diary and letters of Fanny there are several passages which give quite a different picture. Chessington Hall became a second home to the Burneys, and often it was a very lively home too. Mrs. Raine Ellis quotes a passage from Susan's diary:
"Monday night after supper we were all made very merry by Mr. Crisp's suffering his wig to be turn'd the hind part before, and my cap put over it — Hetty's cloak — and Mrs. Gast's apron and ruffles — in this ridiculous trim he danced a minuet with Hetty, personifying Madame Duval, while she acted Mr. Smith at the Long Room, Hampstead!" 1
If James came to Chessington he amused everybody by his cheerfulness and it is obvious from the many descriptions in the Diary that not only the young Burneys enjoyed themselves thoroughly, but Mr. Crisp as well. Fanny once wrote of a gentleman, who reminded her of Mr. Crisp : "He has not so good a face, but it is that sort of face, and his laugh is the very same: for it first puts every feature in comical motion, and then fairly shakes his whole frame, so that there are tokens of thorough enjoyment from head to foot." 1 This portrait is certainly very different from that of Macaulay's gloomy recluse. Many years later Fanny writes about the Chessington hospitality:
"And here, in this long-loved rural abode, during the very few intervals that Mr. Burney could snatch from the toils of his profession, and the cares of his family, he had resorted in his widowhood, with his delighted children, to enjoy the society of this most valued and dearly-loved friend; whose open arms, open countenance, faithful affection, and enchanting converse, greeted the group with such expansive glee, that here, in this long-loved rural abode, the Burneys and happiness seemed to make a stand." '
1 Preface to Early Diary, p. lviii. » Op. cit. p. lix.
* Memoirs of Dr. Burney, Vol. Ip. 210.