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Charlotte Temple,9780812971217

Charlotte Temple

by
ISBN13:

9780812971217

ISBN10:
0812971213
Format:
Trade Paper
Pub. Date:
5/11/2004
Publisher(s):
Modern Library
List Price: $15.00

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Summary

With an Introduction by Jane Smiley First published in America in 1794,Charlotte Templetook the country by stormin fact, it was this nation's first bona fide "bestseller." Susanna Rowson's most famous work is the story of an innocent British schoolgirl who takes the advice of her depraved French teacher with tragic consequences. Seduced by the dashing Lieutenant Montraville, who persuades her to move to America with him, the fifteen-year-old Charlotte leaves her adoring parents and makes the treacherous sea voyage to New York. In the land of opportunity, Charlotte is callously abandoned by Montraville. Alone and pregnant with an illegitimate child, she valiantly fights to stave off poverty and ruin. This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the first American edition. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Biography

<u>About the Introducer</u>: <br><br><b>JANE SMILEY</b> is the bestselling author of eleven acclaimed works of fiction, including <b>The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, A Thousand Acres</b> (for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize), <b>Horse Heaven, </b>and<b> Good Faith</b>. She lives in California.

Table of Contents

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE v
INTRODUCTION by Jane Smiley xi
A NOTE ON THE TEXT xvii
AUTHOR'S PREFACE xxiii
I. A BOARDING SCHOOL 3(3)
II. DOMESTIC CONCERNS 6(4)
III. UNEXPECTED MISFORTUNES 10(4)
IV. CHANGE OF FORTUNE 14(4)
V. SUCH THINGS ARE 18(3)
VI. AN INTRIGUING TEACHER 21(3)
VII. NATURAL SENSE OF PROPRIETY INHERENT IN THE FEMALE BOSOM 24(4)
VIII. DOMESTIC PLEASURES PLANNED 28(3)
IX. WE KNOW NOT WHAT A DAY MAY BRING FORTH 31(3)
X. WHEN WE HAVE EXCITED CURIOSITY, IT IS BUT AN ACT OF GOOD NATURE TO GRATIFY IT 34(3)
XI. CONFLICT OF LOVE AND DUTY 37(3)
XII. NATURE'S LAST, BEST GIFT 40(3)
XIII. CRUEL DISAPPOINTMENT 43(4)
XIV. MATERNAL SORROW 47(3)
XV. EMBARKATION 50(3)
XVI. NECESSARY DIGRESSION 53(3)
XVII. A WEDDING 56(3)
XVIII. REFLECTIONS 59(3)
XIX. A MISTAKE DISCOVERED 62(3)
XX. VIRTUE NEVER APPEARS SO AMIABLE AS WHEN REACHING FORTH HER HAND 65(4)
XXI. TEACH ME TO FEEL ANOTHER'S WOE 69(3)
XXII. SORROWS OF THE HEART 72(3)
XXIII. A MAN MAY SMILE, AND SMILE, AND BE A VILLAIN 75(3)
XXIV. MYSTERY DEVELOPED 78(4)
XXV. RECEPTION OF A LETTER 82(2)
XXVI WHAT MIGHT BE EXPECTED 84(3)
XXVII. PENSIVE SHE MOURN'D 87(4)
XXVIII. A TRIFLING RETROSPECT 91(3)
XXIX. WE Go FORWARD AGAIN 94(3)
XXX. AND WHAT IS FRIENDSHIP BUT A NAME 97(3)
XXXI. SUBJECT CONTINUED 100(3)
XXXII. REASONS WHY AND WHEREFORE 103(3)
XXXIII. WHICH PEOPLE VOID OF FEELING NEED NOT READ 106(4)
XXXIV. RETRIBUTION 110(3)
XXXV. CONCLUSION 113(2)
READING GROUP GUIDE 115

Excerpts

CHAPTER I

A Boarding School

“Are you for a walk,” said Montraville to his companion, as they arose from table; “are you for a walk? or shall we order the chaise and proceed to Portsmouth?” Belcour preferred the former; and they sauntered out to view the town, and to make remarks on the inhabitants, as they returned from church.

Montraville was a Lieutenant in the army: Belcour was his brother officer: they had been to take leave of their friends previous to their departure for America, and were now returning to Portsmouth, where the troops waited orders for embarkation. They had stopped at Chichester to dine; and knowing they had sufficient time to reach the place of destination before dark, and yet allow them a walk, had resolved, it being Sunday afternoon, to take a survey of the Chichester ladies as they returned from their devotions.

They had gratified their curiosity, and were preparing to return to the inn without honouring any of the belles with particular notice, when Madame Du Pont, at the head of her school, descended from the church. Such an assemblage of youth and innocence naturally attracted the young soldiers: they stopped; and, as the little cavalcade passed, almost involuntarily pulled off their hats. A tall, elegant girl looked at Montraville and blushed: he instantly recollected the features of Charlotte Temple, whom he had once seen and danced with at a ball at Portsmouth. At that time he thought on her only as a very lovely child, she being then only thirteen; but the improvement two years had made in her person, and the blush of recollection which suffused her cheeks as she passed, awakened in his bosom new and pleasing ideas. Vanity led him to think that pleasure at again beholding him might have occasioned the emotion he had witnessed, and the same vanity led him to wish to see her again.

“She is the sweetest girl in the world,” said he, as he entered the inn. Belcour stared. “Did you not notice her?” continued Montraville: “she had on a blue bonnet, and with a pair of lovely eyes of the same colour, has contrived to make me feel devilish odd about the heart.”

“Pho,” said Belcour, “a musket ball from our friends, the Americans, may in less than two months make you feel worse.”

“I never think of the future,” replied Montraville, “but am determined to make the most of the present, and would willingly compound with any kind Familiar who would inform me who the girl is, and how I might be likely to obtain an interview.”

But no kind Familiar at that time appearing, and the chaise which they had ordered, driving up to the door, Montraville and his companion were obliged to take leave of Chichester and its fair inhabitant, and proceed on their journey.

But Charlotte had made too great an impression on his mind to be easily eradicated: having therefore spent three whole days in thinking on her and in endeavouring to form some plan for seeing her, he determined to set off for Chichester, and trust to chance either to favour or frustrate his designs. Arriving at the verge of the town, he dismounted, and sending the servant forward with the horses, proceeded toward the place, where, in the midst of an extensive pleasure ground, stood the mansion which contained the lovely Charlotte Temple. Mon- traville leaned on a broken gate, and looked earnestly at the house. The wall which surrounded it was high, and perhaps the Argus’s who guarded the Hesperian fruit within, were more watchful than those famed of old.

“ ’Tis a romantic attempt,” said he; “and should I even succeed in seeing and conversing with her, it can be productive of no good: I must of necessity leave England in a few days, and probably may never return; why then should I endeavour to engage the affections of this lovely girl, only to leave her a prey to a thousand inquietudes, of which at present she has no idea? I will return to Portsmouth and think no more about her.”

The evening now was closed; a serene stilness reigned; and the chaste Queen of Night with her silver crescent faintly illuminated the hemisphere. The mind of Montraville was hushed into composure by the serenity of the surrounding objects. “I will think on her no more,” said he, and turned with an intention to leave the place; but as he turned, he saw the gate which led to the pleasure grounds open, and two women come out, who walked arm-in-arm across the field.

“I will at least see who these are,” said he. He overtook them, and giving them the compliments of the evening, begged leave to see them into the more frequented parts of the town: but how was he delighted, when, waiting for an answer, he discovered, under the concealment of a large bonnet, the face of Charlotte Temple.

He soon found means to ingratiate himself with her companion, who was a French teacher at the school, and, at parting, slipped a letter he had purposely written, into Charlotte’s hand, and five guineas into that of Mademoiselle, who promised she would endeavour to bring her young charge into the field again the next evening.

Excerpted from Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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