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neat you with as much respect as is consistent with com.non decorum. My worthy guardian, Mr. Melvill, is now at his seat at Bloomingdale, and his conduct has been so much like that of a parent, that I do not choose to take one step in an affair of such importance without both his consent and approbation. There is an appearance of sincerity runs Nirough your letter ; but there is one particular to which I have a very prong objection ; you say that you live with your mother, yet you do not say that you have either communicated your sentiments to her or to your other relations. I must freely and honestly tell you that as I would not disoblige my own relations, neither woulu 1, on any consideration, admit of any addresses contrary to the inclinations of yours. If you can clear up this to my satisfaction, I shall send you a more explicit answer, and am, sir,
Your most obedient humble servant. LETTER 95.
The Gentleman's Reply. DEAR MADAM,
I return you a thousand thanks for your letter, and it is with the greatest pleasure I can clear up to your satisiaction the matter you doubtend of. Before I wrote to you I communicated the affair to my two cousins, but had not courage enough to mention it to my mother, but that is now over, and nothing, she says, would give her greater pleasure than to see me married to a young larly of your amiable character; nay, 80 far is she from having any objection, that she would have waited on you as the bearer of this, had I not persuaded her against it, as she has been these three days afflicted with a severe cold, and I was afraid that if she ventured abroad so soon it might be attended with dangerous consequences. But to convince you of my sincerity, she has sent the enclosed, written with her own hand; and whatever may be the contents, I solemnly assure you I am totally ignorant, except that she told me it was in approbation of my suit. If you will give me leave to wait an you I shall then be able to explain things more particularly.
I am, dear madam, your real lover.
If you find any thing in these lines improperly written you will canCidly excuse it, as coming from the hands of a parent, in behalf of an only, beloved, and dutiful son.
My dear Charles has told me that you have made such an impression on him, that he knows not how to be happy in any one else, and it gives me great happiness to find that he has placed his affections on so worthy an object. Indeed it has been my principal study to instruct him in the principles of our holy religion ; well knowing that those who do not fear God will never pay any regard to domestic duties. His father died when his son was only ten months old, and being deprived of the paren all my consolation was that I had his image left in the son.
I nursed him with all the tenderness possible, and even taught him to read and write. When he was of proper age I sent him to a boardivg school
and afterwards to college. Whilst he was prosecuting his stu.lics, ! daily recommended him to the care of that God whose eyes behold and his creatures, and will reward and punish according to their merit. Er er since his return from Princeton ve has resided constantly with me, and his conduct to every one with wnom he has had any connexion has been equal to my utmost wishes. At present, my dear girl, I am in a very sickly condition, and, although I have concealed it from him, yet, in all human probability, my time in this world will not be long. Ex. cuse the indulgeat partiality of a mother, when I tell you it is my real opinion you can never place your affection on a more worthy young man than my son. He is endowed with more real worth than thousands of others whom I have known; and I have been told of instances of his benevolence which he has industriously concealed. I have only to add further, that the only worldly consideration now upon r y mind is to see him happily married, and then my whole attention sha' 'be fixed in that place where I hope we shall all enjoy eternal felicity.
I dear Miss, your sincere well wisher.
The young Lady's Answer MADAM,
I will excuse the fondness of a tender mother for ner only caild Be fore I received yours I had heard of the unaffected piety and the many accomplishments of your son, so that I was no ways surprised at what you said concerning him. I do assure you, madam, that I would prefer an alliance with you before even nobility itself, and I think it must be my own fault if I ever repent calling you mother. I was going to say that you had known but few pleasures in this life, to be deprived of your hus. band so soon, and the rest of your life spent under so many infirmities. But your letter convinces me that you have felt more real pleasure in the practice of virtue and resignation to the Divine will, than ever can be had in any, nay, even the greatest temporal emjoyments. I have sent enclosed a few lines to your son, to which I refer you for a more explicit answer, and am, madam,
Your sincere well wisher.
I received yours, together with one enclosed from your mother, and congratulate you on the happiness you have had in being brought up un. der so pious and indulgent a parent. I hope that her conduct will be pattern for you to copy after, in the whole of your future life. It is vir. tue alone, sir, which can make you happy. With respect to myself, I freely acknowledge that I have not at present any reason to reject your offer, although I cannot give you a positive answer until I have first sons'ilted with my guardian. Monday next I set out for his seas at Bloomingda e, whence you may be sure of hearing from me as soon as possible, awl am,
Your sincere well wisher.
From the same. BIR,
In my last I told you that you should hear fiom me as soc n as possible, and therefore I now sit down to fulfil my promise. I communicate your proposal to Mr Melvill, who, after he had written to his correspondent in New York, told me as follows :
“Miss, I have inquired concerning the young gentleman, and the iaformation I have received is such, that I not only approve of your choice, but must also confess that if I did not do every thing in my power to forward your union, I should be acting contrary to the reqnest of your father wien he lay on his death bed. ou may,” said he, “ conimumcate this to your lover as soon as you please, and may every happiness attend you
both in time and eternity.” And now, sir, have I not told you enough? Some, perhaps, miglit think too much ; but I am determined to begin with as much sincerity 28 I could wish to practice if standing in the presence of my Maker. To expect the same from you is reasonable; I look for it, and shall be very unhappy if disappointed. But I will hope for the best, and doubt not but the religious education bestowed on you by your worthy mother, will operate on the whole of your future conduct in life. therefore, lay aside the tedious formality of courtship, and write to mo as one with whom you mean to spend your time in this world.
Ever since my arrival here my time has been spent in visiting the woods, the fields, and cottages, meditating on the unbounded goodness of the Almighty Creator. How infinite is his wisdom ! how unbounded his liberality! Every thing in nature conspires to exalt his praise, and acknowlerige with gratitude their dependance upon him. But I will dot tire you with such dull descriptions of real beauties. Present my sincere respects to your worthy mother. I hope she gets the better of her disorder, and be assured that I am,
Yours and hers with the greatest affection.
The young Gentleman's Answer. MY DEAR GIRL,
Is there any medium between pleasure and pain ? Can mourning and mirth be reconciled? Will you believe, my dear, that whilst I was reading your letter with the greatest pleasure, I was shedding tears for an affectionate parent ! Thus Divine Providence thinks proper to mix some gall with our portion in life. It is impossible for me to describe the variety of passions now struggling in my breast. Ten thousand blessings to my charmer on the one hand, and as many tears to a beloved parent on the other. I conceived a notion of two in possibilities ;-one of which I am obliged to struggle with, the other, thanks to you, is
I thought I could not live without my dear and honored mother, vor enjoy one moment's comfort unless I could call you mine ; but I am now obliged to submit to the one, whilst I have the pleasing prospect of being in possession of the other.' Will my dear sympathise with me. or will she bear with human passions ? And although all my nope of temporal happiness is centred in you, yet I doubt not but you will excuse my shedding a tear over the remains of a dear parent, which I am now going to commit to the tomb). My dear creature, were it possible for me to describe the many virtues of that worthy woman who is now no more, you would draw a veil over the partiality of filial duty. Her last words were these : “My dear child, I am now going to pay that dels imposed on the whole human race, i consequence of the disobedience of our first parents.
You know wl at instructions I have given you from time to time, and let me beg of you to adhere to them so far as they are consistent with the will of God, revealed in his word. May you be liappy in the possession of that young lady on whom you have placed your affections; but may both you and she remember, that real happiness is not to be found in this world; and you must consider your life in this world as merely a state of probation. To the Almighty God I commend you.'
She was going on, when the thread of life was broken, and she was no moro. Such was the last end of my dear mother, whose remains are to be interred this evening, and as soon as I can settle her affairs with her executors, I will, as it were, fly to meet you. God grant that qur happiness in this life may be conducive toward promoting our ever. lasting felicity hereafter. I am, as before,
Yours while life rernains.
I have now changed my name, and instead of liberty must subscribe wife. What an awkward expression, say some; how pleasing, say others. But let that be as it may, I have been married to my Charles these three montlis, and I can freely acknowledge that I never knew happiness till now. To have a real friend to whom I can coinmunicate my secrets, and who, on all occasions, is ready to sympathise with me, is what I never before experienced. All these benefits, my dear cousin, I have inet with in my beloved husband. His principal care seems to be to do every thing possible to please me; and is there not something called duty incumbent on me ? Perhaps you will langh at the word duty, and say that it imports something like slavery ; but nothing is more false; for even the life of a servant is as pleasant as any other, when he obeys from motives of love instead of fear. For my own part, my dear I cannot say that I am unwilling to be obedient, and yet I am Goi commanded to be so by my husband. You have often spoken concemptuously of the marriage state, and I believe your reasons were that most of those you knew were unhappy ; but that is an erroneous way of judging It was designed by the Almighty that men and women should live together in a state of society; that they should become mutual helps to each other; and if they are blessed with children to assist each oh. er in giving them a virtuous education. Let me therefore beg that my dear cousin will no longer elespise that state for which she was designed, and which is calculated to make her happy. But then, my dear, there are two sorts of men you must studiously avoid; I mean misors and rakes. The first will take every opportunity of abridging yoar ne. Cessary expenses, and the second will leave you nothing for a subsis. tence. The first, by his penuriousness, will cause you to suffer from imaginary wants ; the second, by his prodigality, will make you a real beggar. But your own good sense will point out the propriety o/ what I have mentioned. Let me beg that you will come and spend a few weeks with us ; and if you have any taste for rural and domestic life, I doubt not but you will be pleased. I am your affectionate cousin.
LETTER 102. From a young Merchant in New York, to a Widow Lady in the
Ever since I saw you at the Springs, when I was on a journey to the north, my mind has been continually ruminating on your many accomplishments. And although it is possible this may be rejected, yet I can no longer conceal a passion which has preyed upon my spirits these six weeks. I have been settled in business about three years ; my success has been equal to my expectations, and is likewise increasing. My family is respectable though ot rich; and as to the disparity of our ages, a few years will not make any difference, where the affections are place ed on so lovely an object. I can only say, madam, that I prefer you to all the young ladies I have seen, and if business continues to increase I shall be greatly in want of one of your prudence to manage my domestic affairs. Be assured, madam, that whatever time I can spare from the necessary duties of my profession shall be devoted to your company, and every endeavor used to make your life both agreeable and happy. As you have relations in New-York, they will give you every necessary information concerning my character and circumstances, although I have not the pleasure of being known to them. If you will favor me with an answer to this, it will be ever esteemed a particular favor, and acknowledged with the sincerest respect, by
Your real admirer.
LETTER 103. The Lady's Letter to her Brother, an Attorney, concernir: the
above. DEAR BROTHER, Į You know that in all affairs of importance I have constantly acted by your advicc, as I am still determined to do; and therefore have sont yoa enclosed the copy of a letter which I received by the post, from a young gentleman in New-York, whom I have seen at the springs. His behavior here was polite without affectation, and an air of sincerity ap: peared in all he said. With respect to the subject he writes of, I will give you my own thoughts, and delay sending an answer until I have had your opinion.
I am at least a dozen years older than him, and possibly love, contracted where there is such difference in the ages of the parties, may ter: minate in want of respect on one side, and jealousy in the other. At