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21. MISS VERNON TO MR DE COURCY
Sir,--I hope you will excuse this liberty; I am forced upon it by the
greatest distress, or I should be ashamed to trouble you. I am very
miserable about Sir James Martin, and have no other way in the world of
helping myself but by writing to you, for I am forbidden even speaking to
my uncle and aunt on the subject; and this being the case, I am afraid my
applying to you will appear no better than equivocation, and as if I
attended to the letter and not the spirit of mamma's commands. But if you
do not take my part and persuade her to break it off, I shall be half
distracted, for I cannot bear him. No human being but YOU could have any
chance of prevailing with her. If you will, therefore, have the unspeakably
great kindness of taking my part with her, and persuading her to send Sir
James away, I shall be more obliged to you than it is possible for me to
express. I always disliked him from the first: it is not a sudden fancy, I
assure you, sir; I always thought him silly and impertinent and
disagreeable, and now he is grown worse than ever. I would rather work for
my bread than marry him. I do not know how to apologize enough for this
letter; I know it is taking so great a liberty. I am aware how dreadfully
angry it will make mamma, but I remember the risk.
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