The Coquette

The Coquette


Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 3 Summary & Analysis

Eliza writes Lucy again to speak of her “conquests.” “Or must I enjoy them in silence?” Eliza asks. Yesterday, Eliza had gone to visit some neighbors, and there she met a man named Boyer. Boyer comes from a “worthy family” and studied divinity, and he will soon be moving to Hampshire to minister at one of the first parishes there. They had a pleasant evening together, and Eliza couldn’t be happier. “Fortune, indeed, has not been very liberal of her gifts to me,” Eliza writes, “but I presume on a large stock in the bank of friendship, which, united with health and innocence, give me some pleasing anticipation of future felicity.”
As Lucy has recently called Eliza a coquette, Eliza isn’t sure she should tell her friend about the men in her life. While Lucy is sure to approve of a man like Boyer, Eliza’s question indirectly addresses Lucy’s judgmental behavior. Eliza expects her friend to be critical, and as such she considers concealing things from her. Eliza’s comment about her meager fortune and “large stock in the bank of friendship” are a reference to the importance of friendship, but they also underscore Eliza’s preoccupation with wealth and money and her desire to be upwardly mobile. 
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