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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsA Collection Of Letters - LETTER the FIRST
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A Collection Of Letters - LETTER the FIRST Post by :MartyNicholas Category :Nonfictions Author :Jane Austen Date :May 2011 Read :732

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A Collection Of Letters - LETTER the FIRST

LETTER the FIRST
From a MOTHER to her FREIND.

My Children begin now to claim all my attention in different
Manner from that in which they have been used to receive it, as
they are now arrived at that age when it is necessary for them in
some measure to become conversant with the World, My Augusta is
17 and her sister scarcely a twelvemonth younger. I flatter
myself that their education has been such as will not disgrace
their appearance in the World, and that THEY will not disgrace
their Education I have every reason to beleive. Indeed they are
sweet Girls--. Sensible yet unaffected--Accomplished yet Easy--.
Lively yet Gentle--. As their progress in every thing they have
learnt has been always the same, I am willing to forget the
difference of age, and to introduce them together into Public.
This very Evening is fixed on as their first ENTREE into Life, as
we are to drink tea with Mrs Cope and her Daughter. I am glad
that we are to meet no one, for my Girls sake, as it would be
awkward for them to enter too wide a Circle on the very first
day. But we shall proceed by degrees.--Tomorrow Mr Stanly's
family will drink tea with us, and perhaps the Miss Phillips's
will meet them. On Tuesday we shall pay Morning Visits--On
Wednesday we are to dine at Westbrook. On Thursday we have
Company at home. On Friday we are to be at a Private Concert at
Sir John Wynna's--and on Saturday we expect Miss Dawson to call
in the Morning--which will complete my Daughters Introduction
into Life. How they will bear so much dissipation I cannot
imagine; of their spirits I have no fear, I only dread their
health.

This mighty affair is now happily over, and my Girls are OUT. As
the moment approached for our departure, you can have no idea how
the sweet Creatures trembled with fear and expectation. Before
the Carriage drove to the door, I called them into my dressing-
room, and as soon as they were seated thus addressed them. "My
dear Girls the moment is now arrived when I am to reap the
rewards of all my Anxieties and Labours towards you during your
Education. You are this Evening to enter a World in which you
will meet with many wonderfull Things; Yet let me warn you
against suffering yourselves to be meanly swayed by the Follies
and Vices of others, for beleive me my beloved Children that if
you do--I shall be very sorry for it." They both assured me
that they would ever remember my advice with Gratitude, and
follow it with attention; That they were prepared to find a World
full of things to amaze and to shock them: but that they trusted
their behaviour would never give me reason to repent the Watchful
Care with which I had presided over their infancy and formed
their Minds--" "With such expectations and such intentions
(cried I) I can have nothing to fear from you--and can chearfully
conduct you to Mrs Cope's without a fear of your being seduced by
her Example, or contaminated by her Follies. Come, then my
Children (added I) the Carriage is driving to the door, and I
will not a moment delay the happiness you are so impatient to
enjoy." When we arrived at Warleigh, poor Augusta could scarcely
breathe, while Margaret was all Life and Rapture. "The long-
expected Moment is now arrived (said she) and we shall soon be in
the World."--In a few Moments we were in Mrs Cope's parlour,
where with her daughter she sate ready to receive us. I observed
with delight the impression my Children made on them--. They
were indeed two sweet, elegant-looking Girls, and tho' somewhat
abashed from the peculiarity of their situation, yet there was an
ease in their Manners and address which could not fail of
pleasing--. Imagine my dear Madam how delighted I must have been
in beholding as I did, how attentively they observed every object
they saw, how disgusted with some Things, how enchanted with
others, how astonished at all! On the whole however they
returned in raptures with the World, its Inhabitants, and
Manners.
Yrs Ever--A. F.

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