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Oh, that it were no crime to quit this world like Faldoni and Teresa ! and that we might be happy together in some other world, where gold and Glver are unknown ! By your hand I could even die with pleasure. I know I could.
“Infuperable reason.$ ”Yes, my H., there is, and you
force it from me. Yet, better to tell you, than to have you doubt my love; that love which is now my religion. I have hardly any God but
I almost offer up my prayers to you, as well as for you.
Know then, if you was to marry me, you would marry some hundred pounds worth of debts! and that
you never shall do.
remember a solemn oath you took in one of
your letters, when I was down at H.? and how you told me afterwards it must be so, because you had so folemnly sworn it?
In the same folemn and dreadful words I swear that I never will marry you, happy as it would make me, while I owe a shilling in the world. Jephtha's vow is paft.
What your letter says about my poor children made me weep; but it shall not make me change my resolution.
It is a further reason why I should not.--" If I “ do not marry you, I do not love you!" Gracious powers of love! Does my H. say fo? My
! not marrying you is the strongest proof I can give you of my love. And Heaven, you know, has heard my vow. Do you respect it, and never tempt me to break it~for not even you will ever succeed.—Till I have fome better portion than debts, I never will be your's.
Then what is to be done : you ask. Why, I'll tell you, H. Your determination to drop all particular intercourse till marriage has made us one, flatters me more than I can tell
because it shews me your opinion of me in the strongest light; it almost restores me to my own good opinion. The copy of verses you brought me on that subject, is superior to any thing I ever read. They shall be thy M.'s morning prayer, and her evening song. While you are in Ireland
Yes, my love, in Ireland. Be ruled by me. You shall immediately join your regiment there. You know it is your duty. In the mean time, something may happen. Heaven will not desert two faithful hearts that love like your's and mine. There are joys; there is happiness in store for us yet.
I feel there is. And (as I said just now) while you are in Ireland, I'll write to you every post, twice by one post, and I'll think of you, and I'll dream of you, and I'll kiss your picture, and
I'll wipe my eyes, and I'll kiss it again, and then I'll weep again. And
Can I give a stronger instance of my regard for you, or a stronger proof that you ought to take my advice, than my thus begging my only
, joy to leave me? I will not swear I shall survive it; but, I beseech you, go!
Fool that I am ---I undo with one hand, all I do with the other. My tears, which drop between every word I write, prevent the effect of my reasoning; which, I am sure, is just.
Be a man, I say-you are an angel. Join your regiment; and, as sure as I love you (nothing can be more sure) I will recall you, from what will be banishment as much to me as to you, the first moment I can marry you with honour to myself, and happiness to you.
But, I muft not write thus.
Ill suits the voice of love, when glory calls, And bids thee follow Jephtha to the field.
17 March, 1776. AND I will respect the vow of Jephtha, and I will follow to the field. At least, I will tbjuk of it all to-night, for I am sure I shall not sleep, and will let you know the success of my struggle, , for a struggle it will be to-morrow. I will wait for you at the same place in the Park, where I shall see you open the A. door. Should it rainI'll write. It was my intention' to have endeavoured to see you now, but I changed my mind, and wrote this, here; and I am glad I did. We are not in a condition to see each other. Cruel debts ! Rather, cruel vow! for, would
but have let nie, I would have contrived some scheme about your debts . I could form a plan. My Gosport matters—my commiffion
Alas, you frown, and I must stop. Why would not fortune smile upon my two lottery tickets? Heaven knows I bought them on your account. Upon the back of one of them I wrote, in case of my sudden death, “ this is the property of
Miss—," On the back of the other, that it belonged to your daughter.
For what am I still reserved ?
L ET TER XXIV.
A. 19 March, 1776. Why, why do you write to me so often? Why do you see me so often? When you acknowledge the necessity of complying with my advice.
You tell me, if I bid you, you'll go. I hare bid you, begged you to go.--I do bid you go. Go, I conjure you, go! But let us not have any more partings. The last was too, too much. I did not recover myself all day. And your goodness to my little white-headed boy-He made me burst into tears this morning, by talking of the good-natured gentleman, and producing your present.
Either stay, and let our affection discover and ruin us-orgo.
On the bended knees of love I intreat you, H., my dearest H. to go.