September 25, 1812
Mr. B- received my letter sent to him whilst traveling to America, after all. When I returned from the weekend in the South, there was a letter awaiting my attention. To my surprise, it was untouched by Mrs. Hegwood, even though it was plain to see who it was from, and I am positive that Aunt Elizabeth told her what she told the Doctor in regards to our ‘conduct’. I cannot thank Mrs. Hegwood or show her my gratitude properly for her discretion and respect of my privacy, for that would then break the confidence of the Doctor, who allowed me to read the personal correspondence from my Aunt to him.
I wasted no time in engrossing myself in his letter, not even taking time to remove my gloves or hat, only to stop up short as my first letter fell to my feet. I retrieved it with shaking hands as my eyes were affixed to the words obviously hastily scribbled out with little regard for the recipient. Mr. B-s words were nothing short of the most wretched way to break a heart imaginable, and took great liberties in stepping upon mine.
My letter to Mr. B was as follows:
Dearest Mr. Brennan;
As I am no doubt thousands of miles from my dearest and most beloved home and family, I fear I cannot keep my feelings to myself lest I never see you again and they die unspoken.
Since you returned from the coast and I first laid eyes upon you since we were children, such a growing admiration and affection towards you has grown and I hardly know how to understand it. My every thought since I departed England hand your company has been upon you and many a tear has been shed under the threat of my possible permanence away from you. I have oft dreamed of your appearance in America to rescue me from exile to which I have no understanding, and bringing me back to England. I know that Madeline has an idea of my regard for you, and I do not doubt her full support. I know that the only person to which the idea would be displeasing is my Aunt Elizabeth, but I promise you that I would forsake her fortunes and forsake her affections if only you were to tell me you felt the same.
I beg of you to write to me the moment you receive this, and will look for your response every day that I am in America.
With all my heart I am and remain,
Mr. Brennan’s response to myself is as follows:
I received your letter sent to me over-seas with a great shock. I was entirely unprepared for such confessions and most certainly taken by surprise they came from you.
However; I must immediately be so good as to inform you that I am promised to the Miss Penrige of London, and we will be married by the end of the month of September.
To continue, I cannot fathom under what pretext you would consider my returned affections and under what delusions you would have of your eventual rescue by myself. I have never had the slightest intentions or interests in you, Miss Waterman, and would not dream of putting my life at risk to return you to England, I leave that to your most impulsive and ridiculous Aunt and would not for all her fortunes or your fathers put myself in any connections to you or your family.
I beseech you to put this ridiculous notion out of your head immediately as I assure you I have. I have returned your previous letter as I will have no use for it in my life.
Know that regardless of all I have said, I wish for you health and happiness in your life in America, and ask that you not write Madeline in regards to the subjects covered in this correspondence.
I am, Madam,
I have spent my recent time in a most pathetic state, and dear Mrs. Hegwood asked me no questions, and provided nothing but unconditional care and kindness. I confided only in Abigail, who declared Mr. B- the most abominable of characters imaginable and a wealth of insults that made even herself blush and me to laugh until tears came to my eyes. I have recovered I feel almost entirely with such wonderful company about me, and neither Abigail nor I will tolerate his name being mentioned in my presence. I have made Abigail promise to not tell a soul in the house for fear it will get to Aunt Elizabeth who will see it fit to transport me back to England now that Mr. B- is no longer a threat. I quite frankly do not wish to quit America yet; it has won my heart and is becoming comfortable.
I received an unexpected but greatly appreciated letter from my favorite and ever amusing Cousin, Lady Georgiana Sully. It has been such a considerable time since I had heard from her last and it was the exact balm for my wounded heart. She has obviously been fully appraised of my situation, and her skill of finding gossip did her much credit this time, as she informed me of Mr. B-s appearance in Bath with a certain Ms. P off his arm, I can only assume the same her mentioned in his letter. Georgiana also took liberties with her pen furled by what I can only imagine as my Aunt’s telling of my correspondence with the Doctor, predicting marriages and all sorts of feeling that I cannot say I nor the Doctor possess. Why, as I told her, the Doctor would not so much look at me with interest of that sort as I would have a chance of Mr. B- suddenly looking at me with the same thoughts. Bless her, I know she is only keen on my heart’s well-being, and do not reproach her for her over-excitement.
I do hope that she writes me more, as her guidance would always be much adored, as Kathryn’s life is much too busy, now that she is expecting! Soon things will be very different for Mama and Papa, and I fear soon I will be almost forgotten entirely in the excitement of the approaching new beginning.
I also hope to receive something from the Doctor. I have discovered myself missing his company of late, and could do with the diversions of his letters.
Written by The Doctor