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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesLesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the NINTH
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Lesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the NINTH Post by :coorsrd Category :Long Stories Author :Jane Austen Date :May 2011 Read :2576

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Lesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the NINTH

LETTER the NINTH
Mrs MARLOWE to Miss LUTTERELL
Grosvenor Street, April 10th

Need I say my dear Eloisa how wellcome your letter was to me I
cannot give a greater proof of the pleasure I received from it,
or of the Desire I feel that our Correspondence may be regular
and frequent than by setting you so good an example as I now do
in answering it before the end of the week--. But do not imagine
that I claim any merit in being so punctual; on the contrary I
assure you, that it is a far greater Gratification to me to write
to you, than to spend the Evening either at a Concert or a Ball.
Mr Marlowe is so desirous of my appearing at some of the Public
places every evening that I do not like to refuse him, but at the
same time so much wish to remain at Home, that independant of the
Pleasure I experience in devoting any portion of my Time to my
Dear Eloisa, yet the Liberty I claim from having a letter to
write of spending an Evening at home with my little Boy, you know
me well enough to be sensible, will of itself be a sufficient
Inducement (if one is necessary) to my maintaining with Pleasure
a Correspondence with you. As to the subject of your letters to
me, whether grave or merry, if they concern you they must be
equally interesting to me; not but that I think the melancholy
Indulgence of your own sorrows by repeating them and dwelling on
them to me, will only encourage and increase them, and that it
will be more prudent in you to avoid so sad a subject; but yet
knowing as I do what a soothing and melancholy Pleasure it must
afford you, I cannot prevail on myself to deny you so great an
Indulgence, and will only insist on your not expecting me to
encourage you in it, by my own letters; on the contrary I intend
to fill them with such lively Wit and enlivening Humour as shall
even provoke a smile in the sweet but sorrowfull countenance of
my Eloisa.

In the first place you are to learn that I have met your sisters
three freinds Lady Lesley and her Daughters, twice in Public
since I have been here. I know you will be impatient to hear my
opinion of the Beauty of three Ladies of whom you have heard so
much. Now, as you are too ill and too unhappy to be vain, I
think I may venture to inform you that I like none of their faces
so well as I do your own. Yet they are all handsome--Lady Lesley
indeed I have seen before; her Daughters I beleive would in
general be said to have a finer face than her Ladyship, and yet
what with the charms of a Blooming complexion, a little
Affectation and a great deal of small-talk, (in each of which she
is superior to the young Ladies) she will I dare say gain herself
as many admirers as the more regular features of Matilda, and
Margaret. I am sure you will agree with me in saying that they
can none of them be of a proper size for real Beauty, when you
know that two of them are taller and the other shorter than
ourselves. In spite of this Defect (or rather by reason of it)
there is something very noble and majestic in the figures of the
Miss Lesleys, and something agreably lively in the appearance of
their pretty little Mother-in-law. But tho' one may be majestic
and the other lively, yet the faces of neither possess that
Bewitching sweetness of my Eloisas, which her present languor is
so far from diminushing. What would my Husband and Brother say
of us, if they knew all the fine things I have been saying to you
in this letter. It is very hard that a pretty woman is never to
be told she is so by any one of her own sex without that person's
being suspected to be either her determined Enemy, or her
professed Toad-eater. How much more amiable are women in that
particular! One man may say forty civil things to another
without our supposing that he is ever paid for it, and provided
he does his Duty by our sex, we care not how Polite he is to his
own.

Mrs Lutterell will be so good as to accept my compliments,
Charlotte, my Love, and Eloisa the best wishes for the recovery
of her Health and Spirits that can be offered by her affectionate
Freind
E. Marlowe.

I am afraid this letter will be but a poor specimen of my Powers
in the witty way; and your opinion of them will not be greatly
increased when I assure you that I have been as entertaining as I
possibly could.

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