Letter to Harriet

5 Clifford St, London
November 6th, 1762
Dearest Harriet!
Oh what agonies! It is mere minutes ago I got engaged! Yes, indeed! I am engaged! To that horrible man C. - You cannot imagine how distraught your friend is. I tried to get rid of him. I even said no and he laughed at me. He told me it was all written up and arranged. He just wanted to keep appearances by asking me. Being polite you know. This atrocious man! I told him I didn't care a jot for him and would never consent to marry an abominable character like he was. He sneered at me and replied he didn't care for me either but needed to get married. When my hopeful mother entered the scene, positively glowing for joy, she paid no thought whatsoever of asking me whether I consented! We were congratulated and even father made no move of inquiring. I was dumbfounded and the whole caboodle I found myself in turned black. When I woke up again I first thought it a very bad dream. Lord C had gone apparently and only my mother was with me. She then told me I had fainted and the gentleman had left us for my mother to see to my comfort. I immediately started to cry, dearest Harriet!, and my mother had no idea why I was so desolate. I explained her resolutely that I hated that man and never accepted his proposal. But she refused to listen and dismissed my sobs as something they were not: idle and girlish behaviour.
What am I to do, Harriet!? No one is listening!

PS: I have forgotten to relate to you last night's ball, which was a desaster itself. Becky had to stay away, because my uncle was quite pained with his gouty leg. There was no one to save me! Lord C was shocklingly nasty all night and played the lover and even declared publicly in front of my family and his brother(!) of his intentions towards me. - Well, Harriet, his brother is back from I know not where. He is a soldier, but will sell his commission and go back to the Cartwright's estate or something. They do not look much alike but it is obvious they're brothers and the way that man stared at me, convinces me of his being exactly like his odious brother.


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