Aylesford, July

My Elizabeth,


How I bless and curse the postman who delivers your letters! Bless, as I can know of all your endeavours in Bath, but curse because your letters take painfully long to arrive! By now you have certainly attended the ball, and I wonder how it went. Did Mr. Ainsley offer a proposal? I must know, please make haste with your reply.


I am glad you have not forgotten me during your time in Bath and am pleased to hear you have forged a friendship with Miss Ainsley. You will do well to have Miss Ainsley speaking well of you to her parents, it would be impossible for anyone not to love you!


I must tell you of my eldest brother, James. You remember his unwillingness to marry, how he shunned any woman that attempted affection. Well, a young lady caught his eye at the theatre last night, and now he will not stop speaking of her! It is quite humorous, he keeps fidgeting with the signet ring father gave him, and this morning at breakfast he knocked over both the sugar casters at the kitchen table whilst reaching for the pancakes. It seems love has robbed him of coordination, and whilst I do wish to see him marry, I also secretly pleasure in seeing him so unusually flustered! Previously his fashion was pitiful, you know he cared not for proper dress. Now that he has met this lady, he wears his pocket watch and chain, and his shoe buckles!


I understand his willingness to impress her. She obviously has a large fortune; her jewellery alone made that clear. Burmese Sapphire Earrings she wore, with Diamonds around. And a matching ring on her middle finger, with a Sapphire the colour of the bluest seas. I have doubts she even considers James a potential suitor, in all likelihood, half of Aylesford is in pursuit of her.


Regarding your letter, I know you wanted me to wear my Ruby bracelet to the theatre, but I decided my coral pieces complimented my dress far more, which had an orange pattern. I wore the grape bunch earrings and my oval coral ring. Mother said I looked positively radiant, which would mean a great deal more coming from a young man than from her, but a nice compliment, nonetheless.


Even as I write I cannot stop thinking of if you are engaged to Mr. Ainsley! Please give me details, Elizabeth. Brevity is not favourable in our letters. What did you wear? Tell me of your jewellery, your conversations, his manner, and anything else you can think of. The lack of a potential suitor for myself makes me all the more interested in yours.


I miss you dearly and covet the day when your family return home.


Yours always,



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