You were mistaken, my dear Alicia, in supposing me fixed at this place for the rest of the winter. It grieves me to say how greatly you were mistaken, for I have seldom spent three months more agreeably than those which have just flown away. At present, nothing goes smoothly; the Females of the Family are united against me. You foretold how it would be when I first came to Langford, & Manwaring is so uncommonly pleasing that I was not without apprehensions for myself. I remember saying to myself, as I drove to the House, "I like this Man; pray Heaven no harm come of it!" But I was determined to be discreet, to bear in mind my being only four months a widow, & to be as quiet as possible: & I have been so, My dear Creature; I have admitted no one's attentions but Manwaring's. I have avoided all general flirtation whatever; I have distinguished no Creature besides, of all the Numbers resorting hither, except Sir James Martin, on whom I bestowed a little notice, in order to detach him from Miss Manwaring; but if the World could know my motive _there_, they would honour me. I have been called an unkind Mother, but it was the sacred impulse of maternal affection, it was the advantage of my Daughter that led me on; & if that Daughter were not the greatest simpleton on Earth, I might have been rewarded for my Exertions as I ought.
Sir James did make proposals to me for Frederica; but Frederica, who was born to be the torment of my life, chose to set herself so violently against the match that I thought it better to lay aside the scheme for the present. I have more than once repented that I did not marry him myself; & were he but one degree less contemptibly weak, I certainly should, but I must own myself rather romantic in that respect, & that Riches only will not satisfy me. The event of all this is very provoking: Sir James is gone, Maria highly incensed, & Mrs. Manwaring insupportably jealous; so jealous, in short, & so enraged against me, that, in the fury of her temper, I should not be surprised at her appealing to her Guardian, if she had the liberty of addressing him -- but there your Husband stands my friend; & the kindest, most amiable action of his Life was his throwing her off forever on her Marriage. Keep up his resentment, therefore, I charge you. We are now in a sad state; no house was ever more altered: the whole family are at war, & Manwaring scarcely dares speak to me. It is time for me to be gone; I have therefore determined on leaving them, & shall spend, I hope, a comfortable day with you in Town within this week. If I am as little in favour with Mr. Johnson as ever, you must come to me at No. 10 Wigmore Street; but I hope this may not be the case, for as Mr. Johnson, with all his faults, is a Man to whom that great word "Respectable" is always given, & I am known to be so intimate with his wife, his slighting me has an awkward Look.
I take Town in my way to that insupportable spot, a Country Village; for I am really going to Churchill. Forgive me, my dear friend, it is my last resource. Were there another place in England open to me, I would prefer it. Charles Vernon is my aversion, & I am afraid of his wife. At Churchill, however, I must remain till I have something better in view. My young Lady accompanies me to Town, where I shall deposit her under the care of Miss Summers, in Wigmore Street, till she becomes a little more reasonable. She will make good connections there, as the Girls are all of the best Families. The price is immense, & much beyond what I can ever attempt to pay.