The Coquette

The Coquette

The Coquette Letter 39 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Boyer writes Mr. Selby and apologizes for neglecting their friendship, but he has been preoccupied lately. Boyer had accompanied Eliza back to her home and now fears that there may be some merit to Selby’s claim that she is a coquette. Boyer had also gone to Boston with Eliza on her insistence but thought himself “neglected” in her company. Eliza claims that she will marry Boyer; however, she doesn’t know when she will be ready to do so. 
Obviously, Eliza doesn’t want to get married, so she is stalling, and Boyer is beginning to feel as he is just being strung along and taken advantage of. She asks for more time, but Boyer doesn’t respect this either. He complains to Eliza and Selby that she is noncommittal, and it only adds to Eliza’s discomfort and mounting misery.
Themes
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Boyer made the mistake of mentioning Major Sanford to Eliza—who, incidentally, has purchased a home in New Haven—and she claimed Boyer was merely jealous. The end of their visit was stained by this interaction, but they “parted amicably.” Eliza will soon be going back to Hartford, and Boyer intends to visit her there. Despite her coquettish airs, “she is very dear to [him],” and he still intends to marry her. 
Here, Boyer excuses Eliza of her coquetry, which he later cites as the main reason why he no longer wants to marry her. Boyer is a hypocrite despite all his virtue—he is willing to accept Eliza’s cheerful disposition until it causes him too much jealousy, then it is grounds for her dismissal.
Themes
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Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon