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|Letter 3 :scenes of dissipation and vice
Written by JulieW
(8/29/2005 7:57 a.m.)
Here I am once more in this Scene of Dissipation and vice and I begin already to find my Morals corrupted
This "scene" was , of course, London. JA was staying in Cork Street ,Mayfair.
There were areas of vice and corruption near to her, mainly in St James's and Covent Garden where most of the houses of ill-repute were situated, but I think she was adopting an overly melodramatic tone for its comedic effect.I suppose all of London qualified as a disreputable place for a girl who may have preferred the countryside.
Again, it's a line better spoken than read.Very theatrical,IMHO.
An interesting side note: this letter was written from the home of one Benjamin Langlois.He was Tom Lefroy's benefactor chap to whom Tom had been packed off so unceremoniously by Mrs lefroy,after she feared Tom and Jane were getting too involved.Mr Langlois was Tom's great-uncle and was also paying for his education as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn.
In JA:A Family Record Le Faye gives us some indication that Tom Lefroy might not have been a robust sort of chap:
Tom Lefroy was very slightly younger than Jane, a fair, serious young man ,destined by his family for teh Bar.He was the eldest son of Colonel Anthony Peter Lefroy, late of the 9th Light Dragoons and now retired to an estate in Limerick, and his education and future legal career were being mapped out and paid for by old Mr Benjamin Langlois.
Col.Lefroy had a large family and whilst Mr Langlois was not averse to providing financial support to his Irish nephew as well as to his hmapshire one, it was understod at least, that Tom,at least,ws expected to "rise into distinction and thereby haul up the rest".So far he had fulfilled expectations and dutifully acquired his degree at Trinity College Dublin, in 1795, but his health and eyesight gave cause for concern and it was decided he should go to Ashe for a holiday before starting his legal studies.
Great-Uncle Benjamim considered that Tom had "everything in his temper and character that can conciliate affections.A good heart, a good mind, good sense and as little to correct in him as ever I saw in one of his age".
I find this account of him really intrieging. Perhaps poor Tom was more of an Edward Ferrar type of character?
I wonder where he was in August 1976?Not in London at any rate...Probably safe back in Ireland. But I'll bet JA thought of him though
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