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LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and Other Early Works
also spelled
A collection of juvenile writings

[ A few very small changes have been made to this version:
Italics have been converted to capitals. The British 'pound'
symbol has been converted to 'L'; but in general the author's
erratic spelling, punctuation and capitalisations have been



Love and Freindship
Lesley Castle
The History of England
Collection of Letters




"Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love."


How often, in answer to my repeated intreaties that you would
give my Daughter a regular detail of the Misfortunes and
Adventures of your Life, have you said "No, my freind never will
I comply with your request till I may be no longer in Danger of
again experiencing such dreadful ones."

Surely that time is now at hand. You are this day 55. If a
woman may ever be said to be in safety from the determined
Perseverance of disagreeable Lovers and the cruel Persecutions of
obstinate Fathers, surely it must be at such a time of Life.


Altho' I cannot agree with you in supposing that I shall never
again be exposed to Misfortunes as unmerited as those I have
already experienced, yet to avoid the imputation of Obstinacy or
ill-nature, I will gratify the curiosity of your daughter; and
may the fortitude with which I have suffered the many afflictions
of my past Life, prove to her a useful lesson for the support of
those which may befall her in her own.


As the Daughter of my most intimate freind I think you entitled
to that knowledge of my unhappy story, which your Mother has so
often solicited me to give you.

My Father was a native of Ireland and an inhabitant of Wales; my
Mother was the natural Daughter of a Scotch Peer by an italian
Opera-girl--I was born in Spain and received my Education at a
Convent in France.

When I had reached my eighteenth Year I was recalled by my
Parents to my paternal roof in Wales. Our mansion was situated
in one of the most romantic parts of the Vale of Uske. Tho' my
Charms are now considerably softened and somewhat impaired by the
Misfortunes I have undergone, I was once beautiful. But lovely
as I was the Graces of my Person were the least of my
Perfections. Of every accomplishment accustomary to my sex, I was
Mistress. When in the Convent, my progress had always exceeded my
instructions, my Acquirements had been wonderfull for my age, and
I had shortly surpassed my Masters.

In my Mind, every Virtue that could adorn it was centered; it was
the Rendez-vous of every good Quality and of every noble

A sensibility too tremblingly alive to every affliction of my
Freinds, my Acquaintance and particularly to every affliction of
my own, was my only fault, if a fault it could be called. Alas!
how altered now! Tho' indeed my own Misfortunes do not make less
impression on me than they ever did, yet now I never feel for
those of an other. My accomplishments too, begin to fade--I can
neither sing so well nor Dance so gracefully as I once did--and I
have entirely forgot the MINUET DELA COUR.


Our neighbourhood was small, for it consisted only of your
Mother. She may probably have already told you that being left
by her Parents in indigent Circumstances she had retired into
Wales on eoconomical motives. There it was our freindship first
commenced. Isobel was then one and twenty. Tho' pleasing both
in her Person and Manners (between ourselves) she never possessed
the hundredth part of my Beauty or Accomplishments. Isabel had
seen the World. She had passed 2 Years at one of the first
Boarding-schools in London; had spent a fortnight in Bath and had
supped one night in Southampton.

"Beware my Laura (she would often say) Beware of the insipid
Vanities and idle Dissipations of the Metropolis of England;
Beware of the unmeaning Luxuries of Bath and of the stinking fish
of Southampton."

"Alas! (exclaimed I) how am I to avoid those evils I shall never
be exposed to? What probability is there of my ever tasting the
Dissipations of London, the Luxuries of Bath, or the stinking
Fish of Southampton? I who am doomed to waste my Days of Youth
and Beauty in an humble Cottage in the Vale of Uske."

Ah! little did I then think I was ordained so soon to quit that
humble Cottage for the Deceitfull Pleasures of the World.


One Evening in December as my Father, my Mother and myself, were
arranged in social converse round our Fireside, we were on a
sudden greatly astonished, by hearing a violent knocking on the
outward door of our rustic Cot.

My Father started--"What noise is that," (said he.) "It sounds
like a loud rapping at the door"--(replied my Mother.) "it does
indeed." (cried I.) "I am of your opinion; (said my Father) it
certainly does appear to proceed from some uncommon violence
exerted against our unoffending door." "Yes (exclaimed I) I
cannot help thinking it must be somebody who knocks for

"That is another point (replied he;) We must not pretend to
determine on what motive the person may knock--tho' that someone
DOES rap at the door, I am partly convinced."

Here, a 2d tremendous rap interrupted my Father in his speech,
and somewhat alarmed my Mother and me.

"Had we better not go and see who it is? (said she) the servants
are out." "I think we had." (replied I.) "Certainly, (added my
Father) by all means." "Shall we go now?" (said my Mother,) "The
sooner the better." (answered he.) "Oh! let no time be lost"
(cried I.)

A third more violent Rap than ever again assaulted our ears. "I
am certain there is somebody knocking at the Door." (said my
Mother.) "I think there must," (replied my Father) "I fancy the
servants are returned; (said I) I think I hear Mary going to the
Door." "I'm glad of it (cried my Father) for I long to know who
it is."

I was right in my conjecture; for Mary instantly entering the
Room, informed us that a young Gentleman and his Servant were at
the door, who had lossed their way, were very cold and begged
leave to warm themselves by our fire.

"Won't you admit them?" (said I.) "You have no objection, my
Dear?" (said my Father.) "None in the World." (replied my

Mary, without waiting for any further commands immediately left
the room and quickly returned introducing the most beauteous and
amiable Youth, I had ever beheld. The servant she kept to

My natural sensibility had already been greatly affected by the
sufferings of the unfortunate stranger and no sooner did I first
behold him, than I felt that on him the happiness or Misery of my
future Life must depend.


The noble Youth informed us that his name was Lindsay--for
particular reasons however I shall conceal it under that of
Talbot. He told us that he was the son of an English Baronet,
that his Mother had been for many years no more and that he had a
Sister of the middle size. "My Father (he continued) is a mean
and mercenary wretch--it is only to such particular freinds as
this Dear Party that I would thus betray his failings. Your
Virtues my amiable Polydore (addressing himself to my father)
yours Dear Claudia and yours my Charming Laura call on me to
repose in you, my confidence." We bowed. "My Father seduced by
the false glare of Fortune and the Deluding Pomp of Title,
insisted on my giving my hand to Lady Dorothea. No never
exclaimed I. Lady Dorothea is lovely and Engaging; I prefer no
woman to her; but know Sir, that I scorn to marry her in
compliance with your Wishes. No! Never shall it be said that I
obliged my Father."

We all admired the noble Manliness of his reply. He continued.

"Sir Edward was surprised; he had perhaps little expected to meet
with so spirited an opposition to his will. "Where, Edward in
the name of wonder (said he) did you pick up this unmeaning
gibberish? You have been studying Novels I suspect." I scorned
to answer: it would have been beneath my dignity. I mounted my
Horse and followed by my faithful William set forth for my

"My Father's house is situated in Bedfordshire, my Aunt's in
Middlesex, and tho' I flatter myself with being a tolerable
proficient in Geography, I know not how it happened, but I found
myself entering this beautifull Vale which I find is in South
Wales, when I had expected to have reached my Aunts."

"After having wandered some time on the Banks of the Uske without
knowing which way to go, I began to lament my cruel Destiny in
the bitterest and most pathetic Manner. It was now perfectly
dark, not a single star was there to direct my steps, and I know
not what might have befallen me had I not at length discerned
thro' the solemn Gloom that surrounded me a distant light, which
as I approached it, I discovered to be the chearfull Blaze of
your fire. Impelled by the combination of Misfortunes under
which I laboured, namely Fear, Cold and Hunger I hesitated not to
ask admittance which at length I have gained; and now my Adorable
Laura (continued he taking my Hand) when may I hope to receive
that reward of all the painfull sufferings I have undergone
during the course of my attachment to you, to which I have ever
aspired. Oh! when will you reward me with Yourself?"

"This instant, Dear and Amiable Edward." (replied I.). We were
immediately united by my Father, who tho' he had never taken
orders had been bred to the Church.


We remained but a few days after our Marriage, in the Vale of
Uske. After taking an affecting Farewell of my Father, my Mother
and my Isabel, I accompanied Edward to his Aunt's in Middlesex.
Philippa received us both with every expression of affectionate
Love. My arrival was indeed a most agreable surprise to her as
she had not only been totally ignorant of my Marriage with her
Nephew, but had never even had the slightest idea of there being
such a person in the World.

Augusta, the sister of Edward was on a visit to her when we
arrived. I found her exactly what her Brother had described her
to be--of the middle size. She received me with equal surprise
though not with equal Cordiality, as Philippa. There was a
disagreable coldness and Forbidding Reserve in her reception of
me which was equally distressing and Unexpected. None of that
interesting Sensibility or amiable simpathy in her manners and
Address to me when we first met which should have distinguished
our introduction to each other. Her Language was neither warm,
nor affectionate, her expressions of regard were neither animated
nor cordial; her arms were not opened to receive me to her Heart,
tho' my own were extended to press her to mine.

A short Conversation between Augusta and her Brother, which I
accidentally overheard encreased my dislike to her, and convinced
me that her Heart was no more formed for the soft ties of Love
than for the endearing intercourse of Freindship.

"But do you think that my Father will ever be reconciled to this
imprudent connection?" (said Augusta.)

"Augusta (replied the noble Youth) I thought you had a better
opinion of me, than to imagine I would so abjectly degrade myself
as to consider my Father's Concurrence in any of my affairs,
either of Consequence or concern to me. Tell me Augusta with
sincerity; did you ever know me consult his inclinations or
follow his Advice in the least trifling Particular since the age
of fifteen?"

"Edward (replied she) you are surely too diffident in your own
praise. Since you were fifteen only! My Dear Brother since you
were five years old, I entirely acquit you of ever having
willingly contributed to the satisfaction of your Father. But
still I am not without apprehensions of your being shortly
obliged to degrade yourself in your own eyes by seeking a support
for your wife in the Generosity of Sir Edward."

"Never, never Augusta will I so demean myself. (said Edward).
Support! What support will Laura want which she can receive from

"Only those very insignificant ones of Victuals and Drink."
(answered she.)

"Victuals and Drink! (replied my Husband in a most nobly
contemptuous Manner) and dost thou then imagine that there is no
other support for an exalted mind (such as is my Laura's) than
the mean and indelicate employment of Eating and Drinking?"

"None that I know of, so efficacious." (returned Augusta).

"And did you then never feel the pleasing Pangs of Love, Augusta?
(replied my Edward). Does it appear impossible to your vile and
corrupted Palate, to exist on Love? Can you not conceive the
Luxury of living in every distress that Poverty can inflict, with
the object of your tenderest affection?"

"You are too ridiculous (said Augusta) to argue with; perhaps
however you may in time be convinced that ..."

Here I was prevented from hearing the remainder of her speech, by
the appearance of a very Handsome young Woman, who was ushured
into the Room at the Door of which I had been listening. On
hearing her announced by the Name of "Lady Dorothea," I instantly
quitted my Post and followed her into the Parlour, for I well
remembered that she was the Lady, proposed as a Wife for my
Edward by the Cruel and Unrelenting Baronet.

Altho' Lady Dorothea's visit was nominally to Philippa and
Augusta, yet I have some reason to imagine that (acquainted with
the Marriage and arrival of Edward) to see me was a principal
motive to it.

I soon perceived that tho' Lovely and Elegant in her Person and
tho' Easy and Polite in her Address, she was of that inferior
order of Beings with regard to Delicate Feeling, tender
Sentiments, and refined Sensibility, of which Augusta was one.

She staid but half an hour and neither in the Course of her
Visit, confided to me any of her secret thoughts, nor requested
me to confide in her, any of Mine. You will easily imagine
therefore my Dear Marianne that I could not feel any ardent
affection or very sincere Attachment for Lady Dorothea.

LAURA to MARIANNE, in continuation

Lady Dorothea had not left us long before another visitor as
unexpected a one as her Ladyship, was announced. It was Sir
Edward, who informed by Augusta of her Brother's marriage, came
doubtless to reproach him for having dared to unite himself to me
without his Knowledge. But Edward foreseeing his design,
approached him with heroic fortitude as soon as he entered the
Room, and addressed him in the following Manner.

"Sir Edward, I know the motive of your Journey here--You come
with the base Design of reproaching me for having entered into an
indissoluble engagement with my Laura without your Consent. But
Sir, I glory in the Act--. It is my greatest boast that I have
incurred the displeasure of my Father!"

So saying, he took my hand and whilst Sir Edward, Philippa, and
Augusta were doubtless reflecting with admiration on his
undaunted Bravery, led me from the Parlour to his Father's
Carriage which yet remained at the Door and in which we were
instantly conveyed from the pursuit of Sir Edward.

The Postilions had at first received orders only to take the
London road; as soon as we had sufficiently reflected However, we
ordered them to Drive to M----. the seat of Edward's most
particular freind, which was but a few miles distant.

At M----. we arrived in a few hours; and on sending in our names
were immediately admitted to Sophia, the Wife of Edward's freind.
After having been deprived during the course of 3 weeks of a real
freind (for such I term your Mother) imagine my transports at
beholding one, most truly worthy of the Name. Sophia was rather
above the middle size; most elegantly formed. A soft languor
spread over her lovely features, but increased their Beauty--.
It was the Charectarestic of her Mind--. She was all sensibility
and Feeling. We flew into each others arms and after having
exchanged vows of mutual Freindship for the rest of our Lives,
instantly unfolded to each other the most inward secrets of our
Hearts--. We were interrupted in the delightfull Employment by
the entrance of Augustus, (Edward's freind) who was just returned
from a solitary ramble.

Never did I see such an affecting Scene as was the meeting of
Edward and Augustus.

"My Life! my Soul!" (exclaimed the former) "My adorable angel!"
(replied the latter) as they flew into each other's arms. It was
too pathetic for the feelings of Sophia and myself--We fainted
alternately on a sofa.

LETTER the 9th
From the same to the same

Towards the close of the day we received the following Letter
from Philippa.

"Sir Edward is greatly incensed by your abrupt departure; he has
taken back Augusta to Bedfordshire. Much as I wish to enjoy
again your charming society, I cannot determine to snatch you
from that, of such dear and deserving Freinds--When your Visit to
them is terminated, I trust you will return to the arms of your"

We returned a suitable answer to this affectionate Note and after
thanking her for her kind invitation assured her that we would
certainly avail ourselves of it, whenever we might have no other
place to go to. Tho' certainly nothing could to any reasonable
Being, have appeared more satisfactory, than so gratefull a reply
to her invitation, yet I know not how it was, but she was
certainly capricious enough to be displeased with our behaviour
and in a few weeks after, either to revenge our Conduct, or
releive her own solitude, married a young and illiterate Fortune-
hunter. This imprudent step (tho' we were sensible that it would
probably deprive us of that fortune which Philippa had ever
taught us to expect) could not on our own accounts, excite from
our exalted minds a single sigh; yet fearfull lest it might prove
a source of endless misery to the deluded Bride, our trembling
Sensibility was greatly affected when we were first informed of
the Event.The affectionate Entreaties of Augustus and Sophia that
we would for ever consider their House as our Home, easily
prevailed on us to determine never more to leave them, In the
society of my Edward and this Amiable Pair, I passed the happiest
moments of my Life; Our time was most delightfully spent, in
mutual Protestations of Freindship, and in vows of unalterable
Love, in which we were secure from being interrupted, by
intruding and disagreable Visitors, as Augustus and Sophia had on
their first Entrance in the Neighbourhood, taken due care to
inform the surrounding Families, that as their happiness centered
wholly in themselves, they wished for no other society. But
alas! my Dear Marianne such Happiness as I then enjoyed was too
perfect to be lasting. A most severe and unexpected Blow at once
destroyed every sensation of Pleasure. Convinced as you must be
from what I have already told you concerning Augustus and Sophia,
that there never were a happier Couple, I need not I imagine,
inform you that their union had been contrary to the inclinations
of their Cruel and Mercenery Parents; who had vainly endeavoured
with obstinate Perseverance to force them into a Marriage with
those whom they had ever abhorred; but with a Heroic Fortitude
worthy to be related and admired, they had both, constantly
refused to submit to such despotic Power.

After having so nobly disentangled themselves from the shackles
of Parental Authority, by a Clandestine Marriage, they were
determined never to forfeit the good opinion they had gained in
the World, in so doing, by accepting any proposals of
reconciliation that might be offered them by their Fathers--to
this farther tryal of their noble independance however they never
were exposed.

They had been married but a few months when our visit to them
commenced during which time they had been amply supported by a
considerable sum of money which Augustus had gracefully purloined
from his unworthy father's Escritoire, a few days before his
union with Sophia.

By our arrival their Expenses were considerably encreased tho'
their means for supplying them were then nearly exhausted. But
they, Exalted Creatures! scorned to reflect a moment on their
pecuniary Distresses and would have blushed at the idea of paying
their Debts.--Alas! what was their Reward for such disinterested
Behaviour! The beautifull Augustus was arrested and we were all
undone. Such perfidious Treachery in the merciless perpetrators
of the Deed will shock your gentle nature Dearest Marianne as
much as it then affected the Delicate sensibility of Edward,
Sophia, your Laura, and of Augustus himself. To compleat such
unparalelled Barbarity we were informed that an Execution in the
House would shortly take place. Ah! what could we do but what
we did! We sighed and fainted on the sofa.

LAURA in continuation

When we were somewhat recovered from the overpowering Effusions
of our grief, Edward desired that we would consider what was the
most prudent step to be taken in our unhappy situation while he
repaired to his imprisoned freind to lament over his misfortunes.
We promised that we would, and he set forwards on his journey to
Town. During his absence we faithfully complied with his Desire
and after the most mature Deliberation, at length agreed that the
best thing we could do was to leave the House; of which we every
moment expected the officers of Justice to take possession. We
waited therefore with the greatest impatience, for the return of
Edward in order to impart to him the result of our Deliberations.
But no Edward appeared. In vain did we count the tedious moments
of his absence--in vain did we weep--in vain even did we sigh--no
Edward returned--. This was too cruel, too unexpected a Blow to
our Gentle Sensibility--we could not support it--we could only
faint. At length collecting all the Resolution I was Mistress
of, I arose and after packing up some necessary apparel for
Sophia and myself, I dragged her to a Carriage I had ordered and
we instantly set out for London. As the Habitation of Augustus
was within twelve miles of Town, it was not long e'er we arrived
there, and no sooner had we entered Holboun than letting down one
of the Front Glasses I enquired of every decent-looking Person
that we passed "If they had seen my Edward?"

But as we drove too rapidly to allow them to answer my repeated
Enquiries, I gained little, or indeed, no information concerning
him. "Where am I to drive?" said the Postilion. "To Newgate
Gentle Youth (replied I), to see Augustus." "Oh! no, no,
(exclaimed Sophia) I cannot go to Newgate; I shall not be able to
support the sight of my Augustus in so cruel a confinement--my
feelings are sufficiently shocked by the RECITAL, of his
Distress, but to behold it will overpower my Sensibility." As I
perfectly agreed with her in the Justice of her Sentiments the
Postilion was instantly directed to return into the Country. You
may perhaps have been somewhat surprised my Dearest Marianne,
that in the Distress I then endured, destitute of any support,
and unprovided with any Habitation, I should never once have
remembered my Father and Mother or my paternal Cottage in the
Vale of Uske. To account for this seeming forgetfullness I must
inform you of a trifling circumstance concerning them which I
have as yet never mentioned. The death of my Parents a few weeks
after my Departure, is the circumstance I allude to. By their
decease I became the lawfull Inheritress of their House and
Fortune. But alas! the House had never been their own and their
Fortune had only been an Annuity on their own Lives. Such is the
Depravity of the World! To your Mother I should have returned
with Pleasure, should have been happy to have introduced to her,
my charming Sophia and should with Chearfullness have passed the
remainder of my Life in their dear Society in the Vale of Uske,
had not one obstacle to the execution of so agreable a scheme,
intervened; which was the Marriage and Removal of your Mother to
a distant part of Ireland.

LAURA in continuation

"I have a Relation in Scotland (said Sophia to me as we left
London) who I am certain would not hesitate in receiving me."
"Shall I order the Boy to drive there?" said I--but instantly
recollecting myself, exclaimed, "Alas I fear it will be too long
a Journey for the Horses." Unwilling however to act only from my
own inadequate Knowledge of the Strength and Abilities of Horses,
I consulted the Postilion, who was entirely of my Opinion
concerning the Affair. We therefore determined to change Horses
at the next Town and to travel Post the remainder of the Journey
--. When we arrived at the last Inn we were to stop at, which
was but a few miles from the House of Sophia's Relation,
unwilling to intrude our Society on him unexpected and unthought
of, we wrote a very elegant and well penned Note to him
containing an account of our Destitute and melancholy Situation,
and of our intention to spend some months with him in Scotland.
As soon as we had dispatched this Letter, we immediately prepared
to follow it in person and were stepping into the Carriage for
that Purpose when our attention was attracted by the Entrance of
a coroneted Coach and 4 into the Inn-yard. A Gentleman
considerably advanced in years descended from it. At his first
Appearance my Sensibility was wonderfully affected and e'er I had
gazed at him a 2d time, an instinctive sympathy whispered to my
Heart, that he was my Grandfather. Convinced that I could not be
mistaken in my conjecture I instantly sprang from the Carriage I
had just entered, and following the Venerable Stranger into the
Room he had been shewn to, I threw myself on my knees before him
and besought him to acknowledge me as his Grand Child. He
started, and having attentively examined my features, raised me
from the Ground and throwing his Grand-fatherly arms around my
Neck, exclaimed, "Acknowledge thee! Yes dear resemblance of my
Laurina and Laurina's Daughter, sweet image of my Claudia and my
Claudia's Mother, I do acknowledge thee as the Daughter of the
one and the Grandaughter of the other." While he was thus
tenderly embracing me, Sophia astonished at my precipitate
Departure, entered the Room in search of me. No sooner had she
caught the eye of the venerable Peer, than he exclaimed with
every mark of Astonishment --"Another Grandaughter! Yes, yes, I
see you are the Daughter of my Laurina's eldest Girl; your
resemblance to the beauteous Matilda sufficiently proclaims it.
"Oh!" replied Sophia, "when I first beheld you the instinct of
Nature whispered me that we were in some degree related--But
whether Grandfathers, or Grandmothers, I could not pretend to
determine." He folded her in his arms, and whilst they were
tenderly embracing, the Door of the Apartment opened and a most
beautifull young Man appeared. On perceiving him Lord St. Clair
started and retreating back a few paces, with uplifted Hands,
said, "Another Grand-child! What an unexpected Happiness is
this! to discover in the space of 3 minutes, as many of my
Descendants! This I am certain is Philander the son of my
Laurina's 3d girl the amiable Bertha; there wants now but the
presence of Gustavus to compleat the Union of my Laurina's Grand-

"And here he is; (said a Gracefull Youth who that instant entered
the room) here is the Gustavus you desire to see. I am the son
of Agatha your Laurina's 4th and youngest Daughter," "I see you
are indeed; replied Lord St. Clair--But tell me (continued he
looking fearfully towards the Door) tell me, have I any other
Grand-children in the House." "None my Lord." "Then I will
provide for you all without farther delay--Here are 4 Banknotes
of 50L each--Take them and remember I have done the Duty of a
Grandfather." He instantly left the Room and immediately
afterwards the House.

LETTER the 12th
LAURA in continuation

You may imagine how greatly we were surprised by the sudden
departure of Lord St Clair. "Ignoble Grand-sire!" exclaimed
Sophia. "Unworthy Grandfather!" said I, and instantly fainted in
each other's arms. How long we remained in this situation I know
not; but when we recovered we found ourselves alone, without
either Gustavus, Philander, or the Banknotes. As we were
deploring our unhappy fate, the Door of the Apartment opened and
"Macdonald" was announced. He was Sophia's cousin. The haste
with which he came to our releif so soon after the receipt of our
Note, spoke so greatly in his favour that I hesitated not to
pronounce him at first sight, a tender and simpathetic Freind.
Alas! he little deserved the name--for though he told us that he
was much concerned at our Misfortunes, yet by his own account it
appeared that the perusal of them, had neither drawn from him a
single sigh, nor induced him to bestow one curse on our
vindictive stars--. He told Sophia that his Daughter depended on
her returning with him to Macdonald-Hall, and that as his
Cousin's freind he should be happy to see me there also. To
Macdonald-Hall, therefore we went, and were received with great
kindness by Janetta the Daughter of Macdonald, and the Mistress
of the Mansion. Janetta was then only fifteen; naturally well
disposed, endowed with a susceptible Heart, and a simpathetic
Disposition, she might, had these amiable qualities been properly
encouraged, have been an ornament to human Nature; but
unfortunately her Father possessed not a soul sufficiently
exalted to admire so promising a Disposition, and had endeavoured
by every means on his power to prevent it encreasing with her
Years. He had actually so far extinguished the natural noble
Sensibility of her Heart, as to prevail on her to accept an offer
from a young Man of his Recommendation. They were to be married
in a few months, and Graham, was in the House when we arrived.
WE soon saw through his character. He was just such a Man as one
might have expected to be the choice of Macdonald. They said he
was Sensible, well-informed, and Agreable; we did not pretend to
Judge of such trifles, but as we were convinced he had no soul,
that he had never read the sorrows of Werter, and that his Hair
bore not the least resemblance to auburn, we were certain that
Janetta could feel no affection for him, or at least that she
ought to feel none. The very circumstance of his being her
father's choice too, was so much in his disfavour, that had he
been deserving her, in every other respect yet THAT of itself
ought to have been a sufficient reason in the Eyes of Janetta for
rejecting him. These considerations we were determined to
represent to her in their proper light and doubted not of meeting
with the desired success from one naturally so well disposed;
whose errors in the affair had only arisen from a want of proper
confidence in her own opinion, and a suitable contempt of her
father's. We found her indeed all that our warmest wishes could
have hoped for; we had no difficulty to convince her that it was
impossible she could love Graham, or that it was her Duty to
disobey her Father; the only thing at which she rather seemed to
hesitate was our assertion that she must be attached to some
other Person. For some time, she persevered in declaring that
she knew no other young man for whom she had the the smallest
Affection; but upon explaining the impossibility of such a thing
she said that she beleived she DID LIKE Captain M'Kenrie better
than any one she knew besides. This confession satisfied us and
after having enumerated the good Qualities of M'Kenrie and
assured her that she was violently in love with him, we desired
to know whether he had ever in any wise declared his affection to

"So far from having ever declared it, I have no reason to imagine
that he has ever felt any for me." said Janetta. "That he
certainly adores you (replied Sophia) there can be no doubt--.
The Attachment must be reciprocal. Did he never gaze on you with
admiration--tenderly press your hand--drop an involantary tear--
and leave the room abruptly?" "Never (replied she) that I
remember--he has always left the room indeed when his visit has
been ended, but has never gone away particularly abruptly or
without making a bow." Indeed my Love (said I) you must be
mistaken--for it is absolutely impossible that he should ever
have left you but with Confusion, Despair, and Precipitation.
Consider but for a moment Janetta, and you must be convinced how
absurd it is to suppose that he could ever make a Bow, or behave
like any other Person." Having settled this Point to our
satisfaction, the next we took into consideration was, to
determine in what manner we should inform M'Kenrie of the
favourable Opinion Janetta entertained of him. . . . We at
length agreed to acquaint him with it by an anonymous Letter
which Sophia drew up in the following manner.

"Oh! happy Lover of the beautifull Janetta, oh! amiable
Possessor of HER Heart whose hand is destined to another, why do
you thus delay a confession of your attachment to the amiable
Object of it? Oh! consider that a few weeks will at once put an
end to every flattering Hope that you may now entertain, by
uniting the unfortunate Victim of her father's Cruelty to the
execrable and detested Graham."

"Alas! why do you thus so cruelly connive at the projected
Misery of her and of yourself by delaying to communicate that
scheme which had doubtless long possessed your imagination? A
secret Union will at once secure the felicity of both."

The amiable M'Kenrie, whose modesty as he afterwards assured us
had been the only reason of his having so long concealed the
violence of his affection for Janetta, on receiving this Billet
flew on the wings of Love to Macdonald-Hall, and so powerfully
pleaded his Attachment to her who inspired it, that after a few
more private interveiws, Sophia and I experienced the
satisfaction of seeing them depart for Gretna-Green, which they
chose for the celebration of their Nuptials, in preference to any
other place although it was at a considerable distance from

LETTER the 13th
LAURA in continuation

They had been gone nearly a couple of Hours, before either
Macdonald or Graham had entertained any suspicion of the affair.
And they might not even then have suspected it, but for the
following little Accident. Sophia happening one day to open a
private Drawer in Macdonald's Library with one of her own keys,
discovered that it was the Place where he kept his Papers of
consequence and amongst them some bank notes of considerable
amount. This discovery she imparted to me; and having agreed
together that it would be a proper treatment of so vile a Wretch
as Macdonald to deprive him of money, perhaps dishonestly gained,
it was determined that the next time we should either of us
happen to go that way, we would take one or more of the Bank
notes from the drawer. This well meant Plan we had often
successfully put in Execution; but alas! on the very day of
Janetta's Escape, as Sophia was majestically removing the 5th
Bank-note from the Drawer to her own purse, she was suddenly most
impertinently interrupted in her employment by the entrance of
Macdonald himself, in a most abrupt and precipitate Manner.
Sophia (who though naturally all winning sweetness could when
occasions demanded it call forth the Dignity of her sex)
instantly put on a most forbidding look, and darting an angry
frown on the undaunted culprit, demanded in a haughty tone of
voice "Wherefore her retirement was thus insolently broken in
on?" The unblushing Macdonald, without even endeavouring to
exculpate himself from the crime he was charged with, meanly
endeavoured to reproach Sophia with ignobly defrauding him of his
money . . . The dignity of Sophia was wounded; "Wretch (exclaimed
she, hastily replacing the Bank-note in the Drawer) how darest
thou to accuse me of an Act, of which the bare idea makes me
blush?" The base wretch was still unconvinced and continued to
upbraid the justly-offended Sophia in such opprobious Language,
that at length he so greatly provoked the gentle sweetness of her
Nature, as to induce her to revenge herself on him by informing
him of Janetta's Elopement, and of the active Part we had both
taken in the affair. At this period of their Quarrel I entered
the Library and was as you may imagine equally offended as Sophia
at the ill-grounded accusations of the malevolent and
contemptible Macdonald. "Base Miscreant! (cried I) how canst
thou thus undauntedly endeavour to sully the spotless reputation
of such bright Excellence? Why dost thou not suspect MY
innocence as soon?" "Be satisfied Madam (replied he) I DO suspect
it, and therefore must desire that you will both leave this House
in less than half an hour."

"We shall go willingly; (answered Sophia) our hearts have long
detested thee, and nothing but our freindship for thy Daughter
could have induced us to remain so long beneath thy roof."

"Your Freindship for my Daughter has indeed been most powerfully
exerted by throwing her into the arms of an unprincipled Fortune-
hunter." (replied he)

"Yes, (exclaimed I) amidst every misfortune, it will afford us
some consolation to reflect that by this one act of Freindship to
Janetta, we have amply discharged every obligation that we have
received from her father."

"It must indeed be a most gratefull reflection, to your exalted
minds." (said he.)

As soon as we had packed up our wardrobe and valuables, we left
Macdonald Hall, and after having walked about a mile and a half
we sate down by the side of a clear limpid stream to refresh our
exhausted limbs. The place was suited to meditation. A grove of
full-grown Elms sheltered us from the East--. A Bed of full-
grown Nettles from the West--. Before us ran the murmuring brook
and behind us ran the turn-pike road. We were in a mood for
contemplation and in a Disposition to enjoy so beautifull a spot.
A mutual silence which had for some time reigned between us, was
at length broke by my exclaiming--"What a lovely scene! Alas why
are not Edward and Augustus here to enjoy its Beauties with us?"

"Ah! my beloved Laura (cried Sophia) for pity's sake forbear
recalling to my remembrance the unhappy situation of my
imprisoned Husband. Alas, what would I not give to learn the
fate of my Augustus! to know if he is still in Newgate, or if he
is yet hung. But never shall I be able so far to conquer my
tender sensibility as to enquire after him. Oh! do not I
beseech you ever let me again hear you repeat his beloved name--.
It affects me too deeply --. I cannot bear to hear him mentioned
it wounds my feelings."

"Excuse me my Sophia for having thus unwillingly offended you--"
replied I--and then changing the conversation, desired her to
admire the noble Grandeur of the Elms which sheltered us from the
Eastern Zephyr. "Alas! my Laura (returned she) avoid so
melancholy a subject, I intreat you. Do not again wound my
Sensibility by observations on those elms. They remind me of
Augustus. He was like them, tall, magestic--he possessed that
noble grandeur which you admire in them."

I was silent, fearfull lest I might any more unwillingly distress
her by fixing on any other subject of conversation which might
again remind her of Augustus.

"Why do you not speak my Laura? (said she after a short pause)
"I cannot support this silence you must not leave me to my own
reflections; they ever recur to Augustus."

"What a beautifull sky! (said I) How charmingly is the azure
varied by those delicate streaks of white!"

"Oh! my Laura (replied she hastily withdrawing her Eyes from a
momentary glance at the sky) do not thus distress me by calling
my Attention to an object which so cruelly reminds me of my
Augustus's blue sattin waistcoat striped in white! In pity to
your unhappy freind avoid a subject so distressing." What could I
do? The feelings of Sophia were at that time so exquisite, and
the tenderness she felt for Augustus so poignant that I had not
power to start any other topic, justly fearing that it might in
some unforseen manner again awaken all her sensibility by
directing her thoughts to her Husband. Yet to be silent would be
cruel; she had intreated me to talk.

From this Dilemma I was most fortunately releived by an accident
truly apropos; it was the lucky overturning of a Gentleman's
Phaeton, on the road which ran murmuring behind us. It was a
most fortunate accident as it diverted the attention of Sophia
from the melancholy reflections which she had been before
indulging. We instantly quitted our seats and ran to the rescue
of those who but a few moments before had been in so elevated a
situation as a fashionably high Phaeton, but who were now laid
low and sprawling in the Dust. "What an ample subject for
reflection on the uncertain Enjoyments of this World, would not
that Phaeton and the Life of Cardinal Wolsey afford a thinking
Mind!" said I to Sophia as we were hastening to the field of

She had not time to answer me, for every thought was now engaged
by the horrid spectacle before us. Two Gentlemen most elegantly
attired but weltering in their blood was what first struck our
Eyes--we approached--they were Edward and Augustus--. Yes dearest
Marianne they were our Husbands. Sophia shreiked and fainted on
the ground--I screamed and instantly ran mad--. We remained thus
mutually deprived of our senses, some minutes, and on regaining
them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did
we continue in this unfortunate situation--Sophia fainting every
moment and I running mad as often. At length a groan from the
hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of life) restored us
to ourselves. Had we indeed before imagined that either of them
lived, we should have been more sparing of our Greif--but as we
had supposed when we first beheld them that they were no more, we
knew that nothing could remain to be done but what we were about.
No sooner did we therefore hear my Edward's groan than postponing
our lamentations for the present, we hastily ran to the Dear
Youth and kneeling on each side of him implored him not to die--.
"Laura (said He fixing his now languid Eyes on me) I fear I have
been overturned."

I was overjoyed to find him yet sensible.

"Oh! tell me Edward (said I) tell me I beseech you before you
die, what has befallen you since that unhappy Day in which
Augustus was arrested and we were separated--"

"I will" (said he) and instantly fetching a deep sigh, Expired
--. Sophia immediately sank again into a swoon--. MY greif was
more audible. My Voice faltered, My Eyes assumed a vacant stare,
my face became as pale as Death, and my senses were considerably

"Talk not to me of Phaetons (said I, raving in a frantic,
incoherent manner)--Give me a violin--. I'll play to him and
sooth him in his melancholy Hours--Beware ye gentle Nymphs of
Cupid's Thunderbolts, avoid the piercing shafts of Jupiter--Look
at that grove of Firs--I see a Leg of Mutton--They told me Edward
was not Dead; but they deceived me--they took him for a cucumber
--" Thus I continued wildly exclaiming on my Edward's Death--.
For two Hours did I rave thus madly and should not then have left
off, as I was not in the least fatigued, had not Sophia who was
just recovered from her swoon, intreated me to consider that
Night was now approaching and that the Damps began to fall. "And
whither shall we go (said I) to shelter us from either?" "To
that white Cottage." (replied she pointing to a neat Building
which rose up amidst the grove of Elms and which I had not before
observed--) I agreed and we instantly walked to it--we knocked at
the door--it was opened by an old woman; on being requested to
afford us a Night's Lodging, she informed us that her House was
but small, that she had only two Bedrooms, but that However we
should be wellcome to one of them. We were satisfied and
followed the good woman into the House where we were greatly
cheered by the sight of a comfortable fire--. She was a widow
and had only one Daughter, who was then just seventeen--One of
the best of ages; but alas! she was very plain and her name was
Bridget. . . . . Nothing therfore could be expected from her--she
could not be supposed to possess either exalted Ideas, Delicate
Feelings or refined Sensibilities--. She was nothing more than a
mere good-tempered, civil and obliging young woman; as such we
could scarcely dislike here--she was only an Object of Contempt

LETTER the 14th
LAURA in continuation

Arm yourself my amiable young Freind with all the philosophy you
are Mistress of; summon up all the fortitude you possess, for
alas! in the perusal of the following Pages your sensibility
will be most severely tried. Ah! what were the misfortunes I
had before experienced and which I have already related to you,
to the one I am now going to inform you of. The Death of my
Father and my Mother and my Husband though almost more than my
gentle Nature could support, were trifles in comparison to the
misfortune I am now proceeding to relate. The morning after our
arrival at the Cottage, Sophia complained of a violent pain in
her delicate limbs, accompanied with a disagreable Head-ake She
attributed it to a cold caught by her continued faintings in the
open air as the Dew was falling the Evening before. This I
feared was but too probably the case; since how could it be
otherwise accounted for that I should have escaped the same
indisposition, but by supposing that the bodily Exertions I had
undergone in my repeated fits of frenzy had so effectually
circulated and warmed my Blood as to make me proof against the
chilling Damps of Night, whereas, Sophia lying totally inactive
on the ground must have been exposed to all their severity. I
was most seriously alarmed by her illness which trifling as it
may appear to you, a certain instinctive sensibility whispered
me, would in the End be fatal to her.

Alas! my fears were but too fully justified; she grew gradually
worse--and I daily became more alarmed for her. At length she
was obliged to confine herself solely to the Bed allotted us by
our worthy Landlady--. Her disorder turned to a galloping
Consumption and in a few days carried her off. Amidst all my
Lamentations for her (and violent you may suppose they were) I
yet received some consolation in the reflection of my having paid
every attention to her, that could be offered, in her illness. I
had wept over her every Day--had bathed her sweet face with my
tears and had pressed her fair Hands continually in mine--. "My
beloved Laura (said she to me a few Hours before she died) take
warning from my unhappy End and avoid the imprudent conduct which
had occasioned it. . . Beware of fainting-fits. . . Though at the
time they may be refreshing and agreable yet beleive me they will
in the end, if too often repeated and at improper seasons, prove
destructive to your Constitution. . . My fate will teach you
this. . I die a Martyr to my greif for the loss of Augustus. .
One fatal swoon has cost me my Life. . Beware of swoons Dear
Laura. . . . A frenzy fit is not one quarter so pernicious; it is
an exercise to the Body and if not too violent, is I dare say
conducive to Health in its consequences--Run mad as often as you
chuse; but do not faint--"

These were the last words she ever addressed to me. . It was her
dieing Advice to her afflicted Laura, who has ever most
faithfully adhered to it.

After having attended my lamented freind to her Early Grave, I
immediately (tho' late at night) left the detested Village in
which she died, and near which had expired my Husband and
Augustus. I had not walked many yards from it before I was
overtaken by a stage-coach, in which I instantly took a place,
determined to proceed in it to Edinburgh, where I hoped to find
some kind some pitying Freind who would receive and comfort me in
my afflictions.

It was so dark when I entered the Coach that I could not
distinguish the Number of my Fellow-travellers; I could only
perceive that they were many. Regardless however of anything
concerning them, I gave myself up to my own sad Reflections. A
general silence prevailed--A silence, which was by nothing
interrupted but by the loud and repeated snores of one of the

"What an illiterate villain must that man be! (thought I to
myself) What a total want of delicate refinement must he have,
who can thus shock our senses by such a brutal noise! He must I
am certain be capable of every bad action! There is no crime too
black for such a Character!" Thus reasoned I within myself, and
doubtless such were the reflections of my fellow travellers.

At length, returning Day enabled me to behold the unprincipled
Scoundrel who had so violently disturbed my feelings. It was Sir
Edward the father of my Deceased Husband. By his side sate
Augusta, and on the same seat with me were your Mother and Lady
Dorothea. Imagine my surprise at finding myself thus seated
amongst my old Acquaintance. Great as was my astonishment, it
was yet increased, when on looking out of Windows, I beheld the
Husband of Philippa, with Philippa by his side, on the Coachbox
and when on looking behind I beheld, Philander and Gustavus in
the Basket. "Oh! Heavens, (exclaimed I) is it possible that I
should so unexpectedly be surrounded by my nearest Relations and
Connections?" These words roused the rest of the Party, and
every eye was directed to the corner in which I sat. "Oh! my
Isabel (continued I throwing myself across Lady Dorothea into her
arms) receive once more to your Bosom the unfortunate Laura.
Alas! when we last parted in the Vale of Usk, I was happy in
being united to the best of Edwards; I had then a Father and a
Mother, and had never known misfortunes--But now deprived of
every freind but you--"

"What! (interrupted Augusta) is my Brother dead then? Tell us I
intreat you what is become of him?" "Yes, cold and insensible
Nymph, (replied I) that luckless swain your Brother, is no more,
and you may now glory in being the Heiress of Sir Edward's

Although I had always despised her from the Day I had overheard
her conversation with my Edward, yet in civility I complied with
hers and Sir Edward's intreaties that I would inform them of the
whole melancholy affair. They were greatly shocked--even the
obdurate Heart of Sir Edward and the insensible one of Augusta,
were touched with sorrow, by the unhappy tale. At the request of
your Mother I related to them every other misfortune which had
befallen me since we parted. Of the imprisonment of Augustus and
the absence of Edward--of our arrival in Scotland--of our
unexpected Meeting with our Grand-father and our cousins--of our
visit to Macdonald-Hall--of the singular service we there
performed towards Janetta--of her Fathers ingratitude for it . .
of his inhuman Behaviour, unaccountable suspicions, and barbarous
treatment of us, in obliging us to leave the House . . of our
lamentations on the loss of Edward and Augustus and finally of
the melancholy Death of my beloved Companion.

Pity and surprise were strongly depictured in your Mother's
countenance, during the whole of my narration, but I am sorry to
say, that to the eternal reproach of her sensibility, the latter
infinitely predominated. Nay, faultless as my conduct had
certainly been during the whole course of my late misfortunes and
adventures, she pretended to find fault with my behaviour in many
of the situations in which I had been placed. As I was sensible
myself, that I had always behaved in a manner which reflected
Honour on my Feelings and Refinement, I paid little attention to
what she said, and desired her to satisfy my Curiosity by
informing me how she came there, instead of wounding my spotless
reputation with unjustifiable Reproaches. As soon as she had
complyed with my wishes in this particular and had given me an
accurate detail of every thing that had befallen her since our
separation (the particulars of which if you are not already
acquainted with, your Mother will give you) I applied to Augusta
for the same information respecting herself, Sir Edward and Lady

She told me that having a considerable taste for the Beauties
of Nature, her curiosity to behold the delightful scenes it
exhibited in that part of the World had been so much raised by
Gilpin's Tour to the Highlands, that she had prevailed on her
Father to undertake a Tour to Scotland and had persuaded Lady
Dorothea to accompany them. That they had arrived at Edinburgh a
few Days before and from thence had made daily Excursions into the
Country around in the Stage Coach they were then in, from one of
which Excursions they were at that time returning. My next
enquiries were concerning Philippa and her Husband, the latter of
whom I learned having spent all her fortune, had recourse for
subsistence to the talent in which, he had always most excelled,
namely, Driving, and that having sold every thing which belonged
to them except their Coach, had converted it into a Stage and in
order to be removed from any of his former Acquaintance, had
driven it to Edinburgh from whence he went to Sterling every other
Day. That Philippa still retaining her affection for her
ungratefull Husband, had followed him to Scotland and generally
accompanied him in his little Excursions to Sterling. "It has only
been to throw a little money into their Pockets (continued
Augusta) that my Father has always travelled in their Coach to
veiw the beauties of the Country since our arrival in Scotland
--for it would certainly have been much more agreable to us, to
visit the Highlands in a Postchaise than merely to travel from
Edinburgh to Sterling and from Sterling to Edinburgh every other
Day in a crowded and uncomfortable Stage." I perfectly agreed with
her in her sentiments on the affair, and secretly blamed Sir
Edward for thus sacrificing his Daughter's Pleasure for the sake
of a ridiculous old woman whose folly in marrying so young a man
ought to be punished. His Behaviour however was entirely of a
peice with his general Character; for what could be expected from
a man who possessed not the smallest atom of Sensibility, who
scarcely knew the meaning of simpathy, and who actually snored--.

LETTER the 15th
LAURA in continuation.

When we arrived at the town where we were to Breakfast, I was
determined to speak with Philander and Gustavus, and to that
purpose as soon as I left the Carriage, I went to the Basket and
tenderly enquired after their Health, expressing my fears of the
uneasiness of their situation. At first they seemed rather
confused at my appearance dreading no doubt that I might call them
to account for the money which our Grandfather had left me and
which they had unjustly deprived me of, but finding that I
mentioned nothing of the Matter, they desired me to step into the
Basket as we might there converse with greater ease. Accordingly I
entered and whilst the rest of the party were devouring green tea
and buttered toast, we feasted ourselves in a more refined and
sentimental Manner by a confidential Conversation. I informed them
of every thing which had befallen me during the course of my life,
and at my request they related to me every incident of theirs.

"We are the sons as you already know, of the two youngest
Daughters which Lord St Clair had by Laurina an italian opera
girl. Our mothers could neither of them exactly ascertain who were
our Father, though it is generally beleived that Philander, is the
son of one Philip Jones a Bricklayer and that my Father was one
Gregory Staves a Staymaker of Edinburgh. This is however of little
consequence for as our Mothers were certainly never married to
either of them it reflects no Dishonour on our Blood, which is of
a most ancient and unpolluted kind. Bertha (the Mother of
Philander) and Agatha (my own Mother) always lived together. They
were neither of them very rich; their united fortunes had
originally amounted to nine thousand Pounds, but as they had
always lived on the principal of it, when we were fifteen it was
diminished to nine Hundred. This nine Hundred they always kept in
a Drawer in one of the Tables which stood in our common sitting
Parlour, for the convenience of having it always at Hand. Whether
it was from this circumstance, of its being easily taken, or from
a wish of being independant, or from an excess of sensibility (for
which we were always remarkable) I cannot now determine, but
certain it is that when we had reached our 15th year, we took the
nine Hundred Pounds and ran away. Having obtained this prize we
were determined to manage it with eoconomy and not to spend it
either with folly or Extravagance. To this purpose we therefore
divided it into nine parcels, one of which we devoted to Victuals,
the 2d to Drink, the 3d to Housekeeping, the 4th to Carriages, the
5th to Horses, the 6th to Servants, the 7th to Amusements, the 8th
to Cloathes and the 9th to Silver Buckles. Having thus arranged
our Expences for two months (for we expected to make the nine
Hundred Pounds last as long) we hastened to London and had the
good luck to spend it in 7 weeks and a Day which was 6 Days sooner
than we had intended. As soon as we had thus happily disencumbered
ourselves from the weight of so much money, we began to think of
returning to our Mothers, but accidentally hearing that they were
both starved to Death, we gave over the design and determined to
engage ourselves to some strolling Company of Players, as we had
always a turn for the Stage. Accordingly we offered our services
to one and were accepted; our Company was indeed rather small, as
it consisted only of the Manager his wife and ourselves, but there
were fewer to pay and the only inconvenience attending it was the
Scarcity of Plays which for want of People to fill the Characters,
we could perform. We did not mind trifles however--. One of our
most admired Performances was MACBETH, in which we were truly
great. The Manager always played BANQUO himself, his Wife my LADY
MACBETH. I did the THREE WITCHES and Philander acted ALL THE REST.
To say the truth this tragedy was not only the Best, but the only
Play that we ever performed; and after having acted it all over
England, and Wales, we came to Scotland to exhibit it over the
remainder of Great Britain. We happened to be quartered in that
very Town, where you came and met your Grandfather--. We were in
the Inn-yard when his Carriage entered and perceiving by the arms
to whom it belonged, and knowing that Lord St Clair was our
Grandfather, we agreed to endeavour to get something from him by
discovering the Relationship--. You know how well it succeeded--.
Having obtained the two Hundred Pounds, we instantly left the
Town, leaving our Manager and his Wife to act MACBETH by
themselves, and took the road to Sterling, where we spent our
little fortune with great ECLAT. We are now returning to Edinburgh
in order to get some preferment in the Acting way; and such my
Dear Cousin is our History."

I thanked the amiable Youth for his entertaining narration, and
after expressing my wishes for their Welfare and Happiness, left
them in their little Habitation and returned to my other Freinds
who impatiently expected me.

My adventures are now drawing to a close my dearest Marianne;
at least for the present.

When we arrived at Edinburgh Sir Edward told me that as the
Widow of his son, he desired I would accept from his Hands of four
Hundred a year. I graciously promised that I would, but could not
help observing that the unsimpathetic Baronet offered it more on
account of my being the Widow of Edward than in being the refined
and amiable Laura.

I took up my Residence in a Romantic Village in the Highlands
of Scotland where I have ever since continued, and where I can
uninterrupted by unmeaning Visits, indulge in a melancholy
solitude, my unceasing Lamentations for the Death of my Father, my
Mother, my Husband and my Freind.

Augusta has been for several years united to Graham the Man of
all others most suited to her; she became acquainted with him
during her stay in Scotland.

Sir Edward in hopes of gaining an Heir to his Title and Estate,
at the same time married Lady Dorothea--. His wishes have been

Philander and Gustavus, after having raised their reputation by
their Performances in the Theatrical Line at Edinburgh, removed to
Covent Garden, where they still exhibit under the assumed names of

Philippa has long paid the Debt of Nature, Her Husband however
still continues to drive the Stage-Coach from Edinburgh to
Adeiu my Dearest Marianne.


June 13th 1790.





I am now availing myself of the Liberty you have frequently
honoured me with of dedicating one of my Novels to you. That it
is unfinished, I greive; yet fear that from me, it will always
remain so; that as far as it is carried, it should be so trifling
and so unworthy of you, is another concern to your obliged humble

The Author

Messrs Demand and Co--please to pay Jane Austen Spinster the sum
of one hundred guineas on account of your Humble Servant.

H. T. Austen

L105. 0. 0.



LETTER the FIRST is from
Lesley Castle Janry 3rd--1792.

My Brother has just left us. "Matilda (said he at parting) you
and Margaret will I am certain take all the care of my dear
little one, that she might have received from an indulgent, and
affectionate and amiable Mother." Tears rolled down his cheeks
as he spoke these words--the remembrance of her, who had so
wantonly disgraced the Maternal character and so openly violated
the conjugal Duties, prevented his adding anything farther; he
embraced his sweet Child and after saluting Matilda and Me
hastily broke from us and seating himself in his Chaise, pursued
the road to Aberdeen. Never was there a better young Man! Ah!
how little did he deserve the misfortunes he has experienced in
the Marriage state. So good a Husband to so bad a Wife! for you
know my dear Charlotte that the Worthless Louisa left him, her
Child and reputation a few weeks ago in company with Danvers and
dishonour. Never was there a sweeter face, a finer form, or a
less amiable Heart than Louisa owned! Her child already
possesses the personal Charms of her unhappy Mother! May she
inherit from her Father all his mental ones! Lesley is at
present but five and twenty, and has already given himself up to
melancholy and Despair; what a difference between him and his
Father! Sir George is 57 and still remains the Beau, the flighty
stripling, the gay Lad, and sprightly Youngster, that his Son was
really about five years back, and that HE has affected to appear
ever since my remembrance. While our father is fluttering about
the streets of London, gay, dissipated, and Thoughtless at the
age of 57, Matilda and I continue secluded from Mankind in our
old and Mouldering Castle, which is situated two miles from Perth
on a bold projecting Rock, and commands an extensive veiw of the
Town and its delightful Environs. But tho' retired from almost
all the World, (for we visit no one but the M'Leods, The
M'Kenzies, the M'Phersons, the M'Cartneys, the M'Donalds, The
M'kinnons, the M'lellans, the M'kays, the Macbeths and the
Macduffs) we are neither dull nor unhappy; on the contrary there
never were two more lively, more agreable or more witty girls,
than we are; not an hour in the Day hangs heavy on our Hands. We
read, we work, we walk, and when fatigued with these Employments
releive our spirits, either by a lively song, a graceful Dance,
or by some smart bon-mot, and witty repartee. We are handsome my
dear Charlotte, very handsome and the greatest of our Perfections
is, that we are entirely insensible of them ourselves. But why
do I thus dwell on myself! Let me rather repeat the praise of
our dear little Neice the innocent Louisa, who is at present
sweetly smiling in a gentle Nap, as she reposes on the sofa. The
dear Creature is just turned of two years old; as handsome as
tho' 2 and 20, as sensible as tho' 2 and 30, and as prudent as
tho' 2 and 40. To convince you of this, I must inform you that
she has a very fine complexion and very pretty features, that she
already knows the two first letters in the Alphabet, and that she
never tears her frocks--. If I have not now convinced you of her
Beauty, Sense and Prudence, I have nothing more to urge in
support of my assertion, and you will therefore have no way of
deciding the Affair but by coming to Lesley-Castle, and by a
personal acquaintance with Louisa, determine for yourself. Ah!
my dear Freind, how happy should I be to see you within these
venerable Walls! It is now four years since my removal from
School has separated me from you; that two such tender Hearts, so
closely linked together by the ties of simpathy and Freindship,
should be so widely removed from each other, is vastly moving. I
live in Perthshire, You in Sussex. We might meet in London, were
my Father disposed to carry me there, and were your Mother to be
there at the same time. We might meet at Bath, at Tunbridge, or
anywhere else indeed, could we but be at the same place together.
We have only to hope that such a period may arrive. My Father
does not return to us till Autumn; my Brother will leave Scotland
in a few Days; he is impatient to travel. Mistaken Youth! He
vainly flatters himself that change of Air will heal the Wounds
of a broken Heart! You will join with me I am certain my dear
Charlotte, in prayers for the recovery of the unhappy Lesley's
peace of Mind, which must ever be essential to that of your
sincere freind
M. Lesley.

From Miss C. LUTTERELL to Miss M. LESLEY in answer.
Glenford Febry 12

I have a thousand excuses to beg for having so long delayed
thanking you my dear Peggy for your agreable Letter, which
beleive me I should not have deferred doing, had not every moment
of my time during the last five weeks been so fully employed in
the necessary arrangements for my sisters wedding, as to allow me
no time to devote either to you or myself. And now what provokes
me more than anything else is that the Match is broke off, and
all my Labour thrown away. Imagine how great the Dissapointment
must be to me, when you consider that after having laboured both
by Night and by Day, in order to get the Wedding dinner ready by
the time appointed, after having roasted Beef, Broiled Mutton,
and Stewed Soup enough to last the new-married Couple through the
Honey-moon, I had the mortification of finding that I had been
Roasting, Broiling and Stewing both the Meat and Myself to no
purpose. Indeed my dear Freind, I never remember suffering any
vexation equal to what I experienced on last Monday when my
sister came running to me in the store-room with her face as
White as a Whipt syllabub, and told me that Hervey had been
thrown from his Horse, had fractured his Scull and was pronounced
by his surgeon to be in the most emminent Danger. "Good God!
(said I) you dont say so? Why what in the name of Heaven will
become of all the Victuals! We shall never be able to eat it
while it is good. However, we'll call in the Surgeon to help us.
I shall be able to manage the Sir-loin myself, my Mother will eat
the soup, and You and the Doctor must finish the rest." Here I
was interrupted, by seeing my poor Sister fall down to appearance
Lifeless upon one of the Chests, where we keep our Table linen.
I immediately called my Mother and the Maids, and at last we
brought her to herself again; as soon as ever she was sensible,
she expressed a determination of going instantly to Henry, and
was so wildly bent on this Scheme, that we had the greatest
Difficulty in the World to prevent her putting it in execution;
at last however more by Force than Entreaty we prevailed on her
to go into her room; we laid her upon the Bed, and she continued
for some Hours in the most dreadful Convulsions. My Mother and I
continued in the room with her, and when any intervals of
tolerable Composure in Eloisa would allow us, we joined in
heartfelt lamentations on the dreadful Waste in our provisions
which this Event must occasion, and in concerting some plan for
getting rid of them. We agreed that the best thing we could do
was to begin eating them immediately, and accordingly we ordered
up the cold Ham and Fowls, and instantly began our Devouring Plan
on them with great Alacrity. We would have persuaded Eloisa to
have taken a Wing of a Chicken, but she would not be persuaded.
She was however much quieter than she had been; the convulsions
she had before suffered having given way to an almost perfect
Insensibility. We endeavoured to rouse her by every means in our
power, but to no purpose. I talked to her of Henry. "Dear
Eloisa (said I) there's no occasion for your crying so much about
such a trifle. (for I was willing to make light of it in order
to comfort her) I beg you would not mind it--You see it does not
vex me in the least; though perhaps I may suffer most from it
after all; for I shall not only be obliged to eat up all the
Victuals I have dressed already, but must if Henry should recover
(which however is not very likely) dress as much for you again;
or should he die (as I suppose he will) I shall still have to
prepare a Dinner for you whenever you marry any one else. So you
see that tho' perhaps for the present it may afflict you to think
of Henry's sufferings, Yet I dare say he'll die soon, and then
his pain will be over and you will be easy, whereas my Trouble
will last much longer for work as hard as I may, I am certain
that the pantry cannot be cleared in less than a fortnight." Thus
I did all in my power to console her, but without any effect, and
at last as I saw that she did not seem to listen to me, I said no
more, but leaving her with my Mother I took down the remains of
The Ham and Chicken, and sent William to ask how Henry did. He
was not expected to live many Hours; he died the same day. We
took all possible care to break the melancholy Event to Eloisa in
the tenderest manner; yet in spite of every precaution, her
sufferings on hearing it were too violent for her reason, and she
continued for many hours in a high Delirium. She is still
extremely ill, and her Physicians are greatly afraid of her going
into a Decline. We are therefore preparing for Bristol, where we
mean to be in the course of the next week. And now my dear
Margaret let me talk a little of your affairs; and in the first
place I must inform you that it is confidently reported, your
Father is going to be married; I am very unwilling to beleive so
unpleasing a report, and at the same time cannot wholly discredit
it. I have written to my freind Susan Fitzgerald, for
information concerning it, which as she is at present in Town,
she will be very able to give me. I know not who is the Lady. I
think your Brother is extremely right in the resolution he has
taken of travelling, as it will perhaps contribute to obliterate
from his remembrance, those disagreable Events, which have lately
so much afflicted him-- I am happy to find that tho' secluded
from all the World, neither you nor Matilda are dull or unhappy
--that you may never know what it is to, be either is the wish of
your sincerely affectionate

P. S. I have this instant received an answer from my freind
Susan, which I enclose to you, and on which you will make your
own reflections.

The enclosed LETTER

You could not have applied for information concerning the report
of Sir George Lesleys Marriage, to any one better able to give it
you than I am. Sir George is certainly married; I was myself
present at the Ceremony, which you will not be surprised at when
I subscribe myself your Affectionate
Susan Lesley

Lesley Castle February the 16th

I have made my own reflections on the letter you enclosed to me,
my Dear Charlotte and I will now tell you what those reflections
were. I reflected that if by this second Marriage Sir George
should have a second family, our fortunes must be considerably
diminushed--that if his Wife should be of an extravagant turn,
she would encourage him to persevere in that gay and Dissipated
way of Life to which little encouragement would be necessary, and
which has I fear already proved but too detrimental to his health
and fortune--that she would now become Mistress of those Jewels
which once adorned our Mother, and which Sir George had always
promised us--that if they did not come into Perthshire I should
not be able to gratify my curiosity of beholding my Mother-in-law
and that if they did, Matilda would no longer sit at the head of
her Father's table--. These my dear Charlotte were the
melancholy reflections which crowded into my imagination after
perusing Susan's letter to you, and which instantly occurred to
Matilda when she had perused it likewise. The same ideas, the
same fears, immediately occupied her Mind, and I know not which
reflection distressed her most, whether the probable Diminution
of our Fortunes, or her own Consequence. We both wish very much
to know whether Lady Lesley is handsome and what is your opinion
of her; as you honour her with the appellation of your freind, we
flatter ourselves that she must be amiable. My Brother is
already in Paris. He intends to quit it in a few Days, and to
begin his route to Italy. He writes in a most chearfull manner,
says that the air of France has greatly recovered both his Health
and Spirits; that he has now entirely ceased to think of Louisa
with any degree either of Pity or Affection, that he even feels
himself obliged to her for her Elopement, as he thinks it very
good fun to be single again. By this, you may perceive that he
has entirely regained that chearful Gaiety, and sprightly Wit,
for which he was once so remarkable. When he first became
acquainted with Louisa which was little more than three years
ago, he was one of the most lively, the most agreable young Men
of the age--. I beleive you never yet heard the particulars of
his first acquaintance with her. It commenced at our cousin
Colonel Drummond's; at whose house in Cumberland he spent the
Christmas, in which he attained the age of two and twenty.
Louisa Burton was the Daughter of a distant Relation of Mrs.
Drummond, who dieing a few Months before in extreme poverty, left
his only Child then about eighteen to the protection of any of
his Relations who would protect her. Mrs. Drummond was the only
one who found herself so disposed--Louisa was therefore removed
from a miserable Cottage in Yorkshire to an elegant Mansion in
Cumberland, and from every pecuniary Distress that Poverty could
inflict, to every elegant Enjoyment that Money could purchase--.
Louisa was naturally ill-tempered and Cunning; but she had been
taught to disguise her real Disposition, under the appearance of
insinuating Sweetness, by a father who but too well knew, that to
be married, would be the only chance she would have of not being
starved, and who flattered himself that with such an extroidinary
share of personal beauty, joined to a gentleness of Manners, and
an engaging address, she might stand a good chance of pleasing
some young Man who might afford to marry a girl without a
Shilling. Louisa perfectly entered into her father's schemes and
was determined to forward them with all her care and attention.
By dint of Perseverance and Application, she had at length so
thoroughly disguised her natural disposition under the mask of
Innocence, and Softness, as to impose upon every one who had not
by a long and constant intimacy with her discovered her real
Character. Such was Louisa when the hapless Lesley first beheld
her at Drummond-house. His heart which (to use your favourite
comparison) was as delicate as sweet and as tender as a Whipt-
syllabub, could not resist her attractions. In a very few Days,
he was falling in love, shortly after actually fell, and before
he had known her a Month, he had married her. My Father was at
first highly displeased at so hasty and imprudent a connection;
but when he found that they did not mind it, he soon became
perfectly reconciled to the match. The Estate near Aberdeen
which my brother possesses by the bounty of his great Uncle
independant of Sir George, was entirely sufficient to support him
and my Sister in Elegance and Ease. For the first twelvemonth,
no one could be happier than Lesley, and no one more amiable to
appearance than Louisa, and so plausibly did she act and so
cautiously behave that tho' Matilda and I often spent several
weeks together with them, yet we neither of us had any suspicion
of her real Disposition. After the birth of Louisa however,
which one would have thought would have strengthened her regard
for Lesley, the mask she had so long supported was by degrees
thrown aside, and as probably she then thought herself secure in
the affection of her Husband (which did indeed appear if possible
augmented by the birth of his Child) she seemed to take no pains
to prevent that affection from ever diminushing. Our visits
therefore to Dunbeath, were now less frequent and by far less
agreable than they used to be. Our absence was however never
either mentioned or lamented by Louisa who in the society of
young Danvers with whom she became acquainted at Aberdeen (he was
at one of the Universities there,) felt infinitely happier than
in that of Matilda and your freind, tho' there certainly never
were pleasanter girls than we are. You know the sad end of all
Lesleys connubial happiness; I will not repeat it--. Adeiu my
dear Charlotte; although I have not yet mentioned anything of the
matter, I hope you will do me the justice to beleive that I THINK
and FEEL, a great deal for your Sisters affliction. I do not
doubt but that the healthy air of the Bristol downs will intirely
remove it, by erasing from her Mind the remembrance of Henry. I
am my dear Charlotte yrs ever
M. L.

From Miss C. LUTTERELL to Miss M. LESLEY
Bristol February 27th

My Dear Peggy
I have but just received your letter, which being directed to
Sussex while I was at Bristol was obliged to be forwarded to me
here, and from some unaccountable Delay, has but this instant
reached me--. I return you many thanks for the account it
contains of Lesley's acquaintance, Love and Marriage with Louisa,
which has not the less entertained me for having often been
repeated to me before.

I have the satisfaction of informing you that we have every
reason to imagine our pantry is by this time nearly cleared, as
we left Particular orders with the servants to eat as hard as
they possibly could, and to call in a couple of Chairwomen to
assist them. We brought a cold Pigeon pye, a cold turkey, a cold
tongue, and half a dozen Jellies with us, which we were lucky
enough with the help of our Landlady, her husband, and their
three children, to get rid of, in less than two days after our
arrival. Poor Eloisa is still so very indifferent both in Health
and Spirits, that I very much fear, the air of the Bristol downs,
healthy as it is, has not been able to drive poor Henry from her

You ask me whether your new Mother in law is handsome and
amiable--I will now give you an exact description of her bodily
and mental charms. She is short, and extremely well made; is
naturally pale, but rouges a good deal; has fine eyes, and fine
teeth, as she will take care to let you know as soon as she sees
you, and is altogether very pretty. She is remarkably good-
tempered when she has her own way, and very lively when she is
not out of humour. She is naturally extravagant and not very
affected; she never reads anything but the letters she receives
from me, and never writes anything but her answers to them. She
plays, sings and Dances, but has no taste for either, and excells
in none, tho' she says she is passionately fond of all. Perhaps
you may flatter me so far as to be surprised that one of whom I
speak with so little affection should be my particular freind;
but to tell you the truth, our freindship arose rather from
Caprice on her side than Esteem on mine. We spent two or three
days together with a Lady in Berkshire with whom we both happened
to be connected--. During our visit, the Weather being
remarkably bad, and our party particularly stupid, she was so
good as to conceive a violent partiality for me, which very soon
settled in a downright Freindship and ended in an established
correspondence. She is probably by this time as tired of me, as
I am of her; but as she is too Polite and I am too civil to say
so, our letters are still as frequent and affectionate as ever,
and our Attachment as firm and sincere as when it first
commenced. As she had a great taste for the pleasures of London,
and of Brighthelmstone, she will I dare say find some difficulty
in prevailing on herself even to satisfy the curiosity I dare say
she feels of beholding you, at the expence of quitting those
favourite haunts of Dissipation, for the melancholy tho'
venerable gloom of the castle you inhabit. Perhaps however if she
finds her health impaired by too much amusement, she may acquire
fortitude sufficient to undertake a Journey to Scotland in the
hope of its Proving at least beneficial to her health, if not
conducive to her happiness. Your fears I am sorry to say,
concerning your father's extravagance, your own fortunes, your
Mothers Jewels and your Sister's consequence, I should suppose
are but too well founded. My freind herself has four thousand
pounds, and will probably spend nearly as much every year in
Dress and Public places, if she can get it--she will certainly
not endeavour to reclaim Sir George from the manner of living to
which he has been so long accustomed, and there is therefore some
reason to fear that you will be very well off, if you get any
fortune at all. The Jewels I should imagine too will undoubtedly
be hers, and there is too much reason to think that she will
preside at her Husbands table in preference to his Daughter. But
as so melancholy a subject must necessarily extremely distress
you, I will no longer dwell on it--.

Eloisa's indisposition has brought us to Bristol at so
unfashionable a season of the year, that we have actually seen
but one genteel family since we came. Mr and Mrs Marlowe are
very agreable people; the ill health of their little boy
occasioned their arrival here; you may imagine that being the
only family with whom we can converse, we are of course on a
footing of intimacy with them; we see them indeed almost every
day, and dined with them yesterday. We spent a very pleasant
Day, and had a very good Dinner, tho' to be sure the Veal was
terribly underdone, and the Curry had no seasoning. I could not
help wishing all dinner-time that I had been at the dressing
it--. A brother of Mrs Marlowe, Mr Cleveland is with them at
present; he is a good-looking young Man, and seems to have a good
deal to say for himself. I tell Eloisa that she should set her
cap at him, but she does not at all seem to relish the proposal.
I should like to see the girl married and Cleveland has a very
good estate. Perhaps you may wonder that I do not consider
myself as well as my Sister in my matrimonial Projects; but to
tell you the truth I never wish to act a more principal part at a
Wedding than the superintending and directing the Dinner, and
therefore while I can get any of my acquaintance to marry for me,
I shall never think of doing it myself, as I very much suspect
that I should not have so much time for dressing my own Wedding-
dinner, as for dressing that of my freinds.
Yours sincerely
C. L.

Lesley-Castle March 18th

On the same day that I received your last kind letter, Matilda
received one from Sir George which was dated from Edinburgh, and
informed us that he should do himself the pleasure of introducing
Lady Lesley to us on the following evening. This as you may
suppose considerably surprised us, particularly as your account
of her Ladyship had given us reason to imagine there was little
chance of her visiting Scotland at a time that London must be so
gay. As it was our business however to be delighted at such a
mark of condescension as a visit from Sir George and Lady Lesley,
we prepared to return them an answer expressive of the happiness
we enjoyed in expectation of such a Blessing, when luckily
recollecting that as they were to reach the Castle the next
Evening, it would be impossible for my father to receive it
before he left Edinburgh, we contented ourselves with leaving
them to suppose that we were as happy as we ought to be. At nine
in the Evening on the following day, they came, accompanied by
one of Lady Lesleys brothers. Her Ladyship perfectly answers the
description you sent me of her, except that I do not think her so
pretty as you seem to consider her. She has not a bad face, but
there is something so extremely unmajestic in her little
diminutive figure, as to render her in comparison with the
elegant height of Matilda and Myself, an insignificant Dwarf.
Her curiosity to see us (which must have been great to bring her
more than four hundred miles) being now perfectly gratified, she
already begins to mention their return to town, and has desired
us to accompany her. We cannot refuse her request since it is
seconded by the commands of our Father, and thirded by the
entreaties of Mr. Fitzgerald who is certainly one of the most
pleasing young Men, I ever beheld. It is not yet determined when
we are to go, but when ever we do we shall certainly take our
little Louisa with us. Adeiu my dear Charlotte; Matilda unites in
best wishes to you, and Eloisa, with yours ever
M. L.

Lesley-Castle March 20th

We arrived here my sweet Freind about a fortnight ago, and I
already heartily repent that I ever left our charming House in
Portman-square for such a dismal old weather-beaten Castle as
this. You can form no idea sufficiently hideous, of its dungeon-
like form. It is actually perched upon a Rock to appearance so
totally inaccessible, that I expected to have been pulled up by a
rope; and sincerely repented having gratified my curiosity to
behold my Daughters at the expence of being obliged to enter
their prison in so dangerous and ridiculous a manner. But as
soon as I once found myself safely arrived in the inside of this
tremendous building, I comforted myself with the hope of having
my spirits revived, by the sight of two beautifull girls, such as
the Miss Lesleys had been represented to me, at Edinburgh. But
here again, I met with nothing but Disappointment and Surprise.
Matilda and Margaret Lesley are two great, tall, out of the way,
over-grown, girls, just of a proper size to inhabit a Castle
almost as large in comparison as themselves. I wish my dear
Charlotte that you could but behold these Scotch giants; I am
sure they would frighten you out of your wits. They will do very
well as foils to myself, so I have invited them to accompany me
to London where I hope to be in the course of a fortnight.
Besides these two fair Damsels, I found a little humoured Brat
here who I beleive is some relation to them, they told me who she
was, and gave me a long rigmerole story of her father and a Miss
SOMEBODY which I have entirely forgot. I hate scandal and detest
Children. I have been plagued ever since I came here with
tiresome visits from a parcel of Scotch wretches, with terrible
hard-names; they were so civil, gave me so many invitations, and
talked of coming again so soon, that I could not help affronting
them. I suppose I shall not see them any more, and yet as a
family party we are so stupid, that I do not know what to do with
myself. These girls have no Music, but Scotch airs, no Drawings
but Scotch Mountains, and no Books but Scotch Poems--and I hate
everything Scotch. In general I can spend half the Day at my
toilett with a great deal of pleasure, but why should I dress
here, since there is not a creature in the House whom I have any
wish to please. I have just had a conversation with my Brother in
which he has greatly offended me, and which as I have nothing
more entertaining to send you I will gave you the particulars of.
You must know that I have for these 4 or 5 Days past strongly
suspected William of entertaining a partiality to my eldest
Daughter. I own indeed that had I been inclined to fall in love
with any woman, I should not have made choice of Matilda Lesley
for the object of my passion; for there is nothing I hate so much
as a tall Woman: but however there is no accounting for some
men's taste and as William is himself nearly six feet high, it is
not wonderful that he should be partial to that height. Now as I
have a very great affection for my Brother and should be
extremely sorry to see him unhappy, which I suppose he means to
be if he cannot marry Matilda, as moreover I know that his
circumstances will not allow him to marry any one without a
fortune, and that Matilda's is entirely dependant on her Father,
who will neither have his own inclination nor my permission to
give her anything at present, I thought it would be doing a good-
natured action by my Brother to let him know as much, in order
that he might choose for himself, whether to conquer his passion,
or Love and Despair. Accordingly finding myself this Morning
alone with him in one of the horrid old rooms of this Castle, I
opened the cause to him in the following Manner.

"Well my dear William what do you think of these girls? for my
part, I do not find them so plain as I expected: but perhaps you
may think me partial to the Daughters of my Husband and perhaps
you are right-- They are indeed so very like Sir George that it
is natural to think"--

"My Dear Susan (cried he in a tone of the greatest amazement) You
do not really think they bear the least resemblance to their
Father! He is so very plain!--but I beg your pardon--I had
entirely forgotten to whom I was speaking--"

"Oh! pray dont mind me; (replied I) every one knows Sir George
is horribly ugly, and I assure you I always thought him a

"You surprise me extremely (answered William) by what you say
both with respect to Sir George and his Daughters. You cannot
think your Husband so deficient in personal Charms as you speak
of, nor can you surely see any resemblance between him and the
Miss Lesleys who are in my opinion perfectly unlike him and
perfectly Handsome."

"If that is your opinion with regard to the girls it certainly is
no proof of their Fathers beauty, for if they are perfectly
unlike him and very handsome at the same time, it is natural to
suppose that he is very plain."

"By no means, (said he) for what may be pretty in a Woman, may be
very unpleasing in a Man."

"But you yourself (replied I) but a few minutes ago allowed him
to be very plain."

"Men are no Judges of Beauty in their own Sex." (said he).

"Neither Men nor Women can think Sir George tolerable."

"Well, well, (said he) we will not dispute about HIS Beauty, but
your opinion of his DAUGHTERS is surely very singular, for if I
understood you right, you said you did not find them so plain as
you expected to do!"

"Why, do YOU find them plainer then?" (said I).

"I can scarcely beleive you to be serious (returned he) when you
speak of their persons in so extroidinary a Manner. Do not you
think the Miss Lesleys are two very handsome young Women?"

"Lord! No! (cried I) I think them terribly plain!"

"Plain! (replied He) My dear Susan, you cannot really think so!
Why what single Feature in the face of either of them, can you
possibly find fault with?"

"Oh! trust me for that; (replied I). Come I will begin with the
eldest--with Matilda. Shall I, William?" (I looked as cunning as
I could when I said it, in order to shame him).

"They are so much alike (said he) that I should suppose the
faults of one, would be the faults of both."

"Well, then, in the first place; they are both so horribly tall!"

"They are TALLER than you are indeed." (said he with a saucy

"Nay, (said I), I know nothing of that."

"Well, but (he continued) tho' they may be above the common size,
their figures are perfectly elegant; and as to their faces, their
Eyes are beautifull."

"I never can think such tremendous, knock-me-down figures in the
least degree elegant, and as for their eyes, they are so tall
that I never could strain my neck enough to look at them."

"Nay, (replied he) I know not whether you may not be in the right
in not attempting it, for perhaps they might dazzle you with
their Lustre."

"Oh! Certainly. (said I, with the greatest complacency, for I
assure you my dearest Charlotte I was not in the least offended
tho' by what followed, one would suppose that William was
conscious of having given me just cause to be so, for coming up
to me and taking my hand, he said) "You must not look so grave
Susan; you will make me fear I have offended you!"

"Offended me! Dear Brother, how came such a thought in your
head! (returned I) No really! I assure you that I am not in the
least surprised at your being so warm an advocate for the Beauty
of these girls "--

"Well, but (interrupted William) remember that we have not yet
concluded our dispute concerning them. What fault do you find
with their complexion?"

"They are so horridly pale."

"They have always a little colour, and after any exercise it is
considerably heightened."

"Yes, but if there should ever happen to be any rain in this part
of the world, they will never be able raise more than their
common stock--except indeed they amuse themselves with running up
and Down these horrid old galleries and Antichambers."

"Well, (replied my Brother in a tone of vexation, and glancing an
impertinent look at me) if they HAVE but little colour, at least,
it is all their own."

This was too much my dear Charlotte, for I am certain that he had
the impudence by that look, of pretending to suspect the reality
of mine. But you I am sure will vindicate my character whenever
you may hear it so cruelly aspersed, for you can witness how
often I have protested against wearing Rouge, and how much I
always told you I disliked it. And I assure you that my opinions
are still the same.--. Well, not bearing to be so suspected by
my Brother, I left the room immediately, and have been ever since
in my own Dressing-room writing to you. What a long letter have
I made of it! But you must not expect to receive such from me
when I get to Town; for it is only at Lesley castle, that one has
time to write even to a Charlotte Lutterell.--. I was so much
vexed by William's glance, that I could not summon Patience
enough, to stay and give him that advice respecting his
attachment to Matilda which had first induced me from pure Love
to him to begin the conversation; and I am now so thoroughly
convinced by it, of his violent passion for her, that I am
certain he would never hear reason on the subject, and I shall
there fore give myself no more trouble either about him or his
favourite. Adeiu my dear girl--
Yrs affectionately
Susan L.

From Miss C. LUTTERELL to Miss M. LESLEY
Bristol the 27th of March

I have received Letters from you and your Mother-in-law within
this week which have greatly entertained me, as I find by them
that you are both downright jealous of each others Beauty. It is
very odd that two pretty Women tho' actually Mother and Daughter
cannot be in the same House without falling out about their
faces. Do be convinced that you are both perfectly handsome and
say no more of the Matter. I suppose this letter must be
directed to Portman Square where probably (great as is your
affection for Lesley Castle) you will not be sorry to find
yourself. In spite of all that people may say about Green fields
and the Country I was always of opinion that London and its
amusements must be very agreable for a while, and should be very
happy could my Mother's income allow her to jockey us into its
Public-places, during Winter. I always longed particularly to go
to Vaux-hall, to see whether the cold Beef there is cut so thin
as it is reported, for I have a sly suspicion that few people
understand the art of cutting a slice of cold Beef so well as I
do: nay it would be hard if I did not know something of the
Matter, for it was a part of my Education that I took by far the
most pains with. Mama always found me HER best scholar, tho'
when Papa was alive Eloisa was HIS. Never to be sure were there
two more different Dispositions in the World. We both loved
Reading. SHE preferred Histories, and I Receipts. She loved
drawing, Pictures, and I drawing Pullets. No one could sing a
better song than she, and no one make a better Pye than I.-- And
so it has always continued since we have been no longer children.
The only difference is that all disputes on the superior
excellence of our Employments THEN so frequent are now no more.
We have for many years entered into an agreement always to admire
each other's works; I never fail listening to HER Music, and she
is as constant in eating my pies. Such at least was the case
till Henry Hervey made his appearance in Sussex. Before the
arrival of his Aunt in our neighbourhood where she established
herself you know about a twelvemonth ago, his visits to her had
been at stated times, and of equal and settled Duration; but on
her removal to the Hall which is within a walk from our House,
they became both more frequent and longer. This as you may
suppose could not be pleasing to Mrs Diana who is a professed
enemy to everything which is not directed by Decorum and
Formality, or which bears the least resemblance to Ease and Good-
breeding. Nay so great was her aversion to her Nephews behaviour
that I have often heard her give such hints of it before his face
that had not Henry at such times been engaged in conversation
with Eloisa, they must have caught his Attention and have very
much distressed him. The alteration in my Sisters behaviour
which I have before hinted at, now took place. The Agreement we
had entered into of admiring each others productions she no
longer seemed to regard, and tho' I constantly applauded even
every Country-dance, she played, yet not even a pidgeon-pye of my
making could obtain from her a single word of approbation. This
was certainly enough to put any one in a Passion; however, I was
as cool as a cream-cheese and having formed my plan and concerted
a scheme of Revenge, I was determined to let her have her own way
and not even to make her a single reproach. My scheme was to
treat her as she treated me, and tho' she might even draw my own
Picture or play Malbrook (which is the only tune I ever really
liked) not to say so much as "Thank you Eloisa;" tho' I had for
many years constantly hollowed whenever she played, BRAVO,
POCO PRESTO with many other such outlandish words, all of them as
Eloisa told me expressive of my Admiration; and so indeed I
suppose they are, as I see some of them in every Page of every
Music book, being the sentiments I imagine of the composer.

I executed my Plan with great Punctuality. I can not say
success, for alas! my silence while she played seemed not in the
least to displease her; on the contrary she actually said to me
one day " Well Charlotte, I am very glad to find that you have at
last left off that ridiculous custom of applauding my Execution
on the Harpsichord till you made my head ake, and yourself
hoarse. I feel very much obliged to you for keeping your
admiration to yourself." I never shall forget the very witty
answer I made to this speech. "Eloisa (said I) I beg you would
be quite at your Ease with respect to all such fears in future,
for be assured that I shall always keep my admiration to myself
and my own pursuits and never extend it to yours." This was the

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