(Continuing the narrative that began here.)

Part 17.

Letter the Twenty-Second: Sir George Purvis to Miss Amelia Purvis.

My dear Sister,——

I have returned to Grimthorne. I own I had not expected so soon to desert the Metropolis; but Doctor Albertus must go back to his Workshop, to produce more of the Clockworks for which the demand in London is quite insatiable. When he offered an Invitation to me to accompany him again, I could not refuse. Without the Automaton, what is there to keep me in London?

Here I sit, in that same cold and dark Room, with an infinite Number of Tapers making War upon the Darkness, but with as little Effect as if they were so many Ants ranged against Hannibal’s Elephants. The Chill penetrates to my very Bones, and the one Hand that strays from the Mountain of Bedclothes which I have built—the Hand with which I write—is nearly numb with the Cold. Yet I regret not coming here, for here is the Automaton, and here her Creator; I have left the World of ordinary Men, and partake even now of the World to come. —You see how the Philosophy of Doctor Albertus has affected me.

I promise to write as often as am able, but the Letters may be short. I shall end this one now, and withdraw my Hand from the icy Chill. You shall hear from me to-morrow, or the Day after that; until then,

I remain, &c.

Letter the Twenty-Third: Miss Amelia Purvis to Miss Honoria Wells.

My dearest Honoria,——

You must know that our George has been called from London again, and is once more in the inaccessible Wilds of the Country on Business. I am not at all sure that this Business of his is the sort that becomes a Gentleman of good Character. I do not mean that you have any Cause for suspecting him, but only that his Reputation is not well served by this Business of his. I shall not keep from you that George has gone to the Country-house of this Doctor Albertus, whose Automaton is the Talk of London. ’Tis one Thing for a Gentleman to enjoy the Performances of such a Character, and quite another Thing to become his particular and intimate Friend. I tell you these things so that you may exercise you Influence over him; for tho’ I know that George will be ruled by your sound Advice, when once you are his Wife, yet there are some Occasions on which you may wish to anticipate that happy State, and demand forthwith that Obedience which will then be your Due. For tho’ I am his Relation by Blood, yet you will be nearer, as being his Wife, whom he must honor. Farewell then for now. Distance cannot truly Separate two Sisters, whom all the Ties of mutual Affection conspire to bind together;

Wherefore I remain, &c.

Continue to Part 18.


  1. Bjorn Bjornsen says:

    Honoured Sir,

    As I languish through the above words, I can only look at my own plight living here in this land that God has forgotten listening to the wind howling across the moor like a lost soul. And yet, I take inspiration as I once did from reading the old tome inscribed on the inner wall of a McKees Rocks water closet that began “Here I sit broken hearted…”. I look forward to the pain of it all.

  2. Amy says:

    A commenter before me has reviewed you already as I was going to — drat! I *adore* writing this way. Sadly, I never did so other than in joking emails to friends (who didn’t get it at all, so I stopped… boo, hiss). I would talk that way every day, too, if I could… would that it were Intelligible to the Commoners. . . .

    Love it — and, I still have more than half left to read! It is but with bitterness that I shall leave it for the morrow, as I presently quite doze, sitting here at my — oh, I promised I wouldn’t do that, sorry.

    Yours, Etc., Etc.,

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