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Love and Friendship, a novel by Jane Austen

LETTER the 9th From the same to the same

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_ Towards the close of the day we received the following Letter
from Philippa.

"Sir Edward is greatly incensed by your abrupt departure; he has
taken back Augusta to Bedfordshire. Much as I wish to enjoy
again your charming society, I cannot determine to snatch you
from that, of such dear and deserving Freinds--When your Visit to
them is terminated, I trust you will return to the arms of your"

We returned a suitable answer to this affectionate Note and after
thanking her for her kind invitation assured her that we would
certainly avail ourselves of it, whenever we might have no other
place to go to. Tho' certainly nothing could to any reasonable
Being, have appeared more satisfactory, than so gratefull a reply
to her invitation, yet I know not how it was, but she was
certainly capricious enough to be displeased with our behaviour
and in a few weeks after, either to revenge our Conduct, or
releive her own solitude, married a young and illiterate Fortune-
hunter. This imprudent step (tho' we were sensible that it would
probably deprive us of that fortune which Philippa had ever
taught us to expect) could not on our own accounts, excite from
our exalted minds a single sigh; yet fearfull lest it might prove
a source of endless misery to the deluded Bride, our trembling
Sensibility was greatly affected when we were first informed of
the Event.The affectionate Entreaties of Augustus and Sophia that
we would for ever consider their House as our Home, easily
prevailed on us to determine never more to leave them, In the
society of my Edward and this Amiable Pair, I passed the happiest
moments of my Life; Our time was most delightfully spent, in
mutual Protestations of Freindship, and in vows of unalterable
Love, in which we were secure from being interrupted, by
intruding and disagreable Visitors, as Augustus and Sophia had on
their first Entrance in the Neighbourhood, taken due care to
inform the surrounding Families, that as their happiness centered
wholly in themselves, they wished for no other society. But
alas! my Dear Marianne such Happiness as I then enjoyed was too
perfect to be lasting. A most severe and unexpected Blow at once
destroyed every sensation of Pleasure. Convinced as you must be
from what I have already told you concerning Augustus and Sophia,
that there never were a happier Couple, I need not I imagine,
inform you that their union had been contrary to the inclinations
of their Cruel and Mercenery Parents; who had vainly endeavoured
with obstinate Perseverance to force them into a Marriage with
those whom they had ever abhorred; but with a Heroic Fortitude
worthy to be related and admired, they had both, constantly
refused to submit to such despotic Power.

After having so nobly disentangled themselves from the shackles
of Parental Authority, by a Clandestine Marriage, they were
determined never to forfeit the good opinion they had gained in
the World, in so doing, by accepting any proposals of
reconciliation that might be offered them by their Fathers--to
this farther tryal of their noble independance however they never
were exposed.

They had been married but a few months when our visit to them
commenced during which time they had been amply supported by a
considerable sum of money which Augustus had gracefully purloined
from his unworthy father's Escritoire, a few days before his
union with Sophia.

By our arrival their Expenses were considerably encreased tho'
their means for supplying them were then nearly exhausted. But
they, Exalted Creatures! scorned to reflect a moment on their
pecuniary Distresses and would have blushed at the idea of paying
their Debts.--Alas! what was their Reward for such disinterested
Behaviour! The beautifull Augustus was arrested and we were all
undone. Such perfidious Treachery in the merciless perpetrators
of the Deed will shock your gentle nature Dearest Marianne as
much as it then affected the Delicate sensibility of Edward,
Sophia, your Laura, and of Augustus himself. To compleat such
unparalelled Barbarity we were informed that an Execution in the
House would shortly take place. Ah! what could we do but what
we did! We sighed and fainted on the sofa.


Laura. _

Read next: LETTER 10th LAURA in continuation

Read previous: LETTER 8th LAURA to MARIANNE, in continuation

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