New Ladies' Tickler


The editor of the following work thinks it may be interesting to his readers to know how the original manuscript came into his hands.

Some years ago, an old lady of rank and fashion died suddenly in the country, at the house of a friend where she had been paying a visit. She had long outlived all her contemporary relatives and friends, and, having no family, the little property she possessed passed to some distant relations.

As it was well known that her fortune consisted solely of her jointure, which she was accustomed to spend to the last farthing, no one entertained any idea of benefiting by the event; and consequently, no one taking any interest in the matter, the editor was deputed to examine her repositories, and to destroy such letters and papers as might appear to be of no importance.

While doing so, he discovered a curious old cabinet, which appeared to have been the receptacle for every description of old remembrance: miniatures, snuff boxes, locks of hair, and a quantity of old-fashioned trinkets of no intrinsic value-mingled with notes, letters, and copies of verses-filled the drawers.

After clearing them out, it struck the editor that there was something peculiar in the shape of the cabinet and disposition of the drawers, and after a minute examination, be became satisfied that there was a secret drawer, which he had not explored. It cost him a good deal of trouble to divine the secret, but at last he succeeded in opening it. He was somewhat disappointed at first on finding that it contained merely a packet of papers in an envelope, with a superscription in the old lady's handwriting, to the effect that it was to be destroyed unopened in the event of her death.

As there was no one alive who was likely to be annoyed by the disclosure of any secrets of which the old lady might have been the depository, the editor took the liberty of opening the packet and perusing the contents. These proved to be a series of letters, written in different hands, evidently of youthful writers.

One of them was clearly the hand of the old lady herself, though somewhat different from that of her later years. The letters not only bore the marks of age, but also of having been frequently perused, and it was quite apparent that the venerable lady had been unable to resist the temptation of occasionally recurring to these tender reminiscences of the joys of her youth, and had preserved them for this purpose. It appeared from a note on one of them that her own letters had been returned to her by her friend, who had long predeceased her, so that the series was complete.

The editor was so much interested and amused with the contents of these letters that, before complying with the direction to destroy them, he took the liberty of making a copy for his own perusal, and he now presents them to the world, with the hope that they may afford to others as much gratification as they have done to him.

The old lady had taken care to obliterate the names of all persons and places referred to in them, so far as necessary, in such a manner as to give no trace of the real actors in the scenes of pleasure. The only other alteration made has been to select such portions of the letters as bore upon the same subject, and to make them follow each other, so as to present a continuous narrative, without distracting the attention by diverging, from one set of adventures to another.

If the present series shall be as favourably received as the editor ventures to expect, the remainder may, someday, see the light.

Letter I. Emily to Lucy

I think you would pity me if you could see the sad state to which I am reduced, and the shifts I am obliged to have recourse to, in order to appease the desires so natural to our age. How I long to be back again with you at school, that we might again enjoy our usual sweet intercourse together, and indulge in all those frolics and pastimes which, ever since our acquaintance commenced, have given me, and I am sure you also, so much delight.

Here, though I have returned to the scenes of my youth, everything seems new and strange. There is no one to whom I can talk confidentially, and confide all my little woes and wants. My aunt, though kind, is reserved with me, and Harry-the meeting with whom I anticipated would afford me so much delight — is not here, and I cannot find that there is any prospect of my even seeing him at present.

I do so wish we were again in our snug little apartment at Miss Birch's, for though the lessons were tedious and tiresome, and our worthy schoolmistress's castigation was sometimes more severe than was quite agreeable to our poor little bottoms, still even that was not all pain, and how well we used to make up for it when we were safely established for the night in our own little beds, and alternately crept from one to the other, in order to enjoy all those delicious pleasures which you first taught me and which we used to carry to the utmost extent that our heated imaginations could possibly invent, to ensure our luscious enjoyment.

But as I have no adventures here to write to you about at present, and very little prospect of any, I think I cannot do better than redeem my promise of giving you some details of our proceedings here before I joined you at school, and which gave rise to the anticipation I expressed to you of having something agreeable to communicate to you during my residence here, but which, alas, I am sorry to find, have not been realised.

You are aware that I have been brought up by my aunt, Lady Lovesport, with whom I lived, till, at the age of ten, I was sent to school. As you have seen Lady Lovesport and know well what an extremely handsome, fine- looking woman she is, I need not describe her to you, more especially as I shall have occasion afterwards to say something regarding her person. You are, however, perhaps not aware that she was married when very young to a rich old man, with whom she led but an unhappy life, though, by-the-bye, her husband somewhat made up for this by leaving her nearly all his fortune, coupled with the condition that she was not to marry again under the penalty of losing it. On his death she made up her mind not to throw away her wealth, nor subject her person to the control of another husband, and she has ever since remained in a state of single blessedness. As her income is large, she lives in very good style, and has every opportunity of indulging in any fancy she may take, and I have reason to believe that she does not hesitate to seek for amusement wherever she thinks she is likely to find it.

My earliest years passed very pleasantly. My aunt was always kind to me, and though I was kept strictly to my lessons, still, as long as I was attentive and diligent, every indulgence was shown to me. But if, on any occasion, I failed in doing what was required of me, my poor bottom was pretty sure to smart for it.

My aunt always undertook the duty of correcting me herself, and when punishment was to be inflicted I was taken to a small room adjoining her bedroom, where I was placed across her knees. My petticoats were taken up, and a birch rod applied smartly to my naked posteriors.

On these occasions I generally struggled a good deal. I soon fancied that, by tossing myself about and pretending to suffer more than I really did, my aunt's heart was softened, and consequently the stripes inflicted upon me were of a less severe nature than when I lay like a log on her knees, and showed no symptoms of feeling the pain. However this may be, it usually happened that between my struggles and her endeavours to retain me on her knee, her clothes would also be tossed up, and before the conclusion of my punishment her thighs were generally as bare as my own, and I lay with my naked belly and thighs pressed against her naked person. On these occasions I could not but admire the softness and beauty of the charms which were thus exposed to me, and to wonder at the profusion of beautiful curly hair, which adorned the secret spot often presented to my sight, so different from the bare unfledged gap which was beginning to attract my own curiosity.

Nor were my opportunities for viewing her lovely person confined to the exhibition thus made during my

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