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sir, I have communicated the contents of your letter to her ladyship, as you know she has been to me as a parent. She has not any objection, and I am at last resolved to comply. I must give myself up to you as a poor friendless orphan, and shall endeavour to act consistent with the rules laid down and enforced by our holy religion; and if you should so far deviate from the paths of virtue as to upbraid me with poverty, I have no friends to complain to, but that God who is the father of the fatherless. But I have a better opinion of you than to entertain any such fears. I have left the time to your own appointment, and let me beg that you will continue in the practice of that virtuous education which you have received. Virtue is its own reward, and cannot be unhappy with the man who prefers the duties of reli gion to gaiety and dissipation.
I am yours sincerely.
From a young lady to a gentleman; complaining of indif ference.
OWEVER light you may make of promises, yet I am foolish enough to consider them as something more than trifles: and am likewise induced to believe that the man who voluntarily breaks a promise, will not pay much regard to an oath; and if so, in what light must I consider your conduct? did I not give you my promise to be yours, and had you no other reason for soliciting than merely to gratify your vanity? a brutal gratification, indeed, to Triumph over the weakness of a woman whose greatest fault was, that she loved you. I say loved you; for it was in consequence of that passion, I first consented to become yours. Has your conduct, sir, been consistent with my submission, or with your own solemn profession? is it consistent with the character of a gentleman first to obtain a wo man's consent, and afterwards brag that he had discarded her and found one more agreeable to his wishes? do not equivocate; Ihave too convincing proofs of your insincerity; I saw you yesterday walking with Miss Benson, and am informed that you have proposed marriage to her. Whatever you may think, sir, I have a spirit of disdain, and even resentment, equal to your ingratitude, and can treat
the wretch with a proper indifference, who can make so slight a matter of the most solemn promises. Miss Benson may be your wife, but she will receive into her arms a perjured husband; nor can ever the superstructure be lasting, which is built on such a foundation.. I leave you to the stings of your own conscience.. Iam the injured.
The gentleman's answer.
My dear Angel,
OR by that name I must still call you; has cruelty entered into your tender nature, or has some designing, wretch imposed on your credulity? my dear, I am not whatyou have represented; I am neither false nor perjured; I never proposed marriage to Miss Benson, I never designedit; and my sole reason for walking with her was, that I had been on a visit to her brother, whom you know is myattorney. And was it any fault in me to take a walk into the fields along with him and his sister? surely prejudice itself cannot say so? but I am afraid you have been imposed on by some designing person, who had private views, and private ends to answer by such baseness. But what ever may have been the cause, I am entirely innocent; and to convince you of my sincerity, beg that the day of mar-riage may be next week. My affections never so much as wandered from the dear object of my love: in you are cen tered all my hopes of felicity; with you only can I be happy. Keep me not in misery one moment longer, by entertaining groundless jealousies against one who loves you in a manner superior to the whole of your sex; and I can set at defiance even malice itself. Let me beg your answer by, my servant, which will either make me happy or miserable. I have sent a small parcel by the bearer, which I hope you will accept as a convincing proof of my integrity; and Yours for ever.
From a young officer, ordered to his regiment, in Minorca, to a young lady whom he courted.
sail to-morrow for Minorca, without having the happiness of seeing my angel. What unhappiness to us, and devastation among the human race, has the ambition of princes and the perfidiousness of ministers occasioned! husband obliged. to leave their beloved wives, and dear little children; every relation is broken, and we may well say with Addison, What havock has ambition made!
But what is this to my present purpose? like all others in a state of distraction, I am obliged to write nonsense, if any thing can be so called where the name of my charmer is found. Did you know, my dear, what a struggle I have between love and duty, you would consider me as an object of compassion. I am bound, by the most solemn oaths, to be yours; and at the same time duty obliges me to draw my sword in defence of the just rights of my lawful prince, and injured country; and whatever dangers may wait for me, I would meet them with the greatest cheerfulness, were I sure of possessing one place in your heart. But why do I say one, I must have all or none; I cannot bear the most distant thought that you would place your affections on another. No, my dear, were that to happen, would act the part of general Campbell at the fatal battle of Fontenoy, by rushing on the sword of the enemy, to put an end to a weary existence. I should cheerfully lay down my life, which would be of small value, were I to be separated for ever from you. But why do I doubt? I know my charmer is as virtuous as she is beautiful, and that nothing but my own conduct can ever make her discard me; but,
Is not absence death to those who love however, I have the pleasing reflection yet left, that whilst I am in a distant part of the world attending my duty, I shall be remembered by her, whose prayers for my preservation will be accept, able to that God who loves virtue, who is of purer eyes. than to behold iniquity. Nothing in this world can ever be so dear to me as you are. Believe all I say, and I am happy. If I do any thing that may appear wrong, inform me of it, and it shall be my first care to confess my fault and amend. I'desire your advice in every thing; but alas! separation will render it difficult, though not impossible. Not having had time to settle with our agent, I have left an order with my mother for that purpose.-Let me beg that, you will honour her with a visit; she will esteem it as a respect shown to me. I have often told you what an ex,
cellent woman she is, and I am fully persuaded you will find her so, yea, more so than I have ever mentioned. We are to stop at Gibraltar, where I hope to have a letter from you. If it comes too late, the governor will forward it to Minorca. Once more, my dear, farewell, continue to be mine, and all the vicissitudes and dangers of war will appear as trifles; and when peace shall again bless the nation, I will fly on the wings of love to the arms of my dearest angel, and spend with her the remainder of my days. I am your sincere lover.
I F your hand could scarcely hold the pen, I am afraid this will appear unintelligible, being wet with tears from beginning to end. When your letter arrived, we were drinking tea, and my father reading the newspaper, wherein it was said, that all the officers in the army were ordered to join their regiments: I was a good deal alarmed, but some hopes remained till the fatal letter convinced me that my suspicions were but too well founded. Alas! how vain are humble expectations! in the morning we dream of happiness, and before evening are really miserable. I was promising to myself that one month would have joined our hands, and now we are separated perhaps for years, if not for ever. For how do I know but the next post may bring me an account of your being killed in battle, and then farewell every thing in this world. My pleasing prospects will then vanish, and although unmarried, will remain a widow till death. And is it possible you can doubt one moment of my sincerity? or do you think that those affections can ever be placed on another which were first fixed on you, for a convincing proof of your accomplishments and merit! No, my dear, my fidelity to you shall remain as unspotted as this paper, before it was blotted with ink and bedewed with tears. I know not how others love, but my engagements are for eternity. You desire me to put you in mind of your duty. I know net of any faults, nor am I disposed to look for them. I doubt not, but the religious education you have received in your youth will enable you to resist the strongest temptations; and, like that everlasting ho
nour to the army, colonel Gardiner, although not afraid to fight, yet you will be afraid to sin. However terrifying it may be to meet death in the field, yet it is far more awful to appear before a just God, whom we have offended by our iniquities. I have been reading Lyttleton's History of England, and that elegant author says, that at the battle of Hastings, which overthrew the Saxon monarchy, the Normans, although under arms all night, were yet fervent in their devotions, whilst the English, who thought themselves secure of victory, were spending their time in riot and drunkenness. But alas! the next day exhibited a different scene. The Normans became conquerors, after killing many thousands of the enemy; and such are commonly the fatal effects of debauchery. There is not one body of people in the world accused of irreligion more than the military! and from the very nature of their employment, none are more obliged to practise every Christian duty. They see thousands of their fellow-creatures hurried into eternity, nor do they know but the next may be themselves. My dear Charles, never be ashamed of religion. A consciousness of your integrity will inspire you with real courage in the day of battle; and if you should at last die in defence of the just rights of your country, the divine favour will be your comfort through eternity. In the mean time my prayers shall constantly be for your safety and preservation, and my earnest hopes fixed on your happy return.
I have obtained leave of my parents to reside with your mother during the summer, which will at least be some consolation to me in your absence. Let me hear from you as often as possible, but never doubt of my fidelity. Consider me as already yours, and I am happy. Farewell, my dear, and may the wisdom of God direct you, and his providence be your guard, is the sincere prayer of her who prefers you before all the world.