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An investigation into the character of Fanny Burney

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be content with saying, I will undoubtedly accept your most kind invitation as soon as I possibly can. Meantime, if my letters will give you any amusement, I will write oftener than ever, and supply you with all the prog I get myself. .. Your love to your Fannikin, I well know, makes all trash interesting to you that seems to concern her; and I have no greater pleasure, when absent, than in letting you and my dear Susan be acquainted with my proceedings. I don't mean by this to exclude the rest of the dear Chesington set — far from it — but a sister and a daddy must come first. God bless and restore you, my most dear daddy! You know not how kindly I take your thinking of me, and inquiring about me, in an illness that might so well make you forget us all; but Susan assures me your heart is as affectionate as ever to your ever and ever faithful and loving child.

F. B."1

She lost this dear friend and her grief was very great. She did not continue her diary for some time. The first thing she mentions on recommencing it is the illness of Dr. Johnson, which, after a short recovery, was soon followed by his death. This was another terrible shock to Fanny. Her last conversation with him, when he asked her to remember him in her prayers, is truly pathetic. She tried to see him again, but he was too ill, and she waited on the stairs to get some news from him. On December 20, 1784 we find this passage:

"This day was the ever-honoured, ever-lamented Dr. Johnson committed to the earth. Oh, how sad a day to me! My father attended, and so did Charles. I could not keep my eyes dry all day; nor can I now, in the recollection of it; but let me pass over what to mourn is now so vain!"

Besides the death of these two friends, Fanny had another loss to regret. Mrs. Thrale, who shortly after the death of

1 Op. cit. April 12, 1783.