ever before heard from Fanny. She feit that m this important case she had to choose for herself, and she soon convinced her father that she had been right in her choke, for her marriage was singularly happy.
In another letter to the same friend Fanny mentions her own surprise at the change in her situation and admits that, though she had never decided against married life, she had been persuaded that she would remain single.
"The account of your surprise, my sweet friend, was the last thing to create mine. I was well aware of the general astonishment, and of yours in particular. My own, however, at my very extraordinary fate, k singly greater than that of all my friends united. I had never made any vow against marriage, but I had long, long been persuaded it was for me a state of too much hazard and too little promise to draw me from my individual plans and purposes. I remember, in playing at questions and commands, when I was thirteen, being asked when I intended to marry? and surprising my playmates by solemnly replying, 'When I think I shall be happier than I am in being single'. It k true, I imagined that time would never arrivé; and I have pertinaciously adhered to trying no experiment upon any other hope; for, many and mixed as are the ingredients which form what is generally considered as happiness, I was always fully convinced that social sympathy of character and taste could alone have any chance with me; all else I always thought, and now know, to be immaterial."1
The first years of her marriage, when she lived in a little cottage in Sussex, were probably the happiest of her life. The letters written during that period to Dr. Burney and some other friends show her peaceful and happy state of mind. Her original sense of humour, which had suffered considerably from her weak health, had come back again as we can see in the stories of M. d'Arblay's energetic but
1 Op. cit. no date.