I’ve searched high and low for a ‘diary’ by Edward Ferrars and I can’t find one. So I’ve begun on a great project – writing Edward Ferrars’ diary. I’ve started with him going to Mr. Pratt’s house. I’ll share what I’ve written so far. Let me know what you think. (Oh, and if anyone has any ideas for figuring out the timeline for S and S, please let me know.)
August 9th, 1775
I have arrived at Plymouth safely. I will be staying with Mr. Pratt during my tutelage. Before I left, my mother admonished me sternly.
“Edward, I want only the best from you. Learn your lessons and do not disgrace our family. We have high expectations in regards to you and I will not be disappointed.” My sister, Fanny agreed with her as she does in everything. I promised to do my best and set out soon after.
And now I am here, ready and eager to learn.
August 12th, 1775
I am doing better in my work than I expected. Mr. Pratt is a very good teacher and I hope Mother will be pleased with the reports she will receive shortly.
August 20th, 1775
Mr. Pratt hosted a small dinner party. I wasn’t expecting to be invited, but he did invite me.
“Of course, Edward, my boy, you must come! It wouldn’t be the same without you.”
I thanked him for his generosity and went back to my room to study.
The dinner party was very enjoyable. Mr. Pratt had invited his daughter and her husband. They brought along their two daughters, Miss Steele and Miss Lucy. They seem good-natured girls and Miss Lucy is quite pretty besides.
After dinner we all adjourned to the drawing room. Mr. Pratt regaled his daughter and nieces with news of my progress. I felt quite embarrassed, but tried not to show it. Miss Lucy fixed admiring eyes on me. I tried to explain Mr. Pratt’s praises away.
“I’m afraid your uncle exaggerates my talents.”
“Oh, I do not believe so,” Miss Lucy said smiling.
I smiled back in return. Luckily for me, the subject shifted to Mr. Pratt’s relations, near and far. I took out a book of history that I had been reading earlier on in the day and did not intrude in their conversation.
“…did I tell you that Mary has…how is Edmund…Louisa just went to…” Try as I might, I could not block out the conversation swirling around my head. I put down my book and looked over at Miss Steele and Miss Lucy. They were engaged in an animated conversation, which, from the snatches I gathered, about the merits of a new bonnet Miss Steele had just bought.
Miss Lucy noticed me looking over at them. “And what do you think, Mr. Ferrars, of Ann’s new bonnet?” she asked brightly.
I gave it a quick glance. “Very nice indeed.”
“You and I are of the same mind then, Mr. Ferrars. Ann is convinced it looks ill on her.” Then, in an aside to Miss Steele, “Whatever made you buy it, if you thought it was ugly?”
“I don’t know. I had to buy something…” and they fell back into their conversation.
After a short time, Mr. Pratt’s guests departed. “Well, Edward, my boy, what did you think of it?”
“I had a wonderful time, sir. Thank you for inviting me.”
“It was nothing, nothing.”
August 25th, 1775
I continue to do well in my studies. Mr. Pratt let me have a free day today. I decided to spend my time walking about the village near his home. I was pleased that I did so, for I met the Misses Steeles there.
“Look Ann! There’s Mr. Ferrars!” Lucy’s cheerful voice reached my ear and I turned around to see them behind me. They were both in good looks and seemed pleased to see me, especially Miss Lucy. I let them come up to me and we all walked on together.
“Do you often walk to Grovershire?” I asked Miss Steele.
“Yes,” Miss Lucy added, “We come here almost every day. I find the fresh air most invigorating.”
We walked on in pleasant silence for some time. “I believe that you are related to Mrs. Thomas Ferrars,” Miss Lucy said.
“You found that out? I am quite flattered,” I said teasingly.
She blushed prettily. “Well, I just…I…”
“It is perfectly alright,” I assured her, “I was only teasing.”
We continued walking and chatting, till, noting the position of the sun, I reluctantly bid them good-bye and said that I hoped to see them again soon. However, I found that it was Miss Lucy that I most wished to see.
August 27th, 1775
I received a letter from my mother, grudgingly commending my work. I sat down and wrote a short, respectful reply. I find it easier to talk to my mother on paper than in person.
Mr. Pratt spent most of the morning helping me figure out a troublesome problem. When we were done, I thanked him for his help. He does embarrass me at times by describing all my achievements in detail but he is very kind and helpful. I have begun to think that he does it, not so much to praise me, as to praise his abilities as teacher.