November 13, 17--

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Letter XIII [Sent]

13 Nov, 17--

Dear Lady F----,

I hope my ladyship should not be too surprised to receive this note, sent not long after my previous letter. I have cause, however, to write again with the intention of soliciting the goodness and kindness, that you have always shown to me, once more.

You mentioned, now two months ago, a family in residence near your estate that was making enquiries for a governess for their four small children. At the time I was settled upon my current place of employment but circumstances have changed such that I must ask if I can trouble you to see if they have as yet found a hire. Or if you know of a family in a similar circumstance, I would be most grateful for such recommendations.

There is nothing here that prevents me from staying, I only pen this with some urgency because I have determined that the distance is too great between myself and beloved parents. I shall, therefore, be aiming to leave this residence within the fortnight.

You have always been a friend in such matters, and I am most humbly,

Your obliged

Charlotte B-----


Letter XIV [Sent]

 13 Nov, 17--

Dear Mother and Father,

Your letter is the only balm that can soothe the odd ache I have right in the pit on my abdomen. Yet the moment that I reflect upon the goodness that you show your dear daughter, all is eased at once. Your humorous retelling of tales of poor John and Peter'sbarn troubles made me so merry that I had to wipe a tear or two from my eye. I am glad that it had a happier conclusion; all's well that end's well.

That said, the astute observations you made regarding my current circumstances are, I must confess, partially correct. I promise that I do not despair here, but I shall force myself now to write quite freely and, as you bid, endeavour to shield you from worry no longer. I should have known that your unshakeable Faith shall forever mean that I can entrust you to be always strong and courageous even when I fail to match your devotion.

To the point – I am quite seriously considering quitting Chateau ----------. I will not burden you with further complaints than those you have already gleaned, but suffice to say I have witnessed conduct from the Master of the house that has put me ill at ease. Certain beliefs, and now mannerisms, cannot be suffered and the loss of a fellow servant very dear to me, who has departed for home, has thrown it all into stark relief.

Yet, there is a caveat to all this. What am I to do about little Else? Despite being an odd child she has, I feel, come to depend upon me. Half-angel and half-wildling, I sit by her beside every night where she clutches at my hand and then, come morning, she has me by her side again! She has had very few constant female companions in her life since the passing of her mother, and I would not have her feel abandoned by my departure.

The more I consider the matter, the more I feel that I cannot depart within the next few weeks as I intended only this morn. I cannot let haste or alarm cloud my judgement and this is a choice that should be meditated upon since it involves my Mademoiselle who is must think of even before myself.

I shall make the necessary inquiries as to available placements; but would solicit your wisdom on this matter, dear mother and father, as to correct choice in this matter.

I eagerly await your response and the clarity that I know it must bring –

With love and affection,

Charlotte 


Letter XV [Sent]

13 Nov, 17--

To Mr. T—D------,

Be not alarmed, sir, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any repetition of those sentiments, or suggestions of affection, which are clearly now so repellent to you.

I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on wishes, which, for the happiness of both, cannot be too soon forgotten; and the effort which the formation and the perusal of must occasion should have been spared, had not my character required it to be written and read. You must, therefore, pardon the freedom with which I demand your attention; your feelings, I know, will bestow it unwillingly, but I demand it of your justice.

Two offences of a very different nature, and by no means of equal magnitude, you letter has laid to my charge. The first mentioned was, that, I have spoken freely and often of an engagement; that I had, in defiance of various claims, in defiance of honour and humility, espoused numerous untruths to all I could reach within your circle, the latest of those being our mutual acquaintance Madam de G------- who resides close to your estate in L---. That I contacted her in hopes of wilfully spreading malicious lies and falsehoods, all to the detriment of your reputation and prospects. 

Here, I must speak more boldly in my defence though it pains me to risk offending you further; if you think me false, so be it, but I never did more than inquire – in one letter alone – as to whether you currently reside at L--------- P---. My inquiry was not borne from malice but concern; my letters to you have not been returned, our correspondence halted so entirely that I feared something prevented you from replying – although I see now how foolish that assumption was. I do not say that I am blameless in this matter; perhaps asking M. de G--------- was poorly decided, but one sentence from you, reassuring me of your continued good health but ending our communication, would have been enough to settle the matter in my mind quite definitively. 

This brings me naturally onto the second point that you raised with the implication that all thoughts of favour and regard were assumed on my part, fabricated from your open and cheerful disposition and politeness of manner. If this is so, I must have indeed been in error. And since I am under necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to your's, I can only say that I am sorry. The necessity must be obeyed - and farther apology would be absurd. That I have affection for you, I cannot deny. That I thought it was returned heartily I also cannot dispute. And yet, it is not just through observation that I arrived at this conclusion – words writ in your hand, spoken from your lips and the touch last Christmas have all been weighed in my mind as conclusive proof of feeling. This is the evidence I bring to my defence, not to redirect the accusation but to say that though you propose indifference, that is where you and I part ways in believing it. There are only two people who can say what happened between us; and you shall not convince me that I do not know my part.

Please rest assured, however, sir, that I know that no promises were ever made, that I have mentioned the details of this to no one and will always keep this matter private no matter what you might think or say of me. This, sir, is the faithful account concerning our past acquaintance; if you do not absolutely reject it as false, you will, I hope, acquit me of any malicious wrongdoing in the involvement of M. de G--------. If you have further doubts, perhaps you can assess the letter I wrote to her yourself, which offers but a mention of you; or else you might appear more particularly to the testimony of our other mutual friend, Lady V------ F-----, who I write to habitually and have never seen fit to include your name nor allude to your person.

If your abhorrence of me should make my assertions valueless, then I can only end with the promise that should you ever hear of me again, it shall not be because I willed it so.

I shall always wish you well and, to this, will only add -

God bless you,

C. B. 

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