Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fanny Burney

A Visit  From Sir Walter Scott. 

Although Madame d'Arblay's intercourse with society was now usually confined to that of her relations and of old and established friends, she yet greeted with admiration and pleasure Sir Walter Scott, who was brought to her by Mr. Rogers. Sir Walter, in his Diary for Nov. 18th, 1826, thus describes the visit:—"I have been introduced to Madame d'Arblay, the celebrated authoress of 'Evelina'and 'Cecilia,' —an elderly lady with no remains of personal beauty, but with a simple and gentle manner, and pleasing expression of countenance, and apparently quick feelings. She told me she had wished to see two persons—myself, of course, being one, the other, George Canning. This was really a compliment to be pleased with—a nice little handsome pat of butter made up by a neat-handed Phillis of a dairy-maid, instead of the grease fit only for cartwheels which one is dosed with by the pound.
"I trust I shall see this lady again."

Madame d’Arblay, the author Fanny Burney, was born on June 13, 1752.  The text above, discussing M. d'Arblay's first meeting with Walter Scott comes from “The Diary and Letters of Madame d’Arblay.  The Burney Centre at McGill University carries a biography on Frances Burney, her father Charles, and others of the Burney family.

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