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fortune and a coach and six to throw into the scale; if, in short, you shall lay your peremptory commands upon me to resign up my real happiness and peace of mind, for the vanity of living in pomp and grandeur, I am ready to submit to your superiour judgment. Give me leave, however, to observe, that it is impossible for me ever to love the man into whose arms I am to be thrown: and that my compliance with so detested a proposition, is nothing more than the result of the most inviolable duty to a father, who never made the least attempt before to thwart the inclinations of
His ever obedient daughter.
LETTER XXXVI. From a Young Person in Business to a Gentleman, desiring
leave to wait on his Daughter. Sir,
I HOPE the justness of my intentions will excuse the freedom of this letter, wherein I am to acquaint you of the affection and esteem I have for your daughter. I would not, Sir, offer any indirect address, that should have the least appearance of inconsistency with her duty to you, and my honourable views to her ; choosing by your influence, if I may approve myself to you worthy of that honour, to commend myself to her approbation. You are not insensible Sir, by the credit I have hitherto preserved in the world, of my ability, by God's blessing, to make her happy; and this the rather emboldens me to request the favour of an evening's conversation with you at your first convenience; when I will more fully explain myself, as I earnestly hope, to your satisfaction, and take my encouragement or discouragement, from your own mouth. I am, Sir, in the mean time, with great respect,
Your most obedient humble servant.
From a Young Lady to her Father, acquainting him with a
Proposal of Marriage made to her.
young Mr. Lovewell, whose father, I am sensible, is one of your intimate acquaintances, has during your absence in the country, made an open declaration of his passion for me, and pressed me closely to comply with his overtures of marriage, I thought it my duty to decline all offers of that nature, however advantageous they may seem to be, till I had your thoughts on so important an affair; and I am absolutely determined either to discourage bis addresses, or keep him at least in suspense, till your return, as I shall be directed bŷ your superiour judgment. I beg leave, how, ever, with due submission, to acquaint you with the idea I have entertained of him, and hope I am not too blind or partial in his favour. He seems to me to be perfectly honourable in his intentions, and to be no wise inferiour to any gentleman of my acquaintance hitherto, in regard to good sense or good manners.-) frankly own, Sir, I could admit of his addresses with pleasure, were they attended with your consent and approbation. Be assured, however, that I am not so far engaged, as to act with precipitation, or comply with any offers inconsistent with that filial duty, which, in gratitude to your paternal indulgence, I shall ever owe you. Your speedy instruction therefore, in so momentous an article, will prove the greatest satisfaction imaginable to,
Honoured Sir, your most dutiful daughter.
The Father's Answer to the Daughter. My Dearest Girl,
I HAVE long wished to see you happy with a deserving man-I would not upon any consideration, either thwart or force your inclination; the consequence, especially of the latter, have been in many instances fatal; far be it from me to disapprove of a worthy match! I should then deviate from the duty of a father, and be injurious to the happiness of a daughter. I know the gentleman's family you mention, and make but little doubt but the connexion will be mutually agreeable; be assured then that my return home shall be as speedy as possible, in order to prove, how much I am, my dear girl's
From a Young Lady's Friend, to a Disagreeable Suiter. Sir,
BEING the sincere friend of Miss Sidney, to whom she has in confidence revealed her utter aversion to
intruding impertinence and nonsensical jargon, I have undertaken, in consequence of her request, to insist that you
will forbear further solicitations, as they are both contemptible and disgusting. Consummate ignorance alone can, after this, be guilty of a perseverance, which may produce such fatal consequences, as to provoke my friend to apply to some male relative for protection.
I am, Sir,
Your humble seryant, &c.
Fron a Lady, to a Gentleman, who had obtained all her
friends' consent, urging him to decline his Suit to her. Sir,
YOU have often importuned me to return marks of that consideration for you, which you profess for me. parents, to whom I owe all duty, encourage your address, I wish I could. I am hardly treated by them because I cannot. What shall I do? Let me apply to you, Sir, for my relief, who have much good sense, and I hope, generosity. Yes, Sir, let me bespeak your humanity to me, and justice to yourself, in this point; and that shall be all I will ask in my
favour. I own you deserve a much better wife than I shall ever make; but yet as love is not in one's own power, if I have the misfortune to know I cannot love you, will not justice to yourself, if not pity to me, oblige you to abandon your present purpose ?
But as to yourself, Sir, why should you make a poor creature unhappy in the displeasure of all her friends at present, and still more unhappy, if, to avoid that, she gives up her person, where she cannot bestow her heart. If
you love me, as you profess, let me ask you, Sir, is it for my sake, or is it your own-If for mine, how can it be, when I must be miserable, if I am forced to marry where I cannot love? If for your own, reflect, Sir, on the selfishness of your love, and judge if it deserves from me the return you wish.
How sadly does this love already operate! You love me so well, that
you make me miserable in the anger of my dearest friends - Your love has already made them think me undutiful: and instead of the fondness and endearment I used to be treated with by them, I meet with nothing buť chidings, frowns, slights and displeasure.
And what is this love of yours to do for me hereafter ? Why, hereafter, Sir, it will be turned into hatred, or indifference at least; for then, though I cannot give you my heart, I shall have given you a title to it, and you will have a lawful claim to its allegiance. May it not then, nay ought it not to be treated on the foot of a rebel, and I expect pun. ishment as such, instead of tenderness ? Even were I to be treated with mercy, with goodness, with kindness by you, and could not deserve it or return it, what a wretch would your love make me! How would it involve me in the crying sin of ingratitude? How would it destroy my reputation in the world's eye, that the best of husbands had the worst of wives! the kindest of men the unkindest of women!
Cease then, I beseech you, this hopeless, this cruel pursuit! Make some worthier person happier in your
addresses, that can be happy in them. By this means you will restore me to the condition
found me in, the love of my parents, and the esteem of my friends. If you really love me, this may be a hard task, but it will be a most generous one. And there is some reason to expect it: for who that truly loves, wishes to make the object of his love miserable? This I must be, if you persist in your addresses ; and I shall know by your conduct, on occasion of this uncommon request, how to consider it, and in what light to place you, either as the most generous or the most ungenerous of men. Mean time, I am, Sir, most heartily, though it cannot be what you would have
Your well-wisher, and humble servant.
LETTER XLI. The Gentleman's Answer to the Lady's uncommon request. Dear Madam,
I AM exceedingly concerned, that I cannot be as acceptable to you as I have the good fortune to find myself to your honoured parents. If, madam, I had reason to think it was owing to your prepossession in some happier man's
favour, I should utterly despair of it, and should really think it would be unjust to myself, and ungenerous to you, to con
addresses. As therefore you have, by your own appeal to me, in so uncommon a way, endeavoured to make me a party against myself, and I have shown so much regard to you, as to be willing to oblige you, as far as I can, may I not hope the favour of you to declare generously whether I owe my unhappiness to such a prepossession, and whether
your heart is given to some other? If this be the case, you shall find all you wish on my part; and I shall take a pride to plead against myself, let me suffer ever so much by it, to your father and mother; but if not, and you have taken any other disgust to my person or behaviour, there may be a hope, that my utınost affection and assiduity, or a contrary conduct, may in time get the better of it. Let me implore you to permit me still to continue my
zealous respects to you; for this I will say, that there is not a man in the world who can address you with a sincerer and more ardent love, than, dear Madam,
Your affectionate admirer, and humble servant.
LETTER XLII. From a Young Lady to a Gentleman that Courted her, whom
she could not like, but was forced by her parents to receive
his visits, and think of none else for her husband. Sir,
IT is a very bad return which I make for the respect you have for me, when I acknowledge to you, that though the day of our marriage is appointed, I am incapable of loving you.
You may have observed in the long conversations we have had at those times we were left together, that some secret hung upon my mind. I was obliged to an ambiguous behaviour, and durst not reveal myself further, because my mother, from a closet near the place where we sat, could both hear and see our conversation. I have strict commands from both my parents to receive you, and am undone for ever, except you will be so kind and generous as to refuse
Consider, Sir, the misery of bestowing yourself upon one who can have no prospect of happiness but from your death. 'This is a confession made perhaps with an offensive sincerity ; but that conduct is much to be preferred to a secret dislike, which could not but pall all the sweets of life,