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LETTER LXVII.

The answer.

Sir,

You

OURSI received, and am extremely sorry to hear that your circumstances are so distressed. In order to comply with your request, I called a meeting of the creditors, and I doubt not but they will agree to a proposal so fair and reasonable, of which I shall give you notice. I.am, sir, your real friend.

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Sir,

PART III.

ON LOVE, COURTSHIP,

AND

MARRIAGE.

LETTER LXVIII.

Madam,

I

as

HAVE three times attempted to give you a verbal relafailed. I know not in what light it may be considered, only if I can form any notion of my own heart, from the impression made on it by your many amiable accomplishments, my happiness in this world will, in a great measure, depend on your answer. I am not precipitate, madam, nor would I desire your hand, if your heart did not accom pany it. My circumstances are independent, and my character hit to unblemished, of which you shall have the most undoubted proof. You have already seen some of my relations at your aunt's, in Bond-street, particularly my mother, with whom I now live. Your aunt will inform you concerning our family, and if it is to your satisfaction, I shall not only consider myself as extremely happy, but shall also make it the principal study of my future life to spend my days in the company of her whom I do prefer to all others in the world. I shall wait for your answer with the utmost impatience, and am,

Madam, your real admirer.

LETTER LXIX.

The lady's answer.

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

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distant thoughts of your making proposals of such a nature. Those of your sex have often asserted that we are fond of flattery, 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, was I 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 inquire 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 inquiry. However, as your behaviour, when in my company, was always agreeable, I shall treat you with as much respect as is consistent with common decorum. My worthy guardian, Mr. Melvil, is now at his seat in Devonshire, and his conduct to me has been so much like that of a parent, that I don't 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; that is this: you say that you live along with your mother, yet you don't say you have either communicated your sentiments to 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 inclination 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 LXX.

The gentleman's answer to the above. Dear Madam,

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RETURN you a thousand thanks for your letter, it is with the greatest pleasure that I can clear up to your, satisfaction that matter you doubted of. 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 ot

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your amiable character: nay, so far is she from having any bjections, 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 inclosed, written with her own hand, and whatever may be the contents, I solemnly assure you that I am totally ignorant, except that she told me it was in approbation of my suit. If you will give me leave to wait on you, Ishall then be able to explain things more particularly, I am, dear madam, your real lover.

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LETTER LXXI.

From the young gentleman's mother to the young lady,

Dear Miss,

DE

in these lines

you find you will candidly excuse it, as coming from the hands of 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 dear father died when his son was only ten months old, and being deprived of all 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 prosecu ting his studies, I was constantly employed in recommending. him to the care of that God whose eyes behold all his crea tures, and will reward and punish according to their merit. Ever since his return from Oxford, he has resided constantly with me, and his conduct to every one with whom he has bad any connexions, hath 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 hu man probability, my time in this world will not be long.

Excuse the indulgent partiality of a mother, when Ltell 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. F 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.

LETTER LXXII.

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 accomplish ments 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 infir mities. 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 enjoyments. I have sent inclosed a few lines to your son, to which I refer you for a more explicit answer, and am,

Madam, your sincere well-wisher.

LETTER LXXIII.

The young lady's answer to her lover.

Sir,

RECEIVED yours, together with one inclosed from you on the you bave had in being brought up under so pious, so indulgent

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