The Coquette

The Coquette


Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 49 Summary & Analysis

“You refer yourself to my friendship for consolation,” Lucy writes Eliza, “but I must act the part of a skillful surgeon, and probe the wound, which I undertake to heal.” Lucy reminds Eliza of the “fanciful folly” that caused all this trouble in the first place. Lucy says that Eliza is “among the first rate coquettes,” but now Lucy is happy to see the “returning empire of reason” reflected in Eliza’s behavior. Julia has accepted Eliza’s invitation. “She is a good girl,” Lucy says, “and her society will amuse and instruct you.” 
Lucy’s reference to Eliza’s emotional pain as a “wound” that she must “probe” before healing it again implies that Lucy isn’t the greatest friend in the world. In all likelihood, Eliza has learned her lesson (if there is a lesson to learned) and she will undoubtedly act accordingly in the future. However, Lucy is intent on beating a dead horse, so to speak, and she continues to call Eliza a “coquette” even though there are clearly no men in her life. It appears that Eliza’s punishment for lacking virtue is not yet over.
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