His Cunning . . . ?
Penelope Clay to Adelaide Hampson
34 Shepherd-street. Monday April 1
My dear sister,
I write from wretched lodgings not three streets from the house of that infamous villain – a house in which I had hoped to be the happiest creature alive.
Now hear the truth! Mr Elliot is a man without heart or conscience; a designing, wary, cold-blooded being, who thinks only of himself; who for his own interest or ease would be guilty of any cruelty or any treachery that could be perpetrated without risk to his general character. He has no feeling for others. Those whom he has been the chief cause of leading into ruin he can neglect and desert without the smallest compunction. He is totally beyond the reach of any sentiment of justice or compassion. Oh! he is black at heart, hollow and black!
I can no more! I await Papa’s arrival to escort me back to Kellynch, where I hardly dare show my countenance, but where a solitary consolation in my misery will be once more to embrace my two children, in whose innocent eyes alone I may see no reflected reproach.
Alone? I do you injustice, my dear Addie, for you have ever been the most generous, the most faithful confidante of
Your unfortunate, foolish and wretched