My Particular Friend footnotes: The Start of the Affair 1

‘Oh, Miss House, I … of course. You are the arbiter of taste.’ The shopkeeper said, seeming startled. Then a crafty gleam shone in his eyes. ‘Shall I put these on your account?’

Once outside she released her hold on me and laughed again. ‘“On my account!” The man is priceless. And you, my dear, really should pay more attention to shopkeepers if you plan to turn to a life of crime. Despite your healthy complection, I do not think transportation would suit you.’

on your account: credit is hardly a modern invention
transportation: sending criminals abroad as punishment, first to America and later to Australia
She smiled and said, ‘You entered wearing very threadbare gloves and I see you trying to leave wearing new gloves. Oh, I’ll credit you with enough sense to chuse an almost identical pair. But come, let’s have a dish of tea, rather than loiter outside the locus delicti.’
Locus delicti: the scene of the crime
chuse: choose. This is the first of several archaic spellings, including shew (show) and sopha (sofa). Admittedly my attempt at period spelling is a sham, for I should have made most nouns start with an upper-case letter, substituted “&” for “and” and “ƒ” for “s” in words like “Congreƒs.” If had had done all those, however, it would have made the book almost unreadable.
dish of tea: refers to the practice of pouring tea (often from cups with no handle) into the saucer, and then drinking the tea from the saucer
‘And it’s not your fault, Miss Woodsen,’ she said, as we paused to allow a street sweeper to clean our path.
street sweeper: You could pay a street sweeper to clean your path or lay a board across a muddy patch. Jane Austen’s World, the Jane Austen Society of Australia and author Marion Hearfield have articles about dirt and pollution during the period.
‘It’s simple. I am his thief. Oh here we are.’ She stopped us outside Molland’s and said, ‘Come, Miss Woodsen, it’s my treat.’

Molland’s is mentioned in Persuasion:

Mr Elliot was attending his two cousins and Mrs Clay. They were in Milsom Street. It began to rain, not much, but enough to make shelter desirable for women, and quite enough to make it very desirable for Miss Elliot to have the advantage of being conveyed home in Lady Dalrymple’s carriage, which was seen waiting at a little distance; she, Anne, and Mrs Clay, therefore, turned into Molland’s, while Mr Elliot stepped to Lady Dalrymple, to request her assistance. He soon joined them again, successful, of course; Lady Dalrymple would be most happy to take them home, and would call for them in a few minutes.

‘I am nothing of the kind. Thievery is a mere peccadillo, and my, what a fun word that is. And it’s a peccadillo that I have found useful from time to time. No, what you see before you is a wealthy—and I am very wealthy—bored, beautiful—and I am very beautiful, am I not—member of the haut ton. My brother believes himself someone important in the government while I believe myself someone important in Bath society. And what about you, Miss Woodsen? You are here for the season?’
peccadillo: a small, relatively unimportant offense or sin.
haut ton: people of high society/fashion.
My father did not simply die. He killed himself, rather than face the wrath of his creditors, or the humiliation of debtor’s prison.
debtor’s prison: those who could not afford to pay their debts were thrown into debtor’s prisons until they could repay their creditors

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