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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsA Collection Of Letters - LETTER the FOURTH
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A Collection Of Letters - LETTER the FOURTH Post by :rlpublic Category :Nonfictions Author :Jane Austen Date :May 2011 Read :1940

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A Collection Of Letters - LETTER the FOURTH

LETTER the FOURTH
From a YOUNG LADY rather impertinent to her freind

We dined yesterday with Mr Evelyn where we were introduced to a
very agreable looking Girl his Cousin. I was extremely pleased
with her appearance, for added to the charms of an engaging face,
her manner and voice had something peculiarly interesting in
them. So much so, that they inspired me with a great curiosity
to know the history of her Life, who were her Parents, where she
came from, and what had befallen her, for it was then only known
that she was a relation of Mr Evelyn, and that her name was
Grenville. In the evening a favourable opportunity offered to me
of attempting at least to know what I wished to know, for every
one played at Cards but Mrs Evelyn, My Mother, Dr Drayton, Miss
Grenville and myself, and as the two former were engaged in a
whispering Conversation, and the Doctor fell asleep, we were of
necessity obliged to entertain each other. This was what I
wished and being determined not to remain in ignorance for want
of asking, I began the Conversation in the following Manner.

"Have you been long in Essex Ma'am?"

"I arrived on Tuesday."

"You came from Derbyshire?"

"No, Ma'am! appearing surprised at my question, from Suffolk."
You will think this a good dash of mine my dear Mary, but you
know that I am not wanting for Impudence when I have any end in
veiw. "Are you pleased with the Country Miss Grenville? Do you
find it equal to the one you have left?"

"Much superior Ma'am in point of Beauty." She sighed. I longed to
know for why.

"But the face of any Country however beautiful said I, can be but
a poor consolation for the loss of one's dearest Freinds." She
shook her head, as if she felt the truth of what I said. My
Curiosity was so much raised, that I was resolved at any rate to
satisfy it.

"You regret having left Suffolk then Miss Grenville?" "Indeed I
do." "You were born there I suppose?" "Yes Ma'am I was and
passed many happy years there--"

"That is a great comfort--said I--I hope Ma'am that you never
spent any unhappy one's there."

"Perfect Felicity is not the property of Mortals, and no one has
a right to expect uninterrupted Happiness.--Some Misfortunes I
have certainly met with."

"WHAT Misfortunes dear Ma'am? replied I, burning with impatience
to know every thing. "NONE Ma'am I hope that have been the
effect of any wilfull fault in me." " I dare say not Ma'am, and
have no doubt but that any sufferings you may have experienced
could arise only from the cruelties of Relations or the Errors of
Freinds." She sighed--"You seem unhappy my dear Miss Grenville
--Is it in my power to soften your Misfortunes?" "YOUR power
Ma'am replied she extremely surprised; it is in NO ONES power to
make me happy." She pronounced these words in so mournfull and
solemn an accent, that for some time I had not courage to reply.
I was actually silenced. I recovered myself however in a few
moments and looking at her with all the affection I could, "My
dear Miss Grenville said I, you appear extremely young--and may
probably stand in need of some one's advice whose regard for you,
joined to superior Age, perhaps superior Judgement might
authorise her to give it. I am that person, and I now challenge
you to accept the offer I make you of my Confidence and
Freindship, in return to which I shall only ask for yours--"

"You are extremely obliging Ma'am--said she--and I am highly
flattered by your attention to me--But I am in no difficulty, no
doubt, no uncertainty of situation in which any advice can be
wanted. Whenever I am however continued she brightening into a
complaisant smile, I shall know where to apply."

I bowed, but felt a good deal mortified by such a repulse; still
however I had not given up my point. I found that by the
appearance of sentiment and Freindship nothing was to be gained
and determined therefore to renew my attacks by Questions and
suppositions. "Do you intend staying long in this part of
England Miss Grenville?"

"Yes Ma'am, some time I beleive."

"But how will Mr and Mrs Grenville bear your absence?"

"They are neither of them alive Ma'am."
This was an answer I did not expect--I was quite silenced, and
never felt so awkward in my Life---.

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