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An investigation into the character of Fanny Burney

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Mr. Crisp was delighted with Fanny's letters and in his answers gave her very good advice. In 1773 Fanny writes in her diary:

"I have now entered into a very particular correspondence with Mr. Crisp. I write really a journal to him, and in answer he sends me most delightful long, and incomparably clever, lettert, animadverting upon all the facts etc, which I acquaint him with, and dealing with the utmost sincerity in stating his opinion and giving his advice. I am infinitely charmed with this correspondence — ant I mean — which is not more agreeable than it may prove instructive." 1

There is indeed a very instructive letter, written at this time by Mr. Crisp:

"If once you set about framing studied letters, that are to be correct, nicely grammatical, and run in smooth periods, I shall mind them no otherwise than as newspapers of intelligence. I make this preface, because you have needlessly enjoined me to deal sincerely, and to teil you of your faults; and so let this declaration serve [to teil you] once for all, that there is no fault in an epistolary correspondence like stiffness and study. Dash away whatever comes uppermost; the sudden sallies of imagination, clap'd down on paper, just as they arise, are worth folios, and have all the warmth and merit of that sort of nonsense that is eloquent in love. Never think of being correct when you write to me." *

In another letter Mr. Crisp gives, to some extent, his opinion of Fanny. He warns her against too great sincerity, meaning too great openness.

"You are an exceedingly good child, and I shall cherish you accordingly. You have good and grateful sentiments about you; in short, you have good things in you, and I wish it was in my power to bring about, — but stop,

1 Early Diary, 1773.

1 Op. cit. 1773, no date.