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An investigation into the character of Fanny Burney

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but she came forward on purpose to show herself."1

By this time The Witlings, Fanny's comedy, was finished and shown to Dr. Burney and Daddy Crisp. But they did not approve of it and recommended its suppression. It was a disappointment, for, as she wrote to her father in all sincerity, she had expected many objections, but had never thought of suppression. Her honesty and appreciation of the friends who did not flatter her but told the truth for her good is obvious from her letter to Mr. Crisp:

"Well! 'there are plays to be saved, and plays that are not to be saved!' so good night, Mr. Dabbler! — good night, Lady Smatter, — Mrs. Sapient, — Mrs. Voluble, — Mrs. Wheedle, — Censor, — Cecilia, — Beaufort, — and you, you great oaf, Bobby! — good night! good night!

"And good morning, Miss Fanny Burney! — I hope you have opened your eyes for some time, and will not close them in so drowsy a fit again — at least till the full of the moon.

"I won't teil you I have been absolutely ravie with delight at the fall of the curtain; but I intend to take the af fair in the tant mieux manner and to console myself for your censure by this greatest proof I have ever received of the sincerity, candour, and, let me add, esteem, of my dear daddy. And as I happen to love myself rather more than my play, this consolation is not a very trifling one.

"As to all you say of my reputation and so forth, I perceive the kindness of your endeavours to put me in humour with myself, and prevent my taking huff, which, if I did, I should deserve to receive, upon any future trial, hollow praise from you, — and the rest from the public.

"The only baófthing in this affair is that I cannot take the comfort of my poor friend Dabbler, by calling you a crabbed fellow, because you write with almost more kindness than ever; neither can I (though I try hard)

1 Op. cit. June 13, 1779.