The Beautiful Cassandra

The adventures of a young woman taking a flight of fancy.

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Cassandra was the daughter and the only daughter of a celebrated Milliner in Bond Street. Her father was of noble birth, being the near relation of the Duchess’ Butler.

When Cassandra had attained her sixteenth year, she was lovely and amiable, and chancing to fall in love with an elegant bonnet her mother had just completed, bespoke by the Countess, she placed it on her gentle head and walked from her mother’s shop to make her fortune.

The first person she met was the Viscount, a young man no less celebrated for his accomplishments and virtues than for his elegance and beauty. She curtseyed and walked on.

She then proceeded to a pastry-cook’s, where she devoured six ices, refused to pay for them, knocked down the pastry cook and walked away.

She next ascended a Hackney coach and ordered it to Hampstead, where she was no sooner arrived than she ordered the coachman to turn around and drive her back again.

Being returned to the same spot of the same street she had set out from, the coachman demanded his pay.

She searched her pockets over again and again; but every search was unsuccessful. No money could she find. The man grew peremptory. She placed her bonnet on his head and ran away.

Through many a street she then proceeded and met in none the least adventure, until on turning a corner of Bloomsbury Square, she met Maria.

Cassandra started and Maria seemed surprised; they trembled, blushed, turned pale and passed each other in a mutual silence.

Cassandra was next accosted by her friend the widow, who squeezing out her little head through her less window, asked her how she did? Cassandra curtseyed and went on.

A quarter of a mile brought her to her paternal roof in Bond Street, from which she had now been absent nearly seven hours.

She entered it and was pressed to her mother’s bosom by that worthy woman. Cassandra smiled and whispered to herself, “This is a day well spent.”

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was a writer. She was best known for her novels including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.

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