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The Young Lady's Answer. Sit,
I RECEIVED your letter last night, and as it is 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. Those of your sex have often asserted, that we are fond of flattery, and like mightily to be pleased : I shall therefore suppose it true, and excuse you for those encomiums bestowed on 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 exteriour 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. You must excuse me, when I tell you, that I am obliged to decline making any such inquiry. However, as your behaviour, when in company, was always agreeable, I shall treat you with as much respect as is consistent with proper decorum. My worthy guardian, Mr. Melville, is now at his seat near Bristol, 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 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, which is this: You say that you live along with your mother, yet you don't say that you have either communicated your sentiments to her or your other relations. I inust 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 humble servant.
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 matter you doubted of. Before I wrote to you, I communicated the affair to my two cousins; but had not courage enough 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 afilicted 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, except that she told me it was in approbation of my suit. If yon will give me leave to wait on you, I shall then be able to explain things more particularly.
I am, dear Madam,
Your real lover.
From the Young 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, 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 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 according to their merit. Ever since his return from the university, he has rew sided constantly with me, and his conduct to every one with whom he had any connexions, has been equal to my 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 affections 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 haye been told of instances of his benevobence which he has industriously concealed. I have only to add further, that the only worldly consideration now upon my mind, is to see him properly 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 CANNOT but 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 way surprised at what you said concerning him. I do assure you, Madam, that I would prefer an alliance with you before even mobility 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 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, enclosed, a few lines to your son, to which I refer you for a more explicit answer, and am, Madam, &c.
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 & 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 respect to myself, I freely acknowledge that I have not at present any reason to reject your offer, although I cannot give a positive answer until I have first consulted with my guardian. Monday next, I set out for his seat, from whence you may expect to hear from me as soon as possible, and am,
Your sincere well-wisher.
From the same.
should hear from me as soon as possible, and therefore I now sit down to fulfil my promise. I communicated your proposal to Mr. Melville, who, after he had written to his correspondent in Philadelphia, gave me the following answer:
Miss, I have enquired concerning the young gentleman, and the information I have received is such, that I not only approve of your choice, but must also confess, that if I did not do every thing in my power to forward your union, I should be acting contrary to the request of your father when he lay on his death-bed ; you may cominunicate this to your Tover as soon as you please; and may every happiness attend you
both in time and eternity." And now, Sir, have I not told you enough? Some might think too much ; but I am determined to begin with as much sincerity as I could wish to practise if standing in the pre
Maker. To expect the same from you is reasonable ; I look for it, and shall be very unhappy if disappointed. But I will hope the best, and doubt not but the religious education bestowed on you, by your worthy mother, will operate on the whole of your future conduct in life. You may, therefore, lay aside the tedious forinality of courtship, and write to me as one with whom you mean to spend your time in this world.
Ever since my arrival here, my time has been spent in visiting, solus, the woods, the fields, the cottages, meditating on the unbounded goodness of the Almighty Creator. How infinite is his wisdom! how unbounded is his liberality! Every thing in nature conspires to exalt his praise, and ac.
knowledge with gratitude their dependence on him. But I will not tire you with such a dull description of real beauties. Present my sincere respects to your worthy mother. I hope she gets the better of her disorder; and be assured that I am
Yours and hers with the greatest affection:
The Young Gentleman's Answer. My Dear Angel,
IS there any medium between pleasure and pain? Can mourning and mirth be reconciled ? Will
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 struggling in my breast. Ten thousand blessings on my charmer on the one hand, and as many tears to a beloved parent 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 honoured mother, nor enjoy one moment's comfort unless I could call you mine; but now I am obliged to submit to the one, whilst I have the pleasing prospect of being in possession of the other. Will my dear sympthise with me, or will she bear with human passions ? And although all my hopes of temporal happiness is centered in you, yet I doubt not but you will excuse my shedding of tears over the remains of a dear parent, which I am 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
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 you and she remember, that real happiness is not to be found in this world ; and you must consider
race, in consequence of our first