Suffice to say that it was very nice indeed. (And I do not refer to the binding of the book.)
Oh, very well, splendiferofantabulous, if you prefer a more expressive word.
Anyways, I have a little piece of randomness to share with you today-- a scrap of verse composed back in October and tucked away in a notebook "for my blog at Christmastime." Heh. Well, I forgot all about it at Christmastime, and Christmas is most decidedly over now, but I can't make myself wait until December rolls around again, so here is a Regency Christmas carol at the wrong time of year. Deal with it.
Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Hetty Bates of Jane Austen's Emma has been so kind as to submit her version of The Twelve Days of Christmas for your perusal. She was interrupted midway through,
On the first day of Christmas, Mr. Knightley sent to me (not to me only, but to Mother and also Jane--how pleasant it is that Jane could come for Christmas!) a barrel of apples from his very own tree. (And lovely apples they were, too-- LOVELY, MOTHER-- and so kind of Mr. Knightley to consider Jane's health! Apples are so beneficial to the health, you know.)
On the second day of Christmas, Mr. Knightley sent to me (and to Mother and Jane, of course) two horses (and a carriage, how very generous!) to take us to the Coles' party. (And what a splendid time we had there, to be sure, and Jane was so admired!*)
On the third day of Christmas, Mr. Knightley sent to us (dear me, it does not seem to rhyme quite so well when I alter it for accuracy. It is a pity Jane has gone to the post office, for she would know how to put it right!) three quarters of pork (PORK, Mother!) and a servant to put them in the pantry. (Naturally the servant was not a part of the gift-- oh, no, he returned to Donwell Abbey after performing his duties-- but he was so courteous and obliging while he was here, and such beautiful hindquarters of pork!)
On the fourth day of Christmas, Mr. Knightley sent to me (dear me, I do believe I had better leave it as it was originally, though it is not so correct as it might be) four invitations to Donwell Abbey (to go strawberrying, you know-- and though there are but three of us, it was so thoughtful of him to consider that we might wish to bring a guest! I have suggested to Jane that she might wish to invite one of her friends from Ireland-- perhaps the gentleman Mr. Dixon who so heroically saved her life, but she seems disinclined to do so.)
On the fifth day of Christmas, Mr. Knightley sent to me (ah, I have remembered! Today is Thursday and Miss Woodhouse will call and perhaps she can give me an answer regarding this puzzling dilemma betwixt fact and rhyme!) five golden pears (picked from his own orchards, too, think of that-- ORCHARDS, MOTHER!)! Four invitations (so thoughtful) three quarters of pork (so kind), two horses and carriage (really he is quite an angel-- ANGEL, MOTHER!), a barrel of fine apples-- and here comes Mr. Knightley! (Do excuse me, I must go and thank him straightaway, and here is Miss Woodhouse too, what a very merry party we shall be...)
*Yes, yes, yes. This is a Mrs. Bennet quote from P&P95. I am well aware of that. But it just fit so nicely that I simply could not resist.