January 10 1890

MS location unknown. Printed in Coleridge, Life 311

My dear Lizzie
I can’t help sending you this letter, it is so curious. The man appeared here last summer to pick up incidents about Miss Austen1. I could not tell him anything but dear old Sir William Heathcote’s recollection of her as Mrs. Candour at a Twelfth-day party.2 They use her for a classic at one of the American universities, and examine in her! It must be fun to hear them! By the bye, I have had two letters from a Hindoo Professor, one Guopna (I think), asking elucidations of some bits of slip-slop in Golden Deeds, which it seems is a class-book at Bombay and posed the poor professors. To have one’s bad grammar come round in that way is a caution! Do you know, when it was fresh, Dr. Neale wrote to thank me for Guy, for making him not only so good but so real, Well! M. A. D. and Mr. Keble were at the bottom of Guy, so no wonder. You know how M. A. set me to write the contrition of a good man who had not shot anyone by accident.3 I have just finished the story of Sabinus and Eponina I told you I was doing, or rather of their slaves, a Gentile who is born and bred a slave, and a highly educated self-satisfied young Jew, caught in Galilee. The Gentile becomes a Christian, and the Jew despises him, and thinks he can be as good without. They are both caught and tortured to tell where to find their master. The Gentile is silent and dies of it. The Jew speaks hardly.

1Jane Austen (1775 -1817) lived at Chawton not far from Otterbourne, and was a close friend of the mother and aunts of Sir William Heathcote 5th Bt. (1801- 1881). The researcher was probably Oscar Fay Adams (d.1919) the author of The Story of Jane Austen's Life (Chicago 1891).
2Mrs Candour is a character in Sheridan's play The School for Scandal (1777).
3This sounds like an allusion to a specific novel of the 1840s in which a good man shoots someone by accident, but we have not identified it.
Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/3147/to-elizabeth-barnett-13

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