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Is not this kind and thoughtful? Why did it never occur to you, so often as we have talked of my being obliged to leave this dear place? To me most dear, since it has been the scene of my acquaintance, my happiness with H.
· But, am I to leave behind me that dearest H.? Surely your recruiting business must be nearly over now. You muft go to town. Though things can't often be contrived at the A, they maythey may ?--they shall happen elsewhere.
Fail not to-morrow--and do not laugh at me any more about my dream. If it was a proof of my weakness, it was a proof also of my love.
. I wish the day on which I am to set out from hence could be conjured about a month further back or so. Now, you ask why? Look in your last year's almanack. Was not the shortest day some where about that time ? Come give me a kiss for that, I am sure I deserve it.---Oh! fye Mr. H., not twenty. You are too generous in your payments. I must insist upon returning you the overplus the next time we meet--that is to-morrow, you know.
L ET TER XVII.
Huntingdon, 26 Feb. 1776. Why will not the wished-for day, or rather night, arrive? And here, I have not seen you since I know not when not for two whole days.
But I wrote you a long letter yesterday why it would be dangerous to meet; and all in
rhyme. The beginning, I assure you, was not poetry, but truth->If the conclusion was coloured too highly, you must excuse it. The pencil of love executed it, and the fly rogue will indulge himself sometimes. Let the time come, I'll convince you his pencil did not much exaggerate.
Just now I was thinking of your birth-day, about which I asked you the other day. It's droll that your's and mine should be so near together. And thus I observe thereon.
Your poets, cunning rogues, pretend
That men are made of clay;
Some five or fix a day.
No wonder, M. I and you
Don't quite detest each other;
As if it were it's brother:
For in one year we both were made,
Nay almost in one day-
One common heap of clay.
What? if I were not cast in near
So fine a mould as you..
Is tender, fond, and true.
Corporal Trim sets off to-day for our head quarters. My plan is laid so, that no discovery can take place. Gods, that two such fouls, as your's and mine,, should be obliged to descend to arts and plans! Were it not for your dear fake, I'd scorn to do any thing I would not wish discovered.
H. 21 Feb. 1776. ALL your plans are useless. The Corporal has made his forced march to no purpose. The fates
are unkind. It is determined I am to go up poft. So, we cannot poflibly be happy together, as we hoped to have been had our own horsesdrawn me up, in which case I must hare slept upon the road. I am not clear old Robin Gray will not stay and attend me. Why cannot my Jamie ? Cruel fortune! But in town we will be happy. When, again, shall I enjoy your dear fociety; as I did during that, to me at least, blefed snow? Nothing but my dear children could prevent our going with Cook to seek for happiness in worlds unknown. There must be some corner of the globe where mutual affection is respected.
Don't forget to meet me. Scratch out forget. I know how much you think of me. Too much for your peace, nay for your health. Indeed my H. you don't look well. Pray be careful !
“ Whatever wounds thy tender health,
“ Will kill thy M.'s too.” Omiah is in good humour with me again.--What kind of animal should a naturalist expect from a native of Otaheite and a Huntingdonshire dairy maid? If my eyes don't deceive me, Mr. Omiah will give us a specimen.-Will you bring me some book to-morrow to divert me, as I post it to town--that I may forget, if it be possible, I am posting from you?
Hockerill, 1. March, 1770. It is your strict injunction that I do not offend you by suffering my pen to speak of last night. I will not, my M. nor should I, had you not in, joined it. You once said a nearer acquaintance would make me change my opinion of you. It
. has, I have changed my opinion. The more I know you, the more chastely I think of
you. Notwithstanding last night (what a night!), and our first too, I protest to God, I think of you with as much purity, as if we were going to be married-You take my meaning, I am sure ; because they are the thoughts I know you wish me to entertain of
you. You got to town fafe, I hope. One letter may find me before I shall be able to leave Huntingdon, whither I return to-day; or, at least, to Cambridge. I am a fool about Crop, you know. And I am now more tender of him, because he has carried you.-How little did we think that morning we should ever make each other so happy! Don't forget to write, and don't forget the E 3