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Love and Friendship, a novel by Jane Austen


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_ The noble Youth informed us that his name was Lindsay--for
particular reasons however I shall conceal it under that of
Talbot. He told us that he was the son of an English Baronet,
that his Mother had been for many years no more and that he had a
Sister of the middle size. "My Father (he continued) is a mean
and mercenary wretch--it is only to such particular freinds as
this Dear Party that I would thus betray his failings. Your
Virtues my amiable Polydore (addressing himself to my father)
yours Dear Claudia and yours my Charming Laura call on me to
repose in you, my confidence." We bowed. "My Father seduced by
the false glare of Fortune and the Deluding Pomp of Title,
insisted on my giving my hand to Lady Dorothea. No never
exclaimed I. Lady Dorothea is lovely and Engaging; I prefer no
woman to her; but know Sir, that I scorn to marry her in
compliance with your Wishes. No! Never shall it be said that I
obliged my Father."

We all admired the noble Manliness of his reply. He continued.

"Sir Edward was surprised; he had perhaps little expected to meet
with so spirited an opposition to his will. "Where, Edward in
the name of wonder (said he) did you pick up this unmeaning
gibberish? You have been studying Novels I suspect." I scorned
to answer: it would have been beneath my dignity. I mounted my
Horse and followed by my faithful William set forth for my

"My Father's house is situated in Bedfordshire, my Aunt's in
Middlesex, and tho' I flatter myself with being a tolerable
proficient in Geography, I know not how it happened, but I found
myself entering this beautifull Vale which I find is in South
Wales, when I had expected to have reached my Aunts."

"After having wandered some time on the Banks of the Uske without
knowing which way to go, I began to lament my cruel Destiny in
the bitterest and most pathetic Manner. It was now perfectly
dark, not a single star was there to direct my steps, and I know
not what might have befallen me had I not at length discerned
thro' the solemn Gloom that surrounded me a distant light, which
as I approached it, I discovered to be the chearfull Blaze of
your fire. Impelled by the combination of Misfortunes under
which I laboured, namely Fear, Cold and Hunger I hesitated not to
ask admittance which at length I have gained; and now my Adorable
Laura (continued he taking my Hand) when may I hope to receive
that reward of all the painfull sufferings I have undergone
during the course of my attachment to you, to which I have ever
aspired. Oh! when will you reward me with Yourself?"

"This instant, Dear and Amiable Edward." (replied I.). We were
immediately united by my Father, who tho' he had never taken
orders had been bred to the Church.


Laura _


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