queen’s dress is finished by Mrs. Thielky and myself. No maid ever enters the room while the queen is in it. Mrs. Thielky hands the things to me, and I put them on. ’Tis fortunate for me I have not the handing them! I should never know which to take first, embarrassed as I am, and should run a prodigious risk of giving the gown before the hoop, and the fan before the neckkerchief.


By eight o’clock, or a little after, for she is extremely expeditious, she is dressed. She then goes out to join the king, and be joined by the princesses, and they all proceed to the king’s chapel in the Castle, to prayers, attended by the governesses of the princesses, and the king’s equerry. Various others at times attend, but only these indispensably.




I then return to my own room to breakfast. I make this meal the most pleasant part of the day; I have a book for my companion, and I allow myself an hour for it. At nine O’clock I send off my breakfast things, and relinquish my book, to make a serious and steady examination of everything I have upon my hands in the way of business—in which preparations for dress are always included, not for the present day alone, but for the Court-days, which require a particular dress; for the next arriving birthday of any of the royal family, every one of which requires new apparel; for Kew, where the dress is plainest; and for going on here, where the dress very pleasant to me, requiring no shew nor finery, but merely to be neat, not inelegant, and moderately fashionable.

That over, I have my time at my own disposal till a quarter before twelve, except on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when I have it only to a quarter before eleven. My rummages and business sometimes occupy me uninterruptedly to those hours. When they do not, I give till ten to necessary letters of duty, ceremony, or long arrears;—and now, from ten to the times I have mentioned, I devote to walking. These times mentioned call me to the irksome and quick-returning labours of the toilette. The hour advanced on the Wednesdays and Saturdays is for curling and craping the hair, which it now requires twice a week.

A quarter before one is the usual time for the queen to begin dressing for the day. Mrs. Schwellenberg then constantly attends; so do I; Mrs. Thielky, of course, at all times. We help her off with her gown, and on with her powdering things, and then the hair-dresser is admitted. She generally reads the newspaper during that operation.


When she observes that I have run to her but half dressed, she constantly gives me leave to return and finish—as soon as she is seated. If she is grave, and reads steadily on, she dismisses me, whether I am dressed or not; but at all times she never forgets to send me away while she is powdering, with a consideration not to spoil my clothes, that one would not expect belonged to her high station. Neither does she ever detain me without making a point of reading here and there some little paragraph aloud.
















When I return, I finish, if anything is undone, my dress, and then take Baretti’s “Dialogues,” my dearest Fredy’s “Tablet of Memory,” or some such disjointed matter, for the few minutes that elapse ere I am again summoned.

I find her then always removed to her state dressing-room. If any room in this private mansion can have the epithet of state. There, in a very short time, her dress is finished. She then says she won’t detain me, and I hear and see no more of her till bed-time.

It is commonly three o’clock when I am thus set at large. And I have then two hours quite at my disposal: but, in the natural course of things, not a moment after! These dear and quiet two hours, my only quite sure and undisturbed time in the whole day, after breakfast is over, I shall henceforth devote to thus talking with my beloved Susan, my Fredy, and my other sisters, my dear father, or Miss Cambridge; with my brothers, cousins, Mrs. Ord, and other friends, in such terms as these two hours will occasionally allow me. Henceforward, I say; for hitherto dejection of spirits, with uncertainty how long my time might last, have made me waste moment after moment as sadly as unprofitably.




At five, we have dinner. Mrs. Schwellenberg and I meet in the eating-room. We are commonly tête-à-tête: when there is anybody added, it is from her invitation only. Whatever right my place might afford me of also inviting my friends to the table I have now totally lost, by want of courage and spirits to claim it originally.

When we have dined, we go upstairs to her apartment, which is directly over mine. Here we have coffee till the “terracing” is over: this is at about eight o’clock. Our tête-à-tête then finishes, and we come down again to the eating-room. There the equerry, whoever he is, comes to tea constantly, and with him any gentleman that the king or queen may have invited for the evening; and when tea is over, he conducts them, and goes himself, to the concert-room. This is commonly about nine o’clock.

From that time, if Mrs. Schwellenberg is alone, I never quit her for a minute, till I come to my little supper at near eleven. Between eleven and twelve my last summons usually takes place, earlier and later occasionally. Twenty minutes is the customary time then spent with the queen: half an hour, I believe, is seldom exceeded.


I then come back, and after doing whatever I can to forward my dress for the next morning, I go to bed-and to sleep, too, believe me: the early rising, and a long day’s attention to new affairs and occupations, cause a fatigue so bodily, that nothing mental stands against it, and to sleep I fall the moment I have put out my candle and laid down my head.
Such is the day to your F. B. in her new situation at Windsor; such, I mean, is its usual destination, and its intended course. I make it take now and then another channel, but never stray far enough not to return to the original stream after a little meandering about and about it.

I think now you will be able to see and to follow me pretty closely.

With regard to those summonses I speak of, I will now explain myself. My summons, upon all regular occasions—that is, morning, noon, and night toilets—is neither more nor less than a bell. Upon extra occasions a page is commonly sent. At first, I felt inexpressibly discomfited by this mode of call. A bell!—it seemed so mortifying a mark of servitude, I always felt myself blush, though alone, with conscious shame at my own strange degradation. But I have philosophized myself now into some reconcilement with this manner of summons, by reflecting that to have some person always sent would be often very inconvenient, and that this method is certainly less an interruption to any occupation I may be employed in, than the entrance of messengers so many times in the day. It is, besides, less liable to mistakes. So I have made up my mind to it as well as I can; and now I only feel that proud blush when somebody is by to revive my original dislike of it.
















The Princess Royal.


Tuesday, July 25.

I now begin my second week, with a scene a little, not much, different. We were now to go to Kew, there to remain till Friday.

I had this morning, early, for the first time, a little visit from one of the princesses. I was preparing for my journey, when a little rap at my room-door made me call out “Come in,” and who should enter but the princess royal!
I apologised for my familiar admittance, by my little expectation of such an honour. She told me she had brought the queen’s snuff-box, to be filled with some snuff which I had been directed to prepare. It is a very fine-scented and mild snuff, but requires being moistened from time to time, to revive its smell. The princess, with a very sweet smile, insisted upon holding the box while I filled it; and told me she had seen Mrs. Delany at the chapel, and that she was very well; and then she talked on about her, with a visible pleasure in having a subject so interesting to me to open upon.
When the little commission was executed, she took her leave with an elegant civility of manner as if parting with another king’s daughter. I am quite charmed with the princess royal unaffected condescension and native dignity are so happily blended in her whole deportment.
She had left me but a short time before she again returned. “Miss Burney,” cried she, smiling with a look of congratulation, “Mamma says the snuff is extremely well mixed; and she has sent another box to be filled.”


I had no more ready. She begged me not to mind, and not to hurry myself, for she would wait till it was done.




Mrs. Schwellenberg, Miss Planta, and myself travelled to Kew together. I have two rooms there; both small, and up two pair of stairs; but tidy and comfortable enough. Indeed all the apartments but the king’s and queen’s, and one of Mrs. Schwellenberg’s, are small, dark, and old-fashioned. There are staircases in every passage, and passages to every closet. I lost myself continually, only in passing from my own room to the queen’s. Just as I got upstairs, shown the way first by Miss Planta, I heard the king’s voice. I slipped into my room; but he saw me, and following, said,

“What! is Miss Burney taking possession?”

And then he walked round the room, as if to see if it were comfortable for me, and smiling very good-humouredly, walked out again. A surveyor was with him,—I believe he is giving orders for some alterations and additions. . . .
When I went to the queen before dinner, the little Princess Amelia was with her; and, though shy of me at first, we afterwards made a very pleasant acquaintance. She is a most lovely little thing, just three years old, and full of sense, spirit, and playful prettiness: yet decorous and dignified when called upon to appear en princesse to any strangers, as if conscious of her high rank, and of the importance of condescendingly sustaining it. ’Tis amazing what education can do, in the earliest years, to those of quick understandings.3 This little princess, thus in infancy, by practice and example, taught her own consequence, conducts herself, upon all proper occasions, with an air of dignity that is quite astonishing, though her natural character seems all sport and humour.

When we became a little acquainted, the queen desired me to take her by the hand, and carry her downstairs to the king, who was waiting for her in the garden. She trusted herself to me with a grave and examining look, and shewed me, for I knew it not, the way. The king, who dotes upon her, seemed good-humouredly pleased to see me bring her. He took her little hand and led her away.


























Thursday, July 27

This being a Court-day, we went to town. The queen dresses her head at Kew, and puts on her Drawing-room apparel at St. James’s. Her new attendant dresses all at Kew, except tippet and long ruffles, which she carries in paper, to save from dusty roads. I forgot to tell you, I believe, that at St. James’s I can never appear, even though I have nothing to do with the Drawing-room, except in a sacque: ’tis the etiquette of my place.

Mrs. Schwellenberg, Miss Planta, and myself went about an hour before the king and queen. Mrs. Schwellenberg went to the queen’s dressing-room to give orders about the dress, Miss Planta went to the princesses’ room for the same purpose, and I was shewn to mine for no purpose.
Mine are two small rooms, newly and handsomely furnished, one of which has a view of the park, over the stable-yard, and the other only of the passage to the park from St. James’s-street. I had now the great satisfaction to find that there was a private staircase, from that same passage, that leads straight up to my apartments, and also that I may appoint any friend to meet me in them on the court-days. I hope never to be there again without making use of this privilege.








Neither companion

Nor Book





Having now neither companion nor book, I sent John, who came with me to town, to borrow some writing implements of one of the pages, and I employed myself in answering some letters, till the queen arrived, and I was summoned, by Mrs. Leverick, the town wardrobe woman, to the dressing-room. There the queen put on her court dress, and as soon as she was attired sent for the princesses royal and Augusta, who came to attend her to the Drawing-room.

Mr. Nicolay, the page in waiting, then came to beg a little audience for the Duchess of Aancaster. . . . The queen went to her in the ante-room——The moment I was left with the princesses, they both came up to me, and began conversing in the most easy, unaffected, cheerful, and obliging manner that can be conceived.

When the queen returned, the bell was rung for the bedchamber woman; the etiquette of court-days requiring that one of them should finish her dress.
It happened now to be my acquaintance, Mrs. Fielding. She only tied on the necklace, and handed the fan and gloves. The queen then leaves the dressing-room, her train being carried by the bedchamber woman. The princesses follow. She goes to the ante-room, where she sends for the lady of the bedchamber in waiting, who then becomes the first train-bearer, and they all proceed to the Drawing-room.

We returned to Kew to dinner, very late.
















Absence of State at Kew.


Friday, July 28.

The Kew life, you will perceive, is different from the Windsor. As there are no early prayers, the queen rises later; and as there is no form or ceremony here of any sort, her dress is plain, and the hour for the second toilette extremely uncertain. The royal family are here always in so very retired a way, that they live as the simplest country gentlefolks. The king has not even an equerry with him, nor the queen any lady to attend her when she goes her airings.

Miss Planta belongs here to our table; so does anybody that comes, as there is no other kept. There is no excuse for parting after dinner, and therefore I live unremittingly with Mrs. Schwellenberg after the morning.


It is a still greater difficulty to see company here than at Windsor, for as my apartments are upstairs, there is a greater danger of encountering some of the royal family; and I find all the household are more delicate in inviting or admitting any friends here than elsewhere, on account of the very easy and unreserved way in which the family live, running about from one end of the house to the other, without precaution or care.




Miss Burney’s first Evening out



Windsor, July 28.

To-day I made my first evening visit, and for the first time failed Mrs. Schwellenberg’s tea-table entirely. You will be surprised to hear for whom I took this effort—Lady Effingham! But I found from Mrs. Delany she had been a little hurt by the passage-scene, and seemed to think I meant to avoid her future visits and civilities. Mrs. Delany, therefore, advised me to go to Stoke, her country-seat, by way of apologizing, and to request the queen’s permission, Promising to carry me herself.

I never hesitate where she counsels. I thought it, too, a good opportunity of trying my length of liberty, as Lady Effingham is one of the ladies of the bedchamber, and is frequently at the Lodge as a private visitor.
It was inexpressibly awkward to me to ask leave to go out, and awkwardly enough I believe I did it, only saying that if her majesty had no objection, Mrs. Delany would carry me in the evening to Stoke. She smiled immediate approbation, and nothing more passed.
I had then to tell my intention to Mrs. Schwellenberg who was, I believe, a little surprised. Fortunately, Major Price came upstairs to coffee. A little surprised, too, I am sure, was Major Price, when I made off for the whole evening. Everybody had taken it for granted I must necessarily pursue the footsteps of Mrs. Haggerdorn, and never stir out. But, thank God, I am not in the same situation; she had no connections—I have such as no one, I believe, ever had before.

The evening was rainy; but, my leave asked and obtained, my kind Mrs. Delany would not defer the excursion. Stoke is about three miles off.


We were received in the civilest manner possible by Lady Effingham, and Sir George Howard and Lady Frances. There were also several of their relations with them. Lady Effingham seems a mighty good-humoured, friendly woman. Sir George is pompous, yet he, too, is as good-humoured in his manners as his Lady.
















July 31.

I had a very pleasant visit from Mrs. Hastings4 this morning, whose gay good-humour is very enlivening: but she detained me from my dress, and I was not ready for the queen; and I have now adopted the measure of stationing John in the gallery while I am at that noble occupation, and making him keep off all callers, by telling them I am dressing for the queen. I have no other way; and being too late, or even the fear of being too late, makes me nervous and ill.

Every little failure of this sort, though always from causes unknown to her majesty, she has borne without even a look of surprise or of gravity; though she never waits an instant, for if Mrs. Schwellenberg is not with her, she employs Mrs. Thielky, or goes on with her dress or her undress without either.
This graciousness, however, makes me but the more earnest to grow punctual; especially as I am now always employed, when present and in time.

I went in the afternoon to Mrs. de Luc. When I returned here, to the conclusion of the tea-drinking, I found a new gentleman, dressed in the king’s Windsor uniform—which is blue and gold, turned up with red, and worn by all the men who belong to his majesty, and come into his presence at Windsor.
Major Price immediately presented us to each other. It was General Bude: what his post may be I have not yet learned, but he is continually, I am told, at Windsor, and always resides in this Lodge, and eats with the equerries.
I do not quite know what to say of General Bude; except that his person is tall and showy, and his manners and appearance are fashionable. But he has a sneer in his smile that looks sarcastic, and a distance in his manner that seems haughty.




Wednesday, 2.

This morning, for the first time, I made a little sort of acquaintance with the two younger princesses. I was coming from the queen’s room, very early, when I met the Princess Mary, just arrived from the lower Lodge: she was capering upstairs to her elder sisters, but instantly stopped at sight of me, and then coming up to me, inquired how I did, with all the elegant composure of a woman of maturest age. Amazingly well are all these children brought up. The readiness and the grace of their civilities, even in the midst of their happiest wildnesses and freedom, are at once a surprise and a charm to all who see them.

The queen, when she goes to early prayers, often leaves me the charge of her little favourite dog, Badine. To-day, after her return, she sent her page for him; and presently after, I had a rap again at the door, and the little Princess Sophia entered. “Miss Burney,” cried she, curtseying and colouring, “Mamma has sent me for the little dog’s basket.”
I begged her permission to carry it to the queen’s room but she would not suffer me, and insisted upon taking it herself, with a mingled modesty and good breeding extremely striking in one so young.

About half an hour after she returned again, accompanying the princess royal. The queen had given me a new collection of German books, just sent over, to cut open for her; and she employed the princess royal to label them. She came most smilingly to the occupation, and said she would write down their names, “if I pleased,” in my room. You may believe I was not much displeased. I gave her a pencil, and she seized a piece of whity-brown paper, inquiring “if she might have it?”—I would fain have got her better, but she began writing immediately, stooping to the table.

I was now in a momentary doubt whether or not it would be proper, or too great a liberty, to ask her royal highness to be seated; but, after a moment’s hesitation, I thought it best to place her a chair, and say nothing.
I did; and she turned about to me with a most graceful curtsey, and immediately accepted it, with a most condescending apology for my trouble. I then, thus encouraged, put another chair for the little Princess Sophia, who took it as sweetly.
“Pray sit down too,” cried the princess royal: “I beg you will, Miss Burney!”


I resisted a little while; but she would not hear me, insisting, with the most obliging earnestness, upon carrying her point.
She writes German with as much facility as I do English and therefore, the whole time she was taking down the titles of the books, she kept up a conversation, Mrs. Delany her well and kindly chosen subject. When she had done her task, she quitted me with the same sweetness, and the Princess Mary ran in for her little sister.

The princess royal, not long after, again returned:—“There is no end to me, you will think, this morning,” cried she, on entering; and then desired to have all the books I had cut open; nor would she suffer me to carry one for her, though they were incommodious, from their quantity, for herself.

Such has been the singular condescension of the queen, that every little commission with which she has yet intrusted me she has contrived to render highly honourable, by giving the princesses some share in them.
















Alarming News.


In the evening I had no little difficulty how to manage to go to Mrs. Delany,—for I have here to mention the worst thing that has happened to me at Windsor,—the desertion of Major Price from the coffee. The arrival of General Bude, who belongs to the equerries’ table, has occasioned his staying to do the honours to him till terrace time. At tea, they belong to Mrs. Schwellenberg.

This has not only lost me some of his society, the most pleasant I had had in the Lodge, but has trebled my trouble to steal away. While I left him behind, the absconding from a beau was apology all-sufficient for running away from a belle; but now I am doubly wanted to stay, and too-doubly earnest to go! . . .
I went into my own room for my cloak, and, as usual, found Madame de la Fite just waiting for me. She was all emotion,—she seized my hand,—“Have you heard?—O mon Dieu!—O le bon Roi! O Miss Burney!—what an horrreur!”
I was very much startled, but soon ceased to wonder at her perturbation;—she had been in the room with the Princess Elizabeth, and there heard, from Miss Goldsworthy, that an attempt had just been made upon the life of the king!

I was almost petrified with horror at the intelligence. If this king is not safe—good, pious, beneficent as he is—if his life is in danger, from his own subjects, what is to guard the throne? and which way is a monarch to be secure?




Madame de la Fite had heard of the attempt only, not the particulars; but I was afterwards informed of them in the most interesting manner,—namely, how they were related to the queen. And as the newspapers will have told you all else, I shall only and briefly tell that.

No information arrived here of the matter before his majesty’s return, at the usual hour in the afternoon, from the levee. The Spanish minister had hurried off instantly to Windsor, and was in waiting, at Lady Charlotte Finch’s, to be ready to assure her majesty of the king’s safety, in case any report anticipated his return.
The queen had the two eldest princesses, the Duchess of Ancaster, and Lady Charlotte Bertie with her when the king came in. He hastened up to her, with a countenance of striking vivacity, and said, “Here I am!—safe and well,—as you see!—but I have very narrowly escaped being stabbed!”
His own conscious safety, and the pleasure he felt in thus personally shewing it to the queen, made him not aware of the effect of so abrupt a communication. The queen was seized with a consternation that at first almost stupefied her, and after a most painful silence, the first words she could articulate were, in looking round at the duchess and Lady Charlotte, who had both burst into tears,—“I envy you!—I can’t cry!”

The two princesses were for a little while in the same state but the tears of the duchess proved infectious, and they then’ wept even with violence.




















The Attempt Against the King.


The king, with the gayest good-humour, did his utmost to comfort them; and then gave a relation of the affair, with a calmness and unconcern that, had any one but himself been his hero, would have been regarded as totally unfeeling.

You may have heard it wrong; I will concisely tell it right. His carriage had just stopped at the garden-door at St. James’s, and he had just alighted from it, when a decently-dressed woman, who had been waiting for him some time, approached him, with a petition. It was rolled up, and had the usual superscription—“For the king’s most excellent majesty.” She presented it with her right hand; and at the same moment that the king bent forward to take it, she drew from it, with her left hand, a knife, with which she aimed straight at his heart.
The fortunate awkwardness of taking the instrument with the left hand made her design perceived before it could be executed;—the king started back, scarce believing the testimony of his own eyes; and the woman made a second thrust, which just touched his waistcoat before he had time to prevent her;—and at that moment one of the attendants, seeing her horrible intent, wrenched the knife from her hand.

“Has she cut my waistcoat?” cried he, in telling it,—“Look! for I have had no time to examine.”




Thank heaven, however, the poor wretch had not gone quite so far. “Though nothing,” added the king, in giving his relation, “could have been sooner done, for there was nothing for her to go through but a thin linen, and fat.”

While the guards and his own people now surrounded the king, the assassin was seized by the populace, who were tearing her away, no doubt to fall the instant sacrifice of her murtherous purpose, when the king, the only calm and moderate person then present, called aloud to the mob, “The poor creature is mad!—Do not hurt her! She has not hurt me!”

He then came forward, and showed himself to all the people, declaring he was perfectly safe and unhurt; and then gave positive orders that the woman should be taken care of, and went into the palace, and had his levee.5

There is something in the whole of his behaviour upon this occasion that strikes me as proof indisputable of a true and noble courage: for in a moment so extraordinary—an attack, in this country, unheard of before—to settle so instantly that it was the effect of insanity, to feel no apprehension of private plot or latent conspiracy—to stay out, fearlessly, among his people, and so benevolently to see himself to the safety of one who had raised her arm against his life,—these little traits, all impulsive, and therefore to be trusted, have given me an impression of respect and reverence that I can never forget, and never think of but with fresh admiration.
If that love of prerogative, so falsely assigned, were true, what an opportunity was here offered to exert it! Had he instantly taken refuge in his palace, ordered out all his guards, stopped every avenue to St. James’s, and issued his commands that every individual present at this scene should be secured and examined,—who would have dared murmur, or even blame such measures? The insanity of the woman has now fully been proved; but that noble confidence which gave that instant excuse for her was then all his own.


















Nor did he rest here; notwithstanding the excess of terror for his safety, and doubt of further mischief, with which all his family and all his household were seized, he still maintained the most cheerful composure, and insisted upon walking on the terrace, with no other attendant than his single equerry.

The poor queen went with him, pale and silent,—the princesses followed, scarce yet commanding their tears. In the evening, just as usual, the king had his concert: but it was an evening of grief and horror to his family: nothing was listened to, scarce a word was spoken; the princesses wept continually; the queen, still more deeply struck, could only, from time to time, hold out her hand to the king, and say, “I have you yet!”

The affection for the king felt by all his household has been at once pleasant and affecting to me to observe: there has not been a dry eye in either of the Lodges, on the recital of his danger, and not a face but his own that has not worn marks of care ever since.
I put off my visit to my dear Mrs. Delany; I was too much horror-struck to see her immediately; and when, at night, I went to her, I determined to spare her the shock of this event till the next day. . . . General Bude and Major Price were with Mrs. Schwellenberg at my return; and not a word was uttered by either of them concerning the day’s terrific alarm. There seemed nothing but general consternation and silence.




When I went to the queen at night she scarce once opened her lips. Indeed I could not look at her without feeling the tears ready to start into my eyes. But I was very glad to hear again the voice of the king, though only from the next apartment, and calling to one of his dogs.

August 3

The poor queen looked so ill that it was easy to see how miserable had been her night. It is unfortunately the unalterable opinion of Mrs. Schwellenberg that some latent conspiracy belongs to this attempt, and therefore that it will never rest here. This dreadful suggestion preys upon the mind of the queen, though she struggles to conquer or conceal it. I longed passionately this morning, when alone with her, to speak upon the matter, and combat the opinion; but as she still said nothing, it was not possible.


When she was dressed for the chapel, she desired me to keep little Badine; but he ran out after her: I ran too, and in the gallery, leading from the queen’s room to mine, all the princesses, and their governesses, were waiting for the queen. They all looked very ill, the princess royal particularly.—O well indeed might they tremble! for a father more tender, more kind, more amiable, I believe has scarcely ever had daughters to bless. . . .
I then passed on to my own room, which terminates this gallery. But I have since heard it is contrary to rule to pass even the door of an apartment in which any of the royal family happen to be, if it is open. However, these little formalities are all dispensed with to the ignorant—and as I learn better I shall observe them more. I am now obliged to feel and find my way as I can, having no friend, adviser, nor informer in the whole house. Accident only gives me any instruction, and that generally arrives too late to save all error. My whole dependence is upon the character of the queen; her good sense and strong reason will always prevent the unnecessary offence of ranking mistakes from inexperience, with disrespect or inattention. I have never, therefore, a moment’s uneasiness upon these points. Though there is a lady who from time to time represents them as evils the most heinous.6
I had afterwards a letter from my poor Mrs. Delany, written with her own hand, and with a pencil, as she is now too indistinct of sight to see even a word. She writes therefore only by memory, and, if with pen and ink, cannot find her place again when she leaves it, to dip the pen in the inkstand.
She had escaped the news at the chapel, but had been told it afterwards by Lady Spencer, lest it should reach her ears in any worse manner. You may imagine how greatly it shocked her.


I ran to answer her note in person, determining, upon such an occasion, to risk appearing before the queen a second time in my morning dress, rather than not satisfy my dear Mrs. Delany by word of mouth. I gave her all the comfort in my power, and raised her agitated spirits by dwelling upon the escape, and slightly passing by the danger.
The queen was so late before her second summons that I was still in time. I found her with her eyes almost swollen out of her head, but more cheerful and easy, and evidently relieved by the vent forced, at length, to her tears.

She now first spoke upon the subject to me; inquiring how Mrs. Delany had borne the hearing it. I told her of the letter sent me in the morning, and half proposed shewing it, as it expressed her feelings beyond the power of any other words. She bowed her desire to see it, and I ran and brought it. She read it aloud, Mrs. Schwellenberg being present, and was pleased and soothed by it.


















A Privilege Is Secured.


A little incident happened afterwards that gave me great satisfaction in perspective. While I was drinking coffee with Mrs. Schwellenberg, a message was brought to me, that Mrs. and Miss Heberden7 desired their compliments, and would come to drink tea with me if I was disengaged.

To drink tea with me! The words made me colour. I hesitated,—I knew not if I might accept such an offer. With regard to themselves, I had little or no interest in it, as they were strangers to me, but with regard to such an opening to future potentiality,—there, indeed, the message acquired consequence. After keeping the man some minutes, I was so much at a loss, still, to know what step I had power to take, that I was induced to apply to Mrs. Schwellenberg, asking her what I must do.
“What you please!” was her answer; and I waited nothing more explicit, but instantly sent back my compliments, and that I should be very glad of their company.
This was a most happy event to me: it first let me know the possibility of receiving a friend in my own room to tea.


They left me before the tea-party assembled in our common room. It was very much crowded, everybody being anxious to hear news of the queen. When they were all gone but Mrs. Delany, Mrs. Schwellenberg made us both very happy by a private communication that the Prince of Wales was actually then in the Lodge, whither he rode post haste, on the first news of the alarm given to the queen.




The Queen Continues Anxious.


Friday, Aug. 4

This was an extremely arduous morning to the poor queen. The king again went to town; and her anxiety in his absence, and fear how it might end, oppressed her most painfully. She could not take her usual airing. She shut herself up with the Princess Augusta; but, to avoid any rumours of her uneasiness, the carriage and usual horsemen were all at the door at the customary time; and the princess royal, attended by the Duchess of Ancaster, went out, and passed, driving quick through the town, for the queen herself, to most of the people.

At her toilette, before dinner, Lady Effingham was admitted. The queen had her newspapers as usual, and she read aloud, while her hair was dressing, several interesting articles concerning the attack, the noble humanity of the king, his presence of mind, and the blessing to the whole nation arising from his preservation. The spirit of loyalty, warmth, and zeal with which all the newspapers are just now filled seemed extremely gratifying to her; she dwelt upon several of the strongest expressions with marked approbation, exclaiming from time to time, as she read particular praises of his majesty’s worth and importance, “That is true!—That is true, indeed!” But suddenly, afterwards, coming upon a paragraph beginning with the words of the coronation anthem, “Long live the king! May the king live for ever!” her tears flowed so fast that they blinded her, and to hear her read such words was so extremely affecting, that I was obliged to steal behind her chair to hide myself; while Lady Effingham took out her handkerchief, and cried in good earnest. I believe her to be warmly and gratefully attached both to the king and queen and she has received from the queen very uncommon assistance, I am informed, in some very distressful situations.
The queen, however, read on; dispersing her tears as she could, and always smiling through them when the praise, not the danger, drew them forth.
Nothing could be more gracious than her manner to me the whole time—she did not, as usual, dismiss me, either for her hair-dressing, or for Lady Effingham; she was sure I must be interested in what was going forward, and she looked at us alternately, for our comments, as she went on.

I rejoiced she had not set me to read these papers. I expected, for the first week, every summons would have ended in a command to read to her. But it never happened, and I was saved an exertion for which I am sure I should have had no voice.


















Snuff Preparer-in—chief.


Sunday, Aug. 6 This morning, before church, Miss Planta was sent to me by the queen, for some snuff, to be mixed as before: when I had prepared it, I carried it, as directed, to her majesty’s dressing-room. I turned round the lock, for that, not rapping at the door, is the mode of begging admission; and she called out to me to come in.

I found her reading, aloud, some religious book, but I could not discover what, to the three eldest princesses. Miss Planta was in waiting. She continued after my entrance, only motioning to me that the snuff might be put into a box on the table.
I did not execute my task very expeditiously: for I was glad of this opportunity of witnessing, the maternal piety with which she enforced, in voice and expression, every sentence that contained any lesson that might be useful to her royal daughters. She reads extremely well, with great force, clearness, and meaning.

Just as I had slowly finished my commission, the king entered. She then stopped, and rose; so instantly did the princesses. He had a letter in his hand open: he said something to the queen in German, and they left the room together but he turned round from the door, and first spoke to me, with a good-humoured laugh, saying, “Miss Burney, I hear you cook snuff very well!”
“Cook snuff!” repeated the Princess Augusta, laughing and coming up to me the moment they left the room. “Pray, Miss Burney, let me have one pinch!” The Princess Elizabeth ran up to me, also, exclaiming, “Miss Burney, I hope you hate snuff? I hope you do, for I hate it of all things in the world!”




A Supper Mystery.


After tea, one of Mrs. Schwellenberg’s domestics called me out of the room. John waited to speak to me in the gallery. “What time, ma’am,” cried he, “shall you have your Supper?”
“What supper?” cried I. “I only eat fruit, as usual.”
“Have not you ordered supper, ma’am, for to-night?
“No.”
“There is one cooking for you—a fowl and peas.”
“It’s some great mistake; run down and tell them so.”


I returned to the company, and would have related the adventure, had I been in spirits; but voluntary speech escaped me not. Where I am not happy, or forced to it, it never does. Presently I was called out again.
“Ma’am,” cried John, “the supper is ordered in your name. I saw the order—the clerk of the kitchen gave it in.”

This was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. I desired him to run down forthwith, and inquire by whose directions all this was done. He came back, and said, “By Sir Francis Drake’s.” Sir Francis Drake is, I think, steward of the household. I then desired John to interfere no more, but let the matter be pursued in their own way.
As soon as the company was gone, all but a Miss Mawer, who is on a visit to Mrs. Schwellenberg, I told my tale. Mrs. Schwellenberg said the orders had been hers, that a hot supper belonged to my establishment, and that sometimes she might come and eat it with me.
I had now not a word to add. At ten o’clock both she and Miss Mawer accompanied me to my room. Miss Mawer is an old maid; tall, thin, sharp-featured, hurrying and disagreeable in her manner, but, I believe, good-natured and good-hearted, from all I have observed in her. The smell of the meat soon grew offensive to Mrs. Schwellenberg, who left me with Miss Mawer. As I never eat any myself at night, all I could devise to make the perfume tolerable was to consider it as an opportunity for a lesson in carving: so I went to work straightforward to mangle my unbidden guest, for the use and service of Miss Mawer.
Soon after, I was delighted and surprised by the entrance of Mrs. Delany, ushered to my room by Major Price. The concert being over, and the royal family retired to supper, she would not go away without seeing me. I thanked the major for bringing me so sweet a guest, but I almost fear he expected to be invited in with her. I am sure I could have had nothing but pleasure from his joining us; but I had made a rule, on my thus first setting up for myself, to invite no man whatsoever, young, old, married, single, acquaintance or stranger, till I knew precisely the nature of my own situation: for I had been warned by an excellent friend, Mrs. de Luc, on my first entrance into office that there was no drawing back in a place such as this; and that therefore I ought studiously to keep back, till I felt my way, and knew, experimentally, what I could do, and what I should wish to leave alone. This advice has been of singular use to me, in a thousand particulars, from the very first to the present day of my abode in this Lodge.






























Monday, Aug. 7

This has been the first cheerful day since the memorable and alarming attack of the 2nd of August. It was the birthday of the little Princess Amelia: and the fondness of the whole family for that lovely child, and her own infantine enjoyment of the honours paid her, have revived the spirits of the whole house.

The manner of keeping the birth-days here is very simple. All the royal family are new-dressed; so—at least so they appear—are all their attendants. The dinners and desserts are unusually sumptuous; and some of the principal officers of state, and a few of the ladies of the Court, come to Windsor to make their compliments; and at night there is a finer concert, by an addition from town of the musicians belonging to the queen’s band. If the weather is fine, all the family walk upon the Terrace, which is crowded with people of distinction, who take that mode of showing respect, to avoid the trouble and fatigue of attending at the following Drawing-room.





Another method, too, which is taken to express joy and attachment upon these occasions, is by going to the eight o’clock prayers at the royal chapel. The congregation all assemble, after the service, in the opening at the foot of the great stairs which the royal family descend from their gallery, and there those who have any pretensions to notice scarce ever fail to meet with it.

To-day, this staircase Drawing-room, as it is named by Major Price, was very much crowded; and it was a sweet sight to me, from my windows, to see that the royal group respectfully followed by many people of distinction, who came on the occasion, and, at a still greater distance, encircled by humbler, but not less loyal congratulators, had their chief attention upon my dear, aged, venerable Mrs. Delany, who was brought in by the king and queen, to partake with them the birth-day breakfast.
In the evening, for the first time since my arrival, I went upon the Terrace, under the wing and protection of my dear Mrs. Delany, who was tempted to walk there herself, in order to pay her respects on the little princess’s birth-day. She was carried in her chair to the foot of the steps. Mrs. Delany was desirous to save herself for the royal encounter: she therefore sat down on the first seat till the royal party appeared in sight: we then, of course, stood up.
It was really a mighty pretty procession. The little princess, just turned of three years old, in a robe-coat covered with fine muslin, a dressed close cap, white gloves, and a fan, walked on alone and first, highly delighted in the parade, and turning from side to side to see everybody as she passed: for all the terracers stand up against the walls, to make a clear passage for the royal family, the moment they come in sight. Then followed the king and queen, no less delighted themselves with the joy of their little darling. The princess royal, leaning on Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave, followed at a little distance. This princess, the second female in the kingdom, shews, I think, more marked respect and humility towards the king and queen than any of the family.


Next the Princess Augusta, holding by the Duchess of Ancaster; and next the Princess Elizabeth, holding by Lady Charlotte Bertie. Office here takes place of rank, which occasioned Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave, as lady of her bedchamber, to walk with the princess royal.
Then followed the Princess Mary with Miss Goldsworthy, and the Princess Sophia with Mademoiselle Monmoulin and Miss Planta then General Bude and the Duke of Montagu and, lastly, Major Price, who, as equerry, always brings up the rear, walks at a distance from the group, and keeps off all crowd from the royal family.
On sight of Mrs. Delany, the king instantly stopped to speak to her. The queen, of course, and the little princess, and all the rest, stood still, in their ranks. They talked a good while with the sweet old lady; during which time the king once or twice addressed himself to me. I caught the queen’s eye, and saw in it a little surprise, but by no means any displeasure, to see me of the party.

The little princess went up to Mrs. Delany, of whom she is very fond, and behaved like a little angel to her: she then, with a look of inquiry and recollection, slowly, of her own accord, came behind Mrs. Delany to look at me. “I am afraid,” said I, in a whisper, and stooping down, “your royal highness does not remember me?”
What think you was her answer? An arch little smile, and a nearer approach, with her lips pouted out to kiss me. I could not resist so innocent an invitation, but the moment I had accepted it, I was half afraid it might seem, in so public a place, an improper liberty: however, there was no help for it. She then took my fan, and, having looked at it on both sides, gravely returned it me, saying, “O! a brown fan!”

The king and queen then bid her curtsey to Mrs. Delany which she did most gracefully, and they all moved on; each of the princesses speaking to Mrs. Delany as they passed, and condescending to curtsey to her companion.



















Mrs. Delany was too much fatigued to return to the Lodge to tea; but Mrs. Fielding and her three daughters, Lord Courtown, Mr. Fisher, the general, and the major, made up our set.


Mrs. Schwellenberg was very ill. She declined making tea, and put it into the hands of the general. I had always kept back from that office, as well as from presiding at the table, that I might keep the more quiet, and be permitted to sit silent; which, at first, was a repose quite necessary to my depressed state of spirits, and which, as they grew better, I found equally necessary to keep off the foul fiends of Jealousy and Rivalry in my colleague; who, apparently, never wishes to hear my voice but when we are tête-à-tête, and then never is in good-humour when it is at rest. I could not, however, see this feminine occupation in masculine hands, and not, for shame, propose taking it upon myself. The general readily relinquished it, and I was fain to come forth and do the honours.








a Very

Good Sign





Lord Courtown sat himself next me, and talked with me the whole time, in well-bred and pleasant discourse.

The Major waited upon me as assiduously as if he had been as much my equerry as the king’s, and all went smooth, well, and naturally, except that the poor sick lady grew evidently less and less pleased with the arrangement of things, and less and less in humour with its arrangers: so obvious, indeed, was the displeasure that the cipher should become a number, that had my own mind been easy, I should have felt much vexed to observe what a curb was placed over me: for hitherto, except when she had been engaged herself, and only to Major Price and Mr. Fisher, that cipher had “word spoke never one.” ’Tis wonderful, my dearest Susan, what wretched tempers are to be met with—wretched in and to themselves—wretched to and for all that surround them. However, while only to be stupid and silent will do, we shall not be at variance. Were I happier, perhaps I might comply with more difficulty; so be not sorry, my Susan, nor you, my sweet Fredy, if, bye-and-bye, you should hear me complain. It will be a very good sign.















Display of Loyalty at Little Kew.


Aug. 8.

An exceedingly pretty scene was exhibited today to their majesties. We came, as usual on every alternate Tuesday, to Kew. The queen’s Lodge is at the end of a long meadow, surrounded with houses, which is called Kew green; and this was quite filled with all the inhabitants of the place—the lame, old, blind, sick, and infants, who all assembled, dressed in their Sunday garb, to line the sides of the roads through which their majesties passed, attended by a band of musicians, arranged in the front, who began “God save the King!” the moment they came upon the green, and finished it with loud huzzas. This was a compliment at the expense of the better inhabitants, who paid the musicians themselves, and mixed in with the group, which indeed left not a soul, I am told, in any house in the place.

This testimony of loyal satisfaction in the king’s safe return, after the attempted assassination, affected the queen to tears: nor were they shed alone; for almost everybody’s flowed that witnessed the scene. The queen, speaking of it afterwards, said,
“O! I shall always love little Kew for this!”




At the second toilette today, Mrs. Schwellenberg, who left the dressing-room before me, called out at the door, “Miss Bernar, when you have done from the queen, come to my room.”

There was something rather more peremptory in the order than was quite pleasant to me, and I rather drily answered, “Very well, Mrs. Schwellenberg.”
The queen was even uncommonly sweet and gracious in her manner after this lady’s departure, and kept me with her some time after she was dressed. I never go from her presence till I am dismissed; no one does, not even when they come in only with a hurried message,—except the pages, who enter merely as messengers, and Mrs. Schwellenberg, whose place and illness together have given her that privilege.
The general form of the dismission, which you may perhaps be curious to hear, is in these words, “Now I will let you go,” which the queen manages to speak with a grace that takes from them all air of authority.

At first, I must confess, there was something inexpressibly awkward to me, in waiting to be told to go, instead of watching an opportunity, as elsewhere, for taking leave before I thought myself de trop: but I have since found that this is, to me, a mark of honour; as it is the established custom to people of the first rank, the princesses themselves included, and only not used to the pages and the wardrobe-women, who are supposed only to enter for actual business, and therefore to retire when it is finished, without expectation of being detained to converse, or beyond absolute necessity.
I give you all these little details of interior royalty, because they are curious, from opening a new scene of life, and can only be really known by interior residence.















When I went to Mrs. Schwellenberg, she said, “You might know I had something to say to you, by my calling you before the queen.” She then proceeded to a long prelude, which I could but ill comprehend, save that it conveyed much of obligation on my part, and favour on hers; and then ended with, “I might tell you now, the queen is going to Oxford, and you might go with her; it is a secret—you might not tell it nobody. But I tell you once, I shall do for you what I can; you are to have a gown.”

I stared, and drew back, with a look so undisguised of wonder and displeasure at this extraordinary speech, that I saw it was understood, and she then thought it time, therefore, to name her authority, which with great emphasis, she did thus: “The queen will give you a gown! The queen says you are not rich,” etc.
There was something in the manner of this quite intolerable to me, and I hastily interrupted her with saying, “I have two new gowns by me, and therefore do not require another.”

Perhaps a proposed present from her majesty was never so received before; but the grossness of the manner of the messenger swallowed up the graciousness of the design in the principal: and I had not even a wish to conceal how little it was to my taste.




The highest surprise sat upon her brow; she had imagined that a gown—that any present—would have been caught at with obsequious avidity,—but indeed she was mistaken.

Seeing the wonder and displeasure now hers, I calmly added, “The queen is very good, and I am very sensible of her majesty’s graciousness; but there is not, in this instance, the least occasion for it.”
“Miss Bernar,” cried she, quite angrily, “I tell you once, when the queen will give you a gown, you must be humble, thankful, when you are Duchess of Ancaster.”
She then enumerated various ladies to whom her majesty had made the same present, many of them of the first distinction, and all, she said, great secrets. Still I only repeated again the same speech.

I can bear to be checked and curbed in discourse, and would rather be subdued into silence—and even, if that proves a gratification that secures peace and gives pleasure, into apparent insensibility; but to receive a favour through the vehicle of insolent ostentation—no! no! To submit to ill humour rather than argue and dispute I think an exercise of patience, and I encourage myself all I can to practice it: but to accept even a shadow of an obligation upon such terms I should think mean and unworthy; and therefore I mean always, in a Court as I would elsewhere, to be open and fearless in declining such subjection.
When she had finished her list of secret ladies, I told her I must beg to speak to the queen, and make my own acknowledgments for her gracious intention.
This she positively forbid; and said it must only pass through her hands. “When I give you the gown,” she added, “I will tell you when you may make your curtsey.”
I was not vexed at this prohibition, not knowing what etiquette I might offend by breaking it; and the conversation concluded with nothing being settled.


How little did the sweet queen imagine that this her first mark of favour should so be offered me as to raise in me my first spirit of resistance! How differently would she have executed her own commission herself! To avoid exciting jealousy was, I doubt not, her motive for employing another.









































Aug. 10.

I journeyed to town, with Mrs. Schwellenberg and Miss Planta; and this morning I was employed for the first time on a message to the queen. I was in the ante-room, when Mr. Nicolay, her majesty’s page at St. James’s, came and told me the Duchess of Ancaster sent her humble duty to the queen, and begged an audience before the Drawing-room. I told the queen, who, when dressed, all but her necklace, received the duchess in the ante-room.

I mention all these little ceremonies as they occur, that hereafter I may have no occasion, when they lead to other matters, to explain them.

The bedchamber woman was rung for on the queen’s return. So you see I am not the only one to answer a bell. It was Mrs. Fielding, who looked at me with an attention that will not leave her much in doubt as to my dress, at least, though she could not speak. I have told you, I believe, that no one, not even the princesses, ever speak in the presence of the king and queen, but to answer what is immediately said by themselves. There are, indeed, occasions in which this is set aside, from particular encouragement given at the moment; but it is not less a rule, and it is one very rarely infringed.
When the Drawing-room began, I went to my own room and there I had the great happiness of finding my father, who had contrived to be in town purposely, and to whom I had sent John, in St. Martin’s-street, that he might be shown the straight way to my apartment. He had determined upon going to the Drawing-room himself, to manifest, amongst the general zeal of the times, his loyal joy in his majesty’s safety.








an Honest

crowd.





The drawing-room was over very late indeed. So anxious has been the whole nation to show their affectionate attachment to the king, that this, the first Drawing-room since his danger, was as splendid, and as much crowded, as upon a birthday. When the queen summoned me, upon returning to her dressing-room, and mentioned how full and how hot it had been, I ventured to say, “I am very glad of it, ma’am; it was an honest crowd today.”















The Keeper of the Robes is Very Much Put Out.


At tea I found a new uniform. Major Price, immediately introduced me to him; he was Colonel Fairly.8 He is a man of the most scrupulous good-breeding, diffident, gentle, and sentimental in his conversation, and assiduously attentive in his manners. He married Lady ——, and I am told he is a most tender husband to her.

A very unfortunate subject happened to be started during our tea; namely, the newspaper attacks upon Mrs. Hastings. The colonel, very innocently, said he was very sorry that lady was ever mentioned in the same paragraph with her majesty. Mrs. Schwellenberg indignantly demanded “Why?—where?—when? and what?”
Unconscious of her great friendship for Mrs. Hastings, the colonel, unfortunately, repeated his concern, adding, “Nothing has hurt me so much as the queen’s being ever named in such company.”

The most angry defence was now made, but in so great a storm of displeasure, and confusion of language, that the colonel, looking utterly amazed, was unable to understand what was the matter. Major Price and myself were both alarmed; Miss Port longed to laugh; Miss Mawer sat perfectly motionless; Mrs. Fisher decidedly silent. No one else was present. The colonel, whenever he could be heard, still persisted in his assertion, firmly, though gently, explaining the loyalty of his motives.








This undid

All again





This perseverance increased the storm, which now blew with greater violence, less and less distinct as more fierce. Broken sentences were all that could be articulated. “You might not say such thing!”—“Upon my vord!”—“I tell you once!”—“colonel what-you-call, I am quite warm!”—“Upon my vord!—I tell you the same!”—“You might not tell me such thing!”—“What for you say all that?”

As there was nothing in this that could possibly clear the matter, and the poor colonel only sunk deeper and deeper, by not understanding the nature of his offence, Major Price now endeavoured to interfere; and, as he is a great favourite, he was permitted not only to speak, but to be heard.
“Certainly,” said he, “those accounts about Mrs. Hastings, and the history of her divorce, are very unpleasant anecdotes in public newspapers; and I am sorry, too, that they should be told in the same paragraph that mentions her being received by the queen.”
Nothing could equal the consternation with which. This unexpected speech was heard. “Upon my vord! You sorprise me!” was all that could now be got out.
As I found them now only running further from general comprehension, I felt so sorry that poor Mrs. Hastings, whom I believe to be a most injured woman, should so ill be defended even by her most zealous friend, that I compelled myself to the exertion of coming forward, now, in her behalf myself, and I therefore said, it was a thousand pities her story should not be more accurately made known: as the mode of a second marriage from a divorce was precisely the contrary here of what it was in Germany; since here it could only take place upon misconduct, and there, I had been told, a divorce from misconduct prohibited a second marriage, which could only be permitted where the divorce was the mere effect of disagreement from dissimilar tempers. Mrs. Hastings, therefore, though acquitted of ill-behaviour by the laws of her own country seemed, by those of England, convicted; and I could not but much regret that her vindication was not publicly made by this explanation.

“So do I, too,” cried Major Price “for I never heard this before.”
“Nor I,” cried the colonel “and indeed it ought to be made known, both for the sake of Mrs. Hastings, and because she has been received at Court, which gave everybody the greatest surprise, and me, in my ignorance, the greatest concern, on account of the queen.”
This undid all again, though my explanation had just stilled the hurricane; but now it began afresh.
“You might not say that, Colonel Fairly; you might not name the queen!—O, I can’t bear it!—I tell you once it is too moch!—What for you tell me that?”
“Ma’am, I—I only said—It is not me, ma’am, but the newspapers.”
“What for you have such newspapers?—I tell you the same—it is—what you call—I don’t like such thing!”
“But, ma’am-”


“O, upon my vord, I might tell you once, when you name the queen, it is—what you call—I can’t bear it!—when it is nobody else, with all my heart! I might not care for that—but when it is the queen,—I tell you the same, Colonel Fairly—it makes me—what you call—perspire.”

The major again interfered, saying it was now all cleared up, by the account of the difference of the German customs, and therefore that it was all very well. A certain quiet, but yet decisive way, in which he sometimes speaks, was here very successful; and as the lady stopped, the colonel saw all explanation too desperate to aim at further argument.















1 Dr. Burney’s daughter by his second wife—ED.]

2 Sir Thomas Clarges, whose wife was a dear friend of Susan Burney. Sir Thomas died in December, 1782. In the “Early Diary” he is mentioned once or twice, as a visitor at Dr. Burney’s. Fanny writes of him in May, 1775, as “a young baronet, who was formerly so desperately enamoured of Miss Linley, now Mrs. Sheridan, that his friends made a point of his going abroad to recover himself: he is now just returned from italy, and I hope cured. He still retains all the schoolboy English mauvaise honte; scarce speaks but to make an answer, and is as shy as if his last residence had been at Eton instead of Paris.”—ED.]

3 ’Tis amazing what nonsense sensible people can write, when their heads are turned by considerations of rank and flummery!—ED.]

4 The wife of Warren Hastings. Fanny had made the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Hastings from her friend Mr. Cambridge, some months previously. (See note 13, ante, p. 327).—ED.]

5 The name of the poor woman was Margaret Nicholson. She was, of course, insane, and had, a few days previously, presented a petition, which had probably been left unread at the time, but which turned out on investigation to be full of incoherent nonsense. On her examination before the Privy Council she declared that “the crown was hers, and that if she had not her rights England would be deluged with blood.” She was ultimately consigned to Bedlam.—ED.]

6 Fanny’s bitter experience of Mrs. Schwellenberg is now commencing.—ED.]

7 The wife and daughter of Dr. William Heberden, an eminent physician, and author of “Medical Commentaries on the History and Cure of Disease.” Fanny had met these ladies recently at Mrs. Delany’s—ED.]

8 “Colonel Fairly” is the name given in the “Diary” to the Hon. Stephen Digby. His first wife, Lady Lucy Strangwayes Fox, youngest daughter of Lord Ilchester, died in 1787. He married, in 1790, Miss Gunning, “Miss Fuzilier,” of the “Diary.”——ED.]










Diary of French court

by

Madame Darblay



Author(s) and photography

Fanny Burney
Michael Koontz

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    Looking at the impact of sugar in food and beverages.



    Sugar is a much beloved sweetener. Craved like a lovers touch by most biological beings that dare to ever look into the abyss and allow its tastebuds to grace this natural force of addiction.


    But as much as all things living seemingly enjoy the taste of sugar and more modern artificial sweeteners. Scientifically speaking the bad health impact of sugar ( from obesity to diabetes and cancer risk, poor dental health and non existing nutritional value ) and other sweeteners have thankfully turned countless of humans into die hard "no sugar" please sentinels. So let us take a brief look at a brand new 2019 study and let us find out if this study too will add even more reasons to say no to sugar and other sweeteners in your food and beverages.

  • Fitness school, question 39: Telomeres, the fancy sounding tail that connects healthy fit aging with fitness activities. Dive right in as we take a look at recent studies.

    Quality time needed: 13 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 39 in our School of Fitness.
    I have talked about telomeres in years past, and fitness too obviously :).
    But such is the world of fitness, science, and health, it often revisits old "truths" and sometimes upends them because our knowledge has deepened, while new studies at other times will simply fortify and acknowledge what we already knew to be true.
    So what will happen today as we travel back to the world of that peachy sounding telomeres thingy that keeps wiggling its cute little tail inside of us? Let us find out.
    My Question:.
    For this particular study, published in European Heart Journal, Nov 2018, we´ll uncover what happens to the length of our telomeres when we do long distance endurance training, high-intensity sprint intervals, nothing at all or lift weights in a so-so way in the gym ( yeah, color me unimpressed by the strength plan in this study, but hold on to that thought as you read on because I will get back to the fairly inadequate strength training and why that too matters. ).
    The question, which option is the best for maintaining the length of our telomeres and what is the worst?.

  • Anthropocene & the survival of our brilliant but simpleminded species. Just another morning.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes


    Breakfast stuff and morning thoughts.

    climate inaction is an existential threat.



    Nothing fancy or big worded to say today, I am just drinking some tasty fresh black coffee while various death metal songs keep pumping through my livingroom gear.
    Yes, what a glorious morning :).
    But while I am enjoying my morning routine, getting ready for the gym and my own workouts as well as the health and fitness regimes of today's PT clients I am also reading up on science and sustainability from around the world. And one of the pieces that stand out is a tonally laid-back piece by Swedish outlet DN. They spent the better part of a month or so following Swedish sustainability advocate Greta as she continues her quest to bring much-needed awareness to the sad state of the world and the essential, deep-rooted changes we as a species and global civilization urgently need to undertake.

  • Fitness school, question 38. Is obesity itself tied to diabetes type 2 and coronary artery disease?. Yes or no?.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 38 in our School of Fitness.
    Time for a short one.
    Obesity is no friend of the bettering of our health and longevity.
    Just as how the old school act of serious bulking never did anyone's health and fitness levels any favors. And pointing this scientific reality out is not about fat shaming. It´s about helping the world and its individuals turn the tide toward better health, and better fitness. And doing so does not remove peoples individual right to pick whatever body size and fat percentage that they so prefer.
    My Question:.
    We already know that obesity ( and a fat powered high BMI ) increases unhealthy factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And it often increases depression, drowsiness and general sedentary choices. Which indirectly leads to worse health in numerous ways. But if a person with a high fat powered BMI is deemed healthy as far as those traditional markers are concerned is excess fat itself still bad?
    Put in another way, will a higher amount of excess body fat still lead to worse health even if your bloodwork turns out ok and you do not feel depressed and drowsy and you do hit the gym?.

  • Fitness school, question 37: Can something as simple as a reduction of daily walking decrease our lean muscle mass in a noticeable way in just 2 weeks time?

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 37 in our School of Fitness.
    Yes, it is once again time for you to put your thinking cap on before you proceed without hesitation through the hallway of healthy fit wonders and science :).
    You already know that keeping fit and lifting your weekly weights and doing your daily cardio is nothing but a rejuvenating choice. It's good for your strength, duh.. It is wondrously good for your harty heart health, and it aids your cognitive and creative processes. It scientifically speaking lowers depression and tardy drowsiness. And if you have been keeping up with me over the years, you also know that keeping fit on a regular weekly basis also lowers your physical age by quite a noticeable margin too.
    But even small ordinary things like taking a daily walk carries with it a huge life long health and fitness impact.

    My Question:.
    What happens with our skeletal lean muscle mass for people above 70 years of age if they take a few thousand steps more or less per day for 2 weeks time?.
    Read on to reveal just how big the impact of that tiny change can be below the break.

  • Fitness School, Question 36, Will lifting weights 1-3 days per week be enough to lower cardiovascular related mortality?.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 36 in our School of Fitness.
    All forms of fitness activity is a tiny little pill of good health no matter who you are.
    But is the simple act of lifting weights one to three days per week enough to substantially lower the risk of cardiovascular related mortality?.
    Yup, that is how easy and straightforward question number 36 turned out to be. And why? Because we have a brand new study to lean back on when it comes down to the (obvious) answer.
    Read on to reveal the complete Q and A below the break.

  • Going beyond 1.5C. Our world and daily life behind the IPCC report.

    Quality time needed: 27 minutes


    Cause & Consequence.

    Life on Earth laid bare by the IPCC report.



    But before we head on over to the meaty real life data of our reckless modern day life, which the 2018 IPCC report painfully laid bare, walk with me as I step out on frosty cold northern shores for my morning walk.

    Just a Thursday, spent on northern shores.
    And this is the way I started this gorgeous little Autumn day.

  • Roundabouts in the milky way galaxy. The duality of a sustainable earth, and interplanetary living.

    Quality time needed: 14 minutes


    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    We see a brand new dawn.



    Life itself is this majestic mirror world of brilliance and incompetence. Eternally merging and reflected, individually disengaged yet perfectly synchronized and attached to each other and everything else.

    Like the leaf that finds itself stranded on the wayward peaks of a stormy ocean. They are each others counterpart, yet entirely different. Individual objects, entwined and interconnected. Disengaged and perfectly unique.

  • Into Autumn, the spider´s lullaby. Random thoughts on life from another gorgeous day.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes


    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    Together with a tiny little spider.



    And today, there´s officially a full-blown Autumn song playing out there in nature. Gorgeous and sunny, on a Sunday =). Wind free, except for the tiniest of breeze that you can almost not see or feel as it slowly makes it way through the crown of leaves that towers above.

    But it is, none the less, Autumn.
    The colors of the trees reveal it. The pale blue September moon that hangs high up in the middle of the day is another telltale.

  • The anatomy and fitness function of our gorgeous human ass ( The mighty three we call the Gluteus ).

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes


    The gorgeous strength of Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.

    The science of health and fitness should always be your lifelong guide.



    Fitness is as wonderful for your health as it is for landing you a more sculpted and capable body over time.
    But that will never change that even fit people (quite a lot of them) are doing the right things for the wrong reasons. Case in point the fit and good looking girl you can see in the IG video I am linking to, she obviously trains hard and regular while being in great shape, and she does know quite a few things about the body and the science of staying healthy and fit.
    Which is wonderful on all counts.
    But like so many other gym goers she is seemingly misinformed about a few things too ( on the other hand, so are we all :P ). Allowing wrongful information and knowledge to shape her choices and the choices of other people that gulps up everything we fit people believe to be true. However, if you are willing to listen to it the beautiful science of health and fitness will guide you towards a better body and better health and better workouts if you pay attention to real fitness science instead of personal opinions. You see, there is nothing wrong with the exercises she is doing. But outside of the wonderful world of human anatomy, there is no such thing as an upper or lower butt muscle as far as your exterior appearance goes, nor is there a meaningful difference as far as your practical fitness capacity and workout goes.

    Click through and let us talk about Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.

  • Earth over shoot day is one of many events and situations during the year that signals the mindless gluttony of our evolving hybrid species.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes


    Planet Earth - studies & life in the Anthropocene.

    A new way of life is needed.



    But what is it exactly? And why is something that sounds so cute something truly terrible that we need to take seriously as a global whole.
    To most people, it is more than likely just another ridiculous phrase keyboard warriors throw around once a year while they too waste this world to the point of no return.
    But this ever-moving yearly event day is anything but deadly essential.

    Every year this day signals the point in that year where we have used up all the naturally replenishing resources of this planet.
    And beyond this point, the planet is losing its inventory for the next year(s) ahead and it's capacity to restock.

    Which if we are talking about corporations and business leaders is something that would cause pretty much every corporate leader out there to die from a heart attack if it persistently happened to their business. But when its Earth, people just shrug their mindless shoulders and look the other way as if the greenhouse we are subsisting in isn't the singular thing that feeds and house us all.

  • Fitness facts: How and why does the range of motion in any given strength exercise matter?.

    Quality time needed: 10 minutes


    Diving down into a range of motion and squat study.

    The science of health and fitness should always be your gym guide.



    Right now, if you enter any given gym, the wonderful world of barbells will conjure up as many opinions as there are fitness girls on Instagram, no matter the subject.
    And plenty of opinions are exactly that, personal opinions, formed by peer pressure in the gym, on social media, or by fit vixens looking to make a bigger following by posting daily stuff which may or may not be factually correct.

    There are out of date school gym coaches still living in the past, badly informed parents, friends, big brothers, big sisters, commercial interests only looking out for the next conference call, as well as uninformed writers working for big tabloids which just happened to draw the assignment to make a puff piece on fitness.

    So let us instead look at science and what it actually has to teach us about the range of motion for any particular exercise. And for the purpose of this article, let us focus on a Squat centric use case since legs and ass are thankfully all the rage anyway :).

  • Moments from the Anthropocene, the fox and my morning coffee.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes


    The scent of black coffee.

    And wild breakfast companions.



    'Today' (another today ) while enjoying my first cup of coffee standing outside on my sun-drenched porch, I could hear something sneakily make its way through the underbrush and thick tall grass and florals that intermix with the deep dark, and thankfully, untouched old forest at the edge of my property.

    Fast forward just a little bit and I could start to see the movement in the thin youngling trees and the tall flowers. Something was out there, touching here and there making the wild plants and florals sway as it drew nearer me.

  • The savagery that is the carnivore dietary plan vs the science of health and fitness.

    Quality time needed: 15 minutes


    The error of your way.

    Could be spelled 'the carnivore diet'..



    A growing number of people in the world adopt healthy, fit living by going increasingly more vegetarian for a long range of personal reasons and or due to scientific reasons. Some of those reasons often include the substantial increase in cancer and diabetes risk that eating red meat and highly processed foods causes, or the impossible mathematics behind an entire world eating ever higher amounts of meat, or the incredible amount of pollution that animal food production causes.

    And facts are, that all those reasons are equally good, sound and true, so it does not even matter why you do it. It is a good and healthy choice to eat less red meat, and by doing so you will contribute towards a healthier you, and a healthier world.

  • Anthropocene: 12 vaquitas left in the world before they too face the ultimate end of line which is called extinction.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes


    The vaquitas are sadly not alone.

    This is the Lost World of Planet Earth.



    Around the world, the vaquitas are sadly not alone, there are countless of animal species, plants and all that´s facing the threat of extinction in ever greater numbers. And the pace is accelerating, so it´s not business as usual.
    Worse, this is all down to man-made issues.
    It got nothing to do with prey and predatory fluctuations. And it got nothing to do with natural events and Earths naturally changing cycles.

  • Let us talk about the concept of 'Half Earth' and why both Dr Cristiana Pașca Palmer, UN and I share the opinion that it is all about 'Whole Earth'.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes


    People & Planet is just a mutual ecosystem.

    The Lost World.



    A long and well established connective tissue in the way I talk and write, and think about health & fitness is that we are all connected through this global ecosystem we all share.
    Which is why I have over the years pointed out that living in a sustainable way is ultimately all about health. Individual health & planetary health. People that are opting to eat shit just isn't healthy.
    Neither from a planetary or individual perspective.

    Just as how healthy fit people that´s living unsustainable, just isn't healthy living people either.

  • Fitness School, Question 35, Let us dig deep down into 'standing barbell row' and the complete amount of muscles it will engage and activate.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 35 in our School of Fitness.
    Once we venture beyond the glorious realms of leg and glutes training, there is the never-ending hallway of kicking and boxing to explore and conquer.
    But what else lies beyond the joy of those fit & healthy cornerstones?.
    Well, if it was not obvious so far in life, martial arts and legs and glutes have their equal in the colossus that is weighted back training.
    And when it comes down to weighted back training, actually, when it comes down to working the upper body at all, there is one exercise which I will never hesitate to put front and center (together with deadlift), and that is 'Standing Barbell Row'.
    Here is my question:
    Standing Barbell Row will challenge and work you from top to toe.
    But can you list all of the muscles which you will activate when you do this bad boy in a properly challenging way?.

  • The things we see in the rearview mirror, the world meat free week, and Scandinavian winter scenes.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes


    Views we catch in the rear view mirror as we leave #worldmeatfreeweek behind us.

    The Lost World.



    Good and healthy vegetarian food is able to provide health & fitness improving nutrition for far more people, despite polluting much less and using up a lot less landmass vied towards animal farming.
    And you can quote me on that because that simple statement is 100% based on science & clear-cut facts instead of peoples personal opinions and conjecture.

    In fact, food production from animal farming is already using up 83% of our global agricultural land. Yet, it is only managing to deliver about 18% of the calories we consume. And does that situation not sound completely unsustainable and fool-hearted to maintain?.

  • Fitness School, Question 34, Is there a connection between weighted leg and glute training and your brain maintaining a healthy neurological cell production?

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 34 in our School of Fitness.
    Yes, we absolutely love our leg and glute day. The challenge it provides is a huge mountain of fun to climb every single week.
    But, did you know that you are not just strengthening your lower body when you are building stronger legs, ass, and hips?. Of course, you do. You know damn well that those leg days are crucial for the health and wellness of your lower back and abs too. And it sure does tax your heart and metabolic functions too. However, let us go upstairs towards our brainy area with this question.
    Here is my question:
    Is it true that weighted exercises in the gym for your leg and glutes will increase the production of healthy neural cells? ( which are crucial for the capacity and health of our brain and entire nervous system )

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