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The Alphabetical Order of the First Lines.
• . 104
ERRATA IN VOL. II.
113, 18, for indistincly, read indistinctly.
commonly. bot. says,
dele the comma. seemed
Sanghuar, read Sanquhar.
6, after colloquial insert a comma. 397, 4, fr. bot. after proper, place the comma.
semicolon. : 407, 2,
dele the hyphen. 441, 4, fr. bot. too,
TO A FEMALE FRIEND,
Written about the year 1780.
I VERILY believe, my dear E., that the pure genuine feelings of love, are as rare in the world as the pure genuine principles of virtue and piety. This I hope will account for the uncommon style of all my letters to you. By uncommon, I mean, their being written in such a serious manner, which to tell you the truth, has made me often afraid lest you should take me for some zealous bigot, who conversed with his mistress as he would converse with his minister. I VOL. II.
don't know how it is, my dear; for though, except your company, there is nothing on earth gives me so much pleasure as writing to you, yet it never gives me those giddy raptures so much talked of among lovers. I have often thought that if a well grounded affection be not really a part of virtue, 'tis something extremely akin to it. Whenever the thought of my E. warms my heart, every feeling of humanity, every principle of generosity, kindles in my breast. It extinguishes every dirty spark of malice and envy, which are but too apt to infest me. I grasp every creature in the arms of universal benevolence, and equally participate in the pleasures of the happy, and sympathize with the miseries of the unfortunate. I assure you, my dear, I often look up to the divine disposer of events, with an eye of gratitude for the blessing which I hope he intends to bestow on me, in bestowing you. I sincerely wish that he may bless my endeavours to make your life as comfortable and happy as possible, both in sweetening the rougher parts of my natural temper, and bettering the unkindly circumstances of my fortune. This, my dear, is a passion at least in my view, worthy of a man, and I will add, worthy of a Christian. The sordid earth-worm may profess love to a woman's person, whilst in reality his affection is centered in her pocket; and the slavish
drudge may go a wooing as he goes to the horsemarket, to chuse one who is stout and firm, and as we may say of an old horse, one who will be a . good drudge and draw kindly. I disdain their dirty, puny ideas. I would be heartily out of humour with myself, if I thought I were capable of having so poor a notion of the sex, which were designed to crown the pleasures of society. Poor devils ! I don't envy them their happiness who have such notions. For my part I propose quite other pleasures with my dear partner.
My Dear E.
I DO not remember in the course of your acquaintance and mine, ever to have heard your opinion on the ordinary way of falling in love, amongst people of our station of life: I do not mean the persons who proceed in the way of