Frances d'Arblay (1752-1840) was een Britse schrijfster. Haar dagboeken zijn gepubliceerd als The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay.
AN AIRING AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
Wednesday, March 4.-A message from Mrs. Schwellenberg this morning, to ask me to air with her, received my most reluctant acquiescence; for the frost is so severe that any air, without exercise, is terrible to me; though, were her atmosphere milder, the rigour of the season I might not regard.
When we came to the passage the carriage was not ready. She murmured most vehemently; and so bitterly cold was I, I could heartily have joined, had it answered any purpose. In this cold passage we waited in this miserable manner a full quarter of an hour; Mrs. Schwellenberg all the time scolding the servants, threatening them With exile, sending message after message, repining, thwarting, and contentious.
Now we were to go, and wait in the king's rooms—now in the gentlemen's—now in Dr. Willis's—her own—and this, in the end, took place.
In our way we encountered Mr. Fairly. He asked where we were going. "To my own parlour!" she answered.
He accompanied us in; and, to cheer the gloom, seized some of the stores of Dr. Willis,—sandwiches, wine and water, and other refreshments,—and brought them to us, one after another in a sportive manner, recommending to us to break through common rules, on such an occasion, and eat and drink to warm ourselves. Mrs. Schwellenberg stood in stately silence, and bolt upright, scarce deigning to speak even a refusal; till, upon his saying, while he held a glass of wine in his hand, "Come, ma'am, do something eccentric for once—it will warm you," she angrily answered, "You been reely—what you call—too much hospital!"
Neither of us could help laughing. "Yes," cried he, "with the goods of others;—that makes a wide difference in hospitality!" Then he rattled away upon the honours the room had lately received, of having had Mr. Pitt, the Chancellor, Archbishop of Canterbury, etc., to wait in it. This she resented highly, as seeming to think it more honoured in her absence than presence.
At length we took our miserable airing, in which I was treated with as much fierce harshness as if I was being conveyed to some place of confinement for the punishment Of some dreadful offence!
She would have the glass down on my side; the piercing wind cut my face; I put my muff up to it: this incensed her so much, that she vehemently declared "she never, no never would trobble any won to air with her again but go always selfs."—And who will repine at that? thought I.
Yet by night I had caught a violent cold, which flew to my face, and occasioned me dreadful pain.