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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesJane Talbot - Letter 39 - To Mrs. Talbot
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Jane Talbot - Letter 39 - To Mrs. Talbot Post by :marymichel Category :Long Stories Author :Charles Brockden Brown Date :May 2012 Read :2493

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Jane Talbot - Letter 39 - To Mrs. Talbot

Letter XXXIX - To Mrs. Talbot

To Mrs. Talbot

November 28.

IT becomes me to submit without a murmur to a resolution dictated by a disinterested regard to my happiness.

That you may find in that persuasion, in your mother's tenderness and gratitude, in the affluence and honour which this determination has secured to you, abundant consolation for every evil that may befall yourself or pursue me, are my only wishes.

Far was I from designing to conceal from you entirely my father's aversion to our views. I frequently apprized you of the inferences to be naturally drawn from his known character; but I trusted to his generosity, to the steadiness of my own deportment, to your own merits, when he should become personally acquainted with you, to his good sense, when reflecting on an evil in his power to lessen though not wholly to remove, for a change in his opinions, or, at least, in his conduct.

There was sufficient resemblance in the characters of both our parents to make me rely on the influence of time and reflection in our favour. Your mother could not cease to love you. I could not by any accident be wholly bereaved of my father's affection. No conduct of theirs had robbed them of my esteem. Why then did I persist in thwarting their wishes? Why encourage you in your opposition? Because I imagined that, in thwarting their present views, which were founded in error, I consulted their lasting happiness, and made myself a title to their future gratitude by challenging their present rebukes.

I told you not of my father's passionate violences, disgraceful to himself and productive of unspeakable anguish to me. Why should I revive the scene? why be the historian of my father's dishonour? why needlessly add to my own and to your affliction?

My concealments arose not from the fear that the disclosure would estrange you from me. I supposed you willing to grant me the same independence of a parent's control which you claimed for yourself. I saw no difference between forbearing to consult a parent, in a case where we know that his answer will condemn us, and slighting his express forbidding.

I say thus much to account for, and, if possible, excuse, that concealment with which you reproach me. Tender and reluctant, indeed, are these reproaches; but,--as I deem it a sacred duty to reveal to you the utmost of my follies, what but injustice to you would be the tacit admission of injurious but groundless charges?

My actual faults are of too deep a dye to allow me to sport with your good opinion, or permit me to be worse thought of by you than I deserve.

You exhort me to seek reconcilement with my father. What mean you? I have not been the injurer. Not an angry word, accusing look, or revengeful thought, has come from me. I have exercised the privilege of a rational and moral being. I have loved, not according to another's estimate of merit, but my own. Of what then am I to repent? Where lies my transgression? If his treatment of me be occasioned by antipathy for you, must I adopt his antipathy and thus creep again into favour? Impossible! If it arise from my refusing to give up an alliance which his heart abhors, your letter to him, which you tell me you mean to write, and which will inform him that every view of that kind is at an end, will remove the evil.

Fear not for me, my friend. Whatever be my lot, be assured that I never can taste pure misery while the thought abides with me that you are not happy.

And what now remains but to leave with you the blessing of a grateful and devoted heart, and to submit, with what humility I can, to the destiny which you have prescribed?

I should not deserve your love, if I did not now relinquish it with an anguish next to despair; neither should I have merit in my own eyes, if I did not end this letter with acquitting you, the author of my loss, of all shadow of blame.



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