Page:Love and Freindship.djvu/160

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JANE AUSTEN

LETTER the THIRD

From a YOUNG LADY in distressed Circumstances to her freind

A FEW days ago I was at a private Ball given by Mr Ashburnham. As my Mother never goes out she entrusted me to the care of Lady Greville who did me the honour of calling for me in her way and of allownig me to sit forwards, which is a favour about which I am very indifferent especially as I know it is considered as confering a great obligation on me. "So Miss Maria (said her Ladyship as she saw me advancing to the door of the Carriage) you seem very smart to night— My poor Girls will appear quite to disadvantage by you— I only hope your Mother may not have distressed herself to set you off. Have you got a new Gown on?"

"Yes Ma'am." replied I with as much indefference as I could assume.

"Aye, and a fine one too I think—(feeling it, as by her permission I seated myself by her) I dare say it is all very smart— But I must own, for you know I always speak my mind, that I think it was quite a needless piece of expence—Why could not you have worn your old striped one? It is not my way to find fault with people because

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