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The Wanderer (Volume 1 of 5) by Burney Fanny



Female Difficulties



Dedication xvii

Volume I 1

Volume II 179

Volume III 361

Volume IV 537

Volume V 681

TO DOCTOR BURNEY, FRS _and correspondent to the institute of France_[1]

[Footnote 1: To which honour Dr Burney was elected, by the wholly unsolicited votes of the members _des beaux arts_. His daughter brought over his diploma from Paris.]

The earliest pride of my heart was to inscribe to my much-loved Father the first public effort of my pen; though the timid offering, unobtrusive and anonymous, was long unpresented; and, even at last, reached its destination through a zeal as secret as it was kind, by means which he would never reveal; and with which, till within these last few months, I have myself been unacquainted.

With what grateful delight do I cast, now, at the same revered feet where I prostrated that first essay, this, my latest attempt!

Your name I did not dare then pronounce; and myself I believed to be 'wrapt up in a mantle of impenetrable obscurity[2].' Little did I foresee the indulgence that would bring me forward! and that my dear father himself, whom, even while, urged by filial feelings, and yet nameless, I invoked,[3] I thought would be foremost to aid, nay, charge me to shun the public eye; that He, whom I dreaded to see blush at my production, should be the first to tell me not to blush at it myself! The happy moment when he spoke to me those unexpected words, is ever present, and still gay to my memory.

[Footnote 2: Preface to Evelina.]

[Footnote 3: Inscription of Evelina, 'O Author of my being!' &c.]

The early part of this immediate tribute has already twice traversed the ocean in manuscript: I had planned and begun it before the end of the last century but the bitter, and ever to be deplored affliction with which this new era opened to our family, in depriving us of the darling of our hearts,[4] at the very moment--when--after a grievous absence, we believed her restored to us, cast it from my thoughts, and even from my powers, for many years. I took with me, nevertheless, my prepared materials in the year 1802, to France; where, ultimately, though only at odd intervals, I sketched the whole work; which, in the year 1812, accompanied me back to my native land. And, to the honour and liberality of both nations, let me mention, that, at the Custom-house on either--alas!--hostile shore, upon my given word that the papers contained neither letters, nor political writings; but simply a work of invention and observation; the voluminous manuscript was suffered to pass, without demur, comment, or the smallest examination.

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