excerpt from 'Letter from Mrs Elizabeth Smith to her father, John Saville, quoted within a letter from Anna Seward to William Hayley, Esq., 23 December 1785' pp. 93–95 (437 words)

excerpt from 'Letter from Mrs Elizabeth Smith to her father, John Saville, quoted within a letter from Anna Seward to William Hayley, Esq., 23 December 1785' pp. 93–95 (437 words)

part of

Letter from Mrs Elizabeth Smith to her father, John Saville, quoted within a letter from Anna Seward to William Hayley, Esq., 23 December 1785

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

93–95

type

text excerpt

encoded value

Yes it is over—the trying evening is over; and more happily than I could hope, or expect. I am all gratitude to my audience for their indulgence. O! my dearest father, did I once think the time could ever come when I should dare to stand up with the presumption of attempting to entertain three hundred strangers with my poor voice? with so little science to guide me, and with small reliance, except on my ear, to protect me from absurd and ridiculous errors? I felt, strongly felt, how fearful a thing it was to see such a multitude of eyes fixed upon me, without hearing any other sound but that of my own voice; no dear father at my side to cheer the spirits of his trembling child;—to whisper the useful direction, and the encouraging bravo ! O! my father, nothing but the thoughts that, since God has given me a talent, which, should I have the misfortune to lose you, would assist me in the support of my helpless infants, it would be criminal not to try to improve and exert it,—nothing else could have given me courage to open my mouth. When the piece of music played which was to introduce my song, how fervent was my prayer to God, that he would give me strength and resolution, for your sake and my childrens’, to go through my effort without incurring disgrace! Dear father, I do think my prayers were heard. I felt strengthened and sustained when I stood up to sing. You and my little ones, all that are to dear to me in the world, seemed to stand before me and encourage my attempt. My hand, indeed, trembled so, that Miss Cantelo kindly rose and helped me to hold my song; but my voice did not faulter very much.

I was complimented, on my first rising, with a loud plaudit. That was a plaudit of encouragement; but I had the delight of being interrupted twice in the progress of my song with a repetition of this generous applause. That was the applause of mercy; since, though, considering every thing, I performed better than I myself expected, yet most well do I know that I could not deserve those indulgent testimonies of satisfaction from my audience. They were twice repeated on the close of my strain; and when the concert was over, several elegant ladies, whose names I do not know, came and spoke to me with so much kindness in their eyes! God bless them for it! it was a warm cordial to my beating heart.

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excerpt from 'Letter from Mrs Elizabeth Smith to her father, John Saville, quoted within a letter from Anna Seward to William Hayley, Esq., 23 December 1785' pp. 93–95 (437 words)

1535627645234:

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1535627645234

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