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season, which is so destructive to the freshness
of beauty. Envy me for being under the same roof with this divinity; I know you would, if you could see her!
Tout à vous,
LADY AUGUSTA VERNON TO LADY DELAWARD.
DEAREST MARY, — Though we shall meet in a few days, I know you wish to be kept au courant of the state of health and spirits of your dear father. He is well, and as cheerful as can be expected, during the first week of separation from an only child—and such a child! Until I saw the effect your absence has produced, I was not aware how much of the happiness of a parent is rent from him,
when, by the departure of his child from the paternal home, he is left to look at the vacant chair, the silent harp, and the untouched piano. How gloomy, then, appears the dwelling where no daughter's greeting meets him in the morning, and no fond good-night awaits him ere he seeks his pillow! This is all doubly experienced, when a mother shares not the solitude of a father thus bereaved ; and I have endeavoured all in my power, although, I fear, inefficaciously, to supply your place to Lord Howard. I feel as if
I feel as if my affection for my own parents had increased, since I have witnessed how dear and essential a daughter is, to the happiness of the authors of her being.
We have had a visitor here for the last two days— Lord Annandale. He is agreeable and good-looking, and, in every respect, far superior to the men I have been accustomed to
I can hardly believe that he has been a husband, and is a father; for, he appears almost as lively and unthinking as myself: and I have ever associated in my mind a pensiveness, if not a gravity, with my ideas of those who have filled those serious and re
Lord Annandale has been giving me such glowing descriptions of London, and its pleasures, that I pine to be there, and to partake them.
I wish I was seventeen, for, at that age I am to be presented; mais, hélas ! it wants eleven long months to that period. Lord Annandale treats me quite as if I had been out, and has told me a good deal of the London gossip: he has been a little ill-natured in laughing at the Ladies Seymour, in which I fear that I too readily joined ; but there was no resisting the drollery of his mimickry. He says, that they are as ambitious of conquests as ever Napoleon was, though not so successful; and, that, unlike
him, they keep no corps de réserve, as they bring all their forces into the field, at once. Lord Annandale is just the sort of person
that Caroline Montressor would like. A propos of her : I cannot, dear Mary, give her up, it would look so unkind and ill-natured. Indeed, you do not render her justice; for, though I must admit she is given to persiflage, she is kindhearted, and well-meaning, and very much attached to me. You talk so quietly of your happiness, that, though I cannot doubt, I do not feel disposed to envy it. But, you will scold me if I say more, and prove to me, as you always do, that you are right, and I wrong, though always your affectionate
LADY DELAWARD TO LADY AUGUSTA VERNON.
CAN it be possible, that you, my dear Augusta, can join in the laughter of Lord Annandale against the Ladies Seymour ? His ridiculing them to you, betrays that he had discovered in you a propensity to be pleased by his ill-natured raillery — a poor compliment to your heart.
I know Lord Annandale, and think him vain, affected, and flippant: but, let me not, while censuring his malevolent propensity, merit a similar imputation, by commenting too severely on his faults. I would only impress upon your mind, that a man who indulges in satirical gossip is always a dangerous, although he may be an amusing companion. Nothing implies a light estimation of our sex more than the habit some men have of seeking to entertain us at the expense of our