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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesLesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the TENTH
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Lesley Castle: An Unfinished Novel In Letters - LETTER the TENTH Post by :Jason_Cox Category :Long Stories Author :Jane Austen Date :May 2011 Read :2745

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

LETTER the TENTH
From Miss MARGARET LESLEY to Miss CHARLOTTE LUTTERELL
Portman Square April 13th

MY DEAR CHARLOTTE
We left Lesley-Castle on the 28th of last Month, and arrived
safely in London after a Journey of seven Days; I had the
pleasure of finding your Letter here waiting my Arrival, for
which you have my grateful Thanks. Ah! my dear Freind I every
day more regret the serene and tranquil Pleasures of the Castle
we have left, in exchange for the uncertain and unequal
Amusements of this vaunted City. Not that I will pretend to
assert that these uncertain and unequal Amusements are in the
least Degree unpleasing to me; on the contrary I enjoy them
extremely and should enjoy them even more, were I not certain
that every appearance I make in Public but rivetts the Chains of
those unhappy Beings whose Passion it is impossible not to pity,
tho' it is out of my power to return. In short my Dear Charlotte
it is my sensibility for the sufferings of so many amiable young
Men, my Dislike of the extreme admiration I meet with, and my
aversion to being so celebrated both in Public, in Private, in
Papers, and in Printshops, that are the reasons why I cannot more
fully enjoy, the Amusements so various and pleasing of London.
How often have I wished that I possessed as little Personal
Beauty as you do; that my figure were as inelegant; my face as
unlovely; and my appearance as unpleasing as yours! But ah! what
little chance is there of so desirable an Event; I have had the
small-pox, and must therefore submit to my unhappy fate.

I am now going to intrust you my dear Charlotte with a secret
which has long disturbed the tranquility of my days, and which is
of a kind to require the most inviolable Secrecy from you. Last
Monday se'night Matilda and I accompanied Lady Lesley to a Rout
at the Honourable Mrs Kickabout's; we were escorted by Mr
Fitzgerald who is a very amiable young Man in the main, tho'
perhaps a little singular in his Taste--He is in love with
Matilda--. We had scarcely paid our Compliments to the Lady of
the House and curtseyed to half a score different people when my
Attention was attracted by the appearance of a Young Man the most
lovely of his Sex, who at that moment entered the Room with
another Gentleman and Lady. From the first moment I beheld him,
I was certain that on him depended the future Happiness of my
Life. Imagine my surprise when he was introduced to me by the
name of Cleveland--I instantly recognised him as the Brother of
Mrs Marlowe, and the acquaintance of my Charlotte at Bristol. Mr
and Mrs M. were the gentleman and Lady who accompanied him. (You
do not think Mrs Marlowe handsome?) The elegant address of Mr
Cleveland, his polished Manners and Delightful Bow, at once
confirmed my attachment. He did not speak; but I can imagine
everything he would have said, had he opened his Mouth. I can
picture to myself the cultivated Understanding, the Noble
sentiments, and elegant Language which would have shone so
conspicuous in the conversation of Mr Cleveland. The approach of
Sir James Gower (one of my too numerous admirers) prevented the
Discovery of any such Powers, by putting an end to a Conversation
we had never commenced, and by attracting my attention to
himself. But oh! how inferior are the accomplishments of Sir
James to those of his so greatly envied Rival! Sir James is one
of the most frequent of our Visitors, and is almost always of our
Parties. We have since often met Mr and Mrs Marlowe but no
Cleveland--he is always engaged some where else. Mrs Marlowe
fatigues me to Death every time I see her by her tiresome
Conversations about you and Eloisa. She is so stupid! I live in
the hope of seeing her irrisistable Brother to night, as we are
going to Lady Flambeaus, who is I know intimate with the
Marlowes. Our party will be Lady Lesley, Matilda, Fitzgerald,
Sir James Gower, and myself. We see little of Sir George, who is
almost always at the gaming-table. Ah! my poor Fortune where art
thou by this time? We see more of Lady L. who always makes her
appearance (highly rouged) at Dinner-time. Alas! what Delightful
Jewels will she be decked in this evening at Lady Flambeau's!
Yet I wonder how she can herself delight in wearing them; surely
she must be sensible of the ridiculous impropriety of loading her
little diminutive figure with such superfluous ornaments; is it
possible that she can not know how greatly superior an elegant
simplicity is to the most studied apparel? Would she but Present
them to Matilda and me, how greatly should we be obliged to her,
How becoming would Diamonds be on our fine majestic figures! And
how surprising it is that such an Idea should never have occurred
to HER. I am sure if I have reflected in this manner once, I
have fifty times. Whenever I see Lady Lesley dressed in them
such reflections immediately come across me. My own Mother's
Jewels too! But I will say no more on so melancholy a subject
--let me entertain you with something more pleasing--Matilda had
a letter this morning from Lesley, by which we have the pleasure
of finding that he is at Naples has turned Roman-Catholic,
obtained one of the Pope's Bulls for annulling his 1st Marriage
and has since actually married a Neapolitan Lady of great Rank
and Fortune. He tells us moreover that much the same sort of
affair has befallen his first wife the worthless Louisa who is
likewise at Naples had turned Roman-catholic, and is soon to be
married to a Neapolitan Nobleman of great and Distinguished
merit. He says, that they are at present very good Freinds, have
quite forgiven all past errors and intend in future to be very
good Neighbours. He invites Matilda and me to pay him a visit to
Italy and to bring him his little Louisa whom both her Mother,
Step-mother, and himself are equally desirous of beholding. As
to our accepting his invitation, it is at Present very uncertain;
Lady Lesley advises us to go without loss of time; Fitzgerald
offers to escort us there, but Matilda has some doubts of the
Propriety of such a scheme--she owns it would be very agreable.
I am certain she likes the Fellow. My Father desires us not to
be in a hurry, as perhaps if we wait a few months both he and
Lady Lesley will do themselves the pleasure of attending us.
Lady Lesley says no, that nothing will ever tempt her to forego
the Amusements of Brighthelmstone for a Journey to Italy merely
to see our Brother. "No (says the disagreable Woman) I have once
in my life been fool enough to travel I dont know how many
hundred Miles to see two of the Family, and I found it did not
answer, so Deuce take me, if ever I am so foolish again."So says
her Ladyship, but Sir George still Perseveres in saying that
perhaps in a month or two, they may accompany us.

Adeiu my Dear Charlotte
Yrs faithful Margaret Lesley.


The End
Lesley Castle: An unfinished Novel in Letters, by Jane Austen

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