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19. LADY SUSAN TO MRS. JOHNSON (continued)
Artlessness will never do in love matters; and that girl is born a
simpleton who has it either by nature or affectation. I am not yet certain
that Reginald sees what she is about, nor is it of much consequence. She is
now an object of indifference to him, and she would be one of contempt were
he to understand her emotions. Her beauty is much admired by the Vernons,
but it has no effect on him. She is in high favour with her aunt
altogether, because she is so little like myself, of course. She is exactly
the companion for Mrs. Vernon, who dearly loves to be firm, and to have
all the sense and all the wit of the conversation to herself: Frederica
will never eclipse her. When she first came I was at some pains to prevent
her seeing much of her aunt; but I have relaxed, as I believe I may depend
on her observing the rules I have laid down for their discourse. But do not
imagine that with all this lenity I have for a moment given up my plan of
her marriage. No; I am unalterably fixed on this point, though I have not
yet quite decided on the manner of bringing it about. I should not choose to
have the business brought on here, and canvassed by the wise heads of Mr.
and Mrs. Vernon; and I cannot just now afford to go to town. Miss Frederica
must therefore wait a little.
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