The Coquette

The Coquette


Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 17 Summary & Analysis

Reverend Boyer again writes Mr. Selby and tells him about Eliza. The time Boyer has spent with her has been “some of the happiest hours of [his] life,” but he has “not been able to infuse into her bosom the ardor which [he] feels in [his] own.” He will leave tomorrow for his “solemn charge,” and Eliza has agreed to write. Her correspondence, Boyer writes, will be “a source of pleasure which alone can atone for her absence.”
While Boyer is obviously falling for Eliza, he is very aware that she doesn’t feel the same way. This realization makes the pressure he puts on her even worse. He knows that she doesn’t want to get married, to anyone, but she especially does not love him, and yet he continues to ignore her feelings.