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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesLesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the SIXTH
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Lesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the SIXTH Post by :CustomSecretary Category :Long Stories Author :Jane Austen Date :May 2011 Read :2721

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

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.

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

Lesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the SEVENTH
LETTER the SEVENTHFrom Miss C. LUTTERELL to Miss M. LESLEYBristol the 27th of MarchI have received Letters from you and your Mother-in-law withinthis week which have greatly entertained me, as I find by themthat you are both downright jealous of each others Beauty. It isvery odd that two pretty Women tho' actually Mother and Daughtercannot be in the same House without falling out about theirfaces. Do be convinced that you are both perfectly handsome andsay no more of the Matter. I suppose this letter must bedirected to Portman Square where probably (great as is youraffection for Lesley Castle)

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

Lesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the FIFTH
LETTER the FIFTHMiss MARGARET LESLEY to Miss CHARLOTTE LUTTERELLLesley-Castle March 18thOn the same day that I received your last kind letter, Matildareceived one from Sir George which was dated from Edinburgh, andinformed us that he should do himself the pleasure of introducingLady Lesley to us on the following evening. This as you maysuppose considerably surprised us, particularly as your accountof her Ladyship had given us reason to imagine there was littlechance of her visiting Scotland at a time that London must be sogay. As it was our business however to be delighted at such amark