Transcriber's Note: A few very small changes have been made to this
version: Italics have been converted to capitals. The British 'pound'
symbol has been converted to 'L'; but in general the author's erratic
spelling, punctuation and capitalisations have been retained.
Love and Freindship
The History of England
Collection of Letters
LOVE AND FREINDSHIP
TO MADAME LA COMTESSE DE FEUILLIDE THIS NOVEL
IS INSCRIBED BY HER
OBLIGED HUMBLE SERVANT
"Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love."
LETTER the FIRST From ISABEL to LAURA
How often, in answer to my repeated intreaties that you would give my
Daughter a regular detail of the Misfortunes and Adventures of your
Life, have you said "No, my freind never will I comply with your request
till I may be no longer in Danger of again experiencing such dreadful
Surely that time is now at hand. You are this day 55. If a woman
may ever be said to be in safety from the determined Perseverance of
disagreeable Lovers and the cruel Persecutions of obstinate Fathers,
surely it must be at such a time of Life. Isabel
LETTER 2nd LAURA to ISABEL
Altho' I cannot agree with you in supposing that I shall never again be
exposed to Misfortunes as unmerited as those I have already experienced,
yet to avoid the imputation of Obstinacy or ill-nature, I will gratify
the curiosity of your daughter; and may the fortitude with which I have
suffered the many afflictions of my past Life, prove to her a useful
lesson for the support of those which may befall her in her own. Laura
LETTER 3rd LAURA to MARIANNE
As the Daughter of my most intimate freind I think you entitled to that
knowledge of my unhappy story, which your Mother has so often solicited
me to give you.
My Father was a native of Ireland and an inhabitant of Wales; my Mother
was the natural Daughter of a Scotch Peer by an italian Opera-girl--I
was born in Spain and received my Education at a Convent in France.
When I had reached my eighteenth Year I was recalled by my Parents to
my paternal roof in Wales. Our mansion was situated in one of the most
romantic parts of the Vale of Uske. Tho' my Charms are now considerably
softened and somewhat impaired by the Misfortunes I have undergone, I
was once beautiful. But lovely as I was the Graces of my Person were the
least of my Perfections. Of every accomplishment accustomary to my sex,
I was Mistress. When in the Convent, my progress had always exceeded my
instructions, my Acquirements had been wonderfull for my age, and I had
shortly surpassed my Masters.
In my Mind, every Virtue that could adorn it was centered; it was the
Rendez-vous of every good Quality and of every noble sentiment.
A sensibility too tremblingly alive to every affliction of my Freinds,
my Acquaintance and particularly to every affliction of my own, was my
only fault, if a fault it could be called. Alas! how altered now! Tho'
indeed my own Misfortunes do not make less impression on me than they
ever did, yet now I never feel for those of an other. My accomplishments
too, begin to fade--I can neither sing so well nor Dance so gracefully
as I once did--and I have entirely forgot the MINUET DELA COUR. Adeiu.
LETTER 4th Laura to MARIANNE
Our neighbourhood was small, for it consisted only of your Mother. She
may probably have already told you that being left by her Parents
in indigent Circumstances she had retired into Wales on eoconomical
motives. There it was our freindship first commenced. Isobel was then
one and twenty. Tho' pleasing both in her Person and Manners (between
ourselves) she never possessed the hundredth part of my Beauty or
Accomplishments. Isabel had seen the World. She had passed 2 Years at
one of the first Boarding-schools in London; had spent a fortnight in
Bath and had supped one night in Southampton.
"Beware my Laura (she would often say) Beware of the insipid Vanities
and idle Dissipations of the Metropolis of England; Beware of the
unmeaning Luxuries of Bath and of the stinking fish of Southampton."
"Alas! (exclaimed I) how am I to avoid those evils I shall never
be exposed to? What probability is there of my ever tasting the
Dissipations of London, the Luxuries of Bath, or the stinking Fish of
Southampton? I who am doomed to waste my Days of Youth and Beauty in an
humble Cottage in the Vale of Uske."
Ah! little did I then think I was ordained so soon to quit that humble
Cottage for the Deceitfull Pleasures of the World. Adeiu Laura.
LETTER 5th LAURA to MARIANNE
One Evening in December as my Father, my Mother and myself, were
arranged in social converse round our Fireside, we were on a sudden
greatly astonished, by hearing a violent knocking on the outward door of
our rustic Cot.
My Father started--"What noise is that," (said he.) "It sounds like a
loud rapping at the door"--(replied my Mother.) "it does indeed." (cried
I.) "I am of your opinion; (said my Father) it certainly does appear
to proceed from some uncommon violence exerted against our unoffending
door." "Yes (exclaimed I) I cannot help thinking it must be somebody who
knocks for admittance."
"That is another point (replied he;) We must not pretend to determine
on what motive the person may knock--tho' that someone DOES rap at the
door, I am partly convinced."
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) the servants are
out." "I think we had." (replied I.) "Certainly, (added my Father)
by all means." "Shall we go now?" (said my Mother,) "The sooner the
better." (answered he.) "Oh! let no time be lost" (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 my Father) "I fancy the servants are
returned; (said I) I think I hear 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 the Room,
informed us that a young Gentleman and his Servant were at the door, who
had lossed their way, were very cold and begged leave to warm themselves
by our fire.
"Won't you admit them?" (said I.) "You have no objection, my Dear?"
(said my Father.) "None in the World." (replied my Mother.)
Mary, without waiting for any further commands immediately left the room
and quickly returned introducing the most beauteous and amiable Youth, I
had ever beheld. The servant she kept to herself.
My natural sensibility had already been greatly affected by the
sufferings of the unfortunate stranger and no sooner did I first behold
him, than I felt that on him the happiness or Misery of my future Life
must depend. Adeiu Laura.
LETTER 6th LAURA to MARIANNE
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