“Artlessness will never do in love matters; and that girl is born a simpleton who has it either by nature or affectation” (XIX).
A simpleton is someone who lacks common sense, someone who is considered a fool. Austen shows that Lady Susan has a negative attitude toward people she considers to be simpletons, even people related to her, like her own daughter. Lady Susan is very rigid in her ways and Austen shows her stubbornness in this letter from Lady Susan to her friend Mrs. Johnson. The word simpleton has slowly worked its way out of use in the English language, and other words, with negative connotations, have replaced it. Austen’s diction in her writing changes based on each character as a way of characterizing each of them.
Works Cited: "simpleton." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 25 March 2009 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/simpleton>