From: Frederica Vernon, daughter of Lady Jane
To: Jane Austen
My Dearest Jane,
My mother is finally off to town, and I regret I cannot feel more pain at her departure. I am glad she is gone! Forgive me, Jane. I know to you and your dear sister I may write plainly. YOU will not chide me or punish me for my ungracious lack of elegance. How I miss those pleasant days with you, before my mother called me away to attend her at Langford. Her conduct there was unspeakable. I would be ashamed to tell you all I witnessed between her and our host; we shall certainly never be welcome there again. You already know my mother's character, and will not disagree when I say she is the most hardened temptress that ever was despised by good society! As I mentioned in my previous letters, she has decided that I should to marry Sir James Martin, another of her many admirers. Even here at my Uncle's home she has continued to torment me. Of course he cares nothing for me, and only pursues me to please her. She does not wish that I should love anyone, and I am convinced she will not rest until I am utterly unhappy.
Although you are much acquainted with these troubles, I believe you must still be ignorant of her latest cruelty. She has agreed to marry Mr. Reginald De Courcy, who you know I admire above any other man. He is everything good, but I believe she has deceived his amiable nature and imposed upon his gentility so far as to make him think her the finest woman of his acquaintance! Oh Jane! Is such a thing to be endured? All his connections must despise the match, and to think that I must stand up and witness my own mother married to the only man I have ever loved!
Despite this sorrow, I am, at present, comfortable enough living here with my Aunt and Uncle, who refuse to be separated from me. I have found in them the loving family I have never known, and with my mother gone my kind Aunt and I are becoming very close. I live in dread of being called to town for the wedding, which she hopes to achieve by Christmas.
I do not mean to burden you with my difficulties, my dear Jane. You are one of my closest friends. I cannot remember a happier time than those months I spent with you and your excellent family. You are very gracious in your invitations, but I believe I must remain where I am until my Aunt consents to release me. Her generosity knows no equal, and she has consented to let me invite you and your sister here for a month in the summer. I hope you will be able to come.
[Note: Frederica is a character from the story Lady Susan. This letter comes courtesy Marie]