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present I am so pestered with rakes and coxcombs, that I would almose willingly give my hand to the first worthy person that offers. Indeed I have another reason for entering into the marriage state, and that is, I would choose, as I advance in years, to have a friend to whom I might at all times be able to open my mind with freedom, and who would treat me with that tenderness which my sex entitles me to. I have been a widow six years, and whatever others may say, I have found it atterded with many inconveniences, and far from that pleasing lise many are ready to imagine. But after all, I will be directed 'y you, as my oals real friend' to whom I can ap, ly; if you thi. ik propir you n.ay.nquire, and when I hear from you I will send him an answer.
am vour affectionate sister
The Brother's Answer. DEAR SISTER,
I am glad to hear of your prudence in not being very lasty in an afs fair of so great importance, and upon which your happiness or misery in this world will inevitably depen!. Your reasons against remaining any longer in a state of widowhood are what I much approve of, and it will give me great pleasure to promote your interest and happiness as far as I am able. I have inquired concerning Mr. Moreton, and every one gives him an excellent character. I have likewise cczyеrzed with bim,
anu sad him a very censible young man. As to your objection concerning disparity of age, I do not think it has any great weight, and upon the whole
have but cne reason against your union, and that is, that there is nothing more precarious than commerce, and the merchant who to-day has unlimited credit, may be tomorrow in the list of bankrupts. I do not urge this in order to prevent your happiness, but only that whilst you are free, you may take such measures as to secure a sufficiency against the worst. I would by no means dissuade you from complying with his request, as he seems every way worthy of your choice, and I really think it may be for your mutual happiness. Thesey dear sister, are my sentiments concerning this affair : but remember i leave it entirely to yourself, not doubting but you will proceed with the game prudence which you have heretofore shown.
I am your affectionate brother. P.S. I would avisc you to write to the young man as soon as possi. ble.
From the Lady to Mr. Moreton. BIR,
I received your letter, and my reason for delaying an answer, was, that I wanted first to consult my brother, whose opinion I had by the post yesterday. I freely acknowledge that you are far from being disa. greeable, and the advantages on your part with respect to accomplishments are, I think, superior to mine. "But these are but small matters when compared with what is absolutely necessary to make the marriage stato happy. I mear an union of minds. Neither of us have had man
By criportunities of conversing together, and when you had you did no mention any thing of this. I have no objection against marrying, were I assured of being no worse than at present; but there is such a variety of unforeseen accidents happening in the world, and all conspiring together to promote dissensions in families, that we can never be too careful how to fix our choice. I shall not, sir, from whist I have seen of your behavior, and heard of your character, have any objection against your request ; but I confess I am afraid you have been rather too precipitate in your choice, and although my person may have engaged sour attention, jet I an. afiuid all tlost charms you so much extol are not sufficient to keep you loyal to the marriage vow. But I will hope the best, and beli you as virtaous as you are represented; nor will I give my hand to any but you. In the mean time I shall be glad to hear
that you continue your visits to my brother ; you will find him one of the most worthy persons you ever conversed with, and much esteemed for his knowledge in the law. I have now given you leave to write as of ten as you please, as I hope all your letters will be interesting: and as to the rime to be fixed for any thing else, I leave it entirely to be settled by yourself and my brother, and am, dear sir, Yours sincerely.
LETTER 106. From a young Gentleman, in expectation of an estate from a penito rious Uncle, to a young Lady of siiaii furtune, iesiring her to
elope with him. HY DEAR MARIA,
My uncle's laying his injunction upon me not to see you any more, hag unly served to add fuel to my passion. I cannot live without you, and if you persist in refusing to comply, I am miserable forever. Í regard to his threatenings, when put in competition with the love I have for you. Do not be afraid of poverty; if he should continue inexorable I have still education sufficient to procure a genteel employment in one of the public offices, where I may rise to preferment. Therefore, if ever you loved me, let me beg that you will not make me any longer unhappy. Let me intreat you by all that is dear, that you will comply with my request, and mect me at six on Sunday evening, at the back door of the garden, where a chaise will be ready. I will fly on the wings of love to my charmer, and be happy in her embraces forever.
I am your dear lover. LETTER 107.
The Lady's prudent Answer. SIR,
Though thoroughly conscious in this act I make a breach of those lawy said to be laid down for lovers, especially such of our sex as would rath. er be celebrated for a romantic turn of 'miud, than for what is more preferable, a prudent decorum, yet I cannot bút be persuaded, there may occur such a crisis, as may make it consistent with the strictest rules o honor and justice ; which at least ought to be put in the balance, if not outweigh whatever custom may have prescribed. That such a crisis now exists, your letter, and former concurring testimonies, make mani
fest. For I have too high an opinion of your integrity to doubt their truth; and believe me when I assure you most solemnly, I place their validity to that account, and not to mistaken notions or consciousness of my own merit. No, sir, it is from a too sensible conviction of your own injurious error of your passion, I have been induced to commit this violence to my sex. I had almost made my sentiments to conjure you to desist, ere it he too late, in the pursuit of a passion, that cannot but bring with it a train of inevitable miseries, since it must be attended with the violation of your duty to that relation whom you are bound to pay implicit obedience to, by nature and gratitude. I will not offend your delicacy, in urging those of interest and independency, though each consideration ought to have its prevalence, against making a sacrifice of it to an impetuous passion for one, whose single desert is, that she dreada your indigence more than she regrets that of the Unfortunate
When our regiment received orders to march from West Point, I was almost in a state of distraction. To be forced to leave her who is al. ready in possession of my heart, and separated by such a distance, had almost induced me to give up my commission; nor have I any resource left but that of the pen. After a long and tedious march we arrived here, where we are to remain till next summer. But, alas ! how insignificant arc all the allurements of the place, and the gaiety of my fellow officers, when compared with the pleasing moments spent in yoiir company. How long, my dear, must I be unhappy? Will not your sympathising nature pity my distracted mind? How lamentable the thought, that whilst I am writing this, some more fortunate lover may be make ing his addresses to my charmer, and even obtaining an interest in her heart ! But what am saying? Whither does my delirium drive me? No, my dear girl, I know the generosity of your nature ;. I dare not suspect your sincerity, and still believe you mine. The principal gen. tlemen in New-York invited the officers of our regiment to a ball, and all but myself considered the entertaininent as a very great honor; each danced with his partner, as I was told. In order to avoid the company without giving offence, I mounted guard for that day, and enjoyed myself either thinking of vou, or conversing with the soldiers.
According to my promise, I have sent enclosed to your father, and I doubt not of his being surprised, unless you have mentioned it to hiin. I am impatient for his answer as well as yours. Adieu, my charmer ; let me hear from you immediately.
I am yours forever.
The generosity which I experienced from you whilst our regiment was stationed at West Point, will ever lay me under the greatest obligations ; but at present I have something of more importance to com
municate, upon which all my happiness or misery il, this world depends, and your answer will either secure the one or hasten the other.
The many amiable accomplishments of your beloved Sophia stole in. sensibly on my heart, and I found myself passionately in love with her before I was able to make a declaration of my sentiments, nor did I do it until the day we were ordered to march. I hope, therefore, you will forgive my noi mentioning it to you; I was really so much agitated as to be nearly unable to attend my duty. I doubt not but one of your sensibility knows what it is to be in love. Your daughter, I freely ackuowledge, is adorned with so many virtues, that she is entitled to the best husband in America ; and although I dare not hope to merit that appellation, yet I will make it my constant study to promote her happi
I have often told you that my parents died whilst I was young, and left me to the care of an uncle lately returned from the East Indies, where he had acquired a considerable fortune. My inclination led me to the army, and iny uncle had procured me a commission. Ever since he has treated me as his own son, and being a bachelor has made a will in my favor. He is now a Senator in Congress, and has given me leave to choose a wise for myself without any other qualifications than virtue. I have written to him concerning your daughter, and his answer is, that he shall consider me as extremely happy in being connected with so worthy a family as yours. I hope you will not have any objection against my being in the awmy. It was originally my own choice, and I doubt not of rising in time to the command of a regiment. There is a sort of reverential fear upon iny mind, whilst I am writing to so worthy a person as the father of my beloved Sophia. Dear sir, excuse my youth, and the violence of my passion. Let me beg your answer, and oh! let it contain your approbation.
I am, lionored sir, yours with the greatest respecto
The young Lady's Letter to her Lover. DEAR WILLIAM,
Not more welcome is the appearance of an inn to a weary traveller, than your kind letter was to me. But how is it possible that you should harbor the least suspicion of my fidelity? Does my William imagine that I would suffer the addresses of any fop or coxcomb after I was bound in the most solemn manner, I mean by promise ; and be assured I
рау. the same regard to my word as my oath. If there is ever an obstruction to our love it must arise from yourself. My affections are too permanently fixed ever to be removed from the beloved object; and my happiness or misery will be proportion to your conduct. The enclosed, from my father, will, I hope, be agreeable; I have not seen it, and therefore can only judge of its contents by the conversation last night af supper. When your letter was delivered, my honored father was extremely ill of a cold, so that I did not deliver it to him till next morning at breakfast; he retired to his closet to read it, and at dinner told me he would deliver me an answer in the evening. Accordingly, after supper, and the servants being retired, the best of parents spake as fole
lows : “My deur child, from the principles of that cducation which you have received, I doubt not but you must be convinced that it is my duty to promote your interest as far as I am able, and how far my conduct as a father has been consistent with that rule, I appeal to yourse!f; your own conscience will witness, whether I have not at all tiines studied us promote your interest, and it is with pleasure that I now say, that your filial duty was equal to my highest wishes. With respect to the subject of the letter you gave me this morning, I can only say, that I have no objection to your complying with the young gentleman's request, as I think it may be for your mutual happiness. Indeed, I had some suspicion of it before he left this place; but being well convinced of his merit, I was almost assured no step of that nature would be taken with out my consent, That you have, and even my approbation. May you both be as happy as I wish! I desire no more. Here the good man stopped; tears hindered him from proceeding, and me from making a reply. A scene of tenderness ensued, which you may feel, although I cannot describe it. His own letter will convince you, and you may make what use of it you please.
I cannot conclude without mentioning your conduct at the New-York ball. Were there none among so many beauties able to attract my William's notice ? and will he at all times prefer my company to thai of the gay and the beautiful? I will hope so, and happy shall I be it pot disappointed. In hopes of hearing from you soon, I shall subscribe myself
Yours forever. LETTER 111. The Father's Answer to the young Gentleman. MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,
Ever since I first had the pleasure of your conversation, I considered gou as a young gentleman of real merit, who would not be guilty of ab ongenerous action, and to that was owing not only the respect I always created you with, but the common indulgence to converse freely with my daughter. I can freely excuse your not communicating your sentiments to me before you left his place. Your ardor was somewhat precipitate, and, as you well observe, I know what it is to be in love. The account of your uncle and family I know to be true, for I met with that worthy person who is your benefactor a few days ago at the stage office in this city, and he confirms the truth of all you have written. My dear sir, if ever you live to be a father, you will know what I feel on the present occasion; a willingness to give her to you, fiom a firm persuasion of your merit; and anxiety for her preservation, from a conviction in my own mind, that there is nothing permanent in this world. However, sir, you have my free consent to marry my child, and may the Divine Providence be your guide in the whole of your progress through this life! My ill state of health serves as a monitor to inform you that my time in this world will be but short; and there is nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see my dear Sophia happily settled before I re. lire to the land of forgetfulness, where the wicked cease from troub. ling, and where the weary are at rest. How great, sir, is the charge which I commit to your care; the image of a beloved wife long since