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Jane Austen: Lady Susan
16. LADY SUSAN TO MRS. JOHNSON
Reginald is never easy unless we are by ourselves, and when the weather
is tolerable, we pace the shrubbery for hours together. I like him on the
whole very well; he is clever and has a good deal to say, but he is
sometimes impertinent and troublesome. There is a sort of ridiculous
delicacy about him which requires the fullest explanation of whatever he
may have heard to my disadvantage, and is never satisfied till he thinks he
has ascertained the beginning and end of everything. This is one sort of
love, but I confess it does not particularly recommend itself to me. I
infinitely prefer the tender and liberal spirit of Mainwaring, which,
impressed with the deepest conviction of my merit, is satisfied that
whatever I do must be right; and look with a degree of contempt on the
inquisitive and doubtful fancies of that heart which seems always debating
on the reasonableness of its emotions. Mainwaring is indeed, beyond all
compare, superior to Reginald--superior in everything but the power of
being with me! Poor fellow! he is much distracted by jealousy, which I am
not sorry for, as I know no better support of love. He has been teazing me
to allow of his coming into this country, and lodging somewhere near
INCOG.; but I forbade everything of the kind. Those women are inexcusable
who forget what is due to themselves, and the opinion of the world.
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