R. W. Chapman (ed.), The Works of Jane Austen, Vol. 6: Minor Works (Revised Edition)
LETTER 13.Lady De Courcy to Mrs Vernon.
My dear Catherine,
Unluckily I was confined to my room when your last letter came, by a cold which affected my eyes so much as to prevent my reading it myself, so I could not refuse your Father when he offered to read it to me, by which means he became acquainted to my great vexation with all your fears about your Brother. I had intended to write to Reginald myself, as soon as my eyes would let me, to point out as well as I could the danger of an intimate acquain-tance with so artful a woman as Lady Susan, to a young Man of his age & high expectations. I meant moreover to have reminded him of our being quite alone now, & very much in need of him to keep up our spirits these long winter evenings. Whether it would have done any good, can never be settled now; but I am excessively vexed that Sir Reginald should know anything of a matter which we foresaw would make him so uneasy. He caught all your fears the moment he had read your Letter, and I am sure has not had the business out of his head since; he wrote by the same post to Reginald, a long letter full of it all, & particularly asking for an explanation of what he may have heard from Lady Susan to contradict the late shock-ing reports. His answer came this morning, which I shall enclose to you, as I think you will like to see it; I wish it pg 263was more satisfactory, but it seems written with such a determination to think well of Lady Susan, that his assur-ances as to Marriage &c., do not set my heart at ease. I say all I can however to satisfy your Father, & he is certainly less uneasy since Reginald's letter. How provok-ing it is my dear Catherine, that this unwelcome Guest of yours, should not only prevent our meeting this Christmas, but be the occasion of so much vexation & trouble. Kiss the dear Children for me. Your affec: Mother
C. De Courcy.