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"Begun when she was just eleven years old, Love and Friendship is one of Jane Austen's stories that very few readers may have encountered before.Austen experts feel that this story was written, like many others, only for the pleasure of her family and friends. It is scribbled across three notebooks, in childish handwriting, and the complete work is thought to have been written over a period of six or seven years. It is dedicated to one of her cousins, whom she was very close to, Eliza de Feuillide. Eliza herself was an extremely colorful figure and is thought to have been the illegitimate daughter of the first Governor General of India, Warren Hastings. She was also a witness to the French Revolution where her husband, the self styled Comte de Feuillide was guillotined.For the young Jane, these events must have been sheer inspiration to a writer's imagination. Love and Friendship takes the shape of an expostulatory novel. Written as a series of letters from Laura to a much younger Marianne who is her friend Isabel's daughter, it is meant to apprise the young and flighty Marianne about the dangers of infatuation and falling headlong into romantic love. The book offers an early and crucial insight into Jane Austen's style, her wonderful sense of humor and her take on contemporary society.At times, she portrays events almost in parody form, at others, she is sharp and critical, but as always, the typical Jane Austen brand of gentle, sparkling wit is highly evident. She describes the concept of “sensibility” or what we would today call “sensitivity” or “sentimentality” and how it can be taken to ridiculous extremes. The deliberately twisted and complicated plot is replete with fainting fits, deaths due to a variety of causes, including “galloping consumption,” plenty of drama, elopements galore, unbelievable coincidences and wicked philanderers—all the elements that a typical potboiler of the era would contain.Love and Friendship was written primarily for the amusement of her large and gregarious family, and young Jane was probably called upon to read her writings aloud. The reader can only imagine the sheer hilarity that the novel must have evoked. As part of a collection of Jane Austen Juvenilia, this is indeed a treasure trove for Jane Austen enthusiasts as it offers early glimpses of that brilliant talent which was to shine forth a few years later and delight readers of all ages."
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First digital edition 2017 by Anna Ruggieri
Love and Freindship [sic]
LETTER the FIRST From ISABEL to LAURA
LETTER 2nd LAURA to ISABEL
LETTER 3rd LAURA to MARIANNE
LETTER 4th Laura to MARIANNE
LETTER 5th LAURA to MARIANNE
LETTER 6th LAURA to MARIANNE
LETTER 7th LAURA to MARIANNE
LETTER 8th LAURA toMARIANNE, in continuation
LETTER the 9th From the same to the same
LETTER 10th LAURA in continuation
LETTER 11th LAURA in continuation
LETTER the 12th LAURA in continuation
LETTER the 13th LAURA in continuation
LETTER the 14th LAURA in continuation
LETTER the 15th LAURA in continuation.
AN UNFINISHED NOVEL IN LETTERS
LETTER the FIRST is from Miss MARGARET LESLEY to Miss CHARLOTTE
LETTER the SECONDFrom Miss C. LUTTERELL to Miss M. LESLEY in answer.
LETTER the THIRD From Miss MARGARET LESLEYto Miss C. LUTTERELL Lesley
LETTER the FOURTH From Miss C. LUTTERELL to Miss M. LESLEY Bristol
LETTER the FIFTH Miss MARGARET LESLEY to Miss CHARLOTTE LUTTERELL
LETTER the SIXTH LADY LESLEY to Miss CHARLOTTE LUTTERELL Lesley-Castle
LETTER the SEVENTH From Miss C. LUTTERELL to Miss M. LESLEY Bristol the
LETTER the EIGHTH Miss LUTTERELL to Mrs MARLOWE Bristol April 4th
LETTER the NINTH Mrs MARLOWE to Miss LUTTERELL Grosvenor Street, April
LETTER the TENTH From Miss MARGARET LESLEY to Miss CHARLOTTE LUTTERELL
THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND
FROM THE REIGN OF HENRY THE 4TH TO THE DEATH OF CHARLES THE1ST
A COLLECTION OF LETTERS
To Miss COOPER
A COLLECTION OF LETTERS
LETTER the FIRST From a MOTHER to her FREIND.
LETTER the SECOND From a YOUNG LADY crossed in Love to her freind
LETTER the THIRD From a YOUNG LADY in distressed Circumstances to her
LETTER the FOURTH From a YOUNG LADY rather impertinent to her freind
LETTER the FIFTH From a YOUNG LADY verymuch in love to her Freind
THE FEMALE PHILOSOPHER
THE FIRST ACT OF A COMEDY
A LETTER from a YOUNG LADY, whose feelings being too strong for
A TOUR THROUGH WALES—in aLETTER from a YOUNG LADY—
How often, in answer to my repeated intreaties that you wouldgive my Daughter a regular detail of the Misfortunes and Adventuresof your Life, have you said “No, my freind never will Icomply with your request till I may be no longer in Danger of againexperiencing such dreadful ones.”
Surely that time is now at hand. You are this day 55. If a womanmay ever be said to be in safety from the determined Perseveranceof disagreeable Lovers and the cruel Persecutions of obstinateFathers, surely it must be at such a time of Life. Isabel
Altho’ I cannot agree with you in supposing that I shallnever again be exposed to Misfortunes as unmerited as those I havealready experienced, yet to avoid the imputation of Obstinacy orill-nature, I will gratify the curiosity of your daughter; and maythe fortitude with which I have suffered the many afflictions of mypast Life, prove to her a useful lesson for the support of thosewhich may befall her in her own. Laura
As the Daughter of my most intimate freind I think you entitledto that knowledge of my unhappy story, which your Mother has sooften solicited me to give you.
My Father was a native ofIreland and an inhabitant of Wales; myMother was the natural Daughter of a Scotch Peer by an italianOpera-girl—I was born in Spain and received my Education at aConvent in France.
When I had reached my eighteenth Year I was recalled by myParents to mypaternal roof in Wales. Our mansion was situated inone of the most romantic parts of the Vale of Uske. Tho’ myCharms are now considerably softened and somewhat impaired by theMisfortunes I have undergone, I was once beautiful. But lovely as Iwas the Graces of my Person were the least of my Perfections. Ofevery accomplishment accustomary to my sex, I was Mistress. When inthe Convent, my progress had always exceeded my instructions, myAcquirements had been wonderfull for my age, and I had shortlysurpassed my Masters.
In my Mind, every Virtue that could adorn it was centered; itwas the Rendez-vous of every good Quality and of every noblesentiment.
A sensibility too tremblingly alive to every affliction of myFreinds, my Acquaintance and particularly to every affliction of myown, was my only fault, if a fault it could be called. Alas! howaltered now! Tho’ indeed my own Misfortunes do not make lessimpression on me than they ever did, yet now I never feel for thoseof an other. My accomplishments too,begin to fade—I canneither sing so well nor Dance so gracefully as I oncedid—and I have entirely forgot the MINUET DELA COUR. Adeiu.Laura.
Our neighbourhood was small, for it consisted only of yourMother. She may probably have already told you that being left byher Parents in indigent Circumstances she had retired into Wales oneoconomical motives. There it was our freindship first commenced.Isobel was then one and twenty. Tho’ pleasing both in herPerson and Manners (between ourselves) she never possessed thehundredth part of my Beauty or Accomplishments. Isabel had seen theWorld. She had passed 2 Years at one of the first Boarding-schoolsin London; had spent a fortnight in Bath and had supped one nightin Southampton.
“Beware my Laura (she would often say) Beware of theinsipid Vanities and idle Dissipations of the Metropolis ofEngland; Beware of the unmeaning Luxuries of Bath and of thestinking fish of Southampton.”
“Alas! (exclaimed I) how am I to avoid those evils I shallnever be exposed to? What probability is there of my ever tastingthe Dissipations of London, the Luxuries of Bath, or the stinkingFish of Southampton? I who am doomed to waste my Days of Youth andBeauty in an humble Cottage in the Vale of Uske.”
Ah! little did I then think I was ordained so soon to quit thathumble Cottage for the Deceitfull Pleasures of the World. AdeiuLaura.
One Evening in December as my Father, my Mother and myself, werearrangedin social converse round our Fireside, we were on a suddengreatly astonished, by hearing a violent knocking on the outwarddoor of our rustic Cot.
My Father started—“What noise is that,” (saidhe.) “It sounds like a loud rapping at thedoor”—(replied my Mother.) “it doesindeed.” (cried I.) “I am of your opinion; (said myFather) it certainly does appear to proceed from some uncommonviolence exerted against our unoffending door.” “Yes(exclaimed I) I cannot help thinking it must be somebody who knocksforadmittance.”
“That is another point (replied he;) We must not pretendto determine on what motive the person may knock—tho’that someone DOES rap at the door, I am partlyconvinced.”
Here, a 2d tremendous rap interrupted my Father in his speech,and somewhat alarmed my Mother and me.
“Had we better not go and see who it is? (said she) theservants are out.” “I think we had.” (replied I.)“Certainly, (added my Father) by all means.”“Shall we go now?” (said my Mother,) “The soonerthe better.” (answered he.) “Oh! let no time belost” (cried I.)
A third more violent Rap than ever again assaulted our ears.“I am certain there is somebody knocking at the Door.”(said my Mother.) “I think there must,” (replied myFather) “I fancy the servants are returned; (saidI) I think Ihear Mary going to the Door.” “I’m glad of it(cried my Father) for I long to know who it is.”
I was right in my conjecture; for Mary instantly entering theRoom, informed us that a young Gentleman and his Servant were atthe door, who had lossed their way, were very cold and begged leaveto warm themselves by our fire.
“Won’t you admit them?” (said I.) “Youhave no objection, my Dear?” (said my Father.) “None inthe World.” (replied my Mother.)
Mary, without waiting for any further commands immediately leftthe room and quickly returned introducing the most beauteous andamiable Youth, I had ever beheld. The servant she kept toherself.
My natural sensibility had already been greatly affected by thesufferings of the unfortunate stranger and no sooner did I firstbehold him, than I felt that on him the happiness or Misery of myfuture Life must depend. Adeiu Laura.
The noble Youth informed us that his name was Lindsay—forparticular reasons however I shall conceal it under that of Talbot.He told us that he was the son of an English Baronet, that hisMother had been for many years no more and that he had a Sister ofthe middle size. “My Father (he continued) is a mean andmercenary wretch—it is only to such particular freinds asthis Dear Party that I would thus betray his failings. Your Virtuesmy amiable Polydore (addressing himself to my father) yours DearClaudia and yours my Charming Laura call on me to repose in you, myconfidence.” We bowed. “My Fatherseduced by the falseglare of Fortune and the Deluding Pomp of Title, insisted on mygiving my hand to Lady Dorothea. No never exclaimed I. LadyDorothea is lovely and Engaging; I prefer no woman to her; but knowSir, 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. Hecontinued.
“Sir Edward was surprised; he had perhaps little expectedto meet with so spirited an opposition to his will.“Where,Edward in the name of wonder (said he) did you pick upthis unmeaning gibberish? You have been studying Novels Isuspect.” I scorned to answer: it would have been beneath mydignity. I mounted my Horse and followed by my faithful William setforth for my Aunts.”
“My Father’s house is situated in Bedfordshire, myAunt’s in Middlesex, and tho’ I flatter myself withbeing a tolerable proficient in Geography, I know not how ithappened, but I found myself entering this beautifull Vale which Ifind is in South Wales, when I had expected to have reached myAunts.”
“After having wandered some time on the Banks of the Uskewithout knowing which way to go, I began to lament my cruel Destinyin the bitterest and most pathetic Manner. It was now perfectlydark, not a single star was there to direct my steps, and I knownot what might have befallen me had I not at length discernedthro’ the solemn Gloom that surrounded me a distant light,which as I approached it, I discovered to be the chearfull Blaze ofyour fire. Impelled by the combination of Misfortunes under which Ilaboured, namely Fear, Cold and Hunger I hesitated not to askadmittance which at length I have gained; and now my Adorable Laura(continued he taking my Hand) when may I hope to receive thatreward of all the painfull sufferings I have undergone during thecourse 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.” (repliedI.). We were immediately united by my Father,who tho’ he hadnever taken orders had been bred to the Church. Adeiu Laura
We remained but a few days after our Marriage, in the Vale ofUske. After taking an affecting Farewell of my Father, my Motherand my Isabel,I accompanied Edward to his Aunt’s inMiddlesex. Philippa received us both with every expression ofaffectionate Love. My arrival was indeed a most agreable surpriseto her as she had not only been totally ignorant of my Marriagewith her Nephew, but had never even had the slightest idea of therebeing such a person in the World.
Augusta, the sister of Edward was on a visit to her when wearrived. I found her exactly what her Brother had described her tobe—of the middle size. She received me with equal surprisethough not with equal Cordiality, as Philippa. There was adisagreable coldness and Forbidding Reserve in her reception of mewhich was equally distressing and Unexpected. None of thatinteresting Sensibility or amiable simpathy in her manners andAddress to me when we first met which should have distinguished ourintroduction to each other. Her Language was neither warm, noraffectionate, her expressions of regard were neither animated norcordial; her arms were not opened to receive me to herHeart,tho’ my own were extended to press her to mine.
A short Conversation between Augusta and her Brother, which Iaccidentally overheard encreased my dislike to her, and convincedme that her Heart was no more formed for the soft ties of Love thanfor the endearing intercourse of Freindship.
“But do you think that my Father will ever be reconciledto this imprudent connection?” (said Augusta.)
“Augusta (replied the noble Youth) I thought you had abetter opinion of me, than to imagine I would so abjectly degrademyself as to consider my Father’s Concurrence in any of myaffairs, either of Consequence or concern to me. Tell me Augustawith sincerity; did you ever know me consult his inclinations orfollow his Advice in the least trifling Particular since the ageoffifteen?”
“Edward (replied she) you are surely too diffident in yourown praise. Since you were fifteen only! My Dear Brother since youwere five years old, I entirely acquit you of ever having willinglycontributed to the satisfaction of your Father.But still I am notwithout apprehensions of your being shortly obliged to degradeyourself in your own eyes by seeking a support for your wife in theGenerosity of Sir Edward.”
“Never, never Augusta will I so demean myself. (saidEdward). Support! What support will Laura want which she canreceive from him?”
“Only those very insignificant ones of Victuals andDrink.” (answered she.)
“Victuals and Drink! (replied my Husband in a most noblycontemptuous Manner) and dost thou then imagine that there is noother support for an exalted mind (such as is my Laura’s)than the mean and indelicate employment of Eating andDrinking?”
“None that I know of, so efficacious.” (returnedAugusta).
“And did you then never feel the pleasing Pangs of Love,Augusta? (replied myEdward). Does it appear impossible to your vileand corrupted Palate, to exist on Love? Can you notconceive theLuxury of living in every distress that Poverty can inflict, withthe object of your tenderest affection?”
“You are too ridiculous (said Augusta) to argue with;perhaps however you may in time be convinced that...”
Here I was prevented from hearing the remainder of her speech,by the appearance of a very Handsome young Woman, who was ushuredinto the Room at the Door of which I had been listening. On hearingher announced by the Name of “Lady Dorothea,” Iinstantly quitted my Post and followed her into the Parlour, for Iwell remembered that she was the Lady, proposed as a Wife for myEdward by the Cruel and Unrelenting Baronet.
Altho’ Lady Dorothea’s visit was nominally toPhilippa and Augusta, yet I have some reason to imagine that(acquainted with the Marriage and arrival of Edward) to see me wasa principal motive to it.
I soon perceived that tho’ Lovely and Elegant in herPerson and tho’ Easyand Polite in her Address, she was ofthat inferior order of Beings with regard to Delicate Feeling,tender Sentiments, and refined Sensibility, of which Augusta wasone.
She staid but half an hour and neither in the Course of herVisit, confided to me anyof her secret thoughts, nor requested meto confide in her, any of Mine. You will easily imagine thereforemy Dear Marianne that I could not feel any ardent affection or verysincere Attachment for Lady Dorothea. Adeiu Laura.
Lady Dorothea had not left us long before another visitor asunexpected a one as her Ladyship, was announced. It was Sir Edward,who informed by Augusta of her Brother’s marriage, camedoubtless to reproach him for having dared tounite himself to mewithout his Knowledge. But Edward foreseeing his design, approachedhim with heroic fortitude as soon as he entered the Room, andaddressed him in the following Manner.
“Sir Edward, I know the motive of your Journeyhere—You come withthe base Design of reproaching me forhaving entered into an indissoluble engagement with my Laurawithout your Consent. But Sir, I glory in the Act—. It is mygreatest boast that I have incurred the displeasure of myFather!”
So saying, he took my hand and whilst Sir Edward, Philippa, andAugusta were doubtless reflecting with admiration on his undauntedBravery, led me from the Parlour to his Father’s Carriagewhich yet remained at the Door and in which we were instantlyconveyed from the pursuit of Sir Edward.
The Postilions had at first received orders only to take theLondon road; as soon as we had sufficiently reflected However, weordered them to Drive to M——. the seat ofEdward’s most particular freind, which was but a few milesdistant.
At M——. we arrived in a few hours; and on sending inour names were immediately admitted to Sophia, the Wife ofEdward’s freind. After having been deprived during the courseof 3 weeks of a real freind (for such I term your Mother) imaginemy transports at beholding one, most truly worthy of the Name.Sophia was rather above the middle size; most elegantly formed. Asoft languor spread over her lovely features, but increased theirBeauty—. It was the Charectarestic of her Mind—. Shewas all sensibility and Feeling. Weflew into each others arms andafter having exchanged vows of mutual Freindship for the rest ofour Lives, instantly unfolded to each other the most inward secretsof our Hearts—. We were interrupted in the delightfullEmployment by the entrance of Augustus, (Edward’s freind) whowas just returned from a solitary ramble.
Never did I see such an affecting Scene as was the meeting ofEdward and Augustus.
“My Life! my Soul!” (exclaimed the former) “Myadorable angel!” (replied the latter) as they flew into eachother’s arms. It was too pathetic for the feelings of Sophiaand myself—We fainted alternately on a sofa. Adeiu Laura.
Towards the close of the day we received the following Letterfrom Philippa.
“Sir Edward is greatly incensed by your abrupt departure;he has taken back Augusta to Bedfordshire. Much as I wish to enjoyagain your charming society, I cannot determine to snatch you fromthat, of such dear and deserving Freinds—When your Visit tothem is terminated, I trust you will return to the arms ofyour” “Philippa.”
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