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The conclusion of the whole matter is this: I never had more inclination to write to you, and never fewer materials at hand to write witb : therefore have Aed for refuge to my old companion dullness, which is ever at hand to assist me; and have made use of all those genuine expressions of it, which are included under the potion of want of time, want of spirit, and, in short, want of every thing but the most unfeigned regard for you.

I remain,

Most truly yours.


From a Lady to a Gentleman who had paid his Addresses

to her. Sir, I received your letter last night, and as it was on a subject I had not yet any thoughts of, you will not wonder when I tell you I was a good deal surprised. Although I have seen you at different times, yet I had not the most distant thoughts of your - making proposals of such a nature. Some of your sex have often asserted that we are fond of Aattery, and mightily pleased to be praised; I shall therefore suppose it true, and excuse you for those fulsome encomiums bestowed upon me in your letter ; but am afraid, if I were to comply with your proposals, you would soon be convinced that the charms you mention, and seem to value so much, are merely exterior appearances, which, like the summer's flower, will very soon fade, and all those mighty professions of love will end at last either in indifference, or, which is worse, disgust. You desire me to enquire of my aunt concerning your character and family. You must excuse me when I tell you, that I am obliged to decline making any such enquiry. However, as your bebaviour, when in my coinpany, was always agreeable, I shall treat you with as much respect as is consistent with common decorum. My worthy guardian, Mr. Melvill, is now at his seat in Devonshire, and his conduct to me 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 through your letter; but there is one particular to which I have a very strong objection, it is this : you say that you live with your mother, yet you do not say you have either communicated your sentiments w her, or your other relations. I must freely and honestly tell you, that as I would not disoblige my own relations, so neither would I, 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.


The Gentleman's Answer to the above. Dear Madam, I RETURN you a thousand thanks for your letter, and it is with the greatest pleasure that I can clear up to your satisfaction the cause of your hesitation. Before I wrote to you I communicated the affair to my two cousins; but had not courage sufficient to mention it to my mother; however, that is now over, and nothing, she says, would give her greater pleasure, than to see me married to a young lady of your amiable character: nay, so far is she from having any objections, 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 had 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 that I am totally ignorant of them, except that she told me it was in approbation of my suit. If you will give me leave to wait on you, I shall ihen be able to explain things more particularly.

I am, dear madam,

Your real admirer.


From the Gentleman's Mother to the young Lady. Dear Miss, If you find any thing in these lines improperly written, you will candidly excuse it, as coming from the hands of a parent, io behalf of an only, beloved, and dutiful son.

My dear Charles has told me that you made such an impression on him, that he knows not how to be happy with 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 dear father died when his son was only ten months old, and being deprived of the parent, 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 boarding-school, and afterwards to the university. Whilst he was prosecuting his studies, I was constantly employed in recommending him to the care of that God whose eyes behold all his creatures, and will reward and punish them according to their works. Ever since his return from Oxford, he has resided constantly with me, and his conduct to every one with whom he has had any connections, has been equal to my utmost wishes. At present, my dear miss, 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. Excuse the indulgent partiality of a mother, when I tell you, that 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 my mind is to see him happily married, and then my whole attention shall be fixed on that place where I hope to enjoy eternal felicity.

I am, dear miss,

Your sincere well-wisher.


The young Lady's Answer. Madam, I will excuse the fondness of a tender mother for her only child. Before I received yours, I had heard an account of your unaffected piety, and the many accomplishments of your son; so that I was no ways surprised at what you say 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 ever I repent calling you mother. I was going to say, that you had known but few pleasures in this life, to be deprived of your husband so soon, and the rest of your life spent under so many infirmities. But your letter convinces me that you bave 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 enjoyments. I have seni enclosed a few lines to your son, to which I refer you for a more explicit answer, and am,

Madam, your sincere well-wisher.


The young Lady's Answer to her Lover.


I received yours, together with one enclosed from your mother, and congratulate you on the happiness you have had in being brought up under so pious, so indulgent a parent. I hope that her conduct will be a pattern for you to copy after, in the whole of your future life; it is virtue alone, Sir, which can make you happy. With res. pect 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 f have first consulted with my guardian. Monday next I set out for his seat in Devonshire, from whence you may be sure of hearing from me as soon as possible, and am,

Your sincere well-wisher..


The Gentleman's Answer.

My dear Miss Is there a medium between pleasure and pain? Can mourning and mirth be reconciled? Will my dear charmer believe that whilst I was reading her 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 pareat on the other. I conceived a notion of two impossibilities: one of which I am obliged to struggle with, the other, thanks to you, is over. I thought I could not live without my dear and hoBoured mother, nor 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 Miss --- sympathise with me, or will she bear with human passions ? for although all my hopes of temporal happiness is centred in her, yet I doubt not but she 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 debt imposed on the whole human race, in consequence of our first parents' disobedience. You know what 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 happy 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 on earth as merely a state of probation. To the Almighty God I recommend you,"

She was going on, when the thread of life was broken, and she ceased to be any more. Such was the last end of my dear mother, whose remains are to be interred this evening, and as soon as I can settle every thing with her executors, I will (as it were) fly to ineet you. May our happiness in this life, though it inust be mingled with some trials, be a prelude to that we hope to enjoy in a better world.

I am, as before,

Yours while life remains.

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