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me great pleasure to promote your interest and happiness as far as I am able. I have inquired concerning Mr. More, ton, and every one gives him an excellent character. I have likewise conversed with him, and find he is a very sensible
young man. As to your objection concerning dis. parity of age, I do not think it has any great weight; and upon the whole I have but one reason against your union, and that is, that there is nothing more precarious than como merce, and the merchant who to-day has unlimited credit, may be to-morrow in the gazette. 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 sufficie ency 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. These (dear sister) are my sentiments concerning this affair; but remember I leave it entirely to yourself, not doubting but you will proceed with the same prudence you have begun.
affectionate brother. P.S. I would advise you to write to the young gentle nan as soon as possible.
I am your
From the lady to Mr. Moreton. Sir, RECEIVED your letter, and my reason for delaying an answer was,that Iwanted first to consult my brother, whose opinion I had by the post yesterday. I freely acknowledge
you are far from being disagreeable, and the advantage on your part with respect to accomplishments are, I think, superior to those on mine. But these are but small matters when compared with what is absolutely necessary to make the marriage state happy-I mean an union of minds. Neither of us have had many opportunities of conversing together, and when we had, you did not mention any thing of this. I have no objection against marrying, were I assured of being no worse than at present; but there are such a variety of unforeseen accidenis daily happening in the world, and all conspiring together to pronote disa sensions in families, that we can never be too careful how
to fix our choice. I shall not, sir, from what I have seen of your behaviour, and heard of your character, have any objection against your request : but I confess I am afraid you have been rather too precipitate inyour choice,and although mỹ, person may have engaged your attention, yet I am afraid all those charms you so much extol, are not sufficient to keep you loyal to the marriage vow. But I will hope the best, and believe you as virtuous as you are repre. sented; nor give my hand 10 any other 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 esieemed for his knowledge in the law, I have now given you leave to write as often as you please, as I hope all your letters will be agreeable: and as for the time fixed
for any thing else, I shall leave it entirely to be settled by yourself and my brother, and am, dear sir,
LETTER LXXXI. From a young gentleman, in expectation of an estate from
his penurious uncle, to a young lady of small fortunu, desiring her to elope with him to Scotland. My dear Maria, Y uncle's laying his injunctions upon me to see you no
more, has only served to add fuel to my passion. I cannot live without you; and if you persist in refusing to comply, I am miserable for ever. I pay no regard to his threatening, when put in competition with the love I have for you. Don't be afraid of poverty; if he should continue inexorable, I have still education suffcient to procure a genteel employment in one of the public offices, where I may rise to preferment. Therefore, if ever you love me, let me beg that you will not make me any longer unhappy. Let me entreat you, by all that's dear, that you will comply with my request, and meet me at six on Sunday evening, at the back door of the garden, where a chaise and four will be ready. I will fly on the wings of love to meet my charmer, and be happy in her embraces for ever.
I am your dear laver.
The lady's prudent answer. Sir, "HOUGH thoroughly conscious in this act I' make a
breach of those laws said to be laid down for lovers, especially such of our sex as would rather be celebrated for a romantic turn of mind, than for what'is far more preferable, a prudent decorum, yet I cannot be persuaded there may occur such a crisis, as may make it consistent with the strictest rules of honour and justice, which at least ought
to be put in the balance, if not outweigh whatever custom - you have prescribed. That such a crisis now exists, your
letter and former concurring testimonies make manitest. For I have too high ar 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 in a mistaken notion or consciousness of my own merit. Nó, sir, 'tis 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 conjure you to desist, ere it be 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 duiy to that relation to whom you are bound to pay implicit obedience, by the laws of nature, gratitude, and heaven. I will not offend your delicacy, in urging ihose
of interest and dependency, though each consideration 1
ought to have its prevalence, against making a sacrifice of it to an impetuous passion for one, whose single desert is, that she dreads your indigence more that she regrets that of the
Unfortunate LETTER LXSXIII, From a young officer in the army, to a gentleman's daugh
i ter, with whom he is in love. Dear Sophia, THEN our regiment received orders to march from
I be forced to leave her who is already in possession of my heart, and separated to 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 are all the allurements of the la place, and the gaiety of fellow officers, when compared with the pleasing moments spent in your company. How to long, my dear, must I be unhappy? will not your sympa.it thizing nature pity my distracted mind? how lamenting the thought, that whilst I am writing this, some more fortu. nate lover may be making his addresses to my charmer, and even obtaining a place in her heart! but what ami saying? whither does my delirium drive med no, my an gel, I know the generosity of your nature. I dare not sus. pect your sincerity, and will still believe you mine. The principal gentlemen in Manchester invited the officers of our regiment to a ball, and all but myself considered the entertainment as a very great honour; each danced with his partner, as I was told. In order to avoid the company, a without giving offence, I mounted guard for the day, and enjoyed myself, either thinking of you, or conversing with the soldiers.
he According to my promise I have sent the inclosed to your father, and I doubt not of his being surprised, unless you have mentioned it to him. I am impatient for his answer, as well as yours. My uncle has promised to procure mea preferment as soon as parliament meets. Adieu, my charmer; let me hear from you iminediately.
I am yours for ever. LETTER LXXXIV. The officer's letter to the lady's father. Honoured Sir, OUR generosity to me whilst our regiment lay at
Salisbury, will ever lay me under the highest obligations; but at present I have something of a more important nature to communicate, upon which all my happiness or misery in this world depends, and your answer will either secure the one, or hasten the other.
The many amiable accomplishments of your beloved Sophia, stole insensibly on my heart; and I found myself passionately in love, before I was able to make declaration of my sentiments, nor did I do it until the day we were ordered to march. I hope you will forgive my not mentioning
it to you; I was really so much agitated as scarce to be able to attend my duty.. I doubt not but one of your sensibility knows what it is to be in love. Your daughter, 1 freely acknowledge, is adorned with so many virtues, that she is entitled to the best husband in England; and although I dare not hope to merit that appellation, yet I will make it my constant duty to proinote her happiness.
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,
uncle procured me a commission. Ever since he has treated me as his own son, and being a bachelor has made a will in my favour. He is now a member of parliament for Tand has given me leave to choose a wife for myself, without any other qualification besides 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 army. 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 my mind, whilst I am writing to so worthy a person as the father of my beloved Sophia. Dear sir, ex. cuse my youth, and the violence of my passions. Let me beg your answer, and 0, let it contain your approbation.
I am, honoured sir,
Yours, with the greatest respect.
LETTER LXXXV. The young lady's letter to her lover. Dear Billy, TOT 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 harbour the least suspi. cion of my infidelity? does my Billy inazine 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 pay 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 hap