Letters to my Governess

20Mar20

! ! ! Governess19a

The correspondence began here.

My Dear Miss Carlisle

In the matter regarding our mutual friends I am of course at your disposal and if I may say so without sounding too indelicate, I can hardly wait.

Would it be too presumptuous to ask what the next stage in her education might entail? I do hope you will birch her as you did me. It is not fair that while I strive to behave I am punished so while she is so seemingly mildly handled.

As for the spanking you promised to me, well I am quite sure I deserve it, although I very glad you have not decided on the Prussian cure for my shamefulness. I must say I am quite sure I have no idea what that means in any case. I did look at the book you gave me, but found no clue there. There were however some other Prussian measures mentioned and I shudder to think about it. Are young women in Germany so harshly punished? Some of the practices they expound are surely more suited to a prison reformatory?

I knew once of a colonial family who used to take tea with my parents, Boston people I think. However, the American gentleman had spent some time on the frontier during the Indian wars and had married a local girl. A rather coarse woman my mother always thought and we did not invite them to tea more than half a dozen times, I suppose on account of this. But I always liked her and she spoke freely about such things that young girls of my age should not have heard.

To come to the point my mother and this lady were talking one day about the benefits of side saddle and comparing it to the American style and how well brought up young ladies learn young why such practices are to be avoided. Our Boston friend was for a moment puzzled and then laughed heartedly and said loudly, “oh that.”

She added, “Why back home a girl caught at that mischief would have her draws taken down and switched so long and hard she would scarce sit down for a month. My own mother raised welts like purple worms on my hinney so often that it is a wonder I ever sat down till I was married.”

The inference was scandalous as was the vivid story, but ever the ghoul in such matters I loved it.

I do hope I have not given you any ideas, but I trust the Prussian method is no worse than described. Not that I fully understand the method used regarding a switch. Perhaps you can enlighten me over tea one day?

Nervous and in apprehension, your friend,

Amelia

To be continued…



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